With the reauthorization of the absurd and dysfunctional NCLB, we have a chance to once again let teachers teach and let students learn. We have a chance to ignite their imaginations, encourage them to reach their full potential, and expand their world view beyond filling in bubble tests with a #2 pencil.
History shows that liberals need radicals. We need radicals because drastic change against entrenched evil and concentrated power requires personal bravery to the point of obsession. It requires a radical sensibility to look beyond today's limits and imagine what seems sheer impossibility within the current social order. And sometimes it's necessary to break the law to redeem the Constitution. No great social change in America has occurred without radicals, beginning with the struggle to end slavery. Causes that now seem mainstream began with radical, impolite and sometimes civil disobedient protest. But here's where the story gets complicated. Radicals also need liberals. Liberals can write policy proposals to their hearts' content. But unless they are backed by radicalism on the ground, they are playing in a sandbox.
Many immigrants don't just bring their luggage with them when they come to America's shores. They also bring their determination -- and, yes, their dreams. It is the power of these dreams that will help America grow and prosper in the face of the endless challenges and opportunities our future holds.
In 1920 psychologist Edward Thorndike (1874 to 1949) coined the phrase, "The Halo Effect," which grew to define one's overall impression in his or her life --- of a person, a leader, a product, of absolutely anything -- as experienced only positively, with any neutral, conflicting or negative thoughts completely ruled out.