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LWolf's Journal
Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Sun Oct 02nd 2011, 09:40 AM
bigoted hate-term.

It carries the same negative connotations, and stems from the same hatefulness.

Attacking Democrats for holding Democratic values, for being unwilling to compromise them, is sickening in itself.

Attacking Democrats for upholding the Constitution and Bill of Rights, suggesting that we ought to "compromise" on the Bill of Rights, is flat out dangerous.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Sun Sep 25th 2011, 08:51 AM
If I don't like a particular choice on the ballot, I don't take my vote and go home. I take my vote and find a better.

If there is no better choice, I write one in.

My vote is not a ball, and my rights and responsibilities are not a game I'm playing with you.

Speaking of responsibilities....

Anyone who is concerned about losing liberal votes might want to consider that possibility BEFORE putting a neo-liberal on the ballot.

If you want the votes, put someone on the ballot who can earn them.

Those who think they can use the fear card to bully me into feeling like I have no choice but to vote for a lesser evil are destined to fail.

Those who think they can deflect blame for losses onto those who wouldn't be bullied are welcome to meet me in person. I'm not going "home" or anywhere else. I'll shove their blame game right back down their throats.

You want votes for something or somebody? EARN them.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Sun Sep 11th 2011, 10:05 AM
Universal National PUBLIC non-profit health care.

Universal pre-school - college/trade school FULLY PUBLIC and FULLY FUNDED education.

FAIR trade based on labor and environmental standards.

A living wage.

Enacting stronger anti-trust laws, and enforcing those already on the books in the meantime.

An updated, modern fairness doctrine.

High environmental standards and strict environmental regulation.

Small organic farms and non-patented, open-pollinated crops.

A shift to clean, renewable energy.

PUBLIC utilities.

A broad, deep separation between Church and State.

Some new amendments: Equal Rights, and right to privacy.

Investing in Domestic infrastructure

Widely available, cheap, convenient public transportation systems across the nation.

Using diplomacy as the primary tool for international diplomacy

Reserving the use of the military for defense of U.S. soil and people only.

A wide, deep, many-layered PUBLIC safety net for all people.

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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Sat Sep 10th 2011, 09:59 AM
We live in the real world. We interact with, work with, people who don't share our values every day.

That doesn't mean that we have to capitulate and adopt their value system.

The real world is not 2-dimensional. It's not a thin flat line on which we place ourselves, with a single label to indicate where we are standing. Left and right, in the real world, change every time we rotate.

If you must use polarized, 2-dimensional, simplistic, flawed rankings, like black and white, good and evil, Republican and Democrat, Left and Right, normal and not, hot and cold, red and blue, them and us, I'd say the split here could be classified as socialism vs capitalism, power vs powerlessness, competition vs cooperation, thinking vs following, individual vs group responsibility, rights vs responsibility, wisdom vs foolishness, pride vs humility, greed vs generosity, bullies vs leaders, fear vs courage, hope vs despair, hate vs love, empathy vs psychopathy, integrity vs corruption, xenophobia vs tolerance, or peace vs. aggression...

What we are really dealing with, socially, politically and economically, are mindsets grounded in competitive power-mongering: pride, greed, fear, despair, hate, psychopathy, corruption, and xenophobia, promoted by well-honed propaganda.

Suggesting that we need to "compromise" with those things in order to walk, fly, or do anything else, is more propaganda.

Those things aren't second legs or wings. They are the ball and chain dragging us down, limiting us, imprisoning us to prevent us from flying, walking, and thriving.

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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Mon Sep 05th 2011, 10:02 AM
n a sense, we are defined by the other opposition—we are resisting “reforms” that don’t make education “better” and don’t remove “faults.” We are “anti-privatization, “anti-business model,” “anti-market-based model” and anti teacher-deproffesionalization. Defining us in oppositional terms may makes sense—the “anti-war” movement had its appeal. But is there a positive, visionary and universal definition that would serve us better; one that would denote our belief in educational excellence, equity, and democracy?

We are against all of those things, but should we define ourselves that way, or should we define ourselves according to what we are FOR?

I am FOR:

Fully funded, fully staffed schools.

Educators in charge of education policies.

A fully public system.

To begin with.

I'm also for:

Less testing, and ethical, appropriate uses of standardized tests and every kind of assessment.

Inquiry based education that teaches higher-level thinking and learning skills used for a lifetime.

Small schools, small class-sizes, and flexible structures that create environments that more closely fit the way people learn.

Abolishing poverty, and building deep safety nets in every community for all.

Universal, FREE, PUBLIC pre-school through college and/or trade school.

How do I define all of that?

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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion: Presidency
Sat Sep 03rd 2011, 09:44 AM
You are absolutely correct. I am not a partisan. I am a Democrat, and the vast majority of my votes go to Democrats. None, ever, go to Republicans. I support the Democratic Party platform. But I am not a partisan.

I have always said that DU is fractured by design. When it self-describes as a "left-wing discussion board," and also self-identifies as a supporter of the Democratic Party, a conflict is built in. The Democratic Party is not "left-wing."

I'm not a partisan. In my view, the purpose of the party is to uphold a set of political values, whether from the position of citizen voter or elected representative.

The issues are the priority, and the party is simply a vehicle. As long as the Democratic Party is moving leftward, I'm there.

The party is not a sports team, I am not a fan, and the players are not celebrities.

I don't think it's good to be a partisan. To me, that means to follow no matter where you are led; not to question authority, but to do as you are told. That's just not who I am. Not politically, and not in any other area of my life. That kind of "partisanship" is eerily similar to the masses that don't want to know, don't want to think, just want to trust some talking head to tell them what is true. I expect that from the right wing. I am embarrassed when Democrats exhibit those tendencies.

I support the party when it has earned my support. My support is earned by upholding a set of political values. By continuously working to keep us on the leftward path to a socially and economically just world.

The Democratic Party has strayed off that path, delving into neo-liberal economic policies and "compromising" with those going the wrong way by backing up to their less evolved positions.

The current administration's obsession with compromise has compromised the strength and health of the party and the nation. I'm not signing on for more of the same.

That doesn't mean I'm not a Democrat, or that I won't be supporting every Democrat on my ballot who has demonstrated to my satisfaction the willingness to put us back on the path and move leftward at a brisk pace. I will.

It might be a good thing for partisans to take a look at the Democrats that have been marginalized and disenfranchised, and try to EARN their support. Earn it, not by bullying them, but by actually valuing their presence enough to make sure the party represents them.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Thu Sep 01st 2011, 08:49 PM
I'm sick of the U.S. obsession with 9/11. It gave the bogus Bush administration legitimacy. It created the opening that led to the current economic and social disasters.

It was terrible. It wasn't the only terrible thing that people have done to other people, and certainly not anywhere near the worst. More than double the number of American soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan than died that day, and our casualties are small compared to the civilian deaths in the fucking "war on terror" and the numbers of those we've killed. Add our allies' deaths to that, and we've used 9/11 to cause destruction and death on a much larger scale than 9/11 did.

I'm not afraid. Not before, not during, not since, not now. I have spent not a single moment of my life afraid of terrorists, or worked up in determination to enact revenge, to establish what a bully the U.S. is, or in any other dramatic response.

On the other hand, I'm deeply worried about the damage we've done to the nation allowing election fraud, and allowing neo-liberals to control the Democratic Party. I think it's deeper and longer lasting than 9/11.

If I want to contemplate possible terrorist actions and targets, all I have to do is look at the domestic terrorists attacking civil rights, attacking labor, attacking education, attacking social and economic justice...

THOSE are the most dangerous terrorists out there.
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Posted by LWolf in Education
Thu Aug 25th 2011, 11:29 AM
maybe he should have showed up at the SOS rally and taken the heat he's earned. Publicly.

More from the article:

Why was the administration so keen on meeting with Damon and march leaders just before the event?

I’ve said before that it is fair to wonder if the sudden interest was akin to the administration’s efforts last summer to blunt criticism of Obama policies when a coalition of civil rights groups released a framework for education reform. In the few days before the framework was released, administration officials met with some of the coalition leaders, and a few of them backed off their criticism.

If that was what the officials had in mind with their outreach before the teachers march, it didn’t work.

Damned straight it didn't.

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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Thu Aug 25th 2011, 09:32 AM
A new, updated modern version of the fairness doctrine, where every station has to, first of all, distinguish clearly between fact, opinion, and propaganda, and secondly, offer a balanced selection of opinion, with actual facts and evidence given in support.

Their skills in collection development and automatic protection of intellectual freedoms are just what the doctor ordered for our currently diseased media.
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Posted by LWolf in Political Videos
Wed Aug 24th 2011, 03:55 PM

I wish I could link this on my classroom webpage without being fired.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Wed Aug 24th 2011, 12:11 PM
FAILED policies that benefit no one but politicians and their neoliberal donors. The article goes on to point out:

The result in this case? We have wound up betting many of our reform dollars on things like pay for performance, where we are going to pay wonderful teachers whose kids do well on standardized tests. That is going to get us thousands of new and better teachers and motivate the best of the educators already in the schools. We persist in believing this idea is fundamental, even though virtually every recent study on pay for performance based on student achievement has failed to find any improvement in scores.

Here's the link for the article on those recent studies:

Here's what they have to say:

The researchers concluded not only that incentive programs have not raised student achievement in the United States to the level achieved in the highest-performing countries but also that incentives/sanctions can give a false view of exactly how well students are doing. (The U.S. reform movement doesn’t follow the same principles that have been adopted by the other countries policymakers often cite. You can read an analysis of that by educator Linda Darling-Hammond here.)

Then there's this point:

Similarly, several states have adopted school reform legislation where one of the centerpieces is ending tenure. The unspoken part of the narrative is something like: We’ll now be able to fire lots of bad teachers and replace them with better ones. Unfortunately, there is no great pipeline of new, brilliant teachers waiting in line to be hired. If we fired just 10% of the current public school faculty, we would need a whopping 320,000 teachers to replace them. We don’t have that, and even if we had the numbers, we would have no assurance any of the new recruits would be more effective than those they are replacing.

Well, we know the end goal here; to hire a bunch of TFAs and/or other underqualified, non-professional people. To downgrade teaching from a profession to a clerk and babysitter: supervise behavior, read the scripted lessons, process the paperwork.
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Posted by LWolf in Political Videos
Tue Aug 16th 2011, 11:51 AM

Yes, I know we've all watched Damon's interview by now. While the title is about Damon, it's the reporter's editorial that is significant in this version.

This is the best defense of teachers I've heard in the almost 3 decades of my career.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Mon Mar 21st 2011, 09:56 AM
Sarcasm, or a full-frontal assault? Which is more likely to make people defensive?

Try it out.

Nominating and electing Obama is the biggest mistake the Democratic Party has made in my lifetime (51 years,) and the people who elected him, and who continue to defend him, are not only hypocrites, they ARE the problem. If they had the courage to vote for people who would actually oppose conservatism, neoliberalism, and theocracy in this nation, the Democratic Party, and the nation, would be a hell of a lot healthier.

Excuses, like assholes: everyone's got them, and public viewing of them makes the party look silly, at the least, and pathetic, in my opinion.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Fri Mar 04th 2011, 11:14 AM
That's the reality: our contract specifies a number of days, and pays us for those days. Days we don't work, we don't get paid.

I've never met a teacher that didn't work for free outside of their contractual hours and days.

If I just add the extra hours I work during the work week beyond my contract, not counting weekends, holidays, or summer days...I work, on average, an extra 10 unpaid hours a week. In our 36 week school year, that's 360 unpaid hours, which translates to an extra 45 days a year, unpaid...

Again, not counting any work I do on actual non-contract days. If you add weekends, holidays, and summers, you can add, minimum, another 25 days, unpaid.

About 70 days of work a year. Unpaid. Given a 5-day work week, that translates to an extra 14 weeks. Working for free.
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Posted by LWolf in General Discussion
Sun Feb 06th 2011, 10:58 AM
2010 was a banner year for bunk, leading to a new record of 24 reviews. Yet our awards can recognize only the true crème de la crème of bunkiness. This year’s victors include contributions from perennial frontrunners like Fordham, Heartland, and Heritage, but surprise winners included the South Carolina Policy Council Education Foundation, which until now had toiled unrecognized in the minor leagues. And we also were compelled to open the contest to an important new competitor – the U.S. Department of Education – which seems poised to contribute exceptional bunk for the foreseeable future.

This year’s Grand Prize goes to Secretary Arne Duncan and his U.S. Department of Education staff for the exceptionally disappointing low quality of their research reviews supporting their plans for the reauthorization of ESEA (aka, the Blueprint). Our esteemed panel of judges solemnly considered whether the federal government was even eligible for such an award. With so many resources at its disposal, the government seems to have an unfair advantage. But the Blueprint research summaries stood out in two ways that we felt needed recognition. First, they almost religiously avoided acknowledging or using the large body of high-quality research that the federal government itself had commissioned and published over the years. Second, they first raised our expectations with repeated assurances that recommended policies would be solidly grounded in research – only to then dash those hopes in research summary after research summary.

The issues addressed in the Blueprint and the research summaries are certainly vital to the nation’s education system – standards, teacher quality, comprehensive education, special needs, safe and healthy students, and charter schools. But across the board, our reviewers found the work to be of inadequate quality. One reviewer was astounded that the administration did not mount a comprehensive defense of its central education policies. The research summary reviewed by another was described as a “political text that starts with a conclusion and then finds evidence to support it.” Then, there was the question of critical omissions – such as the complete absence of a rationale for the chosen accountability system and intervention models. In terms of sources, the research summaries were often found to be summarizing non-research. For example, only 10% of the 80 or so citations in the “Great Teachers, Great Leaders” summary referred to peer-reviewed research sources.

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