Facial recognition privacy talks: Why I walked out.
I think that we are witnessing the creation of a Loophole of Things—a legal atmosphere in which the digital facts of our physical lives are subject to startlingly few privacy protections. As of June 16, facial recognition is squarely within its ambit.
7 hours ago
Siddhartha sits under the bodhi tree.
I was already showing my students how to draw the human figure and how legs and arms bend and which way they bend. And which way they don’t. I would stick pieces of tape at the joints and we would move around and discover the amazing fact that arms and legs only bend where there is a joint. One student would demonstrate a ballet position and then we would all take that position. Another would pretend to be a hockey goalie. And then we all would. Trust me. This all led to amazing discoveries.
2 days ago
Teachers vs. Publishers' Reps
nstead, too many administrators and teachers "negotiate" like Oliver Twist or an unattractive teen in an Abercrombie & Fitch, acting as if we're just hoping that maybe the publisher will consent to sell us something. No. Wrong. Backwards. We do not have to bow and scrape for the privilege of being allowed to buy their product. Negotiate from power and for the love of God, remember that no matter how much they try to suggest otherwise, you are not making friends with the salesperson-- you are buying something from them on behalf of the taxpayers who ponied up the money in the first place. Get the best deal possible and please don't worry about making the salesperson sad-- he'll perk right up when he finally makes a sale
4 days ago
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny” · Expert Witness · The A.V. Club
SFJ: It was an amazing combination of “We are ripping you off like no one has ever ripped anyone off as a per-unit basis,” but ”We are also building a time bomb that’s going to flatten us forever.”
7 days ago
Senator Lindsey Graham: A Mediocre Student Who Succeeded | Diane Ravitch's blog
Yet he was accepted by the University of South Carolina, the first in his family to go to college, and made a success of his life, despite his awful test scores and average grades. He was NOT college-and-career-ready.
7 days ago
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: We should own our victories. | Fred Klonsky
We should own our victories because they are too hard to come by. The removal of the flag is the cumulative outcome of Black people fighting like hell over the last year to demand that Black lives matter. Its not the end of the movement but it can give people confidence that the movement matters, it can compel them to fight for more…not simply go home.
9 days ago
Links 6/15: Everything But The Kitchen Link
Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy For Depression Losing Its Efficacy? New meta-analysis across almost 40 years shows that “effects of CBT have declined linearly and steadily since its introduction” with high significance consistent across multiple different measurement modalities. Study theorizes that maybe therapy is getting worse as a lot of people who aren’t very good at it or don’t stick to the evidence-based principles jump on the CBT bandwagon. Also suggests maybe as it becomes less “the exciting new thing” there’s decreased placebo effect. I would add a possibility that CBT ideas have become so prevalent in our society already that there might be less left to teach, and that as depression diagnoses have skyrocketed we may be sending a different population to therapy (eg people who are less severely depressed and therefore can’t be helped as much). Somebody should also try to unify this result with the finding that antidepressant drug efficacy has been declining over the same period. There’s something very important hidden here, but I’m not totally sure what it is.
22 days ago
The honesty of morphine addiction | Ian Welsh
A lot of early Nazi success is based on “we’re all rocking amphetamines” and a lot of late Nazi failure is based on “the shit doesn’t work any more, and our brains are fried.”
24 days ago
Against Tulip Subsidies
I’ve done medicine in both America and Ireland. The doctors in both countries are about equally good. When Irish doctors take the American standardized tests, they usually do pretty well. Ireland is one of the approximately 100% of First World countries that gets better health outcomes than the United States. There’s no evidence whatsoever that American doctors gain anything from those three extra years of undergrad. And why would they? Why is having a philosophy degree under my belt supposed to make me any better at medicine?
26 days ago
Stack and Pack vs. Smear All Over
I compare this political situation with the dilemma the country faced in the early 1980’s when Reagan came to power. Conservatives hated the idea that the government operated halfway houses and insane asylums. They wanted no part of drug treatment programs either. At the same time liberals insisted that it was inhumane to lock people up against their will in underfunded and uncaring institutions where they were likely to be mistreated. So the two opposing elements of society conspired to shut down such institutions. The problem, of course, is that the mentally ill, drug addicted, and penniless segment of American society didn’t just disappear. They now live on our streets and fill our prisons. Both sides got what they wanted, but the problems persist in slightly different forms. So it is with the battles over land use regulation. Happenstance brings us a funky world and we all just muddle through some how
26 days ago
This New York Times Article Is The Future Of Math Textbooks - dy/dan
I raved for a minute on Twitter last week about this New York Times article. You should read it (play it? experience it?) and then come back so I can explain why it’s what math curriculum could and should become.
4 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Writing: Not Unteachable, Often Mistaught
Most writing problems are really thinking problems, and the traditional way to solve them is to take thinking out of the equation. This is solving the problem by substituting a different problem. This is having trouble deciding what to order in a restaurant, so you go watch a movie about food instead. Templates and FPE are just a way to say, "Never mind thinking. Just fill in the blanks with what you believe the authorities will find acceptable."
5 weeks ago
Books about women don’t win big awards: the data
It’s hard to escape the conclusion that, when it comes to literary prizes, the more prestigious, influential and financially remunerative the award, the less likely the winner is to write about women. Either this means that women writers are self-censoring, or those who judge literary worthiness find women frightening, distasteful, or boring. Certainly the results argue for women perspectives being considered uninteresting or unworthy. Women seem to have literary cooties.
5 weeks ago
If You Want Really Low Poverty, Market Income Is Not Going To Get You There | MattBruenig | Politics
I bring this up not to criticize higher wages. Obviously increasing hourly pay is a wonderful thing. I don’t think anybody would argue otherwise. But it’s important to always highlight the limits of market-focused anti-poverty strategies. If you really want to run those poverty levels to as far down as they can realistically go, what you need to be looking to do is increase transfer incomes and other benefits to children, elderly, disabled, and the unemployed. That is where the low-hanging anti-poverty fruit is really found, especially child benefits, which the US currently has relatively little of. Not only do these kinds of transfer incomes strike at the heart of poverty by targeting the vulnerable populations that primarily comprise it, but when done well they can even help to increase the heavily prized market income, especially the child-focused benefits like child care and paid leave that help facilitate greater labor force participation.
5 weeks ago
"It's how people meat."
5 weeks ago
The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all) - Charlie's Diary
Some aspects of modern life look like necessary evils at first, until you realize that some asshole has managed to (a) make it compulsory, and (b) use it for rent-seeking. The goal of this business is to identify a niche that is already mandatory, and where a supply chain exists (that is: someone provides goods or service, and as many people as possible have to use them), then figure out a way to colonize it as a monopolistic intermediary with rent-raising power and the force of law behind it. Sort of like the Post Office, if the Post Office had gotten into the email business in the 1970s and charged postage on SMTP transactions and had made running a private postal service illegal to protect their monopoly.
5 weeks ago
Cult heroes: if you buy into David Gedge's worldview, the Wedding Present is the greatest gift you'll ever get | Music | The Guardian
Once Gedge got under your skin, it was an indie mafia sort of deal – you were in for life. His voice started to sound strangely beautiful, like the sweet, raw sound of heartache, the siren song of the Roman demigod of romantic desolation. His impeccable songwriting – by turn catchy, urgent, furious and wallowing gloriously in churning melancholy – swam into focus like a magic eye picture. John Peel once declared: “The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the rock’n’roll era – you may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong.”
6 weeks ago
The Control of Parties and the Rise and Fall of Ideologies
Let me put this precisely: The job of a political party is either to get a few specific people into power, or it is to offer a clear option to the voters. If it is the second, then your job is to make sure that option remains available. In many cases, if you do so, you will get into power fairly soon—after two to three terms. In other cases, if you are a minor party, it may take decades.
6 weeks ago
Choice can be great, choice which siphons off money to largely unaccountable for profit schools isn't. To some extent "school choice" is like "electric company choice" and "health insurance choice". For the most part, people don't want to waste their damn time. They want the default choice to be a good one. If it isn't, maybe they want an out, but they really would just prefer to not have to choose.
6 weeks ago
Teacher assails practice of giving passing grades to failing students - The Washington Post
High school graduation rates, as reported by school districts with no independent checks, have been climbing. Public school officials said the D.C. graduation rate increased five percentage points in the past four years. The U.S. rate rose from 74 percent in 2007 to 81 percent in 2012, according to the Education Week Research Center.

I know of no research on how much of that increase can be attributed to fantasyland report cards. Rossiter says the strongest blow against fraud would be to reverse the national trend toward insisting that every high school student get a college-preparatory education before graduation.
6 weeks ago
Data Abuse – When Transient Kids Fall Through the Cracks of Crunched Numbers | gadflyonthewallblog
Most teachers who presided over lower level classes (like me) had about the same percentage of transients – approximately 40%. Teachers who taught the advanced levels had a much lower amount – 10% or below.
6 weeks ago
The Establishment is losing control: Britain shows us change is possible
The time is soon. The young, even most of the middle aged, will see it. But whether that time leads to a better world, or a worse, is yet to be determined. Pick your sides.
7 weeks ago
This is no coarse model jacked up with assumptions. We’re not splitting the city into arbitrary 40-acre chunks and applying our biases to each. We’re taking an agnostic look at the data, pulling it together in a powerful way that has never been done before. What we’ve uncovered demonstrates in the macro what we’ve pieced together in the micro: auto-oriented development patterns are bankrupting our cities.
7 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers Policing Teachers
It's hugely important to distinguish Teach Well from Teach Just Like Me. I can point to teachers who have a classroom approach completely different from mine. They are so authoritarian or loose or personal shary; they spend time on things I don't think deserve classroom time. They run their classrooms in ways I would not in a million years. But before I start bitching about how awful that teacher is, I had better ask a simple question-- are students thriving and succeeding in her classroom?

And here's the thing about that question-- the answer is almost always, "Yes."
7 weeks ago
I Don't Think David Brooks Is Okay, You Guys
Here David hints at his misery as best he can. “I am miserable,” he says. “I do not have ‘upbeat moods’ or ‘nice experiences’ and my wiener has cobwebs on it. But maybe I suffer on behalf of posterity? Maybe I have meaningfulness?”
7 weeks ago
Considering the Oyster | Michael Ruhlman
In preparing for this story, I returned to Rowan Jacobsen’s 2007 book The Geography of Oysters, and was reminded of what a talented writer Jacobsen is–dynamic and clear and engaging and informed and imaginative. If I ever teach a class on writing about food, hell, about writing non-fiction generally, he’s going to be on the syllabus.
8 weeks ago
Give 'Em Hell, Bernie Sanders | Rolling Stone
But Sanders genuinely, sincerely, does not care about optics. He is the rarest of Washington animals, a completely honest person. If he's motivated by anything other than a desire to use his influence to protect people who can't protect themselves, I've never seen it. Bernie Sanders is the kind of person who goes to bed at night thinking about how to increase the heating-oil aid program for the poor.

This is why his entrance into the 2016 presidential race is a great thing and not a mere footnote to the inevitable coronation of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. If the press is smart enough to grasp it, his entrance into the race makes for a profound storyline that could force all of us to ask some very uncomfortable questions.
8 weeks ago
one year of emptiness at the Krach Leadership Center | Fredrik deBoer
I am grateful to the Krach family for their generous donation of $10 million to contribute to that cost. I just wish that more donors would give to the general fund, or to scholarship funds, or for hiring more tenure track faculty, or to simply fulfill the basic purpose of holding down tuition and thus debt. The need to build things that you can put people’s names on is a contagion in the contemporary university.
8 weeks ago
De Condimentis (12): Sour Cream | HiLobrow
All of which is just to set the stage and point out that the Alaska that Hidden Valley Ranch inventor Steve Henson was doing “plumbing contracting” in wasn’t Sarah Palin’s Alaska; oil hadn’t even been discovered there yet. Did Steve Henson travel on one of these “charter flights” to Russia and discover (or trade for) the secret of smetana with fresh herbs? Did he run into some old-time Alaskans who shared with him one of the last remaining remnants of Russian occupation? Did he do some plumbing contracting on Little Dolemide? Did a babushka at a flophouse in Barrow serve him a plate of potatoes and snowy owl covered in sour cream and herbs that resulted in the epiphany that inspired ranch dressing? The Cold War was nowhere as cold as in Alaska, so we’ll probably never know for sure where the original recipe came from — but as always, though all of the actual evidence is gone, the cover-up remains.
8 weeks ago
De Condimentis (6): Drunken Vinegar | HiLobrow
Interestingly, there is actually agreement from all four Gospels that Jesus drank vinegar on the cross, but why he rejects one offer and drinks the second is a matter of extended theological disputation. The famous part here is the Roman soldier offering Jesus a vinegared sponge on a staff (or spear), to mock his plight – crucified with only vinegar to drink! As a Roman soldier though, he was likely just offering whatever he was drinking — posca or a posca derivative. Presumably what occurred was: 1) A Roman soldier soaks a sponge with posca and puts it on a stick (or spear as some have it) to offer it to Jesus, or 2) Jesus either says” thanks, but I’ve never been a big fan of posca” (it’s an acquired taste and no accident that Matthew says its flavored with gall) or “I’m not really in a mood to be accepting gifts from Romans, at the moment”, and doesn’t take a drink. 3) His friends then offer him a better vinegar drink — John says it’s flavored with hyssop which is actually ezov, a traditional cleansing herb that’s an aromatic and not especially bitter — which he drinks. Simple as that.
9 weeks ago
As Riots Follow Freddie Gray's Death in Baltimore, Calls for Calm Ring Hollow - The Atlantic
When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse.
9 weeks ago
Growth Mindset 3: A Pox On Growth Your Houses
Among ordinary students, the effect on the growth mindset group was completely indistinguishable from zero, and in fact they did nonsignificantly worse than the control group. This was the most basic test they performed, and it should have been the headline of the study. The study should have been titled “Growth Mindset Intervention Totally Fails To Affect GPA In Any Way”.
10 weeks ago
Ted Cruz, creepy misogynist: The “hymen” joke that perfectly reflects his odious worldview - Salon.com
A lesson for young Cruz, and for us all: acting like a grandstanding shithead can backfire. Alas, it is not a lesson Cruz has learned in his years since Princeton.
10 weeks ago
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century - Boing Boing
Take a particularly clear example at the very top of the global wealth hierarchy. Between 1990 and 2010, the fortune of Bill Gates -- the founder of Microsoft, the world leader in operating systems, and the very incarnation of entrepreneurial wealth and number one in the Forbes rankings for more than ten years -- increased from $4 billion to $50 billion. At the same time, the fortune of Liliane Bettencourt -- the heiress of L'Oréal, the world leader in cosmetics, founded by her father Eugène Schueller, who in 1907 invented a range of hair dyes that were destined to do well in a way reminiscent of César Birotteau's success with perfume a century earlier -- increased from $2 billion to $25 billion, again according to Forbes.
10 weeks ago
DNA Lounge: 21-Apr-2015 (Tue): Wherein I ridicule Facebook some more, then collaborate with the Panopticon.
So let's get this straight: Facebook has a widely known, years-long reputation for capricious, fickle enforcement of their policies; a corresponding reputation for giving the victims of their inconsistencies no recourse; and despite this, when these fine employees of theirs hear of a problem, their response is, "Well, because that guy pointed out a bug without also blowing sunshine up my ass, I'm going to just leave our product buggy." They seem to love their company so much that they're willing to let their own product suffer, so that they don't have to open their eyes to the problem. It's the other kind of "tech bubble".
10 weeks ago
De Condimentis (4) | HiLobrow
Hopefully this will serve as a warning as well as an aid — hot sauce has gotten enormously more popular in recent years, and the opportunity to misuse it has grown exponentially. So recognize your humor and recognize that you can’t, like an 1880’s baseball player going from 1st to 3rd across the pitcher’s mound, go across the square — that’s your antithesis. And, even more dangerous, avoid the Scoville scale (the muy macho chile heat rating system) and any of the crazy super “chiles”. They’ve been overbred and are loony and dangerous like a perfectly-spotted Dalmatian. Start eating peppers that have been cross-pollinated with other pepper families for a few generations and you’ll be lucky if all you end up with is a world-class case of Montezuma’s revenge — which, most of the time, is actually a case of incompatible humor reaction.
10 weeks ago
Municipal Solvency: How to Not Go Broke | Granola Shotgun
But here’s the truth. Even if you fired everyone on the government payroll and dissolved all social programs most jurisdictions would go broke in the long run anyway. The tax revenue that comes in from low value private development is simply inadequate to cover the ongoing costs of the very expensive public infrastructure that holds it together. Full stop.
10 weeks ago
Can't Stop The Bleeding » Capital Crisis : Nats Need To Rectify Go Go No No
Hey, at least they didn’t opt for No Trend Egoslavia! The Washingtonian’s Benjamin Freed reports Chuck Brown’s 1979 Go-Go classic “Bustin’ Out” has been replaced as post HR celebratory music at Nationals Park by “Bang Bang,” the timeless collaboration between Jessie J., Ariana Grande and Niki Minaj, and sadly, the team has refuse to explain their actions.
10 weeks ago
Austerity in the EU—in Rap | Ian Welsh
The entire video is worth watching, but if you want to skip to the meet, go to 3:37.  This is one of the most accurate portrayals of Lagarde (in charge of the IMF) and Merkel I’ve seen.  Better than most written analysis.
10 weeks ago
Comb Jelly Neurons Spark Evolution Debate | Quanta Magazine
After years of study, he thinks he knows why. According to traditional evolutionary biology, neurons evolved just once, hundreds of millions of years ago, likely after sea sponges branched off the evolutionary tree. But Moroz thinks it happened twice — once in ancestors of comb jellies, which split off at around the same time as sea sponges, and once in the animals that gave rise to jellyfish and all subsequent animals, including us. He cites as evidence the fact that comb jellies have a relatively alien neural system, employing different chemicals and architecture from our own. “When we look at the genome and other information, we see not only different grammar but a different alphabet,” Moroz said.
10 weeks ago
Providence School Board approves $353.5 million 2016 budget proposal - News - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI
Per pupil spending has actually gone down since 2009. Had it remained the same, Lusi said the district would have an additional $4.1 million. 
10 weeks ago
Can Los Angeles Teachers Push Back the Corporate Education Reform Movement? - In These Times
Union Power has stuck to its vision of social movement unionism and in so doing won converts. “People are proud to be UTLA members again,” says Scott Mandel, a PEAC member and sixth-grade teacher of 30 years. “[Union Power] started a campaign of organizing that was basically unheard of. They have done more in the last eight months than UTLA has done in the last eight years.”
10 weeks ago
Inklings : Student Editorial on SBAC
Students know more about quantum mechanics, William Shakespeare’s personal life and the culture of Burma than they know about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
No one is giving us straight answers about SBAC. And it’s pretty hard to take a test if you don’t know anything about it.
10 weeks ago
Pretty Good Partisan Differentiator by Ed Kilgore | Political Animal | The Washington Monthly
So the House went ahead and voted to totally repeal the federal estate tax yesterday. But something was missing from similar votes back in the day: widespread Democratic defections. Used to be a standard push-off-the-left Blue Doggy thing to oppose the “death tax,” particularly for Members with big agricultural producers in their districts. But this time around only seven House Dems voted for this abomination, while three Republicans defected from their own party.
10 weeks ago
Meanwhile, in a secret base beneath the Walmart …
Chris Morran of The Consumerist reports on a mystery: “Walmart Raises Suspicions After Closing 5 Stores in Same Day for ‘Plumbing’ Problems.”
10 weeks ago
Looks like the Neocons won themselves a big one - Hullabaloo
These are the flag-waving hyper-patriots -- the one's who yell "love it or leave it".  I get that Israel is a major ally and one to which we've pledged our support. But since when do patriotic Americans believe that our government should put the interests of any foreign country above the interests of our own? WTH? That used to be called treason.
11 weeks ago
It’s Not Your Money | Ian Welsh
So let’s bring this back to our typical Libertarian with his whine that he earned it, and the government shouldn’t take it away. He didn’t earn most of it. Most of it is just because in global terms, he was born on third and thinks he hit a triple. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to work for it, but it does mean most of the value of his work has nothing to do with him (and Ayn Rand aside, it’s almost always a him).
11 weeks ago
The Valley And The Upstarts: The Cities Creating The Most Tech Jobs
But all the new tech jobs have not been evenly distributed across the country. To determine which areas are benefiting the most from the current tech boom, Mark Schill, research director at Praxis Strategy Group, analyzed employment data from the nation’s 52 largest metropolitan statistical areas from 2004 to 2014.
11 weeks ago
White Men Can’t Reach - Taki's Magazine
Much of the fun of watching sports is seeing who will triumph: the gifted goofs or the diligent grinds.
11 weeks ago
The Sheer Idiocy of Helicopter Parenting | Ian Welsh
Oooh.  A mile.  I used to spend all day wandering around by myself.  I went to the downtown Y in Vancouver, far more than a mile away, by myself.  My school was about a mile away, and I walked there and home by myself.  I went out and played street hockey, and my parents had no idea where I was: it was usually at least half a mile away.
11 weeks ago
Pasi Sahlberg: Finnish Teachers Are Not “the Best and the Brightest” | Diane Ravitch's blog
A good step forward would be to admit that academically best students are not necessarily the best teachers
If Finnish teacher educators thought that teacher quality correlates with academic ability, they would have admitted my niece and many of her peers with superior school performance. Indeed, the University of Helsinki could easily pick the best and the brightest of the huge pool of applicants each year, and have all of their new trainee teachers with admirable grades.
11 weeks ago
The education model that fell apart | Capital New York
The failure in Albany has shown the disruption that charters can cause to public school systems and surrounding neighborhoods. The Brighter Choice middle schools set to close were built just a few years ago, near the foundation’s headquarters. Half of a city block was leveled and residents were displaced from their homes.

The closure of those schools has created an administrative nightmare for the Albany city school district, which must now establish an entirely new middle school in the next six months to handle the almost 400 charter school students who were enrolled in the failed Brighter Choice schools.
11 weeks ago
No Clarity Around Growth Mindset…Yet
It’s unnatural, is what it is. A popular psychological finding that doesn’t have gruff people dismissing it as a fad? That doesn’t have politicians condemning it as a feel-good justification for everything wrong with society? That doesn’t have a host of smarmy researchers saying that what, you still believe that, didn’t you know it failed to replicate and has since been entirely superseded by a new study out of Belarus? I’m not saying Carol Dweck has definitely made a pact with the Devil, I’m just saying I don’t have a good alternative explanation.
12 weeks ago
Some Sad truths about RSD’s Grad Rate and Dropout numbers | Crazy Crawfish's Blog
If the cheating stayed the same (which is almost would have had to since this takes place over 4 years and can’t be stopped in just one) the graduation rate for RSD in New Orleans could be as low as 45% or probably the worst in the nation. What’s more is this is only half of the story, but I will have to document the rest in future posts . . . but it’s bad. Really bad. When I realized just how messed up this situation was, I admit I lost it when I was communicating with the department. I demanded they tell me what they were doing to find these kids, to help them, why they didn’t audit the rest of these numbers. I talked to Darryl Purpera, the legislative auditor, to notify him of this situation, and found myself withdrawing and recoiling in horror. My background is in accounting and auditing, and Darryl and I both know what it means when you do an audit and find 100% failure rate, and then don’t increase your sample size. You already know the answer and don’t want to confirm it.
12 weeks ago
LDOE’s Graduation and College Enrollment Statistics in Context | Crazy Crawfish's Blog
So over the past two years graduate counts may be overstated by over 1600 students.  LDOE did not tie their numbers to the Student Transcript System.  We are showing quite a few more graduates in SIS (which only requires LEA’s to submit a single value of 04 on an exit record to identify a student as a graduate.)  Like the miracle workers before John White in Atlanta and Washington DC, LDOE does not audit or verify numbers they want to see increasing.  They don’t care how schools get those increases, as long as they get them so they have the pleasing numbers to back their Reform initiatives. 
12 weeks ago
Poor Stories from Brooks and Douthat - The Baffler
This world receded, not because post-war Americans suddenly acquired morals, but because they achieved prosperity, not to mention a social safety net through such innovations as Social Security. It was an uncomfortable part of our family and national memory, and not something many wanted to remember. So we allowed ourselves to forget.
12 weeks ago
DownWithTyranny!: Philadelphia Mayor's Race-- Meet Jim Kenney
The first thing you need to know about Philadelphia is that it’s Ground Zero for the charter schools agenda. It’s the first city where charter schools took over, and it’s been “a miserable failure,” according to Democratic mayoral candidate and former City Councilman Jim Kenney.

The second thing you need to know is, Jim Kenney is the only Democrat running in the May 19th Democratic primary who is not a charter school supporter.
12 weeks ago
This is the Point of Progressive Challenges - Hullabaloo
Progressives will always have a hard time competing with people like Rahm, who has access to vast amounts of money. Sometimes they will win, nonetheless, and that's great. It's the goal. But these races are important regardless because they create progressive organization, experience and have the capacity to become a real opposition and at least dilute the power of the plutocrats.
12 weeks ago
Daring Fireball: The Apple Watch
You’re 16. You’re in school. You’re sitting in class. You have a crush on another student — you’ve fallen hard. You can’t stop thinking about them. You suspect the feelings are mutual — but you don’t know. You’re afraid to just come right out and ask, verbally — afraid of the crushing weight of rejection. But you both wear an Apple Watch. So you take a flyer and send a few taps. And you wait. Nothing in response. Dammit. Why are you so stupid? Whoa — a few taps are sent in return, along with a hand-drawn smiley face. You send more taps. You receive more taps back. This is it. You send your heartbeat. It is racing, thumping. Your crush sends their heartbeat back.
12 weeks ago
Quote 'o the Day: Rand Paul
"I support the Reagan approach to the Iran negotiations."
12 weeks ago
Bake for them two « Ten Thousand Places
Christians, our Jesus said to not only follow the law, but to rise to a higher standard of love. Christians should be the FIRST people baking cakes — for everyone who asks us. We should be known for our cake baking. People should be saying, “There go those crazy Christians again, baking cakes for everyone. They just won’t quit!” Then, when we share the reason for our wild, all-inclusive love, people will want to hear it. “Let your light shine before others,” said Jesus, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
12 weeks ago
Union Fear, Betrayal and Decline | Ian Welsh
If you won’t fight when your life is on the line (and card check was and is an existential issue for unions), then you will die.  Unions have chosen, again and again, not to fight: or, more accurately, enough of them have chosen to collaborate.  The first, second, and last rule of unionization is solidarity.  Union members must negotiate and fight together and so must unions.  Their failure to do this internally or externally is why their decline continues. It will continue, virtually irreversibly, until they learn the elemental lessons of solidarity and that you don’t collaborate with your oppressors.
12 weeks ago
House leaders look to restore assistance for private school students - News - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — House leaders intend to restore about $240,000 in funding to pay for the transportation and textbooks of private school students, according to the chairman of the House Finance Committee, state Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr.
12 weeks ago
Schooling the Highway Advocates
Essentially, accepted practice is to take small amounts of time saved by each individual driver, aggregate them together over a long period of time and then convert all that saved time into dollars. So if a project will improve your commute by 60 seconds, and there are 40,000 cars per day that travel that route, then the project will save 40,000 minutes of time each day. In a year, the savings is 243,000 hours and, if the project is expected to last 50 years, then the total savings will be 14.6 million hours. If we assume a person's time is worth $25 per hour, then we've just saved $365 million dollars. By this math It's really that easy to save tons of money.
12 weeks ago
jwz: Idoru
Oh, and in answer to the rhetorical question of why my bar isn't already carrying QT, it's because we have an exclusivity agreement with Red Bull.

And the Ouroboros chomps down just a little bit tighter.
12 weeks ago
Success Academy Charter Schools will never, ever scale | Fredrik deBoer
But it is possible in the relatively small number of Success Academy schools — in New York. Because New York is the destination for precisely the type of young overachievers that these schools churn through. Because New York is a place full of desperate people looking to latch on at all costs. Because New York offers vast cultural and social riches to balance the long hours and brutal evaluations. Because New York offers many aspirational economies for these young teachers to dream of eventually entering, once they have had their fill of playing drill sergeant to poor brown children. Now: recall that, in order to achieve the kind of change that ed reformers say they want, this system will have to be scaled up to the tune of thousands upon thousands of schools, and hundreds of thousands of teachers, almost half of whom we can assume will follow the general trend and drop out of the teaching profession within five years. Does this sound like a plan, to you?
12 weeks ago
World Economy Heading For Recession
The standard answer to the situation we’re in now would either be very high corporate and individual marginal taxation (if private actors won’t spend, take the money from them); and/or to break up oligopolies; and/or to heavily regulate them so that they aren’t sopping up all the excess cash in the economy. (Why are app stores still allowed to take 30%?)
12 weeks ago
Chicago’s Chuy Garcia Has a Vision: Progressive Mayors Fighting for Public Education | The Nation
Garcia has been equally unapologetic and energetic—and specific. With a vision of "progressive mayors across the country" working with teachers and parents to strengthen neighborhood schools and services, the Chicago challenger sees his run as part of a broader effort to reframe the debate over public education in America.
12 weeks ago
mostly sisters
But I am left to point out that whatever the reasons, Twitter storms have a funny tendency to leave the reputations and well being of women strewn throughout their wreckage.
april 2015
A major ebook announcement - Charlie's Diary
Dirty Reader uses advanced NaughtyWords™ artificial intelligence technology to scan a corpus of text and detect the optimum location in which to insert a metric fuckton of cuntybollockspoofacefucknuggets to enliven your reading experience and bring it closer into line with the author's state of mind after spending 180 consecutive working days alone in the office except for a sullen, intermittently incontinent cat, wrestling with a buggy word processor while fending off dumb-ass editorial emails and bloody inane suggestions from Marketing. It's enough to drive anyone to drink, and indeed, "novelist" is right up there with "farmer" and "quality assurance engineer" in the alcohol consumption career stakes.
april 2015
Hild’s eye salve kills MRSA | Nicola Griffith
Both the BBC and Archaeology picked up the story from the University of Nottingham about the so-called miracle eye salve in Bald’s Leechbook, an Old English book of remedies most probably written down in the ninth century. The researchers at Nottingham were amazed at the efficacy of the salve, which uses two species of Allium (garlic and onion or leek), wine and ox-gall (bile from a cow’s stomach), made in a brass vessel, strained, and left to cool for nine days before use.
march 2015
I will say this: if it's all about work and nothing but work I think a really good idea for an internet business in the next couple of decades will be something that deals with midlife crisis. It's going to hit these people like a ton of bricks.
march 2015
Minor Threat at CBGB's 1982 (horrible quality video) but great photos!
While the best of these Minor Threat photos are printed HUGE in my latest book MY RULES, several of them have never been published anywhere before -
march 2015
one after another | Fredrik deBoer
We were on the blacktop and one of the other boys, I’m thinking Kevin Hickman but I don’t really remember, accidentally kicked a playground ball deep into the woods by the blacktop. So he ran in to get it. It seemed like he was in there for ages, and then there was this shout of glee, and he came barreling out pushing a very different ball, a far larger one, a giant earth ball. It was literally taller than he was, but otherwise looked identical to the dull red playground balls we always had, and as he emerged the look of pure joy on his face was impossible, and every other kid let out this absolutely brilliant scream to see a ball that big, and we all ran to touch it. To this day I don’t know how it could have happened that the ball could have been lost in the woods– how could you just forget about a ball that large? — or how long it might have been out there, or how it stayed perfectly inflated for however long it was. But It doesn’t really matter. To this day, the feeling of communal exultation, that pure, unexpected joy, the look on his face as he tore out from the woods, and the fact that I can remember the look on his face but not whose face it was, these things are indelible, things I will remember forever.
march 2015
Regulatory Capture, Captured on Video | Rolling Stone
All of which is a complicated way of saying the following: Takeover Artist Jerks use hidden fees to rip investors off.
march 2015
State spending $1.7 M. to fight school funding challenge | Capital New York
A Capital review of the testimony reports found they were strikingly similar to each other, in some cases using identical phrases or sentences, despite that they were written by different experts about different school districts.
march 2015
Charles C. W. Cooke, labor activist
It’s that mass contigency– the dramatic rise of at-risk academic labor like adjuncts and grad students– that creates the conditions that Cooke laments on campus. In the past, when a far higher portion of college courses were taught by tenured professors, those who taught college courses had much less reason to fear reprisals from undergraduates. They had the protection of the tenure system and often the benefit of faculty unions that could agitate on their behalf. But with so many instructors in a state of minimal institutional protection or authority, lacking long-term contracts, benefits, or collective bargaining, the risk of angered students multiplies. Adjuncts don’t even need to be fired; they can just not get any classes the next semester. Grad students don’t even need to be fired; they can just have their job applications placed on the deny pile.
march 2015
We visited 18 schools in 90 days in D.C., and this is what we learned. — Medium
Through all of our visits and research, I kept coming up against the whole idea of the “school choice” movement. Yes, we did make choices about which schools to put on our list. Yes, with the charters and publics taken together, the city offers a variety of different models and philosophies. (We really liked the Montessori schools, for example, but they aren’t for everyone.) And yes, there are some truly excellent schools in the District. But ultimately, our ability to get into those schools is mostly due to chance, not choice.
march 2015
First day early voting. Take it easy, but take it. | Fred Klonsky
The city recorded an unofficial total of 7,914 ballot applications as of 5:04 p.m the city’s best first day of early voting since it started in February 2007, according to Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen.
march 2015
Marie Corfield: Can God save the children from #PARCC?
At the station where Jesus carries his cross children were to reflect on their burdens. The cross is a symbol of man's imperfections. When Jesus carried it, he was carrying the sins of all mankind. Any burden from which a child wanted relief could be written on a sticky note and placed on the cross. My friend said that there were approximately 100 notes on the cross, and written on about a quarter of them was one word: PARCC.
march 2015
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