I left the warmth and security of NPR in 1982, but in early 1985 I was unemployed and, to put it mildly, nervous about my future.
In my mind’s eye, I can still picture the vast, dimly-lit room. About half the size of a football field, it was filled with men, women and children strapped into wheelchairs or otherwise restrained. If I close my eyes, I can hear the wailing and moaning, rising and falling in a cacophony of animal sounds that I never would have imagined humans were capable of making.
With my own weekly 1-hour NPR program and a mandate to report on ‘education,’ I had a pretty big tent to operate in, and I loved just about every moment.
Although I spend most of my waking hours working on or thinking about the stories we’re trying to tell, I have also been retracing the paths that have led to the perch I now occupy, 40 years later. What follows is a trip down memory lane.
Michelle Rhee has spent about $2 million to buy the public relations services of Anita Dunn and SKDKnickerbocker. It’s a continuing relationship that goes back to early in Rhee’s Chancellorship in Washington, and it’s probably the best money Rhee has ever spent.
In my experience, most administrators and many teachers hold parents in low regard, and their behavior and policies reflect that.
This Independence Day we might want to think about how easily we can lose what we prize. We might ask if the America envisioned in ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is slipping away because we lack the lift of a driving dream and because we ask almost nothing of our young people…and very little of ourselves.