Monthly Archives: April 2007

a youth preamble

I spent some of the weekend in Wisconsin with Mobilize.org, which is planning to create a “youth declaration.” I couldn’t draft such a document, because it should be written collaboratively by many young Americans–not by one graying Gen-Xer. However, if … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

four years after the “Civic Mission of Schools”

(Wingspread, near Racine, Wisconsin) I’m here for a meeting of Mobilize.org, which is working with various partners to try to construct a declaration or manifesto on behalf of the Millennial Generation. Young Americans from across the country will have a … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

Iraq: the power of words

(From the Avis car rental office at O’Hare Airport, Chicago) Here are two critical issues of terminology that affect our conduct of the Iraq war: Whom are we fighting? Our enemy cannot be defined as the Iraqi unsurgency. That’s a … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East | 2 Comments

charter schools: where we stand

I live in a city, Washington, that is shifting to charter schools. They will enroll a majority of the public school population by 2014 if current trends continue. According to V. Dion Haynes and Theola Labbe in today’s Washington Post, … Continue reading

Posted in education policy | Leave a comment

celebrity culture and politics

The five “most popular” stories on CNN today are: 1. “Judd: How a $10 net can stop a killer” (actress Ashley Judd endorses anti-malaria nets.) 2. “Basinger: I didn’t leak Baldwin phone message” (a domestic spat between two formerly married … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

citizen liaison offices

(In Massachusetts) Colleagues and I are looking for policy ideas that would support civic participation. In 1994, in a report for the White House Domestic Policy Council, Paul Light recommended the creation of a “Citizen Liaison Office” (CLO) within each … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

too much coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy

The amount of coverage has been staggering–dozens of stories per day in the top national newspapers, nightly broadcast news programs that are lengthened by half an hour, 24-hour repetitions of the same information on cable news, even a blow-by-blow account … Continue reading

Posted in press criticism | 2 Comments

The November Fifth Coalition

The November Fifth Coalition has just been launched as a collaboration among several major civic organizations (with others to be added to the website very soon). November Fifth is the day after the election. We mean to say that the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gonzalo’s commonwealth

Gonzalo is the most virtuous character in Shakespeare’s Tempest, a man “whose honor cannot / Be measured or confined” (v,1,135-6). He arrives on Prospero’s island in the company of vile politicians who have organized a coup and are prepared, some … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts, Shakespeare & his world | Leave a comment

whom does a White House reporter represent?

Another person who spoke on Saturday at Penn State was David E. Sanger, the chief White House correspondent of the New York Times. After his speech, I asked him whom he thought he represented when he rode on Air Force … Continue reading

Posted in press criticism | 2 Comments