Monday, July 5, 2010

Deficits Shrinking Most in Decades as Growth Lets S&P 500 Rally - BusinessWeek

Deficits Shrinking Most in Decades as Growth Lets S&P 500 Rally - BusinessWeek

Deficits Shrinking Most in Decades as Growth Lets S&P 500 Rally

July 05, 2010, 7:04 PM EDT
By Rich Miller and Simon Kennedy
July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Industrial countries are embarking on the most aggressive tightening of fiscal policy in more than four decades, led by the U.S. and Britain, as governments gamble they can pare debt without strangling an economic recovery.
Rich nations will reduce their primary budget deficits, excluding interest payments, by 1.6 percentage points next year, the most since the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development began keeping records in 1970, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. economists. The budget squeeze will lop 0.9 percentage point off growth in 2011.
Even as President Barack Obama warns his counterparts to be wary of derailing demand, U.S. gross domestic product will be reduced by 1.3 percentage points next year when his $787 billion stimulus program expires. That compares with a drag of 0.7 percentage point in the euro-area and 2.4 points in the U.K., JPMorgan calculates.

What’s your 3rd Favourite Colour? �Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech

What’s your 3rd Favourite Colour? �Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech

What’s your 3rd Favourite Colour?

"Dad, what's your 3rd favourite colour?"
My youngest daughter is known for asking these types of questions. She has actually asked that one but usually the questions are more about a favourite part of a movie, what's your favourite vacation spot, etc. That's pretty typical for kids and even adults. We love to order and rank things. I have many favourites. But when does it go too far? Are these lists of favourites personal or is their value in crowd sourcing our favourites?
I think there is a place for ranking. But not for everything.
Trip Advisor is a great example of crowd sourcing and rating. It may not be definitive but provides a useful beginning in making a financial investment. Digg and Youtube are fine examples of places that use rating systems to determine popularity but not necessarily quality. That can be useful but not definitive.
It starts to bother me however when we feel compelled to create list of greatness when it comes to people who, because of their generosity have chosen to use their cognitive surplus to share online. These folks, and I'm mostly speaking about educators, have joined a revolution of sharing and connecting and have worked together, mostly for free, to learn together. That's pretty darn cool. Deciding to rank and rate them is a little like having a potluck dinner and then having a vote at the end as to who made the best meal. What would be the point other than to single out a few and let others feel less than worthy.
I love the social nature of the web. Anyone who knows me gets that. I also like recognition. I like to contribute and like to know I'm helping folks. I get that r

CHARTER SCHOOL SCANDALS: KIPP San Antonio

CHARTER SCHOOL SCANDALS: KIPP San Antonio

KIPP San Antonio

CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDS, EMPLOYEE VANISH, January 14, 2010, San Antonio Express-News

Leaders of KIPP San Antonio, a branch of one of the most successful charter school programs in the country, are reeling after learning a former employee may have embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the school district's accounts.
According to KIPP board member Michele Brown, a member of the district's financial operation's team who was working from home last Thursday stopped returning phone calls and e-mail after 12 p.m.
The next morning, one of KIPP's financial institutions contacted officials to alert them to suspicious activity on an account. The employee didn't show up to work Friday and has not been located since.
So far, officials have determined that a sum “in the low six figures” was missing. Brown declined to reveal the total amount because officials still are going through all their accounts. The employee was fired for not showing up to work.
The Police Department's white-collar crimes division is investigating, and police say the former employee, whom KIPP and SAPD declined to name, is a suspect...

Blog U.: Preparing for Dying Industries - Confessions of a Community College Dean - Inside Higher Ed

Blog U.: Preparing for Dying Industries - Confessions of a Community College Dean - Inside Higher Ed


  • Preparing for Dying Industries

    By Dean Dad July 5, 2010 9:39 pm
    Should a community college train people for the industries that are currently there, or for the industries that seem likely to be there in the near future?
    I’ve been chewing on this one in light of some recent proposals floating around to get students prepared to certain kinds of manufacturing firms that, in my humble estimation, may not be much longer for this continent. (To be fair, a similar objection could be lodged at certain kinds of journalism programs, though I suspect that journalism will morph rather than die.)
    I can imagine arguments on both sides, and I’ll admit being half-convinced by each.
    On one side is the perfectly valid argument that students need jobs now, not years from now, and there’s an inherent difficulty (if not arrogance) in trying to read the future. While some broad, system-level trends may be legible, they don’t necessarily tell you what will happen in any given local market, or with any given company. Even if, say, manufacturing is on the decline nationally, that doesn’t mean that every single manufacturing company will either go under or go overseas. And if a few of the survivors are local, why the hell not prepare students for them?
    There’s some truth to that. Even if the job only lasts a few years, that’s still a few years of gainful employment that might not have occurred otherwise. And who’s to say that one opportunity won’t lead to another?
    But then there’s bitter experience. Having gone to grad school in an evergreen discipline in the 90’s, I saw and experienced firsthand the frustration of doing everything right only to emerge with a credential nobody wants. Having grown up in a city that’s still paying the price for putting so many eggs in the basket of a single industry, only to wind up with egg on its

Schools Matter: NJ High School Proficiency Test Blocks 3,000 from Diplomas

Schools Matter: NJ High School Proficiency Test Blocks 3,000 from Diplomas

NJ High School Proficiency Test Blocks 3,000 from Diplomas

From Atlantic City Press:

Almost 3,000 high school seniors statewide did not graduate this June because they failed to pass a required state test or win their appeal to the state Department of Education.
Information supplied by the state DOE on Thursday shows that 1,357 students did graduate through one of the special appeals processes announced in June. But 2,904 seniors have still not met the state testing requirement for graduation. They will get one more chance this summer through an online review process provided by the state and a final testing at the end of July.
DOE spokesman Alan Guenther said about 1,500 students have already registered for the summer

Free Technology for Teachers: Google for Teachers II - Free 33 Page Guide

Free Technology for Teachers: Google for Teachers II - Free 33 Page Guide

Google for Teachers II - Free 33 Page Guide

Back in March I published Google for Teachers. Since then it has been viewed more than 50,000 times. As much as that guide had in it, it didn't cover everything that Google offers to teachers. Therefore, I am releasing Google for Teachers II. This guide is designed to introduce and walk teachers through using Google Sites, Google Custom Search, Google Alerts, Google Bookmarks, Google Groups, and Google Calendar.

As always, this guide can be downloaded for free through DocStoc as well as through Yudu. To download it you do have to register with those services. I apologize for the inconvenience that might cause some of you, but it's the best way for me to track how many times it gets downloaded.

NorthJersey.com: Study shows teens benefit from later school day

NorthJersey.com: Study shows teens benefit from later school day

Study shows teens benefit from later school day
Monday, July 5, 2010
THE RECORD
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO — Giving teens 30 extra minutes to start their school day leads to more alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness, and even healthier breakfasts, a small study found.
"The results were stunning. There's no other word to use," said Patricia Moss, academic dean at the Rhode Island boarding school where the study was done. "We didn't think we'd get that much bang for the buck."
The results appear in July's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The results mirror those at a few schools that have delayed starting times more than half an hour.
Researchers say there's a reason why even 30 minutes can make a big difference. Teens tend to be in their deepest sleep around dawn — when they typically need to arise for school. Interrupting that sleep can leave them groggy, especially since they also tend to have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m.
"There's biological science to this that I think provides compelling evidence as to why this makes sense," said Brown University sleep researcher Dr. Judith Owens, the study's lead author and a pediatrician at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I.
An Archives editorial said the study adds to "a growing body of evidence that

Onsens and Monkeys � InterACT

Onsens and Monkeys � InterACT

Onsens and Monkeys

JULY 5, 2010
by Kelly Kovacic
NOTE: This blog entry is excerpted and cross-posted from a travel blog written by the 2010 California Teachers of the Year in their Journals From Japan. The five-teacher contingent includes InterACT blogger Kelly Kovacic and ACT member Valerie Ziegler. Please go to their blog to see pictures and read additional and entries, and leave them some comments. (DC)
Our trip through Japan continues to be an incredible experience. Saturday we arrived in Oita and I met my host family, a wonderful husband and wife, both in their 30s and English teachers. They have an adorable three year old daughter, Aika. Immediately we got along, talking about teaching, traveling, and our common experiences as foreign exchange students in England.
Our first night togther, we took a walking tour of the city (the family lives across the street from an ancient castle), visited a yen store and went to dinner at their favorite Japanese restaurant. They did all the ordering, wanting to make sure I had a full taste of traditional Japanese food. We shared delicacies such as raw squid, octopus, and lots of noodles. Our dinner conversation was lively and engaging. At both our schools, we have advisory classes that we follow during their entire careers on campus. We talked at length about the need for education to be about not only fostering academic skills but developing global citizens capable of understanding their role in improving our society and world. We all commented that despite being an ocean apart and living

Today's Big Education Ape Posts on Parents 4 democratic Schools #NEARA10 #education

Today's  Big Education Ape Posts on Parents 4 democratic Schools 



Drive: Self-Direction, Mastery & the Purpose Motive | Lefty Parent

Drive: Self-Direction, Mastery & the Purpose Motive | Lefty Parent

Drive: Self-Direction, Mastery & the Purpose Motive

Click here to view the embedded video.

Commenting on my blog “Much More and Much Less than a Boss” on Daily KOS, Alpha99 put up a link to a video on YouTube that they thought I would appreciate called “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us”, done by Daniel Pink, who writes about business and human motivation, based on his book by the same name. I played it and was practically mesmerized by this visually captivating and provocative piece, done on a white board with markers and a rapid-fire voiceover by Pink. The issues it calls out are a perfect illustration of what I see as the transformative shift going on in our culture from the hierarchical control model to more of an egalitarian circle of equals.


At the beginning of the video piece, Pink’s voiceover sets things up as follows…

Our motivations are unbelievably interesting. The science is a little surprising. We are not as endlessly manipulable and predictable as you would think. There is a whole set of unbelievably interesting studies that call into question the idea that if you reward something you get more of the

Maritza Stanchich, Ph.D.: University of Puerto Rico Student Strike Victory Unleashes Brutal Civil Rights Backlash

Maritza Stanchich, Ph.D.: University of Puerto Rico Student Strike Victory Unleashes Brutal Civil Rights Backlash

University of Puerto Rico Student Strike Victory Unleashes Brutal Civil Rights Backlash

What's Your Reaction:

As so many Americans gear up for Fourth of July fireworks this weekend, the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico roils from a brutal civil rights showdown unleashed by a far-right wing government, now seemingly hell bent on destroying the recent unprecedented victory of a two-month long student strike against privatization of higher education at the University of Puerto Rico.

The broader implications are crucial on numerous fronts, including the struggle to maintain broad access to public higher education and efforts to rein in runaway neoliberal policies that have wreaked havoc on the global economy, resulting in draconian austerity measures worldwide. For the violence and repression seen in Greece and at the G20 in Toronto appears to now be visiting this Caribbean island nation of about four million U.S. citizens, the homeland of more than an additional four million Puerto Ricans in the United States, the second largest U.S. Latino group.

While the economic crisis in Puerto Rico--the worst since the 1940s, if not the 1930s-has been deepening for years, and the current right wing government has aggressively implemented a hard-line, unpopular neoliberal agenda since its broad electoral victory last November, it appears as if the recent UPR student strike victory has touched off a firestorm, with a police attack on peaceful demonstrators at Puerto Rico's Capitol building on Wednesday injuring dozens, some seriously.

The UPR strike concluded June 21 after a tense, two-month shut down of 10 campuses in a system serving nearly 65,000 students at the end of the academic year, with an accord that by all accounts was an unprecedented strike victory, in historic, hemispheric terms. A widely-supported student movement remarkable for its coalition building across traditionally distinct and even contentious social and political sectors coalesced against threatened erosion of broad public

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