The Overprotected Kid

I’ve recommended this article repeatedly over the last six months — most recently today to my Introductory Sociology class.  So, I’m taking that as a sign that I should spread the word more widely. The piece is from The Atlantic and covers a range of issues related to contemporary norms of hovering over our children […]

The Wilds Of Education

The Wilds of Education by Frank Bruni  – New York Times.  September 28, 2014 “There’s too much caution in too many schools” Here is a thought-provoking essay that asks questions about the true purpose of education.

Students Protest Decision to Ban Protest

A School Board in Colorado seeks to ban the teaching of dissent and protest in the public school curriculum in favor of celebrating free enterprise, respect for authority and a particular brand of patriotism.  In response the students stage a walk out and protest. (Click here or photo for link) My students of social movements […]

Why Poor Students Struggle in College

Here is an article from the New York Times that discusses some of the cultural challenges students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds confront when they go to college…

Labor Dazed

On Labor Day I took my daughter to the parade.  It’s an event full of meaning but for her it was mainly about the candy. She was not disappointed.  In a scene resembling feeding time at the barnyard candy was thrown like chicken feed from passing floats.  Children scurried, pecked at the ground, pushed and […]

This is How Power Works: A Primer and Illustration

The following post was written in 2014 during a controversy on our campus involving the resignation of a recently-hired University president, Timothy Flanagan.  In just seven months in the position Flanagan had engaged in a series of unprofessional and abusive behaviors.  The Board of Trustees paid him $480,000 to leave quietly and provided virtually no […]

The half-million dollar question

Here is a link to a guest column I wrote for our campus newspaper.  It deals with, among other things, the way that powerful actors are able to insulate themselves from accountability.  In this case the Illinois State University Board of Trustees paid a half-million dollars to its 18th president following his resignation after only […]

Four Decades Of Taxes And Spending, In 2 Graphs

Here is an interesting look from the Planet Money team at NPR at how our taxing and spending has changed little over the last forty years.  It puts the current political debate over spending and taxes in perspective. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/02/24/271558863/four-decades-of-taxes-and-spending-in-2-graphs