Lefty Parent

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Circle of equals

Posts Tagged ‘election’

Thoughts on the Election & Human Progress

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

My “ministry” is all about celebrating and championing human development at an individual and societal level. A key thread in that development (at both the individual and societal level) is our society’s transition from hierarchies of control towards circles of equals. So in that regard, what light (if any) does the recent election shed on our path forward?

I’m a lover of lists, and here is my list of the areas of this transition that continue to be of most interest to me…

1. The engagement between youth and adults – With women emerging more and more as partners to men around the world, young people remain the world’s last human “chattel”, often beyond the reach of full human rights even in a democratic country like the U.S. At issue is the liberation of this group of people, that many still diminish as mere “children”.

2. Human development – While more and more we acknowledge this as a lifelong process, we still generally constrain that development, particularly among our young people, by prescribing and proscribing what they can learn in school, while minimizing the possibility for informal self-directed learning outside of a formal teacher-led classroom.

3. The engagement between men and women – The most profound divide between people that bifurcates every societal institution from the intimate family to macroeconomics, and plays out with the related issue of sexual orientation, all still juiced with masculine/feminine mythology.

4. The engagement between white people and people of color – Our greatest source still of “us and them” thinking based on a siege mentality still prevalent among many people. Acknowledging that racial privilege still exists while trying to move to a more egalitarian society is a continuing difficult challenge.

5. The levels of governance – The degrees of separation between the decision-makers and the people impacted by those decisions. The truest quantifiable indicator of the overall transition from hierarchies of control to a circle of equals. Also the degree of “one dollar one vote” plutocracy versus “one person one vote” democracy.

So here’s my take based on the gestalt of the election where we are at in these six areas, respectfully though perhaps provocatively put forward hoping to spur discussion.

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Let’s Have a Real Discussion about Education Policy

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Back in August President Obama gave a speech about education policy at Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas. Here’s a snippet posted in a blog piece

Education should not be a Democratic or a Republican issue. It’s an American issue. It’s about what’s best for our kids. And I haven’t just talked the talk, I’ve walked the walk on this. Over the past four years, we’ve broken through the traditional stalemate that used to exist between the left and the right, between conservatives and liberals. We launched a national competition to improve all our schools. We put more money into it, but we also demanded reform. We want teachers to be paid better and treated like the professionals that they are. But we’re also demanding more accountability, including the ability of school districts to replace teachers that aren’t cutting it.

If you unpack this paragraph from his speech there is so much context underneath that bears further discussion and much of which I find particularly frustrating.

First of all, why shouldn’t education be a political issue? Isn’t the whole point of having a democracy to use it to bring a range of thinking to the table and continually find an ever-evolving consensus (or at least a working majority) to evolve our society and its institutions? What if he said, “Economic policy should not be a political issue, it’s about what’s best for the country”, would people accept that as well? Taking this argument to its logical end point, why have a political process at all?

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