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.
21 hours 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.)
22 hours 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.
2 days 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.
2 days 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.
2 days 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.
3 days ago
Calliope Sounds: Hypercard: Freedom to Associate
Found this at the bottom of a drawer today.
4 days 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 days 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?
6 days 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.
6 days 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.”
7 days 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.
7 days 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.
7 days 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.
7 days 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.
7 days 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.
9 days 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.
11 days 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.
13 days 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?”
14 days 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
14 days ago
CURMUDGUCATION: AFT, WTF?
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.
14 days 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.
15 days ago
The plight of the bitter nerd: Why so many awkward, shy guys end up hating feminism - Salon.com
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.
16 days ago
It’s not just Fox News: How liberal apologists torpedoed change, helped make the Democrats safe for Wall Street - Salon.com
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.
16 days 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.
16 days 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.
16 days 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.
16 days 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.
17 days 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.
17 days 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.
17 days 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.
17 days 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.
19 days 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.
20 days 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!
20 days 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.
21 days 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.
21 days 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.
22 days 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.
22 days 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.”
22 days 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.
23 days 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.
24 days ago
Coke made us all obese: McDonald’s, high-fructose corn-syrup and the sick, super-sized strategy to make you fat - Salon.com
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.
24 days ago
Education Should Step Away from Apple Devices | Anthony Carabache
As an educational consultant for 21st century learning, an experienced classroom teacher and the writer of countless design projects for implementation of technology in the classroom, I have been invited to sit in on numerous meetings with Apple Inc.’s regional representatives to discuss the rollout of devices into the classroom. There once was a time that I highly recommended the iPad as an excellent device for integrating technology into the classroom but no longer is this the case. After examining iPad implementation across the province, country and abroad over the last six years I have come to determine that it is simply not designed for shared use in education. This contradicts the very idea of what it means to collaborate – a 21st century skill we can all agree upon. It would seem that Apple’s philosophy when it comes to education is share less buy more.
24 days ago
Learning how not to read
That was, I had realized, the densest possible form for saying all that Frost was saying. It was irreducible. To convey or express everything that Frost was getting across in those 108 words of poetry would require 108,000 words of prose. Maybe more. The meaning wasn’t some lesser, shorter thing to be distilled from Frost’s poem, the meaning was greater, vaster, too unruly and immense to be contained otherwise.
24 days ago
RI’s tax cuts for the rich were 2nd biggest of decade
But when it comes to tax policy, the conservative Democratic machine that runs Rhode Island falls on the extreme right fringe of the national political spectrum. Even the most right-wing Republican state governments balk at tax cuts for the rich as large as what Rhode Island Democrats have done.
24 days ago
Paul Graham Appears Confused about Supply and Demand, Labor and Visas, and “Great Programmers” — Medium
In the US economy, leaving out the rest of the world for a moment, we are clearly not training enough high-tech workers to feed our labor demand. We have too many people coming out of school who cannot find jobs, and not enough tech types for Y Combinator (or my various employers) to hire. At the national level, supply and demand shows us the obvious fix: pay more. Pay more to hire programmers and tech types away from your competitors. In the short term, hiring programmers away from competitors would be painful for the competitors. But I keep hearing that disruption is great and unavoidable. Ride the wave or get crushed, right‽ I would enjoy that disruption.
27 days ago
Does Anybody Remember MOOCs?
I knew all of this because I saw people experimenting with online courses...15 years ago. The technology, except maybe easy use of video (you could use video, it was just a bit more of a pain), was all there then...
29 days ago
The All and Nothing of Teaching
I have never had a job that I loved as deeply as teaching. Yet as a teacher I miss some basic things sorely. One of these is friendship. Over time, it has become more and more difficult to get together with friends; I almost always have something due the next day, have my mind on school, and can’t handle the complex process of finding a time to meet. (In New York City, it is not uncommon to make a phone appointment for the purpose of setting a time to get together: “Give me a call next Thursday, and then we can work out a plan.”) From my perspective, I have made many efforts to stay in touch, but the very problem lies in that phrase “staying in touch.” Friendship has a rhythm. Once the rhythm is broken down, it can be difficult to revive.
4 weeks ago
Exodus of the School Children
The urban cores of the nation's 52 major metropolitan areas (over 1 million population) lost nearly one-fifth of their school age population between 2000 and 2010. This is according an analysis of small area age group data for children aged 5 to 14 from Census Bureau data, using the City Sector Model. Over the period, the share of 5 to 14 age residents living in the functional urban cores declined from 15.0 percent to 12.0 percent (Figure 1).
4 weeks ago
The Toxoplasma Of Rage | Slate Star Codex
Under Moloch, everyone is irresistably incentivized to ignore the things that unite us in favor of forever picking at the things that divide us in exactly the way that is most likely to make them more divisive. Race relations are at historic lows not because white people and black people disagree on very much, but because the media absolutely worked its tuchus off to find the single issue that white people and black people disagreed over the most and ensure that it was the only issue anybody would talk about. Men’s rights activists and feminists hate each other not because there’s a huge divide in how people of different genders think, but because only the most extreme examples of either side will ever gain traction, and those only when they are framed as attacks on the other side.
4 weeks ago
Rewarding failure by design? by @BloggersRUs
David Dayen wrote yesterday at Salon about Sen. Elizabeth Warren's opposition to investment banker, Antonio Weiss, President Obama's nominee for Treasury Department undersecretary for domestic finance. One of Weiss' biggest clients is Brazilian private equity fund 3G. Dayen describes deals that would make Paul Singer blush. (Okay, maybe not.) They seem almost designed to reward failure:
5 weeks ago
Open Carry But Don't Be Scary
I just keep coming back to the fact that gun nuts who support open carry laws are fine with certain kinds of people being gunned down by cops for carrying guns or even toy guns.
5 weeks ago
When the authorities get hysterical they make themselves and everyone else less safe
I think you can see my point here. Last night a man executed two police officers in New York and then turned his gun on himself. In contrast to the professional response of the Las Vegas police in a very similar situation, the instant reaction from people like George Pataki and police representatives was to blame the Eric Garner protests and Mayor DeBlasio personally for showing sympathy for them. On CNN yesterday the commentary was outrageous
5 weeks ago
Defending The Test
Smarick shares with Andrew Saultz and others the belief that testing is also necessary in order to target failing schools. I call baloney on this. Smarick has been a critic of lousy urban schooling for a while; I don't believe for a second that he needed standardized test scores to conclude that some poor urban schools were doing a lousy job. If my hand is resting on a red-hot electric range, and the flesh is sizzling and smoke is curling up from my hand, I'm not standing there saying, "Hey, could someone bring me a thermometer so I could check this temp? I might have a problem here."
5 weeks ago
The Woman the Center of the C.I.A.'s Torture Report
The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.
6 weeks ago
America didn't cave. Hollywood didn't cave. Capitalism caved. - Hullabaloo
But in truth, neither "America" nor "Hollywood" caved to the terrorist threat. Capitalism did. Sony is a Japanese-owned multinational corporation. Its decision to cancel the opening of the film was precipitated not by Hollywood studios, but by the defensive decision of a bunch of corporate conglomerate theater chains with only tenuous connections to the star-studded production companies in Tinseltown.
6 weeks ago
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Product Review: The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege from L.L. Bean
The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege is pretty decent, I guess. I’ve had one as long as I can remember. My parents said it just showed up in the mail when I was born, and L.L. Bean’s policy is to replace the backpack for free if it ever breaks, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. It’s $8 extra to get your initials monogrammed, which I personally think should be free of charge. The backpack comes in different colors, more recently Irish, Italian, and Buffalo Plaid.
6 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Toxic Expectations
I am tired to the bone of reformsters claiming that expectations are all that we need, of the repeated chorus that we can't make schools better by throwing money at them. I have an experiment for testing that. Find the school in your state with the lowest level of spending, and reduce every single school-- including the schools in the wealthy neighborhoods-- to that lowest level of spending. When parents squawk, tell them it's okay because you are just going to load the expectations on. You are going to expectation the living daylights out of those kids and nobody is going to miss a cent of the money that was just cut, because, expectations. Try that, and get back to me.
6 weeks ago
Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2014: The Indie Web
I mean, what does an alternative to ed-tech as data-extraction, control, surveillance, privatization, and profiteering look like? What does resistance to the buzzwords and the bullshit look like?
6 weeks ago
there’s nothing democratic about ed reform | Fredrik deBoer
What makes “Mark Zuckerberg, Dictator of Newark Schools” democratic? Well, if you’re a libertarian, the fact that he’s bringing private money to bear to take control of public schools; the fact that these efforts inevitably involve union-bashing; and the fact that they transfer money from taxpayers to private corporations. That’s what makes them democratic. When you call corporations people and you act as though democracy grows out of wallets, privatization and shrinking government are synonymous with democracy. Myself, I prefer the traditional definition: when the people take community control over what belongs to them.
6 weeks ago
Obama Should Sue Right Back - Thomas Geoghegan - POLITICO Magazine
Does Obama have such a right to sue? You bet he does. The United States has standing to sue any state that interferes with any attribute of its sovereignty. And when state legislatures try to interfere with the right of the people under Article I of the Constitution to elect House members of their own choosing, they are interfering with such an attribute of U.S. sovereignty—indeed, disrupting a relationship that runs from the people to their national government. So, yes: If Obama chose to fire back, the administration would have standing to say: “State legislatures that engage in gerrymandering are interfering with a constitutional scheme that gives the states no role at all in influencing who does or does not go to the U.S. House.”
6 weeks ago
California Study Finds Harm for Some in Repeating Algebra, Questions Whether it Benefits Anyone by Jill Barshay | College Guide | The Washington Monthly
The purpose of the study is to provide guidance to schools on whether students should repeat algebra. “If you have a kid who’s on the borderline of repeating algebra or moving on, if you’re in doubt, it seems like it’s better to move on,” said Fong.
6 weeks ago
Interview with Shanley Kane, Editor, Model View Culture by The Editors | Model View Culture
The technology industry sees itself as in rebellion against corporate America: not corrupt, not buttoned-up, not empty. In fact, a tech company can be as corrupt, soulless, and empty as any corporation, but being unprofessional helps us maintain the belief that we are somehow different from Wall Street.
6 weeks ago
You: Wall Street's human shield - Hullabaloo
Washington critics may be a dime a dozen, but for Villagers cozy with the money brokers, Warren is the most irritating kind. Everyone knows she's right.
6 weeks ago
Cleveland police say they’re opposed to justice, find it offensive. These boys are in the wrong line of work. Fire them all.
“Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” is not an insult directed at the Cleveland police. It is a summary of their job description.
6 weeks ago
Schools, Transparency, and the Free Market
You also have to have some agreed-upon vocabulary. If I'm trying to sell you a "luxury" automobile or "good" maple syrup, we both have a pretty good idea of what I mean. But if I'm trying to sell a "good" school, nobody is sure what the heck I mean. The reformsters have tried to clear this up by imposing a definition of "good" on schools and teachers, but that definition is "high scores on a couple of standardized math and English tests" and nobody really believes that it's correct.
6 weeks ago
Bipartisanship
Actual compromise would involve Dems giving up something in exchange for something Republicans want, and vice versa, not "let's pass this piece of shit that everybody but Fred Hiatt and our donors hate."
6 weeks ago
Wikipedia editing disputes: The crowdsourced encyclopedia has become a rancorous, sexist mess.
Wikipedia is a paradox and a miracle—a crowdsourced encyclopedia that has become the default destination for nonessential information. That it has survived almost 15 years and remained the top Google result for a vast number of searches is a testament to the impressive vision of founder Jimmy Wales and the devotion of its tens of thousands of volunteer editors. But beneath its reasonably serene surface, the website can be as ugly and bitter as 4chan and as mind-numbingly bureaucratic as a Kafka story. And it can be particularly unwelcoming to women.
6 weeks ago
Why millions of Christian evangelicals oppose Obamacare and civil rights - Salon.com
My argument in a nutshell is that the apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything that seems to undermine individual rights and individual liberties, and anything that is going to give more power to the state.
7 weeks ago
10th Period: Stanford CREDO Director: Free Market Doesn't Work in Education
But then, in response to a question from the audience nearly at the end of the event, Dr. Raymond dropped this on the crowd: She said she's a "free market girl", but after decades of looking at the nation's charter school sector, she has come to the conclusion that the "market mechanism doesn't work in education."
7 weeks ago
turtles all the way down | Fredrik deBoer
The next time I read an argument about white racism by a white person that isn’t fundamentally a declaration of personal blamelessness will be the first time. And I read all my own work.
7 weeks ago
Presidential Compensation Drives Up Cost of College « Finding My College
When I moved to higher ed from the private sector and after serving in the cabinet of our nation’s sixth-largest state, I was surprised by the level of presidential compensation in higher ed, even at those schools that didn’t have large endowments and whose revenues were inadequate to cover their operating expenses and capital needs. I’m no longer surprised. I’m shocked.
7 weeks ago
‘It’s the Apocalypse, Stupid’: Matthew Sutton on how ‘Bible prophecy’ and Rapture mania deform American politics
Sutton says:
My argument in a nutshell is that the apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything that seems to undermine individual rights and individual liberties, and anything that is going to give more power to the state.
7 weeks ago
Chris Rock on Ferguson, Cosby, and Obama -- Vulture
I just have a great life, so it’s easier for me to say things are great. But not even me. My brothers drive trucks and stock shelves. They live in a much better world than my father did. My mother tells stories of growing up in Andrews, South Carolina, and the black people had to go to the vet to get their teeth pulled out. And you still had to go to the back door, because if the white people knew the vet had used his instruments on black people, they wouldn’t take their pets to the vet. This is not some person I read about. This is my mother.
7 weeks ago
Civility and The New Republic
What Is Civility What you are seeing in all of this is the same curious media civility that I’ve run up against before. Writing mean opinions about massive swaths of nameless, faceless populations (especially the poor) somehow passes as legitimate policy journalism. It’s not uncivil because those being talked about are so remote from any of those doing the talking that they are basically non-entities. The kind of person who staffs an elite publication — highly educated from a very high socioeconomic background — has absolutely no relationship to the poor people they write about. None. And when you aren’t connected to a group of people, trashing them without so much as wincing becomes a lot easier.
7 weeks ago
Friday News Digest - For Your Own Safety
In Lakewood, OH nearly everyone walks to school. The school district has never bought a single school bus. The city resisted the temptation to build new schools on cheap land on the periphery and instead focused on restoring and upgrading existing multistory school buildings on relatively small lots that already fit neatly into the community. The result? Gigantic savings on transportation costs that can be funneled toward what matters most: education.
8 weeks ago
The Bleak Friday Interview | EduShyster
Lafer: When people have a chance to vote on specific issues there seems to be very broad support for a better version of education, and I think that’s really hopeful. The best example of this is the 2010 vote in Florida on class size. Florida has class size caps written into its constitution. In 2010 the legislature wanted to raise the cap, but because it’s in the constitution it had to go to the voters. The voters voted 57% against raising the cap during a Tea Party wave election. I tried to do the math to calculate just how many people must have voted for Rick Scott and various conservative legislators, but also voted against raising the cap on class size and I figured that there were about 200,000 people who went to the polls thinking something like: *I hate Democrats, I hate government, I hate taxes, I hate unions, but I want my kids in small classes.* I think the corporate education agenda is broadly really unpopular, and all parent want roughly the same thing. All parents want their child to be taught small classes by a mature adult who will get to know their kid as a person, and understand their strengths and weaknesses and how they need to be supported. And that’s all the more true in poor cities than in wealthier places. I think most parents want their kids to have a broader education than just math and English and they certainly want them to be taught by people and not just a computer program. You know, despite all the things we’ve talked about, there’s tremendous public support for decent education. That gives me hope.
8 weeks ago
How Many Ways Can Goldman Give? | The Nation
Hillary Clinton is leaving nothing to chance, and neither is Goldman Sachs. Since her first Senate campaign in 1999, the firm has been bankrolling Clinton to the tune of millions. Individual donors like Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein have been generous, but the firm has sought to purchase influence and good will through more oblique channels: speaking fees as well as contributions to the nonprofit Clinton Foundation.
8 weeks ago
David Berliner Tells Arne How to Fix Teacher Education | Diane Ravitch's blog
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Obama administration want to improve teacher education. Me too. I always have. So I went to the president of the university I was then working at and showed him university data that I had collected. I informed him that a) we were running the cheapest program on campus, even cheaper to run than the English Literature and the History programs; and b) that some of our most expensive programs to run, computer science and various engineering programs, produced well-trained graduates that left the state. But teachers stayed in the state. I told my president he was wasting the states resources and investing unwisely.
8 weeks ago
The concept Education Secretary Duncan has entirely missed - The Washington Post
So here’s my modest proposal: Arne Duncan has been secretary of education for six years, and in that role he is ultimately responsible for the educational progress of all U.S. students. According to the most recent PISA results, U.S. students’ scores haven’t improved on Duncan’s watch. Therefore, by Duncan’s own logic, I propose that we deprive his alma mater — Harvard University — of some federal funding for its current students because Duncan’s failure to improve U.S. PISA scores demonstrates that Harvard (which educated Duncan) is responsible for U.S. students’ flat scores on the PISA exam. If Duncan and Harvard don’t like the logic of my modest proposal, then Duncan should withdraw his proposed scheme for rating teacher preparation programs based on the educational outcomes of their alumni’s students, as my logic simply tracks his own.
8 weeks ago
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