Monthly Archives: August 2011

Tocqueville the particularist

Facebook8 Twitter0Total8I believe that: 1) moral knowledge is irreducibly experiential and particularistic; hence 2) efforts to replace moral judgment with general methods and principles cannot succeed; and thus 3) we need democratic deliberation by people who also have diverse practical … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | 1 Comment

service and the 9/11 anniversary

Facebook1 Twitter0Total1According to the New York Times, the White House has instructed domestic agencies about “9/11 Anniversary Planning”: These guidelines also acknowledge that Americans will expect government leaders to explain what steps have been taken to prevent another 9/11-style attack … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Facebook5 Twitter0Total5I am stuck after nearly a week’s travel because the hurricane has canceled my flights homeward. But Cincinnati is a handsome and impressive place in which to be stranded. I am staying in the Netherland Plaza, an Art Deco … Continue reading

Posted in cities | Leave a comment

deep in the thickets of test design

Facebook1 Twitter0Total1(Cincinnati, OH) I have arrived here for meetings about standards in social studies. We have been sitting around a hollow-square table; a separate round stand holds the projector. There are damp steel water pitchers on the tables, which are … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

if we are going to put millions in prison, WE should make millions of decisions

Facebook7 Twitter0Total7(Washington, DC) Our jails and prisons hold 1.6 million people: the highest incarceration rate in the world. One percent of us are incarcerated at any given time, not counting almost 14 million ex-fellons. These rates are much higher for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

religious service attendance

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I am in DC for NAEP meetings. My post of the day is over at the CIRCLE site, where I track the rates of religious attendance for young adults and older adults. Regular attendance has declined, especially for youth, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American students know quite a bit of civics, but do they know the right stuff?

Facebook1 Twitter0Total1I am en route to DC to help with planning the next National Assessment in Education Progress (NAEP) for Civics. I was also on the design team for the 2011 test, which yielded newspaper articles like “Failing Grades on … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | 4 Comments

where do you turn if you mistrust the government and the people?

Facebook9 Twitter0Total9If you mistrust the government but trust your fellow citizens, you may be drawn to political changes (such as referenda, campaign finance reform, or electoral reform) to increase the power of “the people,” collectively. That was the main trend … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

going offline

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0We are going on vacation and offline, so no posts here until August 22.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

assessing the president

Facebook12 Twitter0Total12Right now, everyone on the left seems to want to criticize President Obama’s leadership or else rise to his defense–yielding a vast flow of commentary. (See, for example, Drew Westen, Matt Miller, or Tom Philips for the prosecution; Kevin … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama | Leave a comment