In an article about education, it's appropriate to start with a pop quiz. Today's question: Republican strategists want to privatize education because:

a) Education is a multibillion dollar market, and the private sector is eager to get its hands on those dollars.

b) Conservatives are devoted to the free market and believe that private is inherently superior to public.

c) Shrinking public education furthers the Republican Party goal of drastically reducing the public sector.

When I was in Scandinavia last spring promoting Nickel and Dimed, interviewers kept asking me to tell them about the "debate" my book had provoked in the United States.

May 17 is the 49th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark, unanimous ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education, but the purpose of that decision has been lost in the debate over affirmative action.

I am 16 years old, an 11th grader in high school and have lived in the United States since the age of 3.

Moratorium on student visas would deter foreign talent
By Timothy Kiefer

October 29, 2001

Because a few of the Sept.

All children deserve a free lunch
By David D. Perlmutter

October 8, 2001

Oct. 16 is World Food Day, and even as we focus on the war, we should not neglect children who are hungry around the globe.

These kids deserve a free lunch.

I teach at a public university in one of the country's poorest states, Louisiana.

New school year brings fear for lesbian and gay students
By Kenda R. Kirby

September 10, 2001

For many gay students, the beginning of school means a return to harassment and assault.

As a student and a teacher I have witnessed countless acts of gay bashing.

New school year brings more segregation
By Barbara Miner

August 20, 2001

A new school year is about to begin, and across the country, children will be attending ever-more segregated schools.

Almost 50 years ago, the U.S.

Bush's education plan gets an 'F' from this teacher
By Bob Peterson

June 21, 2001

In my 20 years of teaching inner-city kids, I've worked with all kinds of fifth graders: from homeless kids to middle-class children, from immigrants who don't speak English to 11-year-olds reading at a high-school level.


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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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