President Obama was at Miami Central High School recently to promote his school reform agenda. In news accounts reported across the country he pointed to academic improvements at Miami Central in support of a trinity of "reform" claims. First, that it is schools that make the difference in student achievement; second, that teachers and principals make the biggest difference in whether or not students in a particular school…See More
I have been involved with schools all my life, and have studied schools in many countries, including the US. I served as an Instructor at Louisiana State University where my Dean did not appreciate freedom of speech, so my contract was not renewed after 18 years. I served on a local school board for 16 years, and as President of the Louisiana School Boards Association. Currently I am working as in independent educational researcher and writer focused on creating learning community.
My Ideal School is a Place Where:
There are no walls.... for me, the ideal school is a learning community where everyone understands that education begins (literally) before birth, and is continuous and even generational in scope.
My Religious Views:
I believe that orthodoxy (of any kind!) is antithetical to progress! Orthodoxy is the closing of the mind.
My Political Views:
My Favorite Freedom:
Freedom to discover!
My Personal Heroes:
Too many to name...
My Personal Motto:
If it is to be... it is up to me.
My Favorite Journey:
Dewey's Democracy and Education
"The Investment Biker"
"Guns, Germs, and Steel."
Anything by Richard Rothstein or Gerald Bracey
"The Death and Life of the Great American School System" by Diane Ravitch
Thanks for your note, I have asked our program staff for their help in suggesting resources we could send you regarding our specific programs in LA. In many states, the Project Citizen program (wherein students examine public policy problems in their communities) is used in various youth settings including volunteer youth associations, youth groups, and after school activities. For example, 4H in the state of Georgia has integrated Project Citizen into their programming for students. We are happy to send you more information on that program or a copy of the book. Feel free to follow up with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Washington DC office at 202-861-8800.
All the best,
My school is a blessing! I serve with 20+ veteran teachers that have been unafraid to go along with my many ideas. We are embracing a voice for all. Staff meetings can be interesting as we move through the Democratic process.
Hi Noel, and welcome to the Five Freedoms Network! It's great to have you here -- how did you hear about us?
I love your vision of the ideal school! Sorry to hear after 16 years of investment in your current learning community, you are facing the "last year". Nonetheless, your journey sounds like a continuous one, and there will be another community waiting for you...
We're partnering with The Forum for Education and Democracy on their Will We Really Campaign, launched yesterday, and hope you'll take a few minutes to visit the campaign web site: www.willwereally.org! You can watch the video from that site or from the Network's home page (or from You Tube, if web traffic is too busy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhpwtgZ8DUY).
As you can see from the world map on our home page, we have a growing, eclectic community of individuals from across the globe -- from Brooklyn to Pakistan, from North Dakota to China. Thank you for taking the time to add your voice to that fascinating mix.
As you surf around the Network and its companion site, www.fivefreedoms.org, I urge you to share your voice throughout. Take our You Be The Judge First Amendment quiz (a new scenario every two weeks). Leave a comment on a fellow member's personal page and make a new contact. Upload a video to our gallery, or watch and react to one already there. Join (or start) a group or visit the Soapbox to contribute to (or start) a discussion. And invite others to join us.
In short, use your voice to co-create our online community :-)
Post a comment on my page anytime with questions or ideas. Thanks again!
I'll start with the good news. As of January first, it is now illegal for an administrator to punish, remove, reassign or fire a journalism adviser at a public high school or college/university for the First Amendment-protected expression of his or her students. California State Senator Leland Yee introduced the "Advisor Protection Bill" which was skillfully brought to birth by Jim Ewert, legal counsel, of the California Newspaper Publishers Associations.
California has one of the best student press rights laws in the nation. We have anti-hosty legislation, thanks to Senator Yee, and the Cal Ed Code 48907--which predates Hazelwood and supercedes it--states that the student editors assign and edit the news.
Unfortunately, when the administration has not been able to censor the students, they instead have punished the advisers. I am one of those, but I belong to a relatively large club of other strong j. teachers who have suffered the same fate. By bringing our stories into one document and by bringing the state teachers union on board, we were able to create a climate where we could get this landmark legislation.
I understand Colorado is the only other state to protect its j. advisers, but I have also been told that ours is the best and strongest law in the nation.
Here is another poem I found in my Grandparent's journal. It shows me that Freedom of Speech is a cherished freedom that should be tempered with restraint until one is absolutely sure one is telling…Continue