Archive for September, 2006

29
Sep
06

Something to Run On

On the day that the National Intelligence Estimate went public stating that the war in Iraq has created more Islamic radicals, former President Bill Clinton criticized Fox News for not being a balanced news source. He had been asked if he had done enough to fight terrorism and before saying no, he chastised the commentator for not asking the same question of President Bush and his Adminsitration, who had done NOTHING to fight or acknowledge terrorism in the 8 months they were in office prior to 9/11. President Clinton also explained that he had tried to kill Bin Laden, that he had authorized the CIA to do so if possible, and ended the interview by criticizing the small number of troops in Afghanistan looking for the actual mastermind of 9/11 and the overblown importance placed in Iraq.

By making these statements publicly, Former President Clinton gave the Democrats, including his wife, something to run on. Though he is nearly invincible politically at the moment, he showed the Democrats that not only is it okay to have a backbone, it’s actually preferred to the wishy-washy, fake, no-substance answers we have been hearing for the past 6 years. I hope that the Democrats finally start standing up and hitting back on these issues, especially since they have the political and moral upper-hand. All we need now are impeachment proceedings.

2,711 US Soldiers have been killed in Iraq
20,486 US Soldiers have been wounded in Iraq

WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DEMAND THAT THIS ENDS??? or at least that we be told why this was begun?

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02
Sep
06

Credit for Good Behavior

Some schools in the UK have implemented a credit system for students. They are using it to help low-income families get their children involved in after school activities, but what if it was used for all students? What if students were assigned credit by their principals and teacher and could cash in those credits to attend school events, play in school sports, or participate in school clubs? That system would teach students that those with good behavior get rewarded, and those who cannot behave properly do not get go participate in fun activities. I think this is a great idea. Good parents use a reward and consequence system at home. Why can’t we use it at schools, as well? It teaches students that they are responsible for their own actions and gives teachers a little leverage when it comes to discipline and rewards.

01
Sep
06

Divide and Conquer

Our schools are overwhelmingly populated. Anyone who teaches knows that. It’s no going to get any better. This is my argument when people say “throwing money at the problem won’t do anything.” That’s just absurd. If states threw more money at school, we could do a lot of things. New educational environments (known in the normal world as classrooms) could be created in existing schools. The ideal environment consists of class sizes of the desired, but incredibly unrealistic, 18 to 1 ratio in middle school and 24 to 1 in high school. This splits up larger classes (some of more than 30), allowing for more student/teacher interaction, and giving teachers a manageable number of students. Enough books so that each student can take one home for homework is important, as well as having a classroom library of appropriate grade level and content-relevant materials. Using the 18 to 1 model, putting six computers in every classroom helps facilitate group projects. Funding art and music in every school and technical education programs in high schools gives student the opportunities to explore all of their talents. But our schools are brimming with students, which doesn’t really make them conducive to education. It’s more difficult for adults to exert control. It’s impossible to have so many students with so few teachers and expect our children to succeed. Using the divide and conquer approach is best. We can only improve education when we can reach students, and we can’t do that when there are 30 or more in a classroom.




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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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