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The Best Way to Help "Budding" Teachers

At the mere cost of $5 billion, Bill Gates once had the brilliant idea to train cameras on every teacher in every classroom. What better way to improve teaching...or is it testing? No matter what ed. "reformers" say, surely, the two are not the same.Well, just when you think Mr. Show More Summary

We Never Learn Anything

We keep voting in the same people, they keep doing the same things, it failed before, it's failing now, and it will fail in the future. Yet we hope against hope that this time it will work. We give the reformies a little bit to show them how flexible we are. Show More Summary

The Maspeth Mystery

I get a newsletter from the UFT every week or so called "The Organizer," written by UFT employee Gene Mann. I don't always agree with everything in it, but this week I was very struck by the dueling comments about Maspeth High School and its principal (who scored 10 points lower than average in the staff poll). Show More Summary

What Do Mulgrew and Christie Have in Common?

Chris Christie says it's time to punch teacher unions in the face. This isn't surprising coming from the bombastic lunatic he is. This is a guy who makes agreements to fund pensions in exchange for higher contributions from state employees,...Show More Summary

Blogger's Day Off...

...but you can read my open letter to Carmen Fariña at Huffington Post instead, if you like.

Double Whammy

For years we've had the APPR system over our heads. Gates thought it was a swell idea, and the UFT participated in the MET program that enabled it all over these United States. But since VAM is based on nothing resembling science and has no validity whatsoever, the geniuses who enabled it decided to balance it with actual ratings from supervisors. Show More Summary

Another Fatality of Ed. "Reform"

Perhaps you've read the recent story of a NYC principal who committed suicide on the eve of being exposed for filling in answers on students' 2015 Common-Core NY State Exams. Although the news is certainly dramatic, and you could view it as an isolated incident, it is not. Show More Summary

Blood versus cemetery: Texas Gothic

A small Texan town displayed a touch of that state's flair for the Gothic, when some Farmersville citizens threatened to drown a cemetery in blood. This wasn't just any cemetery, but one local Muslims would run and staff. And not...

Save Tales To Terrify

Tales To Terrify is one of the best horror podcasts out there. Ever since they launched in January 2012 hosts Larry Santoro (RIP) and Stephen Kilpatrick have produced 183 shows. The content includes classic horror and current tales, ranging from...

The future of libraries?

I had lunch recently with Paul Signorelli, who’s active in helping libraries with digital literacy, and during the conversation he talked about his vision of the future of the library. What I heard was a vision of libraries moving beyond content to be about learning, and this had several facets I found thought-provoking. Now, as context, I’ve always […]

Perdido--Fariña Unwittingly Admits VAM Is Invalid for All

Perdido Street School nails Carmen Fariña to her own words. Fariña thinks there should be an asterisk to so called highly effective teachers who move into renewal schools. After all, if they're highly effective at one place, how canShow More Summary

The New Business Imperative

Learning is the new business imperative. It is now an indisputable business reality: companies must become more nimble and agile. As things move faster, new processes arise, and the time to copy a new business approach drops, it becomes clear that continual innovation is the only way to not just survive, but thrive.  And this doesn’t, can’t, come from […]

I Gave $350K to the Mayor and All I Got Was This Substandard Contract

Oh, the tangled web our union leadership leads. They insisted on endorsing Bill Thompson four years too late, after Michael Bloomberg reversed the twice-voiced will of the voters to buy himself a third term (and won by such a small margin...Show More Summary

Taxidermied hybrid visions or nightmares?

When is the connection between human and animal disturbing? Kate Clark uses taxidermy to explore than intersection, and National Geographic isn't sure if the results are terrifying or thoughtful. This is not in an effort to create a creature from...

Death by Xbox

Snopes reports on a fun scary digital technology hoax involving a fatal Xbox One console: According to reports, the Xbox One forcefully ejected a disc, slicing the teens throat. According to authorities, Davenport was killed when his Xbox One malfunctioned,...

Governor Andy's Thumbs Are Up for Working People (And Also Down)

Governor Cuomo has a new TV commercial, praising himself for supporting the $15 minimum wage. Make no mistake, this is a good thing. But it's not an accurate thing. In fact, NYC workers will not have that wage until the end of 2018,Show More Summary

Creepy clown invades a Chicago cemetery

The creepy clown invasion reached Chicago this month, as a solitary clown snuck into a closed-down cemetery, then posed for a horrified onlooker. Julia Graham and her husband spotted a strange figure in shiny pants scaling a 7-foot-tall fence at...

When crime turns to horror: Arizona Gothic

In Phoenix, Arizona, an apartment dweller attempted a good dead, only to crash into a horror story: A male neighbor knocked on the door of the apartment to check on the 43-year-old suspect, whom he hadn't seen since the day...

Things to do with creepy dolls

Let's say you have a disturbing doll. What can be done with it? Mental Floss offers sixteen - count 'em, 16 - excellent uses for creepy dolls. For example, or (thanks to Gabor Por)

The Worst Advice Ever

As NY State scrambles to follow the mandates of charter-owned Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Heavy-Hearted Assembly, everyone wonders how the hell NYC will deal with the specter of receivership. The geniuses who crafted this bill decided...Show More Summary

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