"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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Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Sunday Education Weekly Reader 01.01.12. Lady Gaga and A Possum Greet You!

Welcome to the Sunday Education Weekly Reader for 01.01.12.  We are using a different logo today in honor of possums everywhere.

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!  Happy  New Year!

Did you stay up until midnight and celebrate the ushering in of a new year?  Most folks at home probably had their televisions turned to the Times Square coverage of the dropping of the LED lit crystal ball.  Who was that masked wonder with Mayor Bloomberg on the concert stage?  It was none other than Lady Gaga.  Maybe her presence is illustrative of a "over the top" year in education and reforms.  You can read some fascinating historical facts about the Times Square Ball here. 

I don't know about you, but instead of seeing Lady Gaga, I'd rather see live coverage of other New Year's celebrations around the country that don't involve crystal or huge police efforts to keep citizens safe in revelry.  Yes, Virginia, life does exist in other places than New York City, and a "one size fits all" New Year's celebration is about as authentic for those outside of NYC as a "one size fits all" education is appropriate for all the nation's publicly educated students.

Have you ever heard about the following New Year's celebrations?  From CBS News in 2011:

A giant pickle plunged into a barrel in North Carolina!

A 200-pound bologna fell to earth in Pennsylvania.

In Times Square they drop the ball. And in Key West, Fla., they drop a shoe carrying a live drag queen.

A frozen carp named Lucky descended to the throne in Wisconsin.

At Clay's Corner gas station in Brasstown - sort of the Times Square of North Carolina - they were doing a traditional dropping of the opossum.  

Does this sound like a piece of Americana to put on your bucket list?  Here is information on last night's festivities.  You can probably reserve a room at a nearby motel for Brasstown's 19th Annual Possum Drop next year.

Treat yourself to the accompanying video and watch how Baptist church choir members, a tuba player, military veterans, gun shooters and cross dressers in Brasstown, North Carolina can welcome the New Year with goodwill toward one another during the Possum Drop festivities.  The possum actually may not be as scary looking as Lady Gaga.



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