Friday Open Thread

“We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.”

–Niccolo Machiavelli

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18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    The Biden Fallacy: Struggle against the powerful, not accommodation of their interests, is how America produced the conditions for its greatest social reforms.

    But this is a faulty view of how progress happens. Struggle against the powerful, not accommodation of their interests, is how Americans produced the conditions for its greatest social accomplishments like the creation of the welfare state and the toppling of Jim Crow. Without radical labor activism that identifies capitalism — and the bosses — as the vector for oppression and disadvantage, there is no New Deal. Without a confrontational (and at times militant) black freedom movement, there is no Civil Rights Act. If one of the central problems of the present is an elite economic class that hoards resources and opportunity at the expense of the public as a whole, then it’s naïve and ahistoric to believe the beneficiaries of that arrangement will willingly relinquish their power and privilege.

    If there’s a major division within Democratic politics, it’s between those who confront and those who seek to accommodate. Because we lack a varied vocabulary in mainstream political discourse, we call the latter “moderates” or “centrists,” which doesn’t capture the dynamic at work.

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    According to Chalkbeat, denver has one administrator for every 7.5 instruction personnel, a category that includes teachers, librarians and nurses.  The statewide average is 1 for 11.3.

    I know from past reporting that comparisons can be tricky because some districts count nurses, etc. with instructors, others with administrative personnel.  I do think Denver, long beset with litigation over racial integration, has a lot of adminisrators dealing with such issues.  

    But as a strike looms, we need to demand a rigorous analysis of Denver's tooth to tail ratio.  Trimming unnecessary administrative staff can free up money for more teachers, more teacher aides and higher pay for classroom teachers.  Do we really need three administrators for every two in other districts?

     

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      It's gotten worse, but even when I was in high school in Aurora, heading on toward 40 years ago(!), we had four vice-principals for a student body of 1800 or so

    • Wong21fr says:

      DPS Superintendent Cordova has stated that she's looking to cut 100 administrative positions- a 10% cut in headcount and would increase the ratio to 1 to 8.4.

      So that would be a start.  The question will be if, as the union has alluded, that low-performing students are not due to a lack of teacher effectiveness than what tools should be used to improve low performing schools.  Seems like it points in the direction of greater local school autonomy, aka charter and innovation schools and the overall threat of school closures for lack of effectiveness.

    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

      Tbh, administrative bloat isn't really the issue. Colorado is well below the national average in per student educational spending. Indeed, it's 38th in per student educational spending. This seems much more significant than administrative bloat.

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        I dsagree — it underscores the need to put resources where they are most needed.  It's hard to get taxpayers to dig down deep if the money is largely wasted on bureaucratic Mickey Mouse.

        • deathpigeon | they/them says:

          As you yourself point out, those administrators aren't there for no reason. I don't think we should have a ton of bureaucracy and administrators in school districts, but some situations require them and focusing overly on them distracts from the issue of funding levels which is much more significant.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Paul Krugman explains socialism, and how the GOP is our friend by ensuring its growing popularity in the U.S. 🙂

    Some progressive U.S. politicians now describe themselves as socialists, and a significant number of voters, including a majority of voters under 30, say they approve of socialism. But neither the politicians nor the voters are clamoring for government seizure of the means of production. Instead, they’ve taken on board conservative rhetoric that describes anything that tempers the excesses of a market economy as socialism, and in effect said, “Well, in that case I’m a socialist.”

    So scaremongering over socialism is both silly and dishonest. But will it be politically effective?

    Probably not. After all, voters overwhelmingly support most of the policies proposed by American “socialists,” including higher taxes on the wealthy and making Medicare available to everyone (although they don’t support plans that would force people to give up private insurance — a warning to Democrats not to make single-payer purity a litmus test).

    On the other hand, we should never discount the power of dishonesty. Right-wing media will portray whomever the Democrats nominate for president as the second coming of Leon Trotsky, and millions of people will believe them. Let’s just hope that the rest of the media report the clean little secret of American socialism, which is that it isn’t radical at all.

     

    • ParkHill says:

      Medicare and Social Security are "FREE STUFF" proposed  by ULTRA LEFTISTs and forced on us by the GOVERNMENT.

      As we approach 2020 it is time to review Ronald Reagan's prediction: "We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Hmmm.  I thought Ronaldtradamus’s sunset years were spent more telling stories about illegal weapons deals, how he won WWII, and napping . . . 

        . . . got any Joseph McCarthy, or George Wallace, prognostications?

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Ye shall know the deficits, and the deficits shall set you free.

        Ronald Reagan

        . . . another, I thought you might like. 

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Looking on the bright side

    Political Cartoon

  5. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Huffpost headline:

    Reports: Feds Probing Pecker

    (You just can't make this shit up!)

  6. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

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