Friday, December 29, 2006

Workplace rewards tall people with money, respect, UF study shows

Workplace rewards tall people with money, respect, UF study shows:

Judge's study, which controlled for gender, weight and age, found that mere inches cost thousands of dollars. Each inch in height amounted to about $789 more a year in pay, the study found. So someone who is 7 inches taller – say 6 feet versus 5 feet 5 inches – would be expected to earn $5,525 more annually, he said.
As someone who is short... this sucks royally. Perhaps instead of saving for my kids college expenses I should just be paying for growth hormone treatment.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Nifong Drops Rape Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Team

Rape Charges Dropped In Duke Lacrosse Case

Nifong's investigator interviewed the woman Thursday, and she told the investigator that she couldn't "testify with certainty" that she was raped.

Prosecutors said they couldn't proceed without her testimony, so they decided to dismiss the rape charges in the case.

Nifong said he plans to proceed with kidnapping and sexual assault charges against the three player
About frickin time. 1/3 of the way there. Keeping any charges is a joke at this point.

I wonder which Duke blogger will be the first to comment? I think I beat them all.

Update 1: 12:49 pm

MSNBC picks it up:

“It’s highly coincidental,” Cheshire said, that the charges are being dropped a week after the director of a private DNA testing lab acknowledged that he initially, with Nifong’s knowledge, withheld from the defense test results showing none of the players’ DNA was found on or in the accuser’s body.
You think?

Update 2: 12:50

LaShawn Barber is the first to post.

Final comments: 12:57

I don't know what is worse... that a prosecutor would use the case for political gain or that Duke University turned their back on the players.

Duke is probably regretting their stance now. According to the N&O, they have launched a major (read expensive) PR campaign to repair their reputation after early admission applications dropped by 20%.

Can you blame students and parents for not wanting to go to a school that faculty like the Duke 88? I have several Duke alumni that go to my church, and to a person they are disgusted by how the University treated the Lacrosse players, especially the three students charged.

For further info check out the following:

John In Carolina

Talk Left for great legal analysis

Durham in Wonderland

This Scares Me!

I ran across the 2005 science Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) from the NAEP.

Summary: Austin and Charlotte kick ass if your middle class white, everyone sucks if your black or low income, and Cleveland is terrible all around.

The good news is that the worse a school district does the smaller the achievement gap. The secret to eliminating the achievement gap isn't improving education, its obviously way more efficient to make everyones education equally shitty. Perhaps the education establishment has already figured it out and all the hodge podge of kooky curriculums out there is their attempt at finally achieving equality. (irony intended)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Work the System Baby, Work the System

So as you know, our 3rd grade boy was enrolled in a 2 day a week after school program called "STRETCH" designed to make sure advanced students score advanced on the SC PACT test. Last week I ran into a parent of one of the kids in my son's TAG class and she mentioned that she wasn't going to be able to let her kid do the Stretch program because of daycare issues. That started me thinking, so today while visiting the kids school for their holiday parties, we ran into the curriculum director for the school. We asked if we could get our 3rd grade girl into the program since we knew they had at least one drop out. She basically told us no problem, and then went on to explain how she was perplexed because so many kids opted not to take advantage of the program. Its too bad, but those parents/kids loss is our gain.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm Not Dead and "Innovation"

Yes I know, I have been slacking... you try raising six kids. First the local education stuff:

A few weeks ago, we got a letter home informing us that our 3rd grade son had been selected for an after school tutoring program called the "Stretch" program. Basically, twice a week kids who have the potential to score advanced on the South Carolina PACT will be receive extra tutoring. They are going to spend 7 sessions each on math, language arts, social studies, and science, with the soul purpose of boosting the schools test scores. Several thoughts:

1. Isn't this why he is in the Talented and Gifted program... this is what the TAG program should be about instead of all the "inquiry" based (read art projects) that they do. I did talk to the schools curriculum director and she told me that basically the TAG program is district run so they have no input, but this program is set up and run by the school.

2. Our other 3rd grader who is a little behind in her decoding skills only gets tutoring once a week. Average students get no extra help at all. It makes me wonder about the schools priorities.

3. Of course its blatant teaching to the test, but if it benefits my child then I am willing to take advantage.

Now on to Innovation:

Innovation is the latest "buzz word" that I keep reading about. Supposedly "innovation" is the key to our countries future. If we just fostered more innovation in schools, our country will maintain its lead in the global market.


Yep, I said it. Innovation as near as I can figure out it a way of saying that schools need more "inquiriy" learning and that facts are outdated. Don't get me wrong, innovation is important in todays global market place, but the for every innovator out there in the work place there has to be another hundred employees that perform the routine day to day tasks. Our country isn't lacking in innovators. Our competive swim or sink capitalist based economic system ensures that there will always be innovators out there ready to capitalize on the next great idea... think Google. Not everyone can be a Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Our country needs many many more mid-level managers, systems analysts, technichians, nurses, machinists... you get the point.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Essays and College

Why don't we just combine the college entrance essay requirement with the SAT essay. Eliminate all the editing, hand-wringing, and yes... cheating that goes with the typical college entrance essay. Give every student 25 minutes to express themselves and demonstrate their writing abilities.