Teach For Australia – Stories – A Schoolhouse Divided?

Much like most aspects of American life, the education system is inherently political. Whilst from an Australian perspective it may not have seemed as though education was at the forefront of discussion in last year’s Presidential Election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the future of America’s highly decentralised system of schools has occupied the dialogue of many in Washington of late.

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This stems primarily from the contentious Senate confirmation of President Trump’s Education Secretary Nominee, Betsy DeVos’ in mid-January which culminated in a historically close 51-50 vote to send her to the Department of Education. Secretary DeVos faced questions about both her understanding of educational policy issues and her qualifications for the role as a billionaire donor to political causes.

You can read more at Teach For Australia >>

Saturday Magazine on Joy 94.9FM – US Presidential Election Analyses

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In the days before, and in the aftermath of the bitterly contested 2016 Presidential Election between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee, and now President-elect, Donald Trump, I joined the team at Saturday Magazine on Joy 94.9FM live from Boston offering my take on the epic political battle.

In the first conversation, you can listen to my thoughts on the final weeks of the election in conversation with David “Macca” McCarthy, former Victorian State Parliamentarian Kirsty Marshall and Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle. For all the quality of the conversation, my predictions were grossly incorrect!

You can listen to the Pre-Election conversation at Saturday Magazine >>

In the second conversation, my mood is somewhat more tempered in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s stunning victory. In reflecting on the reaction from my perspective in Boston, I converse with David “Macca” McCarthy and co-host Tass Mousaferiadis about how we can all learn from the result. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the bitterness of the election, it is that all members of society must converse with those they disagree with, for living forever in a bubble can only lead to further divisions. Hopefully these predictions are more accurate than those I offered pre-election!

You can listen to the Post-Election conversation at Saturday Magazine >>

In the third conversation, from Los Angeles on the last day of my American travels, I discussed the transition from the Obama to the Trump Administrations and the scandals that have consumed the American political dialogue in November and December. In conversation with David “Macca” McCarthy and co-host Shannon Power, we discussed the ongoing discussion about the Russian intervention in the election and the potential legislative battles a President Trump will face in implementing his agenda.

You can listen to the Trump Transition conversation at Saturday Magazine >>

Teach For Australia – Stories – An Educator’s Explainer of the 2016 US Election

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The American people have a tremendously powerful decision to make on November 8th. In electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to be the next President, they will be voting for starkly different visions for the future of the United States, with the future of America’s schools and colleges at stake as well.

With the polls suggesting a close race to the finish, and the role the American leadership plays in our world, do encourage any and every American friend or family member you know to go vote.

Their vote matters. For all of us.

You can read more at Teach For Australia >>

Understanding Trump

As part of an initiative of Trinity Grammar School, Kew’s Library in Term 2, 2016, I delivered a ‘T Talk’ entitled, UNDERSTANDING TRUMP. Modelled on the well-established format of the TED Talks, I delivered a presentation to staff and students on the unique candidacy of Donald Trump’s.

In sharing my passion for American Politics, I sought to explain how the political system, Barack Obama’s presidency and the psyche of the average American voter have combined to transform a reality TV show host into a would-be President of the United States.

My sincere thanks to Dr. Curtis Watson, Director of the Tudor Centre for Contemporary Learning at Trinity Grammar School, Kew, for the opportunity to share my passion for American politics and its influence upon our lives among hundreds of fellow staff and students.

The Melbourne Globalist – The 2014 Midterm Drubbing – Where does America go from here?

President Obama meets with congressional leaders in Washington

Whilst there will be much debate about the true meaning of the Barack Obama Presidency, one thing that can’t be questioned is the decisive nature of the American voting electorate. Despite winning two resounding Presidential Elections in 2008 and 2012, President Obama has overseen some of the most emphatic losses in Midterm Electoral history. With the 2014 Midterms, Republicans netted 8 more seats in the Senate (to reclaim the majority for the first time since 2006), 12 seats in the House of Representatives (to take their majority to approximately 36; their largest majority since 1929), 3 governorships and countless state legislatures.

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The Melbourne Globalist – One Year On and Three Years Out: American Politics in 2013

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As the academic semester came to a close, I sat down with the University of Melbourne’s Dr. Timothy Lynch, one of the foremost experts on American politics on the Australian academic scene. Currently the Director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at The Faculty of Arts, Dr. Lynch teaches a variety of subjects on American politics and contributes to a variety television and print media with expert commentary.

Over the course of a half-hour interview we discussed a variety of issues that reflected upon the current state of affairs in Washington, the fracas that was the Government Shutdown, President Obama’s increasingly challenging second term and concluded with us casting our eye to 2016 and who may contend for the White House.

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ESSA – The US government shutdown – any end in sight?

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What a joke.

Really, there isn’t anything else that can be said about the latest fiscal crisis in the United States. With the federal government shutting down most operations on the 1st of October, as the House of Representatives (controlled by the Republicans) and the Senate (controlled by the Democrats) couldn’t agree on a Continuing Resolution for the 2014 fiscal year.

You can read more at ESSA >>