Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gender Politics And Radical Activism In The Math Curriculum

The use of mathematics curriculum to push ideology has been going on for some time in the Toronto District School Board.  Wrote Richard Klagsbrun (Ward 10 TDSB candidate) two years ago:

The so-called social justice aspects of the curriculum frequently reflect a subjective and highly politicized interpretation of the word “justice”. As such, the way it is approached needs a very serious review, and in my opinion a complete overhaul.

More at Socialist Studies

Crowded, chaotic classrooms hurt Ontario full-day kindergarten push

Some full-day kindergarten classes in Ontario are crammed with as many as 40 students, so many that the children can’t fit on their classroom carpet for group time, raising questions about the Liberal government’s ambitious program.
As Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government rolls out full-day kindergarten to all schools this fall, documents obtained by The Globe and Mail through freedom-of-information legislation show the Ministry of Education has been inundated with complaints from parents and educators about large classes impeding learning.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Phew!..I'm glad I managed to stay off this list again this year...

Naked Mole Rat

Top 10 World's Ugliest Animals

h/t  @CatWhispurrer

The self-loathing of the British Left

It’s often been observed that a certain type of British Lefty hates Britain – and that they reserve particularly hatred for Englishness. Back in 1941 George Orwell made this acute remark:
England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.
So what’s new? The difference today is that this shame and self-hatred now dominates Left-wing thought, whereas it was once balanced by the decent Left: who were proud to inherit the noble traditions of radical English patriotism.

Ziohass in the Toronto Star

Scaramouche's letter exchange with The Toronto Star.

Yeah, this Toronto Star.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Tip of the Iceberg: Education Scandals This Summer

From Socialist Studies:
School resumes on Tuesday - and we should (unfortunately) have plenty more stories in the upcoming months about the rapid deterioration of the public education system.

But even though school was out for the summer, there were still plenty of scandals to blog about.

Check out the best (or worst, however you see it) stories of this summer.

David Harris: Media Lies and Bias in the Conflict Zone

What’s heading our way, in this terrorist-bloodied world? We depend on international media to help us find out.

So it’s time to look at some dirty secrets, foreign correspondent edition.

Trench coats and panamas have given way to sat phones and moral ambiguity. An ideal starting point in understanding this media ambiguity – and its occasional, sinister undertones and implications for us – is the Israel-Hamas war.

The penny should have dropped well before today’s Gaza crisis. No later than April 11, 2003, in fact.
That day, CNN admitted in the New York Times that it hid and manipulated reality, though the wording was more delicately self-regarding. Prior to the 2003 defeat of Saddam Hussein, CNN couldn’t reveal fully the monstrous excesses and threatening nature of his Iraq, because, said chief news executive Eason Jordan, the network’s Iraqi staff risked retaliation.

Problem: Jordan didn’t explain why, having been prevented from reporting honestly there, CNN nonetheless insisted on keeping its financially rewarding Baghdad post operating before and during the 2003 war. Some critics concluded that an appetite for big, wartime money-making ratings outstripped CNN’s taste for truth, with some ambitious journalists playing along.

Have media done similar things in Gaza?...

Iran's 'moderate' president dodges question on held Washington Post reporter

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declined to specifically discuss the case of a detained Washington Post journalist during a nationally televised news conference Saturday.
During the conference, a journalist asked a question about Iran's global outreach after the parliament's impeachment of the country's science minister, increased raids targeting satellite dishes and the detention of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian.
Rezaian, 38, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National, have been held for more than a month. They were detained with two photojournalists who were later released.
When asked about Rezaian's detention, Rouhani said: "In our country, there is not a united viewpoint. There are different viewpoints. Institutes and organs have tasks that they carry some actions in their framework."
It wasn't clear which part of the question Rouhani was responding to.

Rex Murphy: As Olivia Chow flounders, Rob Ford’s fans show us that the common man still matters

...Torontonians go to the municipal polls on October 27. And with two months to go, things are changing mightily in this great contest. Not only just this week has Mr. Ford escaped another lashing from the city’s ethics police, but even happier still, the latest polls have him emerging from a dry spell (as it were), when he was back of the pack of serious contenders — blue-chip candidate John Tory; and Jack Layton’s widow, Olivia Chow — hopelessly mired in scandals and buffoonery. The numbers show Ford at 31%, nipping at John Tory’s loafers (he at 33%).

It has been amazing to watch Chow slip to third place. Rob Ford, the great helmsman of punk politics, has now crashed out in front of the woman who (the Toronto Star long assured us) was supposed to waltz away with the race, fresh from her stint as MP in the House of Commons. Ms. Chow has plummeted markedly — from her start at 38% to a despairing 23%.

How can this be? Should not Ford be one with John Cleese’s Norwegian Blue at this point?...

This sketch is not about Rob Ford:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Student math scores don't add up

Remember when former premier Dalton McGuinty said he’d be happy to be known as the “education premier”?
Apparently, that didn’t include math.
For the fifth year in a row, testing by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) shows that while reading, writing and literacy scores are improving for most students — with one notable exception — math scores are on the decline among elementary students in Grade 3 and 6.
In Grade 3, 67% of students met the provincial standard (an A or B) in math in 2014, a four-percentage-point drop from 71% in 2010.

"It’s time Mr. Obama started emphasizing what the United States can do instead of what it cannot"

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S acknowledgment that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in Syria understandably attracted the most attention after his perplexing meeting with reporters Thursday. But his restatement of the obvious was not the most dismaying aspect of his remarks. The president’s goal, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to tamp down all the assessments of gathering dangers that his own team had been issuing over the previous days.
This argument with his own administration is alarming on three levels.

Review vindicates Edmonton teacher who refused to enforce no-zero policy for students who didn’t complete coursework

...his suspension appeared to be based on the principal seeing any naysaying as “insubordination which was not to be tolerated.”
The tribunal’s judgment finds bringing in the no-zero policy had several problems.
The ruling points out the obvious to everybody but the numbskulls calling the shots.
With no penalty for missing work, there was “little incentive for a student to actually complete the assignment.”

Oops! Oxford Research Group "expert" denies Holocaust happened during live BBC radio interview

Dr Husam Zomlot is a specialist on Middle East affairs. Evidently he's also insane or a total idiot.

h/t BC Blue

Friday, August 29, 2014

Manticora Tiger Beetle VS King Baboon Tarantula

Legendary Canadian Comedian Phil Hartman Gets Star on Walk of Fame

The late, great, hilarious Canadian comedian Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live and Talk Radio, plus many movies and live comedy shows, was born in Brantford, Ontario.

Phil's brother John is a buddy of mine and he sent me this video of the ceremony unveiling Phil's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. In addition to John, Phil's fellow SNL cast members Kevin Nealon and Jon Lovitz spoke at the ceremony:

Marxist TDSB Trustee Howard Kaplan says "Jesus is a homophobe!"

As anyone who has read the Bible knows, there isn't a word ascribed in it to Jesus in which he condemns gay people or homosexuality. 

via TDSB Sam Sotiropolous: " This video was sent to me by a concerned citizen. The video was taken during the Pride 2014 event in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto District School Board Trustee for Ward 5 - York Centre, Howard Kaplan (in the khaki Tilley hat), is clearly visible in the video. Trustee Kaplan walks from right to left in the screen and repeats the slur twice: "Jesus is a homophobe. "

Krauthammer's Take: 'I Thought the President Could No Longer Surprise Me. I Was Wrong'