Monthly Archives: November 2009

Wikipedia entries as class assignments

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Jon Beasley-Murray, a Canadian professor of Spanish literature, assigned to his students the task of writing Wikipedia entries on various important Spanish-language novels. Each student would receive an A if his or her work achieved “GA [good … Continue reading

Posted in Internet and public issues | 1 Comment

the Center for Civic Education audit

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0The Center for Civic Education, a national nonprofit organization that is mostly funded by the United States Department of Education, was recently audited. In USA Today, Matt Kelley’s article is headlined, “Audit: Civic education group misused $5.9M.” … Continue reading

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accountability: relational and informational

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Borrowing an idea from the Kettering Foundation President, David Mathews: Today’s policymakers and experts tend to define “accountability” in terms of information. For instance, No Child Left Behind requires schools to collect and disclose reams of data … Continue reading

Posted in education policy, populism | 1 Comment

how to get better citizens

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0In the Sunday Times, Tom Friedman lists some of our grievous national problems and concludes: The standard answer is that we need better leaders. The real answer is that we need better citizens. We need citizens who … Continue reading

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burning carbon

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0(On a flight from Miami to Boston) I have a budding friendship with the airport taxi dispatcher in Watertown, MA. A TSA guy at Logan has recognized me: “You’re the one with the DC driver’s license.” This … Continue reading

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some balance, please, on ACORN

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I’ve been critical of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) for its internal financial scandals and for its hard-edged, rather scripted mobilizing strategy which I have often observed to conflict with the kind of … Continue reading

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online civic games

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0On a frenzied work day, these are sites I should not be visiting–but they are great ideas. Impact-Inc. is a game (modeled on Mafia Wars) that lets you simulate running a nonprofit organization. This is where to … Continue reading

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tensions over technocracy

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Ina very valuable piece for National Affairs, William Schambra argues that Barack Obama is the epitome of a policy-oriented progressive; in fact, he is the first “genuine, life-long true believer” in that philosophy ever to occupy the … Continue reading

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where the corruption lies

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I haven’t seen polling on corruption, but I suspect that most Americans see some aspects of our society as “corrupted” in an important sense of that word. Institutions’ appropriate, original purposes have been twisted or adulterated until … Continue reading

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why community organizing is essential

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0(On a flight to Atlanta) For my class on social networking, I have put together a series of readings that make the following argument. I believe this argument is important and broadly applicable. 1. Uncoordinated human behavior … Continue reading

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