June 14, 2012
Cooking the Books

A review of “The Revisionaries,” new at The Revealer by Nathan Schradle.

Hovering behind this frustration was my fellow teachers’ common assumption that, in spite of the words “California Edition,” emblazoned along the top of each book, the content of the textbooks had actually been decided in settings far removed from the one in which we taught. Teachers didn’t feel enabled by the textbooks—we felt hamstrung. So I came to “The Revisionaries” with certain expectations. I expected it to give me a deeper and better-informed loathing of the way that the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has managed tooverhaul high school curricula to conform to the standards of a particular brand of hard-line Creationism and political conservatism shared by a small fraction of the population, even in traditionally conservative Texas. It is a testament to the film’s quality and the filmmakers’ perceptiveness that it gave me my anticipated dose of horror, but not at all in the way I’d expected.

Don McLeroy,

Texas State Board of Education member.

Read the full article here.

June 11, 2012
Schooling Muslims in Northern Nigeria: Politics, Policies and Conclusions

New from Alex Thurston for The Revealer, June 6:

In March, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan launched a policy of opening religious schools for Muslims in Northern Nigeria. The policy came in response to the militant movement Boko Haram, which has been burning government primary schools in Northern Nigeria as part of its campaign of violence against the government, Christians, and other designated adversaries. Government officials suspect Boko Haram, whose name is often literally translated “Western education is Islamically forbidden,” of using some Islamic schools as recruiting centers, and of drawing recruits from Northern Nigeria’s large population of itinerant, and often desperately poor, Qur’anic students (Hausa: almajirai, singular almajiri). Government-run Islamic schools, then, are to be a source of “counter-radicalization” as well as a means of moving almajirai into more “productive” schools. But the policy is unlikely to succeed.

Read the full article here.

June 5, 2012

This exemplifies pretty much everything that is wrong with America. Stephen, we love you.

May 20, 2012

He told us, with the years, you will come

to love the world.

And we sat there with our souls on our laps,

and comforted them.

Dorothea Tanning, 1910-2012

May 16, 2012
“Traditional” and Reformist Practices: Advanced Islamic Education in Northern Nigeria

This post is the third in a series on Muslim schooling in Northern Nigeria by Alex Thurston for The Revealer. The first post gave an overview of the series, and the second discussed Qur’anic schools.

15 May 2012

Alex Thurston: In Nigeria, advanced Islamic education–the step following one’s basic instruction in the Qur’an–takes various forms. Here, I’ll examine the traditional settings for advanced Islamic education. The term “traditional” is a problematic one, as “traditions” are sometimes much more recent – and more consciously invented – than outsiders might assume. But the term has some use for describing systems that have evolved over time and were not directly created by colonial or postcolonial governments or by postcolonial reformist movements. “Advanced Islamic education,” meanwhile, refers here to training beyond the memorization of the Qur’an and instruction in the basic ritual requirements of Islam.

Continue reading here.

April 24, 2012
Student Loan Rates will Double Unless Congress Acts

The ticking clock that is haunting my waking hours:

From the House Democrats Blog:

Unless Congress acts soon, millions of students will see their student loan rates double from 3.4% to 6.8%. Under the increased rates student borrowers will pay $6.3 billion in additional repayment costs for the 2012 to 2013 academic year.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In 2007 Congressional Democrats passed a law to lower interest rates on subsidized Stafford Student Loans. Thanks to that law, over 15 million Americans have benefited from lower rates. Now, Republican inaction in Congress is threatening to bring back the higher rates.

Democratic Members of Congress and students from around the country are calling on Republican leaders to quickly bring up legislation so that student loan rates don’t double.

To learn more about student loan opportunities and legislation to help students please visit the Committee on Education & the Workforce Democrats page.

April 13, 2012





Weapon of Mass Instruction

Built from a welded frame atop a 1979 Ford Falcon, Raul Lemesoff drives around the streets of Buenos Aires distributing free books to anybody who wants to be assaulted with some serious learnin’.

(via: make / laughingsquid)

(via npr)

12:32pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZazQsvJbQ1v6
Filed under: protest education 
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