The Greatest Hoax in the History of Education — Diane Ravitch’s blog

This is a 10-minute TED talk by Dr. Yuli Tamir, academic and former minister of education in Israel. She explains in a direct and lively manner how the PISA standardized testing regime was foisted on the world, destroying children’s imagination, curiosity, and joy of learning. The fundamental hoax of PISA is the claim that higher […]

The Greatest Hoax in the History of Education — Diane Ravitch’s blog
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Failure in Austin!

In February 2021 a massive freeze cover most of the state of Texas. 246 people died as a result of the failure of the statewide power grid. The demand far exceed the available power and there were many power outages that lasted anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Many power plants were offline for “scheduled maintenance”, therefore reducing the number of plants that could be brought online to provide power.

Fortunately or unfortunately the legislature was in session at the time of this event. This should have provided a high level of motivation to make the needed changes in the power grid. During the 140-day regular legislative session they focused mostly on voter suppression bills and abortion restriction bills, then at the 11th hour decided to throw a Band-Aid on the power grid. They basically told ERCOT (the organization in charge of the power grid) to make a few improvements and pass he cost along to the consumers.

Moving forward to May 2022 with the temperatures expected to be in the mid to upper 90’s. The warning alarms are already going off. Turn your thermostat up to 78 degrees and don’t run appliances between 4pm and 9pm. It May and it’s not even really that hot and yet we have began rationing power.

Here are a few directives that should have been given to ERCOT after the “Deep Freeze” in February 2021.

1. Power plants are only allowed to go offline for scheduled maintenance the last two weeks of October through the middle of December or the middle of March through the end of April. They must be able to function at a 90% of their capacity at all other times of the year.

2. Minimal cost of of upgrades/improvements may be passed along to the consumers, not to exceed 5% of their average monthly bill.

3. Build more power plants. The known population of Texas in 1990 was 17.9 million, in 2000 was 20.9 million and in 2020 was 29.1 million. More people require more power but yet we are not building more power plants. The population has almost doubled in 30 years.

These are all forward thinking ideas that will require some boldness and yes some money. They also will require leadership that is not focused on issues that majority of the state feels are lower priorities. Immigration is a federal issue. Abortion and trans-gender children are personal matters, not matters for the state of Texas.

Let’s stop wasting state resources on a made up border crisis and focus on what is really needed and important, KEEPING THE POWER ON FOR EVERYONE.

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Is Charter School Teaching Similar To Or Different From Teaching in Regular Schools?

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Since 1991 when Minnesota launched the first charter schools, the movement to create publicly funded charters freed from district rules where parents can choose to send their children has spread to 40 states (and the District of Columbia) enrolling 3.2 million students (nearly eight percent of all public school students) in nearly 8,000 schools (2020). Most charter schools are located in urban districts with one-quarter to one-third of all students enrolled in charters. In some cases such as New Orleans, the majority of children and youth attend charter schools.

The theory driving charter schools is that schools unchained from district policies (including union contracts) for three to five years would have legal, budgetary, and organizational autonomy to steer its own course and, through innovative changes, increase the quality of schooling. Moreover, charter schools would be held accountable to the market—parents and students choose to attend—and to stipulations in the charter…

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American Lives are a Political Football

Everyday we here reports of high gas prices and grocery stores with empty shelves. Do you ever wonder why this is happening? The short answer is greed and politics.

Problems first began in 2020 when the Covid-19 Pandemic hit. The demand for goods began to slow because people were staying home rather than eating out, going to movies or attending sporting events. In accordance with the laws of supply and demand; demand when down, supply went up, and prices went down. As Covid-19 restrictions began to ease, supply demands began to increase but supply chain was lagging behind. Shiploads of supplies sat off the coast of California waiting for a place to dock and unload. Low supplies, higher demand, prices increase.

Enter the politics of the 2020 Presidential Election. When there is a change of political parties in the the White House, it is typical to blame the new party for changes in economics. The current political narrative says gas prices are higher because of “Biden’s policies”.

Biden’s “Green Deal” policy was an offense to the Oil and Gas Industry so their response was to reduce inventory (or not increase supply as demand increased). Demand increased, supply decreased, and up went prices. The end result, record profits for Oil and Gas Companies. It was a greater political advantage, (most of the O&G industry tended to be Republicans), because it allows the Republicans to blame the Biden Administration.

The higher fuel prices translate to higher product prices. If it cost more to transport the product to market, then that cost will be passed on to the consumer.

I am not opposed to someone making a profit, but making a excessive profit while too many being miserable. Stop playing politics with peoples lives.

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Houston Chronicle Wins Pulitzer Prize for Editorials Exposing “The Big Lie” — Diane Ravitch’s blog

As a native Texan, I have not had a lot of reasons to proud of my state lately. The leadership—Governor Gregg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick—compete to see who is meanest. They pushed through a very restrictive abortion law that pays bounties to people who squeal on women who got an abortion (the bill […]

Houston Chronicle Wins Pulitzer Prize for Editorials Exposing “The Big Lie” — Diane Ravitch’s blog
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Houston Chronicle: How Politicians Steal Your Right to Vote While You Sleep — Diane Ravitch’s blog

As I mentioned in the previous post, the Houston Chronicle won a Pulitzer Prize for its editorial about the Big Lie and the follow-up efforts to suppress voting by those who might vote Democratic. It is a brilliant series, well deserving of a Pulitzer Prize. Here is another editorial that shines a bright light on […]

Houston Chronicle: How Politicians Steal Your Right to Vote While You Sleep — Diane Ravitch’s blog
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Return to Blogging

In July of 2021 I retired from Education after 33 years as Teacher, Coach, and Principal. I stopped blogging during that time because I was not near a computer much of the day.

I went to work for a Restoration Company (fixing buildings damaged by water, fire, smoke or mold). I had the opportunity to meet some great people while on the job, many of them were a part of the Athletic Department at Texas Southern University. At the end of February that came to an end, I was laid off due to a slow down in work, or so I was told.

Since that time I have been exploring other career options. I am not very eager to reenter the realm of public education. In just the single school-year that I have been away from it, it continues to deteriorate. My wife comes home every day with stories about her school where kids are vaping THC oil all day long in the bathrooms and the administration isn’t doing anything about. Stories of this nature will only encourage more teachers to retire/leave the profession.

With that said, I am returning to my daily blogging. My goal will be to write at least one original piece each day about my thoughts on different topics that are in the news recently.

David

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I Am Retired as an Educator

On July 29, 2021 I submitted my paperwork for my retirement from education. After 33years as a teacher, coach and Principal it was time for me to move on to a different challenge in my life.

With that, my time spent blogging will be significantly reduced.

I have learned more about the political nature of education; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I will forever applaud Diane Ravitch for her leadership in supporting public

David R. Taylor

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The Lack of Leadership of Texas

This most likely will be my last blog post of a while, therefore this must be one of the highest importance. I submitted my retirements papers from public education last week. Even though I am retiring, I still have two children and my wife that must get up each day and attend a public school.

The State of Texas is run by a three of the biggest incompetents in the United States; Governor Little Greggy Abbott, Lt. Governor Little Dan Patrick, and “I’m under multiple indictments Ken Paxton. Even though the Republicans and trump lost the 2020 presidential election 9 months ago, trump and his followers still claim the election was stolen.

Because of the fraudulent claim of a stolen election, the “leaders” of Texas have framed all of their legislative actions around that fraudulent claim.

They scream daily about the crisis at the border. Yes, there might be a problem at the border, but it is the same problem that has existed for years. Since 1952, when Ellis Island was shut down, there has not been a clear “procedure” for immigration into the United States. Until there is a clear procedure, then not anything that call be done by the posturing by the Texas leaders.

In an effort to support the fraudulent election claims, the legislature has been trying to pass voter suppression laws since their legislative session began in January 2021. The Texas Democrats are doing all they can to stop this from passing.

I saved the best and most important for last. The handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Once again, still following the trump playbook of incompetence. Everything is a political issue, and every decision is made in opposition to the Democrats. In March, the statewide mask mandate was lifted abruptly. For several months the positivity rates continued to decrease. This was in large part to increased vaccinations. By the end of March everyone over the age of 18 was eligible. Towards the end of June, a new strain of the virus, the Delta variant, began to become more widespread. Through July, the rates spike to serious levels and the governor declared frequently and loudly that there would be no more mask mandates or shutdowns even with the positivity rate almost doubling each day.

With the opening of schools approaching this week, there has been no leadership, only anti-leadership. He has not help establish any safe guidelines for opening schools.

Abbot’s School Opening Plan:

  1. All schools will be open for 100% face to face instruction. Distance learning will not be funded.
  2. No mask mandates shall be allowed or enforced.

What the school opening plan should look like:

  1. The delay of face-to-face instruction shall be delayed until September 7th, 2021. Virtual instruction can be used until then or just delay all instruction until then.
  2. Mask must be mandatory until a documented 90% vaccination before mask mandate is lifted.
  3. Every person (student and staff) must be tested prior to entering the building
  4. After the initial testing, every person must be retested every 10-14 days.
  5. Anyone testing positive will be place on homebound status for 14 days minimum.
  6. Since there is still $7B in federal Covid funds designated for public schools. That money should be used to clean and sanitized every vent and duct in the HVAC system of every school building. After the cleaning, a CDC recommended HEPA air filtration system SHALL be installed in every school building.

Which plan looks better to you?

David R Taylor

33-year Teacher, Coach, Principal and now Retired.

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A Theory of Dreaming

Bob Shepherd | Praxis

The American philosopher Eric Switzgebel has made a name for himself in recent years by challenging a lot of what people think they know, and, in particular, by challenging what people think they alone know—things about their own conscious mental experience. For example, he has challenged the notion that mental images are picture-like, which a lot of people believe. People confidently state that they “had an image in their heads” of this or that and discuss the contents of it (oh, I was looking at an image in my head of Grandma’s house as it appeared back when I was a kid in ’85), but when you press them on this, their image report turns out to be extremely unreliable in a way that pictures–real pictures–aren’t. If I ask someone to visualize a candle, he or she will report having done this. He or she might say something like, “I…

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