March 21, 2018

Meanwhile. . .

A US judge has temporarily blocked a Mississippi state law enacting the tightest restrictions on abortion in the country a day after it was signed.

Researchers concluded that factors such as lower fuel costs, increased teleworking, higher car ownership and the rise of alternatives such as Uber and Lyft are pulling people off trains and buses at record levels.

Lawyer against Stormy also tried to save Trump University

Daily Beast -he Trump Organization lawyer who signed court filings to silence Stormy Daniels was also the lead counsel defending class-action lawsuits against President Trump’s shady, now-defunct real estate school that allegedly scammed thousands of students.

As part of that case, Jill A. Martin even fought in the Court of Appeals to sue one former Trump University student for defamation. Advertisement

And before the election, Martin tried to stop The Washington Post and other media from obtaining copies of the Trump University’s “Playbooks,” arguing in court papers that unsealing the documents would expose confidential information to competitors.


Rep, Mark Pocan: “Is it still your opinion that we need guns in schools to protect from grizzlies?”

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: “Thanks, Congressman, for that question. If I had it to do over today, I probably would have used a different example.”

Chicago area voters want pot legalized

KWQC - Voters in the county that includes Chicago – the second-most-populous county in the U.S. – have overwhelming approved the recreational use of marijuana in a nonbinding referendum. Approximately 68 percent of Cook County voters on Tuesday approved when asked if Illinois should legalize "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older."

School choice advocates now say test scores don't matter so much

Diane Ravitch -Ever since the School Choice Movement got momentum in the early 1990s, its proponents have claimed that charters and vouchers would “save poor kids from failing schools.” Their metric, of course, was scores on standardized test scores, and they welcomed No Child Left Behind and its successor Race to the Top. They were certain that choice schools—free to select their students, free to kick out students, free from bureaucracy, free from unions, free to pay differential pay to teachers—would prove their value by generating sky-high test scores.

There are some charter schools that get high scores, but most don’t. Most studies find that some charters get high scores, some get the same scores as nearby schools, and some are far worse than the so-called “failing schools.”

Recent voucher studies have converged on the finding that students who use vouchers actually lose ground as compared to their peers who won a voucher but didn’t use it. The more optimistic say that the voucher students make up the lost ground in 3-4 years, but they don’t take into account the attrition of the weakest students from the voucher schools.

A new paper by three school choice advocates concludes that test scores are not the best measure of success (whoa! Who knew?). Other long-term impacts, they say, matter more, like graduation rates. Why are they moving the goal posts? Voucher programs show no academic gains, but they do show higher graduation rates, so that’s what really matters. There is a trick here, however. Every voucher program has a high rate of attrition, which pro-choice researchers ignore or downplay. The “higher graduation rates” in evaluations of voucher programs in Milwaukee and D.C. do not acknowledge the high number of kids who started ninth grade and didn’t make it to the end of twelfth grade.

Patrick Wolf of the Department of Educational Reform at the University of Arkansas (funded primarily by the Walton Family Foundation) conducted the official evaluations of both Milwaukee and the District of Columbia. In his initial report about Milwaukee, he wrote that the attrition rate was 75%, but decided that was an error and revised the attrition rate to 56%. Either number is huge. Huge and huger.

The survivors had a higher graduation rate than the students in the Milwaukee Public Schools, which included the kids who dropped out of the voucher schools.