Below is my column today in USA Today on the Boston bombing and the call for new security laws and expanded surveillance. I have been doing interviews trying to caution against these calls for immediate action -- a mantra that we hear after every attack no matter the cause. I am in Chicago today and was struck by how quickly Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel called for more surveillance cameras in a city with one of the largest surveillance systems in the United States.
Pavlovian Politics: Leaders Line Up To Call For Increased Surveillance In Aftermath of Boston Bombing
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on foreign policy in a column Wednesday published by CNN.
Romney, who got the Senator’s endorsement to the dismay of Ron Paul supporters earlier in the campaign, has been heavily critical of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy in recent weeks and has called for increased defense spending and more Mideast intervention.
Re: Here’s an idea for rich school reformers: Listen to teachers, The News Tribune, 3-11-12
Patricia Drake is certainly correct in her summary statement that “We can do better”. Other than that, there are several issues with the positions she takes in her article.
Siding with the Washington Education Association (WEA) President Mary Lindquist against Nick Hanauer, the “millionaire… theorizing from behind locked doors of high-rise buildings”, Mrs. Drake seeks to dismiss his reform agenda as inferior to her 44 years as an educator. She bemoans the fact that she has no voice when compared to the millionaire, and yet, if education reform were going to come from the WEA and the over 53,000 teachers they represent, and the millions of dollars they have to spend from teacher’s union dues on influencing public policy, shouldn’t it have happened by now? They’ve certainly had enough time!
Mrs. Drake then asserts that we need to become like the Euro-socialist Finland, a country the size of Montana with about 1.6% of the population of the U.S. I suspect something will be lost in translation when attempting to transform our system into theirs. I could be wrong.
Mrs. Drake then goes on to point out the school principal as the next most influential factor, and their need to build a more “positive” environment. Then it’s “administrative support”, then it’s “workplace conditions”, then it’s the cost of “standardized tests”. Sounds like the usual laundry list of union complaints. “We can do better”, but there’s really nothing new there. I’d use the word “innovative”, but every time a bureaucrat sneezes, it’s proclaimed “innovative”.
Mr. Hanauer’s reform agenda, while far from innovative, is certainly better than anything coming out of Olympia. I would like to suggest that the WEA, Washington State legislators, teachers, and civic leaders look up the word “innovate”. To quote a famous movie line, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
- An Open Letter to Nick Hanauer from Bill Lyne, President of United Faculty of Washington State (seattleducation2010.wordpress.com)
- Donors hit Dems on school reform, threaten to defect to GOP in fall (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Give four-year schools more flexibility; keep pushing public-school reform (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Education reform and unions (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
If you're new here, you should probably read my biography just to give you a better sense of who I am. In short: I do a lot of stuff. I'm curious. I love learning. I take risks. I speak my mind. I dare.
The risks I take are reinforced by a belief that I owe it to myself to at least try.