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.
4 hours 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.
8 hours 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.
11 hours 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
11 hours 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.
yesterday
CURMUDGUCATION: One True Path
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).
2 days 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.
2 days ago
Why law school’s love affair with economics is terrible for the American legal system - Salon.com
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.
3 days 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.
4 days 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.
5 days 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.
7 days 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.
7 days 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.
7 days 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).
7 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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.
9 days 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.
10 days 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.
10 days ago
GOP’s highway robbery: How self-styled patriots choke future growth, ensure American decline - Salon.com
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.
10 days 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.
11 days 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.
13 days 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.
13 days ago
How “Reformers” Lie About Graduation Rates | Diane Ravitch's blog
It is now clear what New York City was doing during the Bloomberg era. Given the humungous size of the district they were able to play a shell game with students by passing the buck. Instead of figuring out how to reach the most challenging students and helping them succeed, the students were passed from school to school. This inevitably led to a domino effect of school closures. A shell game like this can be played in a district with almost 500 high schools, over two and half times as many as the next largest school district. Since there is a very long chain of dominos the “bad apple” students can be isolated into a specific group of schools making the remaining schools, which don’t accept those students, look good. But, as smaller districts have found out, it is not a workable long-term strategy when there is not an endless supply of schools to be used as sacrificial lambs.
14 days ago
Microsoft study: Weak passwords are fine for low-risk accounts that don't have sensitive information.
Instead, the group argues that people should use weak, memorable passwords or the same password for low-importance accounts. That way they can focus on memorizing a few strong, diverse passwords for their most sensitive accounts, like email and banking. This seems especially appealing since password managers are difficult to use properly in the first place. (For instance, they make it harder to use a friend’s computer to log into your Gmail account.)
14 days ago
Sweden school choice: The country’s disastrous experiment with Milton Friedman and vouchers.
To the extent that Americans think about Sweden at all, it usually conjures images of gibberish-speaking Muppets, Ikea furniture, and, when it comes to government policies, the welfare state. So it’s something of a surprise that more Swedish students go to privately run (and mostly for-profit) schools than in any other developed country on earth. The system was put in place in the early 1990s by a center-right (by Swedish standards) government, inspired by the ideas of the godfather of free market economics, Milton Friedman. In a 1955 article titled “The Role of the Government in Education,” Friedman advocated for a system in which governments would issue vouchers to parents that would be redeemable toward tuition payments at a private school of their choice. This voucher system would allow market pressures to work their magic, as schools would be forced to improve their quality in order to compete for students and their voucher dollars. (Even if governments remained in the education business, public schools would face the same market pressures to maintain enrollment as private schools.)
15 days ago
Debra Harrell arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter go to the park alone.
If every parent who let their fourth-graders go to the park unsupervised were arrested, all the moms from 1972 would have been behind bars.
15 days ago
How Does Anybody Manage
When I go back to the neighborhood where I spent some time growing up, I'm always struck by the fact that I never see any children outside, ever. Maybe that's just changing demographics and there aren't any children. But when I was a kid we'd wander around, ride our bikes, go into the "woods," go down to the creek, play street hockey in the middle of the road, etc. This was all normal. I didn't usually walk to school - there was a bus - but I would have been allowed to. It was about a mile.
16 days ago
Libertarian plutocrats still have to govern. They just don't want to, by @DavidOAtkins
It's just another reminder that Republicans aren't really "conservative" anymore. These are radical economic libertarian ideologues as wild-eyed and unrealistic about human nature and economics as any Bolshevik. What they want is a society that has never existed before in modern history, testing an already-discredited economic theory that has never been pursued to its full extent because it's too demonstrably crazy, with social order enforced by a code of morality and institutional hierarchy most voters have already rejected.
16 days ago
The Reformers
One simple thing which always stands out to me is the concept of "closing failing schools." Not just firing the principal, or bringing in new teachers, but literally closing them and pushing the kids out to other schools. I moved quite a bit as a kid, and also transitioned from elementary to middle school to junior high to high school, and moving to a new school for a kid is a big fucking deal. It's traumatic. How constantly shuffling kids between schools is supposed to be good for their education mystifies me.
17 days ago
Exclusive poll: Karen Lewis could give Rahm run for his money | Early & Often
If the mayoral election were held today, the lightning rod union leader who was the architect behind a 2012 teachers’ strike would beat Emanuel by 9 percentage points in a head-to-head contest, the survey found.
17 days ago
Joyce Murdock Feilke: What Are We Doing to the Children?
“What many of us in Texas schools originally thought to be soaring rates of High Functioning Autism (HFA), which also has symptoms of regression, dissociation, and constriction, is now thought to be stress related rather than HFA. For young children who still have a developing brain, being forced to function in a chronic state of hyper vigilance and/or hypoarousal or hyperarousal, will become “hard wired” into the personality. It changes their brain chemistry. CCSS is creating Anxiety Disorders and Depression that many children will suffer for a lifetime.
19 days ago
Employment rates for STEM Ph.D.s: It’s a stagnant job market for young scientists.
With a little cleaning up, however, the federal data do tell a pretty clear story: The market for new Ph.D.s in the much obsessed-about STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—is stagnant. Over the last 20 years, employment rates are either flat or down in each major discipline, from computer science to chemistry. It’s not what you’d expect given the way companies like Microsoft talk about talent shortages.
19 days ago
Pinboard Turns Five (Pinboard Blog)
I see my role much like a small-town praire banker in the 1880's. My job is to project an aura of calm, solvency, and permanence in an industry where none of those adjectives applies. People are justifiably risk-averse when it comes to their bookmarks, and they are looking for stability. This means several things at once:
20 days ago
A Fragment of Muonionalusta | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
This little chunk of crystalline metal is a tiny slice of a meteorite — a rock that fell from the sky. When one says that, the next natural question is, “how do you know it’s a meteorite?” (We will get to that.) But what is really staggering is not just that we know, but how much we know about it and its history. And what a long history it is.
22 days ago
The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060 | Paul Mason | Comment is free | The Guardian
Now imagine the world of the central scenario: Los Angeles and Detroit look like Manila – abject slums alongside guarded skyscrapers; the UK workforce is a mixture of old white people and newly arrived young migrants; the middle-income job has all but disappeared. If born in 2014, then by 2060 you are either a 45-year-old barrister or a 45-year-old barista. There will be not much in-between. Capitalism will be in its fourth decade of stagnation and then – if we've done nothing about carbon emissions – the really serious impacts of climate change are starting to kick in.
22 days ago
Oysters: the Ocean State’s aquaculture cash crop
There are 52 oyster farms in Rhode Island spread out over 176 acres – a little more than half in Narragansett Bay (one as far north as Warwick) with the remaining 82 acres in one of four South County salt ponds.
22 days ago
Karl Hendricks Needs Your Help
(EDITOR’S NOTE : for nearly 25 years, the quality songwriting and guitar-craft of Pittsburgh, PA’s Karl Hendricks Trio has been a big part of the reason why US underground rock doesn’t deserve instant disappearing by Criss Angel or perhaps a less gothy illusonist. Upon hearing of Hendricks’ recent health woes, I immediately decided to donate all of CSTB’s ad revenues for the month of July to the fund-raising initiative quoted below. When it was pointed out that we don’t actually have any ad revenues for the month of July, I instead bounced a check to my cat’s psychologist. Karl’s that special – GC)
22 days ago
Jason France: The Data Crises in Louisiana
“There is a data crisis at LDOE. Almost all of the data collection systems are failing. The data, statistics and reports being generated are garbage. Data is being ferried back and forth between the department and school districts using Excel worksheets and through e-mail correspondence. This leaves many students at high risk to data theft and privacy violations. Because the systems impacted are numerous and core to much of the reporting and analysis performed by the Department, it is impossible for LDOE to claim they are reporting accurate or reliable numbers for dropouts, graduates, TOPS scholarship awards, school performance scores, test scores, student counts and breakdowns for MFP funding, program counts. . . the list goes on and on. The situation is really serious and probably just about hopeless at this point.
24 days ago
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum: Morning File, July 3, 2014
The city is finally getting around to fixing the Common pool and the adjacent Pavilion. Those facilities call back to an earlier time of promise, when there was the collective will to spend tax money to build nice things. Caring about kids, the future, and common purpose seems so retro nowadays. It’s good to see that someone on city staff still gives a shit.
27 days ago
Harris v. Quinn Decision: Supreme Court's Undercuts Union Dues-Paying | New Republic
Toward the end of its peculiar analysis, the majority articulates a new and dangerous standard or test, which surely will open the doors to future problems. “The agency-fee [or fair share] provision cannot be sustained unless the cited benefits for personal assistants could not have been achieved if the union had been required to depend for funding on the dues paid by those personal assistants who chose to join.” In effect, the Court is requiring unions to prove a counterfactual, that the workers could not have achieved the same benefits it received from the union through any other means. The Court concludes that “no such showing has been made.” However, it is not clear how anyone could make such a showing. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for herself and three other dissenting justices, proclaimed that the good news with this case is that the majority did not overturn Abood. However, if the majority’s new test is a prerequisite for fair-share agreements, it may have done irreparable damage to the balance created by Abood.
29 days ago
The Hobby Lobby Decision: A Summary & Explanation
It’s very important to remember: RFRA is a STATUTORY standard. It’s not constitutional. A victory for Hobby Lobby under RFRA does not necessarily mean that the First Amendment requires Hobby Lobby to win. RFRA provides more protection for religious exercise than the First Amendment does. RFRA can be repealed by Congress. A Supreme Court decision interpreting the First Amendment can only be overruled by the Supreme Court.
29 days ago
John Courtney Murray is still dead
The reference to “blood transfusions” hints at one possible basis for this distinction in Alito’s mind, but it suggests something rather ugly and tribal, and something flagrantly unconstitutional. Blood transfusions, you see, are religiously forbidden for Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is to say, in Alito’s apparent way of thinking, the religious scruples against blood transfusions do not involve a legitimate religion. Concern about abortion, however — even when that concern has no factual basis — is a legitimate religious scruple because, well, it’s Catholic. Just like Sam Alito. And just like John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas — the only justices who agreed with Alito’s inexplicable assertion that this alleged concern about alleged “abortifacients” is self-evidently different from other such claims.
29 days ago
Chafee on Testing Bill: We're Looking at It | Rhode Island Public Radio
Governor Lincoln Chafee says he is still considering whether to sign a bill that halts a controversial policy linking test scores to high school diplomas.

"We're still looking at it and talking to advocates on both sides," Chafee told RIPR on Friday, as he signed a bill making calamari the state's official appetizer.
4 weeks ago
Free college narratives
The amount put aside comes to you, not as some hyper-individualist right, but as a humbling gift. Working class people who never get to use the colleges toil for you while you study. Accordingly, you are deeply indebted to them for that gift. Without it, you would not have been able to get your degree and all of the market benefits it generally comes with.
4 weeks ago
Facebook Manipulated Users’ Feeds for a Psychology Experiment
This is hugely controversial, but I’m only surprised that anyone is surprised. Yes, this is creepy as hell, and indicates a complete and utter lack of respect for their users’ privacy or the integrity of their feed content. Guess what: that’s Facebook.
4 weeks ago
These Ages of Shoddy - NYTimes.com
One thing is clear: there has been a shocking and inexcusable decline in public investment at a time when we should be doing far more investment. Construction workers are suffering high unemployment; public borrowing costs are at record lows; the economy is essentially awash with excess labor and capital, begging to be used. And here’s what’s happening to public construction:
4 weeks ago
Rebel with a Cause | EduShyster
Madeloni: This is a critical moment in our history and we have to protect public education or we’re going to lose it. There’s an incredible sea change that’s coming from the rank and file in teachers unions, not just in Massachusetts but across the country. Teachers understand what’s happening. They have a much better analysis than they had even a year ago. They’re moving past *I just have a bad principal,* or *I just have a bad superintendent* and seeing the larger picture. So now what are we going to do about it?
4 weeks ago
West Coast Stat Views (on Observational Epidemiology and more): Understanding McKinsey
At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, Coleman approach to Common Core follow this template exactly. He had a set of radical (and by some standards rather flaky) changes he wanted to make in American education. Instead of building support through research or grassroots lobbying, he approached one of the world's richest and most powerful former CEOs and, having secured his support, mounted a tremendously effective charm offensive on the press.
5 weeks ago
Why Amazon vs. Hachette should have news publishers quaking
But there is an actual doomsday on this timeline. We know this because not that long ago Facebook pulled this same act with the entire world of consumer-facing business (or “brands,” as they’ve been dubbed in this arena). Facebook sold the “brands” on using its platform to connect with Real People, and brands leapt at the opportunity, pouring money and effort into building brand pages and huge followings, and everything was great until Facebook turned around and said, “Now we are demoting your posts — if you want to reach people you’ll have to pay us.”
5 weeks ago
“Don’t Eat Healthy”Our Carb Confusion | Michael Ruhlman
We need to begin talking about nutritious food or we will cease to be nutritious when the bonobos come to feast on our fat, diseased selves strewn across the scorched earth we leave behind. Dr. Sukol recommends that if you see anything actually labeled “healthy,” throw it into the next aisle of the grocery store, which I hope is near the cleaning fluids. Actually she just said to put it back, but I would urge you, as an act of protest, to throw it into the cleaning fluids lane.
5 weeks ago
Vergara vs. California: Are the top 0.1% buying their version of education reform? - The Washington Post
Put another way, the decision, the course of the trial, even the very existence of the case were largely the result of actions of a small set of very wealthy men. What’s more, this is true for almost every major education reform initiative from Common Core to L.A.’s billion-dollar iPad program to endless charter school pushes. Though the list of names does vary somewhat from story to story, the same figures keep popping up. For instance, it is rare to find a major reform initiative that does not involve someone who has worked for or received support from Eli Broad or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
5 weeks ago
YAPC::NA 2014 keynote: Programming Perl in 2034
Speaking from 1914's perspective, it is apparent that if the current rate of improvement in the technology can be maintained, then steam locomotion has a bright future ahead of it! We can reasonably expect that, by 2014, with improvements in signaling and boiler technology our 200 mile per hour passenger trains will constitute the bedrock of human transport, and we, as boiler engineers, will be the princes of industry.
5 weeks ago
Michael Johnston’s Education Hero Principal Hammered by Johnston’s ‘Growth’ Metric
The most controversial thing about Johnston’s education politics is his firm belief in the accuracy of the Colorado Growth Model. This model is used to compare different schools based on ‘growth’ rather than just ‘achievement.’ Colorado has quite a good website for exploring data like this. So I thought I’d see how the Odyssey School did on their ‘growth.’
5 weeks ago
SHOGO KUBO R.I.P.
Shogo Kubo, for those who do not know, was one of the most stylish and flowing pool and half pipe riders you'd ever see. To me Skaters like Ray "Bones", Steve Caballero, and Christian Hosoi, to name a few, were cut from his cloth. Shogo was an original, an innovator, and a competitor like none of the other "Z-Boys", and he was radical too. We created a lot of cool images together during that hey day. All the images you see above and below come from a few of our outings... he will be missed by many.
5 weeks ago
These are the world’s rejected guests
• I already knew this, but it’s good to be reminded of this every once in a while, just to remember again that the world is always a bit more delightfully strange than we sometimes settle for: When Andre the Giant was a little young boy, he was driven to school every day by his neighbor, Samuel Beckett.
5 weeks ago
Why Personalized Learning Fails
I often warn about overgeneralizing across disciplines but let me overgeneralize across disciplines here: if there is one thing that almost all disciplines benefit from, it’s structured discussion. It gets us out of our own head, pushes us to understand ideas better. It teaches us to talk like geologists, or mathematicians, or philosophers; over time that leads to us *thinking* like geologists, mathematicians, and philosophers. Structured discussion is how we externalize thought so that we can tinker with it and refactor it.
5 weeks ago
Seriously, What if Music Streaming Doesn't Work Out? michaelstjames
Not one of the music streaming companies has made a profit yet, not one. Most are involved in corporate growth quarterly suicide, driven by large sums of VC money, or public pressure to return shareholder value. That's fine, but that's no way to nurture a creative company. I wish them all well, but honestly, that doesn't seem like a good situation for the industry or consumer, maybe the VCs and shareholders, and money managers, but not us.  
5 weeks ago
Casey Kasem, Ronald Reagan and music’s 1 percent: Artificial “popularity” is not democracy - Salon.com
(Compare the top songs of 1981 — which we’ll use randomly because it’s when “Bette Davis Eyes” came out — from Billboard magazine and from the Village Voice critics poll, and decide for yourself which list is more interesting, diverse and what you actually might want to hear today. Hint: I’ll take the list without Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” at No. 3, REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” at No. 10 and the “Greatest American Hero” theme at No. 11.)
5 weeks ago
Andrew Cuomo must be a true believer. Nobody can think this is good politics.
Everyone seems to assume that Andrew Cuomo is a cynical politician who's positioning himself for higher office by walking a centrist path in order that he not alienate any moderates of even possibly conservatives he might need in the future. The conventional wisdom among progressives is that he's out of touch with current politics and is caught in a Clintonian time warp. But I'm beginning to think he's not out of touch or cynical. I think he might just be a real centrist who truly believes what he believes and that it's foolish not to take him at his word.
5 weeks ago
Links: Twitter trolls, data doppelgangers, Obama anon
Data Doppelgängers and the Uncanny Valley of Personalization is a provocative argument by Sara Watson, in the Atlantic, about the imperfection of personalized ad-targeting and the creepy feelings it induces, with a nod to Freud:
5 weeks ago
Are Teacher Tenure and Seniority Really Unconstitutional? | JD Supra Perspectives - JDSupra
No California court has ever said that before and, in fact, the same theory was rejected by another trial judge a few years ago when a coalition of education groups argued that the whole system of school funding was constitutionally inadequate to meet the academic performance standards established by state law and state board policy. (Robles-Wong v. California, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG10515768.)  If adequacy is the test, how many of the factors affecting student achievement are going rise to constitutionally guaranteed status?  And if every child has a constitutional right to a competent teacher, are parents going to be able to sue to enjoin individual teachers from teaching their children?
6 weeks ago
‘School Deserts’ Hit Chicago’s Black Neighborhoods | Labor Notes
Black students and Black educators have shouldered the weight of nearly 20 years of school closings, as many of our neighborhoods turn into “school deserts,” with no traditional neighborhood schools left.
6 weeks ago
A “Good” Common Core Lesson?
In a recent NPR article titled “What Does a Good Common Core Lesson Look Like?” Anya Kamenetz takes the reader through a “good” lesson as explained by Kate Gershon, a research fellow at EngageNY, which develops Common Core instructional materials for New York State. Unfortunately, this lesson exemplifies curricular confusion, misunderstanding of the nature of intellectual work, and a dogmatic approach to pedagogy. Kamenetz picks up on none of this; her reporting is unskeptical and cheerful
6 weeks ago
Avoid any book with ‘leadership’ in the title
I don’t trust books about “leadership.” Such books invariably include lots of anecdotes about great leaders and the things that inspired them to become great leaders, yet none of those anecdotes ever seems to recount any of them having read a book about leadership. And that ought to tell us all we need to know about such books.
6 weeks ago
Gonzalez: Students of much-touted Success Academy charter school score too low on entrance exam for top city high schools - NY Daily News
None of the 32 grads, however, will be attending any of the city’s eight elite public high schools, even though Harlem Success Academy 1 ranked in the top 1% on state math tests this year and in the top 5% in reading — a fact Moskowitz herself proudly highlighted.
6 weeks ago
Knowledge Ventriloquism | EduShyster
EduShyster: You introduced me to one of my favorite new concepts—*knowledge ventriloquism.* The release of the National Council on Teacher Quality *review* of the nation’s teacher prep programs seems like an appropriate time to share this concept with the world. So what is *knowledge ventriloquism*? Break it down for us.

Ken Zeichner: It’s a particularly useful concept these days. Basically what you have is an echo chamber effect where think tanks and other advocacy groups just keep repeating each other’s claims until they are thought to be true. There’s a research component too, except that the research isn’t independent. In fact, you can usually predict what the findings are going to be be based on who is doing the research. Cherry picking is another essential component of *knowledge ventriloquism.* Advocates of a particular position or program will selectively choose certain findings and ignore others. The problem is that by the time any of this reaches the mainstream media and the headlines, any nuance or complexity is lost.
6 weeks ago
Creative Destruction Yada Yada
And in trade, as in business competition, it’s far from clear that the big rewards go to those who trash the past and invent new stuff. What’s the most remarkable export success story out there? Surely it’s Germany, which manages to be an export powerhouse despite very high labor costs. How do the Germans do it? Not by constantly coming out with revolutionary new products, but by producing very high quality goods for which people are willing to pay premium prices. So here’s a revolutionary thought: maybe we need to do less disruption and put more effort into doing whatever we do well.
6 weeks ago
When nature fights back: How environmental disaster could swallow our cities - Salon.com
Mikael Stenqvist, a partner at White Arkiketer and one of the lead architects on the Kiruna master plan, has likened it to the movement of a millipede. The town will crawl east across the tundra as it evolves into a dense, linear city linked by a gondola line. It will fold over itself.
6 weeks ago
Flipped Classroom, 1972-style (and early visions of the Home Internet)
Of course, it’s a restatement of the dream since Pressey — remove the burden of the repeatable so teachers can focus on the sort of personalized tutoring they do best. But the difference here is that these people know that. No one is wandering around claiming to have invented “flipped classroom”. It’s been invented. The question, as always, is how to make it work.
6 weeks ago
Ken Previti. My Grandfather, the Great Depression, and today’s teacher wage theft. | Fred Klonsky
One day he turned the check over to see the amount is was made out for. It was for more cash than he had ever received. After he endorsed the check and handed it back to the man, the clerk at the counter handed him cash – a smaller amount than he had seen printed on his check. My grandfather complained; the clerk told him he had not seen the correct amount and could not return the endorsed check to him.
6 weeks ago
Our Deadly Culture of Overwork | Blog | The Baffler
Americans began agitating for the right to an eight-hour workday over 200 years ago. Countless workers fought and died for that right before it was institutionalized under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. But, sadly, it looks like this is one battle that we all must continue to fight.
6 weeks ago
Death of a libertarian fantasy: Why dreams of a digital utopia are rapidly fading away - Salon.com
But what’s missing here is the realization that those ever-so-convenient platforms are actually far more intrusive and potentially oppressive than the incumbent regimes that they are displacing. Operating on a global scale, companies like Airbnb and Uber are amassing vast databases of information about what we do and where we go. They are even figuring out the kind of people that we are, through our social media profiles and the ratings and reputation systems that they deploy to enforce good behavior. They have our credit card numbers and real names and addresses. They’re inside our phones. The cab driver you paid with cash last year was an entirely anonymous transactor. Not so for the ride on Lyft or Uber. The sharing economy, it turns out, is an integral part of the surveillance economy. In our race to let Silicon Valley mediate every consumer experience, we are voluntarily imprisoning ourselves in the Panopticon.
6 weeks ago
Eschaton: So You Say You Want A Revolution
Let me just echo the fact that when The College Kids Today attempt to exercise the one bit of power they potentially have - influencing the actions of college administrators - they're generally mocked and derided. Divestment campaigns and improved sourcing policies might not save the world - they might not even be particularly helpful! - but they're the one way students can actually draw attention an issue and have a clearly defined and potentially achievable goal.
6 weeks ago
“Democracy has been hacked”: Al Gore channels his inner Thomas Piketty - Salon.com
Later in his discussion, Gore said that “democracy has been hacked” by moneyed interests. Then, in response to a question about tech billionaires spending big on allegedly philanthropic enterprises, he said: “That’s a good thing, as long as the rest of us don’t ever fall prey to the illusion that charity is going to do the job of what democracy needs to do.”
6 weeks ago
Warwick Mayor Puts the Breaks on New Mayoral Academy
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian has halted public hearings on a proposed Mayoral Academy Charter School. Avedisian, who is the mayor sponsoring the proposal, says numerous issues including West Warwick's potential to pull out of the proposal, preceded the request.
6 weeks ago
The Ridiculous Incompetence That Slows Down America’s Best BRT Route | Streetsblog USA
“I recall hearing a line from the city that ‘important people in cars’ were pissed that they had to wait for a bus to make their left turn into work,” he said. “The city’s course of action was to turn off all the expensive sensors so one man could control the whole thing so as to be accountable to the needs of these very important people.”
6 weeks ago
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