Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Other Education

I’ve always liked David Brooks as a columnist. He often takes stands I disagree with, but, generally speaking, he also approaches his role as a public intellectual with inquiry and openness, not orthodoxy and attitude.

In his education columns, however, Brooks has become a dangerous and myopic mouthpiece for a particular set of reform ideas that, without much prodding, turn to dust. And after reading a weekend column of his, I think I understand why.

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Categories: Learning, Organizational Change

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Education’s Blockbuster Moment

A few New Yorkers ago, financial columnist James Surowiecki wrote a short piece about the downfall of Blockbuster video, and why it failed to anticipate the rapid rise of Netflix in its own backyard. Why, he postulated, did Blockbuster not read the tea leaves quickly enough to colonize the web the way it had colonized […]

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Searching for Schools

My wife and I have begun the search for our son’s first preschool, which means a steady stream of weekday open houses, packs of adults warily sizing each other up, and crowded tours through classrooms of tiny people. It’s an anxiety-producing process, especially since, in DC at least, the most desirable preschools all attract far more applications than they can accept. It’s also a revealing process in terms of what we value most, and least, for our children based on how old they are.

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Taking the Long View

In the wake of my most recent post about George Washington’s prescient farewell address — and his concern that factionalism would tear the fabric of our union asunder — I read an Op-Ed this weekend by Stanford history professor David Kennedy that provides another perspective on “wave” elections, political instability, and why a closer reading […]

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What George Washington Would Think of the 2010 Midterm Elections

Before I went to sleep last night — a night that, among other things, resulted in the loss of my wife’s job (she is/was Senator Feingold’s foreign policy adviser) — I happened to read Jill Lepore’s review of yet another new biography of America’s first president, George Washington. In it, she cites briefly from Washington’s renowned Farewell Address from 1796. Given that last night’s election results now mark the third election in a row that Americans have kicked a political party out of power (and we only have two, so . . .), I thought Washington’s two-century-old warnings to us seemed particularly prescient.

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