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I don’t wanna go here … June 9, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Celebrities, Entertainment, Justice.
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… but it is time to discuss this.

Lindsay Lohan needs to go to jail when the next hearing occurs on July 6. She needs to lose her freedom for three DUIs. This needs to happen before she kills someone.

She needs to lose her freedom because she has demonstrated quite clearly that she is in contempt of the rest of us, our rules for sharing this Earth and, if truth be told, everyone and anyone who has done anything at all to help her conquor her demons.

She needs to sit by herself in a very small concrete block space with metal bars and consider her blessings —  and how she will value freedom once it is restored.

No enablers. No sympathizers. No hangers-on. She needs to hit bottom — and hard.

I can see absolutely no counter argument that would provide justice to you, me and millions who might seek to emulate her — or one day collide with her.

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I’m left wondering … May 16, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Education, Obama, Politics.
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… exactly what the point  of all the high drama was in this school in Rhode Island where the boss opted for the plan firing all the teachers to institute reform. Now, the teachers’ union has caved, accepts the plan for a longer school day, more tutoring and other stuff that, quite frankly, sounds awfully thin. Seems the teachers wanted 3 times what the district was willing to pay for extra hours devoted to duty.

So was it, after all, just about money?

The story notes that 700 people had applied for the suddenly vacant jobs, which the bounced staff also had the ability to take a shot at. While I’m generally a labor guy, this strikes me somehow as a lost opportunity, as there just might have been a bunch of people in that line of 700 who could have made a difference — not just in this school, but, by a powerful example, in a lot of other places.

And I also am a big teacher fan generally, knowing from my childhood as the son of a teacher just how tough and time-consuming the job is if the teacher is doing more than punching the clock. And if you’ll recall, this was a school where just 7% of the 11th grade students could pass the math test. And that’s 11th grade — a point at which you can be sure a slew of the more general failures had already cashed and fled to the streets. A wholesale experiment would not have been a big risk of tossing the baby with the bath.

I dunno. What happens in the classroom is but 30% of the learning process, they say — and  think they’re right. We’ve got to ratchet up what happens there, and figure out better what works better there. But my appetite is very limited for education reform as it is pitched today, because it rarely ventures very far from the schoolhouse.

It all has to reach the parents somehow. And we can’t fire them.