From the CURMUDGUCATION blog:  “Virtually Teaching”

Virtually Teaching

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 01:29 PM PDT

“Teacher Shortage Crisis Forces Districts To Innovate” 

I get emails, often from folks who are thrusting their PR releases blindly into the blogosphere. Somebody or something told them I’m an education blogger, and so they add me to a mailing list, and mostly I don’t pay attention. But the subject line that appears above caught my attention, and so I read my email from Shelly Smith, PR Manager for Proximity Learning, Inc., and consequently got to learn about one more way people are trying to make a buck or ten in the edu-biz.

By virtually teaching.

Proximity Learning might be one of the more ironic names out there, because what they actually deal in is what we used to call distance learning. I’ll tell you more about how they work in a moment, but first, let me introduce you to the guys who came up with this outfit.

Follow this link to the rest of the blog post …

Meijer Bags Michigan Lawmakers

Meijer Bags Michigan Lawmakers

A Michigan-based political action committee thinks they have it in the bag with their timely $20K contribution to state lawmakers. It was recently disclosed that Meijer Inc. PAC greased the palms of Republican Senators on the same day the Commerce Committee was about to take-up the question of preventing local governments from banning the use of plastic shopping bags.

Read more here:

Documents Show U.S. Military Expands Reach of Special Operations Programs

The U.S. is spending more money on more missions to send more elite U.S. forces to train alongside more foreign counterparts in more countries around the world. Read the full story here:

From the Washington Monthly | “How the Press is Making the Clinton Foundation into the New Benghazi”

The media won’t take no for an answer.

Over the last two weeks, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has taken a hit in the polls, much of it pretty clearly due to aggressive press investigations involving her relationship with the Clinton Foundation when she was Secretary of State. Even Hillary fans should see that these investigations are warranted.

After all, Clinton is running for the most powerful office in the world. While she was Secretary of State, her husband was overseeing a $2 billion a year charity. That charity took in donations from foreign governments and individuals with international interests. These facts raise legitimate questions.

Did donors to the Foundation get special access to the secretary and the department as a result of their donations? If they did get special access, did they receive any favors? Did Hillary or her staff do anything illegal, unethical, or contrary to U.S. interests or administration policy?

The good news is that as a result of these investigations we can now answer those questions pretty definitively: no, no, and no. The bad news is that the press doesn’t seem to want to take “no” for an answer, even if the answer is based on the evidence of its own reporting.

Consider the story in today’s New York Times by Eric Lichtblau based on a new batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch as part of its lawsuit.

The emails show that Doug Band, then with an arm of the Clinton Foundation, asked Huma Abedin, a top aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to help him procure special diplomatic passports for himself and two other Clinton Foundation staffers.

Band also asked for a private meeting between Secretary Clinton and Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, a Clinton Foundation donor. These emails, writes Lichtblau, raise “new questions about whether people tied to the Clinton Foundation received special access at the department.”

The reporting in the piece itself, however, doesn’t so much raise new questions as answer old ones.

As Lichtblau explains, Band wanted the diplomatic passports because he and his colleagues were about to accompany Bill Clinton on an emergency mission to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists (as a former president, Clinton already had such a passport).

In the end, State didn’t issue special passports to the Foundation staffers, despite the risks they were taking, because doing so would have been contrary to Department rules. Liveris did get a short meeting with Mrs. Clinton for a perfectly valid reason: he had offered to let Mr. Clinton use his private plane to fly to Pyongyang.

Other stories on the Clinton Foundation over the last two weeks fit the same basic pattern: Washington Monthly | How the Press is Making the Clinton Foundation into the New Benghazi

The Verdict Is In: Wall Street Is Pretty Much Useless – Larry’s List – Truthdig

  A writer poses an important question: Does Wall Street do anything useful?; researchers are befuddled by some people’s love of chilies, fruits that were “made to repel”; meanwhile, technology has created a crisis of masculinity similar to that of the industrial era. These discoveries and more below.

Source: The Verdict Is In: Wall Street Is Pretty Much Useless – Larry’s List – Truthdig

Did Governor Rick Snyder Ignore Congress’s Definition of “State Educational Agency”? – From ‘Fix the mitten’ blog


By Nick Krieger (@nckrieger)

“Is the State School Reform/Redesign Office (SRRO) improperly usurping the powers of Michigan’s State Educational Agency? And did Governor Rick Snyder disregard the intent of Congress when he transferred the SRRO to the Department of Technology, Management & Budget?” — Fix the Mitten

Read the full blog post here: Did Governor Rick Snyder Ignore Congress’s Definition of “State Educational Agency”? – Fix the mitten

Mother Jones: Black Teachers Matter

Posted by Peter Greene: 07 Sep 2016

I usually save my reading recommendations for Sunday, but if you read one article this week, it must be “Black Teachers Matter” by Kristina Rizga at Mother Jones.

Rizga addresses the all-important question of why we’re missing so many black teachers in this country (and she does it far more thoughtfully than the folks at Brookings) by focusing on one school in the Philadelphia district. It is a sad and frustrating tale, and it shows how black teachers have become the canaries in the educational coal mine. The lack of black teachers is a problem in and of itself, a problem that needs to be addressed– but it is also a symptom of the larger disease of education reform…. read more here —