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Tidbits - August 7, 2014

Reader Comments - Gaza War - Israel, Palestine, the Jewish community and Zionism; Why Is Washington Risking War With Russia?; Labor - Kellogg Lockout and Coal Miners Anger; The Whitewashing of James Brown; Criminal Prosecution for Environmental Crimes; Bill Gates and the testing industry; Teacher Tenure (video); Celebrate the Life of Vito Marcantonio - Aug 9; 9th annual Dissident Arts Festival - Aug 16 - both in New York Today in History

Tidbits - June 19, 2014

Reader Comments - Iraq; Ruby Dee; Cecily McMillan and Wall Street; Ukraine; Detroit Shuts Off Water to Thousands; Working Families Party; Civil Rights Movement; Children's Literature and Diversity; Common Core; Testing; Support Philly Jewish school teachers; Gabriel Kolko; Hatriot Politics and Las Vegas Killers; Argentina and US Banks; The Presbyterian Church and Divestment; Net Neutrality; Historic Slave Cemetery Bulldozed In Houston; Freedom Summer 2014

The Problems with the Common Core

Stan Karp rethinking schools
The CCSS have been adopted by 46 states and are currently being implemented in school districts throughout the United States. Today everything about the Common Core, even the brand name—the Common Core State Standards—is contested because these standards were created as an instrument of contested policy.

Everything You Need to Know about Common Core - Diane Ravitch

Valerie Strauss Washington Post
There is something about the Common Core standards and testing, about their demand for uniformity and standardization, that reeks of early twentieth century factory-line thinking. In the present climate, the Common Core standards and testing will become the driving force behind the creation of a test-based meritocracy.

100 Children’s Book Authors Ask White House to Ease Standardized Testing Mandates

By Karyn M. Peterson School Library Journal
More than 100 children’s book authors and illustrators have sent a letter to the White House to ask President Obama to ease the country’s mandates for "excessive" standardized testing in our nation’s schools. Such an emphasis has a negative impact on kids’ love of reading and literature, they say. The letter is being promoted by advocacy group FairTest (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing).

Media Bits & Bytes - Three Card Monte Edition

Palestinians Blocked from Getting Smartphone Service; NSA Technology Simply Too Old to Search; Who Owns Your Data When You Die?; New Computing Physics Soon to Emerge from NASA-Google Partnership; GED Gets a Digital Makeover and Faces Competition

Book Review: Union City Blues

Richard D. Kahlenberg Washington Monthly, July-August 2013
How a poor New Jersey town and its teacher's unions turned around its schools.
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