Military Occupations in the Age of Self-Determination: The History Neocons Neglected

Military Occupations in the Age of Self-Determination: The History Neocons Neglected

Military Occupations in the Age of Self-Determination: The History Neocons Neglected

Military Occupations in the Age of Self-Determination: The History Neocons Neglected


This book presents a new and refreshing look at student assessment from the perspective of leading educational theorists, researchers, and practitioners. The authors call for boundary-breaking assessment that reflects clear understandings of the purposes of assessment, a balance of assessment creativity and realism, the ability to detect solutions for assessment challenges, and the capacity to question and imagine assessment alternatives.

The 14 chapters offer school and district educators, policy makers, researchers, and university teacher preparation faculty with a comprehensive, current overview of the state and art of student assessment. Key questions are posed about assessment and critical challenges are presented along with sound evidence-based solutions.

Student assessment is analyzed in terms of its relationship with classroom instructional practices and large-scale testing programs. Formative and summative assessments are compared and contrasted. The role of psychological assessment in informing classroom practices is profiled along with the need for student voice in fair assessment practices.

Readers will be challenged to consider the ecology of student assessment, that is, the impact of assessment in classrooms and schools through to the macro level of globalized societies. The underpinning values and assumptions of student assessment are highlighted. Finally, a rationale is offered for reconceptualizing and redefining assessment.


In June 2003, I wrote an article for my local newspaper, the Rockland County (New York) Journal News, condemning the American attack on Iraq as preemptive, elective, aggressive, and without justification. I compared it to Israel’s ill considered invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982 when Israel drove the Palestine Liberation Organization out of Lebanon, and then stayed behind as an occupying army. It withdrew eighteen years later considerably worse off for the experience, having suffered more than four thousand troops killed and wounded, mostly from Hezbollah suicide attacks and roadside bombs. I predicted that America might well suffer the same fate in Iraq, and eventually pull out in defeat. Nearly five years after the invasion, the United States still occupied Iraq looking for a graceful exit.

I tell this story to show that I am not piling on President Bush at a time when the occupation of Iraq has gone bad—the gains of the surge, notwithstanding—and he is losing the support of the American people. When I wrote the 2003 article, the administration was flying high. Bush had declared victory and belittled the insurgents who had begun to take American lives. “Bring ‘em on,” he had said of the insurgents and explained that America had sufficient troops to handle them. There is no doubt that the American military is powerful enough to maintain its occupation for many years to come—if the American people will allow it to accept the steady toll of casualties and the waste of American treasure. But the pattern of recent history shows that the stream of killed and wounded inevitably sets a powerful dynamic in motion. Bereaved survivors on the home front begin to ask questions, and before you know it, a national debate is in full swing over whether the occupation is worth the sacrifice.

What has not usually been part of the debate is the historical evidence of the post– World War II era—what I call the age of national self-determination—that when a great power like the United States inserts an occupying army in a smaller nation like . . .

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