Re: Resistance and speaking out

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2005 - 09:46:17 PST

IDEA Public Meetings throughout US from 1/28-2/24. The bill was signed, now
the hearings before regs. Advocacy groups provide information on problems
and opportunities; those who know research and education can be useful as
watchdogs/bellringers; Check or see links at (A DREDF news brief also gives a pretty good
sum of the wins, losses, particular dangers to watch out for in the bill as
finally passed).

DELAWARE: January 28, 2005: 3:30-5:30 PM & 6:30-8:30 PM
University of Delaware Conference Center,
John M. Clayton Hall Room 106
100 Pencader Way
Newark, DE 19716
OHIO: February 3, 2005: 3:30-5:30 PM & 6:30-8:30 PM
Ohio State University School of Education
384 Arps Hall, 1945 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43210

MASSACHUSETTS: February 7, 2005: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM & 6:30-8:30 PM
Sheraton Boston Hotel
Prudential Center
39 Dalton Street
Boston, MA 02199

CALIFORNIA: February 11, 2005: 1:00 -5:30 PM & 6:30 -8:30 PM
Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School
Schweitzer Campus
6911 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111

GEORGIA: February 15, 2005: 3:30-5:30 PM & 6:30-8:30 PM
Frederick Douglass High School
225 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30318

WYOMING: February 18, 2005: 3:30-5:30 PM & 6:30-8:30 PM
University of Wyoming at Laramie
Wyoming Union 2nd Floor
Laramie, WY 82071

DC: February 24, 2005: 1:00-5:00 PM & 6:00-8:00 PM
Academy for Educational Development
1825 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Lemke" <>
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 11:12 PM
Subject: Resistance and speaking out

> Thanks for the online and offline responses to my posting about anti-gay
> and anti-educational policy by the US Secretary of Education.
> In thinking about how to respond, not just to this latest act of evil, but
> to the corruption of so much of institutional and political life in our
> times, and in the nation where I am, still, a citizen, I have been
> considering many alternative courses of action. Some may come sooner,
> others later; many are compatible. I think that many of us worry about
> we ought to do, what we can do, and when and where and how.
> We are, most of us, not only citizens but educators, researchers, social
> scientists, members of university and professional communities, local
> communities, ...
> We are supposed to be intellectuals, at least in the primary meaning of
> people who take ideas seriously and critically reflect on how to think
> profoundly about our lives and our values. So it ought not be beyond our
> capacity, or irrelevant to the rest of our professional and intellectual
> work, to address issues of resistance, and indeed of aggressive opposition
> to policies we detest, the people who impose those policies, the
> institutions that embody and enforce those policies. We can also advocate
> for and enact our own values and policies, not just in opposition, but
> positively and creatively.
> Certainly Ken Goodman has been doing this in his area of passion, reading
> and educational policy, in opposing not just the simple-mindedness of the
> NCLB law in the US, but generally educational policies and programs, and
> principles supported by political advocates more interested in their own
> power and influence than in the learning or welfare of most US children.
> More than one regular here on xmca wrote me to say that in their part of
> the world it's perfectly normal to live in opposition, risky opposition
> hidden opposition, to the policies of oppressive governments and to those
> governments themselves.
> Being fortunate that the US is not yet, I believe, such a dangerous place
> for speaking out, it actually seems strange to me that I don't, and think
> perhaps most of my colleagues, and perhaps many of you, do not in fact
> publicly speak out and say what we REALLY believe.
> It strikes me that we are the victims of some hidden cultural norms that
> stabilize the status quo, silencing us by our own choice. When what we
> really believe seems to us to fall too far outside the mainstream of
> opinion in our communities, we are reluctant to speak out. Why? For fear
> being thought extremist and radical? for fear of being marginalized in the
> community? for fear of being thought impolite and uncivil? And perhaps for
> fear that others may actually AGREE with us, and that we may then have to
> collectively face the consequences of our beliefs?
> I very rarely if ever, and only among my closest friends, say what I
> actually think about matters where my opinions would seem extreme, and
> particularly where they are negative and pessimistic. And yet I am as
> certain of these opinions and their importance as I am of anything I
> publish or say here, as anything for which I know that many people have
> high regard for my judgment.
> In the field of education in particular, I have realized that there is a
> cultural norm of optimism. People in the field of education tend to be
> altruistic in intention and optimistic about the possibilities of
> improvement and reform regardless of the facts or what we would conclude
> from the kind of reasoning we use in our research. I recognize that
> sometimes we have to hold on to hope in the face of everything; it is a
> human survival trait. And our reason can never be truly certain of the
> impossibility of success. But I believe we have become too willing to act
> against our own best judgment, or to refuse to make such judgment, because
> we do not want to face the consequences. That is not a survival trait.
> It may be time to start saying publicly what we really believe about many
> of our current social institutions, especially where what we believe is
> negative and has important consequences. While we still can.
> JAY.
> Jay Lemke
> Professor
> University of Michigan
> School of Education
> 610 East University
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> Tel. 734-763-9276
> Email.
> Website.

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