At present the distinction [between highbrow and lowbrow books] is certainly used to allow us the satisfaction of despising certain authors and readers without imposing on us the labour of showing that they are bad.
Stanley Fish recently made a tongue-in-cheek endorsement of Carly Fiorina for Secretary of Education. OMG! Strange bedfellows indeed -- a philosopher, detached from the real world and an entrepreneurial opportunist thoroughly immersed in it.
Take pride in your lineage? All well and fine to honor those on whose shoulders you stand. But let's not get carried away with it. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson noted, "If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.
Sooner or later, we'll just have to "bite the bullet" on the subject. A century ago, before anesthesia, it was common to give a wounded soldier a bullet to bite on in order to divert his attention from the pain of a battlefield amputation
You know there's no "I" in "team," but believe that the "care" you need can be found in your "career." Unfortunately, you're looking in the wrong place. Your career calls on you to be "careful" about your work but "careless" towards those closest to you.
Taking the lives of students seriously invariably leads to having to also take seriously the larger context in which schooling is played out. Empowering students goes hand in hand with empowering the community. That is the challenge we face today.
Yes, every classroom is different, and every school is different. It is like chasing a tigertail, trying to pin down what is wrong today. But at their heart, doesn't every school want to be a wonderful school?
If we hope to turn our schools around, we need not only great teachers, but also great principals. It's not an unreasonable premise. The school executive plays a significant factor in determining a school's fate.
Can these diagnostics be improved? Absolutely. But we are fooling ourselves if we think that students should not have any quantitative measures of identifying academic growth -- even flawed ones such as the current iterations of high-stakes testing.
Any future discussion of education cannot be pursued in isolation of a parallel discussion of national purpose. Only then can we ask which social and moral imperatives should inform the learning process -- education for whom; for what; towards what end; for what purpose?
Books inform the human intelligence and speak to us individually in quite a different way. They speak less to topical issues but to those universal in nature, providing a perspective on our life, how we live it, and our relationship to the larger culture.