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patrice's Journal
patrice's Journal
January 13, 2013

Here's another more detailed research look at the Rhee's Students First bullshit rating system:

Sounds like it's all marketing. There's no research base for Rhee's ranking list and when you compare the ranks to outcomes its all over the board. Probably this research blogger's biggest concerns have to do with how Rhee's claims for increased accountability and transparency are completely untrue and that in fact the opposite is the case: increased unaccountability and opaqueness.


On Monday, the organization Students First came out with their state policy rankings, just in time to promote their policy agenda in state legislatures across the country. Let’s be clear, Students First’s state policy rankings are based on a list of what Students First thinks states should do. It’s entirely about their political preferences – largely reformy policies – template stuff that has been sweeping the reformiest states over the past few years. I’ll have more to say about these preferred policies at the end of this post.

But I digress… Now back to the Students First ratings. Students First created 3 broad categories of preferred policies for their ratings – policies that it believes:

Elevate teaching
Empower parents
Spend wisely and govern well

By elevate teaching, Students First means the usual basket of reformy options including elimination of traditional salary schedules, teacher evaluations based heavily on student test scores, reduction of retirement benefits and reduction or elimination of due process rights, and pay based primarily on test-score driven evaluation systems. They also prefer to expand alternative routes into the teaching profession. Of course, there’s not a whole lot of transparency into how these various elements are factored into the final grades. But there is a rubric! ...

Every item on their list is somehow mysteriously scored on a “0? you suck) to “4? wow… you are REFORMERIFIC!) scale without using any actual data (apparently) to inform that ordinal rating. Then in a wonderful leap of number abuse, these ordinal scale data are averaged to create a grade point average for each broad category – on a 0-4 GPA like scale, where most values of course lie in the imaginary spaces between the original ordinal ratings (like kinda-semi-almost-reformerific = 3.49).

Finally, I close with a topic that should be another blog post altogether, and likely will be at some point. I’ve been struck by the logic that the preferred policies in the Students First report are intended – by their framing – to increase accountability, empowerment and transparency. Yet, in all likelihood, most of these proposals accomplish precisely the opposite – substantially eroding public accountability and oversight and compromising statutory and constitutional rights of children, employees and local taxpayers. . . .

The Students First state policy rating system – like many other reformy manifestos – implies that the road to ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY is necessarily (perhaps exclusively) paved through shifting larger numbers of students and teachers and larger shares of public funding over to the management of non-government entities and non-public officials, as well as creating entirely new layers of ‘public decision making’ by referendum/petition (Parent Trigger). Whatever gripes we may have regarding the efficiency or responsiveness of government operated services, we must think this one through carefully.

Unless detailed accountability requirements are explicitly spelled out in a whole new layer of state and federal laws, the preferred policies laid out in the Students First and by other reformy institutions are more likely to lead to less public accountability and transparency rather than more. ...

So yes – Students First has their policy preferences – and they’re certainly entitled to that. They’ve built their entire rating system on their idea of what’s good policy. They’ve not tried to justify their policy preferences in any research basis on effectiveness or efficiency of these policy preferences, nor could they. There simply is no research basis to support the vast majority of their preferences. Even where Charter school policy is concerned, findings of successful charters seem to occur most often where authorizers are few and tightly regulated, and where charter market share is low (as in NYC or Boston). This is in direct contrast with the SF preference for further deregulating and expanding the sector (as in states with relatively poor charter performance). So, in short, there’s simply no research based reason to follow the policy agenda of Students First. But the reasons they provide – accountability, transparency, blah… blah… blah… are also not consistent with their policy agenda.

January 6, 2013

God! That piece is such a litany of horror stories, I hardly know where to begin!

I guess my main point would be: If it's supposed to be about good jobs, as SUBSIDY-Sam Brownback says it is, then, when you force the price of a commodity toooo low, and in this case the commodity would be the labor of the poor who have been disqualified by bureaucrats (who obtain their own paychecks through a type of SOCIALISM for those who get political patronage in our state, NOT on their qualifications to do the work they are doing, i.e. it's all ideology), how in f-ing hell do Republicans think the job-market is going to bid any higher for that labor than what the current price is, which can apparently range from $0 - $280. @ mo.

WHY would whatever jobs that do materialize out of this EXPERIMENT pay more than the going rate for those bodies? They won't, because no one is going to pay more than the going rate. Those won't be good jobs not only because wages will be low but also because Medicaid is gone.

Actually, I have an answer to this question of how Republicans think "decent" paying jobs will come out of this situation and it has to do with something else that is characteristic of the CHURCH-state in Kansas. People will get "decent" (ha!) wages depending upon their acceptance of certain other unstated, non-job-related, "qualifications", which happen ever so co-incidentally to be rather similar to those of the ideological social engineering bureaucrats who are doing this, ergo . . .

Kansas has turned into a market for indentured servants.

“Everybody is concerned that we are shrinking the social safety net. So much of it is happening behind closed doors and under the radar.”

Some 384,000 Kansans, or 13.8 percent of the state’s population, live at or below the poverty line, $23,050 a year for a family of four. That’s up by nearly 80,000 people since before the recession hit in 2008. Among children, the numbers have jumped 34,000, from 14.5 percent to nearly 19 percent. . . .

In May, the sweeping Brownback-led tax code changes that eliminated income taxes for an estimated 191,000 small businesses took away longstanding tax breaks for child- and dependent-care expenses and money spent on food taxes that helped a combined 430,000 Kansans, including the working poor.

Another policy, enacted months before, eliminated food stamps to the families of 2,200 Kansas children, all U.S. citizens, because some income in their households came from family members who were in the country illegally. The state determined they should not be counted in the formula to determine benefits.

Families that qualify for TANF cash assistance, which amounts to $280 a month on average, are among the poorest of the poor, with annual incomes no greater than 28 percent of the federal poverty level — about $6,500 for a family of four.

When Brownback took office, 39,000 severely poor Kansans received TANF. Since October 2011, when the administration instituted stricter rules defining who could receive the cash assistance, 38 percent of them — or almost 15,000 people — no longer do. . . .

In Kansas, the food stamp program has grown substantially under Brownback — up 21 percent, from 260,000 to 315,000 recipients, since he took office. Monthly spending per person has nearly doubled, from $66 to $125.

Even at $16,500 a year in food stamps, if the Hartzes’ food benefit were counted as income, they would still be living at less than 40 percent of the federal poverty level for a family their size.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/05/3996591/poverty-in-kansas-some-fear-that.html#storylink=cpy
January 6, 2013

I agree with this, except, if PO & they had let it all go, could we expect whatever came out of

that situation would have been necessarily more to our benefit than what could happen if we put ourselves together well enough NOW? I am suggesting that we may have bought ourselves some time that the people NEED, before oppressors of another order rob a bunch of us of potentials that we have not discovered/developed yet, potentials that may be crucial to the prospects of the whole thing no matter which political direction the trajectory takes.

And, yes, probably unlike some of the strong cohorts involved in this, I do think TIME is a crucial criteria here, not only for at risk populations at different ends of the generational spectrum, but also for Earth.

I don't know; if things had not gone the way that they did, and all of it did "crash" more than it has, whether we'd be talking about decades before significant progress on social and economic justice and environmental/energy issues, but I do want us to at least ask that question of ourselves. Would it have been decades after a more extensive crash, before we actually got on our feet? Or has, even given some of the mis-steps in what actually happened, has the way things actually did go down allowed more opportunities to involve more of the more fundamentally affected cohorts to educate themselves more validly and become more active in ways that more effectively address their own issues themselves, rather than allowing power-enclaves, "Left", "Right", and "Center" or "All", to turn the course of things in ways that would ultimately result in being less demographically inclusive? And that's "less inclusive" not so much in terms of outcomes, because I think we're still at least 2 years away from a true bench-mark there (November 2014), and longer than that REALLY, but also more inclusive in terms of the MANY and VARIOUS processes at work here.

Perhaps you recognize my skepticism about the, TTE, "Let it all crash and burn, so we can start over" cohort. Who, exactly comprises that point-of-view and how authentically do they indeed hold that position? AND - very importantly given my own impulse in that direction - are they recognizing that such a scenario WILL indeed generate its own emergent oppressors, to which MUCH will be lost and I just really don't think that we can write off the VALUE of what will be lost, as that all plays itself out over how many (?) decades, as stuff that, TTE, "we don't need anyway." Ought we not to at least try to make critical decisions about what will and what will not be lost, or should we just leave that up to WHATEVER power enclaves emerge out of such a situation? Yes, such a crash would be cleansing, lots of bullshit would go away, but that's not all that will happen and we shouldn't pretend that we won't lose value that future generations will need in order to survive AND that we haven't even asked ourselves about whether that's a factor or not, much less have we made somekind of at least hypothetical effort to identify what those values might be.

These are the reasons why I think Labor is the real decision point here, not D.C.

December 21, 2012

This board would be better for everyone if Usernames were real names. That's my honest assessment

of persistent issues (about 10 years of looking at this stuff in my case) associated with how people can credit any post to which a user refuses to relate their own personhood to the position they apparently think valuable enough to "share" with others. If you're here, should I not assume that you intend that I should at least consider adopting your position on whatever? If that's your intent and you REFUSE to identify yourself, if your position is somehow dependent upon anonymity, why should I even consider what you're saying? WHAT? IS? THE? POINT??? If what I want is the truth, doesn't your anonymity subvert my motives in finding it? And if that's not the case, then why IS there anonymity at all? What is it's purpose?????

Look at this in terms of violence in our culture: If we feel assaulted and hence FRUSTRATED by lies throughout our culture, media, churches, corporations, politicians, friends/families . . . everywhere, LIES, might it not be possible that this culture of lies is created by OUR OWN avoidance of responsibility, our own deviance from our own authentic behavioral identities? - of which anonymity is a negation.

Billions of refusals to stand PERSONALLY for the truth, as best each of us can, and be free enough to do that without a quid pro quo, free of any consequences/rewards/punishers other than more authentic realities, can confuse people, internally and in their relationships, so badly that they no longer know that they are confused, no longer recognize that there is something that they don't know, no longer entertain the possibility that what they don't know may be necessary to their own survival and that of anything/anyone else they care about. THIS is what gets our troops killed for nothing. This is what pollutes our land, air, water, and food. This is what spreads guns and kills children . . . .

Lost connections between who each of us authentically is and the courage to identify what we are or are not doing: NONE of those mis-givings EVER go away; profound blindness that we all share produces frustration that further and further oppresses each of us and drives us all increasingly away from the POSSIBILITIES of authentic discovery. I think the culturally shared effect is a realization of our inability to survive and despair that results in various, more or less active or passive, forms of suicide.

Please consider the effect of having the determination to put your own name on what you say and do.

Thank you for reading this. Have a good day.

November 11, 2012

Reps: "We already bought it. Now we're selling it back to you, "your own" "vote", that i$$$$$$$$"

= Republican 1%tax breaks, further economic differences in the USA. The End of The Middle Class!!!

Let them die, for a price, said Ryan.

and $so his$$$$$$$$'d Republican $nakes$$$$$...

November 10, 2012

+ Pat Tilman & Gold Star Military Families, also Cindy Sheehan's son, and all families of

War Veterans, dead and alive.

Think about it.


Have a beautiful afternoon.
Windows' open sky!

clouds' clime




November 10, 2012

FWIW: I am a Veteran & my father was a Veteran & I know lots of military in my family, ALL branches

I am also a teacher. There are teachers in my family, with decades of experience. I am also a learning research professional. I know lots of teachers, so do other educators and my nieces and nephews around the USA.

To do:

Consider reading the Pentagon's description of Benghazi, CIA misguidance about that youtube "Muslim" cartoon video, which had been on the internet for at least a year. All of which has been the topic of F*x Ewes, Royal+Church+ Corporate Propaganda about Libya.

I remember wondering, at the time, why in Egypt everyone went out and demonstrated loudly, then went home to supper, but Libya . . .


I'm Very Sorry to say.


Our country needs to talk about what's going on with OUR military.

As a Veteran myself, in a military family. I feel it's necessary to say this.




AnyWay, . . .

Happy Holidays,
to All,
a Blessed Community
in One!
all Families of Man,
of Peace on Earth and
Light to All
One Heart


November 1, 2012

"what our country was initially founded on, freedom without government interference" FOR WHITE MALES


There was plenty of government interference in the lives of people that culminated in The Constitution. Indeed the original authors of The Constitution FORGOT about the Rights of We the People entirely, until the product of their Constitutional Convention was taken back to lesser propertied males in the colonies, at which time the people said, TTE, "What about our Rights?" and the founding fathers had to take the document back and finally appended a Bill of Rights to it almost 2 years later after its original passage WITHOUT THOSE RIGHTS.

Freedom for whom?

Not for the Indigenous Persons who lived on the real estate that the White Males decided, all by themselves, that they owned, so the American Indians were murdered and hunted and hounded into government compounds.

Not for the African Slaves who were first brought to this country in 1619, who, for the purpose of the votes in the Constitutional Convention, were counted as 3/5 of a person each as the property of those who "owned" them and the economic value of whose labor was transferred from them to the propertied white class for 244 years before they were freed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and whose right to vote went for 177 years from the signing of The Constitution before it was recognized in 1964.

Not for women who went for 133 years from the signing of The Constitution before their right to vote was recognized in 1920 and whose economic freedom to this day is still counted as only 75% as valuable as a man's and whose bodies are still under attack and invasion by male reproductive fascism.

"They'd rather wage class warfare and pit one party against the other rather than embrace what our country was initially founded on, freedom without government interference."

It is to laugh! Class warfare is encoded into the identity of this nation; our bi-cameral legislative branch clearly manifests the dichotomy between more or less direct representation in the House of Representatives, compared to indirect aristocratic representation in the Senate.

All of the things sketched above were made possible by The Constitution our country was initially founded on and every bit of it illustrates "our"/the people's government interfering with lives and in it we see manifest the processes of LEARNING and HUMAN ADAPTATION which CHANGE that interference and which are more authentically what America is than The Constitution ever was.
October 25, 2012

Dog-eat-dog is not even a slight exaggeration. The thing that Republicans refuse to recognize

the things that are an error, in Laissez Faire Capitalism or Ayn Randian Objectivism or so-called Free Markets or whatever the current buzz words are, . . . the mistake of it all is that it isn't really necessarily the "fittest"/best that survive.

Their justification for ending Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Public Education, Peace, is that the challenges of living in that world will eliminate those who are not good enough to make it and what you will have left are those who are SUPPOSED to survive because they are the "best". Even if you accept a possibility of that principle as a worthy goal, it doesn't actually work that way, because what is selected out of such systems isn't necessarily the creative potential referred to in the axiom "necessity is the mother of invention." What is selected out of "survival of the fittest" isn't NECESSARILY what you need in order to survive, because the limitation of all values in such system introduces biases that enslave/limit what can develop out of them, that is, limit potential for development in ways that cause all systems to LOSE value that could be not only useful but also NEEDED.

The struggle for the fundamentals of survival, without any value standard other than to survive, selects the most ruthless and that exclusion of all other value standards results in the loss of practically infinite Real Value potentials for productivity, potential Real Value that COULD affect the ability to survive. Potentials that could meet as yet unrecognized and practically new needs, for which there are no existing resources, are not conserved in systems that are based on survival values and nothing else. You don't always know what you're going to need to survive, so if you limit potential you can lose values that you may need.

Even if such systems do develop secondary and other levels of emergent values, those standards will always be limited by, depend for their very existence upon, the primary, most fundamental value in the basic system, survival in the face of no-holds barred, dog-eat-dog competition for survival.

And that limitation on secondary and other more extrapolated values and standards in the systems, once again, can result in the loss of still other values that don't appear to meet the criteria of the fundamental value, survival. And no one knows what real values are lost until it becomes apparent that there is a need that cannot be met. And that need can't be met, because no one knew what they didn't know, since everything that they did know was defined by the single most fundamental value in all systems, survival in an otherwise value-less system, survival in the face of no-holds barred competition for survival. Without other values to motivate knowledge, no one knows that they don't know until some third thing makes it apparent that they don't know, AFTER the fact.

It's a mono-culture; it does not work. Needs are assumed to be of one type, therefore value is of a single fundamental type and the whole thing breaks when challenged by anything that does not fit those predetermined types. What Republicans are proposing to do is to dispose of more value in the face of challenge. This limitation/exclusion of the development of knowledge and resources IS NOT CONSERVATIVE.

This is just one of the reasons that I am deeply happy to hear our President talk about investing in, protecting, and maintaining BASIC RESEARCH.

October 22, 2012

Would Ralph Reed have been as successful as he is if Billy Graham had not at least

indirectly have tolerated his activities? What would have happened if Graham had acted against Reed and his network? What has Reed's network been doing ever since its inception under Bush I?

For example: Look at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's FOIA research on White House Visitor Logs in the year prior to March 19, 2003:


Would Evangelical End Timers have had as much influence over the Bush administration as they apparently had if it had not been for Ralph Reed and his acolytes? Check this video out for pressure produced by End Timers upon Bush when he made even mild criticism of Israel and think about that threat to Bush political capital relative to his objectives for war profiteering --> to privatize Social Security:

These are the people who are the political CAUSE of the War on Iraq that took almost 5K American lives and maimed 50K more with LIES, killed about 100K INNOCENT Iraqis, about 1/3 of whom were children and women, and orphaned maybe 3 million more.

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