E-mail to the Editor
I appreciated your coverage of how difficult it is for small and midsize livestock producers to turn a profit in a discriminatory marketplace that favors corporate giants. Today, Americans are concerned with job creation more than any other issue. As your article pointed out, hundreds of thousands of jobs have disappeared from rural communities because family farmers -- who should be the backbone of American agriculture -- can't stay afloat. President Obama must act on this issue.
Privatization of public schools
What is the current philosophy of private, rather than, public run schools?(K-12),
I see one major benefit, seeing as many school systems absorb about 60%to 70% of the local budget plus additional funding from State & Federal sources. This would at least place all school property on the local tax rolls. I'm positive private business control of these properties & the responsibility of educating (rather than indoctrinating) our children. Competition creates the best of any endeavor, that includes education in any form. This would also reduce federal & state control of elementary education & put it back where it belongs - under local control.
Local control was where it all started, at least for the first 300 plus years.
Locals built the school house, hired a teacher, paid the salary & provided the necessary material and oversight. Guess what - it worked very well & resulted in the formation of the most productive, richest country this world has ever known. It wasn't broke but they screwed it up anyway.
Just a few frustated thoughts when I look at the expense & failed end product coming out of this over-regulated system called "No Child Left Behind", under the false slogan (It's For The Children".
In response to
Alice Lovelace's "Armed with Art"
8 November 2010
The speech and poetry you sent was very illuminating.
I found myself, reading words, which conveyed pictures within my mind.
Several times I stopped, looked up a word or two which enhanced the experience and moved me deeper still. It was a geographical education of life.....
I am reading “The art of happiness" right now, and the Dali Lama words reinforce and match the inner force or voice which sustains me.
The teachings that do not move or motivate me, educate me about the art of loving, understanding and supporting those that follow a different path than my own.
In the beginning was deceptive. I blazed through my first reading and wondered what or why I felt incomplete. The second reading.... I separated each line.....as an individual one line poem, making the journey interesting and real……the third reading was without interruption, for it was done in the peacefulness of a long dark night…..and WOW…. The words floated from the page directly into my mind.
Bless the dew that falls each night (I was still a child...ran outside....the touch of moisture between my toes... seeing chickens, goats, and smelling manure for the first time.) Mama let me go the farm of a neighbor.... I had never known the touch of "worked" soil beneath my feet.
Bless art when it hurts or when it heals (I was 22, maybe 25 reading a magazine. The artist's photo was of miles of cracked dry earth yielding no crops. The people were starving, packed tight for miles waiting on United Nations rations. I felt small, powerless, sad, and angry.....for I imagined myself a powerful being. That same year the artist also published a photo of a young girl with bluish/greenish eyes...she was called the Afghan girl.... In my American arrogance I was sorry for her...thinking what a great life she could have if someone would do SOMETHING! No one in the Pakistan refugee camp would do anything and of course the Russians who occupied Afghanistan were the evil empire... I was hurt and felt powerless) Art can cut deep. From that point on, I don't remember there was ever a time I took anything printed, spoken or reported on face value ever again. (I was 40 maybe 45, when a photo of a woman surfaced she was the same woman who had been called "The Afghan Girl", the young girl with the green eyes, in photo published by National Geographic. I had kept that magazine for more than 25 years. I was elated that she was still alive... was a wife, a mother, knowing sorrow and great happiness. Her wish was that her daughters would receive an education, which is something she never had. It sounded so much like many people I know personally. It felt healed in a small way... thinking about Claudia when she received her GED, and how it motivated her daughter Dominic to get her G.E.D. I smiled... Art heals. Mothers all over the world are not so different in their wishes for their children.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Michael L. Moore
The Beginning of an Old School Year
20 July 2008
I’m about to start a new school year and I should be excited about it: but I am not. I enjoy serving the children that I teach. Primarily, it is not them that subvert my enthusiasm. The United States, and indeed, the world seem to be in crisis. Whether it’s the mortgage, the global warming, health-care, gang-warfare crises, etc.: all of these problems seem to be related to the crisis in our educational systems.
I believe all children can learn extremely complex concepts, and phenomena: and I believe that they can apply such knowledge in novel ways. If taught, they can learn to think at higher levels of critical thought. The joy that escapes me in returning to teach is that I am not allowed to partake in any decisions or discussions of what or how I teach. Therefore, any discoveries I make in how to teach children to think critically go un-tested. My students don’t have a text-book they can take home and study. This perplexes me as well.
These three problems (lack of critical thinking, severing teacher input and the divorce of children from texts) seem to be the crux of an educational system hell bent on producing failure.
Historically, African-American students have been segregated. It has been noted by Jonathan Kozol and others that this segregation exists again today. I might add that in some educational system, not only are African-American children segregated but their teachers are segregated as well. There are very, very few African-American teachers in the school where I work. To me it is quite an odd arrangement as the student population appears to be predominately African-American. Not only is there very little diversity in the teaching staff, there is very little diversity in the teacher leaders. In addition to teachers opinions not being valued- very little input of how and what African-American teachers think and feel is imported into the school. It amazes me when I see and experience blatant racism from some teachers: and they then walk in and teach students of color. These teachers deserve academy awards for the performances they give in front of parents.
The student work that is displayed on the walls, are nowhere near the high quality of work that students are capable of producing. Low expectations seem to abound. To question such practices is tantamount to mutiny. Those in charge simply ignore such questions or label the person asking the question as a troublemaker. Administrators learn early on that it is not wise to question the leaders.
How students are characterized is amazing as well. Once, an administrator wanted to group students based on these characteristics: “Who lies, steals, cheats, is rejected by their peers, has behavior problems and low academic achievement.” Such characterizations make it very difficult for me to hold onto my food or even stomach the idea of sitting in meetings where such an administrator claims to care about the students.
It all seems to be a game-like everyone is coming to work to make sure that these African-American children are highly educated, but there seems to be some underlying feelings that these children are not capable of that. The evidence is in the conversations that I hear and in the work the students are taught to produce. I have asked to be transferred away from this school, but to no avail. None of the people in the administration building will hear my pleas either. I think they’re hopeful to lighten the load of bearing a teaching staff with another questioning African-American teacher. Perhaps none of the crises we face would be so pathogenic if we were able to teach children in such a way that they learned to think critically: if teachers and children could help to design the curriculum that is taught and if all children were offered a textbook as a basis for an equitable education. Crises are points in our world where we are given the opportunity to solve problems. As long as we maintain educational system s that are insistent on doing the opposite of what is necessary to produce a critical thinking workforce, these crises will fester and grow.
Violence in Our Society
Essays from Ireland
1 Feb 2007
Truth, honest, justice, is what I see in Triona Carey.
The Brief Life of an Educational Policy
6 Nov 2006
Some of the policymakers who devise legislative decisions affecting educational issues are former practitioners. These former practitioners, one time teachers, counselors, and administrators, are the most fit at developing laws pertinent to public education. In other words, the instructors who spent time in the classrooms-along with the advisors and principals who shaped the career paths of many a student-are the best at constructing educational policy. Those former educators are the ones more likely to create the most practical of federal policies in education. The policies that those policymakers create are the ones that evolve into being the most beneficial to both teacher and student. On the other hand, there are federal policies being passed that were not devised by former stakeholders of education, which result in weak assessment showings during a policy evaluation stage.
The evolution of a federal policy normally begins with the identification of a need. For instance, there is a current need in the public educational system that involves the proliferation of cell phones. Middle and high school students across the nation attend their public schools equipped with cell phones. It is as common an accessory as notebooks and pens. In some states, policymakers identified the existence of cell phones in the schools as a problem. Cell phones were thereby deemed a nuisance for teachers and a distraction in the classrooms. Policies to ban cell phones in schools were thus passed.
The next step in the process involves a review of the legislation. Cooper et al. (2004) explains that ìthe process of evaluation comes toward the end of the education policymaking process, and is always complex but should be logical enoughî (p.2). After the policy is passed and institutions have implemented the new law, there is a stage where the policy is assessed. This period of assessment is based on the success of the policy, and it concerns how its role in education has garnered either positive or negative reviews. In the case of the cell phone ban, there were some school districts that had to renege on the policy once the evaluation stage was completed. The reason was due to the large volume of parental complaints. It seems that parents were the most vocal of opponents to the policy. As a result, the policy was eradicated after a period of assessment.
Nonetheless, the policymakers who sought to ban cell phones in schools were obviously intent on creating a more conducive learning environment, one devoid of ringing phones and students with the ability to text message their peers during instructional time. Hence, the cell phone ban was a legislative attempt made by those who once worked in the classrooms, policymakers with an investment to education. Some argue that participating school systems and states should organize their own research efforts, to maximize participation and to give a sense of ownership for the process and the results of certain policies (Cooper et al., 2004, p.1).
Yardan W. Shabazz
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Misuse of terrorism
7 Sep 2006
It appears that when President Bush says, "U.S. safer but not yet safe," he means to begin scaring us again. When we talk about "security," we are actually making people question it. I am saddened that elections are now fear-based.
Terrorism being used for political ends by our own government against us is a kind of terrorism, and constitutes psychological abuse. It is time Americans become fully aware of this, and that as a society we reject this unethical and destructive manipulation.
Robert E. Griffin
Forty Fort, Pa.
Untouchability in India
7 Sep 2006
Unless there is pressure from outside, caste based hatredness and discrimination will continue in India. Untouchability which is still pervasive in the country, if thought seriously, is a gross violation of human rights. It is not that there is no effort from inside, but the protagonist of the caste based society are empowered with powerful tricks to maintaining their status quo. I would request you to write more and more about this issue and build a pressure from outside.
The world today
14 Aug 2006
Mr. Suarez del Solar: I empathize with your grief and frustration, but it cannot be lost to us that we are in the middle of an islamic fundamentalist attack. As the recent foiled plots in the United Kingdom can attest, the war on our democratic freedom is underway and we must answer the call.
san antonio, tx
In Support of Our Troops
July 29, 2006
To the Editor
The current issue is one of the best I've seen. I recently read the article "In Support of Our Troops" by Aaron Sussman - a humor piece about horrible war crimes that actually works....quite impressive. Mr. Sussman's caustic wit and fastidiously researched information had a tremendous impact. This is sharp, edgy stuff to say the least - perfectly indicative of InMotion.
Keep up the great work.
What happened to the people of the Mississippi
July 23, 2006
My question to the everyone is what happened to the people of the Mississippi when hurricane Katrina hit there. I myself and two other save a family of seven during the high winds of the storm. What about the barge that landed on an apartment complex? Whole city and townships lost. What about the people that were trapped there? Can someone tell me why all the focus is on what happen in New Orleans when we were destroyed the SAME day New Orleans was.
Raleigh, North Carolina
July 22, 2006
Am so greatful for such educative writings that build up one's personality. Such will help many improve on their careers in this world.
kiggundu zaharah faridah
The Segregation of Black Boys into Special Education: My First Hand Experience in Indiana
July 12, 2006
I would like to know why Brenda Stewart and the editor once again seek to place the problems of young black boys at the feet of the "white school oficials". It is not a matter of an "egregious and racist policy" but one of careless, non-nuturing, apathetic parenting. The children are obiviously born with the same ability to learn as non-black children, yet at some point, the culture displyed by the parents and the media portrayal of what young black men should aspire to takes over. Maybe it would be better to contact the producers at BET and ask them why they continue to host programming consistant the bad ideals being set forth instead of showing the positive face of the black community. Instead, Brenda takes the low road and attacks the easy target. While I agree that "our Black Boys are under attack", it is not the "the white man's new slave plantation", but ourselves. The points she makes about teaching the boys to "show respect and love for each other" and explaining to them that to be "smart, respectful, and kind" is a good purpose in life is certainly on the right track, but to teach them that they are the "targets" of white society is tantamount to Hitler's advice to the German people about the Jews. It ability to change the legacy of black boys resides in the homes of the black community, not in the schools.
The Segregation of Black Boys into Special Education: My First Hand Experience in Indiana
June 15, 2006
Dear Editor, I wanted to write this message for all the Sisters that are trying to raise Black Boys. As a mother who has dealt with the public school system I must warn all sisters to take control of your sons. Too many of our sons are being placed into special education that serves as the white man's new slave plantation. We must stop this egregious and racist policy that is going on in the US public school systems all across this country. Sisters, we must stop the genocide that is taking place right in front of us. I have done a great deal of research on this issue. The labeling of our boys as mentally retarded, emotionally defected, and behavior challenged has resulted in the disproportionality of our sons being placed in special education and eventually to be railroaded into the criminal justice system by white school officials.
How do we stop this trend: First we have to unite as sisters all across this country to stop the disparate treatment of our sons. Second we need to arm ourselves with knowledge. Third we need to prepare our sons on how to deal with discrimination. Fourth, we need to empower the mind, read every thing you can get your hands on. "Knowledge is Power". Fifth ask for help from other sisters who may be going through the same thing. Sixth, we must respect ourselves and to teach our boys how to show respect and love for each other. Seventh, we must explain to our sons that to be smart, respectful, and kind is your purpose in life. If we are to save our legacy, it is imperative that we began to understand that our Black Boys are under attack. We must realize what we have to do as mothers if we are to turn this around. The other thing that I want to comment on, throughout history the Black man has always been the target. We are in such a crisis in this day in time that the Black man needs the sister more than ever before. As a people, we must began the healing process, it is necessary that we begin that process by loving each other, respecting and having compassion for one another.
For all the Sister's out there I would like to suggest to you the book entitled "Kill Them Before They Grow" The Misdiagnosis of Black Boys in America's Classroom by Michael Porter, he is an Educational Consultant, this brother tells it like it is.
I look forward to hearing from the Sister's who have this conscience state of mind.
Peace & Blessings
Mother & Advocate for Black Boys
P.S for all the Brothers out there that are already taking a stand on this critical issue walk with us in unity. Education is a civil right!
a piece of my mind
June 15, 2006
I am writing this letter on regards to this website. i think it is a very resourceful website for someone like me whom is doing debates on affirmative action. I want to thank you for having posted this website. Thanks a bunch.
Black Academic Performance article by Dr. Noguera
31 May 2006
I will read this article again and again to examine closely its assumptions and logic. It discusses some rather relevant areas of black academic performance but I am not sure that the discussion has not avoided some important issues also. I do like the article though, in case you would think otherwise, only that I feel that such matters deserve the most penetrating examination.
Bones of the Homeless
30 May 2006
I would like to share photos of the homeless I took and put on a website. It is simply my small way to open hearts to the rapidly growing number of people dying on streets all over our earth.
Blessings, light and much loving peace,
21 May 2006
This will seem laughable considering the current political climate in the u.s., but, hypothetically speaking, might not the u.s. solve the entire border/immigration problem by imposing socio-economic and overall human rights demands on the mexican government for its own people? Possibly on a similar basis as the general notion of waging war for democracy?
michael r. Donohoe
albuquerque, new mexico
15 May 2006
please check out this web site it is to men from new orleans putting out and dvd on there city it seems to be the real story of new orleans both before and after the hurricane www.d-americanzdream.com
new orleans, Louisiana
kids not allowed to the prom because of immigration protest?
5 Apr 2006
How can they do this? this is inhumane, it is at least the most prejudice statement they have made, how can we stand and let this happen, not only as latinos but as humans with some type of desency, why are we not crying out and making our voices heard? we need to let these people know that what they are doing is moraly wrong, we latinos are coming to this country to work and make a better life for ourselves but for them the deny these kids of an education and to deprive them of one of the most important moment of their lives? this country does gain from us coming here and taking the jobs nobody else is willing to do, we put out lives on hold and hide, working so that our children can have a better life, can you or anyone blame us for wanting the best for our kids and find work where is available? do they know the mayor percentage of ilegal immigrants who work here pay state and federal taxes and social security including unemployment? money the will never get back? The time is now to claim HUMAN RIGHTS!!! for our people and anyone who comes to this country looking for work, Is is not right that this country was discovered (stolen) from the real american indians this also include the latinos, these country was built from immigrants, where do they get of acting allmighty, against immigration? I was brought here by my parent when I was only 10 years old and had no choice in the matter, now I'm 44 yrs old have two young kids 13 and 14 what should I do now? take them with me back to mexico a place I don't know now, and my kids don't speak spanish, my kids will now have to pay for this inhumane bunch, a lot of us are here not by choice but by circumstances, maybe they should build a wall and send us all back to our own countries not only latins but anyone who is not 100% american, who then will stay behind? not many! THIS COUNTRY CAN NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS DOING THE DIRTY JOBS, WHY NOT SHOW US AND OUR CHILDREN THE DIGNITY AND HUMANITY WE DESERVE
san marcos, ca
Girls getting medicine to stunt your growth
29 Mar 2006
I am 17 years old and i am also just about six feet tall, i think it is appalling that they are giving girls medicine to stunt their growth for something as superficial as worry about getting boyfriends. its their personality that should be the main attraction and if they like that than height shouldnt be an issue. And also it worries me that these girls are so worried about getting tall because they couldnt be a ballerina if they were tall, they should still be able to chose an occupation according to who they are not their height sure it plays a factor but i dont believe that we should totally alter our bodies to be able to get a dream profession, make dreams that you can do and be around what you are and not change what and who you are, i believe its ridiculious. I believe that this world is becoming so consumed with their appearance and finding ways to change it that we arent grasping who we are and who we could be because it might be uncomfterable, embrace the the hardtimes and make them work for you.
I am a very tall girl and yes it has been really hard, but i wouldn't trade who i am for anything. I am who i am and i am thankful for my chance to be tall. I date, many taller than me and also many shorter than me it doesnt matter if we are different heights we are who we are and we just accept it. Life comes with its challenges and if you are blessed with being tall they should be thankful and not try to change it.
Thank you for taking your time to listen to a girl who loves to be tall, and use this message as you will.
abre los ojos de tu corazon
25 Mar 2006
para todos aquellos que ven a los imigrantes con ojos de repulsion. yo llegue a este pais despues de que en mi trabajo en Mexico nos asaltaron, yo queria huir, ponerme a salvo por un tiempo, y mi intencion nunca fue quedarme, luego el destino decidio que yo conociera aqui al hombre que seria mi esposo, cave mensionar que yo no entre ilegalmente. hace ya casi 5 años que no voy para mi pais y no he visto a mi mam· ni a mis hermanosen todo ese tiempo por razones de trabajo y ahora por razones que no son muy justas para mi. ya hace casi un año que envie a imigracion un formulario para remover las condiciones de mi tarjeta de recidente y durante ese tiempo no he podido trabajar pues no tengo manera de demostrar mi condicion en este pais. no he recibido ninguna carta por parte de imigracion y no me han querido dar una extencion de mi residencia ni siquiera un papel que me permita trabajar para poder salir adelante, tengo una niña de 2 años y hay veces que tengo que pedir prestado para comprarle pañales, mi esposo tiene ataques de panico y anciedad, este bajo medicamento y tambien para eso tenemos que pedir prestado. tenemos deudas que no podemos cubrir pues el sueldo de mi esposo alcanza solo para el alquiler del departamento y para lo necesario en comida. yo he caido en una deprecion muy fuerte pues no me cabe en mi cabeza que el pais de las oportunidades me ha dado la espalda sin darse cuenta, yo sueño con ver a mi mam· otra vez y que conosca a su nieta. este sufrimiento que tengo todavia me alcanza para regalarte una sonrisa, yo se que si me vez en la calle nunca podrias imaginar que mi corazon se encuentra destrosado.
5 Feb 2006
I would like to say that i've read this book when i was 16 yrs old Today i am 46 yrs old and i'm reading your book again. It brought back memories of a lot of things but, this time i'm understanding you more now than before. You see i am too Puerto Rican and i was born and raised in a Brooklyn projects and actually considered myself Black and did most of my friends. But, when it was i don't know i started to think and say wait a minute i'm Puerto Rican got to be me and as i got older i found myself a left the streets alone. I'm proud to say i'm a Newyorican and gay as well and i have to live for me and not for you. Some times i tell my nephew's and neice's be yourself don't be what your not and be true to you. Thank you for a good book 16 yrs ago which is still as hot then still hot Now!
Genetically engineered foods
26 Jan 2006
I just read your article about genetically engineered foods...Wow!!!! Wow!!!! I'm speechless!!!
Green Thumbs, Green Minds In Oakland
Dont Shop While The Bombs Drop!
A Timely Book: Target Iraq: What The News Media Didn't Tell You
A Time to Break Silence:
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