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    Is Gay the New Black?


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:44:44 AM EDT

    Is Gay the New Black?

    © copyright 2013 Betsy L. Angert BeThink
    June 27, 2013

    Dearest Rachel...

    It is me, Betsy. I am writing to say Congratulations to you and all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans.  It has been a great week for all our LBGT brethren. Sadly, it is a little less so for those whose complexion is Black or Brown.  What or who am I kidding? It has been an awful week for America as a whole.  Once again, we have done as we did since the day of our founding; we denied our brothers and sisters equal rights.  I hope you understand that while I too think anytime rights are afforded to an individual or group it is a good time, a time to celebrate, this week I cannot. Indeed, I do not see a day when I will reflect on this Court's rulings and be ready, willing, and able to rejoice.

    Affirmative Action lost.  The inalienable right to cast a ballot for your Representatives, gone!  It was not that either of these laws, in practice, ever brought about equality, but a girl can dream.  I had hope.  Now, I do not.  Today, my heart broken, I can only reflect on the old adage; if my brother is poor or in pain then so too am I.  John Donne spoke for me when he said "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

    I am unsure if you are with me Rachel.  I listened to your review of the week and felt confused.  Therefore I ask.  On Thursday, June 27, 2013, you spoke of the angst yourself. You recounted the woe millions of California voters expressed on election night 2008. First there was elation; the first Black man was elected President of the United States.   It seemed we had arrived. It was as you exclaimed. a "civil rights milestone." People took to the streets and danced.  Corks were popped.  Confetti fell from sky-high windows.  Then, as more ballots were tallied, a dark realization set in.  In California, marriages once declared legal would not be going forward. As you stated, "That whiplash moment, that California, alone, experienced the night 
President Obama was first elected," was devastating. Perhaps, the man in the video clip you played this Thursday evening said it best for the LBGT community.

    "In 2008 when we elected the first African-American 
president, it was a glorious day, but later that night it was a horrible night when the returns for Prop 8 came in saying that we were going to be 
treated as second-class citizens, and we just could not fathom being 
treated like that anymore."
    Therein lies the difference Rachel, one of many that I see.  People of color can fathom being treated like scum.  Granted persons in the LBGT community can too.! That said, the two experiences are not one.  The color of our skin cannot be camouflaged. Sexual orientation is perhaps but a subtle "clue."  In other words, Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders come out of the closet.  Blacks and Browns are more likely to be invited into the [water] closet to clean the mess white persons' leave behind.  Caucasians can be so cruel, as can those of a certain socio-economic "class."  I guess anyone can be.
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    Schools and Safety; What We Do When We Deny


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 15:00:00 PM EDT

    School and Safety; What We Do When We Deny

    © copyright 2013 Betsy L. Angert empathyeducates

    Look to the left. Look to the "right." In respect to education each side is willing to talk about sensitive subjects. Granted the two sides differ in respect to the specifics and the solutions.  Nevertheless, either or each will dive deeply into a dialogue.  

    In reference to the subject of Common Core, the Left and Right cannot get enough.  Many Republicans and Democrats want nothing to do with Federally imposed curriculum restrictions and requirements.  "Teacher Professionalism," each embraces the topic, although again their values and views vary. But publicly state that Black and Brown persons do not feel safe in their neighborhoods and that this veracity has a profound effect on education and people will come after you!

    The politically astute and apathetically proud alike, pounce when asked to ponder the problem of urban violence and its affect on parents and children in the community.  Cyber-bullying and bullying in general are constructs we can discuss.  But speak of the unspeakable and people will likely proclaim that you are being unjustly punitive, politically incorrect, or in short, you are a racist.   "Shhh" they say.  Let us not talk about that.  Other subjects, yes.  We can discuss those, but not how anxious an inner city resident feels when in their own home or community.  Instead, let us talk about Common Core, bad teachers, and great ones.  Those topics are fine; even favorites amongst the education elite. But how fragile life is for the Black and Brown persons who fear crime in their communities? Many say: let's not go there - literally or metaphorically. The effects of crime on the psyches of children of color, and its impact on education, are rarely discussed.

    Let's not go there intellectually either, or at least not in any great depth. Skating along the surface will suffice.  Academics admittedly do not wish to tempt the fate that of the Moynihan Report [1965] on the Black family.  The mainstream too is timid.  On occasion, the Press will dip their toes in the waters of awareness.  Indeed, in recent months and in the last few years nationally Broadcasters gently touch that tender topic of "violence on our streets." However, mostly these stories feature tales of mass carnage - the shootings in Tucson, Aurora, Milwaukee, and more recently Newtown, a white suburban Connecticut community, but none of these approach that dreaded third rail, violence in Black and Brown communities and its effect on education.  

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    Stop and Frisk the Research!


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

    Stop and Frisk the Research!

    By Betsy L. Angert empathyeducates

    Mayor Bloomberg, your supporters, Attorney General Eric Holder, Mister President, the Justice Department, and all you other big city Mayors that think stop-and-frisk is fine please, sit down. Take a break. Stop and Think!   Breathe deeply and ask yourselves; is it not time to stop weighing Constitutionality and think psychology.  If pondering the science is a bit too weighty, please consider our children!  Our young men and yes, young women need to be seen not for the color of their skin, but for the color of their character!

    If it is a challenge to see the beauty that is other than skin deep when people are out on the street, then contemplate the cash.  Juvenile Incarceration is costly; $5 billion to confine and house young offenders in "confinement" facilities despite evidence that shows alternative in-home or community-based programs can deliver equal or better results for a fraction of the cost.  As stated in the Annie E. Casey report "Juvenile correctional facilities do not reduce future offending." These dollars might have been spent on education and could be if we choose to stop-and-think, read the research, or reflect.

    Put yourself in the place of a young Black or Brown teen or remember when you were young.  When walking with friends down the boulevard, did adults look at you cautiously?  Did people step aside or cross the street as though they hoped to escape an altercation? When in a store did management follow you, even if only with their eyes?  Oh, it happens to white teens too.  When you are youthful you are fruitful in the sense that you are ripe for victimization.  If you are a young adult of color, watch out.  Consider the circumstances of a Community College student, Nicholas K. Peart, 23.

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    Stop and Frisk the Research!


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

    Stop and Frisk the Research!

    By Betsy L. Angert empathyeducates

    Mayor Bloomberg, your supporters, Attorney General Eric Holder, Mister President, the Justice Department, and all you other big city Mayors that think stop-and-frisk is fine please, sit down. Take a break. Stop and Think!   Breathe deeply and ask yourselves; is it not time to stop weighing Constitutionality and think psychology.  If pondering the science is a bit too weighty, please consider our children!  Our young men and yes, young women need to be seen not for the color of their skin, but for the color of their character!

    If it is a challenge to see the beauty that is other than skin deep when people are out on the street, then contemplate the cash.  Juvenile Incarceration is costly; $5 billion to confine and house young offenders in "confinement" facilities despite evidence that shows alternative in-home or community-based programs can deliver equal or better results for a fraction of the cost.  As stated in the Annie E. Casey report "Juvenile correctional facilities do not reduce future offending." These dollars might have been spent on education and could be if we choose to stop-and-think, read the research, or reflect.

    Put yourself in the place of a young Black or Brown teen or remember when you were young.  When walking with friends down the boulevard, did adults look at you cautiously?  Did people step aside or cross the street as though they hoped to escape an altercation? When in a store did management follow you, even if only with their eyes?  Oh, it happens to white teens too.  When you are youthful you are fruitful in the sense that you are ripe for victimization.  If you are a young adult of color, watch out.  Consider the circumstances of a Community College student, Nicholas K. Peart, 23.

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    Gentrification. Segregation. Poverty. And Education


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

    © copyight 2013 Betsy L. Angert BeThink

    In 2013 the issue of poverty is pronounced.  It is the cause of great debate and much conflict.  However, the conflict is mostly in interest, self-interest.  The one interest that receives far less if any attention at all is poverty and the extent of poverty. How to effectively end it is a question that few consider.  The conventional wisdom is there is a safety-net which will care for the impoverished. The reality is there are holes in the net.  Equally significant is the notion that we, as individuals, will never be among the poor.  Actually, one in two of us already are.

    Perceptions explain why most Americans do not consider themselves poor.  The common belief held by 27% is the poor are lazy and I am not.  Forty-three percent of Americans surveyed said they believe people living in poverty can always find a job if they really want to work. At the same time, 38 percent of Americans have requested some type of help including food or financial assistance from a charity.  Thirteen [13] percent have spent a night on the streets or in a shelter.   Perceptions of Poverty counter reality. Nonetheless, these are notions we hold dear.

    Mostly mired in self-survival, people, a large percentage of whom are the low-income working poor,have little time to attend to the poverty of others.  This affects our children and their education.  Not withstanding the desire, "low-income caregivers frequently do not know the names of their children's teachers or friends. One study found that only 36 percent of low-income parents were involved in three or more school activities on a regular basis, compared with 59 percent of parents above the poverty line (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000)."  Startling as it is, for calendar year 2011 the percentage of children (persons under 18) in poverty was 21.9 percent. The total number  that same year was 16.1 million.

    This may be the truer silent and unseen majority.  When we do catch sight of the children, poor and wealthy alike, we perceive healthy, happy, bundles of joy.  Never do we imagine what we would not wish to believe exists, especially to the extent it does.

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    How America's 2-Tiered Education System and Perceptions Perpetuate Inequality


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Thu May 30, 2013 at 21:49:15 PM EDT

    © copyright 2013 Betsy L. Angert BeThink

    Income inequality raises the ire of most liberals.  At the same time, while ostensibly unaware of the veracity, these self-proclaimed Progressives are thankful for the gifts that inequity brings. Caucasians customarily receive higher wages, better health care and health care coverage.  Indeed, a pinkish person is more likely to be hired and less likely to be fired.  In the area of education, the divide cannot be more evident, that is unless we ask white persons about their careers.  Most do not realize or wish to recognize what has been their truth for all of their lifetimes. White people are privileged people. To acknowledge what is and seems so natural is to admit that one's equalitarian philosophies are not their practices.  

    The American story, or at least the one we tell ourselves is, if we work hard, beginning in school, we will achieve.  We merely need to complete our degree[s], find a job, and start a family. Every step of the way we build a foundation for a strong and stable future.  Life is good.   That is the myth that collectively, we believe.  In the United States, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. The question is considering the prevalence of poverty in America, is this true?  

    We need only look at the numbers,  and of course, our perceptions.

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    Chicago Faces 49 School Closures. Parents Speak Out


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Thu May 30, 2013 at 17:00:00 PM EDT

    Chicago Faces 49 School Closures. Parents Speak Out



    The city of Chicago is among many urban areas facing school closures as a result of budget cuts and declining student population. This has parents concerned about their kids' safety as they will have to travel farther to get to school.

    Kenwood Oakland parent Jeanette Taylor reminds us all of what school closures mean for her child, our children, and the city.  Many Moms and Dads fear as Ms Taylor does. If our youth go into neighborhoods not their own the threat of a lost education is great.  Indeed, the danger may be characterized as life or death.

    Save Our Children and Our Community Schools!

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    Voting and Learning Denied. Education and Entitlement


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 19:21:20 PM EST

    ©copyright 2013. Betsy L. Angert BeThink

    Is it fear of the darkness that dims our mind or is it the dim of our mind that is dark and damning?  No one can be sure; however we can see what occurs and ask why.  Why might Americans systematically deny rights to people of color? Why might the young, the most vulnerable among us, be victims of prey?  Indeed, why do we prejudge people at all and why is it that even the elderly cannot escape our diabolical doings?  The theories abound; answers escape us.  Nevertheless, the veracity is our truth. The right to learn and the right to vote are denied.

    We close their schools, deny them an equal and equitable education, and in 2013 we may ultimately rescind the voting rights of the few.  In January of this year, the Journey For Justice 2 Alliance met with officials in Washington, District of Columbia, to discuss the topic, education policies that discriminate.  Today, on February 27, 2013, just down the lane from the Department of Education hearing, another inquiry was held.  The Supreme Court heard the case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.  On the face of it, the argument may seem separate from the subject of school closures.  However, considering the consequences of what might be after a day of testimony,  Voting Rights Law Draws Skepticism From Justices, there is reason for concern.  Will the cycle of recrimination continue? Will we curse the darkness that is our own?  

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    Hurricane Sandy and What Heals Hurts


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 23:13:14 PM EST

    Hurricane Sandy and What Heals Hurts


    By Betsy L. Angert

    Human beings are a fascinating bunch.  We gather information through observation, and the reading of facts, figures, and formulas.  We draw inferences and deduce. Granted conversations too play a role in what we conclude; however, mostly humans rely on the readable. What we cannot see is thought less significant.  Take Hurricane Sandy for example.

    Meteorologists saw the signs.  Citizens, who merely glanced at the papers understood what was visible in print; Sharp Warnings as Hurricane Churns In. People began to do as people do when warned of an impending storm. They prepare for the worse.  Individuals and families evacuated the area.  Transit Authorities shutdown the system.  Cities and counties hunkered down.

    Now, after the tempest took its toll, young ones do as the adults had done.  An eight-grader's account looks at what appears on the surface. As do most, she too attends to material concerns.  Rarely, do we know what else to do. Society and school curriculums that reflect a standardized surface reality do not give us the critical thinking tools needed to assist persons who have experienced an emotional trauma.  Today, we have one. We have Psychological First Aid.  This relief is not as a "kit" filled with bandages, cotton balls and antiseptic; nor is a box full of funds or quick-fix tricks. No, this Aid is much like cake you bake or the casserole you might make for family or friends in distress.  Either is a gift of love.  Each opens the door for conversations that reveal feelings.  So what is this Aid?

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    SOS Rebuilds the American Dream Through Education


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:00:00 AM EDT

    SOS Rebuilds the American Dream Through Education


    By Betsy L. Angert

    Save Our Schools [SOS] is an organization devoted to fair and equitable education for all. We work to preserve and transform public education.  We are a venue for active, people-powered, grassroots education innovation.  In cyberspace and in communities throughout this country we advance solutions that bring learning back to our children, education back to public school classrooms, and policy decisions back to the students, teachers, and parents.

    SOS is dedicated to finding a better, more balanced, path for education reform in this country.  In that spirit, we propose The Equitable Education Policy Path.  We establish that public education must be an American priority. Education is a basic civil and human right.  Every child has the right to attend a high quality public school.

    "America's future will be determined by the home and the school.
    The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live."
    -Jane Addams [Public Philosopher, Sociologist, Author]

    Our initiative was born out of an overwhelming awareness that today, and for the last several decades, students and teachers have been increasingly reduced to data-points.  Humans are no longer given the opportunity to learn for more than the mere moments required to memorize facts and formulas for a battery of tests.  
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    Progress and The Power of a Plan


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 00:02:24 AM EDT

    copyright © 2012 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    Inherent within each of us is conflict.  Generally speaking, we think growth is good.  Progress is a sign of achievement.  As George Bernard Shaw so aptly articulated, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." Indeed, politically, at one time or another, persons within each Party have embraced the label, "Progressives."  Even the most entrepreneurial embolden the idea of Progress. Goldman-Sachs boldly bolsters, Progress is everyone's business."  However, while we glorify growth, we disdain it.  Most of us look back and think, "Those were the days."

    The good ole days are commonly defined as "when we were young." It might have been the 1930s, 1940s; the fifties were fine!  In earlier eras, schools were vehicles for success.  Now, these same institutions are seen and scored as failures.  Teachers were principled. Today, throughout the news we read, educators are perverse.  Our children come home and tell tales that affirm what adults have come to believe is true; teachers are bad! Public education is worse.  Students and parents surmise, home schools or private learning centers would better serve their needs. Cyber classes too must be an option.  Online learning tailors a lesson, much more so than a unionized teacher would. The people want Choice!

    There is one consensus; tests are good. Accountability is the gold standard.  Current conventional wisdom counters what was thought to be exceptional, in the nineteen sixties.  Decades ago, those under thirty and even their elders changed the world for the "greater good."  The baby boomers were beautiful or were they bad...bad for the country and worse for businesses?  

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    Dump Duncan. The Power of a Plan versus Petition


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

    copyright © 2012 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    The Powell Plan understood what the Dump Duncan advocates seem to have missed.  "The Medium is the Message."  Melodic Messages such as "Freedom" and "Individual Choice" Move the Masses. Move the Masses. Money is less Meaningful than a Mission that Gives Voice to a Shared Vision.

    What does a memorandum scribed more than a two score ago have to do with a present-day petition?  Everything!  Granted, on the surface there are few if any similarities beyond the veracity that each addresses education.   One is an archaic collection of suggestions.  The other is a contemporary polemic petition.  The latter has an immediate punch.  The language is forceful.  The sentiments are fervent.  Signers of the Dump Duncan supplication submit, we "wish to express our extreme displeasure," followed by a threat. "It is unlikely that you will receive continued support unless..."  The plea is addressed solely to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  The former, known as The Powell Memo, while a quiet communiqué, became a catalyst for lasting and profound change.    The latter "Dump Duncan!" document, however, will likely die a quiet death.  Why might this be?

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    Did you like the ideas the President proposed for our economy during the address?


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM EST

    copyright © 2012 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    Dearest Representative . . .

    My answer to your survey question, "Did you like the ideas the President proposed for our economy during the address?" is No.  In truth, for me it is not that simple.   I know from our conversations and abundant experiences, the query is not meant to close doors; nor will you draw erroneous conclusions from the "data" collected.  I understand that you wish to hear from your constituency.  Therefore, I write.  I will present support for my opinion.  The Economic Policy Institute, CaRDI, a Multidisciplinary Social Sciences Institute of Cornell University, and Michael Winerip, Education Journalist for the New York Times will serve as my surrogates. I understand that the immediate opinion polls show broad support for the President's speech.  However, I suspect a more nuanced look may reveal that more feel as I do.  Perhaps, my words will also speak for the people who merely marked "Yes," "No," or "I do not have an opinion" on your and other surveys.  I can only hope that you might take a moment to ponder.

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    The Luxury of Learning is Lost


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM EST


    high172b

    copyright © 2004, 2012 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org
    This treatise was written in 2004, only two years after the 2002 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The No Child Left Behind Act, requires annual assessment of students in grades 3 through 8. It further requires states and schools to meet "adequate yearly progress" by increasing test scores (NASP, 2002).  Labels, based solely on the results of high-stakes assessments, began a history of hurts.

    The words said were, "We do not have that luxury anymore."  The speaker stated that she loved the bliss. The extravagance that she was speaking of is that of teaching in a manner that enlivens learning, engages, and ensures that students internalize information. She was referring to her joy for teaching in a style that creates wisdom, the learning that lasts for a lifetime. Is it true that teaching in this way is an indulgence; and that she is no longer able to partake in this possibility?  If this is true, it is sadness.  The greater sorrow is that this Educator's testimony is not an anomaly.  

    To believe that teaching in this fashion is a "luxury" and that it is lost, never to return is a concept that I cannot, or more accurately, wish not to consider. Yet, I cannot help but wonder; why does she feel that she no longer has this?  When, why, or how, did she lose what was once the objective in education?  How could this Instructor consider taking the time to guide learning, to give students an opportunity to truly acquire knowledge as a lavish pursuit?  As much as I wondered; I knew.

    Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
    ~  Jacques Barzun
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    Mitt, My Good Man


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 23:00:00 PM EST



    Romney: Rivals' attacks a 'good warm-up'

    copyright © 2012 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    Dearest Mitt . . .

    I am unsure if we have had the pleasure of an in-person exchange.  I too travel in political circles.  However, I do not recall.  Perhaps we met in the past.  I trust I have done business with you and your firm, Bain Capital.  Bravo on your successes.

    Please allow me to introduce myself by way of this letter.  This morning, I caught a glimpse of your Today Show interview with Matt Lauer.  I heard you speak of the exaggerated envy now heard on the campaign trail.  Oh, my friend Mitt, how I relate. If I might; well stated my man. People do want what they do not have. First Bain, then the White House.  Indeed, one Chief Executive position ensured that you were a world power.  The other is but a natural transition. Instead of having a seat at the table of global influence, as President of the United States, you, old man, will own the table.

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    The Good School; Principals or Principles


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:40:41 AM EST


    copyright © 2012 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    A few organizations have attempted to answer The Good School Question.  Each asks, "What epitomizes a great learning center?"  "How might we, as a society, give birth to quality institutions?" The solutions are many.   Every  association offers guiding principles. A few also strongly favor Principal or Teacher Leadership.  The various alliances advance the premise; our first and foremost priority must be our children.  In prose, beautifully composed, mission statements submit, adult wants cannot come before the needs of our offspring. Yet, after careful examination it is difficult to discern this truth.  Many aspirations. Many a mirage.  How might we know which is which? Once reviewed, every one of us will decide what works well in education and how might we execute a plan. Will principles, Principals, or pedagogy lead learners to salvation.

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    Voter Suppression and My Situation


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 16:32:26 PM EST



    13 December 2011

    Dearest Rachel Maddow. . .

    As I write I listen to you speak of poll taxes and voter suppression.  I wish to share my story in respect to my personal reality and the fear that I live with.  Decades before the Barack Obama long-form birth certificate, I realized my own fear.   Unlike the persons in your account, I am not a senior citizen.  I am a permanent resident of the United States and have been for all of my life.  While I have never crossed a border into another country, I have great apprehension for what might occur.  

    May I provide a bit of background? For the last six years, I have lived in the State of Florida. I trust that the Florida situation, and thus mine, is familiar for more than a few.  Millions of Americans have found, or will discover, circumstances have changed.  The opportunity to cast a ballot, early, easily, or to merely to be part of the electoral process is no longer theirs.  

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    August To June; Bringing Life to Palm Beach Schools


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 21:14:12 PM EST


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    copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    As any Mom or Dad might do on Parent Teacher Conference Day, Amy Valens, the Educator featured in the documentary film August To June, traveled from "classroom to classroom."  This journey was not a conventional one. Indeed, Amy did not attend a series of Parent Teacher Conferences.  What she did was appear at Palm Beach screenings of her documentary.  The film follows twenty-six [26] third and fourth graders who studied with Amy in her last year of teaching.  The public school open classroom "Brings Life" to education.

    After the movie was viewed, Ms Valens and the audiences engaged in conversations. They discussed what they saw and how it might relate to a broader dialogue.  The subjects of Education Reform, Classroom Standards, Teacher Quality, Merit Pay, Student-Rewards for Success, Parent Involvement, and Testing are but a few topics prominent in our national debate.  While the assemblies of viewers varied widely, the results were the same.  Every child, every class, all Teachers, and each parent, tells a unique tale.  Regardless of the individual or group, we see the world, or in this case the film, through our own lens.

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    Occupy Wall Street; Woes and Words


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 18:50:32 PM EDT

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    copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    Occupy Wall Street?  I will not.  However, I am there in spirit.  I believe in the cause, the many grounds protesters have posited.  Countless Grievances, One Thread Howard Zinn stated this shared truth ever so succinctly years earlier, "It is not only Iraq that is occupied. America is too."  Wall Street,Schools, Classrooms, Hospitals, and Banks, these "Occupations" have gone on for far too long. People in Zuccotti Park and at the Chase Manhattan Plaza understand as most Americans do.  The myriad movement reflects the ninety-niners thirst for dignity.  The cravings are deep.  

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    Primary Teachers and Their Pedagogy


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


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    copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    I offer homage to a Teacher whose pedagogy touched me in a manner invisible to me until this moment.  For scores, I understood what a gift he was to me.  His open and caring ways were as I craved.  However, I had never imagined that this man's schooling style made the difference in my life.  Today, I invite each of us to look beyond the boundaries or the labels.

    Often in life we are asked to reflect; who was or were your most profound Teachers.  I shared my stories in a missive or more.  Those Who Can Teach; Life Lessons Learned, Those Who Can Teach; Transformative Teachers, and Why I Write and Write, Then Write Again.  There are myriad sorts of Teachers.  A few are true treasures.  These special souls take a personal interest in us as individuals.  Students are seen as whole beings, not solely a score, or a name to be identified as a number.  Without these rare Teachers we would not soar.

    Innumerable Scholars seek to inform rather than interact in a way that inspires.  Academicians, an abundance of these, think to fill a brain full of facts, formulas, and figures, is to teach.  I wonder; do these Educators believe they learn from their students?  I cannot know with certainty. For myriad mentors, their labor is not born out of love, but out of need . . . the need to train students for a test.

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    Save Our Schools; Let Us Never Forget the Mission, March, and Movement


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 11:00:00 AM EDT


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    copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    Near a month has passed since the Save Our Schools storm swept through Washington District of Columbia.  As with all squalls the effects of such an event linger long after the winds die down.  A physical space cleaned-up after a tempest takes place does not erase the memory of what occurred.  Be it a blast of air or an action, the calm does not close a chapter in our lives.   The current, commitment, the cause, and our concern do not wane with time, that is, unless we choose to move on or tell ourselves that that is possible. I believe the notion the past is past is fallacious. Our past permeates the present and is a foundation for the future.  Thus, for me, the thought, and the March to Save Our Schools are strong. It survives as is evidenced by the now named Movement.

    I believe the Movement did not begin with the March.  The happening was but a moment, albeit an extremely significant historical occurrence.  The energy exhibited on July 30, 2011 was an expression of what preceded it and illustrates what will follow. Determined not to invite the doom of a forgotten precedent, demonstrators such as I reflect on what was.  Together we will build a better potential for our progeny.  May we begin to extend the journey today?  Ask yourself what you saw, did, felt, tasted, touched; tell your Save Our Schools March story.  I offer mine as a gift to you.

    I ask and answer questions presented to me. Whether you were in Washington, District of Columbia for what some characterize as the main event, at another Demonstration elsewhere, or connected only through the tube, YouTube, radio, and papers, what did you perceive, receive, or retrieve?  Please share your personal story!

    May our offspring, schools, society, and we, grow greater through our caring and sharing.  Let the past, the procession, and the prospect be our guide.

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    It Happened Last Night


    by: Betsy L. Angert

    Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


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    copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

    It happened last night.  As I reflect, I realize it has happened all along.  Each day, in most every moment I have an opportunity to look at life and learn.  Yet I become consumed with more immediate concerns.  He said. She said.  The system, situation, or some other entity supplants a deeper assessment.  Years ago, I came to understand that I create my own chaos, calm, or shades of what will be.  As an Educator, I speak of this often.  My students often quote me on the subject of choices. Yet, until yesterday, I never fully grasped how true my words might be.  I am unsure why the events of the evening took me where they did. I share the story.

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