|I suppose tonight's guests don't suck. Jon's got Seth Rogen, apparently promoting 50/50. Sample headline:
50/50' premiere: Seth Rogen presents the lighter side of cancer
The 23 reviews at RottenTomatoes have it at 91%, but they haven't posted a consensus yet.
And here's a sample quote posted by an RT reader:
Adam: You really think that a girl is going to go for me just 'cause I have cancer?
Kyle: For the millionth time. YES!
Meanwhile, Stephen will be talking to Melinda Gates. Here's something her twitter account linked to:
Stephen Colbert's Not-so-Secret Philanthropy Wish
What do you think: "The Stephen & Melinda Gates Foundation"?
Should we shift our focus to...whatever it is Stephen Colbert is trying to accomplish? Maybe not. However, you might want to check out The Colbert Report tomorrow night where Melinda & Stephen will share some exciting news. We'd love for you to tune in though - because we'll need your help!
And here are a couple articles about 'school reform' I've found here & there. From the Center for Public Integrity:
Back to school for the billionaires
Business titans find reforming schools harder than just writing checks
The richest man in America stepped to the podium and declared war on the nation's school system. ...
Gates' speech, in February 2005, was a signature moment in what has become a decade-long campaign battle to improve test scores and graduation rates, waged by a handful of wealthy CEOs who arrived with no particular background in education policy — a fact that has led critics to dismiss them as "the billionaire boys' club."
Their bets have been as big as their egos and their bank accounts. Microsoft chairman Gates, computer magnate Michael Dell, investor Eli Broad, and the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame have collectively poured some $4.4 billion into school reform in the last decade through their private foundations.
Has this big money made the big impact that they — as well as teachers, administrators, parents and students — hoped for?
In a first-of-its-kind computer analysis, iWatch News analyzed the graduation rates and test scores in 10 major urban districts — from New York City to Oakland — which collectively took in almost one-fourth of the total money poured in by these top four education philanthropists.
The results, though mixed, provide dispiriting proof that the billionaires have not found a one-size-fits-all solution to education reform and that money alone can’t repair the desperate state of urban education.
For all the millions spent on reforms, nine of the 10 school districts studied substantially trailed their state's proficiency and graduation rates — often by 10 points or more, the analysis found. And while the urban districts made some gains, they managed only 60 percent of the time to improve at a rate faster than their states. Those spikes weren't enough to materially reduce persistent gulfs between poor, inner-city schools, where the big givers focused, and their suburban and rural counterparts. ...
The bottom line? The billionaires aspired to A-plus impact, and came away with B-minus to C-minus results, according to iWatch News’ investigation, which was based on specially commissioned data, internal numbers shared by the philanthropists’ foundations, as well as the billionaires’ own statements.
From the New York Review of Books, an essay by Diane Ravitch:
School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade
It is a well-known fact that American education is in crisis. Black and Hispanic children have lower test scores than white and Asian children. The performance of American students on international tests is mediocre.
Less well known are contrary facts. The black–white achievement gap, as a recent report put it, “is as old as the nation itself.” It was cut in half in the 1970s and 1980s, probably by desegregation, increased economic opportunities for black families, federal investment in early childhood education, and reductions in class size.1
Another little-known fact is that American students have never performed well on international tests...This mediocre performance is nothing to boast about, but it is not an indicator of future economic decline. Despite our students’ mediocre test scores, the nation’s economy has been robust for most of the past half-century. And the news is not all terrible...As the proportion of poor students rises, the scores of US schools drop.
To put the current “crisis” into perspective, it is well to recall that American education was in crisis a century ago, when urban schools were overcrowded, swamped with students from Eastern and Southern Europe who didn’t speak English. The popular press at that time warned that the nation was being overrun by a human tide from inferior cultures, and the very survival of our nation was supposedly at risk.
Then there was the crisis of the 1950s..Since then, the schools have been in nearly constant crisis. In the 1960s... In the 1970s...In 1983...In 1989...
Any Stephen and Melinda Gates Foundation has got to be better than Murdoch's vision, though.