No, no, no – California’s so-called “motor voter” is not a plot to let illegal aliens vote

Some of the headlines are, well, crazy…

California opens the door to more voter fraud

Jerry Brown Signs Bill Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Vote

California Motor Voter Act: New Law Could Allow Millions Of Illegal Immigrants To Vote

California motorvoter law will flood rolls with noncitizens

No, no, no – California’s so-called “motor voter” is not a plot to let illegal aliens vote!

Here’s how California’s new law WILL work…

When people go to the DMV to obtain or renew a driver’s license, or to get a California state identification card, they’ll be asked for the usual information in such transactions, such as their name, date of birth and address. They’ll also be asked to affirm their eligibility to vote and will be given the choice of opting out of registering at that time. Information about anyone who does not decline registration will be electronically transmitted from the DMV to the secretary of state’s office, where citizenship will be verified and names will be added to the voter rolls. 

The law goes into place on Jan. 1, 2016, but the DMV said in a statement that it would not send information to the secretary of state until that office “develops regulations, completes a statewide database system and funding is secured to implement this program.” The regulations, which must be agreed upon between the DMV and the secretary of state, will have to settle basic procedural issues, such as how the “opt-out” question will be phrased and how often the DMV will transmit data. The statewide voter registration database, Vote-Cal, is on track to be implemented by June 2016, said Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Read more here:

Debbie & Me: We support early childhood education!

———- Forwarded message ———-


From: Senator Debbie Stabenow <>
Date: Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: Congress, 19,200 kids need your action by Oct 1st.

United States Senator Debbie Stabenow - Michigan
Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you for contacting me about funding for early childhood education. I share your support.

Education is one of my top priorities in the Senate. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked with parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders to develop the best approach to improving our schools. Federal funding for voluntary pre-kindergarten education programs provides children with a jump-start to the future.

That is why I have consistently supported the Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program. Head Start’s focus is not only on education, but also on child development, health and nutrition, as well as parental involvement. This program provides children the opportunities they deserve by building their readiness for school. As Congress continues to debate education policy, you can count on me to fight for early childhood education.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues of concern to you and your family.

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
The United States Senate • Washington, DC 20510

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“I am a school teacher from Denmark” — no you’re not!

Much in the news lately about comparing the US capitalist economic model with the Danish social democratic model. I’m no expert mind you – but when I spotted this meme floating around with a “I am a teacher in Denmark and…” caption (a lengthy one mind you) I knew something (okay, EVERYTHING) was wrong about it.


Here is the woman in the meme on a poster for a Danish show. It’s about a teacher who is a single mom called Rita. So, she’s not a teacher in real life as the meme suggests – but she plays one on Danish Tv if that help any. (Hint: It doesn’t.)


As you can see the meme is full of “facts” — make that “data” — since they are all pretty much bogus, I’ll just pick one – suicide rates.

The World Health Organization database has the US ranked 47th and Denmark 82 – suicides per 100,000 persons.

And finally, comparing US to Demark’s system of personal income taxes and payroll taxes would be like comparing apples to oranges. They can be contrasted (for example the Danish system does not have amything comparable to Social Security or Medicare for retired persons. Retirement plans for workers are all private not public. The systems can be contrasted but not compared. The syntax on this pages is somewhat awkward due to the translation.

Look, not that those on the political LEFT probably don’t also find themselves falling for bogus memes like this one from time to time, but maybe because I tilt left, I do find the RIGHT does so love and fall for this sort of thing.

As someone noted the other day – when it comes to things like this posted on social media:

“There’s a reason it’s called FACEBOOK not FACTBOOK”

Some sobering statistics about American justice…

The United States prison population has increased by 700 percent since 1970.

One in 99 Americans is incarcerated. Half of the federal prison population is serving time on a drug conviction.

High incarceration rates have disproportionately affected people of color and disadvantaged communities.

The costs of incarcerating more and more of our fellow citizens – including many for non-violent drug offenses – have skyrocketed.

Conclusion: Too many resources are spent keeping people in prison rather than on treatment and anti-recidivism programs.

  • Reforming federal sentencing guidelines to give judges greater discretion;
  • Eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for first-time, nonviolent drug crimes;
  • Prioritizing treatment and diversion programs over prison for nonviolent offenders; and
  • Eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

Take action now: ask Congress to roll back federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws by scheduling and passing the Smarter Sentencing Act.

Canadians make hard-left political turn; make me wonder, is US next? Might this bode well for Bernie Sanders?

October 20, 2015

Canadian voters reclaimed their country’s liberal identity sending Justin Trudeau — the son of one of the country’s most dynamic politicians — to the prime minister’s office and ending 10 years of conservative leadership under Stephen Harper.

The victory in Monday’s election by Trudeau’s Liberal Party was stunning. The Liberals were on a path to win at least 184 seats out of 338 – a parliamentary majority that will allow Trudeau to govern without relying on other parties. The Liberals received 39.5 percent of the overall vote compared to 32 percent for the Conservatives and 19.6 for the New Democrats.

Harper, one of the longest-serving Western leaders, will step down as Conservative leader, the party announced as the scope of its loss became apparent.

Trudeau’s victory could result in improved ties with the United States, at least for the remainder of Barack Obama’s presidency. Harper was frustrated by Obama’s reluctance to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas and clashed with the president on other issues, including the Iran nuclear deal. Although Trudeau supports the Keystone pipeline, he argues relations should not hinge on the project.

Trudeau is the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who swept to office in 1968 on a wave of support dubbed “Trudeaumania.”  He was prime minister until 1984 with a short interruption and remains one of the few Canadian politicians known in America, his charisma often drawing comparisons to John F. Kennedy.

Trudeau channels the star power — if not quite the political heft — of his father. Tall and trim, he is a former school teacher and member of Parliament since 2008.  At 43, he becomes the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history and has been likened to Obama.


Educators – take note!

VAMboozled! [new post]

Special Issue of “Educational Researcher”

(Paper #3 of 9):

Exploring VAMs’ Potentials

Link to VAMboozled!

Special Issue of “Educational Researcher” (Paper #3 of 9): Exploring VAMs’ Potentials

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 08:53 AM PDT

Recall that the peer-reviewed journal Educational Researcher (ER) – recently published a “Special Issue” including nine articles examining value-added measures (VAMs). I have reviewed the next of nine articles (#3 of 9) here, titled “Exploring the Potential of Value-Added Performance Measures to Affect the Quality of the Teacher Workforce” as authored by Dan Goldhaber – Professor at the University of Washington Bothell, Director of the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), and a Vice-President at the American Institutes of Research (AIR). AIR is one of our largest VAM consulting/contract firms, and Goldabher is, accordingly, perhaps one of the field’s most vocal proponents of VAMs, also self-described as an “advocate of using value-added measurements carefully to inform some high-stakes decisions” (see original reference here). Hence, it makes sense he writes about VAMs’ potentials herein.

Here’s what he has to add to the conversation, specifically about “the various mechanisms through which the use of value added might affect teacher quality and…what we know empirically about the potential of each mechanism” (p. 87).

Most importantly in this piece, and in my opinion, Goldhaber discusses the “[s]everal [which turns out to be two] studies that simulate the effects of using value-added estimates for high-stakes purposes [and] suggest there may be significant student achievement benefits” (p. 88). Here are the two sections in support of these benefits as defined and claimed: — go here –

deja WU? Reading this seemed all too eerily familiar

State education agency paid thousands to departing employees

Lawmakers grilled Illinois State Board of Education officials this summer about an $89,000 severance payment awarded to outgoing state schools Superintendent Christopher Koch, but they likely didn’t know the half of it. Koch walked out the door in the spring with almost $207,000 in taxpayer dollars on top of his regular salary, state records show. He collected the severance plus $118,000 for 138.5 unused vacation days accumulated over the years — a perk that many private employees don’t get. Several dozen other departing staffers got cash bonuses and payments for unused vacation, sick and personal days as the agency transitioned to a new leader to oversee Illinois public schools, the Tribune found. Those payouts, combined with Koch’s, added up to at least $500,000 at a time when many school districts were struggling with deficits.