Monthly Archives: October 2006

the republic of conscience

At Campus Compact’s 20th anniversary, Mary Robinson gave the keynote address. She is a distinguished lawyer, former President of Ireland, and former UN Commissioner of Human Rights. At one point, in her soft Irish accent, she read Seamus Heaney’s “The … Continue reading

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the origins of government

Would this work as a definition of a government? “An institution designed to outlast individual human beings that operates within a fixed geographical territory; it has permanent fiscal accounts, offices with mutually consistent and complementary roles that are held temporarily … Continue reading

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on opportunities and outcomes in education

Today’s dominant educational legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), requires outcomes–but it does not require opportunities or other “inputs.” Presumably, policymakers were skeptical about the quality of mandated opportunities, even if there were adequate funding. If, for instance, … Continue reading

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on WAMU

We’ve been doing a lot of radio lately, because radio news programs seem interested in CIRCLE’s data on young people and civic engagement. Just today, I’m scheduled for a station in Norfolk, Virginia, College Connection (a syndicated radio feed), and … Continue reading

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school choice

(O?Hare Airport, Chicago) I just attended a very stimulating large conference on ?values and evidence in educational reform,? organized by Crooked Timber?s Harry Brighouse and the Spencer Foundation. There were panels on standards and testing; charters and vouchers; and small … Continue reading

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smelling memories

(On my way back to Chicago for another meeting.) Sit quietly, close your eyes, and recall the scent of a lemon … soy sauce … pepper … gasoline … a baked apple. Inhale through your nose as you remember these … Continue reading

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public voice online

I am writing this post in a public voice. I don’t expect to know most of my readers; therefore, I try to say something that might interest at least a subset of the whole population–a “public.” I hope not only … Continue reading

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free speech and school discipline

The most interesting case discussed at yesterday’s conference involved an assistant principal at a Texas high school. Some of her students had created a MySpace page that ostensibly belonged to her. They made her seem to be a lesbian and … Continue reading

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free speech online

I’m still in Chicago, now for a meeting on Free Speech in Schools (“a McCormick Tribune Foundation Summit on Youth, the First Amendment, and the Information Age”). Because of the schedule for the day, I don’t expect to be able … Continue reading

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a production of Lear

(Chicago) Last night, I saw King Lear at the Goodman Theater. Stacy Keach was the King, and the director was Robert Falls. It was a “strong” production, in the sense that the director’s choices were bold and potentially controversial. For … Continue reading

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