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Too Big to Map, But I Tried

from Wrench in the GearsMarch 18, 2018I realize this is a very long post and not all that readable. I will try and break it down further in the near future, but for now consider it a work in progress; a way for me to gather a lot of divergent ideas, spheres of influence, and money trails in one place. Show More Summary

Florina Rodov: The Truth About Charter Schools

“[W]hen teachers aren’t unionized, they’re exploited — and when teachers suffer, so do kids.” — Florina Rodov This amazing piece by Florina Rodov on Shondaland is a must read. Taking place at one of the seedy charter corporations here in Los Angeles, the story Rodov tells is all too familiar to all of us that are anti-privatization activists. Show More Summary

Humane Education Versus Educational Technology and Pay for Success: My Testimony to Philadelphia City Council

from Wrench in the GearsMarch 12, 2018 Today I offered public testimony at a special hearing discussing early literacy education and standards held by the Education Committee of Philadelphia City Council. Below is a recording of my testimony, followed by the written text I submitted for the record. Show More Summary

Social Norms, Moral Judgments, and Irrational Parenting

We are all conformists; it’s part of human nature. But sometimes our conformist nature leads us to do things that are downright silly or, worse, tragic.

What If Medicine’s First Principle Were Also Education’s?

If standard schooling were a drug, it would have to come with a lot of warnings, if it were permitted at all. There's no evidence that it works better than a placebo.

One Man’s Way to Create Neighborhood Play for His Kids

When Mike Lanza became a father 11 years ago, he was determined to provide his son—and now his three sons—with a childhood of play.

Causes of Students’ Emotional Fragility: Five Perspectives

The high rates of emotional disorders and problems among college students have generated concern. Here I present views about the sources of students’ emotional difficulties.

Helicopter Parenting & College Students’ Increased Neediness

College counseling services report increases in emotional fragility in students. What is the evidence that these changes are the result of a rise in helicopter parenting?

Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges

Mental-health problems are at an all-time high among college students. In addition, there has been a sharp decline in students' abilities to deal with setbacks of everyday life.

The Police Officer and the Community

A year ago or thereabouts, Mayor Bill de Blasio started a community policing program. The idea, I guess, was to get police on the street like the beat cops of yore. Where would these cops come from? It appears the mayor pulled them from the public schools. Show More Summary

Oklahoma City Teachers’ Union Cancels One-Day Walkout

The larger plan is to coordinate a statewide school employees’ walkout on April 2, but the Oklahoma City AFT affiliate was going to hold its own work stoppage on March 28. Yesterday that plan was abruptly canceled. Guess why. “We will...Show More Summary

In order to maintain the species in a Dark Age (Or, My Beers with Alan and D’Arcy)

Been in a few conversations lately where I have wanted to quote or point people towards this scene, or this movie, but in the moment it always feels a little weird. In other words, we’re talking about an underground, which did exist during the Dark Ages in a different way, among the mystical orders of […]

LibraryThing and Litsy Q&A

As we wrote in the last blog post, LibraryThing has acquired the mobile platform Litsy. Here is a sort of Q&A about Litsy, and how Litsy and LibraryThing can help each other. Other resources: Press Release Litsy Newsletter: Big news (Email to all Litsy members, reposted on the LibraryThing blog.) LibraryThing Talk discussion Onward Litsy! […]

Litsy Newsletter: Big news

Note: This went out today in the Litsy newsletter. Litsy doesn’t have a blog, so we thought we’d also post it here, for Littens to share. We have big news! LibraryThing, the team behind the long-running social cataloging and book discussion site, has acquired Litsy. The Short Version Don’t panic. Litsy is not going […]

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Privacy, and Informed Consent

There has been a significant amount of coverage and commentary on the new revelations about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, and how Facebook's default settings were exploited to allow personal information about 50 million people to be exfiltrated from Facebook. Show More Summary

On the New York Cemetery Belt

The New York Times took a stroll through the history of Cemetery Belt, a spot along the Brooklyn-Queens border that's unusually rich in dead people. There are more than a dozen cemeteries near the line separating the two boroughs, i...

Stacks of fun: EFL blocks games (TEFLtastic classics part 32)

Fourth in my recent series of articles in English Teaching Professional. See bottom of the page for links to a couple of photocopiables, two other articles on the topic, and lots more posts on classic TEFL games. A set of … Continue reading ?

Severed hands found in Siberia

Someone in the Russian far eastern city of Khabarovsk made a splendidly Gothic discovery: a bag of severed human hands. "Initially a single hand was spotted, then the bag containing a total of 54 severed hands." Like so: A Siberian....

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