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June 05, 2009

What kind of teachers could a school get if it paid them $125,000 a year?

Next Test - Value of $125,000-a-Year Teachers - NYTimes.com

One of the keys here is that these experts are being allowed to design their own curriculum, which virtually no public school in the country allows.

An accomplished violist who infuses her music lessons with the neuroscience of why one needs to practice, and creatively worded instructions like, “Pass the melody gently, as if it were a bowl of Jell-O!”

A self-described “explorer” from Arizona who spent three decades honing her craft at public, private, urban and rural schools.

Two with Ivy League degrees. And Joe Carbone, a phys ed teacher, who has the most unusual resume of the bunch, having worked as Kobe Bryant’s personal trainer.

They are members of an eight-teacher dream team, lured to an innovative charter school that will open in Washington Heights in September with salaries that would make most teachers drop their chalk and swoon; $125,000 is nearly twice as much as the average New York City public school teacher earns, and about two and a half times as much as the national average for teacher salaries. They also will be eligible for bonuses, based on schoolwide performance, of up to $25,000 in the second year. . . .

June 04, 2009

Conservatives Warn Quick Sex Change Only Barrier Between Gays, Marriage


Conservatives Warn Quick Sex Change Only Barrier Between Gays, Marriage

Funemployment -- The return of the slacker

Sounds awesome, dude. Too bad I'm unemployed and broke. "Are there no jails? Are there no workhouses?!" For the 'funemployed,' unemployment is welcome - Los Angeles Times
Michael Van Gorkom was laid off by Yahoo in late April. He didn't panic. He didn't rush off to a therapist. Instead, the 33-year-old Santa Monica resident discovered that being jobless "kind of settled nicely." Week one: "I thought, 'OK . . . I need to send out resumes, send some e-mails, need to do networking." Week two: "A little less." Every week since: "I'm going to go to the beach and enjoy some margaritas." What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as "funemployment." While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts. Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they're content living for today.

A tale of two murders

A Tale of Two Murders, by Guest Hoyden Slave2TehTink — Hoyden About Town

On Monday, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammed, a young African-American man who was born Carlos Bledsoe and changed his name after recruiting to Islam, pulled up outside an Army recruiting station and opened fire. He killed one young soldier, just out of boot camp and assisting the regular recruiters, and injured another as he sprayed gunfire towards an otherwise empty building. The MSM reports that he was angry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ABC news reports that the FBI had been investigating him after a trip to Yemen, when he was found to have a forged Somali passport.

The FBI are also now “taking apart his life, examining his friendships, educational records, travel within the United States and possible contacts with extremists overseas,” despite the fact that overwhelming evidence is that he acted alone. His act, while an atrocity, is unlikely to intimidate anyone: not the US gov’t into changing its policies on Iraq and Afghanistan; not the Army recruiters, who will continue recruiting while using this incident to demonstrate why we must “win”; not the potential recruits, who these days are mostly desperate young men and women with no better option than to volunteer to get shot at.

Scott Roeder has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Abdulhakim Mujahi Muhammed has been charged with one count of capital murder and fifteen (yes, fifteen. one five. 15.) counts of “terroristic acts”. I demand that someone explain to me how these charges are rational without resorting to egregious sexism and racism. Really. I want some damned answers here.

Because what I’m seeing is that if you’re a white man, you can go be a violent extremist and commit terrorist acts that mainly impact women, and have a small pamphlet lobbed gently in your general direction, whereas if you are a young African-American with a Muslim name and become a violent extremist and commit terrorist acts aimed at the military, we will heave the entire US Code, bound in hardback, straight at your face. . . .