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"Last week, apparently channeling his inner George Wallace, Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, ordered the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This was in defiance of a federal court that had struck down as unconstitutional Alabama’s ban on gay unions."

We usually agree but on this one we are miles apart. I suggest you do a more careful study of the legal merits of Judge Moore's position on this matter. He advances some legal points that go beyond the issue of gay marriage. On this one you are guilty of stereotyping.

posted @ Monday, February 16, 2015 - 11:54


For the sincerely interested this piece sets fire to a deeper understanding of the history of America's enduring quest for an equal opportunity society. It speaks eloquently about how humanity is elevated when people of different backgrounds work together for the noble cause of equality.

Grady L. Cornish

posted @ Sunday, February 8, 2015 - 19:41

“I don’t want you to be data collectors. I don’t want you to be compliance officers. I want you to be teachers,” he said.

Mr. Sup...

Will you be kind enough to tell me exactly how much time standardized testing is currently taking away from teaching?

posted @ Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 01:07


posted @ Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 21:35

Mr. Galis...

The outcome of your objective inquiry does not fit the preferred narrative of traditionalists and their sympathizers. The majority of the public school establishment favor the reform effort.

Learning is a shared responsibility between the teacher and student. It is about how knowledge is imparted (teacher), as well as the absorption, processing, and retention of what has been taught (student). Knowledge of subject matter, effective teaching methods, stereotypes, preconceived notions, and expectations are things the teacher brings to the learning situation. Cognition, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experiences impact how students’ acquire understanding and how they retain knowledge and skills.

We know learning has occurred when the student demonstrates the achievement of greater proficiency, mastery and fluency in their capacity to know or do something that they were previously less able or unable to accomplish. Teachers test students to ascertain what has been learned. Some test more than others.

A goodly number of traditionalist and their sympathizers have placed too much of the responsibility for student failures on students and their associated issues. Because of the many and varied success stories of students who come from the most dire of circumstances, reformers believe teachers, principals, and school systems share responsibilities for failure. For the good and bad of outcomes from the learning situation, teachers, principals, and school systems have acknowledged responsibility for the good more than the bad.

In the final analysis, improved public school performance is about more than money. It is also about preserving America’s standing for generations to come.
The traditional approach to public school education is on its death bed, the only thing uncertain is how much the funeral will cost.

posted @ Sunday, January 18, 2015 - 15:38


"DeBlasio was highly critical of the police and their "stop and frisk" policy, which was instrumental in getting weapons off the streets."

Police do not make policy, their duty is to enforce it. Please tell me what the Mayor said that justifies the disrespect of his subordinates, the police. Do you really know?

"I'm also not really concerned about your "impression". If you don't like my opinion, don't respond."

So you are not interested in dialogue, just issuing opinions on this board? If that is the case, do not direct your opinions to me.

posted @ Monday, January 12, 2015 - 18:38


We communicated before Christmas about this subject. Then as now, I got the impression that you were more interested in an argument than a discussion. To disabuse me of my impression, would you be kind enough to tell me exactly what the Mayor said that justify the disrespect he encountered from his subordinates?

posted @ Monday, January 12, 2015 - 14:30


Thanks for saying what needs to be said. No one is above the law, especially those we grant authority to enforce it. The "culture of protection and privilege" undermines democracy. Even more dangerous is police disrespect for civilian authority, e.g., turning their backs on their boss and refusing to perform their duties.

Law enforcement is important but it is not a mandated profession.

posted @ Monday, January 12, 2015 - 09:44

Excellent journalism!

posted @ Sunday, January 4, 2015 - 09:31

"As for the CCRPI, in confusing it with the School Climate Star Rating, Blackmon left readers in the dark about both."

That says it all.

posted @ Sunday, January 4, 2015 - 00:20

Thanks for going the extra mile to present another enlightening piece. The diplomacy is notable. The slam dunk refutation is also notable. I hope it sends the message that assertions will be checked out.

"As for the CCRPI, in confusing it with the School Climate Star Rating, Blackmon left readers in the dark about both."

Writings about public policy issues can reflect either a deficiency in comprehension or out right distortions. Thank God for discernment and those dedicated to uncovering the truth.

The key to enlightenment is to seek more and assert less.

posted @ Sunday, January 4, 2015 - 00:10

@proftom: "Testing is primarily used now as a crutch for those that want to find something or someone to blame for a failure to address educational problems and issues (such as the state legislature). Plus it is pushed forward by an industry that makes good money on this."

Do you really believe what you said above? The comment may get a few positives on this board because it plays to the sentiments of those opposed to any form of accountability. Today's reality is that the public wants more bang for its bucks.

"So let’s go back to the original question: What is the point of data? With standardized tests, the point was supposed to be to diagnose which schools and students needed extra help. At least, that’s how they sold it to Dallas schools in the 1980s, then Texas schools in the 1990s, and then the whole country with No Child Left Behind."

School systems have failed to use the data as a source for improvement initiatives. Whose fault is that?

If as much energies were put into improvement initiatives as have been criticism considerably more progress would have been realized.

posted @ Friday, December 26, 2014 - 15:12


That is your view and you are entitle to it.

Merry Christmas.

posted @ Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 17:41


The problem in the Missouri and NY cases is a lack of confidence in the how the constitutionally defined processes were carried out. You will recall there was an on-going problem with transparency. In the court of public opinion the prevailing thought was that there should be indictments. The burden of proof in the court of public opinion is quite different from what is required in the constitutionally defined process. Rightly or wrongly, the problem is that public perception has a great deal to do with public confidence.

In both cases the system of law enforcement (police and District Attorney) did not give as much consideration as they should have to this fact. The perception is that police have a "protect each other culture" and the District Attorney is included, given the close working relationship between the two. So, decisions not to indict confirmed initial perceptions.

The smart and wise thing would have been to let both cases be disposed of by independent entities.

Perception is an integral part of the strength of our Democracy because it plays a significant role in maintaining "confidence" that our constitutionally defined processes are operating as they were designed to do.

posted @ Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 11:48


Under our system of justice even criminals are entitled to "due process."

We, the people, grant law enforcement considerable authority. When law enforcement makes the decision to deprive any citizen of "due process" it is expected to bear an extra burden of justification.

America is not a nation of vigilante justice, whether by individual citizens or law enforcement.

Crime is a fact of civilized society. In America, we have a constitutionally defined way of handling it.

posted @ Monday, December 22, 2014 - 20:03

@swimdawg68: "I wonder if he is capable of writing a column that has no racial overtones, probably not."

Your overall post causes me to wonder if you are capable of understanding what you have read. In the interest of facilitating your understanding I suggest you take another read at the following.

"But guess what? White people kill one another, too. Eighty-three percent of white victims are killed by white assailants. See, the vast majority of violent crime is committed within — not between — racial groups. Crime is a matter of proximity and opportunity. People victimize their own rather than drive across town to victimize somebody else."

"Unarmed people are killed by those who are purportedly there to protect and serve them and the “just us” system looks the other way. That’s the murder of basic human rights."

There has been widespread condemnation from within the Black community of the killing of the two police officers. At the same time, particular interests groups and individuals are in the business of exploiting the tragedy. Free expression is one thing and common sense with decency is quite another.

At this moment, America needs more understanding and less polemics.

posted @ Monday, December 22, 2014 - 12:47

Considering, quite an accomplishment.

posted @ Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 14:15

@scarborj: "Even if the President did not use an Executive Order, but a directive, he is breaking the law and going against the Constitution by prioritizing deportation"

Clearly, you do not get it. The "Executive Action" was necessitated by the failure of Congress to provide adequate funding for the deportation function. It is called resource allocation. In "common sense" terms it is called doing what you can with the resources you have.

posted @ Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 17:36

Thanks for this informative, enlightening, and eloquent piece. In the words of Ciscero, "If truth were self evident, eloquence would not be necessary."

posted @ Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 10:30

"Memo to the president: If healing is supposed to be the message, Sharpton will never be the messenger."

These tragedies are more about the need for reform than they are about Race or Al Sharpton.

Reformation will have a healing effect. In the interest of maintaining order, we grant the police and prosecutors significant authority. Recent tragedies highlight the need to strengthen accountability to ensure that authority is not misused and abused. More than anything, handling of these tragedies exposes the perception of a culture of "protection" that further undermines confidence in the justice system.

Body cameras will enhance police accountability. In cases of alleged criminal conduct involving police, prosecutors in the affected jurisdiction ought to be mandated to recuse themselves. Prosecutors' authority to select grand jurors should be seriously examined. Who participate and how grand jury proceedings are conducted need to be revisited.

posted @ Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 10:09

More of the same diatribe.

posted @ Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 09:33

The tragedies of Ferguson, Travon Martin, the 13 year old killing, and the NY case raise serious questions. However, I am not ready to conclude they suggest "race problem getting worse."

In the foregoing cases we have the court of public opinion and the formalized justice system, both reach judgments about guilt and innocence. In the court of public opinion judgment standards are based upon information provided by the press, which is usually incomplete. The formalized justice system is more complex and has a higher standard of judgment.

The formalized justice system is comprised of many components with different roles. However, recent events have brought performance of the roles of police and prosecutors into sharper focus. Police are responsible for enforcing the law and prosecutors for prosecuting for alleged crime in the name of government.

Some states require prosecutors to present the court with a written statement of the charges, called information. In other states a prosecutor is required to convene a Grand Jury before charging a defendant with a serious crime. A grand jury is a collection of laypersons selected by the prosecutor to examine evidence and decide whether to indict the defendant and so authorize prosecution. The federal level has different requirements.

With few exceptions, prosecutors have broad discretion in determining whether to prosecute a criminal defendant. A prosecutor does not have to personally believe Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that the defendant committed the alleged act. A prosecutor must simply possess enough evidence to support a reasonable belief that the defendant committed the crime.

Body cameras are reasonable interdiction at the enforcement level. However, the question of the hour is whether prosecutors should have more burdens to bear in executing their prosecution responsibility on behalf of the people?

posted @ Friday, December 5, 2014 - 11:36

Blackmon's writings about high stakes testing reflect an apatite that never satisfies more than anything else.

Measurement is as vital as teaching. It is the only way to know what has been learned. Learning is a shared responsibility between the teacher and student. For too long the burden has been unequally placed upon the student. Student failure can also reflect teacher failure and teacher failure can also reflect school/school system failure.

posted @ Sunday, November 30, 2014 - 20:01

@swimdawg68: "Fortunately for America, Soros and his crowd failed to convince the voters that their flawed far-left ideas personified by Obama, is good for America."

Will you be kind enough to share three of Obama's "far-left ideas?"

posted @ Monday, November 10, 2014 - 10:57

Interesting take on the election outcome.

My take is that the election outcome says more about the state of the electorate than anything else. Low voter turnout does not say much about civic engagement in a nation that prides itself in promoting Democracy around the world. An election that can be bought mostly through the production and distribution of television ads does not say much about how seriously voters take this very important aspect of citizenship. This unhealthy level of engagement and discernment shakes the very foundation of our democracy. It grants too much power to monied interests.

The variance between what voters say in exit polls and how they vote is quite telling. This glaring contradiction should motivate massive non partisan efforts to develop and implement sustained voter education and engagement projects throughout this nation. Such an undertaking should capture the interests of Foundations and wealthy individuals passionate about preserving and strengthening our great democracy.

posted @ Monday, November 10, 2014 - 06:52

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