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Archive for the month “January, 2013”

The Spark that could Initiate the Transformation of the American Education System

Earlier this month, teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington came together and voted to boycott a standardized test called the MAP test. According to the teachers, the test not only puts unnecessary pressure on the students but it is also used to grade the teacher’s performance. What is good about the teachers standing up for what they believe in is that it brings awareness to the state of the education system in America. As a result of the boycott, teachers within the state and nation wide have expressed their support. For example,¬† The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, which make up some 4.5 million members have publicly stated their support.

I have always been critical of the education system in America and its big push for standardized testing. This is for many reasons, such as the atmosphere that it produces around the school campus which forces students to just regurgitate information. The problem with this is that¬† students don’t challenge themselves to to critically think about issues that they are facing or could face in the future. Today Democracy Now, hosted Jesse Hagopian and Wayne Au, who talk more about the Garfield High School teachers and their boycott of the MAP test as well as highlighting some of the critical issues that are present in the current education system. The prodcast can be found below and via direct link here: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/29/seattles_teacher_uprising_high_school_faculty

I also would like to share a talk called “University as a Factory,” given by Max Haiven (I urge EVERYONE to listen to this talk, especially students and recently graduated individuals). This talk is one that I find very interesting in many ways. This is because Max Haiven, hits many points about the role of the university in current society, such as the debt crisis, capitalism, society, economic issues, and happiness. Some of the points that Max Haiven highlights are directly connected to the boycott that the teachers at Garfield High School are involved in. The link to the talk can be found here: http://www.againstthegrain.org/program/619/coming-wed-103112. Feel free to express your thoughts.

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In Dedication to Martin Luther King Jr.

Last Monday(January 21, 2013) we celebrated Martin Luther King’s Birthday. A recent recognized federal holiday, is one that should remind us all to always strive for peace. Not just on Martin Luther King Day but everyday of the our lives. Too often conversations surrounding Martin Luther King Jr, only focus on the Civil Rights Movement. On the contrary, it must be emphasized that Martin Luther King Jr was a peace activist, who not only fought for the rights of African Americans but he also fought for Women’s Rights, the poor, he was an avid supporter of worker rights and had a strong anti-war stance. I wanted to share some speeches that highlight some of the important issues that Martin Luther King Jr, fought against.

Martin Luther King’s speech,”I Have Been to the Mountaintop.”

This is a speech by Martin Luther King, delivered on April 3, 1968 at Mason Temple(Church of God in Christ Headquarters) Memphis, Tennessee. He gave this speech in front of sanitation workers, in support for their fight for Worker Rights.

Martin Luther King’s speech,”Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam.”

“Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam,” was delivered on April 30, 1967 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Martin Luther King’s thoughts on poverty

Martin Luther King’s speech, “Where do we go from here?”

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