A MEDITATION TO BEGIN
Hope is the thing with feathers
by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Meet The Repo Man For Global Health: Skim Off A Grant, He'll Make You Pay
by Nurith Aizenman
NPR, Goats & Soda
If you are a company, government or NGO that is misusing funds or scamming the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, you are going to get a call from Cees Klumper’s office. Working on behalf of The Global Fund, “Chief Risk Officer” Klumper (a.k.a. Repo Man) is working to recover tens of millions of dollars that corrupt officials of various institutions have stolen over the years. In the process, he is also trying to make the entire system more accountable. As Klumper tells NPR: "Whenever you provide funding to people and ask them to do things there will always be some people looking for the opportunity to take some of that money for themselves…that's not unique to developing countries. That's the case everywhere from Mali to the country that I'm from, the Netherlands." Read more here to learn more about Klumper and his important mission.
PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE
10,000 Child Refugees Are Missing
by The Editorial Board, The New York Times
The New York Times
According to Europol, the European police agency, more than 10,000 refugee children who entered Europe within the last two years are missing. The New York Times reports that, while some children have become separated from their families along the routes refugees take through Europe after landing in Greece or Italy, many arrive as unaccompanied minors, including 26,000 last year, according to Save the Children. And more arrive each day.
The fears of where these children have gone are horrific and varied. Some may have been trafficked into the sex trade, while others are believed to have fled detention centers “where they do not feel safe and are too often kept in the dark about their rights.” Many end up on the street, “easy prey for drug dealers, pimps or petty theft rings. Younger children and adolescent girls are also at great risk of sexual and other abuse.” Given that all European countries have signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, what is to be done to hold those countries more accountable? In addition to the need for increased funding by the European Union to alleviate the refugee crisis, the immediate dismantling of human trafficking networks and prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against children, what is the role of the larger global community?
The 4 Success Indicators for 21st Century Accountability.
by Rob Furman
Regarding testing in the United States education system, elementary principal, educator, and author Rob Furman writes: “The question should not be ‘should we be held accountable,’ but rather it should be ‘for what are we being held accountable.’” Furthermore, he makes the argument that for over the past decade, teachers (and some would argue, we as a society) have not been held accountable for students' educations but rather for their scores on tests. “Passing a test is not educating American students.” So what should be the standard we set as to whether or not students are successfully educated? Furman suggests what he terms a “Backwards Design Model.” This model bases success on whether or not a student becomes a contributing member of society, embraces community service and service to others, and graduates from college having accomplished their goals or graduates from high school with his or her eye on future goals. “Success is not about arbitrary numbers or tests; it's about ideals and meeting goals.” What do you think? Are we as a society failing students? Is Furman voicing concerns that you also have, or is he missing something? Are we holding our education system accountable in an appropriate way? If not, what needs to change?