Peanut Butter Knife

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend: March 4-5

I spent a good part of my writing energy this weekend on a piece for another site about South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun. I'll post a link when it goes up. Outside of that, I went on a vinyl dig in Cleveland that yielded some pretty fine returns that I'll blog about later in the week. For now, a roundup of interesting stuff:

--The Plain Dealer had an article Saturday on some misleading statistics found in the federal rankings of local school districts. It doesn't surprise me that Bushco would devise such a poor method of measuring school excellence, but what really blew me away was this:

In addition, if a district continues to have any subgroup fail - even if the student body as a whole passes - the state could eventually take control of the school or district, and even contract management out to a private company.

"My gravest concern of all is that in a few years we will have turned these systems over to the private sector, who will loot our cities and not educate our children," Estrop said, stressing he hopes he is wrong. "Their intent is on making a profit."

Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention when NCLB was passed, but did this little provision get much notice back then? Much like Medicare's prescription drug plan is a giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry, NCLB is merely the first step towards a for-profit education system that will have little oversight and ensure low-quality for low-income students.

--The schedule for the 30th Cleveland International Film Festival is out. The lineup this year doesn't look quite as appetizing as some years, but perhaps that's a good thing since every year, I end up missing a lot of things I want to see. Some interesting selections I hope to see include: The Bow, Dam Street, Portrait of a Lady Faraway, and Clearcut. I'll have to plan this around what's showing on the weekend or maybe take a day off on a Friday or Monday.

I miss the days when I was at CSU and the festival would always coincide with spring break. With little else to do, I'd practically live at Tower City, sometimes seeing as many as 3 films a day. I've seen so many interesting movies at the festival over the years: Men With Guns, Lawn Dogs (very underrated), Late August Early September, The Acid House, Children of Heaven, Stevie, In the Realms of the Unreal, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself. Last night I made fun of how many times during the Oscars they felt compelled to remind us that we should be watching films in a theater and not on DVD. Though the desperation at this high profile event was, in fact, laughable; it is true. I wonder how much these films would have stayed with me if I'd only watched them at home on a TV screen.

--Pho has more on Capri Cafaro's new infomercial.

--Finally, Pandagon has been kicking my ass (in a good way) lately. Great analysis and engaging writing. Definitely check it out.


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