I think some of us have read enough about Alaska’s flimsy education reform jabber going on at the Capitol. There’s not much hope for serious improvement for a system that sees student loans as a profit center instead of a tool to improve lives and society.
Maybe it’s time to look for a new trick. Maybe it’s time to ask why the legislature and the governor can’t make a serious commitment to something fresh. They could start with this:
The Students Go To College For Free.
This Al Jazeera TV (not available on cable in Alaska) report shows economic, personal, life-changing benefits for the people and the community. It’s not a partisan or religious thing. It’s working in Michigan. Other places are trying to put it together.
The Kalamazoo Promise is about making society a lot better. And no one has ever shown me anything wrong with that.
The Legislature is getting down to the important bills now. For instance, the House Judiciary Committee listened to talk about Fairbanks-R Tammie Wilson’s bill (HB315) that says they have to let you on a jury even if you believe in “Jury Nullification” – a philosophy that … well, it’s complicated. Here’s a good explanation.
The News-Miner covered the committee hearing where the Department of Law seemed pretty put-out that people were talking about this subject — here’s Matt Buxton’s report.
Pro and Con:
The Value of this is that there is a good chance that one juror can make a difference. If I’m on the jury for your murder case when you claim Stand Your Ground protection, you might want to start making some long-term arrangements for someone to feed the dog. You might relax, though, if my jury ever gets to consider whether you are guilty of being a federal agent enforcing federal firearms laws.
The Negative, of course, is the risk that Tammie Wilson will be on the jury that tries me. I don’t want to think about that, though.
I’ve been away a little bit longer than I expected when I wrote the last piece here on AKJ3. It just felt so good not giving a damn about what the jesters were up to in the world of state politics. I have found I can keep up by reading Twitter and the occasional news story just fine, thank you. But a couple of things really do insist that I check on them a little closer from time to time.
Don’t expect much – I still have trouble breathing inside the Capitol. Don’t expect new stuff very often – I’m telling you I am retired. Do expect more questions and observations than breaking facts about stuff that’s already well-covered by the best journalists in Alaska.
Also, I am getting interested in Juneau’s city-borough government. There might be some things about those guys, too.
No promises this time.