Community Engagement

If you operate from the moral premise that government is bad, or “is the problem,” then you will work to defund it, you delay and obstruct, you sign a pledge to “shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” This impulse is rooted in Reagan era rhetoric and portrays the government as a group of elites who “plan our lives for us better than we can plan our lives for ourselves,” much as a…

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Consumer Empowerment

With the proliferation of products and services and the magnificent rise in the global standard of living, it is easy to ‘give a pass’ to the organizations that are charging ahead, applying new technologies to add tremendous value. March 15th is World Consumer Rights Day, a good day to reflect on the importance of empowered consumers.  As with our political checks and balances, the consumer provides checks and balances to corporations. Reflect for a moment on a recent purchase decision:…

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Effective Citizenship

Let’s take it as a given that a Democracy requires a conscious and intentional effort to keep it running at it’s best possible state. We are in an era where – for better and for worse – passions are inflamed and positions are hardened. In the essay “Revitalizing Civic Education,” we make the case for a fresh approach to educating today’s citizens about their civic responsibilities and the threats our democracy faces.  But what exactly is effective citizenship? What does…

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Interactive Online Learning

It is common knowledge that the state of online education, to put it nicely, is in pretty poor shape.  Most folks know that an online class is a lonely, boring experience – not much better than reading a book.  We know that dropout and incompletion rates are outrageously high. The knowledge gained from an online class is superficial and transient. The learning is not always what’s offered.  What you pay for is the certificate – the symbol of the knowledge…

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Revitalizing Civic Education

Our current political polarization is highlighting the lack of civic education in our schools and in our communities.  In fact, Fourteen students in a Rhode Island lawsuit say the state provided such a substandard civic education that it “violates their rights under the US Constitution.”  In fact, the US is one of only a few countries to have not ratified “the UN’s decades-old treaty on children’s rights, which stipulates various educational protections” for children.  Last year, the Center for Educational…

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