Comments by Visduh

Standardized tests shunned by South Bay parents

The foregoing has been a most valuable exchange of ideas. Two major thrusts have been going on in public education ever since the "A Nation at Risk" report came out about thirty years ago. A big part of that critique was that there was a lack of standards for various classes in many states and school districts, and that the teachers didn't know what was expected of them. In the intervening years, that deficiency has been closed up in most places. Another factor was lack of accountability. Teachers who had no standards to aim for could not be blamed for failure to teach. While most teachers had a pretty good idea of the standards, based on the textbook they were provided, it wasn't always clear just how intensely certain things needed to be covered. The anti-teachers union cabal picked up on this confusion and decided that the teachers would be evaluated (and fired) on the basis of the performance of their students on tests. That called for standardized tests. It was a short step from there to teachers teaching "to a test", and little else. Well, if your job were riding on how your kids performed on a big year-end test, you would spend your time preparing them for that, and doing little else. Just stands to reason, folks. I recall in 1998 when the state wanted to do some uniform statewide testing, and wanted it on short notice. Nobody had a test that was based on California standards or on the "frameworks" that existed in certain disciplines. So, any test that was used would not fit with the state textbooks and generally not with the curricula being taught. Ah, but that didn't stop them. The state contracted to use the SAT-9 test, and administered it that year. (The test had nothing to do with the Scholastic Aptitude Test administered by the College Board, but was rather the Stanford Achievement Test (series), Version 9). It generally was based on some national standards that were followed most places most of the time, or so Stanford claimed. Sort of a "one size fits all" test package. That year I was on the teaching staff of No County's most under-performing high school, and there was plenty of concern about the test. One morning I was trying to talk to a fellow teacher, and he looked as if his best friend had just died. This teacher taught American government to seniors. He declared, "I've just looked at that test and our kids are screwed." then he repeated "Our kids are screwed" several more times, mantra-like. A few questions formed in my mind, ones I didn't ask. First was why the school and district (which had no written standards for any classes) didn't teach something closer to those "national standards." Second was what he and his fellow social science teachers were teaching instead. Third was how/why the kids were "screwed." It seemed to me that if anyone was screwed, it was the teachers, the school, and the fouled-up district. (See below.)
— April 13, 2014 3:22 p.m.

Manure stench plagues anti-Fletcher donor

Disagree. The whole concept of that development was that the course was a course, was a course. The use permits for all of that development were based on the uses as it started off. Literally any joker could come along, regardless of the popularity of golf, and claim that the course was no longer viable, after buying it up. You aver that the promises were in no way legally binding. The homeowners claim otherwise. I'd bet with them, not you. If Schlesinger had been willing to talk a bit, who knows what the homeowners would have accepted and paid for. There was room there for a win-win solution, and this yo-yo insisted upon his absolute "property rights", which do not exist, and no land owner has anything like a "perfect right to use it how they want." It mystifies me as to how anyone thinks that land use regulations are an abuse of power when they go back in US history to the very beginning (1620.) You make another curious claim, nonsensical, that " if you buy property, any restrictions that are not codified at the time of purchase and disclosed to you cannot later become your problem." Actually it is the buyer's burden to learn of any such restrictions. That's why we have title insurance and people who make a career of searching out land use covenants and restrictions and making up abstracts of title passage. No, jno, your understanding of common and statute real estate law are off the mark. You may be Schlesinger's sock puppet, or maybe just a confused citizen, but his juvenile "stink them out" move, or something out of Animal House, reflects very badly upon him, Stuck, or whatever new partnership du jour name he's come up with. If anyone were to take these efforts seriously, they would have to ignore some highly unseemly behavior from a property developer. I'd not trust him to do anything right, and would advise anyone to avoid his developments.
— April 12, 2014 8:56 p.m.