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My Recent Comments
This discussion has been really interesting. Mike's fear of "Tea Party Tyranny" is certainly justified. Tea Party members seem to have, in their minds, equated the concepts of "spending reduction" and "fiscal responsibility", a mistake that gives rise to a one-dimensional view of a multi-dimensional problem. Whether that vision is "laser focus" or "tunnel vision" is a matter of perspective. As with all such things, where you stand very much depends on where you sit.
On the other hand, the "non-Tea Party" folks, seem to be content to make minor tweaks to a major problem, metaphorically worried about whether the passengers sit in first class or coach as the train speeds over the cliff. That clearly won't do.
One thing we should be clear about, the Tea Party, in its present incarnation, is not a SOLUTION to fiscal irresponsibility but rather a REACTION to it. And that is a key distinction; they are very much reactive rather than proactive so their focus has so far been on what to cut now with litle consideration for the long term costs. In my view, that short term perspective casts a significant shadow over the tremendous long term good that they could do.
The best present and future outcomes will not be achieved by focusing on the financial questions alone. We can neither throw money at issues nor blindly slash funding and expect a positive result. If we are to leave our children a country worth living in, we need to define what services we need from government, what we are willing to pay for those services, and how we go about funding them.8 months ago
Anne, I assumed that you were one of those working on the solution instead of the problem; that you took the time to write the article is proof of that. I wish I had universal answers, but I don't. I don't know if critical thinking is waning or if the new media delivery channels just make it easier for non-critical thinkers to publish their non-messages. Whichever it is, teacher, parents, and students now have a significant challenge just to cut through the clutter so that learning can occur.
Parents have a significant role to play in their children's education, arguably, the primary role. We were fortunate; I grew up in a home that REALLY valued education and my children got to watch as I went through college as a "non-traditional student", paying my own way. My kids had white boards in their rooms when they were in school, and we discussed not only course subject matter but its relevance to the world around us. But my experience tells me that many, if not most parents, though they really want the best for their kids, have neither the time nor the educational and experiential background to give their children the tools they will need to succeed. We live in a sound bite world but, for the task at hand, sound bites just won't do. Thanks for fighting the fight.8 months ago
Gilbert has been headed down this path since long before the Tea Party got its name. Biggs, especially, has a track record of thinking things through only far enough to make a straw man case for his favored few. (His fire district meddling cost both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars before they finally reached a conclusion that reasonable folks could have reached over pie and lemonade.) Like our original tea partiers, this Tea Party is founded in a rebellion against wrongs that really do need correcting, but their short sighted methods may well bring us all down before we get close to a solution.8 months ago
This is just the same old Parent/Teacher blame game, but presented from the obverse side. Ms. Marshall's frustration is almot palpable, but that doesn't mean that her tirade is any more accurate than the rantings of those who lay the entire blame for negative student outcomes at the feet of our teachers. Neither group is well served by painting the other with a broad brush of apathy. We should be trying to build alliances rather than playing an implicit or explicit blame game. Remember, our children learn from us, and they don't just learn the lessons that we are trying to teach.8 months ago