"Dedicated to the premise that no matter what 'experts' say, trends in Education really are fleeting; and that the ONLY goal of all school employees should be to work with parents to help their students become better people in June than they were in September."
We know of many variables that help children learn to read. But well-designed peer-reviewed research continues to be ignored when it comes to these variables. At the same time, states and school districts continue to promote destructive school policies. We know such policies fail. So, why are they still being used? Here’s why some children […]
When the founders of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 considered whether America should let the people elect their president through a popular vote, James Madison said that “Negroes” in the South presented a “difficulty … of a serious nature.”
During that same speech on Thursday, July 19, Madison instead proposed a prototype for the same Electoral College system the country uses today. Each state has a number of electoral votes roughly proportioned to population and the candidate who wins the majority of votes wins the election.
Since then, the Electoral College system has cost four candidates the race after they received the popular vote — most recently in 2000, when Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. Such anomalies and other criticisms have pushed 10 Democratic states to enroll in a popular vote system. And while there are many grievances about the Electoral College, one that’s rarely addressed is one dug up by an academic of the Constitution: that it was created to protect slavery, planting the roots of a system that’s still oppressive today.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Paul Finkelman, visiting law professor at University of Saskatchewan in Canada. “I think if most Americans knew what the origins of the Electoral College is, they would be disgusted.”
Madison, now known as the “Father of the Constitution,” was a slave-owner in Virginia, which at the time was the most populous of the 13 states if the count included slaves, who comprised about 40 percent of its population.
During that key speech at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Madison said that with a popular vote, the Southern states, “could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.”
Madison knew that the North would outnumber the South, despite there being more than half a million slaves in the South who were their economic vitality, but could not vote. His proposition for the Electoral College included the “three-fifths compromise,” where black people could be counted as three-fifths of a person, instead of a whole. This clause garnered the state 12 out of 91 electoral votes, more than a quarter of what a president needed to win.
Ohio is in the midst of a big fight about the state takeover of its lowest scoring school districts. If a school district gets an “F” grade for three years running on the state’s school district report card, the state takes over the district under House Bill 70 and appoints an Academic Distress Commission, which appoints a CEO. The CEO, with almost complete control of the district, can fire and hire at will. He or she is supposed to turn around the district. The community continues to elect a school board, but the elected school board has no power.
Youngstown and Lorain, the two school districts taken over three years ago, are still earning “F” ratings. Today in Lorain, there is a state of emergency because the community has entirely lost confidence in the CEO, David Hardy. He has arrogantly refused to bring his family to live in the school…
"That all citizens will be given an equal start through a sound education is one of the most basic, promised rights of our democracy. Our chronic refusal as a nation to guarantee that right for all children.... is rooted in a kind of moral blindness, or at least a failure of moral imagination.... It is a failure which threatens our future as a nation of citizens called to a common purpose... tied to one another by a common bond." —Senator Paul Wellstone --- March 31, 2000