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

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015 at 2h 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 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.


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 .

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

    Saturday, 10 January 2015 at 3h 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.

    Saturday, 10 January 2015 at 3h 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.

    Thursday, 8 January 2015 at 3h 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
    the story never really ends
    you just use different words to think life has changed
    but life never changes
    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 21h 1m 19s

    Alta Vista Park, San Francisco, Looking South

    Wednesday, 31 December 2014 at 23h 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) !!!!!

    Monday, 29 December 2014 at 4h 23m 52s

    My definitions

    Liberal: "the ability to feel that all humanity is repairable and that positive forward-thinking solutions can be obtained despite the competitive environment which inherently besets the species. In the past, liberal actually meant to continue the status quo, or be persistent with the mainstream opinion, but nowadays, liberal means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The Liberal Democrats of the 1880's are nothing at all when compared to the self same words used for the 1980's and the 2010's."

    Conservative : "the notion that nothing matters except the self and the belief that all things encountered really matter only insofar as they affect the paradigm that one has decided to be called Conservatism. In the past, conservative meant to be desiring or maintaining the consistency of traditions or laws of the past; but in the modern era, this term has been perverted and now is used to defend actions and beliefs that are exceptionally revolutionary and incendiary in rhetoric as well as philosophical origin."

    Friday, 19 December 2014 at 23h 45m 45s

    Winter Storm #4

    Look at what's coming this weekend. Hurray.

    I recall that one Christmas break it rained every single day. The weather pattern was similar to what I'm seeing now. This looks like it is going to be a wet winter with half an inch a day rainfall for 2 to 3 weeks straight.

    Hopefully a lot of it will become snowfall.

    Thursday, 18 December 2014 at 23h 49m 6s

    More Rain is coming

    Thing is, once the Earth gets to the Winter Solstice (December 21) the Earth will begin to tilt back towards the sun, and the weather patterns will start to change. The picking up of the moisture from the ocean is dependent upon the temperature gradient, and right now the upper hemisphere is colder, so it picks up the warmer precipitation from the water and throws it up onto the West Coast. Once the upper hemisphere begins to tilt back towards the sun (after December 21st) this gradient diminishes and begins to increase in the Southern hemisphere.

    What also happens is the storms go more Northward, into Oregon, Washington, Canada and Alaska.

    Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 2h 4m 7s


    If you have never heard it before click here.

    This is one of my favorite old compositions from 2001. I can't remember how to play it now, but if I bothered to sit down and figure it out again I probably could. Anyway, I listen to it every now and then. Hope you enjoy it.

    I created it over the summer of 2001. While the Cheney commission was busy working with Oil executives over the carving of the oil fields of Iraq. How innocent we were back then. The big issue of the day was a spif in Asia over China getting upset with our military planes flying over their airspace. Who woulda thunk that 5 months later airplanes would be a so much bigger and transformative issue.

    Wow, yea, we really were naive that summer of 2001.

    The song is named "Wonderall".