Education Getting Overlooked Again

The issue of education, which is of the utmost of importance to our nations future, has struggled to make the headlines during this election cycle.  Despite the lack of attention, Barack Obama delivered a key address in Dayton today outlining his educaiton policy. In typical big media fashion, the AP jumped on just one line of the meaningful speech, saying that Obama plans to double funds for charter schools. Obama’s speech calls for more innovative schools (Innovative Schools Fund) and accountable for-profit charter schools. He said, “successful charter schools need to grow and charters that arent will get shut down.” Building on that concept, he called for quality afterschool programming, summer school and extended school days.

These are truly innovative ideas that will help the U.S. play catchup with the rest of the world. We have to play catchup because the Bush Administration neglected the education system and turned their cheek by passing No Child Left Behind. The election needs to be about real issues and not cosmetic biographical fodder. Obama has a plan for education and it should be a reason to cast a vote for him in November.

Lowering the Drinking Age

What has become an age old debate amongst my peers may now recieve more attention in the national spotlight. The conservative age of 21 for consuming alcoholic beverages is hardly enforced on college campuses, and now University Presidents appear in favor of lobbying for drinking age to be 18. I am in favor of a compromise age limit of 19 years old, similar to the law in Canada. This will hopefully lower harmful binge drinking and keep booze out of High Schools. Its somewhat ridiculous to think Americans won’t drink until 21, when they can already be veterans of the U.S. Army, cigarette smokers and voters. With the beer and circus like atmosphere at many big schools, its hard to fit the current law into context.

Redemption 2008

Get hyped for football at The Shoe!!! Go Bucks!!!

I Love OSU

Can you believe I go to school here?

Enjoying A ‘Normal’ Campus Experience
Photos

“The Name on the Door is Cleveland”

What does it mean? The Cleveland Browns Official website tells of the long path back towards a credible NFL Football team:

DT Shaun Rogers makes a statement everytime he comes through the door

DT Shaun Rogers makes a statement everytime he comes through the door

“We started trying to put a statement together and emphasize that we were working to do great things on the field and off the field, that there was kind of an ultimate goal out there.”

Savage believed he had plenty of willing people. He thought they wanted something to buy into, something to rally around and share with the community.

At some point during the conversation, Lerner uttered the phrase: “The name on the door is Cleveland.”

That, Savage thought, was something.

So now, more than two years after Savage handed out credit-card sized cards with the phrase and a mission statement printed on the front to every Browns employee in an organization-wide meeting, the name on the door is branching out to the city it’s named for.

Its just for a winning theme, and with names like Cribbs, Thomas, Lewis, Wimbley, Anderson, Edwards, Jones, Winslow, McDonald, Steinbach and Tucker, the Brownies are loaded long term AND Cleveland is far from a QB controversy. Both these guys are good.

Not every pass has been on the money. Not every practice has been crisp. But those things happen during camp. Derek Anderson is noticeably bigger and more confident, and a DA with a little swagger might be a dangerous thing. Brady Quinn is grasping the offense and though he doesn’t throw the deep ball as well as Anderson, he’s thrown some beauties down the seam and to the sideline. During one drill on Sunday, chants from the overflow crowd of “DA! DA!” and “Brady, Brady” didn’t seem to faze the targeted parties. So Ken Dorsey threw one on the money and gave the crowd a playful fist pump. Sure enough, the chants of “Dorsey, Dorsey” followed soon after. This is Cleveland. We love football, quarterbacks and chants. Lots and lots of chants.

Im just excited for football season in general, but when your team wins its so much more fun. Except Browns fans are so much more than that… LETS GO CLEVELAND!

If your trying to get in on the action hit up the Stadium this Friday Night, Aug. 1 $5 admission fireworks ect.

“The Greatest Scandal” in WSJ Misses Point

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal today shows how the issue of education can be twisted to blame our public schools and then offer them no help at all:

The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation’s greatest scandal. The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark. John McCain is calling for alternatives to the system; Barack Obama wants the kids to stay within that system. We think the facts support Senator McCain.

The WSJ breaks it down to the school voucher system to be the “golden ticket” to educational success. The editorial goes on to praise school choice programs in D.C. (Opportunity Scholarship Program) which is a federal initiative and Philly (EdisonLearning) a private company run effort. The numbers behind the success?

A recent Department of Education report found nearly 90% of participants in the D.C. program have higher reading scores than peers who didn’t receive a scholarship…

The number of students performing at grade level or higher in reading at the schools managed by private providers increased by 6.1% overall compared to 3.3% in district-managed schools. In math, the results for Edison and other outside managers was 4.6% and 6.0%, respectively, compared to 3.1% in the district-run schools.

These figures are made to sound exemplary, but the gains are marginal at best. Then the Journal paints Obama and the Democratic Party as threatening to kill those “successful programs” at the bequest of “uniformed teachers unions.” To top it off, the editorial points out the fact that the Obama’s send their kids to expensive private schools, not willing to wait for fixes to public education.

Not only is the articles evidence shortsighted (kids respond well to good schools that are safe and have excellent resources) but it is out of touch with reality. The issue of improving public education cannot afford to be sidestepped. The Democratic Party is in favor of increased federal funding, improved teacher salaries and more early childhood education, where the real differences are made in closing the achievement gap. While vouchers and school choice systems can help with certain students, its not a magical solution, and its most certainly in need of standards reform and better accountability standards (even the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, a large school-choice support agrees on pg 37-42 in “Education for Ohio’s Future”). The WSJ is missing the point on the debate about public education… there is no one size fits all solution and shallow observations about Obama’s children prevents the real issues from being discussed.

The New Organizing Institute

Check out this seminar I am attending on Monday (July 28th). I think it might be a step towards my forthcoming education blog.  I love Catchin Feelings, but I want to focus attention to issues important to society, especially education. The New Organizing Institute (NOI) is a great example of civic engagement in action.

Their blog will also be added to my blogroll: neworganizing.com/blog (haha I am lovin this lingo)

Their advisory board – Check out the various org’s on a search engine and let me know if there is anything interesting

NOI on Facebook and Myspace (as a 28 year old female?!)

Ohio Is coming to their logo soon

Why isn't the 'Buckeye State' in their logo?