Lookin’ good, for 4.28 billion years old

September 25, 2008

New candidate for “oldest rocks on Earth,” from Canada.  They come in perhaps as old as 4.28 billion years.

They’re older than John McCain!

90 years ago today, the fighting 369th won the war

September 25, 2008

You won’t find it phrased that way in any of the textbooks, but it would improve the telling of history of World War I if we did tell it that way.  This retelling promises to be a good one.

It might improve race relations in the U.S., too.

The story of the Harlem Hellfighters, the 369th Infantry Regiment, and their bravery and fighting acumen in World War I, make for a gripping day of war stories, if you’re looking for stories of heroism.

Edge of the American West is one of those blogs that will make you smarter as you read it, rather than angrier.  If someone is wrong somewhere on the internet, Edge of the American West will help you keep it in perspective.

“Isn’t that how the last depression started?”

September 25, 2008

Econ, government teachers:  Are you ready to explain this one?

China banks told to halt lending to U.S. banks

And then this one:

China denies shunning foreign banks

“Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Dallas to cut nearly 700 teachers

September 25, 2008

Let’s get back to education nuts and bolts for a while.  I have not commented on this partly because I’ve been on the road and just busier than most teachers with three preps, and partly because this is just jaw-droppingly unbelievable stuff.

Education nuts, anyway, maybe without the bolts.

Officials at Dallas Independent School District (DISD) announced over a week ago they had discovered an accounting error that led to hiring too many new teachers, and a $64 million shortfall.  The Board of Trustees asked for more details to a plan proposed last week that includes layoffs of teachers, including some that were newly-hired.

The second report is due this afternoon, and the DISD Board will meet tonight to consider action.  If people are not cut, the budget shortfall will double in the rest of this fiscal year.

Most teachers have been working on estimates that 750 teachers will be axed, which works out to about 3 from each campus.

The Dallas Morning News’s DISD Blog says fewer than 750 will go.

More employees could be laid off than expected. We’re hearing from a good source that 1,209 employees would be let go if the board approves to have a reduction in force at today’s 3 p.m. meeting.

The layoff numbers breakdown like this:

Central office – 164
Campus non-contract support staff – 250
Campus administrators – 50
Teachers – 675
Non-teaching campus support staff – 70

One more battle lost in the War on Education.  For Dallas, this is a big one, for the effects on morale alone.

Coupled with the collapse of schools in Milwaukee, lack of gasoline in Tennessee, the unmitigated and unreported natural disaster from the storm named Gustav that hit Baton Rouge, the known disaster caused by Hurricane and Tropical Depression Ike, one might be excuse for thinking much of the U.S. is sinking to second- or third-world status.  Oh, and did I mention that most of our larger financial institutions are in ruins, too?

As one of the more recent hires in Dallas ISD, excuse me while I go back to working with the kids.

What?  You thought I’d have time to chew my fingernails?  You don’t know jack about teaching, or teachers, if you thought that.

Stay tuned.  Check out resources listed below.


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