Adell Cothorne, an Educator of Courage, Honesty, and Integrity

Earlier this year, Adell Cothorne won the Kenneth S. Goodman “In Defense of Good Teaching” Award at the University of Arizona. I was not aware of this honor when it happened but wanted to take this opportunity to salute Adell.

Adell was the whistle-blower in Washington, D.C., who called attention to the cheating that was happening during the regime of Michelle Rhee.

This was the citation:

“Adell Cothorne, teacher, administrator, and teacher educator, is the 2017 winner of the In Defense of Good Teaching award

“The award is given every year, in honor of Dr. Kenneth S. Goodman, to an educator who has stood up for students at great personal and professional risk. Ms. Cothorne blew the whistle on standardized test cheating in one of Michelle Rhee’s “success story” schools in Washington, D.C. because she did not want her students to miss out on access to a high-quality education. This decision ultimately led to loss of her career in K-12 public education, reflecting how much she is willing to fight for her students.”

Cothorne was principal of the Noyes Education Campus from 2010-2011. She discovered cheating, reported it, and was fired by district officials. After she tightened test s3curity, the school’s test scores plummeted. She blew an inconvenient hole in the “miracle” of Adam.C. Success under Rhee. She was featured in John Merrow’s last PBS documentary.

Mercedes Schneider invited Adell Cothorne to tell her story here.

She joins the honor roll of this Blog.

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Adell Cothorne, an Educator of Courage, Honesty, and Integrity

Earlier this year, Adell Cothorne won the Kenneth S. Goodman “In Defense of Good Teaching” Award at the University of Arizona. I was not aware of this honor when it happened but wanted to take this opportunity to salute Adell.

Adell was the whistle-blower in Washington, D.C., who called attention to the cheating that was happening during the regime of Michelle Rhee.

This was the citation:

“Adell Cothorne, teacher, administrator, and teacher educator, is the 2017 winner of the In Defense of Good Teaching award

“The award is given every year, in honor of Dr. Kenneth S. Goodman, to an educator who has stood up for students at great personal and professional risk. Ms. Cothorne blew the whistle on standardized test cheating in one of Michelle Rhee’s “success story” schools in Washington, D.C. because she did not want her students to miss out on access to a high-quality education. This decision ultimately led to loss of her career in K-12 public education, reflecting how much she is willing to fight for her students.”

Cothorne was principal of the Noyes Education Campus from 2010-2011. She discovered cheating, reported it, and was fired by district officials. After she tightened test s3curity, the school’s test scores plummeted. She blew an inconvenient hole in the “miracle” of Adam.C. Success under Rhee. She was featured in John Merrow’s last PBS documentary.

Mercedes Schneider invited Adell Cothorne to tell her story here.

She joins the honor roll of this Blog.

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2CeATW6

Bake-Off: The Northeast GOP’s Quest for Fake Moderates

How do you reach for something that doesn’t really exist?

In Connecticut, the state Republican Party is trying to figure out a way to pull off the same con Massachusetts Republicans pulled off nearly four years ago:

Charlie Baker of Massachusetts is the most popular governor in the land, a wonky Republican with a business background presiding over one of the nation’s most liberal states.

Now some Connecticut Republicans are looking to their neighbor to the north for a template of how to win the governor’s race in 2018. And Baker, the telegenic Ivy League grad with a fiscal focus and an aversion to picking fights on social issues — not to mention a willingness to work with Democrats and buck President Trump on occasion — is providing an appealing model.

“There’s no question Charlie Baker has done a tremendous job,” said JR Romano, the chairman of the Republican party in Connecticut. “He’s shown massive amounts of leadership and people have responded.”

Romano noted that the political dynamics in each state are different and that it’s too soon to say who among the vast field of Republicans running for governor of Connecticut will emerge as the party’s nominee. But several candidates, including hedge fund manager David Stemerman, are pitching themselves as Baker-style moderates with the business skills to reign in the excesses of a Democratic legislature.

Apparently, Romano has forgotten that Baker won the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial election by only about 40,000 votes—in other words, his victory was a fluke win over a long-demonized Democratic opponent. Baker’s popularity in Massachusetts is based on his ability to blur the lines between himself and Massachusetts Democrats; former Governor William Weld, Baker’s mentor, demonstrated the same talent for most of the 1990s. Of course, when Weld tried to use this skill in his 1996 challenge to then-Senator John Kerry, Bay State voters actually remembered that Weld was still a Republican, and would inevitably face intense pressure to surrender to the wingnut agenda. Weld lost that race, and stepped down as Governor less than a year later.

Just because Baker is popular now doesn’t mean his re-election is guaranteed. By the time November 6 rolls around, Bay State voters may decide that Baker, while a nice enough guy, is not the figure to represent full-on state-level resistance to the Trump agenda. Connecticut voters may decide the same thing when it comes to the candidate who secures the Constitution State’s GOP gubernatorial nomination:

Still, given President Trump’s deep unpopularity, many pundits believe 2018 will be a brutal election cycle for Republicans around the nation. A newly energized liberal base is expected to make life challenging for Republican candidates on every level.

The Democratic Governors Association has blasted Baker for raising money for the Republican National Committee, which supported accused sexual predator Roy Moore of Alabama for U.S. Senate.

The DGA also has a message for those in Connecticut who seek to emulate Baker’s approach: the moderate positions and bipartisan approach that play well in a general election in blue states aren’t necessarily the positions that can boost a candidate in a Republican primary.

“Every Republican candidate in a primary is racing to out-Trump the next guy, to be the Trumpiest guy on the block,’’ DGA spokesman Jared Leopold said. ”Connecticut voters will be looking for someone to stand up to the excesses of Washington. Anyone with an R next to their name is going to have to answer for Trump.”

If Baker loses, it won’t be surprising if he sheds crocodile tears in front of those who have embraced him as an symbol of rationality in the Republican Party, claiming that he was defeated by voters who recognized no difference between him and Trump. However, at the end of the day, he’s still a member of a party that believes in massive tax cuts for the one percent, elimination of environmental regulations, the savaging of the social safety net and the glorification of the 1950s, if not the 1750s. A defeated Baker will undoubtedly claim that he was the victim of guilt by association. If so, it will prove that he never learned a timeless lesson: you are judged by the company you keep.

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Bob Shepherd’s New Year’s Resolutions

Bob Shepherd—teacher, assessment developer, textbook author, now teacher again—shares his resolutions for 2018:

op Ten New Year’s Resolutions, 2018 |Bob Shepherd, Lifestyle Reporter, LALA Times

I think I’m just going to capitalize on all the goodwill I’ve built over the past year.
–Harvey Weinstein

This is the year when I’ll finally get up the courage to ask that cute intern in Accounting whether she likes anime.
–Vernon Plum, mail clerk, Mashpee, Massachusetts

Yes, I thought about acting in the coming year a little less like a Republican.
NOT!!! LOL.
I have a two-word response to that: campaign contributions.
–The bloated, avaricious, meretricious, ruined shadow of what was once the Democratic Party

I think it’s important to set realistic goals. So over the coming year I’ve determined to get down to the weight I was yesterday.
–Bert Bjorn, Stay-at-Home Dad, Akron, Ohio

OK. We OWN the retail market now. But you can’t rest on your laurels, or whatever that expression is. So this year we’re going to expand into delivering, directly to people’s door, deeper friendships, personal integrity, satisfying sexual relationships, respect and admiration from colleagues, and mindful presentness to the simple, nonmaterial joys of everyday life.
–Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon

Pick up around the flat more. Do laundry weekly. Encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
–James Joyce, Irish writer, Paris, France

I’ve decided to focus inward during the coming year, on my spiritual growth—to take a more disciplined approach to my fasting, meditation, and yoga. Of course, it’s important that I not fall into the trap of being prideful about my own success in these undertakings, and I’m not going to cut off all worldly interaction. I would never, for example, give up the essential work I do counseling teens struggling with their gender identities. That work is just too important, as you know. Lives depend on it.
–Donald J. Trump

Sleep through Algebra class. Write “Dwayne is a Homo” in magic marker on the stall in the toilet in the boy’s locker room. Make comments about boobs during bellwork in that fuckwad Mr. Shepherd’s class.
–Steve Munchkin, high-school student, Riverview Academy

Make improvements to the electromagnetic fields that render photographs of our Earth-monitoring spaceships look like pictures of blurry pieplates.
–Zarg, commander of Earth Reconnaissance Fleet 1, Zeta Reticuli

Replace the nation’s teachers with soulless worksheets on a screen, more online standardized testing, and stack-ranking computer databases to relegate nonperformers to permanent positions at the bottom of the social hierarchy.
–Bill Gates

Robert D. Shepherd
Writing | Editing | Graphic Design
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“E questo dubbio e impossibile a solvere

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Steven Singer Shares His Top Ten Posts of 2017

Steven Singer had a stellar year in 2017. He published a book and he posted some brilliant commentaries. He even got censored by Facebook, not once, but twice.

Here are his top ten posts.

His #1 Post was about the ignorance and arrogance of Betsy DeVos.

His #2 Post was about U.S. schools. He said, “They are NOT failing. They are among the best in the world.”

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What Happens When Truth Doesn’t Matter?

The scariest thing is the number of people who don’t care.

Think about the millions of Americans who will not read about the role George Papadopoulos played in the mess that has engulfed the Trump administration. Thanks to the immense power of far-right media, a large section of the American population has been indoctrinated into believing that anything published by the New York Times is by definition false, by definition designed to undermine Donald Trump.

Think about how many of our fellow citizens take Trump’s tweet from yesterday afternoon as gospel:

I use Social Media not because I like to, but because it is the only way to fight a VERY dishonest and unfair “press,” now often referred to as Fake News Media. Phony and non-existent “sources” are being used more often than ever. Many stories & reports a pure fiction!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2017

There’s a reason why Trump’s arrogance remains unmitigated. He knows the power of brainwashing. He knows that a lie repeated often enough becomes a fact in the minds of the gullible. He knows that even if Republicans sustain significant losses in the 2018 midterms, he could, under the right circumstances, remain in the White House after the 2020 presidential election.

Don’t think Trump doesn’t notice how skittish certain Democrats are about impeaching him for obvious high crimes and misdemeanors if they capture the House and Senate in November. Trump remembers that Democrats didn’t have the fortitude to impeach George W. Bush for his war crimes after they captured the House and Senate in the 2006 midterm elections; the dream of Bush being held accountable for his iniquity in Iraq was deferred permanently. Why should Trump be nervous, if there’s no realistic chance of consequences?

What if the Mueller investigation concludes in a manner that falls short of progressive fantasy? Then we have Trump empowered, Trump unbound, Trump closer to achieving his authoritarian goals. If Congress won’t stop him, who will?

Trump also knows that if the Democratic Party nominates a “flawed” candidate in 2020, the same ennui on the left that allowed him to seize control of the White House in the first place may once again manifest itself. If an “establishment” candidate wins the Democratic nomination, Trump knows that such a nominee, like Al Gore, John Kerry and Bill Clinton in elections gone by, will be damned with faint praise in certain progressive circles, if not disparaged as “GOP-lite.” As the old saying goes, the people united can never be defeated–but what if the people aren’t truly united against Trump, even after four miserable years?

If Trump’s coalition of the disgruntled and resentful (who will remain disgruntled and resentful towards perceived social undesirables even as they’re screwed over by Trumponomics) turns out again in 2020 while Democrats and progressives have a “meh” reaction to the Democratic nominee, Trump will have another term to get his mischief on. That should chill you even more than this week’s weather.

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