@The Freeman– Common Core: A Tocquevillean Education or Cartel Federalism

When administrators act, they constitute as well as manage. But what is being constituted—Leviathans or self-governing communities of relationships in compound republics?

—Vincent Ostrom

The development of the Common Core, the model school curriculum standards that have been adopted by 45 states, offers us a glimpse into the dark underbelly of the democratic drift toward soft despotism. Proponents tout Common Core as “state-led” and say states “voluntarily adopt” the standards. Philanthropic and corporate America have gotten involved voluntarily. Parents and students—those most intimately affected by the initiative—won’t get to be a part of the voluntarism. But Common Core is so good, the argument goes, they’ll want it anyway.

Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/common-core-a-tocquevillean-education-or-cartel-federalism#ixzz2bEEH8yM5

Essay published online and in the July/August 2013 print edition of The Freeman.

Review of Frumkin, Strategic Giving

Review of Peter Frumkin, Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy2007

 Published in Azure, Spring 5767/2007, no. 28

“The desire for human betterment,” observed grants economist Kenneth Boulding, “is part of the genetic potential of the human species.” It is thus remarkable, if we take at face value the centrality to the human experience of giving as a means of pursuing human betterment, that we remain mostly in the dark about the philanthropic arts…. Read more.