Cyber Student Socialization?

24 09 2009

Online High Schools Test Students’ Social Skills
The Wall Street Journal
SEPTEMBER 24, 2009

. . .Most online high schools are relatively young, and there has been little research on cyber students’ academic performance or social adaptation. But education experts say that studies looking at home-schooling suggest that students educated in nontraditional environments perform as well academically as their peers at conventional schools.

“When you look at home-school students compared to public or private school students, we have some reliable evidence to show that students are doing about the same but not better [in home school],” said Luis Huerta, a professor of public policy and education at Teachers College at Columbia University.

Researchers affiliated with home-schooling cite their own studies showing that home schoolers outperform their conventionally educated counterparts on standardized tests.

Some online schools let students tackle the curriculum on their own schedule; others create a virtual classroom of students and teachers using video feeds, online chat and PowerPoint presentations. Online schools appeal to gifted students who want to work at their own pace, students who dropped out of traditional high schools or who are taught at home by their families, students who travel with globe-trotting parents and teens with competitive outside pursuits like ballet, tennis or gymnastics. . .


Really Unfortunate Headline

22 09 2009

Our local longtime newspaper food critic died yesterday. Of course it was news to the readership. And obviously his colleagues in printing the story would use the man’s name — but did the news he was dead absolutely have to be headlined: Restaurant Critic Stiff??

School Is To Food: Obama-rama Energy for Positive Change

22 09 2009

Snook started blogging the “school is to food” analogy at its inception three years ago this week. (Happy birthday, Baby Snook!)

JJ loves analogies if you haven’t noticed yet. 😀

This one especially. Neither food politics nor school politics can be thought of as “free market” power of story — not if we want the kids to grow up healthy, that is:

It simply makes it impossible to avoid the question of what it means to live in a democracy when such basic aspects of our lives are affected by the actions of others in a manner so completely outside our reckoning. These are people we haven’t elected, and institutions which our elected representatives have not only failed to control but have actively aided in their folly.

It may be one of the most positive outcomes of this crisis that it compels us to ask fundamental questions about our political system, questions we may normally be too complacent or polite to ask. . .

Some of our earliest “school is to food” thinking is linked below and on Snook’s blogroll you can find some dedicated food food-for-thought we like. Today I found a new winner for that roll, thanks to Lynn and Sam talking here, about dog-whistle politics, of all seemingly unconnected things.

Obama Food-orama!

And btw, while we are connecting ideas you can’t get much more inspiringly healthy and smart and “pro-life” than anything about Michelle Obama.

In the beginning there was “school is to food” Snooking: Read the rest of this entry »

Science Fiction — and Anti-science Fiction?

21 09 2009

Check out the Google graphic today, did you know this was H.G. Wells’ birthday?

google graphic for HG Wells birthday sept 21

And former Miss California, tall, blonde and ridiculously, redundantly, bionically enhanced-for-effect Carrie Prejean, remember her, the defender of “opposite marriage” for “her country” all the while doing what beauty queens as a breed do, exploiting sex and outlandish storytelling for big bucks in a personal power grab under the hot media lights (not in church) — she is spinning a made-for-tv sy-fy whopper on cable news via some conservative political convention called a Family Values event over the weekend:
“God chose me for that moment!” she thrills . . .

Anti-science fiction? Or ACTUAL history of how the human race was enslaved once again by dark dominionist forces from another planet or at least a foreign fifth column that uses our own values against us. . .

What if Invasion of the Body Snatchers IS a true story — not written by HG Wells, but then history has many authors.

I wish this all WERE science fiction, and not power of story reality in 21st century America. But Miss Prejean’s true lies make Mr. Wells’ fictional truths sound eerily prescient, even in his most fevered imaginations. Take this title to describe the real weekend of Thinking Parent discussion some of us home education parents just had, and this chapter one quote as a forward-looking draft of its history:

H. G. Wells, English author, futurist, essayist, historian, socialist, and teacher wrote “The War of the Worlds” (1898)

Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. Read the rest of this entry »

New Secret Video: Pimp and Prostitute Real This Time

20 09 2009

UPDATE Sept 24: Unintended Consequences of Congress Acting to De-fund ACORN:

[C]ontractors that “might be caught in the ACORN net. . .

Did you know that Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman had 20 fraud cases between them? And that your Congress didn’t care?
[Blackwater, Halliburton and] taxpayer-funded contractor DynCorp — its employees actually, LITERALLY, did service a prostitution ring . . .Girls between the ages of 12 and 15 were involved. . . . six years later, employees of the very same contractor went to Iraq and DID IT AGAIN! And this time somebody got killed.

. . .DynCorp is still “supporting U.S. interests worldwide.”

The only reason the American people have earned a potential tool in guarding against contractor fraud is because Congress created it BY ACCIDENT.

. . .This is a moment the media should seize.


Journalism may not be the oldest profession but it once was more honorable than this. If you think ACORN employees were shamelessly manipulating our democracy, check out a young woman who wasn’t just playing a role but actually degrading herself and her employers for hire and got caught on secret video . . .she hasn’t been fired though, just “disciplined” whatever that means in the world of public prostitution. [shudder]

Can’t Deny It: You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

19 09 2009

Capitalism: A Love Story

18 09 2009

See video clip here hinting at how capitalism broke our hearts and unceremoniously dumped us.

Yep, that explains my fury at Big Insurance. I am a woman scorned.