Monthly Archives: March 2016

Learning From Politics: 5 Actions to Help Students Embrace Civility

(Thanks to Education Week and Nancy Willard.  — Mike Tully, Editor)

Young people have been witnessing a horrifying display of lack of civility by some who seek the highest position in the U.S. Government. Too often, reporters refer to the displays of coarse and prejudiced behavior as “childish.” This reference is demeaning. The overwhelming majority of young people do not engage in similar behavior.

And they certainly do not admire those who do.

The displays of lack of civility by some running for public office provide a “teachable moment” to better understand underlying features of what is sometimes called “bullying.” Note that most often those who engage in such hurtful behavior are the strong and powerful–who are being hurtful to achieve social dominance. This is ethological-based behavior–animal-like aggression to achieve dominance (although many animals are more civil). The two general targets of such aggression are those who are different, who are cast as “deviant,” and rivals for power.

Educators are expressing increasing concerns about the harmful impact of such lack of civility on our young people. How can we help to empower young people can embrace civility and foster positive relations?

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Don’t Grade Schools on Grit

Philadelphia — THE Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once observed, “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

Evidence has now accumulated in support of King’s proposition: Attributes like self-control predict children’s success in school and beyond. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a groundswell of popular interest in character development.

As a social scientist researching the importance of character, I was heartened. It seemed that the narrow focus on standardized achievement test scores from the years I taught in public schools was giving way to a broader, more enlightened perspective.

These days, however, I worry I’ve contributed, inadvertently, to an idea I vigorously oppose:

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Mounties have moved on from harassment and bullying says RCMP boss

OTTAWA — Canada’s top Mountie told the federal government last spring the RCMP had “moved beyond” internal issues of harassment and bullying through “concrete actions” that had fostered a more respectful workplace, newly disclosed records show.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson advised Steven Blaney, public safety minister at the time, that the problems had taken up a great deal of time and energy since he took the helm of the national police force three-and-a-half years earlier.

“I am pleased to report that we have worked hard to understand the challenges, implement measures to improve our culture, and establish a system in which destructive or discriminatory behaviours are not tolerated,” says Paulson’s May letter, released under the Access to Information Act.

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Exclusive: Data Shows 3 of the 5 Biggest School Districts Hire More Security Officers Than Counselors

School security officers outnumber counselors in four out of the 10 largest public school districts in the country —  including three of the top five — according to data obtained by The 74.

New York City, Chicago, Miami-Dade County, and Houston schools all employ more security staff than counselors. New York City, Chicago and Miami-Dade are all among the nation’s five biggest school districts.

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Cruz Control of U.S. Muslims

(Thanks to Warren Blumenfeld.  — Mike Tully, Editor)

In his attempt to out-Trump Donald Trump’s demands “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Texas Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz has upped the ante by calling on national and local law enforcement agencies and other security forces “to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”

Though Cruz did not fully address Constitutional issues nor ease concerns regarding the inflammatory and clearly discriminatory nature of this racial profiling, he defended his scheme saying that this strategy has proven effective in the past in reducing urban gang violence “to get the gang members off the street.”

But this anti-Muslim rhetoric is nothing new for Ted Cruz who has also asserted an alleged conspiracy in which some Muslims are attempting to impose Sharia law in our country. He proclaimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the U.S.

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