Saturday Cartoon Fun: Woods Edition


Let Teachers Run A School? Yes!

Deal would let L.A. teachers create "pilot schools"

December 3, 2009

Local school officials and the teachers union have reached a tentative deal that would help groups of teachers bid for control of 30 campuses under a recently adopted school-reform plan.

The agreement, announced today, would allow the number of “pilot schools” in the Los Angeles Unified School District to increase from 10 to 30. Pilots are small schools where teachers, administrators and community members have broad latitude to establish the rules under which the school operates. Unlike charter schools, the pilots remain closely affiliated with the district, and employees retain their representation by district unions.


Death And Taxes: The Big Picture, Literally Updated

Click the pic to make it B I G.

Update: I think the link is fixed now.

Thursday Cartoon Fun: Game Theory Edition


Arne Duncan Talks Formative Assessments (Pop Quizzes)

I don't think I heard anything of substance in this discussion. Gwen seemed dubious about the Dunc, with good reason. The Dunc speaks poorly, sounds like a marketer, and has clearly never been in a classroom. I heard nothing specific come from his mouth; he has nothing really.

His love for "formative assessments" is intriguing. Formative assessments are basically pop quizzes. Teachers use formative assessment constantly: spelling tests, pop quizzes, writing assignments, all the things kids dread and have dreaded for a hundred years. It's not new. Nothing the Dunc says is new. It's packaging and it's Sputnik, all over again.

h/t Ken Libby


Tuesday Cartoon Fun: Enjoy The Speech! Edition Updated

President Obama will give his Afghanistan speech in a few minutes. Here are a couple toons to get you ready.

Update: I remain opposed to the war in Afghanistan. He did not persuade me. Not by a long shot. It seems he is trying to exit by escalating. Oxymoron anyone? Just get out.

Tuesday Cartoon Fun: Oops Edition


Photo Of The Day

The gay-hating woman is wearing a corduroy skirt.

h/t Boing Boing

Venture Philanthropy: Oxymoron? Updated

From The Broad Report:
VP [Venture Philanthropy] treats giving to public schooling as a “social investment” that like venture capital, must begin with a business plan, must involve quantitative measurement of efficacy, must be replicable to be “brought to scale”, and ideally will “leverage” public spending in ways compatible with the strategic donor. In the parlance of venture philanthropy grants are referred to as “investments”, donors are called “investors”, impact is renamed “social return”, evaluation becomes “performance measurement”, grant reviewing turns into “due diligence”, the grant list is renamed an “investment portfolio,” charter networks are referred to as “franchises” -- to name but some of the recasting of giving on investment. Within the view of venture philanthropy, donors are framed as both entrepreneurs and consumers while recipients are represented as investments.
Like PP says, this does not sound like eduspeak to me either.

Update: Here is the full PDF of Saltman's snippet above.

Krugman: It's Bleak

Things to come

What’s going to happen, economically and politically, over the next few years? Nobody knows, of course. But I have a vision — what I think is the most likely course of events. It’s fairly grim — but not in the approved way. This vision lies behind a lot of what I’ve been writing, so it might clarify things for regular readers if I laid it out explicitly.

Start with the short-term economics. What we’re in right now is the aftermath of a giant financial crisis, which typically leads to a prolonged period of economic weakness — and this time isn’t different. A bolder economic policy early this year might have led to a turnaround, but what we actually got were half-measures. As a result, unemployment is likely to stay near its current level for a year or more.

Union Busting Going Well

From Edwize:
If workers keep their mouths shut, their noses clean and stop busting chops and bucking their bosses, they will, if management sees fit, be paid fairly so that, provided they are not ingrates or spendthrifts, they will do just fine being one paycheck ahead of eviction and the need to forage through dumpsters to find sustenance for their sick kid who is medically unattended because his parent’s employer is no believer in investing in cost-ineffective luxuries like health insurance.

That’s the credo of the business community and their shills in the Department of Commerce and the Republican Party.  That’s why the American Society of Employers has published a “toolkit” including links on “Warning Signs of Unionization,” and “Strategies to Stay Union Free.”
There are links in the sidebar for you to contact your congressperson.

Amazing Headline

NOT from The Onion:

Monday Cartoon Fun: Tax Forum Edition


The Health Care Bill Is Crap (And We All Know It)

From DWT:
Alan Grayson and many other progressives make the point that this bill will save lives and should be passed for that reason. They have a good point. But is the bill so overwhelmingly and intrinsically terrible that Democrats should make a deal with Republicans to start over again and work to write and pass a more coherent and effective way to cover the healthcare needs of the country? The bill as it stands now is a disgraceful mess of corporate protections, payback from politicians who have been-- simply put-- bought off by lobbyists and corporate CEOs. Many say Obama's "change," at least as proposed in the bills before the House and Senate, is change for the worse, change that will give for-profit corporations even more debilitating and ultimately destructive power over the lives of ordinary American families.

The bill looks like it will force us-- something that will destroy the Democratic Party in the midterm elections-- to purchase third-rate insurance plans that can cost as much as the empowered insurance villains want to charge with absolutely no guarantee of quality. The goals are basically to transfer wealth from the consumer base to the shareholders and to enrich corporate management through unrestricted gouging of consumers. In other words, Obama and the Democrats are doing the Republicans' jobs for them-- having eaten at the same bribery-filled troughs for too long. Even the so-called public option is now so restricted and anemic-- rather than robust and universal-- that it will serve, at best, 2% of Americans. And it does this while serving another GOP wet dream: cutting Medicare and Medicaid.

Have They No Shame? Nope.

From Robert Reich:
Shame? If we've learned anything over the last year, it's that Wall Street has none. Ten months ago Wall Street lobbyists beat back a proposal to give bankruptcy judges the right to amend mortgages in order to pressure lenders to reduce principle owed, just like Wall Street lobbyists are now beating back tough regulations to prevent the Street from causing another meltdown.

Shame? For Wall Street, it all comes down to PR, at minimal cost. Goldman Sachs, attempting to preempt a firestorm of public outrage when it dispenses its $17 billion of bonuses, is setting up a crudely conceived $500 million PR program to help Main Street.

Shame won't work. Only political muscle and courage will. Congress and the Obama administration should give homeowners the right to go to a bankruptcy judge and have their mortgages modified.

And while they're at it, resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that used to separate investment from commercial banking, so Wall Street can't continue to use other people's money to gamble.

Finally, before Goldman hands out $17 billion in bonuses, claw back the $13 billion Goldman took from AIG and the rest of us and add it to the pool of money going for mortgage relief.

Less Religion = Happier People

Who needs god..?
Using existing data, Paul combined 25 indicators of societal and economic stability — things like crime, suicide, drug use, incarceration, unemployment, income, abortion and public corruption — to score each country using what he calls the "successful societies scale." He also scored countries on their degree of religiosity, as determined by such measures as church attendance, belief in a creator deity and acceptance of Bible literalism.

Comparing the two scores, he found, with little exception, that the least religious countries enjoyed the most prosperity. Of particular note, the U.S. holds the distinction of most religious and least prosperous among the 17 countries included in the study, ranking last in 14 of the 25 socioeconomic measures.
h/t 3QD

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