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.
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 spending cut priority list should be elimination of the most widely hated aspect of the new health care law: the individual mandate.
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.
September 05, 2013|
Martha Randolph Carr
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.
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, noting that "concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the starting-point for every political and economic solution and the ...
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.