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Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.

Myself included.

Keep a weather eye on the Kindle Store.

This is just the tip of the iceberg......
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I’m No Conspiracy Theorist…

But consider the following episode occurring in a fictional land, not unlike our own:

The President's poll numbers are down. He's getting slammed in the media for everything from his cabinet appointees to the price of gasoline. Practically every word of his mouth is a complete and utter contradiction of a previous campaign promise. Even one of the most popular public figures in the media is able to force his hand on a fiasco surrounding his place of birth. A victory by the other side is all but assured in the next election (if they can just pick the right candidate and get one whiny ignoramus to shut her hole for ten minutes) in the wake of policy after failed policy, a skyrocketing mountain of debt, rampant unemployment, and a completely untenable illegal immigration problem.

What's the President to do? How can he get the American people behind him again? How can he capture the "hope" he promised to every living soul in this nation? And more importantly, how can…

The Truth About E$E, Part I

I realize that I haven't written anything in some time, but an article I came across this afternoon sufficiently raised my ire enough to say something. Over at gothamschools.org, the teacher layoff bill introduced by State Senator Flanagan was enumerated in plain black and white. I'm not going to go into the specifics of it – you can certainly read it for yourself, and, if you have a shred of intellect, grind your teeth in frustration over many of the details – but I'd like to comment on one point made in the article:
"…the bill was written with input from the mayor's office, along with groups like Educators 4 Excellence — an organization of teachers who, with funding from the Gates Foundation, has put forward its own proposal to change teacher layoffs."
I'd like to examine this statement, because people unaffiliated with the public school system might wrongfully conclude that any of those people mentioned have any idea as to how to educate children. Let…

Reason # 1147 To Enroll Your Kids In Private School

Here's a brief story I'd like to relate while it's still fresh in my mind; typically, my articles are 3-4 pages, and quite frankly, it's far too hot to create such a magnum opus tonight. So, I offer you an ultra-condensed version of a disturbing event which took place this past Friday.
Actually, to set the stage, we have to go back to the previous Friday, when the Superintendent of our District happened to be visiting our school. To explain why he was there, I'd have to go over the one-page cap I've set for myself for this article, so suffice it to say that he was trying to do in late May what he should have been doing all year long – namely, his job.
While he is visiting, a student decides it would be a real hoot to throw a glass bottle out of a third-floor classroom window. And since the universe is not without a sense of humor, the bottle travels along a trajectory which terminates at the windshield of a brand-new car parked on the street outside. A car t…

When In Doubt, Just Put Down “C”

Ah, it's that time of year again – warm breezes rich with the sweet scent of ripe blossoms, the flutter of feathered creatures taking wing into the sun-dappled twilight, and the gut-wrenching panic which storms into every elementary and middle school across the city of NY. I'm talking, of course, about State Testing time – that two-week period of the year in which administrators lock themselves in their offices, teachers race like frightened mice through the halls, and children from every borough vomit uncontrollably before trudging to school. For you see, the entire 180+ day school year is but a mere farce, a façade of "education", a mockery of enlightenment. The DOE does not care one iota about what takes place in the classrooms for 174 days; the real measure of a student's success, and by extension, the success of the school and the efficacy of the teachers is what transpires during six days in April and May. During that time, every single student enrolled…

I Think I Can Help You With The Budget Crisis, Governor Paterson

Earlier this week, I had the good fortune to attend a hearing for a colleague at the Department of Education's headquarters. She had allegedly been absent and late numerous times the previous year, and, consequently, was given an Unsatisfactory rating by the principal of the school. I can't (for legal reasons) divulge the intricacies of the hearing, but I can dispassionately detail for you my experiences.
Interesting Fact #1: The receptionist at the desk was mentally retarded. I don't mean that as a childish insult, I mean literally, she had an obvious mental deficiency. She spoke really, really loudly, but, simultaneously, really, really slowly, like a 78 record being played back at 33 and at full volume. Yes, a record. You know, the shiny vinyl discs that people used to use to play music? In any case, in addition to groaning everything she said, she also didn't bother to greet us or ask us our names or case number when we approached her desk. I had to ask if …

And In Other News: Water Is Wet

NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein released a statement yesterday in which he defended his pet project, the Charter Schools. In this statement, Klein asserted that:
"Despite the financial handicaps detailed in the IBO study, charter schools in New York City have been exceptionally effective. Charter school students outperform students in district schools by seven points in both reading and math, and, in one of two recent studies establishing the effectiveness of City charters, researchers found that the longer students remain in our charter schools, the higher their achievement is compared to similar students in district schools."
Seriously, Joel? Charter School students outperform the regular district students? Do you think that might have something to do with the fact that Charter Schools recruit and handpick their students based on NYS test scores? Or the fact that students who have failed the NYS Proficiency Tests are NOT ALLOWED to enroll in the 99 charter schools curre…