frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.



Check out my old  Voice of the People page.


Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

jonsdarc@mindspring.com




Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington



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Saturday, 17 January 2015 at 20h 11m 19s

Poverty is the real issue

60% of variation on standardized test scores is due to factors outside of the school -- aka poverty. The realities that teachers face in their never ending effort to teach and elevate kids is beset by symptoms and effects of children who

  1. come from broken homes and are moody, not always able on any given day and they get their motivation by receiving social attention, so their focus isn't on education;
  2. come from struggling homes, and live in circumstances of stress, so that meals are sparse and usually not very healthy, or have emotional baggage on a constant basis, creating a subtle lethargy and grittiness -- because they are hungry and stressed;
  3. typical teenage or younger students who have minds that are changing so fast they cannot keep up, and so they misplace the ideas they had the day before, and genuinely cannot remember;
  4. typical youthful illusions -- didn't study, or waited until the last minute and tried to cram 5 minutes before class.

Teachers are not the problem. There really is no crisis in the school system. This is a created hysteria. Colleges are being beset with almost twice the number of students because our social system forces everyone after high school into the college pathway -- whereas Germany has a trades and professional development pathway and thus 1/2 the number of college-bound students after high school (by percentage). The notion that our high schools and middle schools are not preparing students for college is really just a college system that is being thrown too many students who were never meant to be college bound. The statistic that the "reformers" tout are including subgroups in the measured population that should not be included.


Saturday, 17 January 2015 at 12h 18m 54s

Why the San Francisco Newspaper of Record Sucks

This is how pathetic the San Francisco newspaper called the "chronicle" really is. We call it the "comical" and this is why.



The corrupt weak mayor "looks" to help "families". Looking at a problem through the minuscule lens of families says nothing about out of town finance firms buying apartment buildings, kicking all the tenants out and then reselling the property... Or selling all the apartments as condominiums.

Glad to know the mayor is looking though. Where has his ass been the last 3 years? But oh boy oh boy the mayor is now looking. It's a good thing that he cares about families.

And look at the smaller headline on the left. "Hurdles are expected" in a race for office in the US Senate. Well no shit Mr. journalist puppy. Don't you have something more insightful and thought provoking then the obvious. I suppose this article will be replete with all of the best non-partisan personalities and choice quotes explaining the headline. There is nothing better than a newspaper article with 8 quotes from 3 political operatives and rhetorical questions spliced in between. Yummmmmy. Will Kamila Harris become a closet lunatic and begin babbling communist jargon at the next public event? Let's get a quote from this lawyer who works for a lobbying group in Sacramento.

Fucking stupid. Such a shame that our world class city has such a pathetic newspaper.


Friday, 16 January 2015 at 20h 25m 0s

Let me make this perfectly clear

I'm quoting myself, but so fucking what :-) :-) This sums up the Bill Gates paradigm versus education reality in a pith.


The issue is who controls our schools and the curriculum and the teachers who disperse the curriculum. Do you want over-worked inexperienced teachers using a script and pre-printed materials who turnover within 5 years? Do you want parent and community involvement or a prinicipal who is just a manager in a multi-state corporate firm with a CEO who doesn't live in the district? Do you want a firm that will cut costs to the bone at the expense of the service called education once they have a local monopoly? Wake the fuck up.

This is not about creativity or about allowing different ways to solve problems. You are missing the point.


LET ME STRESS THAT LAST POINT ... just in case you didn't get it.

This is not about creativity or about allowing different ways to solve problems. You are missing the point.

I know. I know. Please forgive me, but I'm a veteran teacher, and a methodical guitarist. So I believe in magic of three.

This is not about creativity or about allowing different ways to solve problems. You are missing the point.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015 at 19h 5m 34s

This is how you handle a devious shwarmy smooth bastard

bob
so people aren't stupid and try creative ways to work around these problems so we need to dig deeper than this to validate such claims
ScentOfViolets

 You want to know how hard teaching really is, how difficult it is to improve on the basic model? Thing about the strong AI problem. People will generally agree that we have it when it is able to sit in a classroom and take instruction the way we expect human students to take instruction.



bob.
sort of a nonsequitor and strong ai thing is less relevant than you think or at least you've not described a good connection. i'm talking about learning about basic methodological things like matching pairs. that's not a charter school thing, that's an ed policy thing: see for instance how similar problems emerge in talking about pre k programs



ginardo napoli

 bob, you are speak roving ambiguous parables... matching pairs versus ai thing versus ed policy thing? Creative ways to work around problems? What problems are you referring to? And what are we digging into when you say "dig deeper" ? Huhn?
These are amorphous platitudes. It's convoluted man. What is the point you are trying to make?



bob

 i'm not the person who brought in the random strong ai example. matching pairs and stuff like that are not platitudes, they are social scientific methods to try and reduce conflicting factors and i was just saying you need to actually look at those methods before saying it's pointless.

ginardo napoli
Whatever bob. You are speaking in symbols. You spoke of digging deeper without actually digging deeper. Describe. Use specifics. Elaborate. Use details and vivid palpable examples. You didn't do that.

The issue is not about allowing creativity and using scientific methods to reduce conflicting factors. And I never said anything about something being "pointless". The issue is who controls our schools and the curriculum and the teachers who disperse the curriculum. Do you want over-worked inexperienced teachers using a script and pre-printed materials who turnover within 5 years? Do you want parent and community involvement or a prinicipal who is just a manager in multi-state firm with a CEO who doesn't live in the district? Do you want a firm that will cut costs to the bone at the expense of the service called education once they have a local monopoly? Wake the fuck up.

This is not about creativity or about allowing different ways to solve problems. You are missing the point, and yet you are the one talking about "saying it's pointless" ?????


Tuesday, 13 January 2015 at 19h 44m 42s

Okay I'm finished with being polite

A recent Forbes article called "The Unappreciated Success of Charter Schools", largely quoted a study from Mathematica


[SOURCE: Forbes | Adam Ozimek  | 11 January 2015]

Blogger Kevin Drum at MotherJones.com blogged about this on Monday, 12 January 2015. Here is the link to the blog post and commentary.

My feelings? Glad you asked. :-) :-)

First of all, that study by Mathematica of 36 Charter schools across 15 States is a very small sample size, highly subject to bias and extreme events (for example: 34 plumbers + Bill Gates and Donald Trump). Also: Was it random? Did they stratify the population by characteristics to ensure a representative sample? I am not sure, but regardless, even still the Forbes article quoted the following summary from the authors of the Mathematica study:


This paper presents findings from the first national randomized study of the impacts of charter schools on student achievement, which included 36 charter middle schools across 15 states. The paper compares students who applied and were admitted to these schools through randomized admissions lotteries with students who applied and were not admitted. It finds that, on average, charter middle schools in the study were neither more nor less successful than traditional public schools in improving student achievement. However, impacts varied significantly across schools and students, with positive impacts for more disadvantaged schools and students and negative impacts for the more advantaged.

Notice the bold part. Bingo.

But then notice the italicized extra part that was added to "soften" the reality of the bolded part. Really? the study says that "impacts varied significantly" across the data from this small sample size that might not be representative. Go figure? ... but yet there somehow were still "positive" and "negative" aspects? Huhn?

Positive? Negative? Yea the smart kids get dumbed down, and when you get a school with a few more high-end kids more than would have been in the public school system, of course it's a benefit. But is this due to the teaching and curriculum paradigm of the charter's or just by the pure obvious sociology.

You can't look at this purely by numbers. You have to get to know the day by day, week by week realities of what these institutions are actually doing to our children.

Furthermore....

The data collected in all of these studies is not based on the same population of kids. You have to apply to most charter schools, and they get to reject or expel students. Public schools have to accept every student who registers, and you can't find reasons to expel students who are not applying themselves. So Charter schools are serving motivated students who choose to apply themselves. Even so, they still are not any better than Public schools, who do rather well despite the horrific realities of the student population and budget cuts.

But let me quote from some other folks. First, from Chad Brick;

I am not sure if any convincing evidence for or against charter school performance exists - or even could exist. Even the randomized lottery studies have a fatal flaw:

  • 1: Some students enter the lottery
  • 2: Some of the students win the lottery, some lose
  • 3: Some hyper-motivated parents find a way to get around #2
  • 4: The lottery winners go to school with other lottery winners (and the cheaters), the lottery losers go to school with those that never entered the lottery and other lottery losers.

    Even if you ignore point number three, the fourth point creates a major issue - it is NOT RANDOM. The children who entered the lottery are not the same as the children who did not. Therefore, any difference between the charter and the public school might be due to the lottery winners and losers have a different set of classmates rather than a different set of teachers. The only way around this would be force all eligible students to enter the lottery, and to my knowledge this has never been done and is entirely impractical.


  • Second, from skeptonomist:

    When parents put their kids into charters by volunteering or the selection is made otherwise in non-random ways, and when the charter system is allowed to throw kids (or teachers) back into the public system if they don't perform, then comparison is invalid. Charter systems may have access to low-cost teachers that public systems don't. I doubt if all the systems in the metastudy really met the criteria for a valid test. Those who set up such systems, whether they are private or public, have motivation and usually some power to impose selectivity. Public systems have little power to oppose this selectivity.

    The truth is that the vast majority of the charter schools are put into existence and funded by ideological non-profits so that they can suck up students from nearby public schools and bring about the demolition of the public school system. Leave-No-Child-Behind was the first pillar in this long term plan. It created a plethora of insane ways to label schools as "failing" or "lacking-improvement" and then kicked in a clause in the law that enable a charter school to petition in the district. It was the camel's nose under the tent. Sucking up funds from the local schools who have extra cost overloads and cannot compete with the cost structures of the non-profit grant subsidized charters, who often would operate at a loss otherwise.

    Teacher turnover and moral in charter schools is often terrible. Many teachers are youthful recruits for Teach for America who are inexperienced and are given a "canned" curriculum to follow. Need I say that charter schools do not have unions.

    This is the biggest Union-busting scheme in American History, and it really sucks to read people like Kevin Drum at an outlet like Mother Jones (of all places) is not even mentioning it, while at the same time giving lip service to the charter school movements false achievements of serving the "colored" population better. (Despite being a completely different population -- readabove.)

    If you are clueless or need more info, a good start in your education is Diane Ravitch. Go to her blog http://dianeravitch.net/ .

    Then go read her book "Reign of Error" and begin to become horrified by the truth of the charter school movement.


    Friday, 9 January 2015 at 20h 14m 11s

    Just a stupid post

    I almost have 1,000 posts (880). So this is a stupid post to get closer to 1,000.

    When I was younger (2001 - 2003) I had this goal of reaching 1,000 posts in my mind.


    Friday, 9 January 2015 at 20h 24m 9s

    O ... M ... G

    Thomas Edison somehow can't figure out how to power the light bulb, because he didn't drink ... "Red Bull" .... OH MY FUCKING GOD.

    In twitter speak that is "OMFG" by the way.

    This is so ridiculous in numerous ways. First of all, Thomas Edison really was not the FIRST. Second of all, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE SCIENTIFIC EVENT really is a whole of individual efforts collectively coinciding at the same time.

    Read this : Who invented the Light bulb

    Okay. Now how simplistic and stupid is the "Thomas Edison invented the light bulb" story. American historiography is bullshit, with self-indulgent and bloviating tendencies ... because we are an insecure culture. We don't have 1,000 years of being in the same place like Europeans, Africans, and Asians do.

    One thousand years ago was 1,014. The battle of Hastings and the Magna Carta had not yet happened. The Chinese had not yet burned down their huge navy and were sending ships and commerce between East Africa and Peru. At least this is the current theory: ever notice how Peruvians look unique in their asian features, and why Peru -- isolated from rest of South America -- is also a unique blend. The carvings in the earth, might well have been Chinese characters for all we know. The beings with the ships who brought incredible goods and knowledge.

    And now there are archaeologists who think (with good evidence) that copper mines in Canada were responsible for the Bronze Age throughout Eurasia (Western Europe to Russia and South to Northern Africa and the Mediterranean) -- brought by the Nords and Swedes and Fins and large water carrying vessels.

    Things are more complex and non-individualistic in the macrocosm.


    Wednesday, 7 January 2015 at 20h 41m 23s

    An Impromptu Poem before I leave My Apartment

    Less is More


    Less is more
    More or less
    They say it's the best
    when you detest the more
    because it has too much zest
    and doth bequest
    your attention
    all of the time
    all of your mind
    like a tourniquet or bind
    you lose the seeking for the find
    and go blind
    but life is really about moderation
    easing back and doing less
    because less is more
    just like a dirty whore
    or a drug addict
    feeling better even though the story never ends
    because
    the story never really ends
    you just use different words to think life has changed
    but life never changes
    except
    that you evolve
    or devolve
    going up or
    going down
    slowing down
    finding the solution or the satisfaction
    wherever happiness resides.


    Saturday, 3 January 2015 at 14h 1m 19s

    Alta Vista Park, San Francisco, Looking South


    Tuesday, 30 December 2014 at 16h 11m 29s

    A Windy City Today

    Damn it's windy today. The temperature is 52 in the sun, but the wind makes it feel 10 degrees cooler. It's gonna drop into the 30's tonight, and maybe into the upper 20's.

    How fast is the wind?


    Damn. 43 kilometers per hour (26 mph) !!!!!




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