"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Musical Interlude: It's Got That Swing


Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born to two musicians on April 29, 1899.

He began his own musical career -- starting piano lessons -- at the age of 7. At 15 he wrote his first song (1914)...and spent the next 60 years writing and playing music.

I'm not going to write a lot about him other than to say that his music influenced me as a teen. There's quite a bit of biographical information on the web if you're interested. Some interesting reads are...

The first clip is from the documentary by Ken Burns, Jazz. It's a short clip of Ellington playing his first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag."

Two of Ellington's signature pieces...the first, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" -- this version is Ellington's orchestra with Louis Armstrong. You can only listen to on YouTube (click the image to listen), but it's worth it...

Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington: "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"

Finally, a late version (1964) of "Take the "A" Train." During the introduction Ellington introduces his arranger and collaborator, Billy Strayhorn. Music starts at about 1:25. Vocal by Ernie Shepard.


All who envision a more just, progressive and fair society cannot ignore the battle for our nation’s educational future. Principals fighting for better schools, teachers fighting for better classrooms, students fighting for greater opportunities, parents fighting for a future worthy of their child’s promise: their fight is our fight. We must all join in.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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