Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

For Tomorrow (Dec. 12)

As Mike noted, we plan to continue our discussion about the value of art tomorrow, at least for a while, in the hope that Sarah and Marion will be able to attend.

After that, we plan to discuss two “blog” articles (and I’m adding an op-ed piece I read yesterday that reinforces one of the likely discussion tangents:

Start by reading “Why is the ‘Decimation of Public Schools’ a Bad Thing?,” which provides (at least in my reading) a pretty cogent explication of how important being specific in political discussion can be—rather than sound-bite slogans, which frequently don’t advance the dialog (or change anyone’s mind) at all. But the main subject of the article is expressing skepticism about “school choice” in the Trump-DeVos era. It’s not very long and an easy read.

Then read Mike’s friend (and I like his writing as well) Scott Alexander’s article “Contra Robinson on Schooling.” As usual, he takes a relatively deep dive I like about his written arguments because they are 1) they’re pretty cogent and 2) well “sourced” with links. So you can click through to examine the basis for many of his statements.

If you have lots of time, you might want to read the comments to his “Contra” blog article. Fair warning: there are a lot of them. If you don’t have that much time, consider his “Highlights from the Comment Thread on School Choice” article. It singles out the comments he thinks are worthy of note and, in some cases, a bit of debate.

Lastly, in the spirit of the “Decimation” description of the Liberal-Conservative language divide and our recent discussion on Identity Politics, you might be interested in Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed on “Echo Chambers on Campus.” It’s similar to the piece we discussed two weeks ago in the sense that it seems like a thoughtful self-critique of liberal behavior/platform/rhetoric/you name it. I don’t often agree with him, but I respect his views. And I do agree with many of the observations he makes in this piece. Good fodder for discussion.

See you tomorrow!

1 Comment

  • An interesting quote from the North Carolina “Arts in Education program:”

    The arts take you straight to the heart of learning. When you dig your thumbs into wet clay to create a water jug just like the ones early Native Americans used to carry water from the stream (before water came from faucets)—history comes alive. When you understand how heat turns that soft clay and liquid glaze into a jug that can actually carry water, science makes sense. Music teaches you the math of intervals, half notes, and time. Performing a poem gives you that poem forever. Create a dance of verbs and adjectives, and your writing is suddenly much more real.
    In an age where imagination, creativity, and innovation are essential to success in school, the workforce, and life arts learning experiences in schools and communities are more critical than ever.

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