Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Quotables

How Steve Barr is spending his summer

"When I first wrote about Barr three years ago, he said he had no interest in taking Green Dot outside of Los Angeles. Last fall, however, he opened a new charter school in the Bronx, in partnership with New York City's teacher's union. Now, he says he's going to 'spend the summer' thinking about whether he'd want to become the administration's go-to guy on high school turnarounds and turn Green Dot into a national organization. 'It's Obama,' Barr said after the hearing. 'He's the reason I am even considering this.'" (Lesli Maxwell, Politics K-12)

Bloomberg's campaign manager?

Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered a stern warning that placing restrictions on mayoral control could “turn back the clock and halt progress” and have “profoundly negative consequences for New York City’s students.” (Gotham Schools)
Teaching social justice

Now that 8 years of neocon power have been replaced by Obama's people and virulent anti-democratic voices at the DOE have shrunk into the background, will new space open up for social justice teaching? The latest issue of Ed Leadership has an interesting piece by Laurel Schmidt, "Stirring Up Justice" which calls on teachers to promote "active, inquisitive citizenship."
So social justice is untidy, exhausting, discouraging, even dangerous work—which may be the reason why it's not on the top ten list of social studies projects in many schools. Better to have kids build a model of a rancho (a group of huts for housing ranch workers) or recreate a potlatch (a festival ceremony practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest) and be done with it.

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