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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

Re: “The US, the super-rich, and the Great Society

It has emerged that a lamestream media organization pays Chelsea Clinton $600,000 per annum for her occasional TV performances in the role of "special correspondent". (For example: A hard-hitting interview with a certain computer-animated gecko.) She appears on average about 28 seconds per week, so her modest stipend works out to about $1.5 million per hour of air time (more than 200,000 times the federal minimum wage). Where's the justice in that? Where are the editorials? Keep this in mind the next time Chelsea or her sleazy parents natter on about "inequality"—or whine about being "dead broke" themselves.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by b.d.g. on 06/14/2014 at 10:22 PM

Re: “RTA ticked over testing

In response to previous comments, of course there are times when teachers push back against administrative or political requirements out of banal self interest. The near universal revulsion by teachers to the new testing regime is not one of those times.

As a science teacher, I value giving assesments and believe that students benefit from the focus and effort needed to do well on tests. That is all well and good. The reality is though that the current pace and stakes involved in testing is actually changing classroom dynamics and outcomes in some very harmful ways.

Reformers claim that there is a mix of criteria that are part of the teacher accountablity rubric in addition to test results. In fact, teachers can be rated as worthy of termination SOLELY on results of state tests, even with high marks in all other areas.

More importantly, a students' ability to pass tests is increasingly becoming a SOLE stumbling block to graduation, which will inevitably force an unnecessarily large number of students to start life with the weight of a non- high school graduate' or "dropout" label hanging around their necks.

Because the definition of high standards means some will not meet them, having no fall back to the unyielding minimum requirement on a wide variety of tests leaves a much smaller than necessary window of opportunity. In the past a variety of options such as the "Local Diploma" existed for students.

The real problem with the increased amount and stakes of state and local testing requirement that is now all the rage is what it is doing to the classroom environment. The paramount purpose of education has become tests, and test results. Some students may respond to these new pressures in ways that improve their school experience. Most do not.. The likeliest outcome in the near future is an even further erosion of graduation rates.

A rebalancing is necessary away from so much high stakes testing and towards time spent on other more immediately meaningful purposes. Consider that experiments have shown students do better on math tests after 30 minutes in the playground oxegenating their brain than by directly working on test review,. This suggests the way to better aacademic performance is not always by pursuing solely academic results but rather by increasing opportunities to access the joy and focus experienced when pursuing tangibly puposeful activity.

Growing food, bulding houses, throwing a baseball, baking a pie, throwing a pot, starting a business, testing a hypothesis, writing a song, programming a computer--- all of these are happening in the RCSD district now, but at far lower levels than in the past -- when RCSD academic resuolts were better.

Testing mania is taking us even farther in the wrong direction. The sooner it goes away, or at least dialed way down, the better off students and this community will be.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by stainton on 06/13/2014 at 11:48 PM

Re: “California decision a game-changer

I disagree that the decision was not good for California teachers. It was a great decision for the competent, hard working teachers that are frustrated by the continued prescience of incompetent, lazy ones in their midst. The interesting thing to me is that the right is celebrating the decision, totally ignoring that the logic behind the decision, the right of poor students to an equal opportunity education, could be used in the future to totally change school financing.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mike on 06/13/2014 at 10:17 PM

Re: “Can you crowdsource prosthetic limbs? Yes, you can.

Jon, what amazing results from your efforts! Kudos to you and all those involved.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Margie Campaigne on 06/13/2014 at 6:24 PM

Re: “California decision a game-changer

There are multiple truths to this story from both sides. There are many problems that face urban schools. There is no doubt that there are good teachers who are overrun by the overwhelming problems in urban poor neighborhoods. However, this is a discussion for another day. This law is about overturning an unnatural guarantee of employment regardless of performance. There is endless debate about how to measure teachers and the fairness (or unfairness) of every suggestion depending on which bias you already hold. I would suggest a very simple solution for this problem. Teachers should be evaluated like every other non-union employee in this country....your boss gets to decide if you do a good job or not. Thats it, end of story. Its not always fair but that's how the rest of the real world works. In the end, teachers get graded subjectively just like the rest of us.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by concerned citizen on 06/13/2014 at 5:00 PM

Re: “Sun gods: Why solar power isn't just for hippies anymore.

How much of the growth in use of solar power comes from the fact that the rest of us are paying for 75% of the investment cost. Talk about subsidies. COMIDa ,us be jealous. For drivers of electric cars, the subsidies do not stop with the capital investment. A significant part of the price of gasoline/ diesel is represented by state and federal taxes to be used to maintain roads. Electric cars pay nothing, is that fair to the rest of us?

In Germany, the government has mandated increased use of wind and solar based electricity, and they are already paying higher prices for the privilege. Interestingly, the mix shift is to come out of the share of nuclear power, which does not emit hydrocarbons.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike on 06/13/2014 at 1:09 PM

Re: “RTA ticked over testing

How is testing Kindergartners "reform?"

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Maredill on 06/13/2014 at 4:30 AM

Re: “UR has new sex misconduct policy

I'm absolutely astonished about "nice try"'s post staying up. Usually that would be censored so fast it would make your head spin.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by andrew on 06/12/2014 at 1:48 PM

Re: “Sun gods: Why solar power isn't just for hippies anymore.

Government subsidies for everything under the sun are getting on my last nerve! Who's going to pay to repair our crumbling infrastructure and especially the unsafe bridges? I suspect that to a large measure it will be the rest of us poorer folks who still have to drive a gas guzzler.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 06/12/2014 at 1:11 PM

Re: “UR has new sex misconduct policy

I'm surprised that City allows a profanity-laden posting like the one by "nice try but not good enough" be published (and stay published). Are there no standards of reasonably decent (or at least non-profane) language in posts?

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 06/12/2014 at 12:55 PM

Re: “Sun gods: Why solar power isn't just for hippies anymore.

Contrary to popular belief, solar energy can be an inexpensive and highly efficient energy source. More incentives and policies that expand the solar market are needed to make solar more available to consumers. By going solar not only are you benefiting the environment and supporting cleaner energy but you’re saving money and decreasing the demand for conventional energy. The cost of going solar has fallen over 60% and middle-class Americans have led the way in the surge of residential solar panel installations. See how solar could benefit you by checking out your property’s solar potential. -http://bit.ly/1gKEjv0

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by EnergySage on 06/12/2014 at 10:55 AM

Re: “Sun gods: Why solar power isn't just for hippies anymore.

Personally for me the line that encapsulates the complete thought behind this article is "One of solar's big selling points is payback." Let's start looking at solar beyond just the green tag and directly from the financial-economic perspective. That's how you get people's serious attention. The drop in costs allows us to be bullish on solar proclamation of cheaper than grid power.
Of course not to forget the underlying benefits for example solar power's impact on rural exodus discussed here http://www.sunipod.com/blog/solar-powers-impact-on-rural-exodus/

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Abhishek Gupta on 06/12/2014 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Warren says she'll accept whatever happens with mayoral control

If The City of Rochester School District, and the Brighton School District were joined educationally, you would see a mass exodus from Brighton.

The people of Brighton don't want their children learning the rules of the ghetto.

They want their children to be educationally superior.

Just the facts ...

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The Thinker (tm) on 06/12/2014 at 9:42 AM

Re: “The 'war on coal' and the war on the planet

Great editorial, but the solar energy article in this issue has a great example of just why we find ourselves in a "thick smog of catchy phrases and deceitful ads." -- "Some critics characterize [solar power] as an expensive, noncompetitive energy source that is overly dependent on government subsidies; supporters vehemently disagree." Yeah? So which is it? While there is some subjective component to this debate, there is certainly data available to demonstrate the truthiness of each of these views. If the reporter has no bandwidth to investigate such opinions, then they should not be included in the article at all. As it stands today, people can just utter the most ridiculous opinions and get them disseminated through a media overly-concerned with presenting so-called "balance"., and unwilling or unable to fact-check.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sanity Monger on 06/12/2014 at 8:32 AM

Re: “The 'war on coal' and the war on the planet

Awesome reality-based, local editorial on ‘War on Coal’ by local editor that bars no holds on speaking up courageously for our life support system. And if we had more editors saying this, our American public wouldn’t be so “stupefyingly good at denying reality”:

“Americans have grown stupefyingly good at denying reality, no matter how strong the scientific and medical evidence. And special interests have become experts at obscuring the evidence with a thick smog of catchy phrases and deceitful ads.”

1 like, 13 dislikes
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 06/12/2014 at 7:55 AM

Re: “Sun gods: Why solar power isn't just for hippies anymore.

Imagine what New York State would look like now if six years ago we dropped Fracking altogether and went full throttle on solar power and ditched a “noncompetitive energy source that is overly dependent on government subsidies” called fossil fuel subsides, which get billions from our government each year.

Read: http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidie…

More on Solar Power in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/Solar%20_P…

5 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 06/12/2014 at 7:36 AM

Re: “The 'war on coal' and the war on the planet

A major reason we still rely on coal for so much power production is that environmentalist fanaticism and fear-mongering stifled this country's adoption of clean nuclear power. Similar fanaticism now threatens the development of clean natural gas. And of course if the same fanatics had had their way, we would not have seen the agricultural revolution of recent decades, and billions would be dead of starvation.

We need to develop both nuclear power as well as the abundant natural energy resources with which we are so blessed. The absolute priority must be to reach a level of global economic expansion that will rapidly raise living standards not only for Americans but for the billions still impoverished around the world.

And yes, we urgently need to replace our incompetent, growth-killing political leadership.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by b.d.g. on 06/12/2014 at 12:15 AM

Re: “Can you crowdsource prosthetic limbs? Yes, you can.

Several people have asked how to support this effort.

Direct tax deductible donations to the "MAGIC ACT e-NABLE initiative" at RIT
http://www.rit.edu/development/giving/waystogive/outright/

Or contact
Jon.Schull@RIT.edu
http://magic.RIT.edu/act

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jon Schull on 06/11/2014 at 11:10 PM

Re: “UR has new sex misconduct policy

A bona fide policy on "sexual misconduct" can be stated quite succinctly: Ladies and gentlemen do not commit fornication or adultery.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by b.d.g. on 06/11/2014 at 10:43 PM

Re: “UR has new sex misconduct policy

1. this is the bare fucking minimum the school could do. it's essentially damage control for the litany of sexual assaults that happen at this god damn school.

2. who at the UR has ever read, or even heard of, the school's rules/policy on consent and sexual assault? Its not like its written on a billboard somewhere, if a student doesn't know what consent is going into this school, they will continue to be wrong.

3. If the university wants to make a real change they need new administrators who are better trained (I still don't think half of them even know what consent is even now that its in their little rule book) and who understand the concept of victim blaming because these assholes obviously only care about the reputation of the school.

That being said Morgan Levy is one of the few well educated and supportive members of the university administration but from what I've seen the school has put her in a position that makes them look good but cuts her power to actually make a difference.

8 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by nice try but not good enough on 06/11/2014 at 4:30 PM

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