In order of importance...or maybe in order of appearance...or maybe in no order at all...
1. The man who called himself the "uniter," but who was much more of a "divider" is finally out of the White House. He claims that history will be kind to him, but I can't believe that 70+% of the American people (his disapproval rating) are wrong. #43 was a disaster.
2. I agree with the new president's generalizations...
"The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.
We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do."
3. I noticed that he forgot to mention "and the rest" when he listed our religious diversity...
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. "
...however, it's with a HUGE sense of relief that he included non-believers since even non-believers are citizens.
4. Some of his appointments, most notably his choice for Secretary of Education, make me nervous. However, unlike Rush Limbaugh
who publicly announced that he hopes Obama fails as President, I hope that the new president proves my misgivings false and pushes the Department of Education towards authentic assessment, not just bubbles and DIBLES. I hope that the "change" promised includes best practices like problem solving and thinking, not just learning how to choose the best answer on a test. I hope that the era of punishing schools for the poverty of their clientelle is over.
5. I might focus on the misgivings I feel about the "politics of change," but only because things have been so horrible for so long...an 8 year nightmare of international swaggering and petty posturing has finally come to an end. Still, I remember the political disappointments of the past and while I'm hopeful that, with the end of the Bush era (please Jeb...don't do anything foolish) things will improve, I'm merely cautiously hopeful because I know that the president only represents one branch of the government. The faltering progressive majority on the Supreme Court needs to be reinforced as does the faltering progressive majority on the benches of the various Federal courts throughout the country. The progressive majority in congress is hopeful, but the Democrats proved themselves incompetent to stand up to the Bushes and the Cheneys. Do they have the brains to lead the country back from the nightmare we've just been through? Furthermore, I know that the new president is a politician...and by definition (mine at least) a politician has a tendency to tell people what they want to hear.
So, call me a cynic, but, as Ed Brayton
, one of my favorite bloggers, said while talking about being moved to tears at the inauguration,
"The common misconception is that cynics are merely cold and negative, people who always find the worst rather than the good, but the truth is that every cynic is a frustrated idealist. Only someone who holds an ideal in mind can be bothered when they see that ideal undermined and ignored."
No Child Left Behind is leaving thousands of children behind!Dismantle NCLB!Sign the petition by clicking HERE.More than 34,000 signatures so far...
I've been called an idealist...and a cynic...
(My dad called me an idealist during the late 60s, when we discussed the "issues" of the day - most notably, Capitalism and the Viet Nam War. I don't think he meant it as a compliment.)
There are a few idealists left - Alfie Kohn
, Jim Horn
and Richard Allington
to name a few of the more well known educational idealists...some masquerade as cynics, like Jerry Bracey
and Susan Ohanian
We all have been frustrated by the damage that the last 8 years has brought to the ideal of public education. So when the Promiser of Change brings in someone who has supported the damage of the last 8 years...and even worse, has contributed to it...it's disappointing to say the least.