Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the Wake of Bush

The myopic lunacy and inexcusable inhumanity of the Bush policies continue to bob up in intellectual dead pools all over America.

In education, this blog documented, in no uncertain terms, the rabid psycho-religious zealotry that was applied to educational practice with an all-too compliant establishment blessing.

Today's New York Times article, Strip-Search of Girl Tests Limit of School Policy by Adam Liptak documents the eventual dead cat's bounce of one such fiasco - the zero tolerance paradigm.
Adam B. Wolf, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Ms. Redding, said her experience was “the worst nightmare for any parent.”

“When you send your child off to school every day, you expect them to be in math class or in the choir,” Mr. Wolf said. “You never imagine their being forced to strip naked and expose their genitalia and breasts to their school officials.”

In a sworn statement submitted in the case, Safford Unified School District v. Redding, No. 08-479, Mr. Wilson said he had good reason to suspect Ms. Redding. She and other students had been unusually rowdy at a school dance a couple of months before, and members of the school staff thought they had smelled alcohol. A student also accused Ms. Redding of having served alcohol at a party before the dance, Mr. Wilson said.

Ms. Redding said she had served only soda at the party, adding that her accuser was not there. At the dance, she said, school administrators had confused adolescent rambunctiousness with inebriation. “We’re kids,” she said. “We’re goofy.”

The search was conducted by Peggy Schwallier, the school nurse, and Helen Romero, a secretary. Ms. Redding “never appeared apprehensive or embarrassed,” Ms. Schwallier said in a sworn statement. Ms. Redding said she had kept her head down so the women could not see that she was about to cry.

Ms. Redding said she was never asked if she had pills with her before she was searched. Mr. Wolf, her lawyer, said that was unsurprising.

“They strip-search first and ask questions later,” Mr. Wolf said of school officials here.

Ms. Redding did not return to school for months after the search, studying at home. “I never wanted to see the secretary or the nurse ever again,” she said.

In the end, she transferred to another school. The experience left her wary, nervous and distrustful, she said, and she developed stomach ulcers. She is now studying psychology at Eastern Arizona College and hopes to become a counselor.
There is a claim in the arguments being made that "reasonable people can disagree" about such methods. I beg to differ. The Supreme Court needs to unequivocally reject the notion that anything goes in the pursuit of uncovering imaginary crimes in educational settings.

Kids have rights of speech, person, privacy, and an excuse for behavior that is not mainstream and that is that these are kids who are not fully formed in body, mind, or soul. That does not make them criminals except in the minds of deranged politicians and their eager lackeys who make careers out of getting ever-so-tough with anyone except their own special interest groups.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crocodile Lip Service

According to a New York Times article by Kelley Holland called Is It Time to Retrain B-Schools?, we are asked to believe that MBA students will receive an ethical basis for performing their duties. I'm skeptical.
The master’s of business administration, a gateway credential throughout corporate America, is especially coveted on Wall Street; in recent years, top business schools have routinely sent more than 40 percent of their graduates into the world of finance.

But with the economy in disarray and so many financial firms in free fall, analysts, and even educators themselves, are wondering if the way business students are taught may have contributed to the most serious economic crisis in decades.

“It is so obvious that something big has failed,” said Ángel Cabrera, dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. “We can look the other way, but come on. The C.E.O.’s of those companies, those are people we used to brag about. We cannot say, ‘Well, it wasn’t our fault’ when there is such a systemic, widespread failure of leadership.”

Critics of business education have many complaints. Some say the schools have become too scientific, too detached from real-world issues. Others say students are taught to come up with hasty solutions to complicated problems. Another group contends that schools give students a limited and distorted view of their role — that they graduate with a focus on maximizing shareholder value and only a limited understanding of ethical and social considerations essential to business leadership.

Such shortcomings may have left business school graduates inadequately prepared to make the decisions that, taken together, might have helped mitigate the financial crisis, critics say.

“There are extraordinary things taking place in business education, and a lot that is very promising,” said Judith F. Samuelson, executive director of the Business and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. “But what’s the central theorem of business education? It’s wanting.”

Monday, March 02, 2009

Government Twitters

The Committee on Education and labor has released their twitter details!

“Like President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, I believe that greater transparency in government is critical and will continue to use new media to open up our committee’s work to the public. I’m pleased to announce our use of another tool, Twitter, to inform the American public about the important work we are doing to rebuild our economy, strengthen our middle class, and improve the lives of America’s children, students, workers and families,” said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA).

“I believe government works best when it is transparent and information is accessible to all. I want to ensure that the public can easily keep tabs on what the Committee is working on. Our website is a resource for stakeholders, students, teachers, the media, and citizens around the country. This is another tool to help make government work better for the people we are serving,” stated House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).

Twitter is a micro-blogging and social networking service that provides its users the ability to send and receive updates, known as “Tweets”, from individuals and groups they choose to follow. A tweet is a text-based post or short message of up to 140 characters. Twitter allows anyone to create a free account.
For more information visit:

* House Committee on Education and Labor (@edlabordems)


* House Committee on Science and Technology (@SciTechCmte)

* House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (@HouseTransInf)

* House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (@MarkeyMemo)

Cartoons (click to site of ownership):