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xcurmudgeon

accountability

. . . for the sake of the institution . . .

by: teacherken

Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:03:28 AM EDT

It takes many forms:

The Blue Wall of Silence

We must protect the church

We clean up our own messes

You will weaken the Presidency/administration in a time of war/crisis/national emergency

An outsider cannot understand

You will take away the motivation to take risks

... and you can offer your own version . . .

It is the excuse not to public identify wrongdoers or to be subject to outside oversight or to allow criminal investigation and prosecution

The claim is that to do so will weaken the Police Force / Church / Military / Business / Organization

The claim is wrong.  And failure to fully investigate and expose weakens the institution, because it inevitably leads to an arrogance and the same or similar behavior continues, or happens again. . . and again . . . and again. . .

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 2034 words in story)

Ravitch: The Death and Life of the Great American School System

by: teacherken

Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:32:00 AM EST

My support for NCLB remained strong until November 30, 2006.  I can pinpoint the date exactly because that was the day I realized that NCLB was a failure.

This is a book review.  Those words appear on p.99, which however odd a starting point is critical.  I learned about this event contemporaneously from the late Gerald Bracey, who informed some of us by email and many more in this Huffington Post blog.  At a conference at the American Enterprise Institute called to answer the question of whether No Child Left Behind was working, we learn from Bracey

Charged with summarizing the day, former assistant secretary of education for Bush I, Diane Ravitch, declared that the answer to the conference title's question was clearly, "No!"

That began an intellectual transformation that leads to the outstanding new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.  I will explore the book, the author and the implications of her transformation.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 3527 words in story)

Dick Cheney's Daughter Admits the Real Reasons Her Dad is Ubiquitous in the Media

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:06:20 AM EDT

As some of us here have commented, Dick Cheney has been ubiquitous in the media.  So too has Cheney's daughter, Liz.  By Steve Benen's (at Washington Monthly) account she's made 12 appearances in 9.5 days.  There's also speculation that Liz Cheney is running for office. This is the same Liz Cheney who's ramping up aggressive talk about Iran, including talk of military action.    

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 164 words in story)

Eugene Robinson - Where "Those Methods" Lead

by: teacherken

Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 06:53:09 AM EDT

Originally posted at Daily Kos

The many roads of inquiry into the Bush administration's abusive "interrogation techniques" all lead to one stubborn, inconvenient fact: Torture is not just immoral but also illegal. This means that once we learn the whole truth, the law will oblige us to act on it.

So begins Pulitzer Prize Winner Eugene Robinson's op ed today, named - as is this diary - Where "Those Methods" Lead.

the law will oblige us to act on it -  the simple, plain truth.  One reason perhaps that a truth commission will be insufficient.

And is so often the case with Robinson, he has an ability top speak plainly, to remind us of what should be the obvious.  

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 1585 words in story)

Grading Education, Getting Accountability Right

by: teacherken

Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:19:47 AM EDT

Originally posted at Daily Kos

If you send two groups of students to equally high-quality schools, the group with greater socioeconomic disadvantage will necessarily have lower average achievement than the more fortunate group. . .

Low-income children often have no health insurance and therefore no routine preventive medical and dental care, so have more school absences as a result of illness. Children in low-income families are more prone to asthma, resulting in more sleeplessness, irritability, and lack of exercise. They experience lower birth weight as well as more lead poisoning and iron-deficiency anemia, each of which leads to diminished cognitive ability and more behavior problems. Their families frequently fall behind in rent and move, so children switch schools more often, losing continuity of instruction. . .

The words are of Richard Rothstein, formerly the principal education  writer of The New York Times,   and co-author of an important new book on educational assessment.  They come from an interview he and his co-authors recently did.  In this diary I will explore the interview as well as offer commentary of my own.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 2181 words in story)
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