September 2, 2006
Re: Tom Shuford
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 5:40 PM
Terry--it sounds like you're readyb to take the next step.
Tom Shuford Gets It Right
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 4:18 PM
From the News-Topic:
Michael Barrick, a former school board member, expertly identifies the layers upon layers of bureaucratic control of public schools in "A key factor to consider in the BOE race" (Aug. 26).
"A multi-headed monster" he calls it.
How ironic --- that control of schools would have moved so far away from parents and communities. For that is opposite the intent of the foremost early champion of tax-funded education:
"If it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by the governor and council, the commissioners of the literary fund, or any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience." (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph C. Cabell, 1816)*
The North Carolina political and educational establishment might counter: We've progressed. We are more sophisticated. Many layers of oversight and control ensure quality.
That's a plausible argument. There was no teacher licensing in Thomas Jefferson's day, no teachers colleges, no state curriculum, no compulsory attendance . . . In fact, there were no government schools --- and would not be for another 70 years. So how were the founding generation educated without the benevolent attention of government?
According to David McCullough, the two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian, the founders "were steeped in, soaked in, marinated in, the classics: Greek and Roman history, Greek and Roman ideas, Greek and Roman ideals. It was their model, their example."**
Imagine, if you can, a trace of that kind of education in a public school today. Not that such education should be required, but should it not be an option?
In another context, McCullough observed, "It is a sad, sad, but true fact that the literacy rate in the state of Massachusetts [his home] in 1798 was higher than it is in 1998."
It is egregious folly to exclusively fund the vast government education empires we have today. To do so is to level down and standardize what should be a rich and varied landscape of schooling opportunities.
I would go further. It is unpatriotic for Americans to stay this perilous course.
View from the ground
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:23 AM
You'll not be surprised to learn that Ilario Pantano's book Warlord (Threshold, 2006) offers his take on the shooting incident that led to his Article 32 hearing at Camp Lejeune in April 2005.
Also of interest are his observations about the progress of the Iraq War during his time on the battlefield. In the following passage, he describes an insurgent (a "Muj") who was shot -- but not killed -- after attacking American Marines.
Probably that wounded Muj had shown up at a Baghdad hospital moaning that trigger-happy Americans had gunned him down, just an innocent peasant. He'd appear on the CBS Evening News, solid proof that American troops were out of control.
A few pages later, Pantano describes the frustration engendered among Marines when their commanders backed away from plans to thwart insurgents in Fallujah in April 2004.
All that the Fallujah handover had accomplished was to buy a few weeks' grace.... But it actually also accomplished something else: abandoning Fallujah had the revealed the United States as an ineffective occupier. It had telegraphed to the world we didn't have the stomach to inflict the kind of pain required to beat the resistance out of an enemy, a people.
You can learn more about Pantano's thoughts on the war -- including his own experience -- during a John Locke Foundation Headliner luncheon Sept. 28 in Wilmington.
Was theirs traditionally-, alternatively-, or un- ?
Posted by Hal Young at 09:23 AM
Somebody transposed a couple of historical figures here.
Corrupt Bastards Club
Posted by Paul Chesser at 08:01 AM
No evidence that there is an organized chapter in North Carolina (yet), but the FBI just raided one in Alaska, where several legislators are apparent members -- including the son of Mr. "Bridge to Nowhere," U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.
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