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 hours 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.
18 hours ago
The real Olive Garden scandal: Why greedy hedge funders suddenly care so much about breadsticks -
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.
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.
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.
2 days ago
How the media shafted the people of Scotland | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
That so many Scots, lambasted from all quarters as fools, frauds and ingrates, have refused to be bullied is itself a political triumph. If they vote for independence, they will do so in defiance not only of the Westminster consensus but also of its enforcers: the detached, complacent people who claim to speak on their behalf.
2 days ago
Are we holding the leash or wearing the collar? - Hullabaloo
Whether it's turning your child's education from a shared public cost into a corporate profit center; or turning the principle of one-man, one-vote into one-dollar, one-vote; or carbon tax credits and accounting tricks for addressing rising sea levels; questioning the universal application of a business approach to any human need or problem prompts the challenge, "Do you have something against making a profit?" A more subtle form of red-baiting, this ploy is supposed to be a conversation stopper. Yes? You're a commie. Game over.
5 days ago
The High Cost of No Excuses | EduShyster
Professor Joan Goodman, the director of the Teach for America program at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the philosophy behind *no excuses* charter schools, and the price paid by students who attend them.
7 days ago
The Meaning of Andrew Cuomo's Embarrassment - The New Yorker
The progressive movement that emerged from the financial crisis, giving birth to Occupy Wall Street and the de Blasio campaign, may still be inchoate and splintered. But it can’t be ignored.
8 days ago
Meet the new war, same as the old war |
The more important reason the executions are an insane pretext for war is because that was precisely their purpose. ISIS is saying, please attack us. They are smart enough to know the U.S. is dumb enough to oblige them.
8 days ago
Why the People in Charge of Transit Systems Should Be Required to Actually Ride Transit - CityLab
Metro cemented this new leadership culture by establishing a policy that required senior management to ride the system at least 40 times a month. Spieler believes all city agencies and transit boards and even design firms should self-impose similar mandates. That's not just to improve the system; it's also a credibility thing, both among lower-level staff and the public. Spieler recalls a time when he introduced himself to a bus rider and got the following response: "A board member on a bus? I thought you only did this for photo opps."
8 days ago
This Stopped Me In My Tracks
Now, I can see anyone who needs the work and still get paid (albeit less, but who cares?); and people in need can get the basic mental health care that can make a big difference in their lives. This includes students, artists, children from under-resourced families, the under-employed, the unemployed, workers with all kinds of jobs - especially people who would never have felt comfortable contacting a psychologist because they would have been too embarrassed to request services for which they couldn't pay. Oh, the heartwarming stories I could tell!
9 days ago
The College Bias
And job (and money) prospects aside, we are perfectly willing to tell students to pursue their dreams no matter what. We tell them to go for it-- unless their dream is working at a modest labor job and hunting and fishing and sitting on the front porch.
10 days ago
The Dangers of Stripping | Michael Ruhlman
Did you get that? Keeping fat from oxidizing by using ingredients that put our body out of whack was the key to building our current food industry.
10 days ago
The fast food strikes: A stunning success for organized labor.
And so the most interesting—and most successful—American labor push in recent memory rolls on. The strikes, which began in November of 2012, have been organized by the group Fast Food Forward and bankrolled by the Service Employees International Union, which according to the New York Times has spent more than $10 million on the cause. These walkouts haven’t led to any unionized McDonald’s or Taco Bell franchises yet. But at this early date, it’s more useful to think of them as the spearhead of a broader living wage movement that has also seen retail workers at stores such as Walmart protest for better pay. Framed that way, the effort has been startlingly effective. For the cost of a few Super Bowl ads, the SEIU and some dedicated fast food workers have managed to completely rewire how the public and politicians thinks about wages.
10 days ago
Your dystopian future has arrived. NPR's May series, Guilty and Charged, explored the spreading judicial practice of judging people guilty of misdemeanor offenses then imprisoning those unable to pay fines and an expanding menu of fees. (The poor.) But while practice of billing defendants for their punishment may be relatively new, the municipal courts in St. Louis County, MO, where the unarmed Michael Brown was shot by police last month, resemble something out of Dickens. Or else Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Radley Balko (Rise of the Warrior Cop) painted a detailed portrait of the county's legal culture -- if you can call it that -- in the Washington Post last week.
10 days ago
Big Internet | ROUGH TYPE
These trends, if they are actually trends, seem related. I sense that they both stem from a sense of exhaustion with what I’m calling Big Internet. By Big Internet, I mean the platform- and plantation-based internet, the one centered around giants like Google and Facebook and Twitter and Amazon and Apple. Maybe these companies were insurgents at one point, but now they’re fat and bland and obsessed with expanding or defending their empires. They’ve become the Henry VIIIs of the web. And it’s starting to feel a little gross to be in their presence.
12 days ago
John Ogozolek Tells the Democratic Party to Buzz Off
“Why, why on Earth would I send a donation to politicians who seem intent on harming my family and our kids’ school?
12 days ago
Shoot first, ask later: Why the concept of “reasonable fear” is anything but reasonable -
Every step, however, is overshadowed by a single imperative: If an officer believes he or someone else is in imminent danger of grievous injury or death, he is allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. The same is true, the courts have ruled, in cases where a suspect believed to have killed or gravely injured someone is fleeing and can only be halted with deadly force.
12 days ago
Real Change News | Saints and Winners
Novels set in Britain before the Norman Conquest tend to be fantasies. They often take off from the Arthurian legends and sometimes are not very grounded in historical reality. By contrast, “Hild” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27), by Seattle writer Nicola Griffith, is a realistic portrayal of life in Northern England in the seventh century. At the same time, it’s as exciting as any fantasy novel. In fact, “Hild” was nominated for the 2013 Nebula Award for best science fiction and fantasy novel. That’s not surprising, as Griffith, originally from England, is a well-known science fiction and mystery writer.
13 days ago
The Memphis Conversation - Strong Towns Blog - Strong Towns
When we abandon our exurbs and distant suburbs – something I see as inevitable -- if we leave behind the poorest and most disadvantaged, we won’t be leaving them in functioning neighborhoods. We’ll be leaving them in total isolation. Places without grocery stores that can be walked to. Places without transportation. If the 1960’s inner city was inhumane, this will be far, far worse.
13 days ago
The Cost of Auto Orientation - Strong Towns
At its nastiest and most decrepit, fighting the negative auto traffic speeding by and the absence of pedestrian connectivity, lacking all natural advantage from the neighboring land uses that would ideally accompany a traditional neighborhood design, the old and blighted traditional commercial block still outperforms the new, auto-oriented development by 41%. 
13 days ago
Dunkin our Future - Strong Towns Blog - Strong Towns
For households where the highest wage earner is under 35 years old, the ideal age for someone who is not necessarily college material but nonetheless has the work ethic and the entrepreneurial spirit to step up and start a business, the median net worth (excluding home equity) in 2009 was $2,003. Let me say that again. Take over half the families where the primary breadwinner is 35 years old or less, add up their investments and savings and then subtract their debts, and they have less than $2k. In other words, they are only $498,000 short of being able to start a Dunkin Donuts.
13 days ago
A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards, by Matthew Frizzell at the Center on Education Policy
This compendium includes over 60 research studies focused on the Common Core State Standards, and encompasses research from multiple sources, such as government entities, independent organizations, and peer-reviewed publications from academic journals and other outlets. For each study in the compendium, which have been categorized across nine topic areas, a short summary is provided as well as a URL link to the original research (when possible). The compendium is presented below both as a single document as well as individual PDFs of the nine topic areas. The compendium will be updated regularly as the body of CCSS-related research grows. Last up-dated on August 6, 2014.
13 days ago
Henry Lee McCollum cleared by DNA evidence in North Carolina after spending 30 years on death row.
It was once the case that McCollum was held out, to the collective members of the Supreme Court, as the very worst of the worst, deserving of death because of the heinousness of his crimes. Having shown that he never committed that crime, it seems high time to ask whether, in the view of some Supreme Court Justices, that would have even made a difference had we executed him.
15 days ago
Daring Fireball: Security Trade-Offs
This happened to thousands of people. It’s why Apple made cloud-based backups one of the fundamental pillars of iCloud. It still happens, today, to people who haven’t signed up for iCloud and enabled iCloud backups. It’s heartbreaking in most cases, and downright devastating in some. I’ve heard from Genius Bar staffers who eventually left the job because of the stress of dealing with customers suffering data loss. Once it is determined that the photos and videos are irretrievable from the device and have never been backed up, the job of the Genius staffer turns from technician to grief counselor. Bereavement is not too strong a word.
15 days ago
Ed-Tech's Monsters #ALTC
When we were planning our trip, I mentioned to my mum that I wanted to stop at Bletchley Park, and she said “Oh! Your grandfather did some work there” — a bit of family history I’d like to have known, as someone who writes about computers, but a bit of family history that I hadn’t considered until that moment. It makes sense, during the war my grandfather was the station commander at Chain Home Low, an early warning radar base, and later became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at Signals Command. Although he was knighted for his work on the development of radar, I’m not sure how much he really talked about that work with the family. My granny said that during the war she never actually knew what he did. She never asked. And he passed away before many of his stories were no longer classified.
15 days ago
Out-of-control judges’ new craze: Using electroshock and tasers on defendants! -
For unknown reasons, this defendant had been outfitted with an electronic device, presumably something having to do with the fact that he was representing himself and would be moving freely about the courtroom. When he asserted some dicey “sovereign citizen” legal doctrine, the judge told him to stop and when he didn’t, the judge ordered the deputy to shock him. He fell to the ground, screaming in pain, and after he was calm a medic was called to make sure his vital signs were OK. Then they went back to jury selection as if nothing had happened. The defendant, as you might imagine, was somewhat subdued after the electroshock treatment.
16 days ago
Digby on Tasers, Guns and the Next Wave of Police Militarization | Blog |
I have been very reluctant to say we should ban the Taser outright because there are times when it really could save a life, particularly of a mentally ill person like this guy was. Suicide by cop is one of the obvious situations where you’d want to use that alternative. So if they don’t want to use them in these situations because it’s not guaranteed to work, then Tasers should be banned, because the only other reason for police to have them is to torture noncompliant suspects. That’s un-American. Cops should not use torture devices to get their way with the public.
16 days ago
“Bloggy to the core” indeed — Wordyard
Are we really going to see the reconstitution of the blogging era of a decade ago? Of course I have some more thoughts about where all this is headed. But I’ll save them for the next post.
16 days ago
Barbara Madeloni Thinks Tests Are Failing Our Schools
All she wants,” Morales explains, “is the same thing all of us want—a conversation about, ‘What the hell are we doing?’”
16 days ago
Why white men hate unions: The South, the new workforce and the GOP war on your self-interest -
If Lewis wins, or even mounts a credible campaign, she will become the most prominent labor leader in America. In that role, she’ll be an appropriate successor to John L. Lewis, Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther, those crusty avatars of mining, trucking and manufacturing. As an African-American, a woman and a professional (she has a sociology degree from Dartmouth), Lewis is the face of the 21st century unionism, which has been transformed from a movement devoted to protecting the safety and livelihoods of blue-collar workers to a stronghold of white-collar liberalism.
17 days ago
inessential: Waffle on Social Media
The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.
17 days ago
Cured Meats: Prosciutto Crudo
It’s truly a masterpiece. It’s, BY FAR, the single best piece of cured meat I’ve made.
20 days ago
Voucher School Tour | The Progressive
"Welcome to Middle School Science," says a sign on an upstairs classroom door. Eleven eighth-grade boys are sitting in the science class. Another poster at eye level on the door says: "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth—Genesis 1:1"

The teacher, Mr. Mosconi, walks over and closes the door as we look in.

On the same hallway there is another large poster that says: "God can see your heart and he knows that it is wicked."

There are currently 270 students enrolled in the Academy of Excellence in kindergarten through eighth grade. Next fall, the school plans to double in size when it takes in 200 children of refugees from Myanmar whose native tongue is not English.
20 days ago
Eschaton: Zephyr Teachout Super Wuster
Really, New Yorkers, consider getting rid of Cuomo. He's like the the worst of 1993 era democrats, with extra evil added. Vote Teachout/Wu for the comedy if nothing else!

Also, too, we're looking at you Rahm...
21 days ago
Ask Nicola: My health
I laugh at pain in my elbow. It is nothing, nothing compared that flashing, shooting, drenching, lava-like agony of Tecfidera plus proximal nerve demyelination plus peripheral nerve excitation.
21 days ago
How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops -
IRVINE, Calif. — LAST week, a grand jury was convened in St. Louis County, Mo., to examine the evidence against the police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, and to determine if he should be indicted. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. even showed up to announce a separate federal investigation, and to promise that justice would be done. But if the conclusion is that the officer, Darren Wilson, acted improperly, the ability to hold him or Ferguson, Mo., accountable will be severely restricted by none other than the United States Supreme Court.
22 days ago
Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency” -
I think a post-Obama America is an America in post-traumatic depression. Because the levels of disillusionment are so deep. Thank God for the new wave of young and prophetic leadership, as with Rev. William Barber, Philip Agnew, and others. But look who’s around the presidential corner. Oh my God, here comes another neo-liberal opportunist par excellence. Hillary herself is coming around the corner. It’s much worse. And you say, “My God, we are an empire in decline.” A culture in decay with a political system that’s dysfunctional, youth who are yearning for something better but our system doesn’t provide them democratic venues, and so all we have are just voices in the wilderness and certain truth-tellers just trying to keep alive some memories of when we had some serious, serious movements and leaders.
24 days ago
Standing while black
The civil rights groups failed in similar fashion. So did local African-American politicians. How do I know this? It’s very simple. None of them at any point said, people, we have a right to assemble. I’m going to stand in the goddamn street and challenge the police to arrest me. If you can stand getting arrested, why not come along? Nobody did that. It was the key to promoting continuing mobilization. Nobody did it. We did hear them talk about voter registration, and bully for them. There are parallels in the latter respect to the dissolution of the actions in the Wisconsin state capital a few years ago (in response to which Obama was also mute).
24 days ago
The cupcake wars
The funny thing is that the silliest of these "nanny state" laws Will holds responsible for the mistrust in government come from the vaunted local governments so revered by conservatives as the most legitimate form of democratic representation. It turns out they can be very petty bureaucrats too. How odd. Why one might just think that it's not really a problem with government, big or small, but with flawed human beings, an insoluble problem that can only be mitigated by education and social/cultural influence, a much harder task and one that's ongoing. Devolving to the local governments will hardly make things better. It's likely to make it much worse for a whole lot of people. Think Salem and witches.
28 days ago
Tech Industry Believes it Invented San Francisco, Burning Man, and Sex | The Snitch | San Francisco | San Francisco News and Events | SF Weekly
According to reports, the Silicon Valley-based tech industry has convinced itself that it invented everything it enjoys, including Democracy, rule of law, San Francisco, Burning Man, and sex
4 weeks ago
Who rules America? | TheHill
A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.
4 weeks ago
The adult skateboard
My goal has been a skateboard that fits into the world of the adult. Not a trick board. Something that get’s you there. It’s comfortable, handles great, and is light. It’s narrow for stowing, long for smooth rolling, and enough nose and tail to properly negotiate the environment.
4 weeks ago
The Teaching Life – They Grow Up
And this is more than just an ancillary piece of the teaching life. The perspective of seeing students become adults can powerfully inform the way we teach. Knowing that we can play a small role in helping students on the pathway to adulthood is something that teachers are taught to understand from early on in most pre-service teacher programs, but the reality of knowing the your students as adults is different somehow.
5 weeks ago
The Trucking Industry Needs More Drivers. Maybe It Needs to Pay More. -
But corporate America has become so parsimonious about paying workers outside the executive suite that meaningful wage increases may seem an unacceptable affront. In this environment, it may be easier to say “There is a shortage of skilled workers” than “We aren’t paying our workers enough,” even if, in economic terms, those come down to the same thing.
5 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Study Says Money and Family Cast Long Shadow
There are huge implications here for the whole "Your school shouldn't be determined by your zip code crowd." If there is a definite advantage in life to coming from a cohesive connected community, breaking apart communities by scattering the students is exactly the wrong thing to do. Closing neighborhood schools and dispersing the students to the four corners of Newark or New Orleans becomes just one more force weakening community cohesion and denying students the advantage that such cohesion provides.
6 weeks ago
Other People, Other Places
One problem we have is that people in this country don't travel to other countries, and even if they do they do the "resort/tourist bus" version of travel, which turns other countries into playgrounds or open air museums. No need to notice that other people actually, you know, live there.
6 weeks ago
The calculations of authenticity: a conversation with Jeff Pooley — Wordyard
The problem is that there is no market-free space, at least not for long. The Dionysian core of a market-driven culture — with its gleeful agnosticism — makes the dog-collar-and-safety-pin aesthetic attractive to the ad guys. In whatever new version it appears. That’s the bind: there’s nothing prude or restrained about them, as Thomas Frank has brilliantly shown. There’s no way to out-rebel them; they’ll party with you at Burning Man. And you’ll realize that they’re using you to sell stuff. Yet again.
6 weeks ago
It's About the Lying - The Intercept
But by all accounts, the report not only discloses abuse that was more brutal, systematic and widespread than generally recognized, but also chronicles how the people most intimately involved in the torture regime lied to others inside the CIA, lied to Justice Department lawyers, and lied to the public; how they lied about what they were doing, they lied to make it sound like it accomplished something, and afterwards, they lied some more.
6 weeks ago
Twitter, Breakfast, and the Crumbling of Society
Ladies and gentlemen, I beg of you, please remember: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you the energy you need to “get up and go” and make it a great day. I’m beginning to think the Whopper is not such a bad option—at least you get your four food groups—but as you can see, it is a slippery slope. And sure, maybe right now the trend is limited to robot Twitter accounts whose endgame must surely be sad single men feverishly typing credit-card numbers into poorly designed pornographic websites. But we must nip this in the bud while we still can. I’m counting on you, America.
6 weeks ago
School reforms that actually work - The Washington Post
Reform strategies outlined in this post are models of reform demonstrated to work. These models emphasize the importance of school leadership that can organize teachers, parents, and communities around a consensus-based goal. All emphasize that key supports must be in place for teachers and students. Such reform does not scapegoat teachers or demonize their unions. All provide evidence that it is time to stop banging our heads against the wall of false reform and begin implementing reform that works.
6 weeks ago
Kane and Chetty: Witnesses for the defense?
So now there will be a Vergara-like trial in New York City. The prosecution has some very heavy hitters. For the defense, I don’t know. The defendants are people like John King. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the defendants hope to lose the trial and maybe won’t get the best representation to go against a dream team rivaling the OJ Simpson lawyers.
6 weeks ago
Jon Lender: Terrence Carter is (or Was) the Paradigm of the School “Reform” Movement
“This is how the pro-privatization, big-philanthropy-funded networks and organizations tend to work. They pass their own people along and up, greasing rails and plumping resumes as they go. And the main criteria for ‘success’ often seems not to be real leadership characteristics, so much as willingness to be a good soldier when it comes to pushing forward a particular reform agenda,” said Lauren Anderson, an assistant professor of education at Connecticut College in New London.”
6 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Pushback from the Little People
But it will still be an uneven fight. On one side, we'll have teachers writing strongly worded letters and blogs and-- well, I was going to say speaking out in the media, but of course that's crazy, because what media outlet would interview a teacher. But we'll have words, and we'll use them to "attack" these folks, who will undoubtedly turn out to be unelected gabillionaires who are answerable to nobody, least of all, little people. On their side will be millions of dollars, high-powered lawyers, the federal Department of Education, and the mainstream media outlets.
6 weeks ago
Beware the Snapchat economy: Why we should all be worried about the new Internet boom -
That’s what Snapchat’s $10 billion means, today at least. And it’s a big deal. The confidence generated by a flush Silicon Valley means that proposals like Tim Draper’s Six Californias make it to the ballot; it means companies like Uber and Airbnb have the capital to seek wide-ranging regulatory changes in municipalities across the world. It means university administrators are more willing to succumb to the lure of MOOCs and venture capitalists are more eager to seek new domains to disrupt. It means that before we’ve even figured out what the current wave of disruption means — for jobs, for inequality, for urban displacement — we find ourselves hurtling pell mell forward into even more grandiose visions.
6 weeks ago
Student Data, Privacy, Ideology, and Context-less-ness
And to resist this solutionism, we cannot respond with an acquiescence to an unexamined radical individualism – it's my privacy, my child’s data, my decision. We cannot respond by saying that privacy protections and data usages are context-less, that we should have schools that are identity-less. That simply feeds right back into the ideology of the machine.
7 weeks ago
The Wealth Gap Across Race, Gender and Marriage Status
The chart illustrates a pattern that most of us probably do not find surprising. But the sheer chasm separating single white men from Black and Hispanic single women is still shocking to see visualized so clearly. Single white men have 438 times the assets as single Black women and 365 times that of single Hispanic women. As we can see, marriage is a huge determinant of wealth - but mainly if you're not white, and especially if you're a woman.
7 weeks ago
Hinsdale’s Dr. Skoda is quite the hypocrite, isn’t he? | Fred Klonsky
But it takes a major level of chutzpah to be engaging in bad-faith bargaining, complaining about your teachers’ compensation and demanding teachers take a salary cut while sitting on a six-figure public pension.
7 weeks ago
Student Data, Algorithms, Ideology, and Identity-less-ness
She noted that the hype about “democratization of education” through MOOCs and other online efforts has conflated “access” with “information” and “information” with “education.” She observed too that while technologies are quite good at measuring tasks, they are much less effective at measuring learning. But as a result, learning is increasingly defined by the demands of data collection and by the affordances of the digital platforms. Learning is reduced to tasks, and the individual learner’s context – their cultural context, their place, their identity – is stripped out.
7 weeks ago
The 9 Most Powerful Lessons Punk Rock Teaches You
“To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.” – Patti Smith
7 weeks ago
Mark Bernstein: The Mobile Software Disaster
It turns out, products we thought were really successful – products that took years to design and build, that are well crafted and well polished and lavishly reviewed – are bringing in a few hundred dollars a month, and less than $50K over the life of the product. A game developer reports sales of several hundred dollars, total, for several apps that seem pretty attractive. In fact, not only is no one making a living from building mobile software: almost nobody is even scraping by.
7 weeks ago
Reformsters make mouth noises about personalization and individualization, but they don't mean that every student might take a different path. They mean that each individual student might be at a different point on the One True Path, or that some students walk down the One True Path faster than others. This is not really individualization. This is not about finding the right path for the student; it's about making the student adapt to the One True Path (and stick to the One True Schedule for walking down it).
7 weeks ago
The economics of refugee children
Happily, those that would deny food and shelter to refugee children are far outnumbered by the rest of us who see caring for those in need as being essential to our very humanity. Questioning the need to offer assistance to children stuns us. It’s impossible to not see such attitudes as some kind of perverse joke and an abandonment of essential human values. “I’m not going to ruin a perfectly good pair of $200 shoes wading into a puddle to save a drowning two-year old,” is something said by villains, not decent people.
7 weeks ago
Why law school’s love affair with economics is terrible for the American legal system -
The law and economics movement, born at the University of Chicago in the 1970s, gave birth to this type of thinking and now enjoys unquestioned academic supremacy over the more prevaricating methods of legal realism, critical legal studies and legal formalism. Law and economics’ doyen Richard Posner, a professor at Chicago, Seventh Circuit judge and famous advocate of all things market-oriented, is the most cited legal academic of the 20th century. Ronald Coase’s “The Problem of Social Cost,” which reduces debate over legal rules to the calculation of transaction costs, is the most cited legal article. Passions have cooled somewhat since the raucous debate in the ’80s and ’90s over law and economics’ takeover of the legal academy — which was aided in no small part by generous donations from private, free market-promoting foundations — but that’s just because the movement’s methods have become part of the background. No other approach to adjudication dominates class discussion to such an extent, or shapes the way in which cases are selected and read.
7 weeks ago
Can Someone Tell Homebuilders How to Raise Wages? | Beat the Press
When labor is scarce we expect employers to be trying to get workers by raising wages to pull workers away from competitors. This should mean that wages are rising. In fact, real wages in the construction industry have been stagnant for the last three years and are still down by around 3 percent from the peaks hit five years ago.
7 weeks ago
Jonathan Chait wields the power of logic |
Alerted by the lovely and ferocious Jane Hamsher, I was treated to the display of Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, promising to deploy the power of logic. JC defends eliminating teacher tenure standards, joining a movement that is now spurred by the recent not-Sophia Vergara court decision in California. (Showing my mad SEO skillz.) I regret to report that his use of the power proves somewhere short of awesome.
7 weeks ago
Michelle Rhee’s High-Priced PR « Taking Note
Michelle Rhee is smart, talented, hard-working, charismatic and ambitious, but, in the public education arena, she is a fraud. That this truth is not widely acknowledged is a tribute to the PR skills of Anita Dunn of SKDKnickerbocker.
8 weeks ago
Mean What You Say
Riding in the great clown car of reform is like riding with someone who keeps saying, "We need to turn right now," and then turns left. Eventually, you start to doubt your own understanding of right and left.
8 weeks ago
For CEOs, Correlation Between Pay and Stock Performance Is Pretty Random - Businessweek
An analysis of compensation data publicly released by Equilar shows little correlation between CEO pay and company performance. Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random, as though performance doesn’t matter. The comparison makes it look as if there is zero relationship between pay and performance.
8 weeks ago
Sign up for Park(ing) Day!
The purpose of Park(ing) Day is to temporarily repurpose parking spaces as something other than parking, in order to draw attention to the large areas of our cities oriented towards cars. When parking and streets are taken into account, cities like Providence allocate more than fifty percent of their downtowns to cars, and often even more space in the outer neighborhoods. Parking policy has strong correlations to housing affordability (extra parking raises the cost of housing) and transportation sustainability (it also greatly encourages driving).
8 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Charter Conversations
There's a faint smell of flop-sweat around Smarick's complaints, like a Nixon aide complaining that Watergate coverage is failing to mention all the great things the President did in China.
8 weeks ago
Eschaton: You Down With OPC
My takeaway is that Cuomo's corruption investigations were just another form of corruption, something done with the intention of hanging it over the heads of other politicians. Find out where the bodies are buried, and make sure everybody knows you know.
8 weeks ago
UARK Study Shamelessly (& Knowingly) Uses Bogus Measures to Make Charter Productivity Claims | School Finance 101
The acknowledgement of my critique, highly selective misrepresentation of my critique, and complete failure to respond to the major substantive points of that critique display a baffling degree of arrogance and complete disregard for legitimate research.
Yes – that’s right – either this is an egregious display of complete ignorance and methodological ineptitude, or this new report is a blatant and intentional misrepresentation of data. So which is it? I’m inclined to believe the latter, but I guess either is possible.
8 weeks ago
One more time: The Republicans have no incentive to moderate
The Republican Party run by the modern conservative movement is the most effective and successful minority party in history. They fully exploit every flaw in our system for their own advantage and then skillfully demonize their opponents if they try to use the same techniques. They are well funded by billionaires with a strong interest in paralyzing democracy and have a bunch of followers whose worldview is organized around discontent and hatred of "the other" which makes a government system full of veto points a perfect vehicle for their agenda. Oh, and they revel in shamelessness which is their way of flexing their power and ensuring that everyone knows who's really in charge. And everyone does.
8 weeks ago
Education Outrage: E-learning has failed. Time to get rid of it (or at least do it right).
The web made it possible for training departments to spend much less money and yet appear as if they were doing something new and modern.
8 weeks ago
Progressive movement that thrived in NYC coming to Chicago | Early & Often
Groups here have been training on how to encourage new candidates to run and what kind of instruction to give them, including teaching them about the budget and other levers of power that would allow them to advocate once they’re inside.

Part of what was so successful in New York was that the Working Families Party ran a slate of progressives in a host of communities,   all echoing the same message.
8 weeks ago
GOP’s highway robbery: How self-styled patriots choke future growth, ensure American decline -
Among the public at large, that bipartisan consensus endures. In 30 years of polling since 1984, the General Social Survey has found that roughly four times as many Americans think we’re spending too little, rather than too much, on the nation’s highways and bridges, and the difference between Democrats and Republicans has only been 2.9 percent on average, with Republicans slightly more concerned that we are spending too little. Democrats have been more concerned than Republicans just three times out of 18, with one tie.
8 weeks ago
Mario Lanza, Fuck Off : A Doc On Our Country’s Greatest Vocalist
“At an early age, I was gonna fuck shit up.” Long before the advent of the much beloved, award-winning Twitter account, John Brannon was scaring the shit out of folks, peeling-paint, etc. To say he’s not lost a step some 3 decades down the line doesn’t really sum it up —NATIONAL FUCKING TREASUE.
8 weeks ago
Game Changer
Europe and even America never cared that much about Crimea. It is difficult to dislodge an annexation when a majority of the population likely really did support it. And the Europeans, as long as the big red lines weren't being crossed, are too tied to Russian fuels and their myriad other concerns to care that much about mischief on Ukraine's eastern border. But having a passenger plane, filled with EU citizens, shot out of the sky above what is presumed to be the bubble of first world safety that is "Europe" is a game changing event not only in the Ukraine crisis but much more broadly about Putin's role in Europe generally.
8 weeks ago
Sabbatical? Take one if you can
Many UFTers think that sabbaticals no longer exist. Wrong. Think that most applications get rejected. Wrong. Think they can’t afford one. Wrong.
9 weeks ago
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catching muybridge

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