Evaluating Gates via His Microsoft Failure

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Discover Mr. Destructo, Bill Gates, in all his failing glory and incompetence that’s now aimed at our democratically run public schools.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

Billionaire Bill Gates has been buying his version of American public education for years now. His first major *reform* effort began in 2000 and involved chopping large urban high schools into smaller schools. It was his solution of choice for several years.  He began to reject the “small schools” idea as The Solution in 2006 after it had been found “less successful than hoped” according to the Seattle Times. (Documented in chapter 23 of A Chronicle of Echoes and also discussed in this post.)

For Gates, the small schools failure was an inconvenience and a disappointment. (He wanted to “scale” the results.) For the school districts left holding the bag, it was incredibly disruptive.

Gates actively advances a spectrum of so-called reforms that interest him, including grading teachers using student test scores (in order to dump the “ineffective” teachers), merit pay, increased class sizes, longer school day and year, data systems to…

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Comparing the results of 2 films may reveal a sad fact about the values of the average U.S. citizen

Lloyd Lofthouse:

As a combat veteran who fought in Vietnam, believe me when I say that you can’t hide from the harsh reality of life. Fantasies of sexy vampires, and visits to Disneyland and/or Magic Mountain will not protect you from that reality, because it will find you sooner or later, and it is a hard-wired fact that the United States has hundreds of thousands if not millions of enemies in the Middle East who want to destroy everything there is about America and the citizens who live here.

Originally posted on The Soulful Veteran's Blog:

There are some films and documentaries that should be required viewing the same as taxes and death. The Hornet’s Nest is one of those films that should be viewed not once, but at least three times or more, but, sad to say, average American values are on display when we compare two films that came out on the same weekend.

The Hornet’s Nest, a film my wife and I recently watched at home on a DVD, is a documentary shot by two journalists, a father and son, Carlos and Mike Boettcher, who were embedded with front-line U.S. combat troops in one of the most dangerous combat zones in Afghanistan.

The Hornet’s Nest is not based on a true story—it is a true story.

“The Hornet’s Nest is a groundbreaking and immersive feature film (documentary), using unprecedented real footage to tell the story of an elite group of U.S…

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My Review of Kristen Buras’ Counter-Narrative of the “New Orleans Miracle”

Lloyd Lofthouse:

“First they stole our democracy, then they stole our schools.”

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The first thing to be said about Kristen Buras’ new book is that the publisher overpriced the book ($125). As the author, she had nothing to do with that poor decision. This is a book that should be widely read, but at that price, it won’t be. There will eventually be a softcover edition, but probably not for a year. Urge your library to buy it, or get together a group of friends to pool the cost. Or contact the author directly, and she will send you a coupon that gives you a 20% discount (kburas@gsu.edu).

Although it has its share of academic jargon, it is a major contribution to the literature about post-Katrina New Orleans that directly challenges what you have seen on PBS or heard on NPR or read in the mainstream media. Buras has written her narrative from the grassroots, not from the top. She has spent…

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Camden, NJ: Target of Privatization

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Stealthy, illegal practices being used by corporate-driven for-profit Charter school supporters to replace public education faster.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Egged on by Governor Chris Christie, the privatization movement has targeted Camden, Néw Jersey.


NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney is poised to pass S2264, legislation that amends the 2013 Urban Hope Act in order to accommodate illegally approved renaissance charter schools in Camden. Senator Sweeney is bringing this legislation to a full Senate vote on Monday, September 22, without first introducing it in committee. This legislation was already snuck through the Legislature once in late June.

“The handwriting is on the wall,” said Susan Cauldwell, Executive Director of Save Our Schools NJ Community Organizing.

“If the legislature allows this undemocratic transfer of Camden public education to private control, district schools will be forced to close, and the education of Camden schoolchildren and the oversight of hundreds of millions of our tax dollars will be in…

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Vergara East: How Politics, Education Policy and the Law Are Irrevocably Intertwined

Originally posted on Ed In The Apple:

The law suits challenging the New York State tenure law came before a judge in Staten Island; the judge combined the two suits and admitted the UFT as an intervener. Down the road the judge will undoubtedly admit other interveners who have the right to file briefs, and, to a limited extent participate in the argument. The suit will be defended by the Attorney-General of the State of New York under the leadership of Eric Schneiderman.

Once the preliminary motions are out of the way the state will make a motion to dismiss the suit and we will be off and running.

In the ideal world, if there ever was one, the suit will be decided on its merits; however, how do you define “merits”? By “merits” do you mean applying the law and relevant legal precedents? Do you mean putting your finger in the air to judge the political…

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@TeachForAmerica Airlines: Fly Us! We Build Plane in Air

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Would you really want your child to be taught by a TFA recruit during their first two years? Find out here what your child would be getting.

Originally posted on Cloaking Inequity:

“I fly a lot,” he says. “Let’s say you go to the airport and you have a choice of three different pilots. One has trained for 30 hours online, the second has five weeks in the summer, and the third has studied, become certified and has spent a year as an intern. Which airplane would you choose?”

From For Teachers, Many Paths Into The Classroom … Some Say Too Many at NPR.org

So I asked major airlines on Twitter if they would hire pilots without a license or experience, but who were very intelligent. Here is what they told me.Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 2.43.36 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-07 at 2.49.50 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-17 at 10.23.13 AMScreen Shot 2014-09-07 at 2.43.56 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-17 at 10.42.12 AM

So there you have it. Could the airlines have said it any better? If I want to be a pilot for a major airline, well, being bright, uncertified and lacking training just won’t work out for me. Unless of course I want to fly for Teach For America Airlines.

So JCrew has apparently…

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New York Times Ignored Teacher Input on Eva Moskowitz

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Do you believe everything you read and hear from the corporate owned and controlled media? If you say yes, think again.

Originally posted on Daniel Katz, Ph.D.:

The September 7th New York Times Magazine ran a story by Daniel Bergner called “The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio”.  Bergner’s piece reads as an astonishing piece of hagiography to appear in the paper of record, ignoring any substantive argument about Ms. Moskowitz’s schools and repeating without critique her organization’s point of view.  Mr. Bergner did make note that he had spoken to critics of Ms. Moskowitz’s approach, notably Dr. Diane Ravitch of New York University whose input he represents thusly:

When I talked with her, Ravitch indicted the hedge-fund titans and business moguls — including Kenneth Langone, a founder of Home Depot, and the Walton family of Walmart — who put their weight behind promising charter schools, leading their boards and lending political clout. “When they call themselves reformers,” she says, “it’s something I gag on.” What these philanthropists are all…

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