1. Nancy Gibbs in Time magazine on a hitherto unexplored angle on President Clinton:
One person who did not leave Chelsea alone was her father. In acclaimed historian Taylor Branch's new book The Clinton Tapes — woven from Branch's recorded conversations with the President from 1993 to 2001 — the portrait of the relationship between Bill Clinton, a man who never knew his own father, and his daughter reveals a side we rarely saw on the public stage. Bill Clinton, it turns out, raised a daughter and ran the free world, sometimes in that order.2. There was an awesome segment on 60 Minutes this morning about former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's collection of lapel pins. Each pin has a backstory - personal, political, historical - and now they are on exhibition in New York City, and Ms. Albright has a new book coming out called Read My Pins. I can't find the video on CBS' website, but all I found was this link to a short CBS News clip.
3. Andrew O'Hehir writes in Salon, in an article titled "Confessions of a Home-Schooler," about him and his wife starting out on the home-schooling adventure with their two five-year-old twins:
Both Leslie [the children's' mother] and I went to public school and had the usual assortment of excellent, mediocre and bad teachers. We're not zealots with some animus against public education. We're glad it exists and relatively happy to pay taxes to sustain it. As I said earlier, though, we feel dubious about the ideology that seems dominant in public education these days, and especially about the idea that sending kids to school virtually all day for 10 months a year, beginning at age 3 or 4, is the healthiest mode of delivering it.4. Ra on the myths surrounding alternative education in India:
I think home schooling has brought Leslie and me closer together.... The four of us are a pretty tight unit -- it's not us against the world, but us in the world, trying to experience the days as they come.
We've planted seeds and watched them grow into sunflowers taller than Daddy; read books about Alexander Calder and Squanto and the warm-blooded, egg-laying Maiasaura; told stories about how our beloved bunny Picaro made his final voyage into the Egyptian Land of the Dead. We say goodbye to the setting sun (when we remember to) and greet each new day with tremendous enthusiasm, often much closer to dawn than the adults would prefer. I'm not saying that other families don't do that stuff too. I guess I'm saying what I said already: It works for us.
I thought I’d tackle some of the common points (some of them myths) that arise when there is a discussion about alternative schools first:
Alternative Schools Are all very Expensive:What caught your fancy this weekend?
I think people often think that alternative schools are the same as “international” schools and automatically assume that they will be expensive. There are some very expensive international schools in India, that do follow alternative models, at least in so far as they are “alternative” to the more conventional schools. But there are alternative schools that have been around for ages, such as the K schools and Mirambika that charge around the same as lots of other schools. Some of the alternative schools are boarding schools and thus charge more, but are not necessarily the most expensive boarding schools around. Some alternative schools offer scholarships and take children when the parents are unable to meet the full fees.