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April 09, 2013

Ohio is about to realize that charter schools are a scam

They are implementing new ranking procedures that will measure charter school student progress right alongside public school student progress, and the early results suggest that the charter schools are doing terrible. Academic ratings for Ohio charter schools likely to tank in new scoring system - Local - Ohio
When the Ohio Department of Education implements its new grading standards for schools next year, traditional public schools may not be the ones to suffer the biggest shock. Publicly funded, privately run charter schools will pretty much line the bottom of the tank. The department recently ran simulations replacing today’s grading system, which ranges from “academic emergency” to “excellent with distinction,” with a new system of F through A. The grades take into account such things as student grades on tests, annual progress and graduation rates. Among Ohio’s 612 public school districts, 60 percent would score an “A” on proficiency tests because their children would have at least a 75 percent pass rate. On the other hand, 72 percent of charter schools would receive an “F” for the same measure. For graduation rates, only 7 percent of public school districts would receive an F, but 89 percent of the more than 300 charter schools would receive the state’s worst academic rating. The projections were provided to an Ohio House committee as it considers testimony on the state budget bill. Gov. John Kasich proposes reducing the basic aid to public schools and providing new forms of aid to charter schools, which often are run by for-profit managers. The academic performance projections are based on data from the 2011-12 school year, and the new grading system was mandated in House Bill 155, passed in 2012. Scores will at some point play a role in funding. Those that perform well stand to receive more, and those performing poorly could lose state aid.

Apple bans issue #12 of Brian K Vaughan's wonderful SAGA because it has a tiny picture of gay sex in the background

I am deeply uncomfortable with Apple acting as the moral police for the art they deliver on their devices. Have they ever banned a novel or a song for sexual content? Apple Bans Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga #12 Over Gay Sex Scenes | Tor.com
Earlier today Image Comics and comics writer Brian K. Vaughan reported that this week’s issue of Saga, the star-faring fantasy series written by Vaughan and drawn by Fiona Staples, has been banned from being sold “through any iOS apps” over two background depictions of gay sex in the issue. The move has puzzled the writer, publisher, comics industry, and readers of the series in regards to its inconsistency. Image Comics and Brian K. Vaughan had this to say regarding the matter: As has hopefully been clear from the first page of our first issue, SAGA is a series for the proverbial “mature reader.” Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps. This is a drag, especially because our book has featured what I would consider much more graphic imagery in the past, but there you go. Fiona and I could always edit the images in question, but everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not (just) to shock or titillate, so we’re not changing shit. The two (censored and safe-for-work) panels in question can be found here at The Comics Beat. As a reader of the series I can definitely confirm that the comic, a take on Star Wars that is more realistic while also somehow being more fairytale-esque, has depicted far more gruesome and sexual images in its pages. (Although it is mindful never to attach any glamour to them.) I mean... one of my favorite characters is the ghost of a child who has been torn in half, and that’s not even the craziest thing in the series. (Jill Pantozzi of The Mary Sue helpfully points out that this is the NSFW first page of the never-banned previous issue.)