Saturday Cartoon Fun: What They Really Think Edition

"Well, you can't take the effect And make it the cause"

Representative Donna Edwards quotes The White Stripes on the House floor.  Cool.

I guess you have to have a problem
If you want to invent a contraption
First you cause a train wreck
Then you put me in traction

Well, first came an action
And then a reaction
But you can't switch around
For your own satisfaction
Well, you put my house down, then got mad
At my reaction

Well, in every complicated situation
You're the human relation
Makin' sense of it all
Take a whole lot a concentration

Well, you can blame my baby
For her pregnant ma
And if there's one of these
On the order for laws
It's that you just can't take the effect
And make it the cause

Well, you can't take the effect
And make it the cause
I didn't rob a bank
Because you made up a law
When you people robbin' Peter
Don't you blame Paul
Can't take the effect
And make it the cause

I ain't the reason that you gave me no reason to return your call
You built a house of cards and got shocked when you saw them fall
Well are you sayin' I'm innocent?
In fact the reverse
But if you're headin' to the grave
You don't blame the hearse
You're like a little girl yellin' at her brother
'Cause you lost his ball

Well you keep blamin' me for what you did
And that ain't all
The way you clean up a wreck
Is enough to get one pause
You seem to forget
Just how this song started
I'm reactin' to you because you left me broken-hearted
See, you just can't take the effect
And make it the cause

Can't take the effect
And make it the cause
I didn't rob a bank
Because you made up a law
Blame people robbin' Peter
Don't you blame Paul
Can't take the effect
And make it the cause

Education Experts: They Do Exist, And Can Tell You About Poverty

• There is very good evidence that our international tests scores are "low" because of poverty. Studies show that middle-class American students in well-funded schools score at the top of the world on international tests. Our overall average is less than spectacular because we have such a high percentage of children living in poverty, at least 20%, the highest among all industrialized countries (Berliner, 2011). In urban areas, where test scores are the lowest, the poverty level is much higher: 51% in Cleveland and Detroit, 37% in Miami, and 35% in Dallas and New Orleans. (These figures are based on the federal poverty level. If we consider the percentage of children eligible for free and reduced lunch, between 130 and 185% of the federal level, the figure is much higher, with 81% of children in Detroit and 68% in Miami living in poverty. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (see e.g. here), families need an income of twice (200%) the official federal level to meet basic needs. Nearly 40% of children in the US live in families with incomes of less than 200% of the official federal level.)

• Studies show that children living in poverty suffer from conditions shown to impact educational attainment and school performance, such as "food insecurity," environmental toxins, lack of health care, and lack of access to books. The impact of these factors is enormous: No matter how good teaching is or how carefully a curriculum is put together, it will be of little value when students are hungry, malnourished, in poor health, and when they have little or no access to reading material.

• When these conditions are dealt with and alleviated, school performance improves. Providing food for hungry children has been shown to produce dramatic differences in behavior and performance in school (Berliner, 2009), having medical insurance improves school performance (Berliner, 2009), and increasing access to books as well as providing time to read for pleasure results in better literacy development (Shin and Krashen, 2009).

The obvious cure for poverty is full employment, with a living wage paid for honest work. Our society today provides neither of these, with unemployment high and with wages low: As of this writing, the average pay for a retail sales position, about $20,000 per year, is well below the federal poverty line for a family of four (Gibson, 2011).
via Living In Dialogue


Thursday Bonus Carton Fun: Yummy Tea? Edition

Thursday Cartoon Fun: Shut Down Afghanistan Edition

TFA Teacher Tells About His Horrible Experience (Video)

Cathie Black's Ridiculous Tenure Now Over

Cathie Black
Gotta love Valerie's word usement here. (Yes, I know 'usement' is not a word.)
If the ridiculous 3 1/2-month tenure of New York City schools Chancellor Cathleen Black shows anything, it is that mayoral control of public schools and non-traditional school leaders are hardly the answer to the ills of urban education as modern reformers have portrayed them.
Valerie Strauss


Monday Cartoon Fun: Mother Nature Edition

The Dalai Lama Says:

A thought from the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered, "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

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