"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

An Educational Insight: Purple Ponies and the Other Ponies Masquerading as 800 Pound Gorillas

We are pleased to publish Doug Lasken's latest article on some current problems in education. Enjoy his educational description of purple ponies. Regarding the remaining educational issues he writes about in public schools today, we'll call them the "800 pound gorillas" in the room:


The Purple Pony

By Doug Lasken

A political epiphany came to me recently at Fairyland , the enchanting Oakland theme park for young children where my wife and I took our 2 ½ year old granddaughter, Vera. We spent the first half hour at the merry-go-round because that is her favorite ride, which she needed to experience repeatedly. Rules require that children get off their diminutive horses after each turn, get in line again, then find a new mount. After a few repetitions I noticed that Vera raced each time to a particular purple pony, the only pony of that color. Once, when a speedy boy snagged the purple pony, I heard her cry, “I want the purple pony!” I mentioned this to the attendant and she told me that kids always fight over the purple pony. I suggested that they paint all the ponies purple and achieve world peace, but even as I spoke the epiphany came: It is only the rarity of the purple pony that makes it desirable, and it came to me that what I here dub the Purple Pony Effect (PPE) is well know to political operatives.

Here is a mea culpa: I have been subject to the PPE in my writings on education. There has been for me but one purple pony on the merry-go-round of federal education policy: the Obama administration’s Race to the Top (RTTT) and its attendant Common Core Standards (CCS), and I, like a toddler given one choice which I lunge for in simulation of free-will, have grabbed it, in my case in opposition. I’ve spent two years arguing against the proposed national standards, in terms of cost and necessity, which RTTT and CCS entail, and the whole time I had forgotten the real, more difficult story unfolding in education. Yes, I had fallen for the old Purple Pony trick!

So I have dismounted my purple pony and am walking around looking at other ponies. They are pretty familiar. In fact I’ve been thinking about two of them for years:

1. Social promotion. This is the practice of advancing children to the next grade level even when they are not proficient in required subject areas. The evils of social promotion are great. No other factor so obscures and perpetuates the failure of our schools, yet there has been no obvious remedy, because if social promotion were ended our schools would come to a crashing halt, even without the current financial calamity. When I taught 5th grade, the gateway to middle-school, I could justifiably have retained 80-90% of my students. What if I had done so, and what if all the other 5th grade teachers had also? For starters, we would have had 80 students in our classes the next year instead of 40, and in a couple of years every grade level at every school would be crammed with hundreds of kids per class. So we didn’t do it. Over the years public policy has briefly acknowledged the issue and once in a while tried a remedy. California developed the high school exit exam, which in theory keeps seniors who have not achieved at grade level from graduating. In my high school career as an English teacher I discovered, however, that the exit exam measures basic literacy at a much lower level than California’s demanding academic standards do. We are graduating thousands of kids who earn a D in English and squeak through the exit exam by a hair, and these kids are functionally illiterate (that is, unable to read a newspaper article). Thus the exit exam is a partial fix at best, as English professors of college freshman know well.

2. Discipline. In American public schools, kids can disrupt a class as much as they want with little consequence. Disruptive behavior from students not only halts instruction (often destroying entire lessons), it also sets an anti-academic tone for the class. Generally speaking the honors kids, the ones we’re not worried about, behave better than the “regular” kids (“regular” being our euphemism for the vast majority of students who range from able though unmotivated to functionally illiterate). Thus the great civil rights issue in our schools turns out not to be funding or integration or new standards, but the effects of uncontrolled disruption caused by the very children we are trying most to help. In 25 years with Los Angeles Unified I had my share of disruptive children. High school is different from elementary only in style. I had a 2nd grader who killed the pet mice in our classroom and terrorized all the students- none of which got him expelled- but at least elementary kids didn’t call me a “mother f***er” when I asked them to open their books, as many of my “regular” high school students did. Again, such colorful language did not result in expulsion. The normal procedure for behavior problems is to first call the legal guardians. If a call home proves ineffective, as it often does, the teacher sends the student to the dean, who also has few options. In some cases involving violence or drugs there may be expulsion, but more commonly a student is subject to an “opportunity transfer,” which is a transfer to another high school where the mayhem continues, while the receiving school ships out its difficult kids in like fashion. In minor cases, such as students cussing out teachers, the dean writes “Counseled” on the referral slip (indicating, one surmises, such advice as “Don’t call your teacher a “mother-f***ker”) and the student returns, chastened minimally if at all. The solution? Who knows? This is not a “sexy” issue. It has no obvious remedy, since expulsion, the only approach that comes readily to mind, would involve so many kids that it would need a solution of its own.

Because social-promotion and discipline have no obvious solutions, we never hear about them. Politicians don’t like problems with no clear solutions, because they do not entail votes or money. Thus we get the administration’s Purple Pony Race to the Top, a diversion that does little more than make consultants with Democratic ties rich. Without a smart GOP attack, Obama's education game will pay off (literally). Absent GOP attention to the issue, how can the administration resist this easy way out, since it doesn’t know how to solve the tough problems anyway?

As indicated, I don’t know how to solve them either. My suggestion here is that we get off our purple ponies of easy, irrelevant albeit lucrative approaches, and look at what we really face. Whoever the GOP candidate turns out to be, he or she should speak openly about what’s really happening in American schools. This could be the kind of new discussion that puts America, and the GOP, back on the map. There might even be some votes in it.

Doug Lasken is a retired Los Angeles Unified teacher, current consultant and debate coach. Read his blog at: http://laskenlog.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 16, 2011

Deja Vu? If you think education reform sounds familiar, it is.

Many of our readers have been following education reform for a long time; in some cases decades. They see where we are headed. But you can only really see where we are if you look back at where we've come from.

People like Bill Gates propose making public education into a sort of job training program, as if that was something new. Christopher Doyle at Ed Week wrote a great piece showing that we've been here before, with these same ideas and, in some cases, the same language even. Such reforms didn't work before, so the question that should be put to those proposing adopting them now is, "What makes you think they will work this time?"

From Mr Doyle's article:

Educators make bad prognosticators of the future. There is no shame in that. Politicians, stock-market players, CEOs, and gamblers, people with a lot at stake, routinely fail in their predictive efforts. But when school “reformers” try to reorder education based on “21st-century skills,” or what some describe as “teaching tomorrow’s skills to today’s students,” they show not only lack of prescience, but also ignorance of the past.

History suggests that public schools are abysmal failures at teaching skills needed for the future. Exactly a century ago, public education in the United States and Western Europe was rife with reform movement, much of it predicated on anxiety about national security and business competitiveness.

The language reformers used 100 years ago sounds familiar. “They talked about accountability, about cutting red tape, about organizing coalitions to push educational reform,” writes historian David B. Tyack in The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education. Early 20th-century educators, business leaders, and politicians wanted to replicate a Gilded Age corporate model of decisionmaking and leadership and impose it on public schools.

What skills did those century-old “reformers” seek to inculcate? They stressed “efficiency” (today called “efficacy”), competition and nationalism (today “competing in a global economy”), and following directions (today “respect” and sometimes “collaboration”). Of course, in 1911, Europeans and Americans were only three years away from the great catastrophe of the 20th century, World War I, which enabled an even greater disaster spanning 1939 to 1945. Stressing competitive nationalism and the uncritical acceptance of expert authority, those “20th-century-skills” would have played perfectly to exacerbate both calamities further.

A few people in 1911 better understood where the century was headed, but their ideas had no currency in mainstream education. From Vienna, Sigmund Freud had already shocked Victorian sensibilities by suggesting that human behavior was largely the product of unconscious drives, and that modern life imposed high levels of repression and neurosis. In Switzerland, Albert Einstein had recently won his first university professorship after undercutting the Newtonian physical order and proposing time’s relativity. In South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi had experimented, not altogether successfully, with tactics of nonviolent revolution that would ultimately lead to Indian independence and inspire a generation of civil rights leaders. In Paris, Pablo Picasso pushed the frontiers of painting by pioneering a cubist perspective. All these individuals lived in relative obscurity a century ago. Their thinking proved so subversive that even now they are often not taught well in public schools.

The four iconoclasts saw themselves as rebels. They challenged established orders of respectability, science, law, and taste. They themselves felt like odd men out at school, even though three of them were conventionally good students (Picasso was not). Einstein’s biographer Albrecht Fölsing corrects the misimpression that the physicist did poorly in school, but he quotes Einstein at age 60 recalling distaste for the “mindless and mechanical method of teaching, which, because of my poor memory for words, caused me great difficulties, which it seemed to me pointless to overcome. I would rather let all kinds of punishment descend upon me than to rattle off something by heart.” Perhaps today Einstein would be labeled with a learning disability, but it is still difficult to imagine any of the four enjoying or succeeding dramatically at a school teaching “21st-century skills,” especially since they bear a striking resemblance to early “20th-century skills.”

Of course it would be unfair to indict schools of a century ago, or now, for failing to produce more geniuses on par with these four, although one can always hope. Einstein, Freud, Gandhi, and Picasso were extraordinary, and those truly oriented to the future often feel alienated in their own time. My point in invoking them is to show the disparity between a real visionary and a “reform” agenda justified in the name of future expectations.

The problem, then and now, is that the architects of futurist school reform are too invested in the status quo to tolerate, let alone foster, much subversion, criticism, or free thinking. Perhaps the business and political leadership that worries so much about the future even had a hand in shaping conditions that triggered its own fears. It seems especially puzzling that business leaders inevitably get a privileged place at the table in any discussion of school reform. Tony Wagner grants them this place in his widely invoked book The Global Achievement Gap, and so does the advocacy group Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Wagner, the partnership, and other futurists want to redesign education based on skills defined by “stakeholders” (a play on “stockholders”) from the business world.

We could do much better by asking artists, developmental psychologists, ethicists, environmentalists, and physicists to chime in about what kids need to learn. If the past is any guide, it seems much more likely that those on the margins of power and wealth should have better insights into the future than those who have defined the status quo.

Read the entire article here. Education Week: Let's Stop Forecasting 21st-Century Skills

An Education for Governor Jay Nixon (and Taxpayers) on Preserving Economic Resources Instead of Mandating Unwanted Health Care Regulations

Here is an update from CryLiberty on yesterday's story about Jay Nixon pondering the signing of an executive order mandating health care exchanges that 72% of Missourians don't want:


The St Louis Tea Party Coalition has a much better offer for Governor than mandated health care…but first, here’s what happened:

Yesterday, it was rumored that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was, pen in hand, about to sign an Executive Order overturning Propisition C, a measure passed last August which would protect Missourians for nationalized health care.

Note top of article by CBS affiliate KMOX:

Partisan blood pressure was on the rise in Jefferson City over a proposal to accept a federal grant to set up healthcare exchanges that would help coordinate President Obama’s healthcare reform in Missouri.

Senators Lembke, Cunningham and Schaaf stormed the Governor’s secret meeting with the Missouri Health Insurance Plan Board and stopped Nixon from accepting a $21 million federal bribe to implement Obamacare (via health insurance exchanges) by Executive Order. (H/T Caroline Mueller)

Note bottom of article by CBS affiliate KMOX:

Last year, 71 percent of Missouri voters approved Proposition C, which sought to protect Missourians from the federal mandate to participate in Obama’s healthcare reform.

And smack-dab in the middle of the article from CBS affiliate KMOX:

Governor Nixon’s office is declining to comment on the flap, referring all questions to the Missouri Department of Insurance.

No comment??? Why in the world not. . .unless, of course it is true.

It’s worth noting that the KMOX article was stacked too, I love how this story seems to minimize the fact that 71.1% of the State’s pupulation voted against Obamacare, yet seeming demonized the brave Senators who stood up for that 71.1%, and the integrity of their vote.

That being said, St Louis Tea Party Coalition Co-Founder Bill Hennessy has a counter-offer for the Governor. “I’ll lease him a system I call “the Internet” for $22 million a year. You just type “health insurance” in the big bar at the top, and you get this list of options. You can find pretty good, high deductible insurance for as little $323/mo for a family of 4, including a childbearing age woman.” Hennessy said in a statement late last night. He continues “This Internet of which I speak is accessible for free in any public library.”

Whether the Governor is willing to take Hennessy up on his offer is doubtful, but should he, the organization would have that much more revenue to continue to promote logical rationale as seen by Hennessy, and 3 brave Senators.

I agree, much better offer for Missourians.


Gee, if the governor is determined to ram an unpopular mandate through by executive order, at least he should use private industry's tool for finding information (the Internet) rather than establishing yet another governmental layer. As in education, we are weary of bribes that tie us even more to the Federal level for money....which, the last time I read, is $14 Trillion in debt.

The Federal Government is not a good business partner or investor! How much clearer can it get? What IS it with these politicians?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Education in Totalitarian Democracy in Missouri from Jay Nixon as he runs on Obamacare in 2012. UPDATED.

From Reboot Congress about the political bombshell dropped by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon who is taking a play out of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid political playbook:

Gov. Jay Nixon Runs on Obamacare in 2012

In a surprise move, Governor Jay Nixon has decided to base his 2012 campaign for re-election on the single most unpopular piece of legislation to come out of President Obama's administration and the Pelosi-Reid Congress: Obamacare. That legislation cost Democrats the House in 2010 and was a factor in the recent victory of Republican Bob Turner who won liberal Anthony Weiner's New York Congressional seat in a special election earlier this week. Nixon, who has generally been a centrist governor, has decided to outsource Missouri's healthcare sovereignty to Washington, DC. In exchange for this sell-out, the Federal government will return $21 million to the Show Me State. Could someone please explain why our money has to go to DC before being returned to us as a grant?

Earlier today, Nixon signed the executive order below creating "healthcare exchanges." This effectively ended a committee hearing that was underway in Jefferson City to consider those exchanges. State Senators Jim Lembke and Rob Schaaf stormed out of the hearing disgusted with the executive overreach of Governor Nixon. In 2010, Missourians overwhelming passed Prop C which rejects federal intrusion into healthcare.

Jay Nixon Executive Order for Health Care Exchanges
(click on the above link for the specifics of the executive order)

Isn't living in a totalitarian democracy grand?

Updated and amended from Reboot Congress:

Nixon, who has generally been a centrist governor, has decided to may outsource Missouri's healthcare sovereignty to Washington, DC. In exchange for this sell-out, the Federal government will return $21 million to the Show Me State. Could someone please explain why our money has to go to DC before being returned to us as a grant?

Earlier today, Nixon signed the executive order below creating "healthcare exchanges." Governor Nixon is considering an executive order that would create "healthcare exchanges." This effectively ended a committee hearing that was underway in Jefferson City to consider those exchanges. State Senators Jim Lembke and Rob Schaaf stormed out of the hearing disgusted with the executive overreach of Governor Nixon. In 2010, Missourians overwhelming passed Prop C which rejects federal intrusion into healthcare.

Update: I clarified with my source in Jefferson City and revised the copy above. Nixon has not yet signed the order.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Education on How To Spy on Your American Neighbor and the History of the American Protective League

The President has launched a new website for Americans to report what other Americans are saying about the President and his administration: AttackWatch.com. It has been created to "Get the Facts. Fight the Smears"

The committee sponsoring this website, Obama for America, has also created a twitter hashtag, #attackwatch. It's been fascinating reading the comments.

From Jonah Goldberg at National Review:
Jonah Goldberg
Hey , this is how you get it done.

What's the link from widipedia about? Here is an education about The American Protective League:

an American organization of private citizens that worked with Federal law enforcement agencies during the
World War I era to identify suspected German sympathizers and to counteract the activities of radicals, anarchists, anti-war activists, and left-wing labor and political organizations.

What did the President at the time think of the involvement of the APL and the government?:

President Woodrow Wilson knew of the APL's activities and had misgivings about their methods. He wrote to Attorney General Gregory expressing his concern: "It would be dangerous to have such an organization operating in the United States, and I wonder if there is any way in which we could stop it?"
But he deferred to Gregory's judgment and took no action to curtail the APL.

School children should learn historical references and apply them to the actions of today's government, don't you think? Maybe give them a "fill in the blank" exercise adapted from the above definition of the APL to discover who the enemies of the United States are in the Obama era:

an American organization of private citizens that works with Federal law enforcement agencies during the Obama presidency era to identify suspected _________ sympathizers and to counteract the activities of __________, ___________, ______________, ____________, ______________ and ___________ and _____________ political organizations.

List of words from which to choose (or you can make up your own based on the speeches the President, Richard Trumka and others have given to identify "the enemy"):
  • Republicans
  • constitutional
  • right-wing terrorists
  • tea party
  • constitutionalists
  • anti public union activists
  • libertarians
  • evangelical Christians
The list could be endless. Did you notice the enemies identified are not foreign, but rather, fellow American citizens? This is similar to the APL's targeted group reporting in the early 1900's. Technology has allowed videos to give information as well. Students can watch this tongue in cheek youtube video explaining AttackWatch as well, and we'll list it on our Resource site for future reference.

Save the search for #attackwatch on your twitter feed, follow the rather spirited discussion, and add your own voice regarding the surveillance of a private organization into American free speech and thought.

I'd love to know if American students will be learning about this questionable use of the President's office and investigation of private citizens. Is this another attempt to get information on private citizens without using a White House email address? That email address was quickly shut down due to conflict of interest and legal concerns. However, it must be permissible for a sitting president to gather the same "rumors and gossip" if fronted by a private organization.

The email addresses and supposed backers have changed but the attempt is still the same. From Red States on August 4:


If you see anybody publicly opposing President Obama’s plan to implement a government-centric overhaul of the health care system, the White House wants you to report that person (or persons) ASAP.

From the White House website:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

Emphasis added. Of course, as we’ve seen in the health care debate to date, the term “disinformation” is used by the Obama White House as a catchall to describe any opposition to the President’s push for single-payer, government-run health care — meaning the White House wants to be informed of any forwarded emails or blog posts or any “casual conversations” that could be taken as opposition to their health care overhaul plan.

The White House has, as yet, offered no explanation of what it is they plan to do with the tips on policy opposition they hope to receive from citizen informers.

Interestingly, as Jake Tapper pointed out on Twitter this morning, the title of that post on the White House is a quote from John Adams’ 1770 “Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials.”

(h/t Jon Henke)

UPDATE: As Erick, one of RedState’s resident lawyers, points out here, this program may go beyond sinister and actually be a violation of current U.S. law.

Further, flag@whitehouse.gov is not currently subject to Freedom of Information Act requests — something a freedom-loving legislator (Jim DeMint? Tom Coburn? Paul Ryan? Eric Cantor?) should seek to correct at his or her earliest convenience.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teachers in a Stimulus Plan?

The president claimed that school districts are laying off teachers in droves, and therefore we need to allocate federal stimulus money to save those jobs. The problem is, the statistics do not bear him out (what a surprise). The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a 16% increase in the number of elementary and secondary teaches in the last 10 years. Yet this is in an era of declining birthrates. The US birthrate hit an all time low in 2010 (the latest year for which we have statistics) and has been steadily declining for the last 12 years. This is significant because the number of teachers is tied to the number of students, and is not an indicator of a healthy market. The fact that the number of teachers (supply) is rising while the number of students (demand) is dropping is a sign of an unbalanced business model. If proper corrections were made, the number of teachers should be dropping.

Rockwood school district, as part of their community budget discussions last fall went to great lengths to show that the student population, around 22,000, has not changed significantly in the last 15 years and no increase is predicted for the next five. The extra staffing that was identified was in the administration, not the classroom teachers. Cuts were proposed in those areas.

Some school districts have developed the habit of laying off teachers at the end of the year and not rehiring them until their enrollment period has closed and they know exactly how many students they will have. While an unnerving way of doing things for the teachers, the result is that most of the teachers are re-hired the next fall. So the "droves" leaving is not an accurate statement.

It is irresponsible for a district to hire more teachers when the number of students has not increased. It is similarly irresponsible to retain teachers when the number of students has decreased. With the rise in charter schools and homeschooling, the number of students in public schools is decreasing. But since the number of students is a relatively static amount, the need for teachers is merely shifting between public and charter and private.

The bigger question that should be asked is, "How is providing federal dollars for teachers an economic stimulus?" Teachers do not participate in a corporate system that generates a profit. School districts do not pay corporate taxes. They do not add to the economy other than in the sales tax they pay on products they purchase in order to operate. The amount of products they purchase is tied to the number of students they educate, not the number of teachers they employ, (e.g. if they employ more teachers, they do not order more text books.) Keeping teachers in positions where they are not needed through federal spending would be like the government employing travel agents who were losing their jobs to book-yourself internet sites in the 90's. It just perpetuates their dependence rather than encouraging them to get training in the up and coming market sectors.

Instead, the President proposes artificial means to add employees to a market that is not changing, is not a profit generator - yet (see posts on for profit charters), and which must charge customers who do not actively use their services in order to operate (i.e. property taxes). How is this model a positive to the national economy? If, as the President says, this money is an investment, and most investors want a return on their dollar, how does this poor business model return anything to its investors?

Looking at this investment, the enormous loans to the solar manufacturer Solyndra who just went bankrupt, and the bailout of GE (who in 2009 opted to purchase turbine parts from China rather than a US company, even when that company agreed to match China's pricing thus forcing the closing of the US plant and the laying off of 302 workers) we should start questioning the wisdom of our current investment advisor, this administration.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's the Purpose of University Today? Academic Learning or Learning Identity Through Diversity? UPDATED.

Parents send college for advanced learning, right? Check out Althouse on an interesting meeting at the University of Wisconsin:

"This afternoon a troubling communication was brought to my attention that involves a threat to our diversity efforts."

"I invite you to an urgent meeting this evening at 8:00 in the MSC Lounge in the Red Gym to discuss this matter. While last minute, I urge you to participate so we can be in community regarding our response."

What's going on?!

A reader had an idea:

Horrors, the Center for Equal Opportunity is going to have a PRESS CONFERENCE at 11am and a DEBATE at 7pm. That's what they're afraid of: advocacy.

Beware: "Students' sense of identity may be threatened. Be prepared."

9/12/11 10:01 PM


Why should students be worried their "sense of identity" might be threatened?

From "The Young Progressives" Facebook information page:

The Young Progressives, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political organization and the official Organizing for America team on campus, is a community coalition devoted to increasing political awareness in our local communities. We are college students, we are informed citizens, and we are future leaders ready to take on corporate interests and fight corruption within our government.

BREAKING: A radical right-wing think tank, the "Center for Equal Opportunity," will launch an attack on UW-Madison's diversity programs tomorrow. Their attack will begin with a press conference at 11 am at the Doubletree Hotel, where they may file a lawsuit against the university. At 7 pm, their president will participate in a scheduled debate against a UW law professor re: ending affirmative action. Students' sense of identity may be threatened. Be prepared

Maybe that's the "troubling communication" that threatens the university's diversity efforts. I wonder if it gives as much attention and call to action to student academic achievement as it does to student diversity programs. What is the purpose of a university? To prepare students to be STEM ready or focused on "sense of identity" based on race, gender or sexual orientation?

From Althouse:

UPDATE: Well, it's not that we fell in the U.S. News rankings. Last year:
The University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked 13th among public institutions in rankings released today (Tuesday, Aug. 17) in the U.S. News & World Report's 2011 Edition of America's Best Colleges.

UW-Madison also tied for 45th among 262 national doctoral universities. In the 2010 edition, the university ranked ninth among public institutions and tied for 39th among national doctoral universities.
This year, we've gone up to 10th among public institutions and 42d among national universities.

Maybe that's the point the university is missing: focusing on "who you are" (identity) vs. "what you know" dilutes the academic reasons to obtain a higher education degree. Let's go back to the title of the meeting of the university's message:

"This afternoon a troubling communication was brought to my attention that involves a threat to our diversity efforts."

Falling rankings involves a threat to "our diversity efforts?" What does the university mean by this statement?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Support StoryCorps in Its Quest to Record 9-11 Stories

From Open Culture.

"The first day was all smoke, debris, organized mayhem, and pure disbelief. The next day, reality hit home. That’s when you walked out in the streets (in my case, Brooklyn), and saw your first missing person sign, one of hundreds you’d see over the coming months in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The numbers you heard on TV, the body count, became real faces — real people.

In October 2003, StoryCorps, a nonprofit dedicated to recording oral histories of every kind, got underway with a small StoryBooth in Grand Central Terminal. Eight years later, it has recorded and archived more than 35,000 interviews from 70,000 participants. And, more recently, it has turned its focus to 9/11 and the days that followed. The goal: to memorialize in sound every person lost on that day. You can visit the emerging audio archive here."

The blog featured this video "She was the One":

When Richie Pecorella met Karen Juday, she captured his heart and changed his life. They were engaged and living together in Brooklyn when Karen was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, where she worked as an administrative assistant. Here, Richie remembers Karen, his love and inspiration.

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