Cured Meats: Prosciutto Crudo
It’s truly a masterpiece. It’s, BY FAR, the single best piece of cured meat I’ve made.
yesterday
Voucher School Tour | The Progressive
"Welcome to Middle School Science," says a sign on an upstairs classroom door. Eleven eighth-grade boys are sitting in the science class. Another poster at eye level on the door says: "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth—Genesis 1:1"

The teacher, Mr. Mosconi, walks over and closes the door as we look in.

On the same hallway there is another large poster that says: "God can see your heart and he knows that it is wicked."

There are currently 270 students enrolled in the Academy of Excellence in kindergarten through eighth grade. Next fall, the school plans to double in size when it takes in 200 children of refugees from Myanmar whose native tongue is not English.
yesterday
Eschaton: Zephyr Teachout Super Wuster
Really, New Yorkers, consider getting rid of Cuomo. He's like the the worst of 1993 era democrats, with extra evil added. Vote Teachout/Wu for the comedy if nothing else!

Also, too, we're looking at you Rahm...
2 days ago
Ask Nicola: My health
I laugh at pain in my elbow. It is nothing, nothing compared that flashing, shooting, drenching, lava-like agony of Tecfidera plus proximal nerve demyelination plus peripheral nerve excitation.
2 days ago
How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops - NYTimes.com
IRVINE, Calif. — LAST week, a grand jury was convened in St. Louis County, Mo., to examine the evidence against the police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, and to determine if he should be indicted. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. even showed up to announce a separate federal investigation, and to promise that justice would be done. But if the conclusion is that the officer, Darren Wilson, acted improperly, the ability to hold him or Ferguson, Mo., accountable will be severely restricted by none other than the United States Supreme Court.
3 days ago
Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency” - Salon.com
I think a post-Obama America is an America in post-traumatic depression. Because the levels of disillusionment are so deep. Thank God for the new wave of young and prophetic leadership, as with Rev. William Barber, Philip Agnew, and others. But look who’s around the presidential corner. Oh my God, here comes another neo-liberal opportunist par excellence. Hillary herself is coming around the corner. It’s much worse. And you say, “My God, we are an empire in decline.” A culture in decay with a political system that’s dysfunctional, youth who are yearning for something better but our system doesn’t provide them democratic venues, and so all we have are just voices in the wilderness and certain truth-tellers just trying to keep alive some memories of when we had some serious, serious movements and leaders.
5 days ago
Standing while black
The civil rights groups failed in similar fashion. So did local African-American politicians. How do I know this? It’s very simple. None of them at any point said, people, we have a right to assemble. I’m going to stand in the goddamn street and challenge the police to arrest me. If you can stand getting arrested, why not come along? Nobody did that. It was the key to promoting continuing mobilization. Nobody did it. We did hear them talk about voter registration, and bully for them. There are parallels in the latter respect to the dissolution of the actions in the Wisconsin state capital a few years ago (in response to which Obama was also mute).
5 days ago
The cupcake wars
The funny thing is that the silliest of these "nanny state" laws Will holds responsible for the mistrust in government come from the vaunted local governments so revered by conservatives as the most legitimate form of democratic representation. It turns out they can be very petty bureaucrats too. How odd. Why one might just think that it's not really a problem with government, big or small, but with flawed human beings, an insoluble problem that can only be mitigated by education and social/cultural influence, a much harder task and one that's ongoing. Devolving to the local governments will hardly make things better. It's likely to make it much worse for a whole lot of people. Think Salem and witches.
9 days ago
Tech Industry Believes it Invented San Francisco, Burning Man, and Sex | The Snitch | San Francisco | San Francisco News and Events | SF Weekly
According to reports, the Silicon Valley-based tech industry has convinced itself that it invented everything it enjoys, including Democracy, rule of law, San Francisco, Burning Man, and sex
13 days ago
Who rules America? | TheHill
A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.
13 days ago
The adult skateboard
My goal has been a skateboard that fits into the world of the adult. Not a trick board. Something that get’s you there. It’s comfortable, handles great, and is light. It’s narrow for stowing, long for smooth rolling, and enough nose and tail to properly negotiate the environment.
14 days ago
The Teaching Life – They Grow Up
And this is more than just an ancillary piece of the teaching life. The perspective of seeing students become adults can powerfully inform the way we teach. Knowing that we can play a small role in helping students on the pathway to adulthood is something that teachers are taught to understand from early on in most pre-service teacher programs, but the reality of knowing the your students as adults is different somehow.
19 days ago
The Trucking Industry Needs More Drivers. Maybe It Needs to Pay More. - NYTimes.com
But corporate America has become so parsimonious about paying workers outside the executive suite that meaningful wage increases may seem an unacceptable affront. In this environment, it may be easier to say “There is a shortage of skilled workers” than “We aren’t paying our workers enough,” even if, in economic terms, those come down to the same thing.
20 days ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Study Says Money and Family Cast Long Shadow
There are huge implications here for the whole "Your school shouldn't be determined by your zip code crowd." If there is a definite advantage in life to coming from a cohesive connected community, breaking apart communities by scattering the students is exactly the wrong thing to do. Closing neighborhood schools and dispersing the students to the four corners of Newark or New Orleans becomes just one more force weakening community cohesion and denying students the advantage that such cohesion provides.
23 days ago
Other People, Other Places
One problem we have is that people in this country don't travel to other countries, and even if they do they do the "resort/tourist bus" version of travel, which turns other countries into playgrounds or open air museums. No need to notice that other people actually, you know, live there.
24 days ago
The calculations of authenticity: a conversation with Jeff Pooley — Wordyard
The problem is that there is no market-free space, at least not for long. The Dionysian core of a market-driven culture — with its gleeful agnosticism — makes the dog-collar-and-safety-pin aesthetic attractive to the ad guys. In whatever new version it appears. That’s the bind: there’s nothing prude or restrained about them, as Thomas Frank has brilliantly shown. There’s no way to out-rebel them; they’ll party with you at Burning Man. And you’ll realize that they’re using you to sell stuff. Yet again.
24 days ago
It's About the Lying - The Intercept
But by all accounts, the report not only discloses abuse that was more brutal, systematic and widespread than generally recognized, but also chronicles how the people most intimately involved in the torture regime lied to others inside the CIA, lied to Justice Department lawyers, and lied to the public; how they lied about what they were doing, they lied to make it sound like it accomplished something, and afterwards, they lied some more.
24 days ago
Twitter, Breakfast, and the Crumbling of Society
Ladies and gentlemen, I beg of you, please remember: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you the energy you need to “get up and go” and make it a great day. I’m beginning to think the Whopper is not such a bad option—at least you get your four food groups—but as you can see, it is a slippery slope. And sure, maybe right now the trend is limited to robot Twitter accounts whose endgame must surely be sad single men feverishly typing credit-card numbers into poorly designed pornographic websites. But we must nip this in the bud while we still can. I’m counting on you, America.
25 days ago
School reforms that actually work - The Washington Post
Reform strategies outlined in this post are models of reform demonstrated to work. These models emphasize the importance of school leadership that can organize teachers, parents, and communities around a consensus-based goal. All emphasize that key supports must be in place for teachers and students. Such reform does not scapegoat teachers or demonize their unions. All provide evidence that it is time to stop banging our heads against the wall of false reform and begin implementing reform that works.
25 days ago
Kane and Chetty: Witnesses for the defense?
So now there will be a Vergara-like trial in New York City. The prosecution has some very heavy hitters. For the defense, I don’t know. The defendants are people like John King. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the defendants hope to lose the trial and maybe won’t get the best representation to go against a dream team rivaling the OJ Simpson lawyers.
26 days ago
Jon Lender: Terrence Carter is (or Was) the Paradigm of the School “Reform” Movement
“This is how the pro-privatization, big-philanthropy-funded networks and organizations tend to work. They pass their own people along and up, greasing rails and plumping resumes as they go. And the main criteria for ‘success’ often seems not to be real leadership characteristics, so much as willingness to be a good soldier when it comes to pushing forward a particular reform agenda,” said Lauren Anderson, an assistant professor of education at Connecticut College in New London.”
28 days ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Pushback from the Little People
But it will still be an uneven fight. On one side, we'll have teachers writing strongly worded letters and blogs and-- well, I was going to say speaking out in the media, but of course that's crazy, because what media outlet would interview a teacher. But we'll have words, and we'll use them to "attack" these folks, who will undoubtedly turn out to be unelected gabillionaires who are answerable to nobody, least of all, little people. On their side will be millions of dollars, high-powered lawyers, the federal Department of Education, and the mainstream media outlets.
29 days ago
Beware the Snapchat economy: Why we should all be worried about the new Internet boom - Salon.com
That’s what Snapchat’s $10 billion means, today at least. And it’s a big deal. The confidence generated by a flush Silicon Valley means that proposals like Tim Draper’s Six Californias make it to the ballot; it means companies like Uber and Airbnb have the capital to seek wide-ranging regulatory changes in municipalities across the world. It means university administrators are more willing to succumb to the lure of MOOCs and venture capitalists are more eager to seek new domains to disrupt. It means that before we’ve even figured out what the current wave of disruption means — for jobs, for inequality, for urban displacement — we find ourselves hurtling pell mell forward into even more grandiose visions.
29 days ago
Student Data, Privacy, Ideology, and Context-less-ness
And to resist this solutionism, we cannot respond with an acquiescence to an unexamined radical individualism – it's my privacy, my child’s data, my decision. We cannot respond by saying that privacy protections and data usages are context-less, that we should have schools that are identity-less. That simply feeds right back into the ideology of the machine.
4 weeks ago
The Wealth Gap Across Race, Gender and Marriage Status
The chart illustrates a pattern that most of us probably do not find surprising. But the sheer chasm separating single white men from Black and Hispanic single women is still shocking to see visualized so clearly. Single white men have 438 times the assets as single Black women and 365 times that of single Hispanic women. As we can see, marriage is a huge determinant of wealth - but mainly if you're not white, and especially if you're a woman.
4 weeks ago
Hinsdale’s Dr. Skoda is quite the hypocrite, isn’t he? | Fred Klonsky
But it takes a major level of chutzpah to be engaging in bad-faith bargaining, complaining about your teachers’ compensation and demanding teachers take a salary cut while sitting on a six-figure public pension.
4 weeks ago
Student Data, Algorithms, Ideology, and Identity-less-ness
She noted that the hype about “democratization of education” through MOOCs and other online efforts has conflated “access” with “information” and “information” with “education.” She observed too that while technologies are quite good at measuring tasks, they are much less effective at measuring learning. But as a result, learning is increasingly defined by the demands of data collection and by the affordances of the digital platforms. Learning is reduced to tasks, and the individual learner’s context – their cultural context, their place, their identity – is stripped out.
4 weeks ago
The 9 Most Powerful Lessons Punk Rock Teaches You
“To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.” – Patti Smith
4 weeks ago
Mark Bernstein: The Mobile Software Disaster
It turns out, products we thought were really successful – products that took years to design and build, that are well crafted and well polished and lavishly reviewed – are bringing in a few hundred dollars a month, and less than $50K over the life of the product. A game developer reports sales of several hundred dollars, total, for several apps that seem pretty attractive. In fact, not only is no one making a living from building mobile software: almost nobody is even scraping by.
4 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: One True Path
Reformsters make mouth noises about personalization and individualization, but they don't mean that every student might take a different path. They mean that each individual student might be at a different point on the One True Path, or that some students walk down the One True Path faster than others. This is not really individualization. This is not about finding the right path for the student; it's about making the student adapt to the One True Path (and stick to the One True Schedule for walking down it).
4 weeks ago
The economics of refugee children
Happily, those that would deny food and shelter to refugee children are far outnumbered by the rest of us who see caring for those in need as being essential to our very humanity. Questioning the need to offer assistance to children stuns us. It’s impossible to not see such attitudes as some kind of perverse joke and an abandonment of essential human values. “I’m not going to ruin a perfectly good pair of $200 shoes wading into a puddle to save a drowning two-year old,” is something said by villains, not decent people.
4 weeks ago
Why law school’s love affair with economics is terrible for the American legal system - Salon.com
The law and economics movement, born at the University of Chicago in the 1970s, gave birth to this type of thinking and now enjoys unquestioned academic supremacy over the more prevaricating methods of legal realism, critical legal studies and legal formalism. Law and economics’ doyen Richard Posner, a professor at Chicago, Seventh Circuit judge and famous advocate of all things market-oriented, is the most cited legal academic of the 20th century. Ronald Coase’s “The Problem of Social Cost,” which reduces debate over legal rules to the calculation of transaction costs, is the most cited legal article. Passions have cooled somewhat since the raucous debate in the ’80s and ’90s over law and economics’ takeover of the legal academy — which was aided in no small part by generous donations from private, free market-promoting foundations — but that’s just because the movement’s methods have become part of the background. No other approach to adjudication dominates class discussion to such an extent, or shapes the way in which cases are selected and read.
4 weeks ago
Can Someone Tell Homebuilders How to Raise Wages? | Beat the Press
When labor is scarce we expect employers to be trying to get workers by raising wages to pull workers away from competitors. This should mean that wages are rising. In fact, real wages in the construction industry have been stagnant for the last three years and are still down by around 3 percent from the peaks hit five years ago.
5 weeks ago
Jonathan Chait wields the power of logic |
Alerted by the lovely and ferocious Jane Hamsher, I was treated to the display of Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, promising to deploy the power of logic. JC defends eliminating teacher tenure standards, joining a movement that is now spurred by the recent not-Sophia Vergara court decision in California. (Showing my mad SEO skillz.) I regret to report that his use of the power proves somewhere short of awesome.
5 weeks ago
Michelle Rhee’s High-Priced PR « Taking Note
Michelle Rhee is smart, talented, hard-working, charismatic and ambitious, but, in the public education arena, she is a fraud. That this truth is not widely acknowledged is a tribute to the PR skills of Anita Dunn of SKDKnickerbocker.
5 weeks ago
Mean What You Say
Riding in the great clown car of reform is like riding with someone who keeps saying, "We need to turn right now," and then turns left. Eventually, you start to doubt your own understanding of right and left.
5 weeks ago
For CEOs, Correlation Between Pay and Stock Performance Is Pretty Random - Businessweek
An analysis of compensation data publicly released by Equilar shows little correlation between CEO pay and company performance. Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random, as though performance doesn’t matter. The comparison makes it look as if there is zero relationship between pay and performance.
5 weeks ago
Sign up for Park(ing) Day!
The purpose of Park(ing) Day is to temporarily repurpose parking spaces as something other than parking, in order to draw attention to the large areas of our cities oriented towards cars. When parking and streets are taken into account, cities like Providence allocate more than fifty percent of their downtowns to cars, and often even more space in the outer neighborhoods. Parking policy has strong correlations to housing affordability (extra parking raises the cost of housing) and transportation sustainability (it also greatly encourages driving).
5 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Charter Conversations
There's a faint smell of flop-sweat around Smarick's complaints, like a Nixon aide complaining that Watergate coverage is failing to mention all the great things the President did in China.
5 weeks ago
Eschaton: You Down With OPC
My takeaway is that Cuomo's corruption investigations were just another form of corruption, something done with the intention of hanging it over the heads of other politicians. Find out where the bodies are buried, and make sure everybody knows you know.
5 weeks ago
UARK Study Shamelessly (& Knowingly) Uses Bogus Measures to Make Charter Productivity Claims | School Finance 101
The acknowledgement of my critique, highly selective misrepresentation of my critique, and complete failure to respond to the major substantive points of that critique display a baffling degree of arrogance and complete disregard for legitimate research.
Yes – that’s right – either this is an egregious display of complete ignorance and methodological ineptitude, or this new report is a blatant and intentional misrepresentation of data. So which is it? I’m inclined to believe the latter, but I guess either is possible.
5 weeks ago
One more time: The Republicans have no incentive to moderate
The Republican Party run by the modern conservative movement is the most effective and successful minority party in history. They fully exploit every flaw in our system for their own advantage and then skillfully demonize their opponents if they try to use the same techniques. They are well funded by billionaires with a strong interest in paralyzing democracy and have a bunch of followers whose worldview is organized around discontent and hatred of "the other" which makes a government system full of veto points a perfect vehicle for their agenda. Oh, and they revel in shamelessness which is their way of flexing their power and ensuring that everyone knows who's really in charge. And everyone does.
5 weeks ago
Education Outrage: E-learning has failed. Time to get rid of it (or at least do it right).
The web made it possible for training departments to spend much less money and yet appear as if they were doing something new and modern.
5 weeks ago
Progressive movement that thrived in NYC coming to Chicago | Early & Often
Groups here have been training on how to encourage new candidates to run and what kind of instruction to give them, including teaching them about the budget and other levers of power that would allow them to advocate once they’re inside.

Part of what was so successful in New York was that the Working Families Party ran a slate of progressives in a host of communities,   all echoing the same message.
5 weeks ago
GOP’s highway robbery: How self-styled patriots choke future growth, ensure American decline - Salon.com
Among the public at large, that bipartisan consensus endures. In 30 years of polling since 1984, the General Social Survey has found that roughly four times as many Americans think we’re spending too little, rather than too much, on the nation’s highways and bridges, and the difference between Democrats and Republicans has only been 2.9 percent on average, with Republicans slightly more concerned that we are spending too little. Democrats have been more concerned than Republicans just three times out of 18, with one tie.
5 weeks ago
Mario Lanza, Fuck Off : A Doc On Our Country’s Greatest Vocalist
“At an early age, I was gonna fuck shit up.” Long before the advent of the much beloved, award-winning Twitter account, John Brannon was scaring the shit out of folks, peeling-paint, etc. To say he’s not lost a step some 3 decades down the line doesn’t really sum it up —NATIONAL FUCKING TREASUE.
6 weeks ago
Game Changer
Europe and even America never cared that much about Crimea. It is difficult to dislodge an annexation when a majority of the population likely really did support it. And the Europeans, as long as the big red lines weren't being crossed, are too tied to Russian fuels and their myriad other concerns to care that much about mischief on Ukraine's eastern border. But having a passenger plane, filled with EU citizens, shot out of the sky above what is presumed to be the bubble of first world safety that is "Europe" is a game changing event not only in the Ukraine crisis but much more broadly about Putin's role in Europe generally.
6 weeks ago
Sabbatical? Take one if you can
Many UFTers think that sabbaticals no longer exist. Wrong. Think that most applications get rejected. Wrong. Think they can’t afford one. Wrong.
6 weeks ago
How “Reformers” Lie About Graduation Rates | Diane Ravitch's blog
It is now clear what New York City was doing during the Bloomberg era. Given the humungous size of the district they were able to play a shell game with students by passing the buck. Instead of figuring out how to reach the most challenging students and helping them succeed, the students were passed from school to school. This inevitably led to a domino effect of school closures. A shell game like this can be played in a district with almost 500 high schools, over two and half times as many as the next largest school district. Since there is a very long chain of dominos the “bad apple” students can be isolated into a specific group of schools making the remaining schools, which don’t accept those students, look good. But, as smaller districts have found out, it is not a workable long-term strategy when there is not an endless supply of schools to be used as sacrificial lambs.
6 weeks ago
Microsoft study: Weak passwords are fine for low-risk accounts that don't have sensitive information.
Instead, the group argues that people should use weak, memorable passwords or the same password for low-importance accounts. That way they can focus on memorizing a few strong, diverse passwords for their most sensitive accounts, like email and banking. This seems especially appealing since password managers are difficult to use properly in the first place. (For instance, they make it harder to use a friend’s computer to log into your Gmail account.)
6 weeks ago
Sweden school choice: The country’s disastrous experiment with Milton Friedman and vouchers.
To the extent that Americans think about Sweden at all, it usually conjures images of gibberish-speaking Muppets, Ikea furniture, and, when it comes to government policies, the welfare state. So it’s something of a surprise that more Swedish students go to privately run (and mostly for-profit) schools than in any other developed country on earth. The system was put in place in the early 1990s by a center-right (by Swedish standards) government, inspired by the ideas of the godfather of free market economics, Milton Friedman. In a 1955 article titled “The Role of the Government in Education,” Friedman advocated for a system in which governments would issue vouchers to parents that would be redeemable toward tuition payments at a private school of their choice. This voucher system would allow market pressures to work their magic, as schools would be forced to improve their quality in order to compete for students and their voucher dollars. (Even if governments remained in the education business, public schools would face the same market pressures to maintain enrollment as private schools.)
6 weeks ago
Debra Harrell arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter go to the park alone.
If every parent who let their fourth-graders go to the park unsupervised were arrested, all the moms from 1972 would have been behind bars.
6 weeks ago
How Does Anybody Manage
When I go back to the neighborhood where I spent some time growing up, I'm always struck by the fact that I never see any children outside, ever. Maybe that's just changing demographics and there aren't any children. But when I was a kid we'd wander around, ride our bikes, go into the "woods," go down to the creek, play street hockey in the middle of the road, etc. This was all normal. I didn't usually walk to school - there was a bus - but I would have been allowed to. It was about a mile.
6 weeks ago
Libertarian plutocrats still have to govern. They just don't want to, by @DavidOAtkins
It's just another reminder that Republicans aren't really "conservative" anymore. These are radical economic libertarian ideologues as wild-eyed and unrealistic about human nature and economics as any Bolshevik. What they want is a society that has never existed before in modern history, testing an already-discredited economic theory that has never been pursued to its full extent because it's too demonstrably crazy, with social order enforced by a code of morality and institutional hierarchy most voters have already rejected.
6 weeks ago
The Reformers
One simple thing which always stands out to me is the concept of "closing failing schools." Not just firing the principal, or bringing in new teachers, but literally closing them and pushing the kids out to other schools. I moved quite a bit as a kid, and also transitioned from elementary to middle school to junior high to high school, and moving to a new school for a kid is a big fucking deal. It's traumatic. How constantly shuffling kids between schools is supposed to be good for their education mystifies me.
6 weeks ago
Exclusive poll: Karen Lewis could give Rahm run for his money | Early & Often
If the mayoral election were held today, the lightning rod union leader who was the architect behind a 2012 teachers’ strike would beat Emanuel by 9 percentage points in a head-to-head contest, the survey found.
6 weeks ago
Joyce Murdock Feilke: What Are We Doing to the Children?
“What many of us in Texas schools originally thought to be soaring rates of High Functioning Autism (HFA), which also has symptoms of regression, dissociation, and constriction, is now thought to be stress related rather than HFA. For young children who still have a developing brain, being forced to function in a chronic state of hyper vigilance and/or hypoarousal or hyperarousal, will become “hard wired” into the personality. It changes their brain chemistry. CCSS is creating Anxiety Disorders and Depression that many children will suffer for a lifetime.
7 weeks ago
Employment rates for STEM Ph.D.s: It’s a stagnant job market for young scientists.
With a little cleaning up, however, the federal data do tell a pretty clear story: The market for new Ph.D.s in the much obsessed-about STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—is stagnant. Over the last 20 years, employment rates are either flat or down in each major discipline, from computer science to chemistry. It’s not what you’d expect given the way companies like Microsoft talk about talent shortages.
7 weeks ago
Pinboard Turns Five (Pinboard Blog)
I see my role much like a small-town praire banker in the 1880's. My job is to project an aura of calm, solvency, and permanence in an industry where none of those adjectives applies. People are justifiably risk-averse when it comes to their bookmarks, and they are looking for stability. This means several things at once:
7 weeks ago
A Fragment of Muonionalusta | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
This little chunk of crystalline metal is a tiny slice of a meteorite — a rock that fell from the sky. When one says that, the next natural question is, “how do you know it’s a meteorite?” (We will get to that.) But what is really staggering is not just that we know, but how much we know about it and its history. And what a long history it is.
7 weeks ago
The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060 | Paul Mason | Comment is free | The Guardian
Now imagine the world of the central scenario: Los Angeles and Detroit look like Manila – abject slums alongside guarded skyscrapers; the UK workforce is a mixture of old white people and newly arrived young migrants; the middle-income job has all but disappeared. If born in 2014, then by 2060 you are either a 45-year-old barrister or a 45-year-old barista. There will be not much in-between. Capitalism will be in its fourth decade of stagnation and then – if we've done nothing about carbon emissions – the really serious impacts of climate change are starting to kick in.
7 weeks ago
Oysters: the Ocean State’s aquaculture cash crop
There are 52 oyster farms in Rhode Island spread out over 176 acres – a little more than half in Narragansett Bay (one as far north as Warwick) with the remaining 82 acres in one of four South County salt ponds.
7 weeks ago
Karl Hendricks Needs Your Help
(EDITOR’S NOTE : for nearly 25 years, the quality songwriting and guitar-craft of Pittsburgh, PA’s Karl Hendricks Trio has been a big part of the reason why US underground rock doesn’t deserve instant disappearing by Criss Angel or perhaps a less gothy illusonist. Upon hearing of Hendricks’ recent health woes, I immediately decided to donate all of CSTB’s ad revenues for the month of July to the fund-raising initiative quoted below. When it was pointed out that we don’t actually have any ad revenues for the month of July, I instead bounced a check to my cat’s psychologist. Karl’s that special – GC)
7 weeks ago
Jason France: The Data Crises in Louisiana
“There is a data crisis at LDOE. Almost all of the data collection systems are failing. The data, statistics and reports being generated are garbage. Data is being ferried back and forth between the department and school districts using Excel worksheets and through e-mail correspondence. This leaves many students at high risk to data theft and privacy violations. Because the systems impacted are numerous and core to much of the reporting and analysis performed by the Department, it is impossible for LDOE to claim they are reporting accurate or reliable numbers for dropouts, graduates, TOPS scholarship awards, school performance scores, test scores, student counts and breakdowns for MFP funding, program counts. . . the list goes on and on. The situation is really serious and probably just about hopeless at this point.
7 weeks ago
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum: Morning File, July 3, 2014
The city is finally getting around to fixing the Common pool and the adjacent Pavilion. Those facilities call back to an earlier time of promise, when there was the collective will to spend tax money to build nice things. Caring about kids, the future, and common purpose seems so retro nowadays. It’s good to see that someone on city staff still gives a shit.
8 weeks ago
Harris v. Quinn Decision: Supreme Court's Undercuts Union Dues-Paying | New Republic
Toward the end of its peculiar analysis, the majority articulates a new and dangerous standard or test, which surely will open the doors to future problems. “The agency-fee [or fair share] provision cannot be sustained unless the cited benefits for personal assistants could not have been achieved if the union had been required to depend for funding on the dues paid by those personal assistants who chose to join.” In effect, the Court is requiring unions to prove a counterfactual, that the workers could not have achieved the same benefits it received from the union through any other means. The Court concludes that “no such showing has been made.” However, it is not clear how anyone could make such a showing. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for herself and three other dissenting justices, proclaimed that the good news with this case is that the majority did not overturn Abood. However, if the majority’s new test is a prerequisite for fair-share agreements, it may have done irreparable damage to the balance created by Abood.
8 weeks ago
The Hobby Lobby Decision: A Summary & Explanation
It’s very important to remember: RFRA is a STATUTORY standard. It’s not constitutional. A victory for Hobby Lobby under RFRA does not necessarily mean that the First Amendment requires Hobby Lobby to win. RFRA provides more protection for religious exercise than the First Amendment does. RFRA can be repealed by Congress. A Supreme Court decision interpreting the First Amendment can only be overruled by the Supreme Court.
8 weeks ago
John Courtney Murray is still dead
The reference to “blood transfusions” hints at one possible basis for this distinction in Alito’s mind, but it suggests something rather ugly and tribal, and something flagrantly unconstitutional. Blood transfusions, you see, are religiously forbidden for Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is to say, in Alito’s apparent way of thinking, the religious scruples against blood transfusions do not involve a legitimate religion. Concern about abortion, however — even when that concern has no factual basis — is a legitimate religious scruple because, well, it’s Catholic. Just like Sam Alito. And just like John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas — the only justices who agreed with Alito’s inexplicable assertion that this alleged concern about alleged “abortifacients” is self-evidently different from other such claims.
8 weeks ago
Chafee on Testing Bill: We're Looking at It | Rhode Island Public Radio
Governor Lincoln Chafee says he is still considering whether to sign a bill that halts a controversial policy linking test scores to high school diplomas.

"We're still looking at it and talking to advocates on both sides," Chafee told RIPR on Friday, as he signed a bill making calamari the state's official appetizer.
8 weeks ago
Free college narratives
The amount put aside comes to you, not as some hyper-individualist right, but as a humbling gift. Working class people who never get to use the colleges toil for you while you study. Accordingly, you are deeply indebted to them for that gift. Without it, you would not have been able to get your degree and all of the market benefits it generally comes with.
8 weeks ago
Facebook Manipulated Users’ Feeds for a Psychology Experiment
This is hugely controversial, but I’m only surprised that anyone is surprised. Yes, this is creepy as hell, and indicates a complete and utter lack of respect for their users’ privacy or the integrity of their feed content. Guess what: that’s Facebook.
9 weeks ago
These Ages of Shoddy - NYTimes.com
One thing is clear: there has been a shocking and inexcusable decline in public investment at a time when we should be doing far more investment. Construction workers are suffering high unemployment; public borrowing costs are at record lows; the economy is essentially awash with excess labor and capital, begging to be used. And here’s what’s happening to public construction:
9 weeks ago
Rebel with a Cause | EduShyster
Madeloni: This is a critical moment in our history and we have to protect public education or we’re going to lose it. There’s an incredible sea change that’s coming from the rank and file in teachers unions, not just in Massachusetts but across the country. Teachers understand what’s happening. They have a much better analysis than they had even a year ago. They’re moving past *I just have a bad principal,* or *I just have a bad superintendent* and seeing the larger picture. So now what are we going to do about it?
9 weeks ago
West Coast Stat Views (on Observational Epidemiology and more): Understanding McKinsey
At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, Coleman approach to Common Core follow this template exactly. He had a set of radical (and by some standards rather flaky) changes he wanted to make in American education. Instead of building support through research or grassroots lobbying, he approached one of the world's richest and most powerful former CEOs and, having secured his support, mounted a tremendously effective charm offensive on the press.
9 weeks ago
Why Amazon vs. Hachette should have news publishers quaking
But there is an actual doomsday on this timeline. We know this because not that long ago Facebook pulled this same act with the entire world of consumer-facing business (or “brands,” as they’ve been dubbed in this arena). Facebook sold the “brands” on using its platform to connect with Real People, and brands leapt at the opportunity, pouring money and effort into building brand pages and huge followings, and everything was great until Facebook turned around and said, “Now we are demoting your posts — if you want to reach people you’ll have to pay us.”
9 weeks ago
“Don’t Eat Healthy”Our Carb Confusion | Michael Ruhlman
We need to begin talking about nutritious food or we will cease to be nutritious when the bonobos come to feast on our fat, diseased selves strewn across the scorched earth we leave behind. Dr. Sukol recommends that if you see anything actually labeled “healthy,” throw it into the next aisle of the grocery store, which I hope is near the cleaning fluids. Actually she just said to put it back, but I would urge you, as an act of protest, to throw it into the cleaning fluids lane.
9 weeks ago
Vergara vs. California: Are the top 0.1% buying their version of education reform? - The Washington Post
Put another way, the decision, the course of the trial, even the very existence of the case were largely the result of actions of a small set of very wealthy men. What’s more, this is true for almost every major education reform initiative from Common Core to L.A.’s billion-dollar iPad program to endless charter school pushes. Though the list of names does vary somewhat from story to story, the same figures keep popping up. For instance, it is rare to find a major reform initiative that does not involve someone who has worked for or received support from Eli Broad or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
9 weeks ago
YAPC::NA 2014 keynote: Programming Perl in 2034
Speaking from 1914's perspective, it is apparent that if the current rate of improvement in the technology can be maintained, then steam locomotion has a bright future ahead of it! We can reasonably expect that, by 2014, with improvements in signaling and boiler technology our 200 mile per hour passenger trains will constitute the bedrock of human transport, and we, as boiler engineers, will be the princes of industry.
9 weeks ago
Michael Johnston’s Education Hero Principal Hammered by Johnston’s ‘Growth’ Metric
The most controversial thing about Johnston’s education politics is his firm belief in the accuracy of the Colorado Growth Model. This model is used to compare different schools based on ‘growth’ rather than just ‘achievement.’ Colorado has quite a good website for exploring data like this. So I thought I’d see how the Odyssey School did on their ‘growth.’
9 weeks ago
SHOGO KUBO R.I.P.
Shogo Kubo, for those who do not know, was one of the most stylish and flowing pool and half pipe riders you'd ever see. To me Skaters like Ray "Bones", Steve Caballero, and Christian Hosoi, to name a few, were cut from his cloth. Shogo was an original, an innovator, and a competitor like none of the other "Z-Boys", and he was radical too. We created a lot of cool images together during that hey day. All the images you see above and below come from a few of our outings... he will be missed by many.
9 weeks ago
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