Sunday, May 9, 2010

Survey on Portland-Eugene "high-speed" rail interest

Acela Express power car 2000 at BWI Rail StationImage via Wikipedia

ODOT Rail Website offers High-Speed Rail Survey
Please share your thoughts about high-speed rail between Eugene and Portland by completing this confidential survey. he results from this survey will be used to help update the Oregon Rail Plan. Your input is important to make sure Oregon’s plan meets the needs of its citizens now and in the future. This survey will take 5 - 10 minutes to complete. Please respond by June 30, 2010.

ODOT High-Speed Rail Survey

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Salem Conference on Educational Alternatives

Figure 2. Home School Students Compared to the...Image via Wikipedia

I've not read any of Albert's work, but everything that Gatto has written on the factory schools model that is groaning towards extinction is very much worth reading. Both will appear here in Salem at the soon-to-be-"Formerly-named-Tea-Party-Bookshop" (whose new name has not yet been announced).

Mark Twain's famous line "I never let schooling interfere with my education" is so often quoted that its sting is somewhat reduced, but it deserves to be considered especially carefully now that the end of cheap energy has arrived, kicking off the resulting Age of Contraction. Large, bureaucratic institutions that have long-since outlived their sense of mission and that persist only because they have been cemented into law and habit are soon going to discover that being cemented in place is a penalty rather than a feature in an age where nimble responses to rapidly changing circumstances are going to be the norm for successful people and, therefore, the institutions that hope to serve them.

Term limits for politicians make no sense, but term limits for schools are starting to intrigue -- what if, instead of holding the schools static or semi-static as the kids move through them, we center everything on each cohort of kids and keep revising the schools as necessary to suit their needs? Education "reform" in this country is a gigantic game of "What we're doing isn't working too well for a lot of kids -- how can we do more of the same and yet get different results?"

Workshops with John Taylor Gatto and David Albert
9:00 am-5:00 pm 05/15 - GENERAL
These two men present four workshops:

  • "An Introduction to Open-Sourced Education,"
  • "Guerilla Curriculum: How to Get an Education in Spite of School,"
  • "Learning About Learning: Conversations with My Violin," and
  • "The Curriculum of Beauty."
$25-$50 sliding - Covers all workshops and lunch, 503.569.7223

Located at: Tea Party Bookshop, 420 Ferry St SE, Salem, 503-990-6471

Author David Albert Speaks on Alternative Education

David Albert is one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Salem Conference on Education Alternatives. As part of the conference, he, along with author and alternative education activist John Taylor Gatto, hold a workshop and book signing at Tea Party Bookshop on May 15.

The author of many books regarding education and family, his collection includes "And the Skylark Sings with Me: Adventures in Homeschooling and Community-Based Education" and "Have Fun. Learn Stuff. Grow.: Homeschooling and the Curriculum of Love." He is also a well known speaker on those subjects.

According to Albert, his passion for alternative school came despite his own successes within a traditional public education.

“It took me my entire youth and young adulthood to figure out that no amount of information could ever fill the spiritual hole created from having learned to be unfree, which I believe is the real curriculum of public education," he said. "I am still undoing the damage.”

Albert’s views on education are passionate and revolutionary.

“No civilization in the history of the world before ours subjected virtually all young people ages 5-18, and who had not previously been convicted of any crime other than being young, to compulsory imprisonment indoors during daylight hours in cellblocks populated by individuals of the same chronological age, deprived them of basic human rights (even the right to go to the bathroom!), and imposed autocratic rule in the workhouse, and bureaucratic control beyond it in determining what activities and routines they would be compelled to undertake.”

Albert and Gatto will each give lectures on alternative education topics. Albert’s two presentations focus on understanding children and their needs (“Who is Your Child”) and directing abundance and freedom to the process of education (“The Curriculum of Abundance.”)

The workshops, part of the larger conference, are held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is on a sliding scale, $25-$50, and covers all workshops and lunch. The authors are available for book signing after the conference, between 5 and 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at

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