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.
yesterday
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.
2 days 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.
2 days 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.
3 days 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?
3 days 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.
4 days 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.”
5 days 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.
5 days 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.
5 days 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.
5 days 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.
5 days 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 days 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."
7 days 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.
8 days 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.
8 days 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."
10 days 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.
10 days 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.
12 days 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.
12 days 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.
12 days 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.
13 days 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.
15 days 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.
16 days 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.
16 days 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.
16 days 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.
18 days ago
The Question of Edward Snowden by David Bromwich | The New York Review of Books
The strangest revelation of Citizenfour may therefore be this: Snowden, in his hotel room with his journalistic confidants Greenwald and Poitras and MacAskill, affords a picture of a free man. It shows in his posture, and in a sense of humor touched by self-irony. He is not haunted by any fretful concern with what comes next. He is sure he has done something he chose, and sure that someone had to do it. He acted in obedience to a principle; and it was right that the actor should disappear in the action. Citizenfour, by simply using the real-life actor as a way to consider the nature of freedom, honors the premise that moved Snowden to take his unique and drastic step. “The final value of action,” wrote Emerson, “is, that it is a resource.” It is up to other Americans now, the uncertain end of Citizenfour says, to rouse ourselves and find the value of Snowden’s action as a resource.
18 days ago
An age-old question
But your cognitive functioning is burdened by decades of memories to integrate, canalized by prior experiences, dominated by the complexity of long-term planning at the expense of real-time responsiveness. Every time you look around you are struck by intricate, esoteric cross-references to that which has gone before. Every politician, celebrity, actor, blogger, pop star, author ... you've seen someone like them previously, you know what they're going to say before they open their mouth. Every new policy or strategy has failure modes you recognize: "that won't work" is your usual response to change, not because you're a curmudgeonly pessimist but because you've been there before.
20 days ago
Fantasy Date With Twins Turns Sour for Manhattan Man, 84
According to court documents, Shaina Foster told a detective she did not understand why Mr. Aronson had reported the crime. "He asked to do things I wasn't going to do. He is ugly, old and disgusting. I tied him up. I took his money and left. He was starting to creep me out."
21 days ago
People of the Paperwork; Final Lessons of Rochester
Business, government, even churches are laced with these People of the Paperwork, who believe that reality can only be seen and understood through paperwork, and not through looking at it directly. The People of the Paperwork love CCSS, and especially love high stakes testing, because it generates paperwork, and when we look at paperwork, golly bob howdy, then and only then do we see reality.
22 days ago
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.)
25 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?”
25 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.”
26 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.
26 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.
28 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.
28 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.
28 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.
28 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.
28 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.”
29 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.
29 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.
4 weeks 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.
4 weeks ago
​Huxleyed Into the Full Orwell | Motherboard
Dudes, we are Huxleying our way into the full Orwell.
4 weeks 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.
4 weeks 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!
4 weeks 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.
4 weeks 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.
4 weeks 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.
5 weeks 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. 
5 weeks 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!
5 weeks 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?'
5 weeks 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.
5 weeks 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.
5 weeks 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.
5 weeks 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.
5 weeks 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...
5 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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!"
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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."
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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).
6 weeks 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).
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
6 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 weeks 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.
7 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.
7 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...)
7 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.
7 weeks ago
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