Alan Grayson's 12 Myths Republicans Must Believe

(1) The Government can’t create jobs. (Tell that to FDR, who created four million jobs in three months.)

(2) Tax cuts reduce the deficit. (Doesn’t it bother them that a man named “Laffer” came up with this one?)

(3) A fetus is a baby.

(4) The poor have too much money.

(5) Cutting the federal deficit will end the recession.

(6) The rich are incentivized by tax cuts, while the poor are incentivized by lower wages, no benefits, an end to the minimum wage, and unemployment.

(7) An unwanted child is God’s will.

(8) Everyone who wants health insurance has it.

(9) The problem with education is the teachers.

(10) The “free market” satisfies every human need.

(11) There is no discrimination in America anymore.

(12) The distribution of wealth and income are irrelevant.

The DOE Would Like To Ruin Public Schools: The Proof (Updated)

This document, from your government, basically enshrines the notion that teachers should be evaluated based on the scores of their students, that teacher certification is for fools (hire TFA instead), and unions and job security are bad ideas. Thank your President, Barack Obama for hiring the idiot Arne Duncan whose work we see below. The definition of "douche-bag" is "Arne Duncan."



The teacher quality policies under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) were intended to encourage better educators in schools. But in the 10 years since the law’s enactment, the “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements have placed too much emphasis on a teacher’s credentials and tenure and imposed significant burdens on states and schools, while paying little attention to student learning.

When it comes to getting better teachers in our schools, these “Highly Qualified Teacher” provisions can do more harm than good. As former elementary school teacher Deborah Ball stated at a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, “Right now, teachers are considered qualified simply by participating in an approved program or completing an academic major. This means that being qualified does not depend on demonstrating that you can teach.”


Parents know the best teachers are the ones who keep students motivated and challenged in the classroom. Instead of relying on teacher credential or tenure requirements, which provide little information about teachers’ ability to help students excel in the classroom, the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act will ensure states and school districts have the tools necessary to effectively measure an educator’s influence on student achievement.


-Repeal federal "Highly Qualified Teacher" requirements.

-Support the development and implementation of teacher evaluation systems to ensure parents have the information they need to make decisions about their child’s education.

-Set broad parameters – including linkages to student achievement data – that must be included in any teacher evaluation system, but allows states and school districts to design their own systems.

-Require states and school districts to seek input from parents, teachers, school leaders, and other staff as they develop the evaluation system.

-Encourage states and school districts to make personnel decisions based on the evaluations, as determined by the school district.

-Consolidate teacher quality programs into a new Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant, which supports creative approaches to recruit and retain effective educators.
Your Government

Update: I should not have said this was a DOE document. It's not. It's an Education and the Workforce Committee document, like the banner shows. I got ahead of myself.

Tim Furman (SchoolTechConnect) in the comments gently pointed that out to me. And he also made an interesting point--this came out of a Republican led committee and only Republicans voted for it. Still, it includes many of the things Duncan and Obama want. So why did it get published? Is it for, as Tim put it, a bad cop/worse cop scenario?

I put nothing past the reformers. Arne will love this document. It might as well be a DOE document. I predict, in large part it will become one anyway.

Help Me Get A Premium Account At Blog Talk Radio (Updated)

I have mentioned this before; I have a free account at Blog Talk Radio which is rather limiting. I cannot do shows during prime time. I can only do half hour shows. I can't upload more than 3 audio files. I cannot offer Skype connections to callers. It's very limiting.

A premium account would allow me 2-hour shows during prime-time with Skype calling available, as well as toll-free calling.

My radio show is growing. I began a new feature I call #SOSChat Kid Radio to get student voices out there to be heard. Alex just appeared yesterday. And second-career teacher and blogging partner David Russell appeared last week for a very interesting discussion of the Common Core, mastery learning and other stuff. He's sort of awesome.

Upcoming I have some great shows: Principal Brian Killeen of Florida will be on March 6; Dr. Michael Marder and I have been trying to set a date and we are close; Mike Butz, a fellow commentator over at the Students First Facebook page has finally decided to come on as well.

With all the interest now being shown in my show I really want a premium account. It costs $400/year, an amount I just don't have.

Here's the cool part: an anonymous donor has offered to match the next $100 in donations. Please consider a donation to the cause; help get the word out about education reform and how it is damaging our public schools, and therefore our future, not to mention our children.

Donations can be made by clicking on the TFT/Paypal logo just under this blog's title, right there near the top of the blog, or the little Donate button below.

Thank you in advance.

Bonus: Donors can be anonymous or I can recognize you publicly. Let me know if you want recognition. The default is for you to be anonymous. Donors who contribute $100 or more get a free TFT mug. Of course, you can't be anonymous if you want the mug--I'll need your name and address. I could just send you a picture of the mug...

Update:  I have raised $300 $341 of the $400 I need!!! Thanks to all who donated! We're almost there!


Anger Management Is Bullshit or Yeah, I'm Mad For A Good Fucking Reason!

Bruce Levine, Ph.D.
Maintaining the Societal Status Quo

Americans have been increasingly socialized to equate inattention, anger, anxiety, and immobilizing despair with a medical condition, and to seek medical treatment rather than political remedies. What better way to maintain the status quo than to view inattention, anger, anxiety, and depression as biochemical problems of those who are mentally ill rather than normal reactions to an increasingly authoritarian society.

The reality is that depression is highly associated with societal and financial pains. One is much more likely to be depressed if one is unemployed, underemployed, on public assistance, or in debt (for documentation, see “400% Rise in Anti-Depressant Pill Use”). And ADHD labeled kids do pay attention when they are getting paid, or when an activity is novel, interests them, or is chosen by them (documented in my book Commonsense Rebellion).

In an earlier dark age, authoritarian monarchies partnered with authoritarian religious institutions. When the world exited from this dark age and entered the Enlightenment, there was a burst of energy. Much of this revitalization had to do with risking skepticism about authoritarian and corrupt institutions and regaining confidence in one’s own mind. We are now in another dark age, only the institutions have changed. Americans desperately need anti-authoritarians to question, challenge, and resist new illegitimate authorities and regain confidence in their own common sense.

In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. While it is unusual in American history for anti-authoritarians to take the kind of effective action that inspires others to successfully revolt, every once in a while a Tom Paine, Crazy Horse, or Malcolm X come along. So authoritarians financially marginalize those who buck the system, they criminalize anti-authoritarianism, they psychopathologize anti-authoritarians, and they market drugs for their “cure.”
Mad In America


Davy Jones, R.I.P.

Davy Jones of the Monkees has died of an apparent heart attack at age 66. The singer – who had been on a solo tour this month - complained of chest pains last evening and was admitted to a hospital this morning in Stuart, Florida.


Monday Bonus Cartoon Fun: Ye 1800s Edition

Monday Cartoon Fun: This One's For You Edition

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