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The problem is a political one and very similar to the political problem of global warming. Political discourse adopts a "scientified" version of language that uses semantic similarity as a kind of magic to transform naive opinion into "science". Education fares worse than science because so many educators use the same tactic to justify lamebrained acts like "school improvement plans" that have little more than a sprinkling of common sense behind them.
Tom needs to go back and re-read The Lexus and the Olive Tree. The outpouring of conservative FUD hasn't changed the rest of the world. To quote School Finance 101, Freidman's statistics are like those of charter school proponents in that the "best charter schools outperform the average public schools.' An indictment of American character as the basis for criticism is at best, silly.
What ypu need to look at is the local Tea Party. What kind of decision-making apparatus do they have? Bruinius is not the problem; the problem is that more than one person wishes to make her an officer of the school board. Those people have priorities that are seriously off base.
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Here's something that you might find interesting: http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=2002$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=tGdhNYGTGtunwzkKJ9aRhsA;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=194;dataMax=96846$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=0.844;dataMax=8.7$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds= It's a graph of children per female, by country, from 1955 to 2006 compliments of Hans Rosling. I use it in class to give kids a sense of scale and the global reach of policy. I like the concept of teaching complexity. I'm at sea when it comes to how to go about teaching it.
Bad idea. Now he knows who you are.
Apropos to Dave's comment... they also come in left handed and right handed twirled varieties. The whelks' shells, that is. Roseate Spoonbills are awesome. On the East coast we have merely a handful. I recommend kayaking on the Loxahatchee in Jupiter for a great jungle-ish experience.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2009 on Sanibel Shout Out at Holy Hullabaloos, The Blog