Rulers’ Ideas Rule

W.J. Astore I can’t remember where exactly, but I stumbled across this apothegm of Karl Marx: “In every era, the ideas of the rulers are the ruling ideas.” Striving for even more brevity, I truncated it to rulers’ ideas rule. Contrarians of the world should unite to identify and challenge these ruling ideas. When they…

Patronage, Politics and Charter Schools

By Don Rose.  Introduction by William Astore. Charter schools, in theory, offer advantages to public schools.  They’re advertised as offering “choice” to concerned parents, who shop for the “best” schools as measured by test scores and related data.  They promise to hold teachers accountable.  They say they offer novelty in pedagogy.   But in practice…

STEM Education Is Not Enough

W.J. Astore If you’re in education, you’ve heard the acronym STEM. It stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  As a country, the USA is behind in STEM, so there are lots of calls (and lots of federal money available) for improvements in STEM.  Usually the stated agenda is competitiveness.  If the US wants to…

Two Tales of the Second City’s Social Horrors

By Don Rose.  Introduction by b. traven. Don Rose is part of the conscience of Chicago. He is a long time political strategist for some of the more liberal political representatives of the people in that city. Retired, Don now writes in the online “The Chicago Observer” about what is going on behind the scenes…

Of MOOCs and Technology: Why True Education Is Not Content Delivery

W.J. Astore Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are one of those “pedagogical practices that are current and relevant to the new generation of learners,” to use a description featured prominently in promotional literature. Sure sounds trendy, doesn’t it? But education is not simply about content delivery. Education is about inspiration. It’s about lighting a fire…