Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yes, Virginia, earthquakes happen in California, too

Oh boy, for a news junkie like me, what a day!  I mean, what a day!

From the West Coast, which is known for literal and metaphorical earthshaking:
A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was reported Tuesday evening eight miles from Ridgemark, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Ok, that is not the one, but this:
Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled, in effect, that it was too easy for teachers to gain strong job protections and too difficult to dismiss those who performed poorly in the classroom. If the ruling stands, California will have to craft new rules for hiring and firing teachers.
Gee, I am shocked, shocked that (awful) teachers with tenure are a major part of the education mess.  I had no idea!  (Yes, I am being gleefully sarcastic!)

Could this ruling get us out of the Jurassic Age of the education system?
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of nine schoolchildren, concentrated on three areas: teacher tenure, dismissal procedures and the seniority rules. The plaintiffs had argued that the rules resulted in grossly ineffective teachers obtaining and retaining permanent employment, and these teachers were disproportionately in schools serving low-income and minority students. The judge said this violated fundamental rights to equal education. "There is also no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms," he said, adding that “the evidence is compelling. Indeed it shocks the conscience.” 
Indeed.  Remember that lengthy New Yorker piece on the awful teachers who cannot be fired?  The Rubber Room?

Meanwhile, on the other coast, a huge political earthquake:
 In one of the most stunning primary election upsets in congressional history, the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, was soundly defeated on Tuesday by a Tea Party-backed economics professor who had hammered him for being insufficiently conservative.
I can't decide which earth-shattering news excites me more; damn, couldn't they have happened on two separate days so that I could have enjoyed them, savored them, both!

Compared with Cantor, Speaker Boehner was a "moderate."  And how does Cantor compare with the guy who beat him in the primary?  And what does it mean for the next two years of Obama's lamest of lame duck presidency?
“How do you get that or anything done now? Eric is too liberal? This was the guy holding Boehner back.”
Muahahaha.  Eric Cantor is a liberal as far as the Tea Party is concerned.  On that scale, Nancy Pelosi is more of a communist than all the communists of the world put together.

The good ol' US of A, where the political theatre can be even more exciting than the one in the old country!

Yes, I am sufficiently entertained! ;)

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