The Passage of Times

When one finds out one is losing something important, one hangs onto it harder… Which means someone has to try harder to take it away, right?… This gives insight into the harshness and lack of decorum in politics today… The ugliness we see today in Conservatives, and the hard clenching tenacity we see in Liberals, we’ve seen before in this country. We had it in the 1820’s between the old guard wealth of the Eastern Seaboard, and the wide individualistic wealth newly available across our national heartland. We saw it in the 1850’s as slavery hit the hot button and both sides became bitterly entrenched as support for slavery evaporated into a cauldron of gunpowder. It only took one spark. We saw it in the 1890’s as the capitalists grabbed up more and more companies, crushed workers rights, and the workers in cities became less and less empowered. Finally Republican Progressivism broke out of the chokehold. Then WWI flipped the scales back to big business and an investment boom followed by a Great Depression again created the necessary environment for another total sweep of old for new. That “new” lasted 60 years until it succumbed to having been so successful so that so many numbers who had previously benefited from liberal policies switched allegiances to keep their assets to themselves… And that leads to today, where our individualistic efforts to improve ourselves simply were not enough to balance ourselves comfortably against wealth and power and we are again looking at more government interaction…


The more with which time passes, the more one sees how some things always stay the same.

This is something unrealized by youth… I certainly couldn’t see it, though many elderly tried to project their insight into me.. I simply lacked enough background to understand.

But seeing the return of things you fought to vanquish and were once successful, as well as expanding ones knowledge-base across many cultures, times, and distances, one tends to see a larger pattern in effect that probably is conducive to our survival…

Here is how it relates to conservatives and liberals, democracy and our ultimate survival…. .

No matter who you are, when you are, or where you are, if you are comfortable in your position, you tend to lean towards conservatism… Why wouldn’t you?  It’s what enabled you to get and keep what you have… On the other hand, when you have nothing but dreams listed as your assets, you’ll insist…

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Will Hillary Clinton’s Education Policy Break From Obama’s in a Huge Way? | from Mother Jones magazine

Before Hillary Clinton gave her speech at the Democratic National Convention in July, organizers fired up the crowd with a video extolling President Barack Obama’s key policies: health care reform that extended coverage to an estimated 20 million more people; the $62 billion bailout of General Motors and Chrysler that saved about 1.5 million jobs; the killing of Osama bin Laden.

But one major issue was conspicuously missing from the highlight reel of Obama’s achievements: education.

This glaring omission is just one of many signs that Clinton is distancing herself from Obama’s education policies. On her campaign website, Clinton’s K-12 pageavoids any discussion of testing, accountability, or expansion of charters—the main focuses of Obama’s administration. Perhaps most telling, Clinton’s choices of advisers signal her attempt to move Obama’s test-driven K-12 agenda toward the center.

Clinton’s K-12 working policy group, according to a Democrat close to the campaign, comprises a mix of teachers’ union leaders, proponents of test-driven reforms, and advocates for increased investments in underfunded schools.

The previously unreleased list includes:

  • Chris Edley Jr., the president of the Opportunity Institute, a California-based think tank that works mostly on early-childhood and college access initiatives
  • Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the National Education Association, the nation’s biggest teachers’ union
  • Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-biggest teachers’ union
  • Carmel Martin, the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress and onetime adviser to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan
  • Catherine Brown, the former vice president of policy at Teach for America and current vice president of education policy at the Center for American Progress
  • Richard Riley, the secretary of education under Bill Clinton who’s known for his views that don’t neatly fit into the pro-reform or pro-teachers’ union wings of the Democratic Party. Riley supported testing and accountability but also pushed with equal fervor for smaller classes and more funding for schools.

The inclusion of teachers’ union leaders—who were not advising Obama’s campaigns and are among some of the most powerful opponents of his education policies—marks an especially sharp break from his administration. By contrast, many of Obama’s advisers—and later staffers at the Department of Education—viewed teachers’ unions as obstacles to school improvement and had close ties to the Gates Foundation, which championed many federal policies that encouraged both numbers-driven teacher evaluations and charter schools.

“Obama had positioned himself as a reformer…With Clinton, you see an agenda that leans much more toward teacher unions.”

But while Clinton’s K-12 advisers may suggest a more teacher-friendly approach to policy, they don’t exactly indicate that…

Read more here: Will Hillary Clinton’s Education Policy Break From Obama’s in a Huge Way? | Mother Jones

Why Do Politicians Lie? Hint: It’s Your Fault

Why Do Politicians Lie? Hint: It’s Your Fault
by kavips
Stumbled across this and thought it deserves being passed on because ultimately YOU are the solution, and not each candidate in who it appears must lie, because that is the only way they can possibly be taken seriously enough to win…

Knowledge is power and when you know how YOU think, you can sometimes second guess yourself out of making those wrong decisions which your first instinct is to jump into with both feet…


Stumbled across this and thought it deserves being passed on because ultimately YOU are the solution, and not each candidate in who it appears must lie, because that is the only way they can possibly be taken seriously enough to win…

Knowledge is power and when you know how YOU think, you can sometimes second guess yourself out of making those wrong decisions which your first instinct is to jump into with both feet…


So why do they lie?  Those of us who have made the Internet their home especially must wonder at the audacity or ignorance of these upstarts who think lies can go unchecked forever… So why then would they lie and why would be follow someone who lies so much?

According to one human scientist, Jim Taylor (Phd), there are many reasons and here briefly are the top six.

Many politicians are narcissists. … Most would agree. “Narcissists are arrogant…

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Battle Creek has largest percentage weekly earnings gain for year ending July 2016, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports

Battle Creek, Michigan, has largest percentage gain in weekly earnings for year ended July 2016

SEPTEMBER 08, 2016

Battle Creek, Michigan, had the largest percentage gain in average weekly earnings among metropolitan areas from July 2015 to July 2016. Average weekly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls in Battle Creek rose from $748.35 in July 2015 to $913.68 in July 2016, a gain of 22.1 percent. This compared with an over-the-year increase of less than 0.5 percent for the state of Michigan, from $820.46 to $824.22. Lebanon, Pennsylvania (20.9 percent), also experienced an over-the-year increase in average weekly earnings of greater than 20 percent, from $624.65 in July 2015 to $755.49 in July 2016.

Source: Battle Creek, Michigan, has largest percentage gain in weekly earnings for year ended July 2016 : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

From Bridge magazine:   Study rips state for higher tuition, lack of support for higher ed

First, the bad news: Michigan is underfunding its public universities relative to other Midwestern states, leading to students paying higher tuition and taking on more debt than their equivalents in Indiana or Ohio. So says theMichigan League for Public Policy, a progressive-leaning advocacy group in Lansing.

Adjusted for inflation, Michigan’s public-university tuition has increased by 100-150 percent since 2003 and today stands as sixth-highest tuition in the country, writes Peter Ruark, senior policy analyst, in the League’s report, released today.

The findings are the latest shot across the bow in a debate that extends beyond Michigan: Whether budget-minded, conservative legislatures in state capitals like Lansing are to blame for rising tuition (and student debt) at public universities, or are universities also at fault for bloated administrative expenses that contribute to higher tabs for students and their families?

According to the Michigan League, state tuition increases can be directly traced to…

Follow this link to read the full report from Bridge magazine: Bridge • The Center for MichiganStudy rips state for higher tuition, lack of support for higher ed

From the Detroit News:  ‘New rule threatens Michigan universities’

This summer, a diverse collection of educators and policy makers gathered in New York for the Higher Ed Leaders Forum to discuss the many challenges facing higher education in America today.

Three major areas of concern were identified: teaching the digital generation, grappling with the rising cost of college and improving graduation rates. But a fourth issue seems to be of critical concern: financial stability and security of higher education institutions of all types.

Today’s college funding crisis will have very real consequences for current and prospective college students. Without sound financial footing, many of America’s public and private colleges and universities will be forced to make draconian cuts to educational programs.

Unfortunately, a recent action by the federal government may only further imperil the financial health of many higher education institutions, including multiple schools here in Michigan.

Read the full report by by Robert Green of the Detroit News here: New rule threatens Michigan universities

State Super: ‘We Have to Invest in Education’

State Superintendent Brian Whiston recently spoke with School News Network reporter Charles Honey about the Michigan Education Finance Study, which was released earlier this summer, and other school funding issues. Following are edited excerpts from their interview.

SNN: What are the most important things you think came out of the report?

Whiston: It talks about the continual need to look at equity, to make sure a zip code doesn’t determine the offerings that kids have, but that all students have access to high-quality programs with lots of options. (I am) very supportive of the notion of taking kids in poverty and kids in ELL and giving them additional funding. (In Massachusetts,) the legislature and governor and business community invested heavily in the schools in exchange for some reforms. I think we ought to look at that same kind of structure. Those are three things I’m taking from the study and saying we need to have further conversations on.

The study did not look at special education and the problems we’re having in terms of (funding) facilities. Some communities can put a mill (in property taxes) out there and do a lot, and some communities put 10 mills out there and raise no money. There’s got to be a fairness where maybe the state equalizes that somehow. At some point we need to deal with that.

The report talks a lot about continuing inequities among districts. What is your thought as to what you can do?

We’ve got to continue the 2x formula concept, where you’re still giving every district some increase but you continue to bring up the bottom districts. I’m not one that says every student ought to have nine grand. We ought to look at the poverty numbers, the ELL and special ed. Districts that are very heavy in those maybe need a little more money, and other districts may need a little less. If we’re really going to be serious about making Michigan a top 10 state (in education), we have to address the issues of poverty.

The report says $8,667 is the optimal (per-student base) funding based on these 54 best-performing districts. Is that a number that you’re shooting for to try to bring all districts up to that level at least? Or is that unrealistic for Michigan?

I don’t think that’s unrealistic. I don’t know that that’s the right number. But I think there has to be a number, then we have to look at things like poverty, ELL, special-ed., and districts with heavy populations of those may need more.

So is that number a little high for what we can actually do In MI?

Right, but we (should) continue to address the equity while we address these other key issues.

Do you have a target number?

I think we ought to use the report’s number as a base and then have the conversations from there.

So what do you do next with this?

We’re certainly going to discuss it with the governor and key legislative leaders, have it hopefully discussed at the Governor’s 21st Century Education Commission, and continue to have the issue in the public eye so that legislators will address it. But we’re encouraging all the education groups to continue to have conversations with their folks, and have their folks have conversations with legislators.

To me it’s not about just putting more money in the system, though. I think we have to invest for change as well. Maybe we look at a balanced calendar, with adding time to the school year, done in a different way. My concept would be add some time to the calendar, but do it for the kids who are below our expectations. For the kids at or above expectations, have options for them that they could choose from if they want to, but they don’t have to. But make sure we’re adding time to the year for kids who are under-performing and under-achieving.

What do you hope the report does in terms of bringing attention to Michigan’s funding situation?

I hope it really shows we need to continue to invest in education. No matter how we look at it, if we want to be a top 10 state, we have to invest in education.


Michigan Education Finance Study

Adequacy Study Inadequate, But So is Funding

– See more at:

Source: State Supe: ‘We Have to Invest in Education’

From the Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource:   Are labor unions the cause or solution to income inequality in America?

Strikers in 1933. (Cornell University Library/CC-BY)

The issue: Since the Occupy Wall Street movement took over New York’s Zuccotti Park in 2011, income inequality has become a major political issue in the United States. Less often discussed is the role labor unions play in protecting workers’ wages.

In America, according to an estimate from Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, the top 1 percent of earners take home 25 percent of the nation’s income and control 40 percent of the wealth. Meanwhile, working-class wages have fallen over the past 40 years.

Membership in labor unions peaked in 1954 with 34.8 percent of workers, according to the Congressional Research Service, and has fallen since. In 2015, 11.1 percent of American workers were members of a union, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. And that year median wages for union members were about 26 percent higher.

Why has union membership fallen so dramatically?

One reason is that America’s workforce has largely shifted from low-skill manufacturing jobs — which are largely homogenous and easy to organize — to jobs involving high-skilled tasks that require a college education, and which are often more individualized.

Moreover, with globalization and the outsourcing of jobs, American workers and the U.S. economy have been forced to compete against other countries where labor is often cheaper. Unions, by offering members higher wages, push up the cost of production and make it harder for American firms to compete.

Ratio of Unskilled to Skilled Workers, U.S. Census Bureau


Add factory automation and the “demand for unskilled labor fell relative to the demand for skilled labor,” researchers at the Center for Economic Studies of the Census Bureau explained in a 2012 report. The Bureau defines unskilled workers “as clerical workers, laborers, operatives, and sales personnel, while skilled ones are taken to be craftsmen, managers, and professionals” (see chart to the left).

An academic study worth reading: “Unions and Income Inequality: A Panel Cointegration and Causality Analysis for the United States,” published in Economic Development Quarterly, July 2016.

Study summary: Unions have been shown to increase members’ wages. As a result, firms with large union membership among their workers have less money available to hire new workers, possibly increasing unemployment. Thus, many economists believe the net effect of unions on the distribution of income is unclear. But as unions recede, other trends are becoming apparent.

Dierk Herzer of Helmut-Schmidt-University in Hamburg, Germany examined the relationship between union membership and income inequality. He looks at two figures: The income share of the top 10 percent of earners in each U.S. state over the years 1964-2012, to measure inequality, and the rate of union membership in each state. He controlled for state income trends and education levels.


  • In every state, the top 10 percent of earners gained control over a larger share of the wealth at the same time union membership declined. (See figure.)
  • There is a causal relationship between the density of union membership and income inequality over the long run. A 1 percent increase in union membership reduces the income share to the top 10 percent by 0.000514 percentage points. Given the average annual decline in union membership, that translates into the wealthiest 10 percent receiving an increase in income share of 0.00016 percent per year.
  • The overall decline in union membership is responsible for about 5 percent of the increase in the income share of the top 10 percent.
  • There is no evidence that income inequality led workers to leave unions. Moreover, a decrease in inequality does not boost union membership (even if it does hurt the wealth of the top 10 percent).

Source: Labor unions and income inequality in America – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

Have an opinion about immigration? Are you sure? Here are 12 studies to check out!

Overview of recent studies on U.S. immigration issues, including the demographic traits of unauthorized residents and the empirical truths about exclusionary attitudes.

From White House executive action and Congressional pushback to child migrant increases and varying deportation figures, it can be hard to keep track of the news tick-tock on the immigration issue in the United States.

Likewise, it can be difficult to keep up with the myriad academic journals and reports, as a large network of social science researchers across the country continues to produce volumes of material on these issues.

Many aspects of U.S. immigration have been studied for decades. Others are just emerging. In any case, many of the latest studies represent the soundest evidence available in an atmosphere of overheated debate.

Below are 12 relatively recent reports and studies worth checking out, either for background or potential story angles:


  • Farm workers from Mexico: This 2016 study from researchers at the University of California, Davis indicates a drop-off in the agricultural labor supply from rural Mexico, a key source of hired workers for U.S. farms.
  • Migration and Remittances: A 2016 report from The World Bank looks at how much money migrants send to relatives in their home countries.
  • Immigration and crimeA 2016 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology suggests that communities with substantial increases in immigration experience a sharper reduction in crime than communities without such large increases in immigration.
  • Public attitudes toward immigration: A 2014 study from scholars at Stanford and Georgetown universities points out that attitudes toward immigration are seldom driven by economic factors and are more likely explained by cultural factors.


Keywords: crime, citizenship, INS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, ESOL, ESL, welfare, housing



Writers: and

Source: Writing about immigration? 12 studies to check out – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

Ideology Not Evidence: What We (Don’t) Know about Independent Teacher Preparation Programs | National Education Policy Center

Key Takeaway: The expansion of independent teacher education programs is not grounded in research evidence, raising equity concerns about how teachers are prepared to teach “other people’s children.”

BOULDER, CO (September 8, 2016) – Advocacy groups and self-proclaimed social entrepreneurs are working aggressively to deregulate the preparation of teachers and to expand independent, alternative routes into teaching. The policy push is so powerful that it raises a real possibility that the nation may dismantle its university system of teacher education and replace much of it with independent, private programs not connected to colleges or universities.

These new routes sometimes emphasize technical skills over deep, professional understanding. Accordingly, some of the new programs are very different from most teacher education programs provided by U.S. colleges and universities, which are usually grounded in core research knowledge—about the subject matter being taught as well as child and adolescent development and learning theory, all taught in the context of practice and of the students’ environment.

In a brief released today, Independent Teacher Education Programs: Apocryphal Claims, Illusory Evidence,Ken Zeichner of the University of Washington reviews what is known about the quality of five of the most prominent independent teacher education programs in the U.S., including their impact on teacher quality and student learning. Zeichner is the Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at UW and is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Education.

The five independent programs examined in Zeichner’s brief are: The Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay), Match Teacher Residency (MTR), High Tech High’s Internship, iTeach, and TEACH-NOW. His analysis demonstrates that claims regarding the success of such programs are not substantiated by peer-reviewed research and program evaluations.

“The promotion and expansion of independent teacher preparation programs rests not on evidence, but largely on ideology,” says Professor Zeichner. “The lack of credible evidence supporting claims of success is particularly problematic given the current emphasis on evidence-based policy and practice in federal policy and professional standards.”

Zeichner’s analysis also concludes that two of the programs, MTR and Relay, prepare teachers to use highly controlling pedagogical and classroom management techniques that are primarily used in schools serving students of color whose communities are severely impacted by poverty. In doing so, they contribute to the inequitable distribution of professionally prepared teachers and to the stratification of schools according to the social class and racial composition of the student body.

“The teaching and management practices learned by the teachers in these two independent programs are based on a restricted definition of teaching and learning and would not be acceptable in more economically advantaged communities,” explains Zeichner. “Students in more economically advantaged areas have greater access to professionally trained teachers, less punitive and controlling management practices and broader and richer curricula and teaching practices.”

At a time when we are working to educate an increasingly diverse student body, this shift away from preparing teachers with deep professional knowledge may negatively impact teacher quality and student learning. Professor Zeichner offers four specific recommendations based on these findings:

  • State and federal policymakers should not implement policies and provide funding streams that promote the development and expansion of independent teacher education programs unless and until substantive credible evidence accrues to support them. There currently is minimal evidence.
  • State policymakers should be very cautious in authorizing “teacher preparation academies” under a provision in the new federal education law (Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA). Such authorization would exempt those programs from the higher standards for teacher preparation that states typically seek to enforce for other teacher education programs. Policies should hold all teacher preparation programs to clear, consistent, and high standards.
  • Teacher education program quality should be determined by an analysis of the costs and benefits of multiple outcomes associated with the programs. Policymakers should thus reject the argument made by two of these five programs (MTR and Relay) that the sole or overriding indicator of teacher and program quality should be students’ standardized test scores.
  • State and federal policies that are designed to support the development of independent teacher education programs should include monitoring provisions to ensure that they do not contribute to a stratified system, where teachers serving more economically advantaged communities complete programs in colleges and universities to become professional educators, while teachers serving low-income communities receive only more technical, narrow training on how to implement a defined set of curricular, instructional and managerial guidelines.

Find Independent Teacher Education Programs: Apocryphal Claims, Illusory Evidence, by Ken Zeichner, on the web at:

This policy brief was made possible in part by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at:

Source: Ideology Not Evidence: What We (Don’t) Know about Independent Teacher Preparation Programs | National Education Policy Center