citizens

The Common Core’s Unsung Benefit: It Teaches Kids to Be Good Citizens

The Common Core has started to take political flak from the right and the left. Conservatives worry about the overreach of federal incentives, while unions don’t want the standards connected to teacher evaluations. What is being lost?  The standards’ significant emphasis on reinvigorating the democratic purpose of public education. Making good on this promise presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine and reprioritize the special role that schools play in preparing students for active civic participation.

These new educational goals emphasize higher-level abilities: analysis and critical thinking; marshaling evidence and making arguments; collaboration and problem-solving; and communicating clearly. The stated focus of the Common Core—to prepare students who are “college and career ready”—advances one fundamental purpose of public education: preparing students for productive employment and economic self-sufficiency.

But Common Core is not just about college and career readiness. It is also deeply and explicitly focused on preparing students for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. And while many skills are transferable across the domains of college, career, and citizenship, the commitment in the Common Core to the democratic mission of public schools goes much deeper.

Read more. [Image: Architect of the Capital/Wikimedia Commons]

Happy Fourth of July!

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Happy Fourth of July, all! On Wednesday, July 2, the Library hosted a naturalization event in which 150 immigrants from 46 different countries became US citizens. The Library’s copy of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting (which the New York Times wrote about today) was on display to provide inspiration. The ceremony - attended by NY Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy and Secretary of State Cesar Perales - was incredibly touching, and we thought the perfect thing to share on Independence Day. Enjoy! More photos below (we also displayed our copy of the Declaration to the public for seven days, and over 16,000 people saw it!). Little note - NYPL is closed this weekend for the holiday, but we’ll see you Monday!

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((Before we continue to our Christmas Eve+New Year comics, why not give you all a treat with some art I made of the characters))

Sally and the musicians, before she moved in with the king and could dawn her own suit/dress. She never figured she’d be a very good jazz singer for them anyway, and her clumsiness made her only capable to provide drum beats. But hey, it’s always nice to help a friend out.