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Signs at a rally. Solidarity in foreground, stop the war on workers in background.
  • You know about the Republican war on workers' rights, but that doesn't mean Corey Robin's overview of it won't teach you something. And it contains this gem:
    What might Adam Smith, often claimed as the intellectual godfather of the American right, have said about these legislative efforts? “Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen,” wrote Smith in “The Wealth of Nations,” “its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.”
  • Here's the painful truth about what it means to be "working poor" in America.
  • How far your paycheck goes in 356 U.S. cities.
  • I was aware that court fees were an issue in keeping poor people caught up in the criminal justice system, but didn't realize how dramatically they were increasing:
    These fees — which can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars — get charged at every step of the system, from the courtroom, to jail, to probation. Defendants and offenders pay for their own arrest warrants, their court-ordered drug and alcohol-abuse treatment and to have their DNA samples collected. They are billed when courts need to modernize their computers. In Washington state, for example, they even get charged a fee for a jury trial — with a 12-person jury costing $250, twice the fee for a six-person jury. [...]

    In Washington state, for example, there's 12 percent interest on costs in felony cases that accrues from the moment of judgment until all fines, fees, restitution and interest are paid off in full. As a result, it can be hard for someone who's poor to make that debt ever go away. One state commission found that the average amount in felony cases adds up to $2,500. If someone paid a typical amount — $10 a month — and never missed a payment, his debt would keep growing. After four years of faithful payments, the person would now owe $3,000.

    It's one of those things that doesn't really register as a problem on upper middle-class policymakers, but can make one mistake or misdemeanor or miscarriage of justice dominate a poor person's life for years.
  • Just how meaningful are those value-added ratings?
    In a study that appears in the current issue of the American Educational Research Journal, Noelle A. Paufler and Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, a doctoral candidate and an associate professor at Arizona State University, respectively, conclude that elementary school students are not randomly distributed into classrooms. That finding is significant because random distribution of students is a technical assumption that underlies some value-added models.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Value-added.......... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Value added measurement systems (VAM) are pure trash.
    Politicians in support of VAM are pure trash.
    "Progressives" on this site in support of VAM are pure trash.

    •  perhaps they're not so progressive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      VAM is pure trash, both as a method of fairly evaluating teachers, and as a statement about how some people think about teachers.  

      The level of vilification and scapegoating of teachers in American society is just appalling. Anyone with a sense of fairness should be able to see this for what it is: a systematic attempt to blame teachers and their unions for all of the problems in education, ignoring the real causes such as poverty, institutional racism, bad parenting, and neglect and underfunding by state and local government.

      And yet, we see the same rightwing/neolib sourced attacks on teachers right here. Accountability!! We just need to get rid of the Bad Apples!! It's the same shit I see spewed by wingnuts in the comments of our local rag whenever there's an article about public schools,  along with other lowlights such as, "they get the summer off and still they complain!", "union thugs!", "those who can do, those who can't teach!", "taxpayer parasites!", and on and on...

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:39:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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