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Where were the thundering hordes?

March 4th, 2015 12 comments

As I watched speaker after speaker go to the podium in the Supervisors chambers last night, requesting that the BOCS advertise a tax rate high enough to support the 5 year plan, I questioned my own sanity.  Where were the thundering hordes of people I had heard about?  You know, those people who wanted the tax rate frozen at some ridiculously low figure that would pretty much halt most progress in Prince William County.

Our house-mate suggested that I must have been listening to talking hand  sock puppets–that old propaganda trick of making people think that there were a lot more people out there than really exist.  Sometime after 9 pm, a lone man got up and asked for a 1.3% rise in taxes.  Actually, I think he thought that was even too much.  He was also plenty irate about the budget sheet that got sent home with each school kid.  I wonder if he got irate last year and the year before that?

Sending materials home with students is the main way the school system communicates between school and home.  It always has been.  Just because we live in an age of technology doesn’t mean that all parents have computers.  Even in households with computers, often the computers were bought for the kids to help them with their studies (forget enhancing their social life).  I don’t think some of our middle and upper middle class residents understand that everyone isn’t just like them.

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More sleep…more sleep…more sleep for those in high school

February 10th, 2015 Comments off

From Channel 4 News:

Washingtonpost.com:

Students clad in pajamas and draped in sleeping bags demonstrated outside school board headquarters in Montgomery County on Monday, urging support for later high school start times that would allow them to get more rest.

The “sleep-in” — replete with bathrobes, teddy bears and fuzzy slippers — came on the eve of a school board vote, expected Tuesday, on whether to shift school schedules at Montgomery’s 25 high schools, where classes now begin at 7:25 a.m.
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Prove it, Dick “Plastic Fetus” Black

January 17th, 2015 46 comments

Dick Black’s statement regarding Senate Bill 722:

There is a Federal Statute that says that if you give in-state tuition to unlawful immigrants then you must give in-state tuition to Americans from other states.  It just makes sense that Americans should receive as much consideration as people here illegally.  Giving in-state tuition moves illegal immigrants to the front of the line.  For every unlawful person who get in-state tuition, there will be an American who can’t go to college in Virginia and that’s unfair.  Any time you give something free to a person here illegally, you have to take it from an American.

I would like to see a copy of that law.  I find it hard to believe that there is a law stating such bullsh!t.

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South Carolina lawmaker wants gun awareness day mandated in schools

December 31st, 2014 29 comments

 

Huffingtonpost.com:

One South Carolina lawmaker believes there is an anti-Second Amendment movement taking place within the state, and that as a result, kids need to receive more education about their right to bear arms.

State representative Alan Clemmons (R) filed a bill in December with co-sponsors Richard Yow (R) and Garry Smith (R) that would create a “Second Amendment Awareness Day” on Dec. 15, the day after the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. For this day, schools would be asked to conduct essay and poster contests relating to the theme “The Right To Bear Arms; One American Right Protecting All Others.”

Additionally, the bill stipulates that students across the state should learn about the Second Amendment for three weeks, for one class period per day. Schools would teach these lessons using a curriculum developed or recommended by the National Rifle Association.

Finally, the bill notes that teachers should not punish “political, written, or artistic expression that includes references to guns or a militia” because of the First Amendment.

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UVA Sullivan sends Greek life to time out until Jan. 9

November 23rd, 2014 8 comments

Her decision will not be popular. UVA President Teresa Sullivan has banned fraternities and sororities at UVA until Jan. 9. No one is quite sure what “Ban” means at this point. For now, all we can do is speculate. Since students live in fraternities and sororities, it would be fairly difficult to re-house all of them. However, Sullivan can and should shut down all social activities until January 9.

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UVA assaults: A national disgrace

November 22nd, 2014 38 comments

phi psi 2

Washingtonpost.com:

The harrowing account of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house described in a new Rolling Stone article roiled the campus Friday, with students, faculty members and parents questioning the administration’s response to the allegations.

The article, in the pop culture magazine’s December issue and posted online this week, describes a brutal sex assault that allegedly occurred in the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. The victim, who is given an alias in the article, said a member of the fraternity led her upstairs during a party and took her to a dark room, where numerous men pinned her to the floor and attacked her.

The victim later describes a underwhelming response from university officials, whom she contacted about the attack, according to Rolling Stone. She did not file a police report.

After the story appeared online, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called for the university to begin a thorough investigation into the matter, and Charlottesville police said they are investigating the allegations at the request of the university’s president, Teresa Sullivan.

U-Va. Vice President Patricia Lampkin said the article has “deeply affected” the university community.

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N.Y. Teacher sues over evaluation

November 2nd, 2014 7 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

Sheri G. Lederman has been teaching for 17 years as a fourth-grade teacher  in New York’s Great Neck Public School district. Her students consistently  outperform state averages on math and English standardized tests, and  Thomas Dolan, the superintendent of Great Neck schools, signed an affidavit saying “her record is flawless” and that “she is highly regarded as an educator.”

Yet somehow, when Lederman received her 2013-14 evaluation, which is based in part on student standardized test scores, she was rated as “ineffective.” Now she has sued state officials over the method they used to make this determination in an action that could affect New York’s controversial teacher evaluation system.

How is it that a teacher known for excellence could be rated “ineffective”?

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Major cheating at UNC: NO Class

October 23rd, 2014 10 comments

no class unc

According to businessweek.com:

The University of North Carolina on Wednesday admitted its academic-fraud-for-athletes scandal was worse than the public has previously been told. That’s saying something. After all, the practice at Chapel Hill of steering football and basketball players into fake classes had already made North Carolina the epicenter of a national debate about the corrupting effects of the $16 billion college athletics industry.

Several considerations regarding this widespread

1.  The deceit was widespread and aimed at keeping athletes eligible. For years, UNC officials have resisted the obvious indications that academics were compromised to promote sports. That resistance has finally collapsed. The latest in a series of university-sponsored investigations revealed that over 18 years—from 1993 through 2011—some 3,100 students took “paper classes” with no faculty oversight and no actual class attendance. Almost half the students enrolled in the phony courses were athletes. Many of the basketball and football players “were directed to the classes by academic counselors” assigned to advise athletes, UNC said in a written statement. “These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible.”

In other words, to keep members of UNC’s top-rated basketball team on the court, professional “counselors” encouraged flat-out academic fraud.
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Pete Candland Attempts to Retread the Immigration Issue

October 14th, 2014 33 comments

Dear Pete,

I would never have guessed that you too would have fallen so quickly into using children to propel you into the “immigration” spotlight.  I realize that you were probably not paying attention back in 2007 when this now, recycled tactic, was originally used and abused.

So allow me to take this public opportunity to educate you.  Back in 2007 John Stirrup, along with Corey, focused much of their attention on the “invasion” of children from South America into our public schools system.  They also wanted reimbursement for the supposed “free” education.  Only here is the problem, it wasn’t free (if you live in the county, in a house or apartment)there is a real estate tax being paid on that dwelling.  In case you weren’t aware, THAT is what pays for our schools.

Also, now pay attention, this is another critical piece of information, there is this pesky Supreme Court ruling, Plyler v Doe.  We HAVE to educate all children, I know, so irritating, but hey, I guess we could live in Afghanistan where no one has to be educated.

HHS is providing funds to house and educate these kids while we determine if sending them back home is a death sentence.  It may be, ultimately, this is the critical difference between you and me, you see, I see them as refugees.

You can’t claim “compassion” for children and yet have your actions be self-serving while possibly inciting another chapter of Help Save Manassas.

You are going down a dangerous moral path,  my friend, and I sincerely hope you rethink this journey you have chosen to embark upon.

 

Limiting classroom discussion: Censorship or prudence?

August 29th, 2014 3 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

 

The superintendent of a school district in Illinois has issued a directive banning any discussion in classrooms of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen killed Aug. 9 by a white police officer, or the civil unrest that followed in Ferguson, Mo.

KMOX-TV reports that Superintendent Ed Hightower of Edwardsville District 7 Schools made the decision after some parents complained that some teachers were expressing personal opinions during discussions with students in their classrooms. The station report says:

Superintendent Ed Hightower says normally there would be an open discussion of current events.

“However, this situation in Ferguson-Florissant has become a situation whereby there are so many facts that are unknown,” he says.

He says teachers have been told not to discuss it and if students bring it up, they should change the subject.

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