|April 27, 2007|
|American Idol or American Idle?|
Posted at 11:11 PM by Will Marre
American Dream Project on Moral Imagination.pdf
This week American Idol gave back. Nearly 30 million American?s watched stories of poverty and disease and heard a plea for help. Yes, there were the stories of unbelievable suffering in Africa, but did you see the incredible poverty and pain related through stories of crime ridden ?trailer ghettos? filled with Hurricane Katrina victims, illiterate mothers and obese children in Kentucky, and a single mom working three jobs in Los Angeles only to have her 8-year old weep from the stress of getting the bills paid?
What I?ve learned from talking to thousands of Americans is that what goes through viewers? minds when seeing these stories varies from compassion to blame. It seems most of us think this way: if something bad is happening to a family member, a friend, or us it is a crisis. If it is happening to some one like us, it?s a problem. If it?s happening to someone we view as unlike us, it?s his or her fault. Deal with it.
After Katrina, I was blogging about the sorry state of leadership when lots of angry people replied that most of the victims were lazy, no damn-good whiners who should know how to take care of themselves. This was not the view of a few. Is this what our culture has become?
In our personal quest for more and the competitive energy of our economy, have we lost our moral imagination? We don?t have to.
Click Here to read the entire article: American Dream Project on Moral Imagination.pdf
|Posted in ADP Diary,Lifestyle,Community,Education,Leadership | POST COMMENT | # OF COMMENTS(3)|
|April 01, 2007|
|What are we teaching our children?|
Posted at 12:00 PM by Will Marre
What Are We Teaching Our Children?
The educational question of the century is, ?Are we even teaching the right things?? Daniel Goleman?s research on emotional intelligence confirms that high IQ has a low correlation to high life success. (Goleman, Daniel. (2005). Emotional intelligence. Bantam Publishing.The most important factors in life are not as much mental as emotional. Emotional Intelligence includes :
Self-Awareness ? Knowledge about our personal strengths and weaknesses and our impact on others.
Self Control ? Trustworthiness, responsibility, and impulse control.
Goal Achievement ? Willingness to sustain creative efforts to achieve worthwhile goals.
Empathy ? Awareness of, and caring about, others? needs, feelings and concerns.
Social Wisdom ? Ability to influence, negotiate, communicate, collaborate and form lasting bonds.
These skills are not controversial. They are not part of a religious or political agenda. The research validating their essential utility is overwhelming. These skills are the common sense equipment any parent would want their children to have. They are fundamental to a successful, happy individual life and a high-functioning society.
But millions of our children are not learning these skills or gaining emotional maturity. In many homes, these skills are neither taught nor modeled. This is not just an inner city problem. In lots of middle class homes, family life has disintegrated to community living arrangements. Parents are little more than roommates living high-speed, separate lives while their children live in entertainment-saturated luxury suites, isolated from adults, operating with digital identities and running with their tribal peer groups.
We?ve reached a critical mass. For society to work, we must institutionally teach emotional intelligence to our children. Only then will they have the self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline, and selfless motivations to be high-functioning humans. There is no mystery about how to teach these skills. We know how. We just have to want to.
|Posted in ADP Diary,Education | POST COMMENT | # OF COMMENTS(0)|
|March 29, 2007|
|From First to Worst...The Quality of Our Education System|
Posted at 07:26 PM by Will Marre
From First to Worst?The Quality of Our Education System
PART 1 of 2
The quality of our world?s future depends on the quality of education.
In the 21st century, there is nothing more important to individual opportunity and societies well being then education. In a free society, a self-governing society, education is essential. At a time when traditional jobs are disappearing into a raging sea of globalism and computerization, and when new jobs are being invented faster than the Labor Department can slap names on them, education is crucial. In an age when our leaders seem to have lost their common sense and, increasingly, their common decency; when the New Deal has become No Deal; and when the shining city on the hill is only shining because the lights of a new casino are on, education is the make-or-break factor of our future.
And, we are broken.
Only 25 years ago we were ranked number one in the world in education, today we?re 18th. (Behind Poland) (CBS News, Poor Marks for U.S. Education System) We spend more than $500 billion a year on K-12 grade education. And what do we get for our money? You know the answer. Our primary school education system is so broken and so bureaucratized that America?s fastest growing schools are home schools. Perhaps we should not be surprised at the quality of education we get with chronically low paid teachers who often have to buy school supplies for their students. It?s hard for teachers to concentrate when 40% of them are thinking of quitting because of threats of violence. And ?Leaving no child behind? is a joke because the money your school receives is based mostly on the property values of the neighborhood it?s in.
For example, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just one of the city's 12 high schools made "adequate yearly progress" last year under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Of Albuquerque's 128 public schools, only 47 met the standard, according to the state Public Education Department. There is also rising frustration and desperation over poor student achievement, crumbling buildings, bureaucratic wrangling among school officials and revolving-door superintendents. (USA TODAY, More Mayors Move to Take Over Schools)
So what?s going on? Education, with its half trillion-dollar budget is simply a bureaucracy stumbling around, wrestling in its own underwear. Teacher unions, administrators and politicians all want more money. And maybe they should get some, but not without a proven plan.
For starters, most school districts spend nearly 40% of their budget on administration and overhead. If we could only cut that down to 35% we could hire 350,000 more teachers. 350,000 more! Today!
But beyond just hiring more teachers, we already know what works. We?ve got plenty of examples. All across our country there are brilliant administrators and dedicated teachers who create schools of unexpected excellence. What they seem to have in common is a whole person commitment to each student. Teachers and administrators who actually care about kids and aren?t afraid to show it. Discipline, standards, inspiration, expectations and consequences are critical. And where there is little parental support, mentors, interns and extended school hours, even Saturday field trips, can make a difference.
The answers are right in front of us. It?s no big mystery. What?s missing is leadership. The will to change things.
|Posted in ADP Diary,Education | POST COMMENT | # OF COMMENTS(0)|
|February 21, 2007|
Posted at 01:52 PM by Nick Francis
I was at the University of San Diego for a business meeting yesterday trying to get help from the business club with promoting the mydreammatters campaign. I was amazed to see how willingly the students stepped forward with ideas and desire to get involved! All I had to do was present the goals the American Dream Project wanted to accomplish, and the students just started firing ideas. The ideas they presented ranged from having the RA's gather those in the dorms to meet with me and film their dreams, to working along side with some local radio stations who have other college based campaigns. It was incredible. We are very lucky to have such dedicated and visionary students helping us with our campaign.
|Posted in Education | POST COMMENT | # OF COMMENTS(0)|