Scholastic Magazine was forced by activists led by our guest Bill Bigelow to take down its 4th grade curriculum created by the coal industry -- but this just the tip of the iceberg of corporate influence over what kids learn in school. Old Mole Laurie Mercier talks with Bigelow, a long time Portland teacher and writer on education, about corporate influence in the classroom. Two of his articles on this topic have appeared in Rethinking Schools, here and here.
Cities have an enormous carbon footprint: what are they doing about it? What is Portland doing? Michael Armstrong is Policy and Research manager for the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability responsible for implementation for the Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about what Portland can and should be doing.
Movie Moles Frann Michel and Jan Haaken find some things to like but much to criticize in the very popular current film about black maids in the civil rights era South, The Help. Among the critques they consider is this, from the Association of Black Women Historians: Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism.