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Bill Sweetland
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Blog Entries by Bill Sweetland

Education in Chicago: Reader, What Would You Do?

Posted March 16, 2010 | 00:57:14 (EST)

(Three weeks ago, in the Chicago Tribune for February 24, 2010, reporter Pam DeFiglio recounted her visit to an inner-city fifth-grade classroom at Spencer Technology Academy on the West Side of Chicago. In her story, she described the school day of a first-year teacher, a young woman I...

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Education in Chicago: Mr. Secretary: Quo Vadis?

Posted March 9, 2010 | 17:18:01 (EST)

In 1959, Jacques Barzun, the most perceptive 20th-century observer of American schooling, declared in The House of Intellect that to change any part of our pedagogy, "more will than we have ever used about 'education' is needed to make the least of our hopes into a deed."

...
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Why Is This Man Secretary of Education?

Posted February 15, 2010 | 10:20:26 (EST)

I read with astonishment and dismay Arne Duncan's essay, "Let's Clean Up College Basketball and Football," in The Huffington Post on January 16.

We have a right to expect better from the Secretary of Education. The educational leader of our country should never be an apologist for the...

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Education in Chicago: Reason to Cheer: Common Sense About Schools From Thinking Observers

Posted September 16, 2009 | 16:07:45 (EST)

An attentive reader who's followed this blog since last May might be excused for believing that I'm only interested in carping, criticizing, and sneakily painting a flattering portrait of myself as a person superior to the incompetents who people my columns.

'Tain't so.

(Of course, I'm miles ahead...

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Education in Chicago: Thank God We're Not Texans!

Posted September 4, 2009 | 18:54:20 (EST)

Readers, today you and I get to rejoice like pharisees, because however silly, misguided, and stupid our opinions and actions regarding our schools may be, at least we ain't as bad as them Texans.

I call your attention to an article that recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal....

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Education in Chicago: Binge Drinking Reveals a Desperate Boredom With College

Posted August 13, 2009 | 21:23:59 (EST)

Before I state my opinions on why college students by the millions drink themselves into insensibility four nights of every week, I'm going to give the reader who may know nothing of this subject a little recent history.

For some reason that escapes me, the big metropolitan dailies in this...

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Education in Chicago: Why School Reform Won't Happen

Posted July 29, 2009 | 18:12:28 (EST)

At the end of my last blog, I said that in my next post I would show why so-called "school reform" has become another empty abstraction, a slogan for politicians. I said I would demonstrate why there is no chance that real school reform will ever happen in Chicago....

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Education in Chicago: Chicago Public Schools Have Improved? Baloney!

Posted July 6, 2009 | 21:44:04 (EST)

The latest education report ("Still Left Behind: Student Learning in Chicago's Public Schools," June, 2009) of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago prompted me to think: What if these crude, vulgar businessmen and lawyers who live in the suburbs, hampered and blinkered as they are...

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Education in Chicago: Our Sports Madness Puts Tens of Thousands of Child Athletes in Danger

Posted June 25, 2009 | 14:26:12 (EST)

This just in from The New York Times (June 8, 2009): "Strict rules regarding concussions can actually leave athletes at greater risk for injury."

And by "injury" the Times means "impaired neurological function," i.e., blackouts, dizziness, vomiting, blurred vision, paralysis, permanent brain damage, and death.

An international panel of...

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Education in Chicago: Wringing The Passion Out Of Higher Learning

Posted June 17, 2009 | 20:46:52 (EST)

Two weeks ago, in the June 2 issue of the Chicago Tribune, Barbara Brotman had some excellent things to say about parental gratitude towards superior teachers of their children. In her essay, Brotman told us that this is the time of year to thank your child's teacher, formally, in...

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Education in Chicago: Thoughts on 'Clout University'

Posted June 8, 2009 | 14:51:05 (EST)

For more than a week, we've been reading articles in the Chicago Tribune about the admissions scandal at the University of Illinois.

Sunday, June 7th, a Tribune editorial writer called attention to the farce of the university administration delegating itself to pick a "task force" to investigate--itself.

In doing...

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Education in Chicago: Wayne D. Watson is the Wrong Man at the Wrong Time for Chicago State University.

Posted May 29, 2009 | 16:36:34 (EST)

Chancellor Wayne D. Watson is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a bad pick as the next president of Chicago State University.

Yes, I know he's never been indicted for corruption, or cited for nepotism or even cronyism. There's never been a hint that...

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