Recent comments

  • Reply to: Matt Damon’s Mom, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Talks Public Education   5 days 16 hours ago
    I became a teacher and then a school counselor in the same era as Nancy,. It was a time of inspired learning via project based instruction that accommodated all learning styles of children, and allowed them to develop higher level thinking skills and scientific thinking. Most children have a natural gift for scientific thinking because of their powerful curiosity and amazing imagination. However, in the current culture of Common Core, creative thinking is stifled by scripted command and drill, which looks more like a mimi boot camp than authentic teaching; or, like obedience training for dogs and circus animals instead of a healthy holistic learning environment for children. My observations about the decline of education from this obsession with high stakes testing and the "one size fits all" of Common Core are the same as Nancy described. . We no longer have inspired learning in a safe environment of "thrive", but "fearful" learning in a punitive authoritarian environment of "survive". This causes more primitive thinking rather than developing higher thinking skills. The school environment now uses a pedagogy like that of Germany during the decades leading up to WWII. It focuses only on performance and does not provide for children's social and emotional needs. It is sociopathic teaching. I wrote articles about the institutional psychological abuse in this environment, but few politicians listen to mental health professionals. Therefore, I wrote the same message in a Dr Seuss poem that politicians might understand. Here is a copy that you can share:http://www.amazon.com/Common-Core-Protest-Poster-Listened/dp/B00KCZIBOA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400813958 &sr=8-1&keywords=We+Should+Have+Listened+to+the+Lorax
  • Reply to: Young Women Love Elizabeth Warren   1 week 1 day ago
    While I have admired Hillary Clinton, my allegiance is with Elizabeth Warren. Hillary has serious credentials and has the capacities to make a good chief executive. However, I feel she's become too close to Washington politics to be able to "feel our pain". Bill was tough at times but became far too conciliatory to his adversaries - I see Hillary being much the same. Elizabeth "totally gets it." She has the intelligence, energy, integrity and shear guts, to slap the faces of GOP or Democratic oppressors.
  • Reply to: Young Women Love Elizabeth Warren   1 week 1 day ago
    I'm about as opposite to "Young Women" as it is possible to be. I'm an eighty-one year old male. I love Elizabeth Warren and want her to run. Actually I'm pretty much ready to say "anybody but Hillary Rodham Clinton (and any other of the Democratic Leadership ilk)." But I especially love Senator Warren (would she accept Bernie Sanders as Vice -- or vice versa). Snar
  • Reply to: Young Women Love Elizabeth Warren   1 week 1 day ago
    ..and women over 55, too. My Facebook friends and I love her and laugh at that fool who could only sputter that she was "too emotional". I'd hate to see her be president - presidents have to spend too much time making nice and raising obscene amounts of money in return for big donor favors and dark money causes. Elizabeth can accomplish greater things for a more limited number of causes because she doesn't have to enlist support from too many people with objectionable goals.
  • Reply to: Young Women Love Elizabeth Warren   1 week 1 day ago
    I agree, am I am hardly young.
  • Reply to: ProfitShip Learning   1 week 1 day ago
    BLENDED education is really BENDING education in the direction of privatization. There has been a long time conspiracy to abolish public education and establish a system which would reflect the belief of a recent presidential candidate: "You are entitled to be best education that you can afford." Unhappily the Obama administration and the hatchet man, Duncan, have contributed to the privatization effort by attacks on tenure and teacher unions, advancing merit pay, pushing vouchers and charter schools and emphasizing standardized testing which detracts from time to teach. If the privateers succeed, we will have schools advancing a corporate agenda, teachers who are scared hirelings, and a system where profits are the bottom line.
  • Reply to: Young Women Love Elizabeth Warren   1 week 1 day ago
    I am sorry to hear that Miss Warren is supported by sexist feminists. Now I must mark her off my list along with Hillary.
  • Reply to: Rocketship Lands in Milwaukee   1 week 1 day ago
    hi, my 3 kids attend to rocketship school in milwaukee...they had been in public school and catholic private school.And let me tell you this, i love it....my kids are more respectfull and show a lot of learning progress...believed me..is hard to tell or talk about 1 school in one day visit...you have to go tru a lot to really learn about it...this is my second year in this school,and my only hopes is they can open more higher grades so my kids stay in rocketship program....im a happy and more important PROUD parent...thanks
  • Reply to: Rocketship Lands in Milwaukee   1 week 2 days ago
    Jeff, what do you mean by " where it's headed" and "school like that?" What did you learn in this article that would prevent you from sending your kid here? Curious...
  • Reply to: Matt Damon’s Mom, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Talks Public Education   1 week 2 days ago
    As a substitute teacher, I have been in four pre-k classes this year, all in Kanawha County WVa. A common theme in all four rooms are pictures of children from around the world in various costumes. Also in two of the four classes rooms there were posters in Spanish. Also, as you might expect, parental involvement is much greater at this age.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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