Finally. Something That Makes Sense!

Did you see the news?

The Los Angeles Times published an analysis of teacher effectiveness in the Los Angeles School District.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Monday that parents have a right to know if their children’s teachers are effective, endorsing the public release of information about how well individual teachers fare at raising their students’ test scores.

“What’s there to hide?” Duncan said in an interview one day after The Times published an analysis of teacher effectiveness in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school system. “In education, we’ve been scared to talk about success.”

Parents support the idea. People everywhere support the idea. The teacher’s union doesn’t.

The Los Angeles teachers union urged a boycott of the paper to protest the public disclosure of the data, and other labor leaders also objected.

“Publishing the database … is irresponsible and disrespectful to the hard-working teachers of Los Angeles,” David Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Assn., said in a statement.

Oh no! How could they let this happen? How could someone release information about the performance of public school teachers to the … public? Holding public educators accountable to the public. Imagine the thought.

Finally, something that makes sense!

Kudos to the Los Angeles Times on this one.

Thank You Mr. Mitchell

How often are you blessed by the opportunity to meet someone that shapes the way you think for the rest of your life? How often does your life lead you down a path that parallels another which impacts you forever? How often does this happen around the same time you learn to ride a bike?

I grew up in Boulder City, Nevada, the home of Hoover Dam. It didn’t get any smaller, or better, than growing up in Boulder City. I started kindergarten with many of the same people I graduated high school with, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. Especially in today’s world.

Many, many, years ago, they built a new elementary school in our town. The fact they built the school might not be a big deal, but the man they named it after sure was.

Andrew J. Mitchell was the principal of our small school, and the new school down the road was named in his honor. I didn’t get to know Mr. Mitchell very well while attending elementary school, in fact, I think I spoke to him more in my high school years than I ever did while a student at his school.

He made quite the impression sitting on his white horse as he led us in a parade of sorts, pulling our wagons filled with school supplies, through town to our new school. Our community was outgrowing our old school, and the new school was bigger and classier. Just like Mr. Mitchell.

Although he was our principal, he was also our friend, our mentor, and our pal.

On May 30, Mr. Mitchell, the man who made such an impact on my life, on so many lives, passed away.

Andrew Jackson Mitchell, a true scholar and gentleman, returned peacefully to his Heavenly Father early Sunday morning, May 30, 2010, at the age of 91. He was born July 7, 1918, to Andrew J. and Mary A. (Snyder) Mitchell in Albuquerque, N.M.

After graduating from High School in Flagstaff, he attended Arizona State University where he met his life companion and sweetheart “Mimi,” Mabel McKnight of Beaver Dam, Ariz. They were married on May 13, 1939. The couple recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary at their Sterling Court residence. Both Andrew and Mabel were educators who mentored students in Bunkerville and Boulder City, Nev.

I’ll never forget how special it was growing up in Boulder City, and I’ll never forget the people like Mr. Mitchell who made it that way.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Mitchell, and thank you.

Three Thoughts Til Thursday

Finally! Tonight I am finally reading a health care proposal that doesn’t sentence my children to a life of servitude to pay the costs of providing that care, doesn’t take almost 5 days to read, and actually reduces the federal deficit.

Tonight I am reading the GOP Amendment to HR3962. The amendment is an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” which means the current version of HR 3962 would be replaced by this new text.

HR3962 clocks in at 1,990 pages, but the GOP substitute sums things up, quite nicely, in 219 pages. I still have some reading to do and I need to formulate my thoughs, so tomorrow I will be posting my review of the “Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act”.

Here are some other quick thoughts to hold you over until tomorrow.

Thought #1

Remember the indocrtrination videos I linked to weeks and months ago? It seems there are a lot more of those, even more than you possibly could have imagined.

This is about brainwashing our children into Leftist identity politics. Sure, the schools can argue that they had some kind of parental permission — which, if true, is somehow even more disturbing — but who even considers doing something like this with young minds? That’s a rhetorical question.

There was some guesswork, but to the best of our ability the videos run from oldest to youngest, starting with high schoolers. We list the name of the school and the date the video was posted. From there, if it could be found (or a confident guess made), you’ll find the schools’ website, followed by the original title given to the video and any notes added by whoever uploaded to YouTube.

Big Hollywood has organized a great number of the videos, by age of the children involved, and they have even transcribed the videos so you can follow along with the message.

It really is that bad.

Thought #2

The U.S. Senate voted 98-0 to extend unemployment benefits. This is a small band-aid for the larger problems that face our nation, but it’s good to see someone pulling out the first aid kit, finally.

After weeks of partisan debate, the Senate voted on Wednesday to lengthen unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks and to extend the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit.

The closely watched legislation would extend jobless benefits in all states by 14 weeks. Those that live in states with unemployment greater than 8.5% would receive an additional six weeks. The proposal would be funded by extending a longstanding federal unemployment tax on employers through June 30, 2011.

Now if they could just get their heads on straight with everything else, we might just make it through everything going on.

Thought #3

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which seems to be getting very little press, looks to be a very dangerous thing, for everyone.

The Internet chapter raises two additional issues. On the international front, it provides firm confirmation that ACTA is not a counterfeiting treaty, but a copyright treaty. These provisions involve copyright policy as no reasonable definition of counterfeiting would include these kinds of provisions. On the domestic front, it raises serious questions about the Canadian negotiation mandate. Negotiations from Foreign Affairs are typically constrained by either domestic law, a bill before the House of Commons, or the negotiation mandate letter. Since these provisions dramatically exceed current Canadian law and are not found in any bill presently before the House, Canadians should be asking whether the negotiation mandate letter has envisioned such dramatic changes to domestic copyright law. When combined with the other chapters that include statutory damages, search and seizure powers for border guards, anti-camcording rules, and mandatory disclosure of personal information requirements, it is clear that there is no bigger IP issue today than the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated behind closed doors this week in Korea.

Whackos, Wanna Be’s, Writings, And Wisdom

I started my day today with a quick and easy project. Well, it was supposed to be quick and easy. It ended up taking 14 hours, but it’s done. I won’t go into details because I know some of you get bored if I talk in code.

It’s late, so I am going to put several smaller thoughts together again.

Thought #1

The first story I read today caught me off-guard. This is what happens when I open my news reader before I’ve had my first cup in the morning.

It seems a woman in Michigan who lives in front of a bus stop watches some children for less than an hour each day until the bus arrives. She helps out the parents of said children by keeping an eye on them (at the parent’s request) so they get off to school each day. The problem is, the state of Michigan has decided she’s doing so against the law.

A West Michigan woman says the state is threatening her with fines and possibly jail time for babysitting her neighbors’ children.

Lisa Snyder of Middleville says her neighborhood school bus stop is right in front of her home. It arrives after her neighbors need to be at work, so she watches three of their children for 15-40 minutes until the bus comes.

The Department of Human Services received a complaint that Snyder was operating an illegal child care home. DHS contacted Snyder and told her to get licensed, stop watching her neighbors’ kids, or face the consequences.

When a neighbor cannot help a neighbor without being threatened by some over-zealous idiot, there’s a problem. So much for the village, huh?

Thought #2

President Obama thinks your children do not spend enough time in school.

President Barack Obama is among those making the case that American kids aren’t spending enough time in school.

The president says that puts them at a disadvantage compared to other students around the globe. He’s pushing for schools to add time to classes, to stay open later and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.

While it’s true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it’s not true they all spend more time in school. In fact, U.S. kids spend more hours in school than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests.

For all I know, this thought might be related to the next one.

Thought #3

Increasing the time children spend in the classroom would allow more time for the proper indoctrination of children, would it not?

If videos like this surfaced of children being taught to praise George W. Bush, heads would be spinning and the lamestream media would be covering it 24/7. Tell the truth now, have you seen any of these indoctrination videos on any mainstream media station?

Just imagine what can be done by increasing the length of the school year. Can we see a pattern here? YES WE CAN.

Thought #4

Whoa. Talk about making heads spin. Sarah Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life” will hit the bookstore shelves on November 17th.

I’m sure the mere mention of her name on my blog has reassured some readers (and some family members) that I am a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy they (and former President Bill Clinton) are so vehement in believing actually exists. Uhoh. I just linked to CNN. Now my head is spinning.

Thought #5

Did you know it’s former President George W. Bush’s fault that current President Barack Obama cannot close our facility at Guantanamo Bay?

Hope, change, and no semblance of accountability whatsoever.

And now, the final thought for the night, presented by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI).

Caught, Taught, Burned, And Spurned

I heard that President Obama gave a speech at the U.N. today. I heard a lot of other stuff too. Today was another busy day, so tonight you get more thoughts. Oh stop, you know you like them.

Thought #1

ACORN has filed suit against the team that produced the undercover videos that exposed the level of corruption inside the organization.

The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings.

They fired the two employees seen on the video, and then use the fact that those two former employees have suffered from “extreme emotional distress” because of the ordeal.

Shouldn’t the employees have filed suit against ACORN for false termination or something? They were most likely doing the very thing they were trained to do in the first place.

Thought #2

Remember that video I asked about last night? You know, the one where the kids are being trained to praise the great and powerful O? Apparently it bears a striking similarity to a video produced to praise the leader of North Korea, Kim Jung Il.

And while we’re on the subject of schoolchildren, did you know some students were tested after being forced to view the President’s address to the Joint Session of Congress?

An isolated case or an example of the indoctrination taking place right now in our schools?

Thought #3

The United Nations held their yearly “lets compare the size of our…” forum again today.

Achmed I’mANutJob spoke at the gathering and delegates from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States walked out. My only question is, did President Obama encourage our U.N. ambassador to walk out or will he be forced to resign now?

If you missed the President’s address to the United Nations today, you really missed out on one of the most disgraceful speeches ever delivered by a U.S. President.

Frank says it best when he says,

The United Nations, mostly financed by us, is a pit of vipers striking daily at the principals for which the United States of America stands and now this “leader” apologizes. It is obvious that he places no value on the oath taken earlier this year and never intends to abide by it.

Thank you Frank.

Thought #4

Nancy Pelosi had decided she doesn’t need the support of Blue Dog Democrats in the debate over health care.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning to include in the bill a tax on wealthy Americans, as well as a more robust government-run health insurance plan (or “public option”), abandoning the compromises leaders in a key committee worked out with the moderate Blue Dog Democrats.

Mrs. Pelosi is going to need some more Botox injections if she keeps stretching her mouth so much from inserting her foot. She didn’t have the votes with their support, let alone by walking away from them.

Thought #5

Bad form, Sarah. Bad form. It’s one thing to criticize the sitting U.S. President on American soil, but it’s hardly something that should be done while standing in a foreign land.

Whether you agree with the current administration or not, you don’t set up your soapbox on foreign soil and bash the President of the United States, no matter how legitimate those criticisms are.

As a staunch supporter of yours, I am quite disappointed. Like I said, bad form, Sarah.

Thought #6

The IRS dumped ACORN today. Wow. How bad do you suck if the IRS wants nothing to do with you?

That’s it for tonight. I’m off to read a book on the Kindle for iPhone app. You won’t believe how much I’ve been reading since I got that iPhone.

Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.

Calvin Coolidge