Cover, July 9: “Core Tragedy”
Decrying the Uniform
You are among the first to clearly and succinctly lay out the real problem with all standardized testing: Its sole purpose is to make money for the text and textbook companies. Well, that and to make politicians look like they are holding schools "accountable," which is one of the biggest hoaxes of the century.
For all those weeping and moaning about Common Core, remember that the standards are actually well-written and encourage teachers and students to look for deeper and bigger ideas in their teaching and learning. The problem comes when you attempt to fit every student in the country into a single standardized mold. That's not human.
Learning, as Sir Ken Robinson says, is not linear. It's organic. Life is not linear, but organic. To attempt to draw a straight line through the learning process and make everyone adhere to it is developmentally impossible and logically indefensible. Great job drawing people's attention, once again, to the money. It's all about the money.
A sad state of education for our children, the lining of others' pockets with our children's future. The best way to end this mess is for parents to opt out of all these tests, especially for our younger children. It will only make them tired and indifferent to testing.
One Size Fits No One
The "hoopla" surrounding the Common Core State Standards is a tangled web of deception. The standards were not reviewed by any professional educators from our state before we signed on to them. In fact, they were not even written when New Mexico signed on to them. So how exactly did our state know they were going to be good for our kids? They didn't. I do not disagree with standards. I disagree with anything being pushed upon our states without proper review by education professionals from the state and local levels who know what is best for our kids in New Mexico.
Cover, July 2: “Fires, Beatings and Oh Yes, Voting”
We Are Legion
FYI, there were at least two other folks now living in Northern New Mexico who participated in the Freedom Summer of 1964: Donna Howell now with KSFR, and Larry Archibald of Santa Fe (that looks like Larry perched on the mailbox in the first photo). It was indeed a life-changing experience. After returning to New Mexico from Mississippi, I dove for cover for about six months every time I saw or heard a cop car. Look magazine did a feature article on me (Sept. '64) that led to a national speaking tour. I believed in what I said, but what I learned on that tour was more life-changing than the Mississippi experience itself: I could have told the audiences anything, and they would have believed me—the tone of the times, coupled with the gullibility of most folks when listening to anyone with a modicum of charisma and the ability to "speechify" made this so to a scary degree. That was the end of my political activism and the beginning of my huge distrust of rhetoric, printed or spoken. As a footnote, most of us "no-good, dirty, commie, hippie, outside agitators" who went South that summer did very well for ourselves in later years, becoming doctors, lawyers, publishers, teachers and heads of worthwhile nonprofit organizations. In the several books that revisited the Freedom Summer, I don't think this was ever pointed out.
Linda Seese was also interviewed for an exceptionally good historical novel on Freedom Summer by William Heath titled, The Children Bob Moses Led. I recommend it highly!
I grew up with Linda Seese as my next door neighbor, and what a fabulous, meaningful life she has lived. Her mother worked as secretary in my fathers business, and I always remember her as a true Christian. I am an agnostic myself, but Linda's mom exemplified what a Christian should be. I admired her. The whole family was that way. Thank you, Linda, for your service to humanity.
Opera, July 2: “Sex, Drugs and Videotape”
Shallow, My Foot
The "pull quote" in the review of Carmen is eye-catching, but a cheap shot at an innovative production that makes an "old warhorse" relevant and alive. Daniela Mack portrays Carmen in a very alluring manner and is supported by an exciting and talented cast and chorus. It is a night that makes for great theater, satisfying at both musical and dramatic levels. Shallow is a word that never entered my mind in the three performances I have seen so far.
News, July 2: “SFR v. the Gov”
It should be obvious why Gov. Martinez' lawyers are advancing dubious constitutional arguments to prevent the release of many documents required by the Inspection of Public Records Act. These are simply delaying tactics to avoid releasing the documents before the election. After November, it won't make as much difference, unless she plans to run for national office. That's when all of this will come back to haunt her.
Briefs, July 2: “Gadfly Swatted”
Here is the sequence of events: We were delivered a letter requiring merchandise in the hall be removed within six days. This seemed unfair, so I started talking with Gerald Peters' lawyer. The next day, I searched Bing Images and came to Mugshots.com, which showed Joaquin Sanchez' mugshots. At 3:45, I gave a copy to the head security guard. Within one hour, Sanchez and the property manager arrived. Sanchez angrily stated that I was "slandering" him and stated that I would be evicted the next day and to "start packing."
The time frame is very retaliatory. The next day he delivered a letter saying my month-to-month lease would end July 30. Two hours later, Jerry's lawyer called to say Peters apologized, that they had no knowledge of any of these actions. I later got another letter giving me a mere 30-day extension. I believe there is still a way to resolve any matters without asking a court for injunctive relief from a retaliatory tort eviction. The next relevant discussions will determine whether this will be possible.
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