Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spiky World Thought for the Day 3-31-07

In that same article from the February issue of Money Magazine:
In 1970 the average American had a 7% chance of experiencing a 50% drop in family income; by 2002 it was a 17% chance.

There's more going on here than offshoring - such as jobs being supplanted by technology, the rise of two-income families and divorce, and the decline of unions.

Whatever the reasons, the results are scary: The child poverty rate is about 20% in any given year, but more than half of American children will fall below the poverty line for at least one year, Hacker notes.

These, remember, are the kids we'll all be counting on to keep the economy humming in a more competitive world.

Okay, I'm sorry to repeat part of the quote, but how is it possible that we allow this in America?
"The child poverty rate is about 20% in any given year, but more than half of American children will fall below the poverty line for at least one year . . . " [emphasis added]
I know the statistics are probably just as bad - or much worse - for children in lots of places around the world, but I don't live in lots of places so I can't comment too much on them. But I do live here, and I know we have the resources to combat this - not only here but around the globe. As Mr. Chase suggests:

My thinking then becomes intertwined. While I agree the conversation about how learning and educating should be changing, more important global applications of these tactics are waiting in the wings. Imagine a similar approach to the one Karl suggests - only it's applied to poverty or Darfur or hunger or joblessness.

How do you motivate? A stake, right? The thing is, everyday folk do have a stake in solving these problems, but they don't have an urgency behind them. Imagine the Gates Foundation opening a challenge to the globe where they placed all of the important data and resources about a given global or national crisis on a page or wiki or whatever and then facilitated an open forum engaging experts and invested amateurs in solving the problem.

Think of the educational implications of such a challenge. A civics class selects a chunk of data and works collaboratively to analyze and contribute to the cause, an English class utilizes the information to write to governments and other non-civilian change catalysts urging their investigation or - better yet - asking what they can do to help.

Am I thinking too big? Have I said too much? I should pull back? Someone tell me they can see the vision.

Mr. Chase, I can see the vision. Pay It Forward meets Web 2.0 meets The World is Flat. Mr. Gates? Mr. Buffett? Edubloggers? Are you listening? Your move.

Until then, I'm thinking the world still looks pretty spiky to these kids . . .

1 comment:

  1. You can add one more to those of us listening Mr Fisch. Great concept. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Mark Collinson