September 22nd, 2005

buzzed, B&W

NCLB, Tobacco,

sex_n_pancakes asked a while ago about thoughts on NCLB. Education Week (which is going to a subscription model at the end of the month), had an article about how civil rights groups are split on it (joe@schmoe.com/joe works as a login - thanks to Bug Me Not). The part I like about NCLB is the amount of data they're collecting - yeah, it leads to lots of testing, but it holds schools accountable. The part that doesn't work for me is that NCLB is a punitive system - if you don't score high enough, you're penalized. I'm not sure why it isn't a reward/incentive based system, based upon improvement. The funding issue mentioned at the end of the article is also quite real, with lots of pressure being put on schools to meet new standards, with no change in funding . . . which is rather silly . . .

As a counterpoint, National Review had this article titled "Some Children Should be Left Behind." The article title is pretty sensationalistic, as the teacher who uses the quip was using it pre-NCLB. It's a feel good fluff piece about what education can be (and if you read between the lines, how important out-of-school time is, as they talk about after-school and field trips . . . )

Somewhere along the way, I saw this quotation:
If you asked Aristotle, John Dewey, and Martin Luther King Jr. to describe the aims of education, would they offer any version of the education goals that drive U.S. public schools today? Would any world-class visionary identify proficiency in basic skills as the primary aim for every student? Would he or she declare adequate yearly progress a school's central reason for being?"
-Marge Scherer (author/editor), "Valuing Children"


Switching gears . . . apparently in Cali, Korean men, gays and transsexuals, and U.S. Marines have an above average propensity to smoke. There's no reason proposed for why Korean men smoke more, though they attribute the higher rates about the LGBT and military populations to stress. Makes me wonder . . . On a related note, it's a bit crazy how much children model their parents behavior . . . freaking 2 to 6 year olds, thinking that for a night out they need cigarettes and/or alcohol . . .

I wonder if I could ever be this flippant to a recruiter . . . choice quote: "I’d thank you for your offer of employment at Microsoft, except that it indicates that either you or your research team (or both) couldn’t get a clue if it were pounded into you with baseball bats."
buzzed, B&W

Katrina stuff

So, there have been lots of stories about how screwed up things have been with the hurricane relieft efforts. There have also been some moving stories.

I'm a bit curious to see how suspending the prevailing wage law will affect things, if at all. Our soccer team's goalie is actually talking about taking one of the government constructuion contracts, and that he'd be making $2400 a week . . . which seems to imply that it won't make a bit of difference . . .

I'm pretty saddened by the state of affairs, though I do like the fact that it has shown many people just how big of a gap there is in our country . . . freaking 30% living below the poverty level in NO, many of whom had no means to get out of the city, and the systems that are meant to assist those in poverty totally failing . . .
buzzed, B&W

Following your dreams

Nice feel good piece about Chef Charlie (former chef at Google). Tony's mentioned to me before how diverse the food at the cafeteria is, with there being Indian, Korean, Japanese, etc. It's too bad that Helena doesn't have the population density to support the type of restaurant he wants to open: "The menu will be a mix of salads, sandwiches, wraps and soups, with heavy Pacific rim and Latino accents; it will include everything from burgers to mango lassis (yogurt smoothies). A lunch might be a whole-wheat tortilla wrap with tahini-lemon tuna salad, cabbage, fresh sprouts, carrot, toasted pine nuts and mint for about $4.95. A side of carrot-almond salad, flavored with cumin, rice-wine vinegar, red currants and green onions, might cost $2.95." Yummy. (The only reason I really posted this is because Tony gave me one of his free shirts from work that's celebrating Chef Charlie's fifth anniversary with the company.)
buzzed, B&W

Links from Tony

So, Tony had a link to this great article about Lookout, their history, and their present. Lookout has had some great bands, with OpIvy and Green Day being their cash cows, but other well known bands such as Avail, Pansy Division, and the Donnas. The other interesting thing about the article is how the west coast punk scene ties together, with mentions about Epitaph, Fat Wreck Chords (which I think is a great name), and Asian Man all woven throughout the story.

For those who aren't familiar with Lookout at all, here's a list of notable alubms.

Staying on the musical trend, Kaddisfly happened to play at Miller's Tuesday night. Kim (one of the employees at Miller's) was telling us that the band just asked to play. There's a part of me that thinks I've seen them before, opening for someone else, but I could be totally wrong. Anyway, they were a pretty solid band, and it was definitely nice to have some real music in town.

Planned Parenthood in Southeastern Pennslyvania has this great fundraiser going on. I wonder how the campaign will turn out, and if it'll be effect at reducing protesters or not . . . in Montana, Planned Parenthood recently celebrated the fact that there was a law passed to try and reduce the impact of protesters