Monday, December 26, 2011


Community activist Martha Sanchez, right, shares an emotional moment with her children, Gonzalo Romero, 17, and Catherine Romero, 12, celebrating victory in an eight-year battle to shut down a metal-finishing plant across the street from 28th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles. (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times)
Danny Schechter
I did my Christmas penance back in a very cold and all too empty Zuccotti Park on Christmas day. There had been a 24 hour prayer event and vigil. I had only stopped in for a two hour stint—call it my Holiday witness—in time to hear the writer Jay Janson and others read from the still moving statement by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on the need to get out of Vietnam and other countries Washington was then occupying/invading in the false name of freedom. -- The News Dissector
P.L. Thomas
Choruses of “no excuses” and “poverty is not destiny” punctuate almost all of the discourse and even reform plans coming from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, and Michelle Rhee, and the implications of these bromides are where the problems rest.  In short, the real debate is not whether or not one side believes poverty matters and the other does not (this is genuinely a false dichotomy that likely does not exist). The real debate is where the source of what matters lies and how to address the impact of poverty on the lives and learning of children. -- Poverty Matters!: A Christmas Miracle
Ross Caputi
What we did to Fallujah cannot be undone, and I see no point in attacking the people in my former unit. What I want to attack are the lies and false beliefs. I want to destroy the prejudices that prevented us from putting ourselves in the other's shoes and asking ourselves what we would have done if a foreign army invaded our country and laid siege to our city. -- I am sorry for the role I played in Fallujah (Guardian)
Andrew Hartman
TFA is, at best, another chimerical attempt in a long history of chimerical attempts to sell educational reform as a solution to class inequality. At worst, it’s a Trojan horse for all that is unseemly about the contemporary education reform movement. -- Teach for America: Liberal mission helps conservative agenda (WaPo)  
Katharine Mieszkowski
At Cesar Chavez Elementary School, physical education lessons, taught by classroom teachers, are held on a fenced-in blacktop lot below a huge, colorful mural of the school’s namesake. In the mural, Mr. Chavez, the late civil rights leader, is surrounded by a crowd of children as he carries a banner that reads “Help me take responsibility for my own life so I can be free at last.”--The Haves’ Children Are Healthier Than the Have-Nots’ (NYT)

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