Monthly Archives: January 2012

what is a republic?

In Colorado, fiscal policy is strongly constrained by a referendum called the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Tabor). A lawsuit has been filed to overturn Tabor on the grounds that Colorado is no longer a republic if an elected legislature … Continue reading

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although politicians won’t admit it, politics is played between the 40 yard lines

National candidates typically depict their differences as epic battles about the very essence of our society. For example, Mitt Romney’s victory speech on the night of the New Hampshire Primary: President Obama wants to “fundamentally transform” America. We want to … Continue reading

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why young people react favorably to the word socialism

A recent Pew survey asked people to react to the words “socialism” and “capitalism.” It reveals some quirks, like the 12% of Tea Party supporters who favor socialism–what’s up with them? (See the table below.) But I’m especially interested in … Continue reading

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Connie Flanagan at Tufts

University of Wisconsin Professor Constance Flanagan has won the 2012 Tisch Research Prize, which recognizes her career of distinguished research on young people’s civic engagement. The award will be presented at Lincoln Filene Hall, Tisch College, on March 26 from … Continue reading

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are college faculty responsible for educating the whole student?

(Washington, DC) I am at a conference at which most of the participants–who represent a few dozen diverse colleges and universities–believe that faculty should take more responsibility for the overall welfare and development of their students. Professors should worry about … Continue reading

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Newt Gingrich’s contract with Fannie Mae

(Washington, DC) Newt Gingrich released his contract with Fannie Mae just in time to argue about it with Mitt Romney. At the Florida debate, Romney said, “This contract proves you were not a historian. You were a consultant …. And … Continue reading

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action civics goes mainstream and gets controversial

The phrase “action civics” was coined last year by a group of people and organizations that encourage k-12 students to choose, discuss, and study social issues and take collaborative action. I’m a charter member of the National Action Civics Collaborative … Continue reading

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youth in the South Carolina primary

My substantive post for the day is over at Politico: New role for young voters. I begin, “Young voters have played a crucial role in the 2012 Republican primaries, but in South Carolina, their role is due to change. The … Continue reading

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Secretary Arne Duncan on Civic Education

These are key passages from Secretary Duncan’s remarks at the White House “For Democracy’s Future” forum on January 10. (I arrived late because I had been working on the NAEP–at the Department’s expense–and the Secret Service doesn’t admit latecomers to … Continue reading

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Cambridge ladies who don’t have furnished souls

Last week, I went into my usual barbershop in Somerville, MA, where the men’s haircuts are $12. It’s underground and the walls are painted with scenes of southern Italy. Tony, the barber, was talking with three customers. Everyone was using … Continue reading

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