Standardized testing can close your public school, hold your kid back a year or now get a teacher fired-all in the name of accountability. But standardized testing's sheen of fairness got tarnished last week, proving that despite all the promises, there is no accountability in accountability.
Got to forgive presidential and congressional staffers for covering their ears and singing "la la la" at the top of their lungs, as everyone pretends not to be knee-deep in the icky, tricky, sticky Syria situation. You might say Washington is in a Semi-Syrious mode right now. And a Semi-Not-So-Syrious mode. Simultaneously.
OKLAHOMA CITY – God bless America, and how's everybody? Peyton Manning threw seven touchdown passes in the NFL season opener Thursday in a Denver win. He tied an NFL record. After the game President Obama telephoned the locker room and asked Peyton if his neck surgeon knows anything about foreign policy. L.A. Lakers former star Lamar Odom was reportedly getting treatment for his alcohol and crack cocaine use. It's a local program. When his psychiatrist ...
John Kerry put on quite a war dance in the Senate on Tuesday. The Secretary of State, backed up by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, went before the Foreign Relations Committee to urge senators to support the newly drafted resolution giving President Obama authorization to use airstrikes in Syria. Kerry made some impressive arguments in favor of military action. He said the evidence is undeniable that Assad's military forces used ...
Syria has taken over the top of the agenda, but very soon Congress will necessarily return to high stakes fiscal negotiations, not just over the continuing resolution to fund the government, but also over the federal debt ceiling. Speaker John Boehner is committed to the principle that has so effectively constrained discretionary spending since the historic summer 2011 deal: debt ceiling increases must be matched dollar-for-dollar with new spending cuts. At the top of the ...
The new requirements for No Child Left Behind waivers from the Department of Education have some bad news for America's teachers. The Obama administration wants states to use standardized tests to not only judge students and schools but now teachers as well lest we lose ground to China. Coincidentally, China this week banned standardized testing in early grades and reduced it thereafter. China, it seems, wants to be more like us.
Have we just witnessed a political slam-dunk reflecting 21st century political realities? Did Newark Mayor Cory Booker just manage to ingratiate himself with one group of voters while provoking his opponent into negatively defining himself and his political party in the campaign to fill New Jersey's Senate seat?
Ever since the first blog was posted in 1998, chronicling the aftermath of a hurricane, a lot of us have wondered if the surge of people writing about their children, their hobbies and the ups and downs of life was a good idea or a sign of the end of our communities.
During my last visit to New York City, I stumbled into an unexpected discussion about its restrictive gun polices.
HOLLYWOOD --God bless America, and how's everybody? Bob Hope's trustees put up his household items and keepsakes for auction Monday for charity. They already donated 50 years of Bob's TV and radio monologues to the Smithsonian Museum. Over the years only the voters have sent more jokes to Washington. The New England Patriots dropped the hammer on Tim Tebow and cut him from the squad Saturday. He may work for ESPN as a commentator. It's ...
As Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama campaigns for another war, we should be asking whether or not the U.S. should engage Syria.
Hey, it was Labor Day, everybody. Woo-hoo. Okay, we're partying now. Throw your arms in the air and wave them like you just don't care. Blow up some balloons. Tap a keg. Rip open a bag of chips. Because this isn't a champagne and caviar kind of thing. This is the very definition of blue collar. If collars be worn at all.
I don't know who's more confused about Syria, President Obama or me. With his alleged use of poison gas against his own people, including women and children, Bashar al-Assad of Syria has crossed our president's famous red line -- again. But unlike the last time Assad crossed the president's red line, this time President Obama means business. No, seriously. He does. Really. He's not just talking you-know-what. In the words of The New York Times, ...
Since his election, Pope Francis has warned repeatedly of the challenges and dangers posed by a "savage capitalism" that "has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to get, of exploitation without thinking of people." He has rightly criticized a "dictatorship of the economy" and a "cult of money" that consistently subordinates concern for human beings to questions of efficiency and profit. He has also held up an alternative rubric, ...
Over the summer I've perused three or four books about bucket lists (those collections of tasks, large and small, that one dreams of completing before "kicking the bucket") and my reading dovetails nicely with the perceived state of the nation.
I've heard a lot of interesting stories of people trying, and failing, to sign up for ObamaCare, but this one takes the cake.
Ahh. Thanksgiving. Best Holiday Ever! Love it all. The fact that a national holiday falls not on a Monday but a Thursday. How wacky is that? A regular Thursday in dead-solid center fall. Where the weather could be 80 and sunny, or 20 and snowing. Or, in certain parts of the Midwest, both.
Since June when the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization bill, tens of thousands of stories and broadcasts have been devoted to comprehensive immigration reform. Yet only a handful have outlined the bill's most crucial feature, namely that it will in most cases give immediate legal status and therefore work authorization to between 11-20 million illegal immigrants. On top of that, 20 million more overseas workers will be issued non-immigrant work ...
If this column needs a subtitle, let it be "Where The Rubber Meets The Vinyl."
It's been an up and down, rough and tumble, crazy, sad, frustrating year for America the Beautiful so far.
Sure, the country isn't doing so well at the moment, but there are still plenty of reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving.
As I have done at Thanksgiving for many years, I want to proclaim some of the things for which I am thankful on this uniquely American holiday.
It's not every day that Democrats and Republicans get to shake their fist in the same direction. That honor goes to Education Secretary Arne Duncan whose insult against "white, suburban moms" whose "child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were" has sparked outrage from the tea party to teachers unions-not to mention the PTA moms who are heavily invested in their children's schooling. Sec. Duncan is still walking back his remarks, but if a ...
The saying, "A picture is worth 1000 words" is so true. In the case of my four month old grandson, we have a book started. Still nothing compares to actually holding, squeezing his chubby legs, or getting Bob to laugh out loud. As we enter the holiday season, families across the country hardly need a reminder that November 24th through the 30th is designated as National Family Week.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
"I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you," declared Nietzsche.
In 2006 I came up against a holiday deadline crunch, so I turned my column over to Turpy, the beloved eight-year-old Golden Retriever/Chow mix who had turned up at our doorstep as a puppy.
Come on, Oprah.
We humans like to divide time into neat little boxes based on dates, but the case can be made that the styles, policies, manners and mores of one ten-year period usually spill over into the next.
Whew! I need to catch my breath. I can't keep up with the quickly shifting journalistic conventional wisdom.