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Brummett wants Charter schools to show public schools how to do it”Friedman Friday”

John Brummett (10-26-11, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette online edition) does not want charter schools to put public schools out of business but he wants them to show public schools how to do it. (Paywall)

I seek in these matters a kind of Clintonian third-way finesse: I support charter schools only to the extent that they should be given the opportunity—availed by the KIPP schools, for example—to display effective methods that regular public schools should not resent and resist, but be compelled to emulate.

Yes, I understand that emulation would require that politicians give public educators more money. I’m for that. Longer school days and Saturday classes and summer classes aren’t free. KIPP has corporate backing for those kinds of things.

I don’t want charter schools to last forever and undermine public schools. I want their successful methods to be embraced by the public schools and for regular public schools to succeed to the point that alternatives are no longer so compelling. Charter schools should exist in temporary and ever-changing forms, not to show up public schools, but to show them how—not on everything, but on the latest thing.

That sounds good, but if you want the public school system to improve, it will take giving their captive audience an alternative. Many inner city parents would love to be given vouchers and get the same quality education that private schools are giving parents that have lots of money. How can you get around that logic. Meanwhile our inner city schools are becoming filled with violence.

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 1 of 6.

 
Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools
Transcript:
Friedman: These youngsters are beginning another day at one of America’s public schools, Hyde Park High School in Boston. What happens when they pass through those doors is a vivid illustration of some of the problems facing America’s schools.
They have to pass through metal detectors. They are faced by security guards looking for hidden weapons. They are watched over by armed police. Isn’t that awful. What a way for kids to have to go to school, through metal detectors and to be searched. What can they conceivably learn under such circumstances. Nobody is happy with this kind of education. The taxpayers surely aren’t. This isn’t cheap education. After all, those uniformed policemen, those metal detectors have to be paid for.
What about the broken windows, the torn school books, and the smashed school equipment. The teachers who teach here don’t like this kind of situation. The students don’t like to come here to go to school, and most of all, the parents __ they are the ones who get the worst deal __ they pay taxes like the rest of us and they are just as concerned about the kind of education that their kids get as the rest of us are. They know their kids are getting a bad education but they feel trapped. Many of them can see no alternative but to continue sending their kids to schools like this.
To go back to the beginning, it all started with the fine idea that every child should have a chance to learn his three R’s. Sometimes in June when it gets hot, the kids come out in the yard to do their lessons, all 15 of them, ages 5 to 13, along with their teacher. This is the last one-room schoolhouse still operating in the state of Vermont. That is the way it used to be. Parental control, parents choosing the teacher, parents monitoring the schooling, parents even getting together and chipping in to paint the schoolhouse as they did here just a few weeks ago. Parental concern is still here as much in the slums of the big cities as in Bucolic, Vermont. But control by parents over the schooling of their children is today the exception, not the rule.
Increasingly, schools have come under the control of centralized administration, professional educators deciding what shall be taught, who shall do the teaching, and even what children shall go to what school. The people who lose most from this system are the poor and the disadvantaged in the large cities. They are simply stuck. They have no alternative.
Of course, if you are well off you do have a choice. You can send your child to a private school or you can move to an area where the public schools are excellent, as the parents of many of these students have done. These students are graduating from Weston High School in one of Boston’s wealthier suburbs. Their parents pay taxes instead of tuition and they certainly get better value for their money than do the parents in Hyde Park. That is partly because they have kept a good deal of control over the local schools, and in the process, they have managed to retain many of the virtues of the one-room schoolhouse.
Students here, like Barbara King, get the equivalent of a private education. They have excellent recreational facilities. They have a teaching staff that is dedicated and responsive to parents and students. There is an atmosphere which encourages learning, yet the cost per pupil here is no higher than in many of our inner city schools. The difference is that at Weston, it all goes for education that the parents still retain a good deal of control.
Unfortunately, most parents have lost control over how their tax money in spent. Avabelle goes to Hyde Park High. Her parents too want her to have a good education, but many of the students here are not interested in schooling, and the teachers, however dedicated, soon lose heart in an atmosphere like this. Avabelle’s parents are certainly not getting value for their tax money.
Caroline Bell, Parent: I think it is a shame, really, that parents are being ripped off like we are. I am talking about parents like me that work every day, scuffle to try to make ends meet. We send our kids to school hoping that they will receive something that will benefit them in the future for when they go out here and compete in the job market. Unfortunately, none of that is taking place at Hyde Park.
Friedman: Children like Ava are being shortchanged by a system that was designed to help. But there are ways to help give parents more say over their children’s schooling.
This is a fundraising evening for a school supported by a voluntary organization, New York’s Inner City Scholarship Fund. The prints that have brought people here have been loaned by wealthy Japanese industrialist. Events like this have helped raise two million dollars to finance Catholic parochial schools in New York. The people here are part of a long American tradition. The results of their private voluntary activities have been remarkable.
This is one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City: the Bronx. Yet this parochial school, supported by the fund, is a joy to visit. The youngsters here from poor families are at Saint John Christians because their parents have picked this school and their parents are paying some of the costs from their own pockets. The children are well behaved, eager to learn, the teachers are dedicated. The cost per pupil here is far less than in the public schools, yet on the average the children are two grades ahead. That is because teachers and parents are free to choose how the children shall be taught. Private money has replaced the tax money and so control has been taken away from the bureaucrats and put back where it belongs.
This doesn’t work just for younger children. In the 60’s, Harlem was devastated by riots. It was a hot bed of trouble. Many teenagers dropped out of school.

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 1 of transcript and video)

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 1 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: Friedman: These youngsters are beginning another day at one of America’s public schools, Hyde Park High School in Boston. What happens when […]

 

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 4 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 4 of transcript and video) Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 4 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: It seems to me […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 3 of transcript and video) Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 3 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: If it doesn’t, they […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 2 of transcript and video) Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 2 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: Groups of concerned parents […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 6 of transcript and video)

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 6 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: FRIEDMAN: But I personally think it’s a good thing. But I don’t see that any reason whatsoever why I shouldn’t have been required […]

 

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 5 of transcript and video)

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 5 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: Are your voucher schools  going to accept these tough children? COONS: You bet they are. (Several talking at once.) COONS: May I answer […]

 
 
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Arkansas razorback Garrett Uekman found dead this morning

Arkansas tight end Garrett Uekman runs on the field with team mates Saturday, Nov. 19, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Photo by Stephen B. Thornton

I saw him play for Catholic against Bryant and I saw him run out on the field just yesterday, but he was found dead this morning in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas News Bureau noted:

I am proud of the way he represented our program,” Petrino said. “He did everything right and had one of our highest GPA’s on the football team. There was nothing Garrett loved more than competing. …

“I know it was Garrett’s dream was being at Arkansas and being a member of this football team. Our team will honor and respect his memory as we build this program.”

 Below is a story from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette website.

Arkansas tight end Garrett Uekman runs on the field with team mates Saturday, Nov. 19, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

By Matt Jones 

Originally published November 20, 2011 at 2:56 p.m., updated November 20, 2011 at 4:27 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE — Garrett Uekman, a redshirt freshman football player at Arkansas, died Sunday at the age of 19.

Uekman was pronounced dead at the Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville Sunday. The cause of death was not immediately known, though an autopsy to determine the cause is expected some time this week.

News of the tight end’s death came just hours after the team returned to Fayetteville from a game against Mississippi State at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Uekman’s home town.

Uekman graduated from Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys in 2010.

Arkansas football players were informed of the death at a team meeting Sunday afternoon, NBC affiliate KNWA-TV reported, and coach Bobby Petrino is expected to address the situation at some point Sunday afternoon.

photoArkansas redshirt freshman Garrett Uekman died Sunday, according to reports. + Enlarge

Several football players took to social media website Twitter to express their condolences. Among them, running back Knile Davis said, “Garrett Uekman rest in peace my brother. Watch over us as we continue to chase the dream (you) started with us. I love (you) and will forever miss (you).”

The No. 3 Razorbacks will play at No. 1 LSU on Friday.

Rachel Hood contributed to this report

Read tomorrow’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Thank you for coming to the website of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.We’re working to keep you informed with the latest breaking news.

Brummett on Wall Street Occupiers

Below is a portion of an article by John Brummett published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and my response to it.

Speaking for the occupiers

By John Brummett

…But it seems to me that, while they surely vary, these occupiers don’t necessarily protest anybody’s greed. That’s a personal flaw. Nor do they protest anyone’s success. That’s a personal victory.

Instead they rise against unfair and destructive governmental policy that inordinately favors the already-rich at the expense of everyone else, thus fashioning and exacerbating an unhealthy, unsustainable and undemocratic gap between the rich few and the other many.

How big a gap is too big? If the gap is bigger than it would be naturally, essentially and inevitably without political favoritism and artificial political enhancement—that’s when it is too big.

By wealth-favoring political practices and public policies, I cite:

Across-the-board tax cuts that lavish the richest with most of the manna.

Concessions to a global economy by which American corporations pay no price for abandoning American workers and by which corporations are judged by a stock price or dividend instead of local community responsibility. Many of our job losses result from a pattern by which corporations secure themselves against another American economic meltdown by hoarding record profits generated in partnership with compliant, moneyaddicted politicians.

An incestuous Washington culture in which you can hardly tell the elected politicians from the corporate policy advocates. The only thing voters accomplished by defeating Blanche Lincoln was to make her more money and perhaps more influential. Now she spouts her banal platitudes for pay from the National Association of Independent Business.

Campaign finance laws that enable the richest and the corporations to remain anonymous as they contribute unrestricted sums to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or other propagandizing front groups inundating us with cynical mailers and television advertising to perpetuate the pro-rich government.

Generally speaking, the occupiers’ complaint is not that there are spectacularly rich people in America. It is that some among these richest people can ruin the nation’s economy with irresponsible wagering on a scheme drawn from inflated American home mortgages. It is that these offenders can then get bailed out by the rest of us via the government, which permitted and even encouraged the abuse in the first place. It is that these offenders can then enjoy the government’s blessing as they traipse right back into their big-bonus bonanzas. It is that regular people, mere innocent pawns, find themselves paying the real price—foreclosed on and laid off.

It becomes tactically essential to the perpetuation of these pro-rich policies to miscast this uprising by portraying it in political terms as irresponsible poor people warring resentfully against noble rich people. So “class warfare” becomes the right wing’s hollow and dishonest charge.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Email him at jbrummett@arkansasonline.com and read his blog at brummett.arkansasonline.com.

This article was published November 15, 2011 at 5:25 a.m.

I think that unlike the Tea Party which is focused on just a full issues, the Occupy Wall Street crowd really is not sure about what direction is heading yet. Nevertheless, there are some statements and actions of their members that I would like to comment on.
 
First,  I wonder how peaceful this movement is. Jim Lendall is one of the organizers and back in April he stood on the steps of the state capitol at a “Make Them Pay Rally” and called for erecting guillotines and placing them in front of corporations like Bank of America to remind these business leaders that the rich leaders of the French government of the 1700’s were beheaded during the French Revolution because of their greed. Also the downtown branch of Bank of America reported that a large brick was thrown into a glass window near the first floor entrance of the bank.
 
Second, how big is this movement compared to conservative movements? Every year I take part in the “March for Life” which is a pro-life march that takes place every January. Last January we had over 5000 marchers, but the Occupy Little Rock March had only 300 marchers.
 
Third, both the Occupy Little Rock crowd and the Tea Party both are mad that the bailout was available because of cronyism. This is one area that I have in agreement with the Occupy Little Rock group, but we must take the next step. The Tea Party has done that by discouraging the larger role the federal government has been taking in recent years by controlling our lives with increases spending. The Tea Party has correctly condemned the federal deficit spending of the politicians in Washington D.C. as the primary problem. The Occupy Little Rock crowd never mentions that issue because their answer is to spend more money. If the USA is to avoid the fate of Greece.  Why does the federal government think it has the money to bail out anybody?
 
Fourth, the Occupy Little Rock crowd thinks we need more regulations and taxes on the big bad corporations.  There are two points here. If we raise taxes on those corporations then they will raise their prices on their products and we end up paying the higher prices at the retail stores. Also more regulations will hurt upstarts like Steve Jobs who started as a poor teenager in a garage with an idea. Steve Jobs later grew his company to over  350 billion dollars in sales and the  company  made a lot of money for lots of Americans who worked for him. Furthermore,  Steve Jobs also provided various products to the public that changed life for billions across the globe. Is that the type of progress that the Occupy Little Rock crowd is opposing?
 
Fifth, the Occupy Little Rock crowd talks about the system in our country that punishes the poor and helps the rich, but the facts clearly show that  the ability to move from poor to rich is more abundant here than any other country in the world.  Just consider Steve Jobs who was mentioned in the point above.
 
I have enjoyed Mr. Brummett’s articles, and they are very good at engaging the main issues of our day from the liberal perspective. As a conservative his articles have always challenged me to be able to defend my own views. His praise of the Occupy Little Rock crowd overlooks the fact that their answer is to tax the “rich” more, but  once the government is through with the rich then they come looking for you and me. I am not happy about them trying to occupy my wallet more than do now.  

Mangino speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club (Part 1)

Eric Magino is an excellent speaker and I enjoyed listening to him on November 14, 2011. Here is a story from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

 — In 2007, Mark Mangino led Kansas to its best football season in school history.

The Jayhawks went 12-1 and climbed to No. 2 in the BCS rankings before a 37-28 loss to No. 4 Missouri in the regular-season finale. After a 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, the Jayhawks finished seventh in the final Associated Press rankings and Mangino was the consensus coach of the year.

Two years later, the Jayhawks finished 5-7. After an internal investigation, Mangino was fired after he was accused of boorish behavior and violent actions, including grabbing his players and verbal abuse.

Mangino, 55, and living in Naples, Fla., spoke Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s weekly luncheon at the Embassy Suites hotel. When asked about his departure from Kansas, he didn’t elaborate, choosing to focus on the positives in an eight-year run that resulted in a 50-48 record, including 23-41 in Big 12 games and a 3-1 in bowl games.

“I choose to dwell on the positives and all the good things we did,” Mangino said after pausing when asked what happened during his final year at Kansas. “We accomplished a lot of things that gave me a sense of pride.”

However, he did talk a lot about college football’s off-thefield issues.

On Penn State, which fired longtime coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday night after the board of trustees determined he didn’t do enough when told that a graduate assistant saw former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with molesting eight boys, assaulting a boy in a school shower:

“It’s so painful to know that children were allegedly molested in the school’s football facility and as a parent, it’s got to knock you out,” Mangino said. “Growing up in Newcastle, Pa., I grew up idolizing Joe Paterno and I still do, but I can’t help but be disappointed.

“I used to tell my players that the outside world can be cruel and I would tell them that the football complex was their safe haven where you had teammates and coaches you could come to. I cannot comprehend the fact that young children were molested in that locker room. That is something I struggle with as a parent and a coach and it pains me to know that it could happen.

“Penn State will have to redefine itself and hopefully, we’ll all learn from this.”

On conference realignment that has seen Missouri and Texas A&M join the SEC, Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia and TCU join the Big 12:

“I remember sitting at a staff meeting and I had a feeling we were going to go to superconferences, but I thought the NCAA, atheltic directors and networks would do it in regards to geographic boundaries,” Mangino said.

“The thing I’m disappointed in is that it’s not happening. I know on each coast, nobody cares about Kansas-Missouri, but here, that’s a big deal and now there’s a good chance that won’t happen again. Nebraska-Oklahoma might not play again.”

On the state of the Big 12 — which saw Nebraska leave for the Big Ten, Colorado leave for the Pacific-12 and almost saw Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State leave for the Pac 12 before Commissioner Dan Beebe resigned under pressure last month:

“I feel bad for the Big 12 because it is a great conference and I hope it can hang in there,” Mangino said.

Mangino said he never had the feeling that Texas was trying to run the conference. He also said while at Kansas he stayed away from the business issues that have dominated headlines recently.

“We would be briefed on things after the fact, but the athletic directors were usually involved in those meetings,” Mangino said. “I always concerned myself with what goes on the field and never focused on the business aspect.”

On his future, Mangino said he would like to coach again, but is waiting for the right opportunity.

“I’d like to be a head coach, but I’m willing to be a coordinator or a line coach if somebody needs one,” Mangino said. “I feel I have a few snaps left in me and I want to go to a place where football is important.”

This article was published today at 4:52 a.m.

Sports, Pages 22 on 11/15/2011

Sports 22

The two roads to a Razorback national championship in 2011 jh83

An impressive 49-7 victory over the UT Vols helped the Razorbacks rise to #6 in the BCS. Now we need Oklahoma to beat Okl St and Auburn to beat Alabama and then Arkansas will have a road to the National Championship. With a victory over Miss St and LSU and then a victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game then Arkansas would climb to the either 1 or 2 in the BCS and qualify for the BCS Championship game.

The second road would be if we beat Miss St and LSU and Alabama goes to the SEC Championship game and loses to Georgia.

Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson scored on two touchdown runs of 71 and 15 yards Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, helping the Razorbacks post a 49-7 victory over Tennessee and rise from No. 8 to No. 6 in the BCS standings.

Photo by Jason Ivester

Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson scored on two touchdown runs of 71 and 15 yards Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, helping the Razorbacks post a 49-7 victory over Tennessee and rise from No. 8 to No. 6 in the BCS standings.

Below article from today’s Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Monday, November 14, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has matched its highest Bowl Championship Series ranking at No. 6 in the latest standings released on Sunday night.

The Razorbacks also were No. 6 in the Nov. 19, 2006 BCS standings after a 28-14 victory at Mississippi State clinched the SEC West title and extended their winning streak to 10 games. Arkansas lost to LSU 31-26 in its next game to begin a three-game losing skid to end the 2006 season.

Arkansas (9-1, 5-1) moved up two spots from No. 8 in last week’s BCS standings thanks to a 49-7 victory over Tennessee on Saturday night Alabama (9-1) at .910, Oregon (9-1) at .876 and Oklahoma (9-1) at .840. The Razorbacks are at .797.

Arkansas moved up two spots in the human polls that form two-thirds of the BCS equation — from No. 8 to No. 6 in the USA Today/Coaches poll and the Harris poll.

combined with Boise State losing to TCU 36-35 and Stanford losing to Oregon 53-30.

Stanford fell from No. 4 to No. 9 in the BCS standings while Boise State fell from No. 5 to No. 10.

LSU (10-0) remains No. 1 with a .993 score, followed by Oklahoma State (10-0) at .946,

Arkansas remained at No. 6 in the computer rankings, which make up one-third of the formula, moving ahead of Boise State, which went from tied for 4th to 12th in the computers. Oregon, No. 8 in last week’s computer component, moved into a tie for fourth with Oklahoma after defeating previously unbeaten Stanford.

Arkansas moved over Stanford in the human polls, but the Hogs were already ahead of the Cardinal in the computer last week.

Overall, the Hogs added .050 to their BCS average, going from .745 to .795, the second-largest upward move of any team in the top six. No. 4 Oregon rose 1.047 after beating Stanford.

Arkansas’ move from No. 8 to No. 6 was to be expected after the losses of Stanford and Boise State. The Oregon-Stanford game was still being played while the Razorbacks did postgame interviews, but they knew Boise State had lost.

“It was good to see Boise State lose,” Arkansas senior defensive end Jake Bequette said. “I’m not a big fan of theirs. Hopefully, we’ll take their place and just keep moving up.”

The Razorbacks actually took Oklahoma’s place at No. 6, but the opportunity is there for them to go higher in the next two weeks with games against Mississippi State on Saturday in Little Rock and at LSU on Nov. 25. If the Razorbacks win those two games, they possibly could play in the SEC Championship Game depending on what Alabama does in its final two games against Georgia Southern and at Auburn.

“Being 9-1 is great, but I think there’s still some wins left out there for us, and a lot of goals left out there to achieve,” Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson said. “We’re going to keep pressing forward and really focus on finishing strong.”

The Razorbacks routed Tennessee in the final Fayetteville game for 17 seniors. Four of the seniors scored touchdowns: receivers Joe Adams and Jarius Wright and running backs Broderick Green and De’Anthony Curtis.

“It was just fun to watch,” Wilson said of the big plays by the seniors. “It’s fun to see the evolution of the entire program, where it was when we walked in and started a bunch of young guys.

“We really kind of got beat up that first year [in 2008], and to see where we’re at now, and send them out right, feels great.”

Bequette said he didn’t take any time Saturday night soaking in the scene at his last game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“This is all business right now,” Bequette said. “This team’s on a mission. We’re not taking any time to look around and enjoy the scenery.

“We’re 9-1 and we’ve got two big SEC games left. This was just one more win.”

The SEC has three of the top six teams in the BCS standings for the third time. The other two times were the fourth week standings in 1999 (No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Tennessee and No. 6 Alabama) and first week standings n 2005 (No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Alabama and No. 6 LSU).

Other SEC teams in this week’s BCS standings are are No. 12 South Carolina, No. 14 Georgia and No. 24 Auburn.

Tom Murpy’s ballot

  1. LSU 2. Oklahoma State 3. Alabama 4. Arkansas 5. Oregon 6. Oklahoma 7. Clemson 8. Georgia 9. Wisconsin 10. Virginia Tech 11. Stanford 12. Boise State 13. S. Carolina 14. Nebraska 15. Mich. State 16. Southern Cal 17. Kansas State 18. Houston 19. Michigan 20. Florida State 21. TCU 22. So. Miss 23. Virginia 24. Notre Dame 25. Georgia Tech

DROPPED OUT

Penn State, Cincinnati, Texas

Sports, Pages 15 on 11/14/2011

 

Will Arkansas get Stokes to sign? CBS predicts the answer is no

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported today that Arkansas is after a top high school basketball player named Jarnell Stokes. My sources tell me he is leaning to signing with Kentucky. Below are the predictions of a sports writer from CBS.

By Jeff Borzello

Over the past few years, the early signing period in college basketball recruiting hasn’t had too much drama. With players making commitments earlier and earlier, the majority of the top-100 kids have pledged to a school prior to November. This year, though, has the potential to be different. Of our top 100 players in the class of 2012, 80 are already committed. Despite that, nine of the 24 five-star prospects are still open and several could be on the verge of announcing in the next couple of weeks.

Where do the 20 uncommitted players in our top 100 stand? Here’s a look at their recruitments – as well as where we think they will end up.

1. Shabazz Muhammad (No. 1 overall)

Considering: Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, Arizona, UNLV, Kansas, Texas A&M
Will wait until the spring to sign, and UCLA still seems like the leader. Kentucky, Duke, UNLV chasing.
Prediction: UCLA

2. Alex Poythress (No. 12)

Considering: Memphis, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida
Plans to announce on Thursday, with Memphis, Kentucky and Vanderbilt all feeling like they have a chance.
Prediction: Kentucky

3. Amile Jefferson (No. 13)

Considering: Connecticut, North Carolina State, Kentucky, Ohio State, Stanford
Doesn’t have a set date for his decision, but he will get it done in the early period. Wide open, but he visited NC State this past weekend.
Prediction: North Carolina State

4. Anthony Bennett (No. 14)

Considering: Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, UNLV, Washington, West Virginia
Don’t expect a quick resolution to this recruiting. Still very wide open, and will be a spring signee.
Prediction: Connecticut

5. Gary Harris (No. 15)

Considering: Michigan State, Purdue, Kentucky, Indiana
One of the most hotly-contested recruitments in the country, Harris is close to a decision. Up in the air at this point.
Prediction: Michigan State

6. Jarnell Stokes (No. 16)

Considering: Florida, Arkansas, Memphis, Kentucky, Tennessee
Kentucky turning up the heat on Stokes recently makes this recruitment even tougher to read, as Arkansas and Memphis were the favorites.
Prediction: Memphis

7. Robert Carter (No. 19)

Considering: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State
Will announce his decision on Thursday, in Atlanta. Georgia Tech has emerged as the leader heading down the stretch.
Prediction: Georgia Tech

8. Devonta Pollard (No. 20)

Considering: Kentucky, Georgetown, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Texas, Alabama, Marquette
Because Pollard plays football, he’s not very focused on recruiting right now. Will be a spring signee, with the SEC looking likely.
Prediction: Kentucky

9. Tony Parker (No. 22)

Considering: Duke, Memphis, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown
This is an interesting recruitment, with plenty of twists and turns. Has taken multiple visits, with the most recent coming to Duke.

Prediction: Duke

10. Robert Upshaw (No. 40)

Considering: Kansas State, Fresno State, Georgetown, Louisville
Down to four and likely to make a decision in the next week or two. Fresno native has his hometown school high, but Louisville also feels good.
Prediction: Louisville

11. Torian Graham (No. 41)

Considering: Maryland, Texas
Since Graham decommitted from North Carolina State, there hasn’t been much about his recruitment. Maryland has made a good push.
Prediction: Maryland

12. Savon Goodman (No. 49)

Considering: Temple, USC, Kentucky, Arizona, Villanova, Pittsburgh
Former Villanova commit has taken time off from the recruiting circuit to focus on academics, but he might have to reclassify.
Prediction: Reclassify to 2013

13. Andrew White (No. 51)

Considering: Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Louisville, North Carolina State, Richmond
Still wide open and with no favorites, White looks like he will end his recruitment fairly soon. Plenty of high-major schools coming on strong.
Prediction: Richmond

14. Ricardo Gathers (No. 52)

Considering: St. John’s, Texas, LSU
Gathers decommitted from St. John’s on Tuesday evening, announcing that he would sign in the spring. Unclear who’s now in the mix.
Prediction: LSU?

15. Winston Shepard (No. 53)

Considering: New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma State, Georgia, UNLV, UTEP, San Diego State
Another West coast kid that will likely wait until the spring, Shepard still plans on taking more official visits.
Prediction: New Mexico

16. Zena Edosomwan (No. 62)

Considering: USC, California, Washington, Harvard, Texas
This one won’t end until the spring. USC is definitely in a strong position, but look out for Harvard – if he gets admitted to the school.
Prediction: Harvard

17. Wanaah Bail (No. 74)

Considering: Oregon, Texas Tech, Houston
It looked like Bail was going to make a decision last month, but he pushed it back and now looks to be wide open in the process.
Prediction: Oregon

18. Nino Jackson (No. 76)

Considering: Kansas, Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas
It’s really difficult to get a read on Jackson’s recruitment, as he didn’t play AAU and took awhile to decide on a high school.
Prediction: Junior college/Prep

19. Charles Mitchell (No. 92)

Considering: Seton Hall, Maryland, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Florida State
There hasn’t been a ton of action in his recruitment lately, outside of a visit to Seton Hall. Could become a hotter commodity late.
Prediction: Tennessee

20. Philip Nolan (No. 93)

Considering: Clemson, Marquette, Minnesota, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas A&M
Another player who hasn’t advanced much in the process. Seems fickle about making a decision early, which could scare some away.
Prediction: Marquette

Photos: Las Vegas Sun, ESPN.com, Nation of Blue, LA Daily News

Brummett wants Charter schools to show public schools how to do it

John Brummett (10-26-11, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette online edition) does not want charter schools to put public schools out of business but he wants them to show public schools how to do it. (Paywall)

I seek in these matters a kind of Clintonian third-way finesse: I support charter schools only to the extent that they should be given the opportunity—availed by the KIPP schools, for example—to display effective methods that regular public schools should not resent and resist, but be compelled to emulate.

Yes, I understand that emulation would require that politicians give public educators more money. I’m for that. Longer school days and Saturday classes and summer classes aren’t free. KIPP has corporate backing for those kinds of things.

I don’t want charter schools to last forever and undermine public schools. I want their successful methods to be embraced by the public schools and for regular public schools to succeed to the point that alternatives are no longer so compelling. Charter schools should exist in temporary and ever-changing forms, not to show up public schools, but to show them how—not on everything, but on the latest thing.

That sounds good, but if you want the public school system to improve, it will take giving their captive audience an alternative. Many inner city parents would love to be given vouchers and get the same quality education that private schools are giving parents that have lots of money. How can you get around that logic. Meanwhile our inner city schools are becoming filled with violence.

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 1 of 6.

 
Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools
Transcript:
Friedman: These youngsters are beginning another day at one of America’s public schools, Hyde Park High School in Boston. What happens when they pass through those doors is a vivid illustration of some of the problems facing America’s schools.
They have to pass through metal detectors. They are faced by security guards looking for hidden weapons. They are watched over by armed police. Isn’t that awful. What a way for kids to have to go to school, through metal detectors and to be searched. What can they conceivably learn under such circumstances. Nobody is happy with this kind of education. The taxpayers surely aren’t. This isn’t cheap education. After all, those uniformed policemen, those metal detectors have to be paid for.
What about the broken windows, the torn school books, and the smashed school equipment. The teachers who teach here don’t like this kind of situation. The students don’t like to come here to go to school, and most of all, the parents __ they are the ones who get the worst deal __ they pay taxes like the rest of us and they are just as concerned about the kind of education that their kids get as the rest of us are. They know their kids are getting a bad education but they feel trapped. Many of them can see no alternative but to continue sending their kids to schools like this.
To go back to the beginning, it all started with the fine idea that every child should have a chance to learn his three R’s. Sometimes in June when it gets hot, the kids come out in the yard to do their lessons, all 15 of them, ages 5 to 13, along with their teacher. This is the last one-room schoolhouse still operating in the state of Vermont. That is the way it used to be. Parental control, parents choosing the teacher, parents monitoring the schooling, parents even getting together and chipping in to paint the schoolhouse as they did here just a few weeks ago. Parental concern is still here as much in the slums of the big cities as in Bucolic, Vermont. But control by parents over the schooling of their children is today the exception, not the rule.
Increasingly, schools have come under the control of centralized administration, professional educators deciding what shall be taught, who shall do the teaching, and even what children shall go to what school. The people who lose most from this system are the poor and the disadvantaged in the large cities. They are simply stuck. They have no alternative.
Of course, if you are well off you do have a choice. You can send your child to a private school or you can move to an area where the public schools are excellent, as the parents of many of these students have done. These students are graduating from Weston High School in one of Boston’s wealthier suburbs. Their parents pay taxes instead of tuition and they certainly get better value for their money than do the parents in Hyde Park. That is partly because they have kept a good deal of control over the local schools, and in the process, they have managed to retain many of the virtues of the one-room schoolhouse.
Students here, like Barbara King, get the equivalent of a private education. They have excellent recreational facilities. They have a teaching staff that is dedicated and responsive to parents and students. There is an atmosphere which encourages learning, yet the cost per pupil here is no higher than in many of our inner city schools. The difference is that at Weston, it all goes for education that the parents still retain a good deal of control.
Unfortunately, most parents have lost control over how their tax money in spent. Avabelle goes to Hyde Park High. Her parents too want her to have a good education, but many of the students here are not interested in schooling, and the teachers, however dedicated, soon lose heart in an atmosphere like this. Avabelle’s parents are certainly not getting value for their tax money.
Caroline Bell, Parent: I think it is a shame, really, that parents are being ripped off like we are. I am talking about parents like me that work every day, scuffle to try to make ends meet. We send our kids to school hoping that they will receive something that will benefit them in the future for when they go out here and compete in the job market. Unfortunately, none of that is taking place at Hyde Park.
Friedman: Children like Ava are being shortchanged by a system that was designed to help. But there are ways to help give parents more say over their children’s schooling.
This is a fundraising evening for a school supported by a voluntary organization, New York’s Inner City Scholarship Fund. The prints that have brought people here have been loaned by wealthy Japanese industrialist. Events like this have helped raise two million dollars to finance Catholic parochial schools in New York. The people here are part of a long American tradition. The results of their private voluntary activities have been remarkable.
This is one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City: the Bronx. Yet this parochial school, supported by the fund, is a joy to visit. The youngsters here from poor families are at Saint John Christians because their parents have picked this school and their parents are paying some of the costs from their own pockets. The children are well behaved, eager to learn, the teachers are dedicated. The cost per pupil here is far less than in the public schools, yet on the average the children are two grades ahead. That is because teachers and parents are free to choose how the children shall be taught. Private money has replaced the tax money and so control has been taken away from the bureaucrats and put back where it belongs.
This doesn’t work just for younger children. In the 60’s, Harlem was devastated by riots. It was a hot bed of trouble. Many teenagers dropped out of school.

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 1 of transcript and video)

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 1 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: Friedman: These youngsters are beginning another day at one of America’s public schools, Hyde Park High School in Boston. What happens when […]

 

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 4 of transcript and video)

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Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 3 of transcript and video) Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 3 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: If it doesn’t, they […]

 

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 2 of transcript and video) Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 2 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: Groups of concerned parents […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 6 of transcript and video)

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 6 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: FRIEDMAN: But I personally think it’s a good thing. But I don’t see that any reason whatsoever why I shouldn’t have been required […]

 

 

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “What is wrong with our schools?” (Part 5 of transcript and video)

Here is the video clip and transcript of the film series FREE TO CHOOSE episode “What is wrong with our schools?” Part 5 of 6.   Volume 6 – What’s Wrong with our Schools Transcript: Are your voucher schools  going to accept these tough children? COONS: You bet they are. (Several talking at once.) COONS: May I answer […]

 

 

 

Gene Simmons is confronted about his disrespect for women in October 17, 2011 episode

“Your disrespect for women, you got a daughter and how old is she? (He responds, “19.”) How many 19 yr olds have you slept with. How about some man like you, some rock star take her, what will you do? Do you want her to be treated like that? (Gene Simmons shakes his head no.) Well every other 19, 22, 25, 40 year old, I don’t care, they are somebody’s daughter and you can not even remember their name.   (Gene nods his head yes like he agrees with what she is saying.) I am done.”

Gene Simmons Proposed 'Months Ago' | Gene Simmons

Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons

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Republicans are no longer a rarity in Arkansas

John Brummett talks about how state lawmakers get paid today. It is problem that the Democrats created 20 years ago and the Republicans will have to correct in 2013.

In the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is an excellent article . The Republicans are going to take over soon and the Blue Arkansas Blog can rant and rave about it all they want but the good ole days for Democrats in Arkansas are over :

How to scare a governor

Show him a two-party system in Arkansas

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

LITTLE ROCK — SOME OF us are old enough to remember when Arkansas, like the rest of the South, had only one party (Democratic), one crop (cotton), and one issue always lurking behind all the others.

But the times, they’re not only changing, they done changed. (Linguistic note: The insertion of the auxiliary “done” in a verb form means it’s in the tense known as the Southern Emphatic.)

Cotton long since has been challenged by rice, soybeans and even corn in the old Cotton Kingdom.

Even the race issue ain’t what she used to be, having lost much of its power. The days when an Orval Faubus could pull it out of his sleeve whenever he wanted another term in the Governor’s Mansion seem as far behind us as George Wallace’s time in Alabama, or Lester Maddox’s in Georgia.

These days the demagogues have to settle for unsatisfactory substitutes for the race issue like fear of Hispanic immigrants. The race card itself may be played only rarely, as when a white candidate dares run for office in a largely black constituency. People just don’t seem as scared of the Other as they used to be.

Most upsetting of all, Republicans are no longer a rarity. They could show up anywhere these days. One could be living next door. Some even inhabit state constitutional offices (land commissioner, secretary of state, even lieutenant governor), and comprise most of the state’s congressional delegation. The two-party system has even raised its heads in the state legislature, where Republicans seem to occupy more seats every year. The impertinence of it. Don’t these people know their place?

It’s alarming. Mike Beebe, who’s still governor and still a Democrat, certainly sounds alarmed. “It scares me a little bit . . .” he told a Lions Club at Conway the other day—twice. For he also noted that the state’s House of Representatives was dividing more along party lines than the Senate, “and it scares me.” And it’s not even Halloween yet.

If this state keeps getting more Americanized, the two-party system could become as much a fixture of state politics as it is in Congress. And the benefits of competition might be as widely recognized in politics as they are in business.

How alarming. The governor certainly sounded alarmed. And has reason to be. For where will it all end? At this rate, some of these uppity Republicans in the Ledge might even object when a governor chooses a good ol’ boy as director of higher education whether or not he’s legally qualified. They might even go so far as to ask the state’s attorney general for an opinion that reveals how little the governor really cares about the law he’s supposed to follow.

Now that’s scary.

This article was published today at 4:30 a.m.Editorial, Pages 14 on 10/11/2011

Editorial 14

Stephens Media loses John Brummett to Ark Democrat-Gazette

I will continue to comment a lot on Brummett’s articles and I have posted links to some of my past posts below. (Brummett is a liberal although some have disputed that.) Brummett is one of the best journalists I have had the chance to read. Many others have articles that don’t engage the issues of the day like he does. I started reading his articles in the 1980’s and haven’t ever stopped since.

The Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times Blog reported this morning:

John Brummett moves to Democrat-Gazette — again

Posted by Max Brantley on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 12:01 AM

DOG GONE: John Brummett

  • GONE TO DOG: John Brummett

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a big story this morning about the return of the prodigal — columnist John Brummett is joining the newspaper as an op-ed page columnist. 

He’ll write three columns for the newspaper and one column for on-line use only. You’ll have to subscribe to get the on-line colum.

I’ll leave it to the Democrat-Gazette to chronicle Brummett’s resume — Log Cabin Democrat, Arkansas Democrat, Arkansas Gazette, Arkansas Times/Arkansas Business, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Times, Stephens Media , Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The move means he’ll be departing the pages of the Arkansas Times. He appeared here through a syndicate agreement with Stephens Media.

Brummett will be an independent contractor, not a Democrat-Gazette employee. He fills a niche — local news columnist — that has been sorely lacking in the state’s largest newspaper.

Departing Stephens Media for the Democrat-Gazette? To be edited by Paul Greenberg, who was known to take a crack or two at Brummett during the days they were on the same team?

It’s not really that surprising. He was hired away from the D-G at extraordinarily high pay when Stephens and the Democrat-Gazette were in a Northwest Arkansas newspaper war (shades of Orville Henry). The war’s over. Hussman won. He controls the operations of blended papers in the region, though Stephens shares in the profits, if any, and staffs the papers that wrap around the regional edition of the D-G. Stephens has pared its newspaper payroll nationwide substantially. Its flagship newspaper property, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is no longer a cash cow. It, too, has been rocked by layoffs. The Stephens Little Rock news bureau is much smaller than it was during the war, serving mostly to supply copy to Pine Bluff, which no longer takes AP, and Fort Smith. The Democrat-Gazette, with its statewide circulation, can make better use of a columnist. And if the subscription model works, it might even make some money on the deal.

__________________________

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