Archive for February, 2020

A foreword to accompany the new name.

Emanuele Corso Good bye to my old stomping ground, “siteseven”, and welcome to the new “Schools and Society”. Perhaps some background about the provenance of “siteseven” is in order. My first assignment as a very young Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force’s, Strategic Air Command was to actually “buy” an Atlas F ICBM silo launch site. That was one heck of an experience for 22 year old. Our crew of five tested and operated each and every system and sub-system short of actually launching the “bird” (as it was known to all). At Cape Canaveral in Florida and Vandenberg AFB in California the test launchings of these liquid fueled ICBMs was attended by small armies of technicians and here in the middle of the Kansas prairie that task was now the responsibility of five men – 2 officers and 3 enlisted. The targets were half way around the planet. That was a long time ago in the early 1960s and marked by the famous “Cuban Missile Crisis”. I had the interesting experience of being on alert duty when President Kennedy made his famous Cuba speech which broadcast was followed immediately by a coded message from SAC headquarters directing us to initiate a countdown to minimum hold. Well, so much for all of that in the past (May it never happen again!) and now we move on as I did when I left active duty and attended graduate school at Madison where I took a PhD in Educational Policy studies and where I taught for several years. Read on! Any all feedback will be appreciated.

What’s In A Name?

In a matter of days the official name of the “siteseven” web site will be “Schools and Society” which better reflects the content. The old name will, for a while, redirect. Since publishing my recent book, “Schools and Society” it became apparent that readers not familiar with the site content would have no way to know the book and blog are related. Also, in an important way, this is a new start and I plan (and hope) to be posting more regularly. The attacks on public education are relentless and are still being promulgated by prominent people who know nothing about teaching and learning (e.g. Donald Trump). People who could do with some learning themselves. Public school teachers and education itself have been politicized not for their betterment but simply because they are a soft target for populist politicians. To the uninitiated reader let me put it this way: How would you approach a classroom of, let’s say 8 or 10 year olds all from different homes, at different income levels, and with parents ranging from indifferent to closely involved? How about teaching reading to kids from homes where there are no books? Not ever newspapers! When I was teaching at Madison a group of grad students learned of homes where not even a newspaper was present so they obtained a grant to have a daily paper delivered to every students’ home. There is also the matter of teachers being sitting ducks absorbing criticism for matters and causes beyond their control. Teachers are the favorite soft-target for populist politicians not just because they tend, as a group, to be generally Liberal politically but because the range of intellectual, emotional, and social ability they have to deal with on a daily basis makes their achievements with each child as an individual an amazing feat and they can’t always win! So, I hope you will find these essays interesting, stimulating, and maybe even inspiring you to support Public Education and teachers.

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