Thursday, February 25, 2010

Firing of all teachers at a "low performing" Rhode Island school is atrocity

Firing of all teachers at a "low performing" Rhode Island school is atrocity

re: article at

Plan to fire all its teachers roils poor RI city

\yr\10\doc\web\2010\02\firing-of-all-teachers-at-low.html The blue-and-white banner exclaiming "anticipation" on the front of Central Falls High School seems like a cruel joke for an institution so chronically troubled that its leaders decided to fire every teacher by year's end.
Associated Press Writer

The blue-and-white banner exclaiming "anticipation" on the front of Central Falls High School seems like a cruel joke for an institution so chronically troubled that its leaders decided to fire every teacher by year's end.

No more than half those instructors would be hired back under a federal option that has enraged the state's powerful teachers union, earned criticism from students, and brought praise from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and some parents.

The mass firings were approved by the school district's board of trustees Tuesday night after talks failed between Superintendent Frances Gallo and the local teachers union over implementing changes, including offering more tutoring and a longer school day. The teachers say they want more pay for the additional work.

"If it's only an hour or two a week, I think teachers can afford to do that," said Robert Rivera, 40, who worries about sending his 13-year-old daughter to the troubled high school next year. He dropped out of school as a teenager and works more than 60 hours a week as an appliance repairman.

posted at

This an absolute atrocity. If they were truly serious about turning around an "underperforming" school, then they would not just fire the teachers but also replace the students and parents as well. This could never happen in a "top performing" community such as Mercer Island with high incomes, highly educated parents with two parent if not two-income familiews, and kids who were high performing even before they got in to preschool. Take the kids in a "low peforming" school and put them in Mercer Island, and take Mercer Island kids and put them in Rainier Beach, and it won't matter a bit who is teaching.

It is NOT the job of public schools to produce workers who meet anybody's definition of "proficiency", or who are equal in grades, test scores, income or anything as XYZ nation or PDQ ethnic/economic/racial/cultural group. It is the job to provide a BASIC education, and they learn whatever they learn unless it it an "outcomes-based" education, which has always, and continues to fail, whether it is called "standards-based", "performance-based" or "anything-based" nonsense.

The schizo ed-reform-think that on the one hand prohibits tracking or ranking on the one hand, then on the other hand insists that all must perform at "high levels" as defined by the top 10 percent or punish all who are guilty (parents, students, teachers) was the destructive "performance-based" thinking that leads to the disastrous WASL, which used an arbitrary measure to be able to declare up to 90% of students to be "below standard" in math.

A similarly arbitrary ranking of workers and mandatory firing of the "bottom" 10 percent no matter how good a job they may be doing is the Dilbert-boss workplace equivalent.

It is absolutely scary how many people will line up to take a good sounding excuse of "it's for the children" to justify ruining real people's lives. Wake up America.

By one of the first guys to declare the WASL and fuzzy no-math mathematics to be an atrocity.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Key Curriculum Press Responds to Seattle Lawsuit over their awful "Discovering Algebra" series


Key's Response (PDF)

Discovering Mathematics is the Highest-Ranking, Mathematically Sound, High School Math Curriculum

The Seattle lawsuit is about the choice of curriculum, not about the results for children. Read more…

Discovering Mathematics had not been used in the Seattle School District when the lawsuit was filed. The plaintiffs reacted to the choice of materials and not the results from the classroom.

The plaintiffs relied on data from other curricula to make their claims, not on any data regarding Discovering Mathematics.

Seattle’s textbook selection process chose Discovering Mathematics after exhaustive review by administrators, educators, curriculum and instruction department staff, parents, school board members, and mathematicians.

Discovering Mathematics was chosen in Seattle because the School Board could see the potential to serve a diverse student population and improve mathematical achievement across the district.

The series is entirely mathematically correct and makes no errors or misrepresentations.

The Discovering Mathematics Series offers advanced curriculum that is nationally recognized and widely used. Read more…

The Discovering Mathematics Series teaches high school Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and Geometry. Key also offers other advanced curriculum in Precalculus, Calculus, and Statistics, among others.

Key Curriculum Press was founded in 1971 and brings 40 years of the best math and science education experience together. Key was started by teachers who wanted to help more of their students learn the basics. To this day, all of our authors and editors are current or former math educators.

The Discovering Series is currently in use in all 50 states, by over 1200 schools, reaching nearly 1 million students nationally.

In the Seattle area, the Discovering Series is in use in the Everett, Franklin-Pierce, Highline, Lake Washington, Seattle, and South Whidbey school districts, plus many other smaller districts and private schools. Other districts nationally include Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and New York City.

Books from the Discovering Series are used abroad by the U.S. Department of Defense for its high schools, as well as by the schools in the US Virgin Islands, American International Schools, and have been translated for schools in Asia.

The series has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers and a Certificate of Merit from Bookbuilders.

Discovering Mathematics is mathematically sound and is the highest match for or fully matches all Washington State teaching standards. Read more…

Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) ranked the Discovering curriculum highest among 12 publishers in its overall ranking of core Algebra 1 and 2 series. (OSPIMathematicsHS-IMR-Report06-19-09.pdf, page 14.)

OSPI ranked the Discovering Math statistically tied in first place in its ranking of publisher bundles of three-year series. (OSPIMathematicsHS-IMR-Report06-19-09.pdf, page 21.)

A team of over 50 experts and staff conducted OSPI’s extensive and professional review. (OSPIMathematicsHS-IMR-Report06-19-09.pdf, page 9.)

These experts served with the Instructional Materials Advisory Group, the State Board of Education Math Panel, and other groups.

Discovering Mathematics is strongly aligned with Washington standards.

Studies such as the Report of Year 1 of the Comparison of Three Mathematics Curricula at East High School in Madison, Wisconsin, point to the effectiveness of the Discovering Mathematics texts.

Download Key's Response (PDF)

Steve's Letter (PDF)

Letter from Steve Rasmussen, Publisher, Key Curriculum Press

Discovering Mathematics (PDF)

More information on Discovering Mathematics Support from Mathematics Professionals

Confrey (PDF)

Dr. Jere Confrey, North Carolina State University

“… we reported positively on multiple studies in which what you are calling inquiry curricula reported progress in closing the gaps between students from groups underrepresented in many mathematical fields and students with access to more resources and assistance.”

Read more.

Schoenfeld (PDF)

Dr. Alan H. Schoenfeld, University of California at Berkeley

“The plaintiffs' case in Seattle represents a very skewed view of what the literature says. The Discovery Mathematics series lies within a research-based tradition of curricula that, objectively evaluated, are superior to the approach championed by the plaintiffs in the Seattle case. ”

Read more.

Olive (PDF)

Dr. John Olive, University of Georgia

“To base a ruling on the plaintiffs' unsubstantiated claims that inquiry-based learning is only successful for the mathematically gifted, and therefore, selection of an inquiry-based series discriminates against minorities and ELL students, is both insulting to ethnic minorities (it implies they are not mathematically gifted) and flies in the face of well-established research. ”

Read more.

Reys (PDF)

Dr. Barbara Reys, University of Missouri

“At a time when mathematics performance of U.S. students is widely criticized and schools are urged to improve, it is ironic and sad that school systems are stymied in making transformative and productive changes. ”

Read more.

Isaacs (PDF)

Dr. Andy Isaacs, University of Chicago

“'Various findings across 138 analyzed studies indicate a clear, positive trend favoring inquiry-based instructional practices, particularly instruction that emphasizes student active thinking and drawing conclusions from data' (Minner, Levy, & Century, 2009). ”

Read more.

Robinson (PDF)

Dr. Eric Robinson, Ithaca College, New York

“I could not be more supportive toward the efforts of Key Curriculum Press to provide instructional materials in mathematics that include an inquiry-based design.”

Read more.

Schattschneider (PDF)

Dr. Doris Schattschneider, Moravian College, Pennsylvania

“Mathematics texts such as the "Discovering" series by Key Curriculum Press have been well tested in classrooms across the country and meet all mathematics standards outlined by state boards and the NCTM standards. They are thoughtfully written, mathematically accurate, and interesting to teach and learn from. Teachers and students give them high marks. They belong in the list of recommended texts for mathematics courses at the middle and high school level. ”

Read more.

Callahan (PDF)

Dr. Patrick Callahan, California

“The National Research Council articulated a balanced approach to how children learn mathematics in the 2001 report Adding It Up. I am familiar with the research and I am familiar with the Discovering Mathematics series. I find that these materials correlate well with the vast majority of research on student learning. ”

Read more.

Lesh (PDF)

Dr. Richard Lesh, Indiana University

“What I am wholeheartedly against is for local educational decision-making to be dictated by individuals and fringe groups with unfounded notions about teaching and learning. ”

Read more.

Malkevitch (PDF)

Dr. Joseph Malkevitch, York College (CUNY), New York

“These books, which rightly are organized so as not to allow students to have the mathematics they learn 'wash over' them without their active participation in the learning process, are truly extraordinary and should be used as widely as possible. ”

Read more.

Kapolka (PDF)

David Kapolka, President, Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics (CPAM)

“There is more at stake in this lawsuit than what happens in Seattle. This ruling is an affront on the value of teachers, administrators, parents and others to be free to make a choice for what happens in local schools. This ruling must be reversed.”

Read more.

Normington (PDF)

Sara Normington, President Elect, Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics (CPAM)

“The plaintiffs and Judge Spector completely dismiss the experience and judgment of these educators by deriding the inclusion of Discovering Mathematics series as a possible program under consideration for adoption.”

Read more.

Cagle (PDF)

Peg Cagle, Mathematics Teacher, LAUSD, CA

“I chose the Discovery Geometry textbook specifically because of its emphasis on developing students' mathematical reasoning and sense making over memorization and rote use of algorithms.”

Read more.

Braun (PDF)

Benjamin Braun, University of Kentucky

“I fully support the decision by the Seattle school board to adopt an IBL (Inquiry Based Learning) based curriculum for their schools... ”

Read more.

Libeskind (PDF)

Dr. Shlomo Libeskind, University of Oregon

“...students 'own' what they learn rather than memorize facts and procedures. This approach prepares students far better for future advanced topics in mathematics and other subjects.”

Read more.

Wainwright (PDF)

Dr. Camille Wainwright, Pacific University, Oregon, emerita

“Through the extensive work of mathematics and science educators in research with children of all ages, socio-economic levels and ethnicities, we now are certain that inquiry-based curricula are the ideal way for all students to learn. ”

Read more.

Cragg (PDF)

Melissa Cragg, High School Math Teacher, Madison Heights, MI

“At my high school, 44% of the students are on free/reduced lunches. Just over 12% of the student population is special education. Also, there are 77 different languages spoken by the student body, so the ELL department is extensive. This range of students is contained in a student body just over 800. My classes have a mixture of all of these students. With that said, my failure rate is less than 3% in my mathematics classes.”

Read more.

Hulbert (PDF)

Teri Hulbert, High School Math Teacher, Ocasta High School, WA

“I have been a teacher for 28 years and I have never taught out of a better written series of books in all of those years. The books are written so students have to 'think' in order to do the mathematics. ”

Read more.

Horton (PDF)

Christopher A. Horton, Ph.D., High School Mathematics and Physics

“Traditional geometry courses leave a large proportion of the students behind, primarily because to those students the 'self-evident' postulates are 'anything but'. Discovering Geometry on the other hand treats geometry as an empirical science, the 'science of space', with the postulates having the role of physical theories: testable, disprovable but ultimately not provable statements about properties of nature. ”

Read more.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Real Story Behind Awlaki's Fort Hood / 9-11 / UnderBomber Jihad

Title: The Real Story Behind Awlaki's  Fort Hood / 9-11 / UnderBomber Jihad

It was back in November 11 after my piece announced that Fort Hood was probably an Al Queda plot managed by "9-11 imam" Anwar al-Awlaki. This was just about the day after the FBI announced there was no link to terrorists, and I pointed out that their top Islamic guy in Yemen is Sheik Zindnani, where pretty much Jihad is the only kind of Islam popular there.

Since then Obama must have signed Awlaki's death warrant for pre-christmas air strike. That was just days before the underbomber sang that he was sent by Awlawki and his friend in Al Queda, even though noone believed him at the time. Yet, even after what we know about Awlaki's likely role in the Christmas airliner bombing,  the official position on Fort Hood from the FBI, Army, homeland security, DOD, and Obama himself is that there's still no terrorism - the closest is an anonoymous statement that it probably was by a white house staffer who told Fox it probably was a terrorist act.

A month ago, when only me and maybe 2 other guys nobody heard of even linked Zindani, he said "I had nothing to do with Awalaki" which means that he probably at least knew what Awlaki was up to.

Also, the Little Rock recruiting office shooter which wasn't covered much in June 2009, turns out the guy has now admitted in Jan 2010 he was acting on behalf of Al Queda in Yemen (where he had just come from, and been visited in Yemen by the FBI) even if his lawyer doesn't even believe him, but the official preliminary investigation was that there was "no link to terrorism"  There were CD's in arabic in his pickup truck, but did anybody check to see if this was another Jihadist with Awlaki sermons on it, since he's the main inspiration for all the Jihadists in US/UK/Canada? It can't be a coincidence that Col Terry Lee told Fox and UK press that Hasan specifically ranted to fellow troops about cheering the Little Rock shooting, and condemning how the suspect was handled.

Funny that Lloyd Woodson case in the "quick check grenade launcher arrest" was almost instantly announced by the FBI NOT to be terror linked, in the same language they cleared Hasan, even though he had a PLO style headdress, a ton of weapons, and evidently links to Islamic groups that nobody is being allowed to make statements about. He even had map of Fort Hood. Very suspicious that the most complete source on the incident that grew quickly sprouted on Wikipedia was rapidly attacked by a AFD (ask for deletion) as too much of a "news story" that was not "notable" and was completely deleted even though it was covered internationally.  There is still NO information released about his religion that could confirm if he was another African American convert to Islam that the FBI according to Stratfor had been told to "back off" from.

Looking back various 9/11 timelines, the Yemen / Saudi Arabia connections are all over the place. The 3 hijackers Awlaki seems to be connected with are all Saudi Arabians from Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.  Nawaf al-Hazmi and his childhood friend Khalid al-Mihdhar were hand picked by bin Laden after fighting for the Bosnian muslims in the Bosnian wars. Turns out before the US backed the Mujahadeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan, they were secretly also backing the Bosnian Muslim. Khalid was ANOTHER ethnic Yemeni. Omar al-Bayoumi who drove the two to San Diego from the LA aiport to Awlaki's mosque was a shady Saudi Arabian agent. The two rented an apartment from a FBI informer that was befriended when the FBI investigated threats against Awalaki's mosque.

Nova's 2009 "The Spy Factory" give a very detailed timeline of how the same NSA that red flagged Nidal Hasan's e-mails to Awlaki first started to monitor bin Laden's satellite phone which went straight to his communications center in Sanaa Yemen. The house was setup so that messages could be relayed over conventional phones across the world from remote Afghanistan. It was connection to bin Laden's procurement agent, Ziyad Khaleel, that got the FBI interested in Awlaki

The CIA prevented the NSA from informing the FBI, who was already on Awlaki's case, that these Al Queda agents were headed to Los Angeles and San Diego for flight training and spiritual prep by Awlaki after coming straight from the January 5 2000 Kuala Lumpur "Al Queda Jihad conference" where plans for the October 2000 USS Cole bombing and Sept 11 attacks were being finalized. As it's treasurer, Awlaki also fell under the FBI investigation of Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani's Yemen-based Charitable Society for Social Welfare in 1999 as a terrorist front.  Zindani has since himself been placed on US, UK and UN terrorism lists despite his protests of innocence.

In February of 2000, Al Awlaki is recorded talking on the telephone four times with hijacker associate Omar al-Bayoumi, but agents are sure he was actually just using the phone to speak with hijackers Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi that were using hiws phone.In March 2000, the NSA catches Nawaf al-Hazmi making a 16 minute phone call to Yemen, likely to bin Laden's communications hub. A 9/11 commission member is later surprised to find out this was never passed on to any other agency. On June 10, 2000, lead hijacker Al-Midhar who bought the Toyota Corolla that will drive to Virginia hands over the keys and pink slip to his pal Nawaf al-Hazmi. He travels to be with his family ... which just happens to be staying at the very same "company-owned housing" in Yemen that the NSA is monitoring as Al Qeuda's worldwide communications hub. It's not obvious that the NSA ever noticed, but looks really, really bad now if nobody at NSA did notice.

Awlaki resigned in the fall of 2000, and travels to "nations unknown". It looks like somebody called him to headquarters in  Saudi Arabia or Yemen. Likely there he was told that he would to the US in January re-assigned from his little mosque in San Diego to the nation's largest  mosque in Virgina. He would replace Mohammed al-Hanooti.  Hanooti was a firebrand who was a spokesman for the Muslim American Society which was the public relations face of the Jihadist Muslim brotherhood, and named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing The Dar al-Hijrah mosque is preferred by Palestineans in northern Virginia. It is owned by a trust o the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) which bills itself as describes itself as the largest Muslim organization in North America.

The hijackers eventually move to locations (Al-Midhar returns from Yemen in July) where they rent rooms in New Jersey and Connecticut over 2001 where they evidently make big road trips to worship at Awlaki's mosque in northern Virginia. It is also about this time that Awlaki presides over Hasan's mother's funeral. Hasan's mother was greatly affected as a teen by the 1976 six-day war which was a disaster for the Palestinians, and Hasan says he becomes more devout.

In 2002, the FBI learns that while Awlaki has a US birth certficate, he returned from Yemen as a Yemen citizen and applied for another invalid social security number, and another passport using that number, saying he was born in Yemen (his father was in the United States when he was born) But just as he is arrested at JFK, agents learn that his arrest warrant is canceled as it is found that Awlaki had later fixed his application in 1996 with his original SS number.  Dave Gaouette recently defended the decision to drop the case as there was no current problem with the applications. In August, President Obama appointed Gaouette U.S. Attorney for Colorado. But Ray Fournier, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent who originally investigated the passport fraud case says he had a solid case that it was fraud at the time, and it should have been used by terrorism officials to have an excuse to ask him about his other terrorism links, even though that's not what the arrest warrant was for. The JDO believes Gaouette was acting under authority of his boss, Bush appointee Troy Eid, an Egyptian Muslim who had spoken about the unfair targeting of Muslims. Eid had the power to call off the dogs, though he didn't have to.

The Jewish Defence Organization has linked Hasan's Ji-hobbyist dinner buddy Duane Reasoner to the website of Revolution Muslim, and possibly Anwar Al-Awlaki's webste. His id on MySpace and Facebook is named after the famous Muslim Sultan Saladin  who won back Jerusalem from the Crusaders. On Youtube, Reasoner subscribes to videos of Al-Qaeda leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri produced by  the same name "Sahab" who produces al-Qaeda's videos. As user Ooklepookle , on August 1, 2009, he posted the comment, "Ya Abdullah do you have any vids on martyrdom operations or the ruling on them." The user answered, "No I don't but look around online on the Jihadi blogs." On that same day, Hasan purchased his Fort Hood  murder weapon. This put Hasan was in indirect communication with RevolutionMuslim, which was run by converted Jew Yousef al-Khattab. Duane reasoner would be quoted by the BBC as stating nearly straight out of Awlaki's statement that he could not condemn Hasan, that Muslims that worked with christians and Jews would go to hell, and that they were just soldiers on their way to kill Muslims. Amazingly, evidently Reasoner was never questioned by the FBI, and he was never denied access to Fort Hood, where he headed off to escape reporters that wanted to speak with him. According to JDO he has since lost his teaching job and has disappeared from sight. A soldier on ABC news at the mosque stated that Hasan was a soldier who happened to be Muslim, even as the FBI went through the trash there.

What is really amazing is that al-Khattab was covered by a CNN web post just hours BEFORE the shooting along with a now-deleted video.By the time CNN Anderson 360 covered the "kill the infidels" protest, it was part of the coverage of the Fort Hood event, along with coverage of their infamous web posting "An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive attack. Get Well Soon Major Nidal We Love You" which almost sounds like they were already familiar with Hasan and his plans. It is very, very similar to the only other widely noted congratuations post by Awlaki himelf who also called it a military operation. Could it be possible  that Revolution Muslim was, as is charged by the (also controversial) Jewish Defence Organization, an Al Queda cell in Queens (that was under surveillance by the FBI) and co-conspirators who had enough knowledge of the attack to organize a rally the same day (or day before, CNN did not state when the rally was taped) as the Fort Hood attack? Al-Khattab has since resigned from Revolution Muslim and reportedly has started up his own blog in Morrocco where he no longer celebrates Jihadist attacks such as the underbombing of flight 253.

Within hours before midnight, Col Terry Lee who worked with Hasan was on Fox and painted a pretty complete picture of Hasan's Jihadist leanings. He stated he and others thought Hasan might be a danger and reported Hasan to the Army, but authorities did nothing with the complaints. . Meanwhile Hasan's family in the US and the West Bank (with Yassir Arafat pictures hanging from the wall) seemingly all had pre-planned cover stories as if they had been professionally briefed for the press by the ISNA that Hasan was never political, he was always a patriotic lover of America, he never went to gun clubs,  and he was a victim of islamophopic taunts and vandalism and affected by the PTSD he had to treat, and this would be the narrative adopted by the "it's not terrorism" viewpoints of liberal opinions, and nearly the entire federal government which had also been trained by Islamic organizations like ISNA and CAIR  in the art of Islamically-correct public relations.

In the end, the NSA should be congratulated for consistenly time after time sniffing out the bad guys and at least offering to sent the information to the right place. On the other hand, almost the entire rest of the federal government has pretty much done all it can to either stop the NSA or make sure the leads go nowhere. Instead of connecting the dots, all of the agencies involved from the FBI, Army, DOD, Gates, Napolitano in Homeland Security, Eric Holder and Dept of Justice, all the way up to President Obama appear to have done all they can to erase every dot that's handed to them. Every time a red flag alarm has come up, somebody has hit the snooze button. Even almost the entire mainstream press has joined the "right wing nutcases" at Fox, Worldnet Daily and Newsmax in making the obvious links between Fort Hood, Awlaki, and the underbombing as only the very far Islamically correct muslims and fans at Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post continue to insist that homegrown Islamic terrorism isn't a problem, and that Al Queda is justly upset about Israeli injustice, not Jihad.

It's like the cartoon Invader Zim where only the crazy conspiracy theorist boy is the only one who knows Zim's rantings about destroying the earth means he is dangerous. It's the Monty Python smuggler sketch where the custom's agent ignores every obvious suspicious sign, and then sends the hapless smuggler on his way even AFTER his confession. It's the guard in Hogan's Hero's who insists "I see NOTHINGGGG". Napolitano announced there was no terrorist connection even after the underbomber sung all about how he had been sent by Awlaki and Al Qeda. The DOD Fort Hood report not only does not mention Islam, it doesn't too afraid to even print the muslim name of Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect.

People like Awalki, bin Laden and the underbomber, we can handle with the NSA, FBI, CIA and military. But that's only IF we don't have people at very, very high levels who are obviously doing everything they can to let these people run around completely free in plain sight as they have. The only way to continue to let Muslims operate freely without discrimination is to be able to figure how to sort out the real "Islam of peace" people like the guy heading Boeing's 747-8 project from the jihadist "peace when Islam rules over all" people.

People hiding out in Yemen and across the world on thousands of Facebook, Youtube and blog profiles have declared war on the entire west. By openly declaring that we will not track, arrest, or send troops  where they are until they call off their fatwa/war, the violence will only continue until one side or the other achieves victory.

Unemployment hits some groups harder (And SOME groups, namely Asians less..)

Seattle Times headline Feb 7, 2010 Unemployment hits some groups harder (

"The overall unemployment rate in December was 9.5 percent in Washington State, 10 percent nationally..... According to the Employment Policies Institute, the jobless rate for adult men in Washington [state] in December was 11.6 percent, versus 8.4 percent for women. Unemployment among African Americans, at 21.4 percent, was more than twice the level for whites (10 percent), while only 5.3 percent of the state's Asian Americans were unemployed" 

Every paper always reports which group(s) group were unemployed at twice the rate of whites, the usual African Americans. But 5.3 percent Asians is HALF, or a factor of two BETTER than whites. Kudos for the Seattle Times for even including the number as Asians are routinely left out of national figures, and even in California where Asians outnumber African Americans. Now Asians don't nearly come out on top of every statistic, and I've always wondered if Asians were so darned smart, why is it the whites are detested for dominating everything. But this is part of a pattern where one group "of color" bucks the color = failure sociological model by consistently coming out ahead of whites when African Americans are behind (and vice versa when African Americans come out ahead).

tags: asian american african black model minority economics racism unemployment

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Seattle Harmful Math Textbook Court Decision in Plain Text 2010

Credit to From: jmackinlay@acm. org
The clarity of the Seattle Court decision motivated me to type it in
as plain text.  Please let me know if I made any mistakes Finding
number 4 is particularly powerful.

The Honorable Julie Spector

No. 09-2-21771-8 SEA

THIS MATTER having come on for hearing, and the Court having consider
the pleadings, administrative record, and argument in this matter, the
Court hereby enters the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of
Law, and Order:


1. On May 6, 2009, in a 4-3 vote, the Seattle School District Board of
Directors chose the Discovering Series as the District’s high school
basic math materials.

2. In making its decision the Board considered:

a. A recommendation from the District’s Selection Committee;

b. A January, 2009 report from the Washington State Office
of Public Instruction ranking High School math textbooks, listing a
series by Holt Company as number one, and the Discovering Series as
number two;

c. A March 11, 2009 report from the Washington State Board
of Education finding that the Discovering Series was “mathematically

d. An April 8, 2009 School Board Action Report authored by
the Superintendent;

e. The May 6, 2009 recommendation of the OSPI recommending
only the Holt Series, and not recommending the Discovery Series;

f. WASL score showing an achievement gap between racial groups;

g. WASL scores from an experiment with a different inquiry-based math text at Cleveland and Garfield High Schools, showing that WASL scores overall declined using the inquiry-based math texts, and dropped significantly for English Language Learners, including a 0% pass rate at one high school;

h. The National Math Achievement Panel (NMAP) Report;

i. Citizen comments and expert reports criticizing the
effectiveness of inquiry-based math and the Discovering Series;

j. Parent reports of difficulty teaching their children
using the Discovering Series and inquiry=based math;

k. Other evidence in the Administrative Record;

l. One Board member also consider the ability of her own
child to learn math using the Discovery Series.

3. The court finds that the Discovery Series is an inquiry-based math program.

4. The court finds, based upon a review of the entire administrative
record, that there is insufficient evidence for any reasonable Board
member to approve the selection of the Discovering Series.


1. The court has jurisdiction under RCW 28A.645.010 to evaluate the
Board’s decision for whether it is arbitrary, capricious, or contrary
to law;

2. The Board’s selection of the Discovery Series was arbitrary;

3. The Board’s selection of the Discovery Series was capricious;

4. This court has the authority to remand the Board’s decision for
further review;

5. Any Conclusion of Law which is more appropriately characterized as
a Finding of Fact is adopted as such, and any Finding of Fact more
appropriately characterized as a Conclusion of Law is adopted as such.



The decision of the Board to adopt the Discovery Series is remanded
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Dated this 4th of February, 2010


The Curious Case of Anwar al-Awlaki's 2002 Arrest Warrant for Passport Fraud

Anwar al-Awlaki was known as the "9/11" imam, and more  recently as the Fort Hood massacre and "underwear bomber imam.  9/11 investigators caught a criminal act when, after getting a birth certificate showing he was born in New Mexico, and using that and his social security number in 1993 to get a US passport so that he could travel to Yemen, on returning as a student  he got ANOTHER  social security number and stated he was born in Yemen to get ANOTHER US passport to go with his Yemen citizenship. However, in 1996 had had quietly corrected his ss number that he had used in 1993. The US chose to drop the case for lack of evidence of a CURRENT crime, but the original passport investigator who had successfully closed hundreds of cases says it was solid based on the crime that was committed at the crime, even if fixed later, and Joint Terrorism Task Force people were floored that this let Awlaki slip away to Yemen where he since risen to the #1 wanted man judging by Obama placing him on a kill list even if he's not on the FBI's terrorist wanted list.


Year 1993
  • Nov. 18, 1993:  Applies for a U.S. passport in Fort Collins, Colo. This will be subject of arrest as his 2nd SS security number as a Yemen citizen is believed to be a fraud. 3 years later in 1996 he corrects his SS application birthplace to New Mexico which causes charges to be dropped when discovered in 2002, but it was fraudulent at the time even if corrected later
    5. On November 18, 1993 .. claiming to be born April 21, 1971 in Las Cruces New Mexico .. presented State of Mexico Certificate of Birth, 1382371 reflecting the name Anmwar Nasser Abdulla Aulaqi,  born April 22, 1971 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Subject provided his SS number. HE had previously been issued an U.S. passport #Z6281365 on 01/13/1988
    8. applied for the passport on November 18, 1993 using a social security number that he had obtained by fraud. His use of this number violates the terms and conditions as stated on a DSP-11, application for a passport and constitutes fraud. 

Year 1996
  • Mr Awlaki goes to San Diego in 1996, where he took charge of the city's Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami mosque. During his four years there, his sermons were attended by two future 9/11 hijackers, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi
  • In 2002, Gaouette's office will decided to rescind the warrant after it was discovered that Awlaki had somehow "corrected" his place of birth at a Social Security office in 1996, three years after he applied for the passport. 

 Year 2001

  • Sept 11 attacks. Awlaki has been linked since 1999 to purchase of Osama Bin Laden's sattelite phone and evidently coaching and meeting with 3 of the hijackers, some of whom follow Awlaki to Virginia.
Year 2002

  • 2002: Federal prosecutors in Colorado receive information from Ray Fournier, a federal diplomatic security agent in San Diego who was investigating Awlaki for passport fraud.
  • Agents discovered that the U.S.-born Awlaki had falsely indicated on his 1990 Social Security number application that he had been born in Sana'a, Yemen. Because the statute of limitations had passed, agents could not charge Awlaki with social security fraud. However, when Awlaki used his Social Security number to apply for a U.S. passport in Denver several years later investigators believed he could be successfully charged with felony passport fraud because the alleged offense had occurred within the ten-year statute of limitations. 
  • When the case was presented to the Denver U.S. Attorney's Office, prosecutors decided to pursue an arrest warrant, which was signed off on by a federal judge in June of 2002.
  • , though as a first offender, he most likely would have received a six-month sentence. Still, investigators say they thought it was worth it for a chance to detain and hold the radical cleric.
  • June 17, 2002: Federal magistrate in Colorado signs warrant for Awlaki’s arrest for passport fraud.
  • October 2002: A federal diplomatic special agent in Colorado began investigating in preparation to take the case to a grand jury learns Awlaki corrected the place of birth on his Social Security application to New Mexico.
    Oct. 8, 2002: FBI electronic communication, interview re: Awlaki. (9/11 Commission Report)
    Oct. 9, 2002: Arrest warrant rescinded.
  •  Oct. 10, 2002: Arrives in New York on a Saudi Airlines flight from Riyadh. Briefly detained by INS.
  • Oct. 11, 2002: Criminal case terminated.
 Year 2009
  • November Awlaki is fingered as Nidal Hassan (Fort Hood Massacre) suspect's spiritual advisor who condones shooting of US soldiers headed to Iraq and Afghanistan
  • December 7: U.S. Attorney David Gaouette defended the decision to rescind a 2002 felony arrest warrant for radical Islamic cleric Anwar Awlaki, saying that his office determined there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case.
  • December 25: Awlaki is known to be spiritual advisor, trainer, and possible planner of Flight 253 "underpants" bombing

Here's details from the arrest warrant: 
2. On June 5, 1990, Anwar aulaqi, born April 21, 1971 entered the United  States through Port of entry Chicago per INS records using Yemen passport ..
3. On June 6, 1990 .. claiming to be born April 21, 1971 in Sana'a, Yemen executed an SS-5 [ss application .. HE is a "Legal Alien Allowed to Work" .. provided passport as evidence of Yemeni citizenship and identify
4. On June 8, 1990 .. issued SSN per SS records
5. On November 18, 1993 .. claiming to be born April 21, 1971 in Las Cruces New Mexico .. presented State of Mexico Certificate of Birth, 1382371 reflecting the name Anmwar Nasser Abdulla Aulaqi,  born April 22, 1971 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Subject provided his SS number. HE had previously been issued an U.S. passport #Z6281365 on 01/13/1988
8. applied for the passport on November 18, 1993 using a social security number that he had obtained by fraud. His use of this number violates the terms and conditions as stated on a DSP-11, application for a passport and constitutes fraud.

Gustavo Dudamel Jian Wang Dvorak Cello Concerto

Gustavo Dudamel Jian Wang Dvorak Cello Concerto 1st Mvt.


Gustavo Dudamel Jian Wang Dvorak Cello Concerto 2nd Mvt.

Gustavo Dudamel Jian Wang Dvorak Cello Concerto 3rd Mvt.

Cello Concerto (Dvořák)

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The Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191 by Antonín Dvořák is the most often performed and recorded cello concerto.[citation needed] It was Dvořák's last solo concerto, and was written in 1894-1895 for his friend, the cellist Hanuš Wihan, but premiered by the English cellist Leo Stern.[citation needed]



[edit] Structure

The piece is scored for a full romantic orchestra containing two flutes (second doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, triangle (last movement only), and strings, and is in the standard three-movement concerto format:
  1. Allegro (B minor then B major; about 15 minutes)
  2. Adagio, ma non troppo (G major; about 12 minutes)
  3. Finale: Allegro moderato - Andante - Allegro vivo (B minor then B major; about 13 minutes)
Total duration: Approximately 40 minutes

[edit] History

In 1865, early in his career, Dvořák started a Cello Concerto in A major, (B. 10). The piece was written for Ludevít Peer, whom he knew well from the Provisional Theatre Orchestra in which they both played. He handed the cello score (with piano accompaniment) over to Peer for review but neither bothered to finish the piece. It was recovered from his estate in 1925.
Hanuš Wihan, among others, had asked for a cello concerto for quite some time, but Dvořák always refused, stating that the cello was a fine orchestral instrument but totally insufficient for a solo concerto. According to Josef Michl, Dvořák was fond of the middle register, but complained about a nasal high register and a mumbling bass. In a letter to a friend, Dvořák wrote that he himself was probably most surprised by his decision to write a cello concerto despite these long held reservations.
Dvořák wrote the concerto while in New York for his third term as the Director of the National Conservatory. In 1894 one of the teachers at the Conservatory, Victor Herbert, also a composer, finished his Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30, and premiered it in a series of concerts, commencing on 9 March.[1] Dvořák heard at least two performances of the piece and was inspired to fulfill Wihan's request in composing a cello concerto of his own. Herbert had been principal cellist in the orchestra that premiered Dvořák's "New World" Symphony[1] on 16 December 1893, and wrote his concerto in the same key, E minor. Herbert's middle movement was in B minor, which may have inspired Dvořák to write his concerto in the same key.[2] It was started on 8 November 1894 and completed on 9 February 1895.[3]
After seeing the score, Hanuš Wihan made various suggestions for improvement, including two cadenzas, but Dvořák accepted only a few minor changes and neither of the cadenzas. He was very particular about ensuring that there should be no deviations from the score as he conceived it, and he wrote to his publishers:
I give you my work only if you will promise me that no one - not even my friend Wihan - shall make any alteration in it without my knowledge and permission, also that there be no cadenza such as Wihan has made in the last movement; and that its form shall be as I have felt it and thought it out.
The finale, he insisted, should close gradually with a diminuendo
... like a breath ... then there is a crescendo, and the last measures are taken up by the orchestra, ending stormily. That was my idea, and from it I cannot recede.
Hanuš Wihan first privately performed the concerto with the composer in Lužany in August 1895.[3] Although he had not accepted most of Wihan's suggested changes, Dvořák still wanted Wihan to publicly premiere the work in London during his visit there in March 1896, and as late as 14 February 1896 he was adamantly refusing to be involved in the performance unless Wihan was the soloist.[4] Why the English cellist Leo Stern was finally chosen as the soloist instead of Hanuš Wihan has been the subject of various theories:
  • Wihan refused to play the work after Dvořák had forbidden him from playing the two cadenzas he had proposed
  • the London date clashed with concert dates for the Bohemian Quartet, to which Wihan was already contracted
  • the Philharmonic Society had engaged Leo Stern without consulting Dvořák, and the composer had not made it clear to the Society that he had promised the first performance to Wihan
  • Stern had come into contact with Dvořák in Prague and when it became clear that Wihan was unable to play the premiere, Dvorak selected Stern to take his place[3]
  • Stern was given permission only after sending Dvořák two rare breeds of pigeon[5] (the composer was a great pigeon lover).[6]
There may be some element of truth in each of these theories. However, whatever happened, it is not true (as has often been reported) that Wihan and Dvořák had any sort of falling out over the matter. Wihan went on to perform the concerto with great success, including under Dvořák's baton in Budapest on 20 December 1899[7] and they remained firm friends.
The concerto's premiere took place on 19 March 1896, in Queen's Hall in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dvořák, with Leo Stern as the soloist. The cello played by Stern was the 1684 "General Kyd", one of only about 60 cellos made by Stradivarius. It was purchased by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in the 1970s, and became the instrument of their principal cellist Peter Stumpf. In April 2004, Stumpf left the cello on his doorstep after returning home from a concert. It was stolen by a passing cyclist, who tried to turn it into a CD rack. It was later saved from a dumpster, after a news alert told of its absence. It was badly damaged and it took six months to complete the repairs.
The concerto was published in 1896 by N. Simrock, Berlin.

[edit] The work

The large-scale sonata form first movement starts with a lengthy introduction by the orchestra, which states both themes and allows the soloist to expand on each. Following this opening essay is the lengthy Adagio, a lyrical movement which is both pastorale and troubled in character.
A great feeling of nostalgia pervades the third and final movement, formally a rondo. The material grows ever more passionate and yearning throughout, until the piece ends by bringing back musical material from the first and second movements in a slow, quiet fashion, finally culminating in a jubilant B major.
The dedicatee Hanuš Wihan suggested several changes to the score of the concerto, in particular the cadenza at the end of the third movement. Other minor changes, many of which are presented as alternate passages in modern editions of the score, are simplifications of the challenging solo part. However the composer steadfastly rejected all but minor changes, including the cadenza, largely for personal reasons: the third movement was a tribute to the memory of his recently deceased sister-in-law, Josefina Čermakova. Specifically, the slow, wistful section, before the triumphant ending, quotes his series of songs "The Cypresses", Čermakova's favorite piece.
Dvořák's friend and mentor Johannes Brahms had written a double concerto for violin and cello in 1887, eight years before Dvořák's cello concerto. He corrected the proofs of Dvořák's concerto for the composer and hence he knew the work intimately from the score.[8] He praised it: he is reported as saying: "Why on earth didn't I know that one could write a cello concerto like this? If I had only known, I would have written one long ago!"[9] Brahms died just a year after the London premiere and it is unlikely he ever heard it performed, so his comments would have been made from the score alone.
Dvořák's original score, before it was altered with Wihan's suggested changes, has been described as "much more musical", and this version has been performed from time to time.[10]

[edit] Media

[edit] Notes

[edit] References

  • Clapham, John. "Antonín Dvořák, Musician and Craftsman". St. Martin's Press, New York, 1966.
  • Smaczny, Jan. Dvořák: Cello Concerto. Cambridge Music Handbooks. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999.
  • Dvořák, Antonín: Violoncellový koncert op. 104. (Violoncello e piano) Praha: Editio Bärenreiter, 2004. H 1200

[edit] External links

Monday, February 08, 2010

Windows 7 VS2010 demo app

what the author did:

write an application that does the following:
  • Is written for Windows7 and VS2010, as such both of these are unfortunately pre-requisites (sorry about that)
  • Shows how to use the new Windows 7 TaskBar and Jumplist
  • Shows how to do drag and drop the Windows7 way
  • Uses the new Dynamic type in .NET 4.0
  • Uses the new Expando type in .NET 4.0
  • Uses the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF), which I think will become part of the mainstream .NET runtime very soon.
  • Uses pixel shaders which are exported from one project and imported into the main project using MEF
  • Uses a true WPF WebBrowser which natively supports complex transforms and can be hosted on a 3D mesh, which if you have ever tried to use the standard .NET 3.5 SP1 WebBrowser control, know is just not possible

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

C# Dynamic lets you use objects as their run-time types

article You can't stick an integer in an object type and say object + 1. But you can make a dynamic object, put an int in it, and then say dynamic + 1

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Protest the Mother Theresa Stamp (WTH??)

press release and newsbusters story Protest the "dark side" of Mother Theresa. Heard somebody on KIRO FM Dori Monson protest that a Catholic could be commemorated on a government stamp, but Malcom X and Rev Martin Luther King are just fine. From the same people who put up the anti-Christmas tree sign in Olympia.