Look at any school district’s Mission Statement and you’ll find the term ‘Lifelong Learner’. Education, the thinking goes (correctly), is a universal necessity to all human beings in all walks and stages of life. A school’s job, then, is not merely to impart knowledge or skill but create citizens who never stop learning. It’s not enough to learn to read and write and count; everyone needs to know HOW to learn to read and write and count, so they can go on to learn a zillion other things.
But nothing quite exposes the hypocrisy or contradiction of our education system…
A nation is not an individual; it’s a family. The type of family — patriarchal or matriarchal, multigenerational or single parent — is often neatly captured by a country’s politics. Fiercely patriarchal religious families are ruled by Sheiks and Sultans in the Middle East. Messy multigenerational families bicker and shout and somehow noisily get along in India and other parts of Asia. Democratic communal families muddle through their ill-defined or overlapping roles in Europe. Male-dominated autocracies rule Russia and half of South America.
America has always been what we Americans would call ‘traditional’. That is to say, 2 parents and…
In schools across America, games are treated as secondary to learning, even counterproductive. Unless a game has some utilitarian purpose — a math puzzle, for example — it’s given little value. We do not study games in school, nor do we practice or perfect them in class. We treat games the way we treat a pencil or paper, as a tool. But once the game itself becomes the focal point of an exercise, it’s then considered a violation, a pleasurable indulgence standing in the way of actual academic learning.
As a teacher, I spend a significant amount of time kicking…
It’s not much of an observation to note that schools are communities. Nor is it very insightful to observe that within the larger community of neighborhood, town, state, or nation, schools play an essential role in prosperity, security, and stability. Neither is it surprising to consider how powerful the community aspects of a school are to the students themselves, from their sense of belonging to their academic performance to whatever roles they are trained to take up as adults.
Nor is it much of an insight to observe that schools are also charged with providing an education. …
1. Scale. If you made a thousand dollars a day, you’d have a million in 3 years. A billion? 2,740 years.
To earn a million dollars in a year, you’d have to make about $500 an hour, not including holidays. To get to a billion dollars in a year, you’d have to earn sixty dollars every second of every day, sixty seconds an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days. $3,600 an hour. Most billionaires took about 10 years to get there, amassing wealth at around $6 a second for a decade. Amazon’s Bezos increased his wealth last year from…
(with sincere apologies to Matthew Arnold)
The sea is soft today.
Shallow and warm, as it always is under this hot sun.
Across the heat-washed way, Iran
Quietly broods, the Persians seething
Their ancient hatred for the Arabs.
Old ship mines bob on rusty chains in the shallow tide,
Silent homes to silent fish.
Feluccas still ply the shore, the same creature
Centuries old, the same ship rebuilt decade after decade,
Hauling dates and wool and pomegranate
From souk to souk.
But some tide has turned and ninety floors of glass and steel Now watch the distant burqad shore. And…
If I have a calling, it would be either reading or cooking. Reading came early, a natural escape for an introverted kid. Comic books opened the door, but science fiction and fantasy swallowed me up. Yet until high school, I can’t recall a single thing I had to read for a class, though I read hundreds and hundreds of books. My academic performance flirted with failure more than success, because all I did was read stuff that had nothing to do with school. …
Newspapers evolved to serve literate adults. The first mass-published newspapers had no specific audience other than people who could read. In a world where literacy is unquestioningly demanded, that means everyone.
Which just happens to be very similar to school’s purpose. While schools evolved to create literate adults, newspapers evolved to serve them.
Consider: A newspaper is divided more or less into 4 major sections.
The first is News. The front page, a broad snapshot of the world as it is today, with often careful, in-depth analysis of the myriad deeper connections and history behind those events. …
Because in the last year, nearly every student worldwide has ‘fallen behind’ in school. According to the New York Times, drawing from a horde of education-focused university departments, consulting firms, and non-profit agencies, most students across the nation, in every school and every grade, have experienced at least a half-year’s loss of expected progress. According to Time magazine, the losses are worse, with a generation of students ‘sliding backwards’ up to a year in math and English growth, in effect actually regressing.
I have relatives and friends who still support Trump. They think the Democrats literally stole the election. They believe the Capitol riots were the work of Antifa and the Left. They’re convinced America is ‘close enough’ to some government agency secretly microchipping us all, that anyone who isn’t a Republican is a communist, and that Republicans who oppose Trump are nearly as bad or worse, especially if they don’t believe the election was stolen.
I know this is what they believe because they’ve said it. Because I’ve read what is said on FOX News, because every so often I tune…
just another frustrated teacher