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Entries in education (12)

Saturday
May112013

Sir Ken Robinson's Tells TED How To Get Out Of America's Education 'Death Valley' 

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.”

More Ken Robinson on TED Talks.

Tuesday
Apr092013

Rep Allyson Declares PA Governor Run | Republicans Say Americans Have No Stake In Educating Any Kids But Their Own

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

FEMEN Strikes Again

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a bad day with the ladies yesterday. Standing next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin was chastised with Merkel’s government’s disapproval of the way nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are treated by the Kremlin. The New York Times writes that Merkel’s comments make her the first Western leader to have confronted Putin publicly on this issue.

Two of Germany’s most important and respected foundations have been searched by Russian police.

“I made it clear that a vibrant civil society can only exist when the individual organizations can work without fear or concern,” Merkel said.

To emphasize the growing frustration with Russia’s crackdown on free expression, a group of female protesters bared their breasts while shouting that the Russian leader was a ‘dictator’. 

The well-known, principled activist group Femen posted a picture of the ‘sextremist’ attack on the group’s Facebook page at 10.00 am GMT. The same post said that activists had been shouting “F*ck you dictator!”. The message written- in Russian- across the back of the single topless activist visible, reads: “F*ck off Putin!”. The women were two Germans, two Ukrainians and a Russian. 

(Read: FEMEN & SlutWalks: Body Politics Is On The Move)

The Kremlin has called for the women to be punished as Putin traveled on to The Netherlands, where rainbow flags were flying in protest against a bill pending in the Russian Parliament that would make public events and the dissemination of information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities subject to fines up to $16,000. The Netherlands legalized same-sex marriage over a decade ago. German politicians have also criticized the bill. 

“Thank god, the gays didn’t strip naked here,” Putin joked at a press conference in Amsterdam. 

Melissa Harris-Perry’s Hot Seat

Are Kids Private Property?

MSNBC chost Melissa Harris-Perry’s recent Lean Forward ad for MSNBC has caused a dust up among Republican right-wing pundits. 

If you thought having a civic interest in properly educating America’s children so that our kids are properly prepared to continue America’s legacy as strong nation in the future, you are probably a communist, according to right-wing pundits like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. If you are a single professional believing that you have a civic obligation to contribute to the educating of America’s kids, you are probably targeting the destruction of America.

So call me a communist, but I am simply stunned by the right’s outrage over Harris-Perry’s comments. 

Glenn Beck told listeners that the Tulane University teacher’s comments reveal the United Nations’ plans to use mind control to establish a communist dictatorship in America. Beck also asserts that the Obama administration is using school testing standards for ‘leftist indoctrination.’ 

Beck doesn’t mention that these testing standards were introduced by the Bush Administration, not Obama, as part of Bush’s No Child Left Behind strategy. 

Sarah Palin tweeted that Harris-Perry’s remarks were ‘Unflippingbelievable’.

The National Catholic Register writes in the headline Proof that Progressives Hate Catholic Schools and Homeschooling Families:

“The media and the public school systems are the greatest vehicles of indoctrination for the progressive worldview. How long do you think they’re going to be ok with homeschoolers? How long will they be ok with Catholic schools filling kids heads with hate about traditional marriage and life beginning at conception? Not too much longer, right?”

Call me dumbfounded. Christianity embraces Aristotle as a founder of Western thought and principles. Note that Aristotle expunged women from being participants in civic society. But all free men brought a collectivist mentality to the concept of civic engagement in creating a thriving society. 

Rep. Allyson Schwartz Files

Rep. Allyson Schwartz will run for governor of Pennsylvania against Republican incumbent Tom Corbett in 2014.US Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) will run for governor of Pennsylvania against Republican incumbent Tom Corbett in 2014. 

Schwartz has established a state campaign committee, “Pennsylvania for Allyson,” which will allow her to raise money for her run and transfer the $3.1 million she’s already amassed from her Congressional account to the new one.

Like Alysson Schwartz Facebook page

“I am running because I can’t sit on the sidelines when I have a proven track record of getting results on the issues that matter — growing jobs in the private sector, investing in education, and making the tough choices on budget issues,” Schwartz said in a statement.  “That’s what our campaign will be about.”

Keystone Research Center wrote in July 2012:In 2010, Pennsylvania ranked 12th out of the 50 states in job growth by percentage, but the state’s ranking has dropped to 36th over the past year (May 2011-May 2012) and 39th over the past six months (December 2011-May 2012), just as state budget cuts have begun to take a toll on the economy.”

The report compares Pennsylvania’s policies under Corbett to those of next-door neighbor New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie. In New Jersey, public-sector job growth has fueled New Jersey’s resurgence, lifting if from 49th in 2010 to 13th between May 2011 and May 2012.

Allyson Schwartz will not run unopposed for the Democratic nomination to beat Corbett, who is one of the most unpopular governor’s in America. Her most viable challenger presently is wealthy York businessman Tom Wolf, who announced he will put $10 million of his own money and raise another $5 million into the campaign. 

Emily’s List is gearing up in a major way to support Schwartz. “Not only would she make history as Pennsylvania’s first female governor, she would provide a clear contrast to Gov. Corbett, who has led a crusade against women and families while putting job-creation on the back burner,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List.

Sunday
Apr072013

Angelina Jolie & Madonna Make Big Donations To Girls' Education | Obama Morning After Pill Restrictions Overturned

Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie introduced the audience at last week’s Women in the World Summit to very personal stories about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban who stopped her school bus and asked which of the girls was the blogger Malala.

Vital Voices, with a donation from the Women in the World Foundation, established the Malala Fund, to be directed by the 15-year-old. In the BBC video below, Malala announces the first grant to educate 40 girls in her home district in the Swat Valley. 

After Jolie, who is the special enjoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, left the stage, conference organizer Tina Brown announced that the actress had recently donated $200,000 to the fund. Jolie has started her own project to fund girls’ schools in particular, with proceeds from her jewelry collection Style by Jolie jewelry collaboration with Robert Procop.

1. 25-year-old US diplomat Anne Smedinghoff died in an attack in Afghanistan on Saturday. The young diplomat had volunteered to deliver books to a school in southern Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met Smedinghoff on his recent trip to Afghanistan and spoke of her today.

“The folks who want to kill people, and that’s all they want to do, are scared of knowledge. And they want to shut the doors and they don’t want people to make their choices about the future. For them, it’s ‘You do things my way and if you don’t, we’ll throw acid in your face. We’ll put a bullet in your face,’ to a young girl trying to learn,” Kerry said. “So this is a huge challenge for us. It is a confrontation with modernity, with possibilities, and everything that our country stands for, everything we stand for, is embodied in what Anne Smedinghoff stood for.”

The young diplomat graduated from John Hopkins University in 2009 with a degree in international relations. She joined the Foreign Service shortly afterward. via CNN

2. In another piece of great news for girls, Madonna is set to sell her painting ‘Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge’, a 1921 painting by Fernand Léger at Sotheby’s in New York on May 7th. Proceeds from the sale estimated to fetch $5-$7 million will be used for girls’ education.

“I have a great passion for art and a great passion for education,’’ she said in a statement announcing the sale. “In conjunction with Sotheby’s I would like to share these two passions,’’ adding that “I cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls’ schools.’’

Indeed, girls’ education is the topic on everyone’s minds and the subject of the last panel on Thursday evening at the Women in the World Conference. Moderated by Christiane Amanpour, the panelists were Humaira Bachal, founder of theDream Foundation TrustKhalida Brohi, founder of the Sughar Women Program, and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, CEO of SOC Films. 

3. A US Federal judge ruled on Friday that emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Next Choice should be available to all, including minors.

In a sharply worded ruling that called government regulators “politically motivated and scientifically unjustified,” U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled that levonorgestrel-based contraceptives such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice One Dose should be available over the counter to all customers within 30 days.

“There is no serious health risk associated with use of Plan B as prescribed and intended, much less one that would make restrictions on distribution necessary for its safe use,” Korman wrote.

“A federal judge has accomplished what two administrations failed to do: make a decision about access to a drug based on medical evidence,” said Michael Halpern, program manager at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. via LA Times

4. In Kansas, papers filed in court by the US Department of Justice reveal as assertion that domestic terrorist Angel Dillard asked a prison inmate to firebomb the house of Dr Mila Means, an abortion provider who stepped into abortion care in Wichita, Kansas after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

The Department of Justice sued Dillard — who claims that God speaks to her, guiding her actions — for sending an allegedly threatening letter to Dr. Means. 

Of note in the RHReality Check article, is the news that anti-choice terrorists are increasingly claiming the “god defense” when arguing their cases. Dr. Tillard’s killer Scott Roeder says his actions were motivated by God. 

Dillard claims that her conversations with both Roeder and inmate Robert Campbell are shielded from disclosure under “priest-penitent” privilege. A judge has ruled the communications are not protected since she is not ordained clergy. The defense has appealed.

5. US Women — especially working mothers — have little social policy backup, compared to women in other developed countries. But those who survive the challenges of career and motherhood appear to achieve significantly greater gender parity as managers, compared to women in other countries .

View chart large.

In separate data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US has the smallest gap between women and men in senior management positions, as of 2008. 16% of men managers have senior positions versus 14% for women. 

Writing for the New York Times Economix blog, Catherine Rampell has a major magazine feature ‘Lean In, Dad: How Shared Diaper Duty Could Stimulate the Economy.’ 

Madonna is selling ‘Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge’, a 1921 painting by Fernand Léger at Sotheby’s in New York on May 7. Proceeds from the sale estimated to fetch $5-$7 million will be used for girls’ education.