Coleman's CCSS Writing Style
One of the most remarkable features about his work as a public education policy scholar is that he never cites the work of another authority-- Coleman's ideas presumably spring full-blown from his own fertile mind without the need for any other scholars, writers, thought leaders, or researchers.
34 minutes ago
Moxie Marlinspike >> Blog >> GPG And Me
These are deep structural problems. GPG isn’t the thing that’s going to take us to ubiquitous end to end encryption, and if it were, it’d be kind of a shame to finally get there with 1990’s cryptography. If there’s any good news, it’s that GPG’s minimal install base means we aren’t locked in to this madness, and can start fresh with a different design philosophy. When we do, let’s use GPG as a warning for our new experiments, and remember that “innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1000 things.”
The simple reason Walmart & TJ Maxx are handing out raises — people are quitting - Vox
One reason the policy conversation has been dominated by speculation about education and artificial intelligence rather than business-cycle management is that it feels more prestigious to worry about profound long-term problems than superficial short-term ones. But the long-term is, in a sense, just an endless series of short-term spells. And for about a generation, business cycle management in the United States has been dominated by NAIRU paranoia in a way that's led directly to sluggish income growth (NAIRU is sometimes called the "natural rate of unemployment" and refers to the jobless rate below which economists think inflation will start to take off).
Shutting Schools
But aside from the specifics of that, one thing that's long confused me in this whole "school reform" conversation is that forcing a kid to go to a new school is really traumatic. I thought we knew this. The "new kid in school" trauma trope is a pretty standard thing. I moved around some as a kid, and showing up at a new school was really really hard. You don't know anybody and every institution has their microcustoms and behavioral expectations that aren't easy for a 9-year-old to grasp.
3 days ago
PARCC has been criticized for including "product placement" in its testing, with brand names and logos included in the questions. But this is even creepier-- a selection that includes a whole corporate philosophy. The issues here are huge and difficult and complex-- Should a corporation own a life form, or the DNA of a life form? Should the legal system let itself be used as corporate cops? Does our need for plentiful food justify extra protections for food corporations? And that's before we get into How the Justice System Works questions.
5 days ago
So we can't compare the students of Idaho to the students of Florida. We can't stack-rank the schools of Pennsylvania against the schools of Texas. We cannot measure how the Common Core is doing in every corner of the nation. There is no national, common assessment, and there never will be. On this point, at least, the reformsters have failed.
6 days ago
The One Where Larry Summers Demolished the Robots and Skills Arguments | Next New Deal
That is over. They say Washington DC has had a huge crime decline, but I just saw one of the most vicious muggings I’m likely to see, one where David Autor and Larry Summers just tore this idea that a Machine Age is responsible for our economic plight apart on a panel yesterday at the Hamilition Project for the launch of a new Machine Age report. Summers, in particular, took an aggressive tone that is likely to be where liberal and Democratic Party mainstream economic thinking is in advance of 2016. It is a very, very good place.
7 days ago
Eschaton: Kick The Poors
I've long thought that the low pay and shitty scheduling practices of places like Walmart didn't really make any economic sense, but instead just sprang from a contempt for workers by a layer of middle managers who didn't have much control over anything but worker hours and pay. They don't control the global supply chain, they don't control the marketing, and they probably don't even have much control over local inventory. So reducing labor costs is the only way to prove their worth.
8 days ago
The Risky Wiki
Recommendations: elementary school and high school students should treat Wikipedia as a dangerous place, exactly as they treat Internet chat rooms. Students should be warned to avoid contributing to the encyclopedia and, if they do contribute, to prepare for harassment that may well spill over into email and even physical encounters. College students may have more latitude, but even then, they should understand that any significant editing about their favorite game, YouTube personality, or historical event might bring the Army of Mordor down upon them.
9 days ago
NPR Report on Free-Range Kids Seems to Assume “Times Have Changed” | Free Range Kids
Ironically, most of us Free-Range parents would love a “busybody” who looks out for our kids, rather than calling the cops or CPS. The assumption that any neighborly interactions will be met with umbrage (or worse!) is just part of the vicious circle we have to break to get kids back outside.
10 days ago
Pharma Virumque | Slate Star Codex
It turned out that the nurses hated the social workers for making them wait on the phone forever in order to get a straight answer. The social workers hated the nurses for always calling them up when they were busy about things and expecting an answer RIGHT NOW. The social workers hated the doctors for giving patients one measly prescription, then handing them over to them to fix all of the impossible problems in their life. The doctors hated the social workers, because when we give patients one measly prescription and then hand them over to the social workers to fix all of their impossible problems, sometimes the impossible problems don’t get fixed.
10 days ago
Investment Riches Built on Subprime Auto Loans to Poor -
In a kind of alchemy that Wall Street has previously performed with mortgages, thousands of subprime auto loans are bundled together and sold as securities to investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and hedge funds. By slicing and dicing the securities, any losses if borrowers default can be contained, in theory.
11 days ago
Did Falling Testosterone Affect Falling Crime? | Slate Star Codex
(A quick aside – since these chemicals are gender-bending fish, frogs, and various other animals, could they be responsible for transgender in humans? This theory seems to still be in crackpot territory, but I don’t know why. Research shows that male-assigned-at-birth children exposed to diethylstilbestrol in the womb are more likely to become transgender than the general population. Other than that, there just seems to be one unpublished paper on the subject. Get to work, scientists!)
11 days ago
jwz: Borderlands Books owner doubles down on douchebaggery
Businesses fail when operating costs outstrip income, period. Cherry-picking a proximate cause of increased costs as the reason just demonstrates what political bone you have to pick, not the actual economics of the situation.
11 days ago
The Trucking Industry Needs More Drivers. Maybe It Needs to Pay More. -
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.
12 days ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Waiting for Marshmallows
In other words, the quality of deferred gratification is not just an innate immutable quality that the child possesses in some sort of vacuum-- it's a rational reasoned response to what one knows about conditions in the environment. Put another way, this quality of "self-control" is really about the relationship between the person and the environment (particularly the parts of that environment shaped by other people).
15 days ago
What should America do about the Middle East? - Hullabaloo
"America is like a dog with a hot spot on its butt called the Middle East, and you think you have to keep licking it." Genius.
15 days ago
Money, Money, Everywhere, But Not A Cent To Spend
So what bothered me is that psychiatric hospitalization costs about $1,000 a day. Average length of stay for a guy like him might be three to five days. So we were spending $5,000 on his psychiatric hospitalization, which was USELESS, so that we could send him out and he could attempt suicide again because of his $5,000 debt which he has no way of paying off. And probably end up in the hospital a second time, for that matter.
15 days ago
How Well are Charter Schools in DC Educating Students Who are Officially At-Risk?
5. It looks like we are now turning into a tripartite school system: one for affluent and well-educated familes (relatively high fractions of whites and Asians; mostly but not all in regular Ward 3 public schools); one for those in the middle (mostly blacks and hispanics, many enrolled in charter schools), and one for those at the seriously low end of the socio-economic spectrum, overwhelmingly African-American, largely At Risk, and mostly in highly-segregated regular public schools.
16 days ago
The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think | Johann Hari
The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I'll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country's top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass -- and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal's example.
16 days ago
Crazy old man rants in Central Park about young black men committing 95% of all murders - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25.

Per the most recent FBI statistics, the actual percentage appears to be 22.8.
17 days ago
Cool interview with Guy Picciotto, and great playlist of songs played too...
Fugazi, with their reasonably priced records and shows, demonstrated how bands could find their own way without the preconceived notion that you needed corporate label backing to have an impact (and a career!). The conversation explores the early days of DC punk, meeting the Cramps and legendary Atlantic Records mogul Ahmet Ertegun’s attempts to sign the band, the inspiration behind Rites of Spring and so much more…
17 days ago
NRA: Papa Don’t Preach 2 (a fanfic interlude)
He twisted his face at her a bit harder and continued, “The Bible says, ‘If she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be immune and be able to conceive children.’”
17 days ago
No profit left behind - Stephanie Simon - POLITICO
To prepare their students for Pearson exams, districts can buy Pearson textbooks, Pearson workbooks and Pearson test prep, such as a suite of software that includes 60,000 sample exam questions. They can connect kids to Pearson’s online tutoring service or hire Pearson consultants to coach their teachers. Pearson also sells software to evaluate teachers and recommend Pearson professional development classes to those who rate poorly — perhaps because their students aren’t faring well on Pearson tests.
18 days ago
To Save Money on Building Rail, Spend Money on Marketing Buses -
That fact, laid out in a 2009 report from the Federal Transit Administration, isn’t surprising, but it has led to a perverse outcome: Transit agencies are spending millions of dollars on new rail infrastructure that is no faster than existing bus service, simply because riders perceive a train as better than a bus.
18 days ago
The productivity slowdown: Is structural stagnation our fate? | LBO News from Doug Henwood
Why does this all matter? Productivity growth puts an upper bound on economy-wide income growth. Politics and institutions determine how that growth is distributed—for the last few decades in the U.S., most of those gains have gone to the top tiers. That need not be, if politics and institutions change. Stronger unions, better labor law, and a more civilized welfare state could change how income is distributed. But if productivity growth remains this slow, or picks up to the 1% range that Gordon foresees, then there’s a lot less to (re)distribute. And if this is so, then structural stagnation will long be with us.
18 days ago
Why I Heart King Abdullah | The Nation
1. King Abdullah was old school, and old school is good. We haven’t had a monarch like him in the West in hundreds of years, and look what a mess we’re in. Some people compare him to Louis XIV, absolute monarch extraordinaire, but I plan to argue that he was more like Henry VIII, because they both enjoyed beheading people and getting married a lot. Actually, most kings back then did the kinds of things Abdullah was famous for: throwing their enemies into dungeons, banning all religions but their own, public executions, torture, tossing ridiculous amounts of money about. The queens were much the same—look at Isabella I, who banished the Jews and Muslims from Spain and let the Inquisition set up shop in her country. In some ways, Abdullah was a lot like her. Not entirely—there was that business with expelling the Muslims (expelling the Jews, good!), plus Isabella had an egalitarian marriage with King Ferdinand, and she thought the world was round, as Columbus said—I wouldn’t want to suggest that Abdullah shared her progressive views on that! But they both ruled medieval, cleric-ridden kingdoms and did their best to keep them that way in a changing world. Do you think it would be an insult to compare Abdullah to a woman?
19 days ago
jwz: If the law impedes your ability to make a profit, it's ok to ignore that law, right?
Fuck you, Kobi Mohan. If your business is unsustainable, then you can either, A) fix your business model to be profitable, or B) fail. Declaring yourself a magical unicorn who doesn't have to follow the laws that other people do just makes you a parasite.
19 days ago
Why 40 Doesn't Mean Much in Skateboarding Anymore | RIDE Channel
How old is your favorite skateboarder? Realistically, his age could range from something like 16 to 45. And that’s kind of amazing.
19 days ago
'Singing from the same hymnbook': Education policy advocacy at Gates and Broad » AEI
Two of the most prominent new philanthropic foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates and Broad Foundations, have doubled down on their efforts to directly shape federal education policy and politics. This paper will illuminate the advocacy funding strategies that contributed to the alignment of the two foundations’ policy priorities (including the Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluation, and charter schools) with the federal policy agenda. An array of foundation-funded interest groups has helped promote these priorities; as one Gates official explained in an interview, “Anybody who cares to look would find very quickly that all of these organizations [are] suddenly singing from the same hymnbook.” Reckhow and Tompkins-Stange trace grants using foundation tax returns and examine policy advocacy by analyzing the congressional testimony of Gates and Broad grantees. Drawing on analysis of giving and dozens of in-depth interviews with current and former foundation officials, they explore how these foundations developed their advocacy strategies, how their strategies have unfolded, and what these activities mean for policy and practice.
19 days ago
The nature of a corporation and how it changed in the 1980s
Pfizer is telling Wall Street that the acquisition will be ‘accretive to earnings’ and it will cut $800M in costs. Laying off scientists. What this means, in reality, is that large pharma companies are actually innovation destroying machines. How did we get here?
19 days ago
Inside Training Document Reveals How Test-Supporters Want to Talk About Testing - Living in Dialogue
“It’s okay to compare, but put the emphasis on how these tests are an improvement, not on how the old tests are bad. Nobody wants to feel like they’ve wasted time and money. And if you start bashing tests, your audience may not know which test you’re bashing.”
19 days ago
Don't Arse It Up
Don't vilify the wealthy, just make them pay some taxes for the state apparatus which devotes itself to preserving their wealth.
19 days ago
The Efficacy Of Everything In Psychiatry In One Graph Plus Several Pages Of Dense But Necessary Explanation
Actually, reread that one more time. Effect sizes for the low quality trials are triple those for the high-quality trials. If you ever wanted proof that it’s way too easy to inflate positive findings if your science isn’t really exceptionally good, there you go.
19 days ago
jwz: Transmissible obesity
Poop transplant from fat donor makes you fat.
20 days ago
he-man free speech defenders policing my speech | Fredrik deBoer
Civility, in the real world, has one function: to defend the powerful and connected against criticism. I believe in kindness. I believe in empathy. When they are warranted and appropriate, as they are with strangers or those who lack influence and power. But I have never seen civility endorsed, in the way it constantly is against me, in a way that doesn’t seek to preserve the delicate feelings of the already-influential. Yes, I believe that political correctness has some negative consequences, yes. We have to be able to say so when it does. But political correctness is a sometimes-unhelpful way to defend the weak. Civility, at least as it exists in real practice, is an always-unhelpful way to defend the powerful. It’s political correctness in the defense of the connected. And unlike most people who call for political correctness, those who call for civility tend to have teeth. They actually can achieve some of the nefarious personal consequences that are routinely associated with political correctness, precisely because the people who call for civility are the ones with the power.
23 days ago
don’t be an accelerant
Last semester, I started to develop an academic research project on #CancelColbert. I had to abandon it, as I just had too much on my plate. But I did a bunch of initial data gathering, and in that period I looked at literally thousands of Tweets from that controversy. It was there that I really got a sense that the typical conception that toxic online politics emerge from people of color, women, or the working class is wrong. Again and again, I found that the people who really caused the deepest nastiness appeared to be self-style white allies. Given the anonymity of Twitter, it wasn’t always possible to ascertain these things, and I will admit that this is more of an anecdotal impression than a systematic review. But so often, the people who raised the rhetorical stakes, the people who got really nasty, the people who made it all personal, were not the activists of color but the white allies. And I found this slice of people to be a really strange phenomenon. Often, they did not have any particular markers of being activists away from Twitter. They typically didn’t have their own writing careers. They seemed to only engage in that space. And they seemed only to engage in that way. I can’t tell you how many accounts I found that seemed simply to pinball from one online controversy to another, raising the stakes wherever they could, making progress impossible. They don’t do the organizing and advocacy that the actual activists do, and they don’t perform the necessary function of internal criticism that all healthy political movements need. They just exacerbate conflict and slander people.
28 days ago
I don’t know what to do, you guys
Jon Chait is an asshole. He’s wrong. I don’t want these kids to be more like Jon Chait. I sure as hell don’t want them to be less left-wing. I want them to be more left-wing. I want a left that can win, and there’s no way I can have that when the actually-existing left sheds potential allies at an impossible rate. But the prohibition against ever telling anyone to be friendlier and more forgiving is so powerful and calcified it’s a permanent feature of today’s progressivism. And I’m left as this sad old 33 year old teacher who no longer has the slightest fucking idea what to say to the many brilliant, passionate young people whose only crime is not already being perfect.
4 weeks ago
When I grit on grit
And many at EduCon also contended that inside schools, grit is frequently, and wrongfully, conflated with compliance (e.g., completing homework assignments, paying attention in class, or taking standardized tests seriously.)
4 weeks ago
Mark Bernstein: Unanswered
Attacking is the wrong move anyway. Apologize, demonstrate thought, and show care. Sure, that might look like losing: as you say, it’s not a battleground.
4 weeks ago
After Cuomo’s surprise, overnight subway service continues without passengers :: Second Ave. Sagas
The problem with Cuomo’s decision is that it doesn’t make sense. It’s a noble goal to keep cars off the road so that emergency response teams and plows can move through the city unimpeded. But it ignores the reality of New York City — an often inconvenient one for Cuomo — to shutter the subway. Now, New Yorkers, from everyone building cleaning crews to service employees at bars who are on duty until 4 a.m. to nurses and hospitals on duty overnight, can’t get around the city because the Governor decided it was somehow a danger for a subway system that operates largely underground to keep running through a massive but hardly unprecedented snow storm. Cuomo doesn’t want to deal with headlines placing the blame for the next stranded subway on his shoulders so instead, the entire city is effectively shut down.
4 weeks ago
Problem with 'Grit,' KIPP, and Character-Based Education | The New Republic
Today’s grit and self-control are basically industry and temperance in the guise of psychological constructs rather than moral imperatives. Why is this distinction important? While it takes grit and self-control to be a successful heart surgeon, the same could be said about a suicide bomber. When your character education scheme fails to distinguish between doctors and terrorists, heroes and villains, it would appear to have a basic flaw. Following the KIPP growth card protocol, Bernie Madoff’s character point average, for instance, would be stellar. He was, by most accounts, an extremely hard working, charming, wildly optimistic man.
4 weeks ago
Mark Bernstein: Resignation
A project which punished editors for defending the good names and reputations of living people from vicious internet trolls does not deserve to survive.
4 weeks ago
Calliope Sounds: Hypercard: Freedom to Associate
Found this at the bottom of a drawer today.
4 weeks ago
A Philosopher Walks Into A Coffee Shop
Pierre Proudhon goes up to the counter and orders a Tazo Green Tea with toffee nut syrup, two espresso shots, and pumpkin spice mixed in. The barista warns him that this will taste terrible. “Pfah!” scoffs Proudhon. “Proper tea is theft!”
4 weeks ago
Brady, Belichick, and Great Balls of Fire: A Front-Row Seat for the Foxborough Farce «
Truth be told, this whole hootenanny could have been avoided if not for one of those quirky features through which the National Football League, which makes approximately a quadrillion dollars a year, decides to behave like a third-rate dirt track in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This is a league that fines Marshawn Lynch 100 grand for refusing to talk to mooks like me. It won’t let him wear gold cleats. But the most basic element of the game, the ball, gets treated like something that gets shot out of a cannon at halftime as a souvenir. In every game, the balls the kickers use are under league supervision every moment. This could easily be done with all the game balls. But, instead, each team is allowed to use footballs of its own choosing on offense. No other sport does anything remotely like this. (In one of history’s king ironies, this ridiculous system is the result of a petition circulated in 2006 by a number of NFL quarterbacks, chief among them Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.) This obviously leaves a loophole for chicanery through which Vince Wilfork could run with daylight on either side of him. Further, would it really put a dent in the NFL’s budget to hire actual ball-security experts who get paid by the league, instead of enlisting the defensive backfield of whatever high school football team is closest to the stadium?
5 weeks ago
Union density erodes again—and why bosses hate unions | LBO News from Doug Henwood
Union status matters for wages: overall, unionized workers earned 27% more than nonunion (measured by median weekly earnings for full-time workers). The effect was especially pronounced for weaker, more discriminated-against demographic groups. The youngest group, aged 16–24, enjoyed a 28% union premium; the advantage declined with each successive cohort, down to 12% for the 65+ set. Women aged 25 and older enjoyed a 27% premium, compared to 15% for men. White men (16 and over) had a 20% union advantage, compared with 32% for white women; for black men, the premium was 29%, compared to 34% for black women; and for Hispanics, it was 44% for men and 46% for women. Asian men were a notable exception, with the unionized earning 5% less than the non-unionized—but Asian women showed a 14% union premium.
5 weeks ago
Jeff Bryant on the NCLB Hearings: The Democrats Lost Their Voice
“My experience in the education world is that there are really two worlds in it. One is the world of contract and consultants and academics and experts and plenty of officials at the federal state and local level. And the other is a world of principals and classroom teachers who are actually providing education to students. What I’m hearing from my principals’ and teachers’ world is that the footprint of that first world has become way too big in their lives to the point where it’s inhibiting their ability to do the jobs they’re entrusted to do.”
5 weeks ago
Chinese BitTorrent, the gift that keeps on giving
So basically, entire countries' worth of porn hounds randomly start hammering on my server all at once, even though no BitTorrent traffic has ever passed to or from the network it's on, because for some unknown reason, the now-long-defunct piratebay tracker sometimes resolves to my IP address. Hooray.
5 weeks ago
Yes Virginia all that money printing did show up as inflation | Ian Welsh
That inflation has not shown up in much (though not all) of the rest of the economy is simply based on the fact that no one else except the rich and corporations has received (I can’t call it “earned”) more money.  Nothing more, nothing less.
5 weeks ago
The Invisible Woman: A Conversation With Björk | Pitchfork
B: I have nothing against Kanye West. Help me with this—I’m not dissing him—this is about how people talk about him. With the last album he did, he got all the best beatmakers on the planet at the time to make beats for him. A lot of the time, he wasn’t even there. Yet no one would question his authorship for a second. If whatever I’m saying to you now helps women, I’m up for saying it. For example, I did 80% of the beats on Vespertine and it took me three years to work on that album, because it was all microbeats—it was like doing a huge embroidery piece. Matmos came in the last two weeks and added percussion on top of the songs, but they didn’t do any of the main parts, and they are credited everywhere as having done the whole album. [Matmos’] Drew [Daniel] is a close friend of mine, and in every single interview he did, he corrected it. And they don’t even listen to him. It really is strange.
5 weeks ago
Mark Bernstein: Careless
The key issue here has always been clear: Wikipedia systematically is being used to publicize the sexual history of women in computing in order to drive them out of the field. This is central: whether or not someone said something intemperate on December 13 is not.
5 weeks ago
“I can’t breathe”: Eric Garner wasn’t the only victim of excessive force by one of William Bratton’s police departments.
Bratton's broken windows policy encourages cops to police aggressively, while his preference for opaque and insular disciplinary policies tells cops they are primarily accountable to Bratton instead of the communities they serve. You can't fix broken windows abuses unless you've got a commissioner willing to crack down on overaggressive policing. But you can't effectively deploy broken windows unless you tacitly encourage cops to be overaggressive. And that’s the problem. More than 20 years into the broken windows experiment, it’s obvious that improved training won’t fix the abuses the philosophy engenders. Overaggression in broken windows policing isn't anomalous—it's normative behavior.
5 weeks ago
"A more aggressive form of terrorism"? Really?
Yes, I know the intention is different than our homegrown massacres, but so what? Nobody in their right minds can believe that such acts will result in Muslim extremists taking over the country. It's a violent political act designed to frighten a people into making bad decisions, whether it's a misguided war or accepting authoritarianism or perpetrating immoral acts like torture which they can use to recruit more extremists. They cannot destroy us so they do these things to provoke us into destroying ourselves. It's a cliche but it happens to be true. If we don't panic they don't get what they want.
5 weeks ago
The Subgroup Scam & Testing Everyone Every Year | School Finance 101
The implication of the sanctions imposed on those serving one type of “Hispanic” immigrant versus another is – Why can’t you turn your Hispanics around like they did? This is offensive on so many freakin’ levels! What about the district serving an “Asian” population dominated by middle class Filipinos versus more affluent Koreans? Do we say – what’s wrong with your Asians and why aren’t they performing like their Asians? That’s what current policy does with no regard for the nuance of racial/ethnic (national origin, generational status, etc) classification and the organization of communities with respect to patterns of immigration.
6 weeks ago
Skate Spot Porn: Copenhagen, Denmark
It would seem that for a Danish architect, there’s nothing sadder than an underutilized space (it helps that their other mantra is basically “fuck cars”) — and they figured out who exactly has spent more time in ledge and incline-lined spaces than anyone else these past twenty years. Some of the older Jarmers locals even said that they were approached to be consultants when several of these parks were being planned. The city is so welcoming for your skateboard that it begins to feel like the bizzaro world. “Why is no one yelling at me?”
6 weeks ago
Depression Is Not A Proxy For Social Dysfunction
Off the top of my head, here are six plausible reasons why Scandinavia could have higher rates of depression than the United States, even if it is a utopian society of perfect happiness.a
6 weeks ago
This document is truly puzzling. Why would AFT feel the need to negotiate a compromise position about hypothetical legislation with people who won't be helping to write it? What possible use is there to AFT in compromising away so many fundamental principles for no purpose whatsoever? It's not like they can say, "Well, at least we got X or Y out of this." They got nothing. Nothing. They simply provided the public spectacle of reversing themselves and selling out their members.
6 weeks ago
Is Ed Reform a Clash of Class Cultures
Absolutely. I've never believed that Bill Gates was pushing reform because he thinks it will make him more money. I believe that he and many other reformsters look at US public education and see a system that just doesn't work right. I believe they are in the grip of the same basic impulse as an OCD person walking into a room with twenty portraits hanging crookedly on the walls. From their perspective, they see a system that just doesn't work the way a system should, and they want to fix that.
6 weeks ago
The plight of the bitter nerd: Why so many awkward, shy guys end up hating feminism -
Depression, at its core, doesn’t really make sense, but it’s really great at hijacking the rest of your brain to make itself make sense, and when the depressed person in question is highly intelligent, you end up with an immaculately logical tower of reasoning for why their depression is wholly rational and inevitable.
6 weeks ago
It’s not just Fox News: How liberal apologists torpedoed change, helped make the Democrats safe for Wall Street -
A bit of blunt class analysis might also help. Let us take into account the Democratic Party’s transformation in recent decades into a dutiful servant of the professional class and its every whim and prejudice. Let us acknowledge the Democratic leaders’ embarrassing faith in meritocracy, their amazing trust in the good intentions and right opinions of their fellow professionals from banking, law, economics and journalism—and their generally dismissive attitude toward the views of working people. While we’re at it, let us put the professional-class pundits under the microscope as well. After all, there is a term for the sort of myopia that allows someone to proclaim that their own political views are eminently practical if not natural and inevitable—and that the demands of the other guy are impossible dreams given the nature of the system and of reality itself.
6 weeks ago
Role of FBI informant in eco-terrorism case probed after documents hint at entrapment | US news | The Guardian
But last November, the US attorney’s office in the eastern district of California admitted that it had “inadvertently” failed to disclose numerous documents that went to the very heart of the case. Crucially, those previously undisclosed files included correspondence between “Anna” and McDavid that suggests that, far from being the neutral intelligence-gatherer portrayed by prosecutors, she might have entrapped her prey by encouraging him to behave conspiratorially in the hope of romantic fulfillment.
6 weeks ago
The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Israel, Vol. 1 (2005–06)
However, her death does appear to be legit. David has handled most matters. Her elderly cat had been put down, but there was a younger one who needed a home. In the short term, David was going to pay for a pricey pet hotel; I said I’d help spread the word. (It now seems that a good home has been found.) He had contacted the New York Times, saying that an obituary was warranted. When they expressed interest, David reached out to me for some details; Jim and I did the best we could.
6 weeks ago
Cloud cuckoo politics - Charlie's Diary
Our glorious prime minister, failed TV company marketing director David Cameron, has proposed banning all forms of encryption that can't be broken by the security services. I'm not the only person who thinks this policy is beyond bonkers and well into criminal insanity (even his own deputy prime minister has reservations), but for the record, let me lay out why this is such a bad idea.
6 weeks ago
John White Begs Private Schools to Take More Voucher Students– and Offers More State Money to Help Them Do So
Surely there is a constitutionality issue here. But there are also drippings of pathos: John White is so desperate to make this largely unwanted Louisiana voucher program work that he is trying to give public money away to current private schools accepting vouchers– and all that he can manage after a repeated RFP is $350k to three archdiocese.
6 weeks ago
Mike Tanier's Monday Morning Hangover: Weekend of Upsets and Classics | Bleacher Report
New England simply unveiled a relatively novel situational-use strategy while trailing in the second half of a playoff game. Most teams don't play that kind of rope-a-dope, waiting until the playoffs to unleash something completely unexpected. Most teams don't draft a college quarterback, use him as a receiver-returner-dime-defender for six solid years, then call his first career NFL pass attempt to throw a game-tying third-quarter playoff touchdown.

Love them or hate them, the Patriots do things their own way.
6 weeks ago
Testing as Target Acquisition
So (to grossly oversimplify) we have one group of advocates saying, "We must slap loud test-based labels on these high-needs schools so that they can be easily spotted," while another group rubs their hands together and smiles, "Yes, please, by all means-- label those schools." We have farmyard advocates saying, "Chickens must not be ignored," and demanding big neon signs marking the henhouse, while the wolves salivate and say, "Yes, you should definitely do that." We have people who believe they are targeting schools for assistance when they are actually targeting those schools for destruction.
6 weeks ago
Changes | Snakes and Ladders
These two environments, Twitter and Tumblr, have something important in common, which they share with most social media sites: they invite you to measure people’s response to you. For many people this probably means nothing, but on me it has always had an effect. Over the years I developed a sense of how many RTs a tweet was likely to earn, how many reblogs or likes a Tumblr post would receive – and I couldn’t help checking to see if my guesses were right. I never really cared anything about numbers of followers, and for a long time I think I covertly prided myself on that; but eventually I came to understand that I wanted my followers, however many there happened to be, to notice what I was saying and to acknowledge my wit or wisdom in the currency of RTs and faves. And over time I believe that desire shaped what I said, what I thought – what I noticed. I think it dulled my brain. I think it distracted me from the pursuit of more difficult, challenging ideas that don’t readily fit into the molds of social media.
6 weeks ago
The “Inner Cleveland” of Trendy Cities
To be perfectly honest, Portland is a small blue collar city out in the sticks with a fairly recent trendy overlay. Its economy is fair-to-middling. Stable, but nothing to write home about. It’s primary source of dynamism comes from inflows of cash, talent, and people from other more expensive west coast cities who seek out a higher quality of life at a lower price point. That migration is fueled by the popular image many people have about the city more than the reality on the ground. Over time this branding becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now check out these next photos.
7 weeks ago
Don’t let murderers pretend their crimes are about cartoons - Vox
But this isn't about Charlie Hebdo's cartoons, any more than a rape is about what the victim is wearing, or a murder is about where the victim was walking.
7 weeks ago
Onward 2015 / Glen E. Friedman | Blue Tile Obsession
What a way to start the new year, with old friends, new friends and your kid at a backyard pool session. No doubt, I have had some good fortune in my life and seen some amazing things. This all leads to even more opportunities for future incredible events. It’s not all good in the world, we know that. Crazy shit going down every day. But it’s all good in your head if you got INTEGRITY. We do the best we can for the most good for the most people. I spread inspiration with pictures, and speak truth to power and injustice when ever I can in hope of helping to shape a better tomorrow. I hope you all do too!
7 weeks ago
The Story of the “Parent Trigger,” An Education Fad That Failed | Diane Ravitch's blog
At this point it seems fairly safe to declare the parent trigger a failure. If its creators had sincerely intended to improve the education and well-being of low-income, high-need students, that would be a sad thing. As someone who has observed the machinations of education “reform” operatives for years – and who is aware of how much philanthropic funding is available for credible-looking, skillfully promoted fads – I don’t believe they had any such intentions. The level of deception and skulduggery PRev has engaged in throughout its history demonstrates the lack of sincerity.
7 weeks ago
Did Cami Anderson plead the fifth? Has she lost touch with reality? | Bob Braun's Ledger
Anderson, a woman who has shown nothing but smug contempt for critics,  was reduced to offering  what amounted to personal pleas that the legislators try to “understand my journey”or “my passion”–mawkish and overplayed efforts to depict herself as someone whose past helped her understand the problems of poor people. In the end, she had to be rescued  after four hours by state Education Commissioner David Hespe who told the committee Anderson had had enough for one day and should be allowed to leave.
7 weeks ago
Eschaton: Everything Is The Big Dig
Any time there is some sort of overpriced boondoggle infrastructure project it gets compared to Boston's Big Dig project. Sure, there's plenty to criticize about the cost overruns, how it was managed, construction problems, delays, etc... That's a lot to criticize! But what too often gets lost is that the Big Dig was a good, if imperfect, project. Whether or not it was "worth it" is too complicated of a question, but ultimately the result is pretty good.
7 weeks ago
Meat Broths and Stock | Michael Ruhlman
Fill a pot with leftover roasted bones and meat (adding extra meat if you want—even ground beef, or a hamburger works for beef stock). Cover it all with 2 inches of water. Put it on a low burner for 6 hours, or in a 200°F oven for 8 hours or overnight. During the last hour, add onion and carrot (can’t overdo it here), and any of the other aromatic ingredients mentioned above, whatever you have on hand. Strain.
7 weeks ago
Dental care for poor children: Sarrell makes Medicaid and CHIP work.
One dental practice in Alabama is showing that there is a solution to these supposedly intractable problems. Jeffrey Parker is the CEO of nonprofit Sarrell Dental, where nearly 90 percent of the patients are children whose insurance is provided by Medicaid or CHIP. He is determined to challenge some universally accepted beliefs about public-funded dentistry, which he says are nothing more than “myths.”
7 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: My Public School Sales Pitch
How would I look a parent in the eye and make my pitch for them to choose public school over a charter? Well, I haven't polished this up into a slick video or fileted it down to billboard-ready copy yet, but here's the basic outline of what I would say.
7 weeks ago
The Swedish Way
Sweden does it right. There give so much paid maternity/paternity leave that I won't even tell you how much because you'll start crying hysterically. The "catch" is that they mandate that it is split between the two parents. Not a 50/50 split, but one parent can't take all of it. The point is that in practice the Dad takes some paternity leave all by himself and therefore is nudged into getting some experience being the primary caregiver for a bit.
7 weeks ago
Coke made us all obese: McDonald’s, high-fructose corn-syrup and the sick, super-sized strategy to make you fat -
Over time, however, consumers’ waistlines exposed the expensive storage costs that allowed the oversupplied corn market to function. Far from receiving nutritional benefits from the supersize revolution, consumers functioned as the new repositories of agricultural surplus. Consumers’ bodies became jam-packed silos, replacements for the federal repositories that had once helped stimulate scarcity by keeping excess corn off retail shelves. Consuming ever-greater quantities of calories each year, Americans became bigger and bigger.
7 weeks ago
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