The republic is not a football game. It is not team Democrat against team Republican. Recent presidential campaigns constantly overused the analogy. We saw the Obama Truth Team on Facebook and @TeamBarackObama on Twitter, pitting their forces against America's Comeback Team and @TeamRomney. Perhaps this type of competitive spirit is understandable in a political campaign, but why does the sports team rhetoric continue in such force after the election?
By James E. Davis, H. Michael Hartoonian, Richard D. Van Scotter, & William E. White
Ask most social critics what ails America, and "low-performing public schools" will be high on the list. Pundits offer little supporting data (as if the pronouncement were self-evident), but when they do, they usually refer to test scores, not higher-level thinking skills, creativity, and resourcefulness—the tangible abilities that best serve a democratic society and market economy. K-12 schools, in effect, have become a scapegoat for a society incapable of or unwilling to face deeper problems associated with our education system.
On a day designated for honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr., we might want to spend some time reflecting on education.
I’ve been a teacher for 30 years. I’ve had good days and bad in the classroom. But my belief in the value of education to straighten the crooked, right the wrong, make the unfair just and to raise the quality of life has never faltered.
More and more these days, lawmakers want to butt into the business of schools.
They justify doing it for a lot of reasons — none of them with much value. But they sound good and provide what lawmakers want first and foremost: political fund-raising mantra and votes.
The World Forum on the Future of Democracy in Williamsburg, Va., was a great opportunity to reflect on the nature of democracy and what we have learned in the project so far. If I were to take one message away from the World Forum it would be that democracy is no spectator sport. Through the course of the three-day conference we were reminded that a successful democracy requires the active participation of its citizens. A vital question that we have to grapple with in the 21st century is how to ensure this participation in a world where voting and citizen participation is declining.