This is why (click to read article) despite contributing to his campaign and voting proudly for Barack Obama, I have trouble sleeping at night in anticipation of his education policies.

The only times I’ve heard Obama speak about education, he has called for merit pay, increased accountability, praised D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (check out this fine article about her) In other words, President-Elect Obama (unless I am proven wrong) believes the same BS that drove NCLB and many of the other bad ideas oppressing children and teachers.

Here is an idea for President-Elect Obama…

The $29,000 per year Sidwell Friends School is a fine learning environment and institution with a proud history of excellence. His daughters will be very happy there.

President and First Lady Obama should study everything done at Sidwell Friends School and copy it in every school across America. If it’s good enough for his daughters, it’s good enough for the children they are leaving behind.

Here is a most stunning principle of the school the Obama children and Biden grandchildren will be attending:

(from Wikipedia) The school does not rank its students, as this conflicts with the Quaker Testimony of Equality.

What? Not ranking students??? No winners or losers? No AYP? Where is the accountability in that?

Perhaps there are other ways of identifying educational accomplishment?

You wouldn’t think so if you listened to President-elect Obama speak about public education.

Post your thoughts to this article please:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/21/kinsley-warns-of-coming-b_n_145515.html

Sent from my iPhone

Greetings from Qatar!

My entire “Learning and TechnologyOnline Master of Arts in Educational Technology class at Pepperdine University collaborated online to create a web site promoting the One Laptop Per Child Foundation’s Give One, Get One promotion in which Americans pay $398 and get an XO laptop computer (known as the $100 computer) and a child in the developing world gets one as well. Donors also receive a $199 tax deduction. This special offer runs between today and December 31st.

This learning adventure embraced by students was an opportunity for them to develop technological, project-management and advocacy skills, in addition to making the learning case for G1G1. It was gratifying to receive email messages from students thanking me for the assignment. Having a sense of purpose makes learning more meaningful.

Check out result of the students’ efforts at the following URL:

http://www.laptops4kids.net/

The OLPC Mission

The XO Computer

The Unique XO Interface

Superbowl MVP Tom Brady on the G1G1

I’m about to hit the three capitals of the world – Richmond Hill, Ontario, Doha and Rochester, NY.

Just landed in Toronto to keynote the annual ECOO Conference again where I’ll be doing my new keynote “The Best Education Ideas in the World,” plus another session – “What to Do a Year After You Got Excited About Technology” and a conversation/Q&A with my old friend Peter Skillen. I hope some of this will make it online.

Friday night I fly to Qatar to work at Qatar Academy for a week before returning to be the closing keynote again at NYSCATE, one of my favorite events of the year. After Thanksgiving in my ancestral homeland, New Jersey, I’ll be dong some PD in Brooklyn.

Read this terrific story about how a young Barack Obama helped a stranger 20 years ago.

C’mon Patriots!

Starbucks is giving a free cup of coffee to American voters.

Get your free cuppa and then get back in line for more! It’s the patriotic thing to do!

I’m pleased to announce Stager’s Electoral Coffee Challenge.

The person who produces a web site proffering evidence of the most free Starbucks snagged for free on election day will receive a $20 Starbucks gift card courtesy of Comrade Stager.

Deadline midnight Pacific Time November 4th. One winner will be selected by yours truly.

Don’t just sit there! Go get your hanging chad caffeinated!


Elections are a crazy affair in the people’s Republic of California where republican democracy has been nearing extinction ever since Proposition 13 was passed in 1977 ensuring that no matter the needs of your neighbor, you will never be asked to reach into your pocket again. It’s great to be an educator in a state where the populace has had its most selfish inclinations codified in law.

Voters here in California are besieged by initiatives and referenda since any kook with a clipboard and a willingness to collect signatures outside of the Supercuts can attempt to circumvent the legislature and write new laws. Why elect senators, assembly members or a Governor when Melrose Larry can write laws, even if they will be challenged in court for decades only to be ruled unconstitutional.

In addition to state wide initiatives, there are all sorts of local ones too. That’s why the the California Voter Guide is larger, more confusing and less yummy than a menu from the Cheesecake Factory. At least at the Cheesecake Factory you don’t tell the waiter, “No, I don’t want the Tex-Mex Eggrolls,” when you do want this multicultural taste sensation. A “yes” vote often means, “no,” and a “no” vote may mean, “Yes, I would love an order of fried macaroni and cheese.”

So, on the November 4th Californians will face a number of confusing ballot initiatives heavily funded with special interest money.

Proposition 2 is designed to “fight animal cruelty” by requiring more room for chickens and pigs to move within their enclosures. It turns out that this issue isn’t as clear cut as you might think. (arguments against may be found here)

On the very same ballot is Proposition 8. This proposition, referred to by its proponents as “protection of marriage,” is intended to outlaw same-sex marriage in California. A year or so ago, the Supreme Court of California found that it was unconstitutional to deprive gay couples of the same rights afforded heterosexual couples. This has no cost to taxpayers and has not caused the earth to stop spinning.

In fact, much of the Yes on 8 campaign (complete with their Obama-like web site), has reduced its argument to a hysterical concern for “our children.” In the twisted world of these mean-spirited bigots, children are threatened by knowledge that gay people exist. Many of the commercials obsess over the possibility that teachers will read fairy tales about boys kissing – ironic since in non-election years, many of the same people attempt to ban fairy tales entirely because they feature fantasy and magic. Besides, California’s reactionary curriculum and the Federal No Child Left Behind Act killed any interest in reading long ago.

Governor Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Jerry Brown, Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, Senator Biden and Barack Obama oppose Proposition 8. If passed, and I fear it may (for the children – wahhh), the act will be challenged in court for many years and inflict unnecessary hardship on Americans who wish to quietly enjoy their lives as fully-enfranchised citizens.

Aren’t California’s consenting adults entitled to the same rights, dignity and freedom as chickens?

When you vote, appeal to your better angels. Vote for hope and change, not discrimination.

Vote NO on Proposition 8!

This web site offers a concise and clear tutorial on how to download web videos and even burn them to a DVD using Real Player.

These instructions are most useful for Windows users, but should work on the Mac too.