A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Right Message, Right Time.

If the message is right and the time is right, people will tune in. Thank you mysterious Mr. Holmes. I hope your video goes viral! Pass the Capital Homestead Act!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Poetry, not my best use of time but fun

To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
I'd love to hear this sung as a round on YouTube. Would be very cool.

Don’t, don’t, don’t end the Fed
Don’t sell us down the stream
Capital, capital, capital credit
Americans need machines

Own, own, own the Fed –
Don’t sell us down the stream
Capital, capital capital credit

Loan, loan, loan interest free credit
Don’t sell us down the stream
Don’t kill the American Dream

©Daniel Kurland, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Justification for Special Education Legislation

Discussion Board #2
Daniel Kurland
February 1, 2012

The Civil Rights Movement, through the 1954 landmark Supreme Court Decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, provided the legal justification for “the federal special education and antidiscrimination laws” that followed. (Turnbull, H., Stowe, M., & Huerta, N., p. 5). Brown vs. Board of Education found the doctrine of “separate but equal,” the legal basis for segregation, to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court found “separate but equal” to be a direct violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Previously, since education is a power not expressly held by the federal government under the Constitution, education had been a role reserved for state governments. This landmark decision uncorked the genie of federal, regulations, and Supreme Court decisions, whereby state education associations (SEAs) and local education associations (LEAs) were forced to comply with encroaching federal mandates, first to desegregate schools, and ultimately, to guarantee every child a free and appropriate education (FAPE). Given the supremacy of the Constitution, and the historic failure of state governments and LEAs to adequately protect all citizens from discrimination, the federal government has been entirely justified in encroaching on States Rights concerning education.
 The United States government does not have unlimited resources of time and money, nor do state governments or LEAs. Over time, the friction of limiting factors has led to a number of uncomfortable questions about of the mission of special education and real time decisions that place limits on how real children must be educated, including whom, in what setting, and with which methods. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) helped clarify roles and expectations. No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB 2001), on the other hand, highlighted fault lines and the need for changing roles, as well as increased collaboration and professional development requirements.
Federally mandated educational outcomes, i.e., LEAs being held accountable for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets, have bumped into limiting factors including poverty, language, culture, and family structure (Turnbull, H., Stowe, M., & Huerta, N., p. 42). While federal statutes, regulations, and Supreme Court decisions offer reasonably clear guidance for state governments and LEAs to support and meet the needs of students with disabilities, Supreme Court decisions such as Board of Education v. Rowley (1982) have upheld the principle that educational outcomes cannot be guaranteed beyond what is reasonable. A larger question emerges concerning what to do about limiting factors that directly and indirectly lead to a “Nation at Risk”, and whether the education is fully equipped to handle all these factors.
Behind the consistent 30% national rate of people who fail to graduate from high school, are real people who did not adequately learn how to read or do math, despite federal sanctions imposed on “failing schools,” and despite special education services. Few enter the teaching profession fully prepared for the complexity of teaching academic vocabulary to students who enter our classrooms with issues of poverty, language, and dysfunctional family structures. These limiting factors are often comorbid with learning disabilities. (Turnbull, H., Stowe, M., & Huerta, N., p. 42). Whether special educators are fully equipped to handle all these issues, or should be for that matter, they need to be aware of the legal basis for how and why special education services are provided.
Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) - Supreme Court ordered state (SEAs) and local (LEAs) schools to be desegregated.

"Now, it is no longer a matter of who goes to school with whom (Brown), but where and  how all students are education (their curriculum and teacher's competency) and the outcomes they will achieve (IDEA and NCLB)." (Turnbull, Stowe, & Huerta, p. 7).

As a side note, when my father, Norman Kurland, was at the University of Chicago’s Law School in the late 1950’s, many at the university had concluded that it would be another 100 years before segregation would be ended. After law school, he was hired by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He was sent to Mississippi to direct field operations, where he became a close personal friend of Medgar Evers, who was the NAACP’s Director in Mississippi. Evers and my father discussed a strategy called “Federal Presence,” designed to generate public embarrassment about Jim Crow Laws in Mississippi to trigger a federal response. Non-violent protests, sponsored by the NAACP, SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), etc., supported that strategy. Ironically, the assassination of Medgar Evers triggered an acceleration of the very “Federal Presence” strategy he and my father had been discussing.
In short, in matters of exclusionary policy, federal laws play a vital function in holding states governments and LEAs to the high standards set by our legal system. While improvements could be made in terms of clarifying matters of “educational outcomes,” the overall legal framework surrounding special education is actually not too bad thanks to legal precedent.
Turnbull, H., Stowe, M., & Huerta, N. (2007). Free Appropriate Public education: The Law and Children With Disabilities, 7th edition. Denver: Love Publishing Company.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Sister's New Protest Anthem

“16 Bills” (sung to the tune of “16 Tons”)

Some people say a bank is made outta blood,
Sucked from a worker sinking deep in the mud.
Deep in the mud, in a mountain of debt,
With wealth concentratin’ in the top One Percent.

You owe 16 bills and what do you get?
Another day poorer and deeper in debt.
The Fed bailed out Wall Street, I can't get a loan.
The simple truth is, it's "Own or be Owned."

Went to work on Monday, and what did I see?
A big pink slip a-waitin’ for me.
My boss got a bonus, and I’m gettin' boned.
There’s one thing I know, it’s “Own or be Owned.”

You owe 16 bills and what do you get?
Another day poorer and deeper in debt.
The Fed bailed out Wall Street, I can't get a loan.
The Ninety-Nine Percent know, it’s “Own or be Owned.”

Wealth gap’s gettin' wider, and I’m gettin' lean.
My job’s gone to China, or to a machine.
My kids got no health care. We’re losin’ our home.
Say it out loud, it’s "Own or be Owned."

You owe 16 bills and what do you get?
Another day poorer and deeper in debt.
The Fed bailed out Wall Street, I can't get a loan.
If you’re madder than hell, shout "Own or be Owned."

The tax man keeps comin’, I can’t pay the rent
Uncle Sam is no smarter, we both overspent.
My cash flow is shrinkin’, and I’m not alone.
With the wrong kind of credit, we all will be owned.

You owe 16 bills and what do you get?
Another day poorer and deeper in debt.
Demand interest-free credit and a capital loan.
Tell the politicians, it's time that WE own!
© 2012 Dawn Brohawn

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My dad's mantra

Americans believe in political democracy.  But political democracy won't work without a property-based market system of economic democracy.  If someone has a simpler, more populist plan to achieve a more inclusionary approach to economic democracy let them come forward to challenge us.  The system is the problem.  The system can and must be overhauled.  (Norman G. Kurland, 2012)

Updated Bio

I needed to update my Bio for my placement beginning Monday. To practice, I updated the profile on my blog, which limited me to 1200 characters, which forced me to delete things I consider fun and interesting, but non-essential.
Daniel entered Marymount University’s PDS Program in August 2011 and will graduate in May 2012 with a MEd. degree in Special Education. He earned his Virginia teaching license from ODU’s Career Switcher Program in 2008. Prior to becoming a teacher, Daniel worked for over 20 years in the wood products industry, where he gained experience in warehousing and delivery operations, millwork, sales, purchasing, and finance, and also served as a Member of the Board of Directors and an Operations Manager. Daniel has been married since 1995. He has a son in 8th grade that enjoys playing baseball and video games, as well as a miniature schnauzer. He earned his BA from Georgetown University in 1985. His passion for family history was sparked by his father’s experiences as a young lawyer for the U.S. Commission on Human Rights in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement and his mother’s experiences in Japanese-American Internment Camps during World War II. His mom taught herself how to read and later taught him how to read at age 3. As a teacher, Daniel hopes to model the disciplines and habits needed for academic success, while inspiring students to become lifelong learners.