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Comment That's all very sad but... (Score 1) 278

...the public education system's spent the last fifty or so years frittering away the faith of the public so something's going to result. Testing's one the results but there are more then a few others.

Charter schools, now in forty-four states are probably the most widespread result but testing is right up there. Coming up pretty quickly is vouchers/education savings accounts.

The days of the school district as the one solution to the problem of educating the next generation are coming to an end.

Get used to it.

Comment Re:Ironic (Score -1, Flamebait) 195

Well sure. Phil Plaitt assures us that the sun has essentially no effect on the Earth's climate and hey, that's good enough for me!

I understand that 98% of climate scientists also agree that the sun has essentially no effect on the Earth's climate so there you are. Case closed.

Comment It's a multirotor (Score 1) 81

Electrically powered, computer stabilized just like a twenty dollar Cheerson CX-10 but a lot more powerful.

A couple of years ago Hobbyking ran a contest called the Beer Lift Challenge and the last year they ran it, 2013, the unlimited winner lifted a 58.7 kilogram (130 pound) payload along with, obviously, its own weight. So here we are two years later, better batteries, motors, speed controllers and flight computers, and someone's bumped up that record to enough to lift a man.

I wonder how long it'll be till the second one's built?

Comment Dr. James Tooley... (Score 1) 119

Is mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article although his book, and what he found in the poorest, third-word slums, wasn't. What he found was tiny, ramshackle private schools just about everywhere. Dr. Tooley's book "The Beautiful Tree" covers the phenomenon and how widely-spread it is.

Seems poor people, when the government schools are lousy enough, or non-existant, simply set up their own schools. Whoever has the entreprenuerial grit and enough education to convince very poor parents they might be able to education their child, simply goes into business.Sometimes in contravention to laws meant to maintain the government school monopoly.

I imagine Messrs Zuckerberg and Gates must have some knowledge of Dr. Tooley's findings else they'd have gone through the government education bureacracies as so many charitable organizations before them. Government education agencies are inevitably inefficient, typically corrupt and never accountable. I imagine both Mr. Gates and Mr. Zuckerberg, with their experience of trying to breath some life into the American public education system, understand the futility of trying to improve the performance of third world education bureacracies.

The Bridge model seems to be following in the footsteps of those tiny, private school Dr. Tooley discovered and while the article doesn't specifically mention them it seems pretty likely that the people who've opened their own private schools already will be among the first to see the value of working with Bridge.

Comment Re:it is the wrong way... (Score 1) 291

We over and over do exactly the wrong thing to save the world.

In view of the fact the world hasn't ended perhaps it isn't quite as desperately in need of saving as you seem to believe?

Alternatively, perhaps what you believe to be the wrong thing to do is, in view of the continued existance of the world, the right thing?

Comment Re:Horrible for the public school system (Score 1) 715

1) No they don't. Charters are public schools. Period. Since charters are public schools they can't very well take money from public schools.

2) In fact, it's district schools that can be explicitly and unapologetically selective. They're called magnet schools and unlike charters they generally require entrance exams, require the maintenance of grades above some minimum and can boot kids out for a variety of infractions.

3) Feel free to provide support for this contention. Charter schools are public schools and operate under all relevant, state-level rules and laws. If the state's signed up for Common Core then charters are just as much on the hook to abide by that decision as are district schools.

4) Again, provide some support for this contention.

Since charters aren't, by law, allowed to select their students there's no selection bias. As for "the companies that run them", charters do a good enough job to get the approval of parents. The one glaring difference between charters and district schools is that parents select charters. If parents don't care about funneling public school funds to the companies that run them why should anyone else's voice speak as loudly? You got anywhere near as much at stake as those charter school parents?

Comment Re:The big question is... (Score 2) 55

I'm a bit unclear on how this scientific consensus works.

What if the percentage of the world's climate scientists who agree with anthropogenic global warming were lower? Would they still be right? Say, if the percentage were 50%? Would that still establish anthropogenic global warming as scientifically valid?

Where's the cut-off exactly?

Comment By faithful to the canon... (Score 4, Insightful) 401

...does that mean there'll be lots of lip service to the Prime Directive while completely ignoring it? Does this mean the captain of an important Federation ship will get into fist fights as part of his duty as well? Will there be significant loss of life among the crew as a regular occurrance during peace time and will the ship regularly engage in ship-to-ship combat during this same peaceful time as well?

If the answer's "yes" then this new production will be faithful to the original.

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