Monthly Archives: May 2012

in search of common themes

As I shuttle among meetings this week, I am looking for common themes. Tuesday: a gathering of the colleges and universities that have grants from Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP). That is a project that aims to enhance: (1) college … Continue reading

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the Engagement Commons from Code for America

(Washington, DC) In preparation for a conference later this week on “Tech for Engagement” (at MIT), I have been exploring the Civic Engagement Commons, a compendium of apps and sites that help citizens to engage with government, use or generate … Continue reading

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for Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins, interred Two lifelengths long in loath├Ęd Irish sod, Somehow through the raked pebbles heard A tourist throng his verse applaud. Straining, he understood the docent say That he’d been superstitious, unpublished, bipolar, gay. Born later, he’d have … Continue reading

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the service patch

David Brooks’ column entitled the “Service Patch” is insightful in several respects. Brooks is right that highly successful students nowadays see two options: “crass but affluent investment banking” and “the poor but noble nonprofit world.” They show “little interest in … Continue reading

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the Right Question

I’ve written before about our friends at The Right Question Institute, authors of the book Make Just One Change. I can testify–from having gone through their training myself–that it is not just disadvantaged and marginalized people who don’t know how … Continue reading

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Fault Lines in Our Democracy (ETS report)

Today the Educational Testing Service released a major new report entitled Fault Lines in Our Democracy, along with a website that provides videos and other ancillary materials. Youth civic engagement and civic knowledge are crucial issues, and it is great … Continue reading

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diversity arguments in education depend on learning as collaboration

Why might you favor racial and gender diversity in education? As a matter of distributive justice. Places in colleges or universities convey political and economic advantage. Thus you may think they should be distributed equitably with regard to race and … Continue reading

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the insidious impact of felon disenfranchisement

Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen (2006) estimated that 5.3 million citizens were ineligible to vote on Election Day in 2004 because of felony convictions. This number had increased rapidly since 1980, mainly because of rapid growth in felony convictions. About … Continue reading

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China teaches the value of political pluralism

When today’s middle-aged Chinese citizens were young, the People’s Republic was a gigantic experiment in egalitarianism, anti-capitalism, anti-consumerism, and opposition to Western imperialism. One of its core values was unending “people’s war”: a “revolutionary struggle of the vast majority of … Continue reading

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what’s good about Americans Elect

I have been very quiet about Americans Elect, the organization that obtained open lines on the presidential ballot in 29 states, reserving those spots for whomever its members chose as nominees for president and vice president. On the one hand, … Continue reading

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