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Archive for April 21st, 2007


Seed Newsvine

While I might want to argue that NCLB’s goals are neither laudable nor effective, the real point is that NCLB is fundamentally flawed and must be revised in meaningful ways.A movement to return the conversation about curriculum to the forum in which it belongs, the local school level with mitigation from the district but not mandates from above, is one place to begin to rethink schools and schooling. NCLB has effectively cut that conversation off at the knees causing schools and students to suffer. There is a great deal of evidence emerging from study after study, some even funded by the Department of Education, that demonstrate that reducing knowledge to a single test score is counterproductive.

The NEA offers only one approach. There are others. My point is that these alternatives must become part of the national discourse or we and our children shall be doomed to mediocrity

clipped from www.nea.org
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), renamed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, established laudable goals — high standards and accountability for the learning of all children, regardless of their background or ability.
However, the law must be fundamentally improved and federal lawmakers need to provide adequate funding if NCLB is to achieve its goal. Congress has to reauthorize the legislation in 2007, offering an opportunity to make it more workable and more responsive to the real needs of children.
NEA is in the forefront of the effort to improve the No Child Left Behind Act. We have developed a comprehensive Positive Agenda for the ESEA Reauthorization�that spells out detailed recommendations to make the law better. (Read more.)

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Seed Newsvine

So let’s see if I have this all straight.

1. Cho, Seung-Hui, the mad gunman of VT, had an e-bay account.
2. He used this account to bypass federal and state background check regulations.
3. The good folks at e-Bay had no obligation to assure that the gun supplies listed on the e-Bay website did not get sold to the wrong people.

Wow! Now that makes me feel safe and secure. So is Cho, a buyer that could not pass muster on Federal or State background checks could purchase weapons and weapon supplies (presumably because his name never hit the Federal background check data base) then what is to stop some Christian, Muslim or Jewish fanatic from using e-Bay as its gun dealer of choice?

I feel for y’all, who think the Second Amendment preserves the absolute right to unfettered gun ownership. I’ll bet you are the same folks that scream that our borders ought be better secured. Do you see the (dis)connection here? If we want more security we have to begin with the biggest hole in the bucket. Regulate guns and gun purchases. Make ammunition subject to the same constraints as the weapons themselves. Background checks are a small beginning. Social responsibility is the responsibility of all of us, each and every one of us. Now is the time to accept that responsibility. Secure our borders and stop the insane flow of guns into the hands of those who would misuse those weapons.

clipped from news.yahoo.com
Using the handle Blazers5505, Seung-Hui Cho bought two 10-round magazines for the Walther P22 — one of two handguns used in the massacre of 32 people. The clips were bought March 22 from a gun shop in Idaho.
“It’s apparent that he purchased the empty magazine clips,” eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said. “They’re similar to what could be purchased in any sporting goods store around the country.”

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Seed Newsvine

Finally a bipartisan issue for Congress to wrap its head around. Who would have predicted that the Alberto Gonzales scandal would find Republicans running to the other side of the aisle? And is it any surprise that the White House announces that George II is firmly behind Gonzales.

The growing disconnect between the White House, Congress and the people of the United States is alarming. What is even more frightening is the prospect of another divisive presidential election campaign. Put the two together and what comes out is more reason for Americans to be cynical, to mistrust their government, to further withdraw into their i-Pods and sit on the sidelines.

clipped from jp.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional Republican leader on Friday joined bipartisan calls for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign but the White House reaffirmed its confidence in President George W. Bush’s long-time friend.
Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, chairman of the Republican conference in the House of Representatives, said it was important for the head of the U.S. Justice Department to have “unwavering” credibility.
“For the good of the nation, I think it is time for fresh leadership at the Department of Justice,” Putnam said in a brief telephone interview. He said a lack of credibility by the Justice Department chief puts in jeopardy the president’s legislative agenda.
Putnam is joining a growing list of U.S. lawmakers expressing a lack of confidence in Gonzales a day after he testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the firing of eight U.S. prosecutors last year. The dismissals raised concerns among Democrats that they were politically motivated.

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