A vision for education drawn from decades in the classroom:
Ignoring the much-publicized pairing of the Reverend Al Sharpton and former financier-turned-schools-chancellor Joel Klein, who pledged to finally fulfill the promise of Brown v. Board of Education by holding teachers and schools accountable for test results, the new president of the American Federation of Teachers gave her own vision — one of building on the traditional role of schools as community centers.

Ms. Weingarten, 50, was elected Monday to the presidency of the
national teachers union at the union’s annual convention. In a speech
minutes later to the delegates gathered in Chicago, Ms. Weingarten
criticized the No Child Left Behind
law, President Bush’s signature domestic initiative, as “too badly
broken to be fixed,” and outlined “a new vision of schools for the 21st

“Can you imagine a federal law that promoted
community schools — schools that serve the neediest children by
bringing together under one roof all the services and activities they
and their families need?” Ms. Weingarten asked in the speech.

schools that are open all day and offer after-school and evening
recreational activities and homework assistance,” she said. “And
suppose the schools included child care and dental, medical and
counseling clinics.”

By laying out that expansive vision of
government’s role in the public schools, Ms. Weingarten waded into a
fierce debate among Democrats seeking to influence the educational
program of Senator Barack Obama,
their party’s presumptive presidential nominee. In an interview last
week, she said the ideas in the speech amounted to “what I’d like to
see in a new federal education law.”

Her vision may well come true. As Dan Brown notes in the Huffington Post, the former head of the New York City teachers’ union is as skilled a fighter and negotiator as those big boys:

Randi brought the arena to life with an impassioned promise to do
everything in her power to support our work in the classroom and see to
it that we were compensated as the professionals we are. Every one of
her words was backed up with action. Perhaps the greatest testimony to
that is the fact that new teacher salaries in New York City have
increased 43% during her ten-year service as president of the United
Federation of Teachers.

All We Are Saying is: Has It Really Been 30 Years?
Newsmix is a bit skittish of MySpace — you know, those pages that start playing music the second you open the browser page. But we decided to make an exception for Yoko Ono, when we heard about her remix of Give Peace a Chance:

In addition to her far-reaching humanitarian work, Ono has always been fearless about jumping on the cutting edge of art and music production. She’s already released a small handful of electronic dance remix albums, but her most recent release marks a notable music anniversary.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 39 years since Ono joined John Lennon in bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal for the historic bed-in for peace. It was there that they teamed up with a bunch of friends and recorded — from their bed — the anthem, “Give Peace a Chance.”

Now, to commemorate the occasion, she’s teamed up with some new friends who know their way around electronic music (such as Tommie Sunshine and Johnny Vicious) to create Give Peace a Chance (The Remixes). Because remixing for peace isn’t enough, Ono’s record company is releasing the singles completely digitally to create less waste and lessen their footprint on the environment.

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