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Showing posts with label Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obama. Show all posts

HankGreen and Edu Tool Kits

Hank Green from Vlog Brothers (a damn cool show) talks briefly about two problems he feels we have with our Education system



And then he gets to interview the President of the United States


Paul Krugman Sums Obama Up

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning Economist took a second look at Obama in an article published in Rolling Stones, and then a follow up with ABC News. His conclusion? Obama is likely to be the most effective, and certainly the most successful president we have ever had. 
“Bill Clinton is an incredibly gifted politician,” Krugman told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl. “But, in fact, Bill Clinton was not a consequential president. And Obama, although clearly not the natural politician, is a consequential president.”
With his polls so low right now, it's difficult to get behind this kind of arithmetic, but Krugman shows that the economy is on the rise, unemployment is down, health care has been reformed and significant financial reform is in place. The environmental issues are being addressed.  No, he admits, it might not be everything you wanted, but it is more than any president has accomplished in decades.

Reading this, I felt a bit vindicated. Though I would never have claimed Obama was 'the most successful', he was doing much better than his press. What has always bothered me about his press though, was the amount of it, the shear mass of the machine.

You expect Fox News, and some jabs from the main stream editorials. Then there are the web papers on the far-right like Town Hall, National Association of Scholars, the NRA main sight,
The usual suspects. Also, the republicans in congress, just like the democrats with Bush (expected, and accepted). The Koch brothers were more active, not liking things going the way they were, especially with Obama going directly at the environment and health care.

Likely, Obama was the Koch's worst nightmare - between 1998 and now Koch has been an environmental terror (with one of the few companies I have ever heard of being tried and convicted for double homicide). Obama not only wants EPA powers to increase, he was making it happen. It wasn't going to be a few $10 million dollar fines any longer. Likely, shut downs were on the horizon. So, we also expect some flack from that area.

Some flack. Sure. .. but sweet mercy...

The girl friend video coming out of the Koch, from  Americans for Shared Prosperity should have been the real clue. That was the point the shadows were pulled back. Whether that was a purposeful move or not, it was the beacon that caught my attention. The ad, which I'm sure you have seen, has a woman who is acting like Obama is an abusive boyfriend -- and is warning us to drop him, not to vote for him again. Again? This was published on Sep 21, 2014.

This is the second term. Right? This is Anti-Obama, like two years
too late. Isn't it?

No. Not at all. They just don't appear to care any more that you notice.

I'm not capable of doing the amount of document research that would be required for a true analysis -- I'm just going to put that up front -- but I believe, just from the amount I've been able to do, that no President has been against the continuous demagoguery Obama has over his two terms. There is the slams and the mud during the election, but then people get down to doing their jobs. The sensationalist go back to writing real news, and waiting for someone, normally a Congressman, to do something extremely silly. But that didn't happen with Obama.

  • Crowds of mudslingers continued
  • Torrents of false controversies were created
  • Demagoguery was shouted at every Presidential move
  • Congress took on a culture of obstruction

For example -- despite Obama's pre-election release of his official Hawaiian birth certificate in 2008;[1] confirmation, based on the original documents, by the Hawaii Department of Health;[6] the April 2011 release of a certified copy of Obama's original Certificate of Live Birth (or long-form birth certificate); and contemporaneous birth announcements published in two Hawaii newspapers.[7] Polls conducted in 2010 suggested that at least one quarter of adult Americans said that they doubted Obama's U.S. birth,[8][9] while a May 2011 Gallup poll found that 13% of American adults (23% of Republicans) continued to express such doubts. -- Wikipedia

Hundreds of lawsuits, some filed by GOP leaders, some from Congressman, Senators, and Tea Party members. In 2009 and 2010 the numbers in the South and in the Tea Party are so high, that they are seen as useful to many of the GOP. They under mind anything Obama does, inciting angst toward any decision he makes. A few Republicans openly gaff at the claims that Obama's Presidency is not legitimate, but most do not. Colorado GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck is caught on tape complaining about walking the line between openly agreeing with the "Birthers" and denying the legitimacy of their claim to keep them going.
"Will you tell those dumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I'm on the camera," Buck said to the worker while laughing. "God, what am I supposed to do?"

Lessons Learned : Obama Sued By Congress

Lessons Learned is for teachers who wish to add into their curriculum lessons from current events which are highlighted in the news and a focus their students are interested in. There are many very good resources out on the Internet now for focused, well made, professional CCSS aligned lesson modules. From these resources, I try to find a few so that teachers can review them and use them in their classrooms. 


Current Event : For the first time in History, Congress (as Congress) is suing the President of the United States.


When, on July 2, the Obama Administration announced a one-year postponement of the January 1, 2014 effective date for the Affordable Care Act's requirement that large employers provide their workers health insurance or pay a tax, affected businesses "cheered." But anti-"Obamacare" advocates and politicians howled. They saw a "blatantly illegal move" (Brietbart.com pundit Ken Klukowski), a government acting "as though it were not bound by law" (CATO Institute economist Michael Cannon), and an unconstitutional "refus[al] to enforce" a democratically enacted law (Congressional Joint Resolution #45, introduced July 10 by New Jersey House Republican Scott Garrett). In the Wall Street Journal, Stanford Professor Michael McConnell, formerly a George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench, huffed that the decision "raises grave concerns about [President Obama's] understanding" that, unlike medieval British monarchs, American presidents have, under Article II, Section 3 of our Constitution, a "duty, not a discretionary power" to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Following up in the Journal this Monday, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, who helped lawyer last year's legal challenge to the ACA individual mandate, darkly intimated that the new employer mandate delay could trigger litigation that could result in "the whole statute fall[ing] while the president's suspension is in effect."


Constitution Ariticle 2 sec 3 clause 3

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Lessons for Class: 

In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the three branches of the United States government. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the powers that the Constitution assigns to each branch—legislative, executive, and judicial—and how the three branches work together. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.
CCSS: Strong alignment with adaption from k5-k12


NOTE: The lesson looked so good and engaging that I am listing it but it is not aligned with Common Core. Perhaps a little bit of adjustment could make it so.
In this lesson, students will examine the duties of the President as written in the Constitution and what the Oath of Office means.
CCSS: None - only National Alignment 


This course covers American Government: the Constitution, the branches of government (Presidency, Congress, Judiciary) and how politics works: elections, voting, parties, campaigning, policy making.  In addition we’ll look at how the media, interest groups, public opinion polls and political self-identification (are you liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican or something else?) impact politics and political choices.  We’ll also cover the basics in economic, social and foreign policy and bring in current issues and show how they illustrate the process.
CCSS: None. This is a College Level Open Course for Government


War Crimes of Bush Not Evaluated-- Cheney Wants Apology


The executive summary of the report condenses the narratives of 20 detainee cases.In one instance, McClatchy learned, the Bush administration claimed that the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind, led to the foiling of a terror plot against Los Angeles’ Library Tower. The study, however, concludes that that information could have been learned without using the harsh interrogation techniques on Mohammad, who was waterboarded 183 times.

The scope of the committee’s work was hamstrung by concerns that the investigation would be an open-ended political witch hunt. “This issue has unfortunately become so politicized that this report might have been attacked as a political document if it had” delved into the White House, said Goitein. “That’s not the ideal outcome, but it’s an understandable calculus in my mind.”

As Mclatchy's Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor report:
The narrow parameters of the inquiry apparently were structured to secure the support of the committee’s minority Republicans. But the Republicans withdrew only months into the inquiry, and several experts said that the parameters were sufficiently flexible to have allowed an examination of the roles Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials played in a top-secret program that could only have been ordered by the president.

Bill Gates Proves his Monetary Goals for Common Core?



The comments on this video that I've seen on YouTube as well as personal - even company blogs, boarder on a level of  ignorance not often encountered in modern times. I'm most disappointed in the statements I've read which are reportedly from Teachers. 

The Rants, on the whole, explode out from this paragraph:

When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better. [Emphasis added.]


So, let's start with Perspective since no one seems to have any and their paranoia appears to love its absence.

1. Bill Gates current monetary worth is estimated at $50 BILLION (caps used to draw attention to this amazingly large number). Actually if rises and falls between 50-100 billion

2. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, in 2006 turned away from Corporate life and invested all of their time and money into their Foundation which hemorrhages money every year so that people around the globe can have things like water, food, shelter, and education.

3. Bill Gates plunged over $200 Million into the NYC school system -- with the idea that smaller schools would work better than the goliaths they had at the time. Afterwards and for some years he felt that this was a mistake -- that there was very little change or benefit derived from the smaller schools. Between 2002 and 2008, the number of high schools in
NYC increased from just over 250 to nearly 450. Many saw this as a huge disruption for the kids of that time, with no positive outcome. A great deal of both professional and general publications criticizing Gates for "messing with things he doesn't understand" came out on the Internet and media venues like Fox News.
     a) Gates never lashed back
     b) Gate continued to seek out professional educators and educational scientists and move forward
*Note: it has now been ascertained that not only have the smaller schools helped the students, that graduation is markedly up and dropout rates notably down.

4. Bill Gates has --as many Billionaires before and since -- signed a commitment on the Giving Pledge to donate half of his monetary worth to charities and projects which improve lives and promote education.
*Note: that is, roughly $25 BILLION he plans on putting into educational efforts across the nation.

Clarity: I've made a passion out of hating Gates during my life.. I was a programmer and system administrator for more than 20years, and deeply into the OpenSource movement-- which was at direct and vicious odds with Micro$oft. If my cat had diarrhea, it was Gate's fault.  -- Since that time, paying attention to what and how he has done things, I've forgiven him for Windows ME, ... but not for Win 2k.

Vocabulary:

Common Standards -- mean to Bill Gates the same thing they would mean to anyone who creates systems or programs computers. A Common platform in which a community of programmers and developers can created widely different modules and libraries from, which will all work together, and indeed be able to enhance one another because they are all developed using this Common Stadard. Equal terms would equal API, Protocal etc.

Market: the Population of available, and interested users. Does not need to equate to money, only investment (such as time and effort investment into learning how to use a new thing).

Buy: As with Market, this does not necessarily refer to money, but can and does refer to time, money and space expenditures. Buy can also have a intelligence or mental meaning as in "Sure, I buy that" to express understanding or belief.

Now.. curriculum lining up to tests...  may or may not be accurate in the way that both Bill and myself understand it, but from observation over the last 12 years with NCLB it certainly appears to be the natural tendency demonstrated by thousands of teachers across the nation. This tendency has been criticized at many levels and from various degrees of experts, however Bill Gates and people like him, do not base development on "what should be" but rather "what is" and "what is" equals "Teachers teach to the tests.

Hopefully that will change in the coming years if Obama can ever get Congress to do their damn job and alter the ESEA as he has requested them to do over 50 times since 2008. Obama's requested alterations are :

Obama's Plan -- A fair accountability system that shares responsibility for improvement and rewards excellence, and that is based on high standards and is informed by sophisticated assessments that measure individual student growth;  A flexible system that empowers principals and teachers, and supports reform and innovation at the state and local level; And a system focused on the schools and the students most at risk -- that targets resources to persistently low-performing schools and ensures the most effective teachers serve students most in need.

NCLB Status Quo: Rely on unsophisticated bubble tests to grade students and schools.

The Obama Plan: Support better tests. The Obama Administration has invested $350 million to support states in their efforts to create more sophisticated assessment systems that measure problem solving and other 21st century skills and that will provide teachers will timely information to help them improve instruction.

Now, this next part you are probably unfamilier with, but Bill Gates is also very aware of, and influenced by the culture of OpenSource. He has invested a serious amount of money into attracting the OpenSource community to the Educational world.

However, this effort to attract the OSs has been extremely difficult because in the Educational community there have been no standards, no sameness -- everyone does their own thing across state lines and sometimes across district lines. 

Because of this there is very little intrinsic reward (being that good feeling you get when you have developed something that thousands of people enjoyed and used to improve their lives.. you know that feeling? Probably not.. but it is an amazing high... just take my word for it).  

So the talent and the willingness was there, but it has always been stunted by knowing that no matter how good your program or project was, the market base for it was atrophied by lack of population -- and next year, all of the standards you based your project on might be removed and replaced by something completely different -- so project lifetime was volatile as well.

Now.. looking at his "malicious and suspect" statement pulled out from Bill's speech..  Turn your attention to the wonder his foresight has created..

OER (Open Educational Resources)
https://www.oercommons.org/realizing-the-promise-of-the-common-core-together

Gates gave it a push, but then let it go. The community was hesitate for a long time, but it is growing by leaps and bounds now. There are 1000s of OER CCSS compatible lessons, books, modules, resources and even full curriculum available for teachers and schools across the nation -- 90% of them absolutely free. 

These projects are developed by PhDs, Educators, Scientists -- but also by hobbyist and novelist and artists. They are all peer reviewed, and critiqued for conformity to the Standards and effectiveness. Teachers who use them can post their own critiques, offer suggestions, make requests for changes, or additions. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

That is just one site.

https://www.graphite.org/

There are at least twelve other huge hubs with 1000s of resources listed: Photos, recorded speeches, video, graphics, full software programs -- the list is growing even while I'm typing this.

This is the vision that Bill Gates had when David Coleman sat in his living room in 2007 and told Bill and Melinda about CCSS. This is what he is talking about, and if you watch him, in that video, he can barely contain his excitement,.. but at that time, the OSs haven't really invested into the idea yet so he is refraining from getting into this.

Bill Gates is a man, who if he finds $100 on the ground, loses money by stopping to pick it up, and people -- who seem oddly intelligent in other matters, are accusing him of Taking Over the Public School System for Profit. 

The  Money Market value of CCSS will have little meaning in five years -- how exactly did you believe Gates might make a profit off his $800 million current investment into the schools of the US? This premise is seriously flawed. For one thing, he has several other venues which deluge him daily with capital he can't spend fast enough now... he doesn't need to go after children's lunch money. Alright? 

If you (reader) are a teacher,  you might want to compose a thank you letter to Bill Gates, and Obama -- because Congress was just fine with letting you all go down in flames.  

If CCSS wasn't in place right now, last Tuesday (the 12th year mark of  ESEA) all of you teachers would have been fired, and the schools closed.. in every state. .. All of them. CCSS isn't a new way of teaching.. it is a reform for NCLB that qualifies and meets the requirements of the ESEA law, allowing Obama to keep the schools to continue for a few more years.

Think about that the next time you want to STOP CCSS from corrupting the schools...

.. just saying.





And So it Begins...Common Core Propaganda Steps up -- We start with the Basics

It was obvious, about 14 days ago, that a hell of a lot of money was suddenly injected into the Internet against Common Core. That money is coming from the usual suspects and lighting up the Koch camps a long the rivers near the capital. To see the fringes and the uglier , more rabid fray of the battle, tune into Twitter hashes #CommonCore #CCSS #StandUp4Kids There are a bunch of others, but those three will get you to the front lines.

The meme-pushers showed up in droves, with anti-Common Core jargon. At first it was infantile, and if you really thought about it, -- it was down right insulting that the average American, who could work a computer, was as ignorant as they proposed to be. I didn't make a connection right away. I really didn't believe at that time anyone who was moderately literate would object to Common Core. I was wrong. They were just late, that's all. Higher currents were keeping them back -- but that didn't really matter, they were here now.

Cut over to Common Core's web site, check out the Myths and Facts, and give a look over one of the Standards (this link will take you to a math standard).

Two things are abundantly clear once you are finished. First, there is no Teaching Method, no requirements about how the lesson is to be taught. People telling you that their child's homework is tougher than fighting fires or terrorists, because of the Common Core Math, are obviously lying(, or they might actually be stupid.) Ninety percent of the time, the same methods for teaching used before Common Core are still in place afterward Here, let's look at a Standard for English.

English Language Arts Standards » Writing » Grade 1

Production and Distribution of Writing:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.4 - (W.1.4 begins in grade 3)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.5 - With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.6 - With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

[end of standard]


So this is it. That is Common Core. In the first grade our students need to learn about the Production and Distribution of Writing. Then there are three (actually two since the first has been changed to begin at 3rd grade) skill sets our students need to learn about this subject.  Standards are written in Concise Language, so they seem a bit more intense than they really are, but basically little Suzie needs to pick something to write about, "Ponies."


Obama's Numbers from Fact Check org

Obama's by the Numbers report for October 2014 on factcheck.org


Word of the Day - Amorphous

a·mor·phous
əˈmôrfəs/
adjective
  1. without a clearly defined shape or form.
    "amorphous blue forms and straight black lines"
    synonyms:shapelessformless, structureless, indeterminateMore
    • vague; ill-organized; unclassifiable.
      "make explicit the amorphous statements"
    • (of a group of people or an organization) lacking a clear structure or focus.
      "an amorphous and leaderless legislature"

A perfect example of amorphous projects is the current GOP attacks on President Obama. There is no real goal to them, and they seem to be based on the erroneous idea that if Obama is weak, then they are strong -- which is absurd. The President is the First man. He is US, the citizens of the United States. He is the Commander and Chief of every Military Service man, and Veteran who have fought to keep this country free. To attack him, is to attack everyone in this country -- it is to make you resented and the target of animosity. We may not like what the President is doing, or what he says all the time. We may not agree on some of his agendas -- but no matter what, he is still the President. The office is important, even sacred. 

So, the GOP (whose approval rating is currently 12% and falling) doesn't really have a firm plan or goal on why they attack or why they obstruct instead of supporting the president. It is an amorphous  objective that they tend not to look at too closely. 

%5.9 Unemployment rate... Sweet

Obama managed to do this with the Worse Congress is US History doing everything they could to stop him. Mitt Romney by the way, said he could only get us to 6% by the end of the 4 year term. .

In an interview with Time magazine, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney pledged six percent unemployment by the end of his first term in office. 
 “I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we’d put in place, we’d get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent, and perhaps a little lower,” he told Mark Halperin.
Unemployment currently stands at 8.1 percent.
Romney first pledged 5.9 percent unemployment when he released his economic plan in September of 2011, but he has not repeated the number since. -- WP Interview 
 05/23/2012

Something needs to be done about the GOP Culture of Obstruction. It's a damn shame that the Nation has missed out on the ability of our President because of racial and party hate agendas.

GOP should have to refund the American people their salaries this term for complete failure of expectations and moral damage which may last generations. To think we have to depend on a congress, which not only calls the man in the Oval Office a 'tar-baby' .. in public But commits treason during wartime to under cut his position and office. 53 appeal attempts on a healthcare system with 64 percent of Americans supporting it outright  Clearly GOP doesn't care what the public wants which is why 80% of Americans have no confidence in them.

Representative Doug Lamborn who is being accused of racism for his comments on a radio show in the wake of the debt ceiling debacle: 
[T]hey will hold the President responsible. Now, I don’t even want to be associated with him, it's like touching a, a tar baby and you get it ... you know you’re stuck and you’re part of the problem and you can’t get away. [emphasis added]
Lamborn has apologized, but the word around the blogosphere, most articulately phrased by David Sirota at Salon, is that Lamborn was using coded language: “[T]he comment reveals how various forms of racism are still being mainstreamed by the fringe right,” 
Lamborn is also the one that approached Generals after the strikes against ISIS began, in an attempt to coerce them in to resigning -- basically treason.
On the Health Care front, even with all of the repeal attempts hitting Epic Fail -- 
If Republicans win the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the likely majority leader, is expected to hold a symbolic repeal vote early in the new Congress.
So, looking forward we can expect more of the same from the GOP Congress.I love the Symbolic Repeal phasing... doesn't matter to them that they are knowingly waisting time, money and resources on something the American People DO NOT WANT and that they don't have anything to replace it with -- screw it, we're going to do it anyway!  If they keep this up, they'll be at 100% disapproval in no time. 

GTP and ME and Chess

You: Give me an annotation of the following game, noting and highlighting tactics, positioning, shifts in momentum and their causes, as we...