Saturday, December 25, 2010

A year-end note from the publisher to our readers - latimes.com

A year-end note from the publisher to our readers - latimes.com

A year-end note from the publisher to our readers

A big local story

In 2010, The Times investigated allegations of fraud, corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the city of Bell.


Dear readers,

Today, columnist Steve Lopez is graciously sharing his space so I can give you a year-end report on what The Times has accomplished these last 12 months and where we're heading. Please look for Steve's column in this space on Monday.

This year, our newsroom has given you, our readers, some of the best journalism anywhere in the world, with an emphasis on holding major institutions in our communities accountable to the public and providing news and information that help you navigate your lives.


One example is our investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the city of Bell. We're proud of the job our journalists

Peace on Earth - THE DAILY RIFF - Be Smarter. About Education.

Peace on Earth - THE DAILY RIFF - Be Smarter. About Education.

Peace on Earth

peace.dove.joy.jpg

Peace on Earth/ Little Drummer Boy
Three Videos Below

#1 - The Original - Bing Crosby & David Bowie - 1977
Via the Wall Street Journal, Peter Kafka h/t to Washington Post Back-story on Crosby/Bowie Harmony

#2 - Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly - December 2010

#3 - Jack Black & Jason Segel - December 2010
Via collegehumor.com

Windsor schools to recognize two-language fluency- Sonoma County, California – Pressdemocrat.com

Windsor schools to recognize two-language fluency- Sonoma County, California – Pressdemocrat.com

Windsor schools to recognize two-language fluency


By KERRY BENEFIELD

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Windsor Unified School District is the first on the North Coast to adopt a program that will honor graduating seniors for reaching benchmarks of literacy in at least two languages.

Windsor is one of 33 school districts in the state recognized by the California Department of Education this month for adopting standards to recognize spoken, written and cultural expertise in two languages.

“The message of ‘English is enough’ is not really accurate,” said Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, executive director of Californians Together, an statewide advocacy group for English language learners. The group spearheaded the push for recognition of biliteracy — a term coined to acknowledge written, spoken and cultural expertise.

“Really, what is marketable (are) students who have capabilities in multiple languages,” she said.

Los Angeles City Schools, San Francisco Unified and San Jose Unified also offer the program.

Windsor will implement three levels of recognition on both diplomas and transcripts after students meet some of the most rigorous targets in the state.

A gold seal will indicate the student has passed two Advanced Placement tests in foreign language

State Poised to Sell Trophy Buildings to Unidentified Investors - The Bay Citizen

State Poised to Sell Trophy Buildings to Unidentified Investors - The Bay Citizen

State Poised to Sell Trophy Buildings to Unidentified Investors

Governor's lawyers race to overcome legal challenge on deal that could cost taxpayers billions

By ELIZABETH LESLY STEVENS on December 25, 2010 - 11:33 a.m. PST
Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen
The California Public Utilities Commission Building is included in a controversial plan for the state of California to sell 11 office buildings to a group of private investors, then lease the space for 20 years

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prepares to decamp from Sacramento on Jan. 3, he has displayed zealous determination to complete what critics say will be among the worst deals the state has ever made: the sale of 11 premier state office complexes to a group of politically connected private investors.

The deal, which includes the San Francisco Civic Center, has been pitched as a way to generate much-needed cash. California would pocket about $1.3 billion after debt is paid off, but would then be a tenant in the same buildings.According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the deal would cost taxpayers $6 billion over 35 years.

The buyer is a consortium of investment firms that refuses to disclose where the money is coming from or even who is involved. Opponents of the transaction, who include Bill Lockyer, the state treasurer, and John Chiang, the controller, say it is a terrible deal that smacks of cronyism.

Democurmudgeon: Liberal Dream Come True, Florida Gov. and Crook to Dismantle Education (in general)!!!

Democurmudgeon: Liberal Dream Come True, Florida Gov. and Crook to Dismantle Education (in general)!!!

Liberal Dream Come True, Florida Gov. and Crook to Dismantle Education (in general)!!!



I’ve said it before; I want a right wing ideologically controlled state to live their dream, where regulation is a thing of the past, educational choice is statewide and tax cuts rule. Please let it happen!

It’s about too, in Florida:
Journalonline: Vouchers for all students. Merit pay for teachers, but no tenure for new hires … a few of the wide-ranging recommendations for reforming Florida's education system released this week by an 18-member panel advising Gov.-elect Rick Scott.
First thing it would do is take a huge chunk of money, 85 percent-$5,800 from public education, set up “education savings accounts” that private schools

Chapel Hill Campus Takes On Grade Inflation - NYTimes.com

Chapel Hill Campus Takes On Grade Inflation - NYTimes.com

A Quest to Explain What Grades Really Mean

Travis Dove for The New York Times

Andrew Perrin, a University of North Carolina sociologist, is working to fight grade inflation.

It could be a Zen koan: if everybody in the class gets an A, what does an A mean?

The answer: Not what it should, says Andrew Perrin, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “An A should mean outstanding work; it should not be the default grade,” Mr. Perrin said. “If everyone gets an A for adequate completion of tasks, it cripples our ability to recognize exemplary scholarship.”

As part of the university’s long effort to clarify what grades really mean, Mr. Perrin now leads a committee that is working with the registrar on plans to add extra information — probably median grades, and perhaps more — to transcripts. In addition, they expect to post further statistics providing context online and give instructors data on how their grading compares with their colleagues’.

“It’s going to be modest and nowhere near enough to correct

Damn Good Education Daily

Damn Good Education Daily
Damn Good Education Daily

bnet.com - The heat is growing on banks that refuse to offer mortgage relief to homeowners. The latest example: County commissioners in South Florida’s Broward County said they rejected Bank of America (BAC) ...

TeacherReality




voices.washingtonpost.com - Fourteen students from two New York City schools -- Jamaica High and Queens Collegiate -- wrote an impressive play about school reform under Superintendent Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, b...

mikeklonsky
pheedcontent.com - My daughter is with us for the holidays, having survived her first barrage of law school exams in California. The exams were longer and more difficult than anything I ever had as a graduate student...

alexanderrusso



huffingtonpost.com - SEATTLE — A study of Washington state teachers has found that deciding layoffs based solely on which teachers have the least seniority has a significant impact on students' ability to learn, adding...

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openleft.com - I certainly don't like the status quo. I don't like the attacks on teachers, I don't like the attacks on the educators who work in our schools day in and day out, I don't like the phony solutions t...

KennethLibby

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