<< The Body Politic

Mid-week roundup

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Some recent items of note:

  • Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has created a sample civics curriculum for the Washington Post. Required reading includes Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” the U.S. Constitution, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Willa Cather’s My Antonia, and Woodrow Wilson’s “The Fourteen Points,” among others.
  • Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter school system, has an article in The Atlantic in which he uses the KIPP system as an example of what can happen when teachers and administrators are freed to try out new ways of teaching students. To read more about KIPP and its innovations in the realm of civic and character education, read our report Strengthening the Civic Mission of Charter Schools, by Robin Lake and Cheryl Miller.
  • Over at the Army’s blog, Chaplain (Maj.) Carlos C. Huerta has a moving account of dealing with PTSD upon his return home from Iraq, and he encourages other soldiers to seek help. He writes: “When I close my eyes at night, sometimes I still see myself picking up the body parts of my Soldiers. I still see myself holding my Soldiers as they die in my arms on the battlefield. I still see the blood of Iraqi children spattered all over my uniform as they take their last breaths due to no fault of their own. In the quiet moments of the day, when I am with my Family, I see the faces of the all the wives, children, husbands, mothers and fathers whose lives I destroyed with the notifications I made. My mind tells me that I did not cause their pain and grief, but my heart tells me otherwise. I know I can’t change their pain, but I can change mine and the pain I inflicted on my Family due to war. Only a Soldier understands that physically being home doesn’t mean coming home. […] I am getting help because I’m tired of not being home. I am tired of being on the battlefield I brought back with me. It is time for me to come home. It is time for all of us to come home.”