Dear Commons Community,
Another one of those days when there was just too many interesting stories to blog about.
First, Maureen Dowd raises the real possibility that Barack Obama will be a one-term president. Part of the problem is that he is in a bad economy, one in which his administration is unable to turn around. And part of the problem is that he lacks the emotion and leadership ability to take decisive action.
Second, Charles Blow has a fine column on the problem of recruiting good teachers given the way politicians, corporate leaders, and the media blast the profession. To quote:
“…how do we expect to entice the best and brightest to become teachers when we keep tearing the profession down? We take the people who so desperately want to make a difference that they enter a field where they know that they’ll be overworked and underpaid, and we scapegoat them as the cause of a society-wide failure.”
Third, the Kyrene School District in Arizona operates technology-infused schools. A laptop per child, Smartboards, curricula, and teacher training are all geared to maximize technology. After six years, there has been no significant improvement in student achievement. Residents voted down the budget to continue the program.
Lastly, on this day in 1957, Governor Orville Faubus against the advice of the mayor and the school board, ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock. His actions were a reaction to an integration plan that had been carefully developed by educators in Little Rock in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education Desegregation Decree. His actions were an embarrassment for the country and ended only when President Dwight D. Eisenhower order the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to escort the nine students to school each day after which Governor Faubus withdrew the Arkansas National Guard.