Penn State announced this afternoon that it is giving coach Bill O'Brien a $935,000 raise for this upcoming season, bringing his total annual compensation for this year to about $3.3 million.
Yeah, yeah yeah yeah, TV revenue from major college sports brings in lost of money. Which goes right back into the athletic program. At best, its revenue neutral, but still a distraction from what should be a university's primary function: Education.
This country spends more on education than any other country, yet our students are increasingly falling behind compared to others. Maybe, just maybe, the reason for this is that schools and educators here have taken on tasks that should be done in the homes of the students -- free breakfast, lunch and discipline, to name a few. Lack of personal responsibility is the problem with this country.
I'm tired of hearing about how disadvantaged youths don't have the same opportunity to get a good education as others. You can't educate them if they don't show up. Ever hear of the old saying that "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"?
Among the OECD countries reporting data in 2008, the top five countries spending the highest percentage of their GDP on total education expenditures were Iceland (7.9 percent), Korea (7.6 percent), Israel (7.3 percent), Norway (7.3 percent), and the United States (7.2 percent)
Even if M. McCrory were correct (I have no idea if M. McCrory is male or female) free breakfasts and lunches for disadvantaged students consititute a fairly minimal expense (less than $2 per day per student) and have been around since 1946.
What is it with these Republican legislators who have no understanding of the Constitution?? From Think Progress:
Several conservative lawmakers in Tennessee are throwing the brakes on a fast-moving bill that would divert money away from public schools and towards vouchers for students to attend private or parochial schools. Republicans are taking a second look at the bill after the possibility arose that some Islamic schools could apply for the same funding made available to other religious schools.
The bill is a top priority for Republican Governor Bill Haslam, but several anti-religion lawmakers in the state senate, led by Sen. Bill Ketron who sponsored several anti-Islam bills in the last few years, are hoping to strip away the ability for any school that caters to Muslim children and their families to receive public dollars.
Of course, the raises the question of why any private school should receive public funding, but I'm amazed that any elected official can conceive that its OK to discriminate on the basis of religion. Charter schools have a somewhat spotty track record in any case. Sen. Ketron sounds like quite the bigot, for what its worth.
Ketron has cultivated a reputation as the state’s chief Islamophobe, proposing a bill in 2011 that could have introduced punishments of up to 15 years in jail for any Muslim who observed the holy month of Ramadan or prayed five times a day towards Mecca, a religious requirement for observant Muslims.
This guy doesn't belong in the state senate, he belongs in a circus sideshow for people to point at and laugh. You can argue that Tennesee's legislature is already a circus sideshow, but as elected officials, their clownishness has the ability to really hurt people.
While the actions of the Tennessee Virtual Academy are nakedly blatent, the fact of the matter is that private schools, be they for profit or non-profit have been doing a similar thing for decades. Students who cannot meet academic standards or who are disciplinary problems are expelled. Those student wind up in the pubic schools, who generally cannot expell them, where they drag down average scores, even though the public school may be producing well educated, college bound seniors.
Its always bothered me when people try and compare private school education to a public school education based on test scores. Its an apples to oranges comparison, and its not valid.
A teacher claims in court that her Christian school suspended her son for the "sin" of being gay, then subjected her to "scathing condemnation and blame" for supporting him rather than demanding that he "renounce his sin" - a situation so fraught that it led to her firing.
Of course, as a student at a private school, the expelled student has little recourse. The school can pretty much expel him for anything that violates their rules, no matter how stupid and bigoted those rules are.
"At said meeting, plaintiff was informed that her son was to be permanently suspended from school and would not be permitted to return until he "renounced his sin.'" School Board member Rich Raynor followed this up by telling her: "'your son is broken, and it's your job to fix him,'" the complaint states. And, Wright says, Raynor's wife told her "that this was a 'battle for [your son's] soul' and opined that he 'may have been abused as a child.'"
So, according to the complaint, the parents are being blamed because their son is gay, and it was suggested that he was "abused." There's some of that fine Xtian "love" I keep hearing about. Unfortunatly for Wright, this is a private school. I am not an attorney, but without any sort of contractual protection, I don't think she has a shot at getting her job back, or receiving any compensation.
Even as the population as a whole tends towards being more accepting of people of various ethic and sexual background, we still have these fortresses of intolerance, where hatred of the "other," using an ancient text, is incubated.
The Republicants in Harrisburg passed legislation requiring that student performance be included by administrators when evaluating the performance of public school teachers. On the surface, that's not a bad idea. But guess what else they did? They exempted teachers at charter schools from those same evaluation standards, even though charter schools are public, taxpayer supported schools.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if Harrisburg cuts funding to schools with "poorly" performing teachers in favor of charters who teachers are not held to the same standards, and get paid less to work longer hours to boot! Its all part and parcel of the plan to show "Public Schools Bad! Unions Evil!" Even if they have to massage the numbers to achieve the desired "results."
Well, Richie Rich stuck his feet into his mouth up to his spats once again, when he delared last week that students should be able to get "as much education as they can afford." Which means to those of the lesser, non-Galtian economic class "tough luck." But after all, how much education to you really need to cut the grass, fight the wars, and clean up the homes of your betters?
I really shouldn't be suprised, now that I'm approaching 50, but a couple of icons from my junior highschool days (or "middle school", as we privledged private school students called it) have died.
First, Ray Bradbury, one of the first science fiction writers I discovered, is dead at age 91. I think The Illustrated Manwas probably the first sci-fi book I picked up.
Secondly, I see in today's paper that my middle school art teacher, Dorothy Gennaccaro died at age 85. If you want some indication of what it was like at Shady Side Academy's middle school in the 1970's, all you have to do is look at the yearbook pictures from that era. The kids in the junior school are all smiling, happy faces. The senior school pictures also depict typical teenagers, doing teenage things, and seem happy, although in a private school setting. The middle school pictures? Not a smile to be seen. The class photos depict sullen, grim, beaten down children terrified by a system that handed out demerits for the slightest infractions (I've always wondered why schools that use a demerit system for discipline never have a way to earn "merits." Perhaps it existed, if it did, I was never made aware of it). There were but three respites: lunch, recess, and Mrs. G's art classes. I am not artistically inclined, but there was never a harsh word from Mrs. G, only instruction, encouragement, and enjoyment. I should also note that its my understanding that the middle school today is not the rigid disciplinary hellhole it was back during my time there, so things do change.
The sad thing is that as an adult, I really hadn't thought much about either Bradbury or Mrs. G until I read their obituaries today, but reading those obits brought back a lot of memories.
a Penn State University research team views wastewater as an important energy resource, a raw material. By combining and refining energy technology, the research team has developed a two-pronged method of using wastewater to produce a more abundant output of electricity than either method could do individually.
The Penn State study, "Energy Capture from Thermolytic Solutions in Microbial Reverse-Electrodialysis Cells," written by Roland Cusick, Bruce E. Logan and Y. Kim, was published Thursday in Science.
The microbial fuel cell uses microbes to consume plant or human waste to produce electrons that the fuel cell converts into electrical current. But that system, Mr. Cusick said, is inefficient.
Adding a system that uses reverse electrodialysis, the research team pumped solutions of salt water and fresh water across specialized membranes that only allow positive and negative ions through, while also separating them. The separation of salt water and fresh water by the membrane generates an electrical voltage that directly increases fuel-cell power. As the ions migrate from the salt water to the fresh water, their movement also increases electrical current generated by the microbes.
Using common waste to provide power is rather resourceful. The technology appears to be too expensive to be practical at the moment, but give it time. Now,if there was only a way to produce electricity via bloviation, we'd really be on to something!
An Indiana Senate committee on Wednesday endorsed teaching creationism in public schools, despite pleas from scientists and religious leaders to keep religion out of science classrooms.
Senate Bill 89 allows school corporations to authorize "the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life" and specifically mentions "creation science" as one such theory.
Geocentrism is also a theory. Its also wrong. Just because you have a theory, doesn't mean it should be taught in a science class, especially if its clearly wrong and has no evidence to back its conclusions. I'd also recommend that the elected officials in Indiana take a look at Kitzmiller v. Dover. The only concrete thing this legislation will do if it becomes law is waste a bunch of taxpayer dollars defending the inevitable lawsuits resulting in the declaration that the law is unconstitutional.