Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI wears a 'saturno hat', inspired by the ringed planet Saturn

Images are powerful things, even the simplest. This hat, for example.

Like the arrival of ripe raspberries, one can count on the appearance in July of some version of Pope in A Summer Hat. Last month I had but to glance on the paper from across the room, and knew the topic of the article. It was time for the Pope to vacation at Castle Gandolfo.

There's more message even than that. The hat says--lets the church say--its time for you, our flock, to vacation, to relax, have some summer fun. (OK, the half the flock in the northern hemisphere, anyway).

We're down to the end of Summer 2010. Take it in. Store up summer images, feelings, memories.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Funnies: Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Give A Shit?; Montessori School of Dentistry
Everyone's heading back to school. With all that we've read the past months about students learning on their own,...two takes on how learning might work.
In The Know: Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Give A Shit? | The Onion

Montessori School Of Dentistry Lets Students Discover Their Own Root Canal Procedures | The Onion

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Schott Foundation - 50 State Black Boys Report

Apparently computers aren't helping yet.
The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Black Males in Public Education reveals that the overall 2007/8 graduation rate for Black males in the U.S. was only 47 percent. New York's graduation rate for its Regents diploma is only 25 percent for Black male students. New York City, the district with the nation's highest enrollment of Black students, only graduates 28 percent of its Black male students with Regents diplomas on time.
It's certainly not just New York:
If you're a parent, the solution may be to move your child to Maine, Montana, or New Hampshire, where Black boys graduate more than their state peers, or the national average.

Or, you can drive for change in your district. Newark--long suffering Newark, NJ, in the shadow of New York City and a mecca for ESL, 73% non-white, and 30% below poverty--has closed its graduation race gap.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New study shows blacks closing digital divide with whites
"from 2009 to 2010, the home broadband year-over-year usage rate of African-Americans increased [...] from 46 percent to 56 percent"
Closing in on a white connectivity rate of 67%, very good news. I do wonder about the size of that one year jump. Maybe better polling?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Victory in Iraq
We started this blog on 20 March, 2003, the day that combat troops poured into Iraq. Wednesday, the last of the US combat brigades left Iraq. Their convoy headed over the Kuawait border, with MSNBC running a ticker reminiscent of the 1991 invasion by Iraq of that small nation. It's been a long span since.

No one dared hoist a celebratory parade this week. George Bush' landing on the carrier saluting the troops for accomplishing the first mission remains...the single salute we have made to all the accomplishments of our brave and tenacious troops.

There was another war like this. In 1776, the streets celebrated with the news that America had declared independence. Not til October of 1781 did combat end (do you know the decisive battle?). Washington's troops remained in garison til Sept of 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Later--in 1787--a woman famously asked Ben Franklin what kind of government "we got--a Republic or a Monarchy?" "A Republic," replied the good doctor. "If you can keep it."

Good luck Iraq. Good job soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

StayCation Sucks!
OK, I knew the budget was gonna be tighter than usual this summer, that they're probably be no ten days in Carolina mountains and beaches. But, Gees!

The annual weekend with the family at a camp (cabin sounds too suave) was supposed to lead into at least a couple days on the North Coast (hey, they have beaches, too), a taste or two of wine in the Finger Lakes regions, and a "working" stop at Cornell to put up some fliers and enjoy a bagel and coffee at College Town Bagels. Plus, of course, a few historical discoveries (e.g.Women's Rights National Historical Park)

Instead, I'm home in the office, just finishing an uninformative webinar with Linda Darling Hammond, teaching myself new Actionscript tricks, and trying to pretend I'm not here to deal with the daily junk.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The White Savage - Trumpet in the Land.
In keeping with the past five year's tradition, we took in another historic play this summer. And boy did we have to drive. :-;. One county over for this one, and a great job they did!

If one man's life could capture the complexity of an age, Simon Girty is it. His is a fascinating story of fickle history.