Pete Lee

Monday, March 21, 2005

Education and Community: The War on Poverty of the Spirit

I've finally completed another term (half-time, six credits) of Portland Community College's Distance Education program. While I am grateful for a break from late nights and terror-filled moments of writer's block, I'll miss the interesting assignments and excellent discussion facilitated by Nell Johnson (Technical Writing) and Dr. Jan AbuShakrah (Sociology).

In a previous blog entry, I discussed the NCLB's fallacious sentiment that there is a pragmatic link between testing and educational excellence.

I've recently finished a capstone essay for this class. Starting with two quotes from Mother Teresa and The Dalai Lama, I discuss the concept of "poverty of the spirit." The essay continues on to discuss essential aspects of community and its development, areas of weakness with current educational improvement initiatives, and a case for the creation of a new community development program as the only credible, self-sustaining way of improving education in a community.

I'll fully admit that problems with community development and sustenance are more complicated than the scope of this essay can address. That noted, I believe that I can make a strong case for this program through consideration of its qualitative merits and philosophical basis.

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