Toward a better society.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2006
Toward a better society.....
13
Sun, 07-22-2012 - 1:48pm

I thought this was an interesting article.  Something merely talked about in politics but certainly doesn't mean it's not critical to the discussion.

snip:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/20/just-society-civic-virtues

"Today, most of our political arguments revolve around welfare and freedom – increasing economic output and respecting people's rights. But a just society requires something more: reasoning together about the meaning of the good life. Whether we're arguing about financial bailouts and bankers' bonuses, or the growing gap between rich and poor, or how to contend with the environmental costs of economic growth, questions of justice are bound up with competing notions of civic virtue and the common good.

In 2008, Barack Obama tapped Americans' hunger for a public life of larger purpose and articulated a politics of moral and spiritual aspiration. During the first year of his presidency, however, he has found it difficult to translate this politics of aspiration into governance. So, as frustration with politics builds on both sides of the Atlantic, it is worth asking what a new politics of the common good might look like. Here are four possible themes:  Citizenship, sacrifice and service, The moral limits of markets, Inequality, solidarity, civic virtue, A politics of moral engagement.

If you click on the link it will further explain what each of the themes cover.  

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2006
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 10:21am

A glimpse at our future in education?  Also, whose pulling the strings behind education reform....follow the money trail.....

snip:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/online-schools-score-better-on-wall-street-than-in-classrooms.html?pagewanted=all

"Nearly 60 percent of its students are behind grade level in math. Nearly 50 percent trail in reading. A third do not graduate on time. And hundreds of children, from kindergartners to seniors, withdraw within months after they enroll.

By Wall Street standards, though, Agora is a remarkable success that has helped enrich K12 Inc., the publicly traded company that manages the school. And the entire enterprise is paid for by taxpayers.

Agora is one of the largest in a portfolio of similar public schools across the country run by K12. Eight other for-profit companies also run online public elementary and high schools, enrolling a large chunk of the more than 200,000 full-time cyberpupils in the United States.

The pupils work from their homes, in some cases hundreds of miles from their teachers. There is no cafeteria, no gym and no playground. Teachers communicate with students by phone or in simulated classrooms on the Web. But while the notion of an online school evokes cutting-edge methods, much of the work is completed the old-fashioned way, with a pencil and paper while seated at a desk.

Kids mean money. Agora is expecting income of $72 million this school year, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total anticipated revenues of K12, the biggest player in the online-school business. The second-largest, Connections Education, with revenues estimated at $190 million, was bought this year by the education and publishing giant Pearson for $400 million.

The business taps into a formidable coalition of private groups and officials promoting nontraditional forms of public education. The growth of for-profit online schools, one of the more overtly commercial segments of the school choice movement, is rooted in the theory that corporate efficiencies combined with the Internet can revolutionize public education, offering high quality at reduced cost."

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2006
Re: Toward a better society.....
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 10:15am

<<I saw that the "great teacher" really was great...at reading a script. When the script failed, she became a witch...not the kind of thing i wanted for my son. >>

It's really sad when a teacher is rated great because she can read a script but hasn't a clue how to teach.  This is what we call education reform!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Re: Toward a better society.....
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 9:48am
Nope, nice name but not mine.

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