With freedom from colonial power not yet won, it is difficult for him to say what form of government the huge landmass from Mexico to Patagonia should adopt once free to form a government or governments. The course will begin by studying a wide selection of influential Enlightenment philosophy, mainly Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu, with particular emphasis on the notion of the nation-state and rulers. We will then build upon that foundation by closely reading notable biographies of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, whose at times acrimonious debates laid the foundation for the Constitution of the United States of America. We will closely read that constitution and the Bill of Rights that informed it, as they are debated and revised prior to ratification.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter In the sixth month of his fifth year as mayor, Bill de Blasio embarked on what may be the most politically contentious, racially delicate education initiative of his tenure.
It is not a coincidence that de Blasio is picking this moment to call for specialized high school admissions reform, an issue that has caused intense debate between pro-integration advocates and specialized school alumni for decades.
The new schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, is considerably more willing, and perhaps eager, to tackle the questions of race, class and fairness inherent in the debate over school segregation.
The mayor has made his distaste for the specialized high school exam clear sincewhen he called for the elimination of the admissions exam as part of his mayoral campaign. His daughter, Chiara, also got into Brooklyn Tech, but decided to attend Beacon, another extremely popular and high-performing high school, instead.
POLITICO reported earlier this year that the mayor has the legal authority to change admissions at five of the eight specialized schools, but the mayor has thus far declined to take that option. His less successful program, the Renewal initiative for struggling schools, has been pedagogically disappointing but has not become much of a political obstacle for City Hall.
And he has not introduced much new education policy for the last two years.
But even a Democratic state Senate would not guarantee smooth sailing for any admissions reform bill. Those well-established alumni groups present perhaps the biggest obstacle to the plan, since they galvanize involved and influential alumni, and have ties to many state legislators.
Some of those alumni organizations point to the fact that Asian students, many of them poor first-generation immigrants or children of immigrants, make up the majority of some specialized schools and therefore have the most to lose if the test is eliminated.
It is, however, true that black and Latino students gaining more seats could lead to white and Asian students having fewer seats.
Andrew Cuomo represents great unknown in this debate. The city is planning to set aside 20 percent of seats in the schools for students from the Discovery program, an initiative that helps low-income students who barely miss the cutoff for admission gain entrance into the schools.
So the mayor finds himself again looking to Albany to satisfy his sweeping education initiatives. Pre-K was funded only when Cuomo took up the issue, mayoral control of city schools has been extended only through a complex web of tertiary political deals, and now the mayor is looking upstate for hundreds of millions of dollars to make his 3-K program universal.
But de Blasio insisted that now is the time to add specialized high school reform to the list.Located in historic downtown Manhattan, attorneys based in our New York headquarters regularly advise Wall Street's most sophisticated financial institutions, many of the world's premier companies, including a large number of Fortune corporations, government entities, charitable and health care organizations, and individual clients.
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