Thursday, September 18, 2008

All in the family…

Guess who’s a global head of investment management for now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers? I’ll give you a hint. His name is name is George Herbert Walker IV. Yes, he's a cousin. But things aren't going so well within the Bush clan now that McCain is back playing the "maverick" reformer and brother Jeb is on the stump calling on voters to throw the bums out of Washington. Ouch!


Secret of KIPP success?

A new study of the five California KIPP schools finds standardized test scores going up along with the attrition rate of low scoring kids. According to the study, KIPP is losing 60% of its entering 5th graders before they reach the 8th grade. The study also shows a high turnover rate among KIPP teachers. More on this at San Francisco Schools blog.

Ravitch packs a punch

Diane Ravitch has come out swinging. In her latest post on Bridging Differences, she connects a lightening left uppercut to the collective chins of KIPP, Geoffrey Canada (In Paul Tough’s book), and his “powerful, wealthy board of directors, which includes hedge-fund billionaires.”

Not surprising. These directors care only for the numbers, and they don’t care how the schools get them. “The overall goal of the Zone might be liberal and idealistic—to educate and otherwise improve the lives of poor black children—but Canada believed the best way to achieve that goal was to act not like a bighearted altruist but like a ruthless capitalist, devoted to the bottom line.”

Using the housing crisis to block black voters

State Republican leaders in Michigan and Ohio are using every trick in the book to cut black voter turnout. The latest trick is to use the housing crisis as a weapon. They are threatening to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election. For more on the organized campaign to depress the black vote nationwide, see Andrew Hacker’s “Barack Obama: The Price of Being Black” in the New York Review of Books.

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