Native Americans give no thanks for Columbus’ legacy of destruction and neither should we

picture from One Cut video
Screen shot from One Word – Episode 25: Christopher Columbus invited Native Americans to free-associate one word with Columbus. They got fabulous responses worked into a short video, which made me feel very thoughtful.

Although American schoolchildren do learn about the destruction Columbus brought to our land and the First Nation people who were already living here, we are also taught to idolize both the destroyer and the destruction Columbus initiated. Which means that from a very young age, our schools are teaching children to idolize cruelty, thievery, genocide and to value the monetization of natural resources. Resources which – when left intact or at least, used sustainably – remain treasures of Mother Earth with the power to nurture and allow us to live surrounded by beauty, in comfort. read more

Philly is closing down public schools – and building jails

chained door

Why Philly schools are in crisis

Yes, it’s true Philadelphia schools are in crisis, one so severe the district is scheduled to be completely shut down in two years. Salon tells us

To be clear, the schools are in crisis because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refuses to fund them adequately. The state Constitution mandates that the Legislature “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education,” but that language appears to be considered some kind of sick joke at the state capital in Harrisburg. read more

A real teacher resigns in protest – on camera

This 2nd grade teacher chose to give up his $70,000 job – “with benefits” – and tutor Connecticut students for free rather than continue fighting the school system over new practices which he is sure are preventing students from acquiring a love of learning. What were the problems he encountered? Breakfast period, recess and talking during lunch time were eliminated. Teaching was required to focus only on test scores and, “any type of fun activity – is gone:” classroom pets, parties to celebrate special events and birthdays, field trips . . . “all gone, gone, gone.” The school system even prohibited Mr. Steven Round from volunteering his personal time after school to help nine dyslexic pupils learn to read, an initiative which was working tremendously well for the students and had enthusiastic support from parents. read more