Tag Archives: education

Our American Arrogance

Recent federal policies are putting our international standing at risk. Traditionally our moral standing as a world power lay in our persistent efforts to exemplify democracy, support international development, welcome strangers, and maintain a lead in technical, scientific, and environmental innovation – all while maintaining our financial and military hegemony in a fragile world. The notion that we know better than our neighbors and have nothing to learn from them is little more than a form of national racism – an arrogance that denies the fundamentals of learning: curiosity, open-mindedness, and collaboration. We are beset by internal problems like the cost, quality, and access to home ownership, health care and nutrition, education and a crumbling transportation infrastructure. We’re burdened by …
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Ourselves, our children

At seventy-two, I often hear myself say, “Well, when I was young…” followed by some judgment about the behavior of today’s kids. I seem to remember my parent’s expectations of me as a kid were quite different from what parents seem to expect today.  Looking back, my parents’ expectations and boundaries hardly felt ambiguous. All of which leads me to ponder how we raise and educate those who’ll take the reins from us and hopefully forge a better world. It’s a tall order to prepare our children to take risks, respect but question authority, create and innovate, procreate respectfully, and serve mankind. Children learn by watching how adults behave and by listening to what we teach them at home and …
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The Comforts of a Mediocre Education

It’s no secret that many colleges and prep schools are in financial trouble. Accrediting organizations predict a significant number of institutional failures in the next decade. We even feel the pain here in Vermont but, understandably, no one wants to discuss it, as any faint whiff of distress further discourages applications. The college value equation has been eroding for decades. Total private college costs average $45,000 annually, $20,000 at in-state colleges. Accounting for payments, discounts and scholarships, average college graduates carry $37,000 worth of debt. And in return, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to which the U.S. subscribes, we rank thirtieth in math and nineteenth in science among the thirty-five sponsoring countries. Access to a free …
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Comments to Chamber Meeting of Business, Non-profit and Legislative Leaders 12/16/15

In opening, I’d like to make just a couple of points. They are similar to the points I made to your Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency. There are three legs to the government management stool. The executive and the legislative branches focus too often on two of the three: spending and revenue. The orphan leg is enhanced agency leadership, best-practice management, accountability, which you will hear more about, and transparency, in short, doing more, better, and with the same amount of money. Even if we amend our outdated tax code, revenue is not going to bloom, nor are social safety net needs going to shrink in the foreseeable future. Our demographic and economic trend indicators simply don’t foresee either. There …
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