Weekly Reader (7/20)

Lots of stuff this week. But a sobering thought before we start:  your memories might not be your own.

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up real time.

On getting along with the other party, it can be done. If we focused more on issues, rather than group identity perhaps we could get stuff done. And it’s not surprising that we can agree to be against corruption. And here’s story on compromise regarding ROTC on campus. But hateful rhetoric remains.

First up, Education:

What do you think of year-round schools?

The big debate coming to Georgia is the constitutional amendment on state-created charter schools in November. Of course, you can’t really tell that what it is about because of the misleading ballot wording. And as Georgia political commentator Jim Galloway says about the websites of the pro and con groups:

Compare the two sites, and you’ll know where the money is in this contest.

And here’s a post about the taxpayer liability from failed charters. And a commentary on how charter schools have become the “philosopher’s stone” for educational failures.

Speaking of educational failures, Doughtery County is the poster child. And more on DeKalb BOE’s budget woes and how hard it is to find solutions. But the State of Georgia certainly isn’t helping.

More links this week about teacher evaluations: a study of Tennessee’s system and a piece showing the multitude of opinions on the topic.

Another article on the dangers of high-stakes testing. And how interpreting test results is quite complicated and often done wrong.

We’re adding financial literacy  to the 21st Century Skills we teach. And why we need to focus on the whole child.

Here’s an interesting piece on the positive aspects of the common core curriculum and why it’s gotten a bad rap:

It’s about how students use their brains to contribute to a topic, not just the regurgitation of that topic.  It’s about not just the content but the collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity involved in communicating that content.  And that’s not common.

How about the Economy?

I like this approach, of viewing the economy as a garden, rather than a machine:

Under the efficient-market hypothesis, taxes are an extraction of resources from the jobs machine, or more literally, taking money out of the economy. … Gardenbrain, in contrast, allows us to recognize taxes as basic nutrients that sustain the garden.

Returning to my continued focus on economic opportunity, the fact is:

The distinction between equality of outcomes and opportunity has some theoretical appeal, but in practice, you get both or neither.

But it seems that policies have little effect on entrepreneurship (and here), just on who receives the fruits. And it’s clear on who is now holding that fruit.

Luigi Zingales, business school professor at the University of Chicago, wonders if our financial scandals start in the classroom:

The daily scandals that expose corruption and deception in business are not merely the doing of isolated crooks. They are the result of an amoral culture that we — business-school professors — helped foster. The solution should start in our classrooms.

But we do know what we end up with:

The American economy has moved way beyond outsourcing abroad or even “in-sourcing.” Most big companies headquartered in America don’t send jobs overseas and don’t bring jobs here from abroad.

That’s because most are no longer really “American” companies. They’ve become global networks that design, make, buy, and sell things wherever around the world it’s most profitable for them to do so.

The core problem isn’t outsourcing. It’s that the prosperity of America’s big businesses – which are really global networks that happen to be headquartered here – has become disconnected from the well-being of most Americans.

The U.S. Military, just like it has in almost every major technological breakthrough this century, is becoming a leader in clean energy.

Of course, this has been a big week in the civil rights battle fought by our gay brothers and sisters. Here’s my friend Rick Klau’s take on the Boy Scouts who clearly discriminate more directly than does Chick-fil-A. And here’s a wonderful response to Dan Cathy from a Baptist Pastor.

It’s local primary election season where I live. (If you live in Fayette County, you can see interviews of the BOE candidates here.) Should everyone be required to vote? One of the big things on the ballot is our Transportation Sales Tax Vote. I support the effort (partly because of the Port of Savannah expansion) as does Kasim Reed and our local Chamber of Commerce.

Ending with my friend Allison’s wonderful rant about school forms.

And, the song of the week, is one of my favorites from John McCutcheon who Elizabeth and I saw do a wonderful birthday tribute to Woody Guthrie at Eddie’s Attic. It’s all about getting along with the other side:

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>