#360 – Dick Bernard: Returning to the Eighth Grade

April 15 we were invited to an event at Friendly Hills Middle School in Mendota Heights MN. “Telling the Story of WWII and the Holocaust” was the event: “An Interdisciplinary Project between Language Arts & Social Studies” involving eighth graders in five classes at the school, each of whom had worked on a particular project […]

#359 – Dick Bernard: Teachers and Teaching – searching for "truth"

April 11, 2011, found me in a hotel near Bernalillo NM. The hotel offered complimentary newspapers, and as I usually do I picked up the local paper, in this case the Albuquerque Journal. Front page, front and center, was a “Beyond the Classroom” story about teacher Kathleen Cox, and her 12 year old student, Elizabeth, […]

#348 – Dick Bernard: Part 17. Garrison Keillor "…and all the children are above average"

Today’s newspaper brought news that Garrison Keillor might, just might, retire in 2013, leaving Prairie Home Companion (PHC) in the hands of someone else. Precisely when Garrison will no longer be part of the picture is an unknown, probably including to himself. But as someone a couple of years senior to Keillor in age, I […]

#346 – Dick Bernard: Part 16. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Sunday afternoon, enroute to other things, I found a cartoon I had saved for some reason back in March of 2002. (Click on photo to enlarge.) About the same time I found the cartoon, came a CBS “60 Minutes” segment on a New York City experimental school that pays $125,000 a year. You can see […]

#331 – Dick Bernard: Part 1. "On, [the public employees of], Wisconsin!"

Thursday afternoon, February 17, we went across the Mississippi River to see a music program at a local suburban St. Paul elementary school. The performers were about a hundred fifth graders, one of whom was our grandson. The audience was classmates from other grades, and the usual assortment of parents, grandparents and others. It was […]

Dick Bernard: Looking at Public Schools from Outside the Walls

To easily find this page in the future, simply enter the letters OTW in the search box for outsidethewalls.org/blog. UPDATE July 13, 2012 These are thoughts gathered over time which may help generate additional thoughts and ideas for readers. 1. Thoughts on Organizing: A. An assortment of thoughts on The Future for Public Sector Unions […]

#278 – Dick Bernard: Muslims of the Midwest: From the 1880s to 2010

Back on September 5, 2010, I posted “A Close Encounter With a Mosque“, remembering a friendship in the 8th grade in Ross, North Dakota in 1953-54. In the mysterious ways such things work, someone saw the blog post, liked it, and on November 13, 2010, I found myself on stage at the annual celebration and […]

#267 – Dick Bernard: A troubling juncture for our country.

I am overwhelmed with political information – it has to be like being overrun by a tsunami (without minimizing the latest tragedy in Indonesia). The instinct is not to master or control the incoming data, but how to survive it. I won’t run and hide, but after the election, my guess is that I will […]

#266 – Dick Bernard: Moving towards Rationality, Civility and Dialogue…or mired in Contempt?

I walked away from a TV commentary show a few hours ago. The host is someone I like and respect; his guests were four leaders from a few of the infinite number of different organizations that claim to be of like minds, but really have very narrow, poorly thought out, and often opposing agendas. The […]

#261 – Dick Bernard: Honor and Respect for those of the GLBT Community

Today came an unexpected video featuring Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (There may be an annoying ad for a few seconds prior to the 2 1/2 minute clip. Just let it play through.) The video speaks profoundly for itself. It reminded me of a copy of a letter which came into my possession some […]