Monthly Archives: December 2008

unequal starts

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Last week, we joined about 250 other parents in the bleachers of the Belmont (MA) High School gym. Spread across the floor were musical bands ranging from elementary school beginners to the high school’s wind ensemble. The bands took … Continue reading

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a game for teaching civics

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0(Tampa, FL) I have come down here to begin training high school teachers to use a new software package that we call “The Legislative Aide Game.” Students in social studies classes here will log onto a web site that … Continue reading

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“service” and exploitation

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I can’t go into details yet about our data or methods, but we have been talking to inner-city youth about civic and political engagement. I’m forming the hypothesis that when young, working-class and poor Americans hear about “volunteering,” “community … Continue reading

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that narrow curriculum: it’s not all about NCLB

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Some time ago, we received a Ford Foundation grant to document the problem that almost everyone decried: because of the testing requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act (the comprehensive federal law related to pre-college education), schools were … Continue reading

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turning “friends” into supporters

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0In our Boston-area social networking project and related work, we hear repeatedly that the challenge is to convert online connections into “real world” action. Young people are heavy users of online tools like MySpace and Facebook, but they are … Continue reading

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Clay Pit Pond

Facebook1 Twitter0Total1Focus first on the black trunks, then the snow that beats the ripples, then the wind-whipped flag, the high school’s streaked cement and darkened glass, like the building I would have trudged up to twenty-five winters past. He tugs … Continue reading

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on Black dentists, and paths to prosperity

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0A few weeks ago, in a hotel room, I watched Chris Rock’s current show–which is very funny. One segment concerns his suburban New Jersey neighborhood, where the houses cost millions. He notes that there are only three other African … Continue reading

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the fierce urgency of a transition

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0(Framingham, MA) I am involved in several networks devoted to public goals, some of whose members have connections to the Obama transition. I’m getting urgent emails and phone calls with tense messages about the need to get our positions … Continue reading

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LA Peace Collaborative

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0(suburban Maryland): I’m here with a group of young leaders, mostly young people of color who work with youth on service projects, social justice efforts, and community organizing. At a previous meeting, a subgroup decided to focus on issues … Continue reading

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youth unemployment passes 20%

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for ages 16-19 was over 20% in October. For ages 20 and older, the rate was 5.9%. Youth unemployment, seasonally adjusted Unemployed youth are not only missing income and … Continue reading

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