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 Title   Date   Author   Host 

reason.com

by Jim Epstein

July 29, 2014

The nonprofit advocacy group, Partnership for Education Justice (PEJ), just filed a lawsuit with the goal of making it easier to remove lousy teachers in New York.

he filing comes on the heels of last month's landmark Vergara decision, in which the California Superior Court struck down five statutues that protect teachers in the Golden State from being fired. The New York lawsuit seeks to overturn several local rules, such as a requirement that teacher layoffs be carried out in order of seniority, and a mandate that schools have to decide whether or not to grant teachers tenure within their first three years on the job. It's also aimed at simplifying the process of firing a teacher, which can take up to 18 months and cost Campbell Brown |||taxpayers $250,000, according to the group.

Common Sense with Paul Jacob

by Paul Jacob

July 29, 2014

Sometimes the Internet makes a mistake.

The other day, one of my favorite websites embedded a Fox News video about NSA spying. Fox News entitles their video "Citizens Treated As Suspects." At the site showcasing Fox's story, though, the headline reads: "The NSA Grabs Information from Non-Suspects; Ninety percent of those spied upon are under no suspicion." Can this be right? When you're treated as a suspect, you are a suspect, aren't you? You're being suspected of ... something. At least of being somebody who might be up to something worth snagging in an all-embracing fishing expedition. If you're not guilty, somebody else leaving comparable data traces is, surely.

aclu.org

July 28, 2014

Because freedom can't protect itself Government Spying Undermines Media Freedom and Right to Counsel, ACLU- Human Rights Watch Shows

Large-scale U.S. surveillance is seriously hampering U.S.-based journalists and lawyers in their work, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people's ability to hold their government to account, the groups said. The 120-page report, "With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale U.S. Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy," is based on extensive interviews with dozens of journalists, lawyers, and senior U.S. government officials. It documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented U.S. government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public's right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.

reason.com

July 28, 2014

Kids occasionally behave very badly and need to be sent home from school. It's tough to imagine a 3-year-old deserving such a severe punishment, though-not once, not twice, but five separate times.

At DelawareOnline.com, Tunette Powell writes about the many, many suspensions handed down to her sons-ages 4 and 3-by overzealous preschool teachers and administrators: I agreed his behavior was inappropriate, but I was shocked that it resulted in a suspension. For weeks it seemed as if JJ was on the chopping block. He was suspended two more times, once for throwing another chair and then for spitting on a student who was bothering him at breakfast. Again, these are behaviors I found inappropriate, but I did not agree with suspension. ...

dcclothesline.com

by Dave Hodges

July 26, 2014

Why won't America stand up for herself? Why is the country, once a country which possessed courage and conviction sitting idly by and allowing itself to be taken to the slaughter without so much as a whimper?

The answer to the above question lies in the psychological concept known as Learned Helplessness as discovered by Martin Seligman. "Learned helplessness occurs when an animal is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape. Eventually, the animal will stop trying to avoid the stimulus and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation. Even when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness will prevent any action."

dcclothesline.com

by Mac Slavo

July 26, 2014

Traditional history suggests that dinosaurs and humans never crossed paths because their existence on earth was separated by tens of millions of years.

But a new discovery by scientist Mark Armitage of California State University may well turn the history of human civilization upside down. Armitage was recently on a dig in Montana when he came across the largest triceratops horn ever unearthed. Upon further examination of the unique specimen with a high-powered microscope Armitage discovered something that no scientist had ever seen on a dinosaur sample before - soft tissue. When he published his findings his colleagues were stunned, because the existence of soft tissue, which should degrade and disappear over millions of years, suggests that dinosaurs didn't go extinct 60 million years ago, but rather, were alive and well in North America just several thousand years ago.

andrewnapolitano.com

July 24, 2014

"Chilling" is the word lawyers use to describe governmental behavior that does not directly interfere with constitutionally protected freedoms, but rather tends to deter folks from exercising them.

Classic examples of "chilling" occurred in the 1970s, when FBI agents and U.S. Army soldiers, in business suits with badges displayed or in full uniform, showed up at anti-war rallies and proceeded to photograph and tape record protesters. When an umbrella group of protesters sued the government, the Supreme Court dismissed the case, ruling that the protesters lacked standing -- meaning, because they could not show that they were actually harmed, they could not invoke the federal courts for redress. Yet, they were harmed, and the government knew it.

townhall.com

by Calvin Beisner

July 23, 2014

In his recent article "The Threat to the Scientific Method," Dr. Patrick Michaels, a climatologist who for 30 years was Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and now directs the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, pointed to a serious problem: the corruption of science through government (and sometimes industry) funding, which has led to rapidly and alarmingly increasing numbers of retracted journal articles. In light of that trend, he asks, "If we can no longer trust science, what do we have as the basis for knowledge?"

chicksontheright.com

by Mockarena

July 22, 2014

I just read the most awesome and powerful column about the transition that one person made from liberalism to reality EVER, and you should read it too.

Danusha Goska, a professor, wrote for the American Thinker recently about the ten reasons she's no longer a leftist, and it's a truly fascinating read. Goska was as left as left could be - a degree from Berkeley, Communist relatives, the whole nine yards. She says she used to wear a button that said, "Eat the Rich" on it, even. But now she votes Republican, and she explains why in great detail. You can read her in-depth account at the sourcelink, but I wanna tell you about my favorite parts...

reason.com

by Robby Soave

July 22, 2014

A just-released study from the University of Arkansas provides a substantial endorsement of charter school education. U.S. students who spent several years in charter schools were found to score significantly better on tests and make more money than their counterparts in traditional K-12 public schools, when adjusted for funding discrepancies. Researchers examined data from 21 different states. While the results varied, charter schools were found to be more productive-and generate a higher return on investment-than traditional public schools (TPS). On average, charter school students scored so much better on assessments that spending money on charters was roughly 40 percent more efficient than spending money on TPS.

      

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