Is There Still Room for Skateboarding in San Francisco? | RIDE Channel
To his horror and continued dismay, Staley has seen more and more longboards on the streets of San Francisco. He places much of the blame squarely at the feet of the tech industry. (He has amassed a sizable body of anecdotal evidence strongly correlating longboarding addiction and tech-sector employment.)
2 days ago
A dozen questions for school reformers who say one thing and do another - The Washington Post
The question that comes to mind is: “If these officials really cared about data, wouldn’t they make sure that the data they are using to drive their decisions is accurate?”
2 days ago
LISTEN: The Ramones’ demo recordings for their debut album (1975)
“[The early demo recordings] offer a fascinating alternative insight into how the eventual debut album might have otherwise sounded. Their dense, primal sound reveals the surprising amount of dilution that the first record’s somewhat conceptual mix wrought upon the quartet’s fundamental power.”
3 days ago
Whatever Happened to Overtime? - Nick Hanauer - POLITICO Magazine
So what’s changed since the 1960s and '70s? Overtime pay, in part. Your parents got a lot of it, and you don’t. And it turns out that fair overtime standards are to the middle class what the minimum wage is to low-income workers: not everything, but an indispensable labor protection that is absolutely essential to creating a broad and thriving middle class. In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried American workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. Not because capitalists back then were more generous, but because it was the law. It still is the law, except that the value of the threshold for overtime pay—the salary level at which employers are required to pay overtime—has been allowed to erode to less than the poverty line for a family of four today. Only workers earning an annual income of under $23,660 qualify for mandatory overtime. You know many people like that? Probably not. By 2013, just 11 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime pay, according to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute. And so business owners like me have been able to make the other 89 percent of you work unlimited overtime hours for no additional pay at all.
4 days ago
Principal uncovers flawed data in her state’s official education reports - The Washington Post
I began calling families to verify the report. There were 53 names that did not have a college listing. By 5 p.m. that day, I had spoken with 27 families. In 25 of the 27 cases, the students were thriving in their third year of college. They were at Brown, Bard, Cornell, Bentley, Notre Dame and Wesleyan. One student was in the Naval Academy (which smartly and ironically is one of the few schools that does not share data), and another at Tufts. One was at the University of Florida and another at the University of Charleston. What was even more bizarre was that some were in New York State public colleges governed by NYSED—SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stony Brook and Queensborough Community College. One student had already graduated from a technical school with a 3.84 GPA. Eighty percent had now become over 90 percent, and over the course of the next few days the percentage would continue to climb. This was no small error.
5 days ago
What If Everything You Knew About Poverty Was Wrong? | Mother Jones
But Edin documented that most moms on welfare were already working under the table or in the underground economy, and that lovers, friends, family, and the fathers of their children were pitching in to help. They didn't get legal jobs because of a straightforward economic calculus: Low wages drained by child care, transportation, and other expenses would have left them poorer than they were on welfare.
5 days ago
Overeducated and Underemployed
ONE of the oddest things about the brutal post-crash economy is that all the average-is-over cries by neoliberals to educate the workforce for a global world has accompanied hard times for many educated people. It’s especially true for academics caught in the adjunct trap, though it is not unique to struggling scholars. It’s certainly an issue with troubling implications for the creative class, both those who’ve sought a berth inside the university system and those who haven’t.
5 days ago
‘Do I need to turn her in?’ — something has gone very, very wrong
Just consider how many utterly wrong turns one has to take to arrive at the position in which a little girl comes to your Sunday school class and your first thought is “Do I need to turn her in?” That’s sick.
5 days ago
Higher Education, the Nordics, and the Matthew Effect
Germany, with its corporatist tracking system, does the worse of the non-US countries in this particular bunch. There, children of highly educated parents (which is also a proxy for income) are about 4x more likely to attend college than children of lowly educated parents. But in the US, that figure is 5.4x, which is to say 35% higher. The Nordics, by comparison, are doing damn well for themselves. Denmark’s somehow gotten the disparity down to 2.1x, Sweden to 2.7x, Finland to 3.4x, and Norway to 3.4x. I am for criticizing anything and everything, but let’s also keep a level head about whose winning and whose losing in the equal opportunity realm. The Nordics are winning. We are losing. And it’s not even close.
5 days ago
Whoever thought of this at the CTU deserves an award.
“We believe those who develop, pass and enforce laws should be held to the same standards as our members,” the evaluation form says. “To that end, the Chicago Teachers Union will assess candidates for elective office using this rubric based on the one used to evaluate teachers.”
6 days ago
Suffer Little Children - NYTimes.com
The Tenement Museum, on the Lower East Side, is one of my favorite places in New York City. It’s a Civil War-vintage building that housed successive waves of immigrants, and a number of apartments have been restored to look exactly as they did in various eras, from the 1860s to the 1930s (when the building was declared unfit for occupancy). When you tour the museum, you come away with a powerful sense of immigration as a human experience, which — despite plenty of bad times, despite a cultural climate in which Jews, Italians, and others were often portrayed as racially inferior — was overwhelmingly positive.
7 days ago
How to trounce Scott Walker: Courage, unions and Democrats’ identity problem - Salon.com
What may be the most frustrating thing about this desperate flailing for a more fine-tuned message, though, is the fact that it’s so very unnecessary. The Democrats may not have much of an identity right now, but that’s not because this or that wing of the party’s political infrastructure dropped the ball, or because President Obama is so fond of golf, or any other Beltway nonsense. On the contrary, the Democratic Party’s increasing opacity is the result of their having an identity but deciding not to use it. Students of the last 50 or so years of American political history can probably guess where I’m going with this. It’s one single, simple word: unions.
7 days ago
Bill Moyers: Zephyr Teachout And Larry Lessig Have Only Begun To Fight
TEACHOUT: Let me give you an example from my campaign. So, I did this fundraising. And I repeatedly heard from my bigger-end donors that they were not particularly excited about teachers' unions. I'm a big supporter of teachers' unions. So, I was very aware. And it was a choice I made. But I was very aware that every time that I went on television or Twitter or anywhere else talking about teachers' unions, that would have an effect on my funding base. The easier thing to do is to just ignore the issue, to say, "Well, I secretly agree with it. But I'm not going to say anything. 'Cause that's gonna affect my funding base." And then, you end up with these milquetoast candidates who aren't saying anything because they know where the public is and they know where their donors are and there's very little where there's an overlap.
10 days ago
​Huxleyed Into the Full Orwell | Motherboard
Dudes, we are Huxleying our way into the full Orwell.
10 days ago
Why the Right Keeps Winning and the Left Keeps Losing | Tikkun Magazine
They are right that they need a coherent vision, but it can’t solely be an economic populism. What people need to hear is an account of the way the suffering they experience in their personal lives, the breakdown of families, the loneliness and inability to trust other people, the sense of being surrounded by selfish and materialistic people, and the self-blaming they experience when their own relationships feel less fulfilling than they had hoped for are all a product of the triumph of the way people have internalized the values of the capitalist marketplace. This suffering can only be overcome when the capitalist system itself is replaced by one based on love, caring, kindness, generosity and a New Bottom Line that no longer judges corporations, government policies, or social institutions as “efficient,” “productive” or “rational” solely by the extent to which they maximize money or power. Instead, liberals and progressives need to be advocating a New Bottom Line that focuses on how much any given institution or economic or social policy or practice tends to maximize our capacities to be loving and caring, kind and generous, environmentally responsible, and capable of transcending a narrow utilitarian attitude toward other human beings and capable of responding to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur and beauty of all that is.
10 days ago
Be Afraid: The Five Scariest Trends in Philanthropy - Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence - Inside Philanthropy
Whether you agree or disagree with the specific views pushed by private funders, you've got to be disturbed by the growing army of hands-on mega donors and foundations that seems to get more clever every year about converting their money into societal influence. Love it or hate it, the Common Core is a great example: In effect, private funders are helping determine how tens of millions of kids will be educated for years to come. And to think that we once saw public education as America's most democratic institution!
10 days ago
When Government Succeeds - NYTimes.com
pvdstudentpanel2Past and present Providence public school students spoke at Brown University Thursday night about the difficulties they face in their determination to do well, attend college, and “elevate” themselves and their families out of poverty. They spoke of good teachers, bad teachers, and resource inequality.
10 days ago
Providence students speak out
Past and present Providence public school students spoke at Brown University Thursday night about the difficulties they face in their determination to do well, attend college, and “elevate” themselves and their families out of poverty. They spoke of good teachers, bad teachers, and resource inequality.
10 days ago
Politically Correct Workplace Can Boost Productivity | Psych Central News
Contrary to the widely held notion that being politically correct has a generally stifling effect, the results showed that a politically correct norm actually boosted the creative output of mixed-sex groups.
13 days ago
The End of the Skateboard Shop | RIDE Channel
But here’s the weird part: Skateshops have never made much money from skateboarding. I’m not shitting you. In 1984, the average deck sold for $49. In 2014, the average deck sells for $49. If you spoke to any economist, even one recently concussed in a car accident, he’d be puzzled as to how an industry could exist without responding to inflation for the past 30 years. 
14 days ago
DownWithTyranny!: It's official! GOP enviro-denialists are now more primitive than the heretofore pro-environmental-marauding Chinese gov't
Ya gotta love it. You would figure that when it comes to not dealing with stuff they don't wanna deal with, there's hardly any group more immovably resolute than the leaders of the People's Republic of China. But now we find them showing signs of facing up to the reality of environmental degradation, while here in the U.S. of A. our Republican Party, giddy with electoral triumph, takes a deep breath and plunges ever deeper into denial!
14 days ago
Lost curling club medals surface at auction
The 25 medals of the Bridge of Allan Curling Club, most from the 19th century and dating back to 1851, were mounted on a velvet waistcoat, as seen in the above photo of the club in 1895. They were worn by the club president on special occasions, but were stored away in a bank vault in the 1950s. By the time the club, one of the oldest in the country, published its bicentenary history in 1990, they were lost, and the author made a plaintive appeal: 'Where did the medals go - does anyone know?'
15 days ago
CURMUDGUCATION: USED: Nothing-Burger with Cheese
I have explained this before. If you remove the roof from a classroom, whoever is in the classroom will get wet when it rains. If you say, "Hey, this teacher is all wet-- send me another one," it will make no difference. When the new teacher arrives, she will get wet, too.

You cannot improve this situation with threats. If you say, "Hey! The wet teacher I find in this room is gonna get fired!" you will not get miraculously dry teachers standing in the rain. What you will get are teachers who want to keep their jobs saying, "No, I am NOT going to get teach in the roofless room, thankyouverymuch." And your roofless wet room will be occupied primarily by young teachers who didn't have other options or who believe that they'll be kept dry by their youth and enthusiasm and job offers from hedge funds for after they've finished.
16 days ago
Opinion: CPS Priorities – Millions for Wall Street, Nothing for Students | NBC Chicago
In as few words as possible, the story goes like this: more than a decade ago, Chicago school officials—including Vitale, a former head of the Chicago Board of Trade with a long history as a banking executive—bet heavily on a series of exotic bond deals they believed would save the district money in the long term. These deals relied on unconventional borrowing strategies, including interest rate “swaps” and auction-rate securities, that depended on almost everything going right in the bond market for CPS to actually save money.
16 days ago
Honor American vets, democracy with elections on Veterans Day
If voting is worth the lives of Marines in Iraq, isn’t it worth a day off in the United States of America? I’ll share Veterans Day with Election Day so that every American can make it to the polls. There is no better way to honor our veterans’ service than by voting.
16 days ago
Questions for Professional Development - View From the Cheap Seats - Education Week Teacher
This creates a new professional dilemma for teachers. Instead of asking "How can I apply this in my classroom," teachers are asking themselves, "How much longer can I keep from saying something unprofessional and rude?" Unfortunately, some teachers don't want to be impolite, and so PD behavior often runs to vacant smiling and nodding, with honest reactions to be reserved till afterwards.
17 days ago
Eschaton: Did The Grifters Go Too Far
Everybody "knows" urban schools are hopeless and there's nothing to be done so shut up, but make this stuff universal...
17 days ago
Shorter Republicans: "We forgive Michael Bennet for trying to win the Senate." Shorter Sen. Bennet: "Glad we're still friends."
Sen. Michael Bennet was head of the DSCC for this election cycle. The DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) is the party organization responsible for increasing Democratic control of the Senate, or at least not losing it. But as you know, Michael Bennet did lose the Senate to Republicans, or certainly helped to lose it — and Republicans now publicly forgive him for it.
20 days ago
So now I see the whole design, my church is an assembly line
I’ve seen a lot of horrifically, despicably ignorant stuff written around — and allegedly about — the death of Brittany Maynard. This woman had glioblastoma multiforme, which kills you. Always and quickly and unpleasantly. It is not “a brain tumor.” It is a relentless series of tumors gradually and inexorably shutting down pieces of your brain, your mind, your cognition, bodily function, perception and personality. No heroic medical team or faith healer or herbalist has ever stopped it or even slowed it down appreciably. This is a disease that killed Tug McGraw — Mr. “You Gotta Believe” himself — as surely and swiftly as it killed everyone else who’s ever had it.
21 days ago
It’s Al From’s Democratic Party: We Just Live Here — Medium
This question is never asked, because Democratic elites — ensconced in the law firms, foundations, banks, and media executive suites where the real decisions are made — basically agree with each other about organizing governance around the needs of high technology and high finance. The only time the question even comes up now is in an inverted corroded form, when a liberal activist gnashes his or her teeth and wonders — why can’t Democrats run elections around populist themes and policies? This is still the wrong question, because it assumes the wrong causality. Parties don’t poll for good ideas, run races on them, and then govern. They have ideas, poll to find out how to sell those ideas, and run races and recruit candidates based on the polling. It’s ideas first, then the sales pitch. If the sales pitch is bad, it’s often the best of what can be made of an unpopular stew of ideas.
21 days ago
DownWithTyranny!: A Post About Why Democrats Got Trounced-- Without Once Mentioning Steve Israel
With a very few exceptions, it was congressmen from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Wall Street whores who fight alongside the Republicans against working families-- who got the short end of the stick Tuesday. Strong progressives in both Houses tended to win. The very well financed candidate the Koch brothers ran against Jeff Merkley in Oregon only won 37.63% of the vote Tuesday. When Merkley was first elected in 2008, he beat his GOP opponent 49-46%. Why did he do so much better? He summed up how Oregonians saw his record in the Senate like this: "When you fight for a fair shot for everyone-- a chance to work a good job at a living wage and go to college and retire with dignity-- working Americans stand up for you!"
21 days ago
The Democratic Party Needs Its Soul Back | Marianne Williamson
Democratic strategy this year was to arouse people's anger at what the Republicans were doing. It didn't work. What they needed to address was how depressed people are at what the Democrats have been doing, and not doing, to live up to its own principles. The mid-term is over, but the 2016 presidential race is on the horizon. And the new revolution has only just begun.
21 days ago
A Kinder, Gentler Attention Economy | Hapgood
But the real reason that I go out and plug federated wiki — the idea-too-big-to-get — is that using it has given me my brain back. I’m engaged with ideas again, not just personalities. Writing in my fedwiki journal gives me the space I need to think without worrying about how interesting I’m being, whether I contributing something new to the conversation. It gets my head out of the stream for a bit. It feels nice, like a personal library of slightly musty books on a beautiful rainy afternoon.
21 days ago
Waves: A thumpin', a history maker, a shellackin' and a drubbin' -- Hullabaloo
Anyway, in my view this is a status quo election. The next one probably will be too barring something major shaking up the dynamic, which is certainly possible considering the instability in so much of the world. Right now we are in a state of polarization where the two parties are unable to move beyond the bare minimum they need to keep the government open (and even that is up for grabs.) And this suits the plutocrats and the national security establishment just fine.
22 days ago
The Future of Education: Programmed or Programmable
I’d heard some not-too-nice things about the community college statistics instructor, so I decided to take Introduction to Statistics through a correspondence course. I received in the mail a giant box containing the textbook, the worksheets I needed to complete and return to the professor, and half a dozen or so videotapes containing all his lectures.
22 days ago
Brookings: "Poor Kids Suck"
But at worst-- at worst-- this is codified cultural colonialism. This is defining "success" as "making it in our dominant culture, which we will define as normal for all humans." And then declaring that if you want to make it as (our version of) a normal human, you must learn to adopt our values. This is going to Africa and saying, "Well, of course these people will never amount to anything-- they don't wear trousers."
22 days ago
John Oliver & Nick Offerman visit the Big Box
Sometimes, though, it can also be helpful to step back at look at that whole section. Here are the ant traps you need for your kitchen, but take a moment to look at all the many other things here that you don’t need — the bedbug shields, the flea foggers, the rat traps, the scorpion sprays.
24 days ago
Media and Eyeballs
As I said before, I do think a lot of eventheliberals who used to be pretty positive about the whole "school reform" thing have just gone chasing other new shiny balls. Philadelphia is a "school reformers" paradise. They got - and keep getting - what they wanted. All of the predictable things have come to pass. Much corruption in the charter schools. Money siphoned off from the actual public schools. Constant turmoil for students as schools (both charter and public) close, either by fiat or because they collapse. No evidence that educational performance has improved (the opposite).
24 days ago
Never Mind Then
As I said before, I do think a lot of eventheliberals who used to be pretty positive about the whole "school reform" thing have just gone chasing other new shiny balls. Philadelphia is a "school reformers" paradise. They got - and keep getting - what they wanted. All of the predictable things have come to pass. Much corruption in the charter schools. Money siphoned off from the actual public schools. Constant turmoil for students as schools (both charter and public) close, either by fiat or because they collapse. No evidence that educational performance has improved (the opposite).
26 days ago
You didn't build that
Check out this fantastic site that's chronicling all the projects the government sponsored during the New Deal. It's fair to say that the prosperity that came after WWII would not have been quite as dramatic without it.
26 days ago
Data collection is creepy, even when its mainly data hoarding
I appreciate Michael Price’s fears and caution. The amount of intensely personal information that is, in theory, being collected about all of us — on the Web, by our TV sets and cable boxes, etc. — really is disturbing. It’s not hard to imagine a thousand different nefarious scenarios for how such information could be put to shady, intrusive use. But such schemes would require not just greed and/or malice, but also an accompanying level of competence that Big Data hasn’t yet demonstrated. Price’s point about vulnerability to hackers is probably what scares me most, because so far data thieves have shown far more competence than data hoarders have when it comes to putting that information to use.
26 days ago
The mortgage debt crisis murders the American Dream
After being lied to, Remy was swindled and cheated by unscrupulous lenders and others who offered paths out of the trap he was in. Each time he tried to refinance the house, the lenders would raise the valuation, from $266,000 to $340,000. Meanwhile, if they foreclosed, the banks would sell the house for $90,000. Of course, that $90,000 price cannot be offered to Remy. He needs to be punished for his dreams.
27 days ago
Eschaton: The Evidence Is Not In
The most maddening thing about "school reformers" is that they insist that they're all about the evidence, and paying their patrons lots of money for the evidence, but then it's all LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU WHAT EVIDENCE.
27 days ago
Eschaton: Shorter Reverse Frank Bruni
If only there was some way to attract smart, talented, and dedicated people to work in this profession which we think is the most important thing in the world because after all we love our children.
29 days ago
CCSS: Runaway Train
It's kind of amazing. Name one sweeping, nation-wide, institution transforming program that has ever been instituted in this country with nobody in charge of it. Common Core is a gigantic runaway train-- maybe not traveling very fast or true, but with a completely empty cab up front.No in charge. No one's responsible. Or, to use the language of the ed revolution, nobody is accountable for Common Core.
29 days ago
Wanted: A Slow Schools Movement | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.
Little in the teacher education research suggests that this has changed, and quite a lot of new education policies and changes to how young people seek and consume information has layered on top of Lortie’s observations rather than replaced them.  If teachers are being required to account for the impact on students’ learning in new (and statistically questionable) ways using standards and examinations with which they have little familiarity and inadequate training and no release time, if teachers are required to utilize new tools and accounting procedures without substantial in school support, and if the students they have are used to a constant stream of unfiltered information but have never been taught discernment in the use of that information, then there is little doubt that teachers today are feeling heavily pressured and constrained in their time.
4 weeks ago
Ebola: The Real Reason Everyone Should Panic — The Message — Medium
At that point, we end up with another endemic virus, similar to other ones that still survive like polio (so close to being wiped out but wars keep interfering), measles for which we have vaccines, and HIV and malaria (a parasite) for which we don’t have vaccines and which kill millions every year.

What I just summarized in fewer than 2,000 words or so isn’t even basic epidemiology. It is the basics of basics of basics of epidemiology, and this is something every policy maker on the planet should understand after talking for 10 minutes to an expert of their choice in their own country.
4 weeks ago
Hullabaloo
No, she is not a silly bimbo who didn't understand her situation and "upon reflection" will understand that Daddy Knew Best. She is a medical professional, an epidemiology specialist, who knows very well that Chris Christie is completely ignorant about protecting the public from this disease and had no business spending several days talking about her as if she was a spoiled child who needed to go to bed without her supper. He betrayed his ignorance by repeatedly saying she was "ill" and hoping that she "recovered" even tough she has tested negative and has no symptoms at all.  (It was assumed that he meant she had Ebola but looking more closely at his comments it's possible that he was saying she was having a mental breakdown. That's what gaslighting pigs like Christie commonly do...)
4 weeks ago
Author of TIME Article Had a Problematic Article Before | Diane Ravitch's blog
It particularly bashed College of Marin, a low-poverty community college in suburban Marin County. I’m pretty sure but haven’t confirmed that the bash was largely due to a high number of students like my parents, now 87 and 91, who have taken ceramics, welding and music classes at College of Marin and have, gasp, failed to graduate or transfer to four-year colleges.
4 weeks ago
Great. Let's treat the doctors and nurses caring for Ebola patients like criminals.
God we are a primitive country. We've got idiots on TV screaming about a religion of 1.6 billion people being the toxic cause of violence even as our All American, non-religious school-kids are taking the deadly weapons their parents give them as presents to shoot their schoolmates and themselves. And we have the most sophisticated city on earth acting like a bunch of authoritarian creeps toward people who are doing serious work to stop the spread of an outbreak of a deadly disease --- for PR purposes.
4 weeks ago
On Hillary | LBO News from Doug Henwood
But the most important objection is political: the last thing we need is another hawkish, Wall Street-friendly Democrat in the White House. Many people—including me, when I started researching the piece—don’t appreciate how deeply involved Hillary was with creating the New Democrat paradigm, tough and business-friendly, replacing the old New Deal/Great Society model. While governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton took a number of swipes at unions in the state as part of a campaign to shred the longstanding Democratic alliance with labor. He, with Hillary closely involved, launched an attack on the teachers union in Arkansas, a campaign with ugly racial undertones, that was a model for later edu-reform efforts.
4 weeks ago
Idiotic Math Questions
I was recently helping a student at Wilson SHS in Washington, DC with something called a ‘Paced Interim Assessment’, written and published by one of our major educational publishing monopolies. It was filled with questions that were pompous, absurd, and filled with errors. Here is one of them.
5 weeks ago
Eschaton: The Great Grift
And the problem is that there isn't enough money for the education vultures to steal because the same people who want to give all the education money to their pals also want to cut education money.

All of this was foretold by dirty hippies.
5 weeks ago
How Artists Do (and Don’t) Make a Living
Earlier this month the Boston Globe published a lengthy article highlighting the reality that postdoctoral researchers in biomedical fields, after nearly a decade of schooling, are becoming in some ways the equivalent of interns, with low paying menial jobs that offer little potential for promotion or even hiring. And biomedical sciences are hardly the only ones. There’s trouble for a scientists with PhDs across fields, and while the glut of lawyers seems to be slowing slightly, it hasn’t gone away, and salaries have dramatically decreased for those shouldering huge debt burdens from law school. Unfortunately in the arts, we seem to be still ramping up when it comes to higher degrees, rather than pulling back.
5 weeks ago
The Curse of Laundry - Charlie's Diary
I'm officially done with this shit. The Laundry Files explicitly exists in an alternate history to our own, okay? Word Of God speaking here. "The Rhesus Chart" is set in mid-2013, and "The Annihilation Score" in summer/autumn of 2013. I'm going to kick "The Nightmare Stacks" (or whatever book 7 is titled) down the road into a 2014 which will be well in our past and nailed down by the time the book is handed in, in autumn of 2015. Because I am sick and tired of reality refusing to conform to the requirements of my meticulously-researched near-future or proximate-present fictions. It's gotten to the point where if I write a book that is dead on target when it's handed in, at just the most inconvenient moment before publication reality will snicker and pull out its blue pencil. And I am too old for this shit. Do you hear me, reality? Do you hear me?
5 weeks ago
Back to writing...
y summer tech girls help me with this process, along with two district employees. That makes 11 people including myself that work most of the summer to put laptops back in the student's hands by the first day.
5 weeks ago
“Two Cheers for Anarchism” reviewed
There are lots of stories about follies arising from central planning. One such is that a factory was incentivized based on the number of shoes it manufactured. It ended up producing a lot of shoes — but only for left feet. Contracting out with performance measurement in ultra-modern capitalism can generate similar results, not least, God help us, in the public education of children. When you attach high stakes to a narrow measurement, hijinks ensue.
6 weeks ago
Fordham and CCSS and Reading and Writing
So Pondiscio has pulled up three highly debatable topics, but what is most debatable about them is whether or not they have anything at all to do with the Common Core. But that's turning out to be yet another reason that CCSS should just go away-- they are becoming an odd distraction in the midst of discussions of more worthwhile topics. They have nothing useful to add to the conversation, and if we're not careful we get sucked into arguing about what they say about instruction instead of, as we should be, arguing about what good instruction looks like.
6 weeks ago
Wonderful Property Rights Dispute In San Francisco | MattBruenig | Politics
As to which of the two groups you should side with, I think the answer is obviously the neighborhood kids. Not only are they more sympathetic people in all of this, but the pick-up system that they are insisting upon is egalitarian and totally effective. The tech people’s proposed permit system operates so as to evict the neighborhood kids from the field on the basis of who has the most money. The neighborhood kids’ pick-up system operates so as to include everybody, including the tech people, to play against one another on an established rotating basis. An egalitarian system that is totally inclusive and facilitates people from all backgrounds playing simultaneously with one another: who can be mad at that?
6 weeks ago
Kelpies « Senchus
In 2014, no discussion of the mythical kelpie can ignore the two magnificent examples of the species that now reside near Falkirk. These enormous steel sculptures soar into the sky, completely dominating the local landscape and dwarfing the human visitors who teem like tiny ants on the ground below. The giant Kelpies stand beside the Forth and Clyde Canal in the new Helix Park – an extensive recreation area with playgrounds, walking paths and a lagoon. Andy Scott, the sculptor who designed the Kelpies, drew inspiration not only from the water-spirits of legend but also from the powerful horses who once served heavy industry in the area. The two gigantic heads are 30 metres high and certainly exude an aura of strength and vigour, just like the Clydesdale horses on which they are modelled.
7 weeks ago
What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling | EdSource
This superintendent implicitly acknowledged what isn’t often known by the general public: Teachers at suburban school districts like the one in Palos Verdes have to do far less for their students to get high test scores than those at urban school districts like mine.
7 weeks ago
Gamasutra - 'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over.
These obtuse shitslingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers -- they are not my audience. They don’t have to be yours. There is no ‘side’ to be on, there is no ‘debate’ to be had.
7 weeks ago
Why Is The Media Taking JPMorgan Chase's Word on their Massive Negligence? - Hullabaloo
If we had actual competition in the industry this breach would be a signal to all the other big banks to start snagging JP Morgan Chase customers.  But none of them want to risk breaking the code of silence.
7 weeks ago
What Lily Misses about the Common Core
The Test is not there to measure the outcome of the Standards. The Standards are there to facilitate preparation for the test. They are not designed to answer the question "What would a great education look like." They are designed to answer the question, "What will be on the test? What must your students do to prove to the People In Charge that you are doing a good job?" For the people who created, promote, and profit from the Core, it is inconceivable that it could be separated from testing.
8 weeks ago
Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away… — Medium
The fact that hardware and software is being professionally designed to distract was the first thing that made me willing to require rather than merely suggest that students not use devices in class. There are some counter-moves in the industry right now — software that takes over your screen to hide distractions, software that prevents you from logging into certain sites or using the internet at all, phones with Do Not Disturb options — but at the moment these are rear-guard actions. The industry has committed itself to an arms race for my students’ attention, and if it’s me against Facebook and Apple, I lose.
8 weeks ago
Germany’s major export: economic optimism - The Washington Post
In the United States, major shareholders and the top executives whose pay increasingly is linked to stock price control the corporate boards that approve these kinds of distributions of their companies’ earnings. In Germany, however, the profits that companies rack up are shared more broadly because shareholders don’t dominate corporate boards. By law, any sizable German company must divide the seats on its board equally between management- and worker-selected representatives. Any company with more than 50 employees must have managers meet regularly with workers’ councils to discuss and negotiate issues of working conditions (but not pay). These arrangements have largely ensured that the funding is there for the world’s best worker-training programs and that the most highly skilled and compensated jobs of such globalized German firms as Daimler and Siemens remain in Germany. They have ensured that prosperity is widely shared in Germany — not concentrated at the top, as it is in the United States.
8 weeks ago
Who profits from our new war? Inside NSA and private contractors’ secret plans - Salon.com
Under its terms, 21 companies, led by Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, will compete over the next five years to provide “fully integrated intelligence, security and information operations” in Afghanistan and “future contingency operations” around the world.
9 weeks ago
Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Sometimes your just a small fish in a very big ocean…
When I was down in LA this summer, there was a media panel that included Howard Blume of the LA Times, and an editor of a chain of papers that are in the San Gabriels that are the eastern flank of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Someone dressed down Howard/the Times about inaccuracy. The editor from the San Gabriel area was taken aback and said that she had lost him when she started using words like “lying” and advised to be taken seriously, she shouldn’t start the conversation that way. Mr. Blume who the comment was addressed to said he didn’t have an issue with it because he understood the context of what was going on at LAUSD and it’s relations with UTLA and the LA Times. The guy who was covering a lot of other districts that are essentially like a ring-suburb did not, and just focused on the message delivery. Since his papers don’t have much of LAUSD, and stick to local reporting, he perhaps felt he could avoid not understanding the context. Mr. Blume knew that to be a half-way decent reporter on his beat, he needed to understand where that teacher was coming from. Mr. Williams is clearly isolated.
9 weeks ago
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Kindle HD, Kindle Voyage: It's becoming a gadget company.
It came about, Amazon vice president Peter Larsen explained, because Amazon saw that a lot of people were buying sub-$100 tablets on its website. But those tablets, by and large, haven’t gotten very good reviews. Among other problems, customers complain that their cheap tablets are poorly constructed, break easily, run slowly, and sound tinny. Amazon sought to address those issues with its Fire HDs, which offer crisp, high-definition displays, peppy processors, Gorilla Glass screens and sturdy frames that don’t break when you drop them.
9 weeks ago
Students Travel in Packs
In reformsterland, people are disconnected and no relationships exist. Teachers and students interact in a Strictly Business manner-- teachers deliver instruction and students respond to it by becoming capable enough to score well on standardized tests. But at least teachers and students interact in some manner; in reformsterland, students do not interact with other students at all. The relationships they form, the culture that they create in their schools-- none of this actually exists. In reformsterland, students travel in isolated bubbles, unaffected by any of the other bubbles around them.
9 weeks ago
Uber'd
But Uber isn't magic. They're just cab drivers who get summoned with an app. And if you're bragging about how cheap your cab ride was, it means that your driver isn't getting paid shit.
9 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: An Open Letter to My Alma Mater Re: TFA
Let me deliver a rough reminder of how that program worked, because I doubt that many folks there remember it. My major was actually English-- Allegheny believed that Step 1 in becoming a classroom teacher was being an "expert" in your subject area. When it was time for student teaching, I had taken only a few ed courses, but like my cohort, I lived in the college's block of rooms in downtown Cleveland, where the college maintained a field office. As we student taught, we took methods courses at that field office in the evenings (down a floor and up the hall), including a course that we took from the professor who supervised our field work. He saw us in the classroom for about one to three hours about once a week, while we student taught in urban districts that challenged our small town selves to the max.
9 weeks ago
The Solution to ISIS is the First Amendment — Medium
It clearly is. In other words, explicit government censorship combined with propaganda helped prevent the public from having a full discussion of what 9/11 meant, and what this event implied for our government’s policies. Explicit censorship, under the guise of national security, continues today. While there are people in the U.S. government who know which Saudis financed and organized 9/11, the public at large does not. No government official can say ‘this person funded Al Qaeda in 2001, he might be funding ISIS now’, because that would reveal classified information. He or she can’t even say that to the wrong Congressman or bureaucrat that has classified clearance, because that could annoy his or her superior and cause him to lose his job. Being thrown out of the national security state, a state of 5 million people with special clearances, is painful and can, as Edward Snowden recognized, lead to banishment or lifelong imprisonment.
9 weeks ago
Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites - NYTimes.com
It is a crisis of the elites. Scotland’s push for independence is driven by a conviction — one not ungrounded in reality — that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades. The same discontent applies to varying degrees in the United States and, especially, the eurozone. It is, in many ways, a defining feature of our time.
9 weeks ago
The morning after - Charlie's Diary
One thing is sure: even a "no" victory won't kill the core issue of the delegitimization of the political elite. (It has become not simply a referendum on independence, but a vote of confidence on the way the UK is governed; anything short of a huge "no" victory amounts to a stinging rebuke to the ruling parties of the beige dictatorship.) With that level of voter engagement we're seeing, and turn-out—probably setting a new record for the highest turnout in a British election—the number of "yes" votes is likely to exceed the number that would normally secure a landslide victory for the winning party in a general election: this will have serious repercussions in the long term. In event of a "yes" vote, negotiations will open over the terms of separation, and in event of a "no" vote, well ... promises were made by the "no" campaign in the last week that amounted to a major concession on Devo Max: will the Westminster parties keep those promises in the wake of a "no" vote on independence?
10 weeks ago
'Hi, do you have water?' In a Central Calif. town, answer is often no. - LA Times
This scattered Tulare County community may be the hardest-hit place in California's punishing drought. Of its 7,300 people, almost 1,000 have no running water.

But few knew that until Donna Johnson, 72, started counting.
10 weeks ago
The real Olive Garden scandal: Why greedy hedge funders suddenly care so much about breadsticks - Salon.com
Take the example of Mervyn’s Department Stores, which in 2004 had 30,000 employees. A private equity consortium bought it that year, and split off the company’s real estate holdings. Mervyn’s saw no money from the sale, and had to lease back its stores from the property company at high rents. The stores immediately cut 10-15 percent of payroll, shedding thousands of jobs. When the recession hit, the company suffered like its counterparts in retail, but its annual loss in 2007 – $64 million – was less than the $80 million in rent it had to pay. In 2008, the chain went into bankruptcy, eventually dissolving all its remaining stores and putting the last 18,000 employees out of work.
10 weeks ago
Here's Some Stupid For Lunch - Esquire
You know what appeasing the ayatollahs looks like?

Promising them if they hold the hostages, they'll get a better deal from another president. Unfreezing the assets almost as soon as you take the oath. Secretly selling them advanced weaponry because you had use for the profits of this illegal arms sale to fund an illegal war.
10 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: TPM & the Anti-Core Attack Problem
I learned something about running meeting and organizations years ago-- people want to be heard, and if they don't feel heard when they're talking, they will just keep raising their voices louder and louder until they think somebody is hearing them. The reformsters didn't think they had to listen to anybody. Result: a bunch of people screaming at them.
10 weeks ago
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