Utterly Meaningless » 2005 » July

    Filed on July 29, 2005 at 8:34 pm under by dcobranchi

    Vacation, Part II. This one just until Tuesday a.m. in Asheville, NC.


    Filed on at 8:34 pm under by dcobranchi

    It’s all our fault. Even when it isn’t:

    Lack of jobs, home schooling blamed for drop in Arkadelphia’s school enrollment

    …Another factor that can be related to the loss in student enrollment is the number of students being home-schooled. The district received 60 applications during the 2004-2005 school year from parents who wanted to home school their children… According to records obtained from the school district, home schooling became popular in the early 1990s and peaked in 2001 with 70 students applying for home school status. The number has remained around 60 each year since that time.

    The “logic” of the g-school system never ceases to astound me.


    Filed on at 8:34 pm under by dcobranchi

    Marshall Fritz has allies in India:

    Certainly, the fact that parents have to pay school fees as well as tuition charges is grossly unfair. But when competition is fierce and public schools have absolutely no accountability, private tuitions cannot be abolished… Home-schooling was prevalent in India as recently as 50 years ago and created several masterminds. Public schools exist today and, yet, people resort to tutors. Consistently, people have chosen one system of pedagogy over another, so why not dissolve the redundant one? Centralised exams are the only institution required. Students should be allowed to crack those exams by the most effective means available to them.


    Filed on at 8:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    I wonder if you can drink beer around the campfire. Probably not, I guess.

    Dry Creek Baptist Camp

    Homeschoolers family camp will be August 11 to 13. This event is held for all home-school families. The speakers will be Roger and Jan Smith of Ruston, LA. Music will be provided by Randy and Lori Ray of Hammond, LA. The cost for the event will be $150 per family which includes 2 nights’ lodging and 6 meals. Price for commuters is $75. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. Family camp ends after lunch on Saturday.


    Filed on at 6:50 am under by dcobranchi

    Joel Williams, guest-blogging at eduwonk.com, isn’t too impressed with edu-speak and suggests a variation of “Hi, Bob.” It’s pretty funny, but I don’t think I can play along. Blogging in the mornings as I do, I’d never make it in to work. (HT: Judy Aron)


    Filed on at 6:50 am under by dcobranchi

    *Sigh* It seems that no matter how many times we tell the MSM that cyber charters are not homeschoolsTM, they don’t get the message. This article is probably the worst I have seen in a long time. It’s a generally very positive piece on home education. But way down towards the bottom, there’s this:

    Rice said she has enrolled her school age children in the Idaho Distance Education Academy (IDEA) for the first time this year.

    The recently started IDEA is a public charter school that provides homeschool parents with money to purchase a non-faith based curriculum of their choice, according to Rice. In addition, the parent works with the IDEA to develop an individual student education plan.

    For Rice, this means placing an emphasis on the outcome of the education and allowing for flexibility in the method. She emphasized students enrolled in the IDEA have to meet the state’s Power Standards, take the ISAT tests, just like in a public school, as well as other tests such as the IRI, Direct Writing and Math Assessments.

    “The reason I am doing it is because it gave me the freedom I always wanted and extra money to buy things I haven’t been able to in the past.”

    The state of Idaho funds students at $1,600 for high school, $1,400 for grades three to eight, and $600 for grades kindergarten through second, as well as assigning a certified teacher to counsel with parents and students over the telephone, through email or occasional meetings.

    Rice said a major benefit of homeschooling is being able to teach to your child’s strengths, and she does not believe everyone can be perfect in everything.

    So there’s absolutely no difference in what she did last year and what she’ll do next. Except now she gets “free” money from the state. God! I hate this crap! Contact info at the paper

    Lon Woodbury
    Kathy Nussberger
    PO Box 1107
    Bonners Ferry, ID

    UPDATE: I just got off the phone with the very nice editor, Kathy Nussberger. She invited me to submit an Op/Ed on the topic. I agreed but think there are probably hundreds (thousands, tens of thousands) of HE advocates who are better writers than I. Any volunteers?


    Filed on at 6:50 am under by dcobranchi

    Now here’s something you don’t see every day. Canada and Denmark are involved in negotiations over ownership of a tiny island in the Arctic. What makes this case more interesting than the many other border disputes? Well, two regular Joes are “assisting” their governments by taking out Google Ads. I guess whoever gets the most click-throughs gets the island? At least the bureacracies are taking it all in stride:

    “Notwithstanding the disputed area, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry is allowing its cafeteria to sell Danish pastries as a goodwill gesture towards the Danish government and people,” ministry spokesman Reynald Doiron said.


    Filed on at 6:50 am under by dcobranchi

    The Sierra Times is way out there on the lunatic fringe, so I really don’t blog them often. I can’t resist this quote, though:

    [P]ublic education has changed American people into silent, sacrilegious, non-reading, pleasure-seeking, group-thinking morons.


    Filed on at 6:49 am under by dcobranchi

    Susan Ryder at the AHA blog has a post on the movie Whale Rider. It’s an excellent flick and well worth hunting down. Susan has links to other sites that use the movie as a jumping off point.


    Filed on at 6:49 am under by dcobranchi

    Just one quickie–

    Yesterday was the day for the annual pony drive on Chincoteague, VA. Some of the wild horses will be auctioned off today as a fundraiser for the local fire department.


    Filed on July 28, 2005 at 5:31 pm under by dcobranchi

    Izzy has a working RSS feed! And permalinks. Feed URL– http://icky.blogspot.com/atom.xml The permalinks are presently only available through the bloglines notifier. Izzy is working on having them displayed on her site. They take the form http://icky.blogspot.com/2005/07/the-first-six-words-of-post.html For example, here’s the one on Janitor Dave- http://icky.blogspot.com/2005/07/home-schools-run-by-well-meaning.html


    Filed on at 10:00 am under by dcobranchi

    I received two copies of one of the better ones this a.m. My favorite part (all errors are in the original]:

    This money will revert to the ownership of the Bank if no one applies to claim the fund .Consequently my proposal is that you stand as a foreigner and make claims as the next of kin to Mr Smith so that the fruits of this old mans labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt top officials here,

    Yeah- those folks who work in banking sure are corrupt.


    Filed on at 8:09 am under by dcobranchi

    I generally like Home Educator’s Family Times. The articles in the mag tend to be pretty well-written, and for blogging they’re almost ideal as they make all of their content freely available on the web. That said, they really don’t understand blogging (or copyright, for that matter) at all.


    Filed on at 6:23 am under by dcobranchi

    This should make for an interesting 1st Amendment case:

    In June, The New Orleans Archdiocese came tantalizingly close to seeing a school voucher measure pass in the Louisiana Legislature.

    …[T]he archdiocese has already announced it will likely make a bid for one of the failing New Orleans public schools that the state will offer to outside managers this winter. If accepted, the proposal would shunt approximately $6,300 of state and local funding per pupil to the archdiocese to cover the cost of educating kids at that school.

    “We’re looking at possibility of taking over one of the failing schools for 2006-07,” Maestri confirmed last week.


    Filed on at 6:23 am under by dcobranchi

    Long-time readers probably know of my addiction to appreciation for NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). Well, Rikki has pointed me to APOD’s fraternal twin, the Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD). Equally cool photos. Make sure to browse the archives.


    Filed on at 6:22 am under by dcobranchi

    His bio says that he’s “an education policy analyst, and author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children.” But what’s his background? I ask because he’s posted a real in-your-face anti-g-school /pro-home education rant.

    Home-schooled kids don’t have to read dumb-downed text-books, study subjects they hate, or endure meaningless classes six to eight hours a day. Home-schooled kids won’t be subject to drugs, bullies, violence, or peer pressure, as they are in public schools. Home-schooled children who are “different” in any way won’t have to endure cruel jokes and taunts from other children in their classes.

    I can’t find any evidence that he’s a home educator, and I’m not really sure that he gets it anyway. Yeah– the meaningless classess and the dumbed-down g-school texts are avoided. But is that all he thinks there is to home education? It seems like his opinion is that home education is useful to the extent that it’s not a g-school education. What about the family being closer and working together? Being the one who teaches your five-year-old to sound out her first word? Watching your son finally get that concept that has eluded him for so long? What about the intangibles?

    Based on this rant, I’m not sure I want to read the book.

    UPDATE: OTOH, this “schools = prisons” rant is really good.


    Filed on at 6:22 am under by dcobranchi

    A press release from an Islamic publishing company includes this little blurb:

    Part of our selection includes books and CDs on home schooling, alternative education, alternative medicine, homeopathy, natural health care and natural child care. We have partnered with Kinza Academy (http://www.kinzaacademy.com) to provide a classical home schooling curriculum solution.

    And to answer one of the commenters on Joanne’s site (see previous post), what could possibly be wrong with Muslim fundamentalists having the right to home educate? Aren’t Christian fundamentalists afforded that same right?


    Filed on at 6:22 am under by dcobranchi

    Janitor Dave’s NEA rant has drawn a post and sparked an interesting discussion over at Joanne Jacob’s place.


    Filed on July 27, 2005 at 11:25 am under by dcobranchi

    You really have to hand it to Time magazine. Who else could have a column entitled “Blogwatch” without providing a single hotlink to the blogs?

    Writer Helaine Olen, in a New York Times article on July 17, caused a Web-wide stir when she described firing her nanny Tessy for blogging about the family. The Web consensus? Olen was wrong to sack the nanny–ATRIOS dubbed the essayist “wanker of the week”–and downright depraved for airing her dirty laundry in the pages of the Gray Lady. Opinion was divided on whether Tessy made a mistake by confessing the blogging to her employer. The nanny fired back with a 3,200-word rebuttal on her site, INSTRUCTIONS TO THE DOUBLE, then announced that she would blog no more–at least under her real name.

    But wait– it gets worse. The dead tree version of the rag mag includes the exact same column with the names of the blogs in blue– as if they’re hot links. Of course no URLs are provided. Doesn’t Time-Warner have even one net savvy editor on staff?


    Filed on at 7:20 am under by dcobranchi

    There’s a new ad over there ——> to help with planning your “school year.”


    Filed on at 5:58 am under by dcobranchi

    Here’s a site that’s supposed to help your kids define their interests. I tried the MAPP, but quit after about 20 questions. Evidently, careers requiring a great deal of patience are not for me.


    Filed on at 5:58 am under by dcobranchi

    It must be as I find myself mostly agreeing with a Dennis Redovich column.

    Do most jobs require higher math skills? No! Perhaps 5% of jobs might require higher-level math skills in Texas and the U.S. Do most jobs require higher-level science skills? No! Less than 10% of jobs “might” require higher science skills. Do most jobs require above average writing and verbal skills? No! Do most jobs require critical thinking skills? No? (Does anyone know what critical thinking skills are and why they are so important?) Are so-called “proficient” level reading skills necessary for most jobs? No! Basic reading skills may be necessary for most jobs. (NAEP proficiency levels used nationally are useless. Everyone who has ever studied the NAEP achievement levels has rejected them)

    For me, college was a great ten years (really!). And I couldn’t hold my current job without having had the experience. But it’s not a necessity for everyone. If my kids want to go to college (for an education, not a party) terrific. If, instead, they want to pursue dance or a trade or start a business, just as terrific. As long as they’re working towards something that they truly want, who cares if they have the letters M.S. or Ph.D. behind their names? It’s mostly B.S. anyway.


    Filed on at 5:57 am under by dcobranchi

    If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the parents in this case, ADHD rates across the country will soar:

    Brian Schaffer attended private school in Maryland through seventh grade. He struggled academically, was diagnosed with “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” and was told that his private school could not meet his needs because it had no special-education program at all.

    Brian’s parents contacted their public school, and an Individualized Education Plan Team — including Brian’s parents — designed an individualized plan for Brian, including 16 hours of special education and speech therapy per week.

    Brian’s parents said the class size was too big, so Montgomery County offered the Individualized Education Plan, or IED, at another school 10 minutes away where classes were smaller. Brian’s parents rejected this offer also and enrolled Brian in the private McLean School.

    The parents then appealed to a neutral hearing officer, claiming that under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, the individualized plan was inadequate and denied Brian a free appropriate public education and, thus, that Montgomery County had to pay Brian’s private-school tuition. (The Web site for McLean School shows that eighth-grade tuition is $20,950).


    Filed on July 26, 2005 at 7:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    Helen has an interesting post up on the voyeuristic aspect of reading blogs. I’ve been doing this for over three years now. I wonder what the statute of limitations is.


    Filed on at 5:53 am under by dcobranchi

    The $100 WI tax credit for HEKs and private schoolers (backstory here) has gone down to a veto. Darn!


    Filed on at 5:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Susan Ohanian has a column up on really early education– tutoring for pre-schoolers. It’s really sad and frustrating that so many parents have bought into “drill and kill” for two-year-olds.

    [M]ost researchers maintain that preschoolers aren’t learning enough. About 70% of 4-year-olds are in group care, says Donna Bryant, a University of North Carolina child-development expert. “It’s a wasted opportunity not to” teach them, she adds.

    Yeah– have to take advantage of any chance to indoctrinate cram “knowledge” into their little heads.

    “I feel we read all the time, but whatever I was doing at home wasn’t working,” says Ms. Barnes, who enrolled Hank for two reading lessons a week. Hank fell off his adult-size chair during an early lesson, she says… Ms. Barnes, who is paying $4,000 for 10 months of tutoring, says that after six months, Hank is kindergarten-ready. “We’re being proactive,” she adds. “I don’t want my child to be the one who always struggles.”

    Hanks was behind in his scissor skills. Seriously. And after six months and $4,000 he’s ready to cut construction paper.

    Almost all researchers are critical of lessons that require children to sit at desks, complete worksheets or memorize words. They say hands-on learning and learning through play are the way to go — for example, play-acting stories, singing rhymes, assembling puzzles.

    Sylvan insists it does that. “We don’t want to supplant childhood,” which is why the company doesn’t accept 3-year-olds, says Richard Bavaria, Sylvan’s chief academic officer.

    Really, really sad how childhood has disappeared for almost everyone but future HEKs. But of all the quotes in the piece, this is my favorite:

    Sylvan says its students typically make a year’s academic progress in 36 of its one-hour lessons.

    Wow! A year’s progress in only 36 once-a-week lessons.

    Tip credit: Jeanne


    Filed on at 5:50 am under by dcobranchi

    Mike Smith is a lawyer, so he ought to be able to reason better than this:

    Most home-school families have a keen awareness of history and hold a biblical worldview. As a result, the majority of the home-school community recognizes that if too many citizens disengage, then the freedoms and liberties we enjoy in this country could be lost.

    On which planet are the majority of home educators fundamentalist Christians? Hell, under Mike’s definition of biblical worldview, Catholics are excluded by defintion. And all those home educators teaching evolution? Minority status for you (us).


    Filed on at 5:49 am under by dcobranchi

    But they sure seem to be taking a chunk out of our hide. Next up, Indiana:

    Indiana is on the verge of joining the newest wave in charter schools: Point. Click. Graduate.

    …And then there are the home-school families, who are drawn to the additional support system.

    “They oftentimes say it’s the best of both worlds,” said Pat Laystrom, state development director for Connections Academy. ” ‘My student can be with me, I can work with him individually, and yet I have all these resources.’ ”

    That’s what snagged Kathleen White. The Pittsboro mother has pulled two of her four children out of public school to learn at home. But she wasn’t exactly a confident teacher.

    White found Connections Academy in an Internet search shortly before company officials proposed an Indiana school. She likes what she sees so far.

    “I want to make sure they’re getting a great education, and I’m not qualified to teach them algebra,” said White, 33. An online lesson plan “says what your child should be learning at every stage. That’s what I want.”

    Actually, I really don’t have any complaints about the article or the concept. Staci Hupp makes it plain that the cyber schools will be public schools; the students, g-schoolers. And if some folks really do think that cyber charters are the best of both worlds, more power to them. Just as long as they don’t continue to call themselves “homeschoolers.”


    Filed on at 5:48 am under by dcobranchi

    NHELD seems to be following in the footsteps of that other national legal defense organization– they’re sending out missives telling folks to “Tell Congress to kill the bills!” I’m typically no fan of federal legislation, but Deborah Stevenson seems to be living in a dream world:

    NHELD believes in the United States Constitution. When it comes to the rights of parents to educate their own children, NHELD believes the tenth amendment is supreme.

    The tenth amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    The power of education is not one that is delegated to the United States by the Constitution. It is, therefore, reserved to the States or to the people.

    Yeah, but the federal Dept. of Education does exist, and there are hundreds if not thousands of federal laws governing education. I’m pretty sure that not one has been found by the SCOTUS to be unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment. Citing that as a reason to oppose all federal legislation seems kind of knee-jerkish. To wit:

    1.) HR130:
    Sponsor: Rep Kennedy, Mark R. [MN-6] (introduced 1/4/2005)
    Cosponsors (1)
    Committees: House Education and the Workforce
    Latest Major Action: 2/9/2005 Referred to House subcommittee.
    Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Education Reform.

    Amends the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend to families of home-schooled children certain educational and privacy rights currently available to families of public school students.

    Revises the definition of student for purposes of coverage regarding such family educational and privacy rights (under GEPA provisions which are also known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974).

    Includes under such coverage any person educated at a home school (whether or not State law treats a home school as a home school or a private school), if an educational agency or institution maintains education records or personally identifiable information on such person (whether or not the home-schooled person is in attendance at the agency or institution). (Current law excludes all those who are not in attendance at the agency or institution.)

    In several states, home education “registration” and other required documents are currently considered public records. My (new) home of NC publishes our information on the web, freely available to any enterprising marketer (or worse). Extending FERPA protection to HEKs would seem to be a significant step towards increasing our freedom and autonomy, not to mention just plain privacy. So, I’ll be contacting my Congressman with an urge to vote for the bill.

    Y’all can make up your own minds how to “vote.”

    [Be sure to check Judy Aron’s comment over at the HEM blog.]


    Filed on at 5:44 am under by dcobranchi

    News flash! Some folks are home educating in order to accomodate their kids’ athletic or artistic schedules. [/snark] OK, the article isn’t too shabby, and it includes one of the all-time great home ed quotes:

    “I’d be missing so many classes, and my teachers didn’t really understand what was going on,” he said. “They didn’t understand the significance of what I was doing and how important it was to me. It was awful for me to go to school. I dreaded it, because I couldn’t take the pressure of knowing how behind I was.”


    Filed on at 5:42 am under by dcobranchi

    Here’s a nice little profile of a home educating family who turned an HE project into a thriving business.

    What started out as a home school project three years ago turned into a business, Collette said.

    “We thought it was a good seasonal business,” she said. “We do festivals and come here and do kite workshops.”

    Kite Boyz has about 50 kites including parafoils that her sons use while surfing, in-line skating and snowboarding, Collette said.

    “With kite surfing, you don’t just stay in the waves,” she said. “You go up in the air.”

    There were tons of these kites all over the beach this week. I can think of many worse ways to spend a “day at the office.”


    Filed on July 25, 2005 at 7:33 am under by dcobranchi

    This is what happens when the room AC is set to frigid and you don’t leave enough time for the camera to warm up sufficiently. The lenses were fogged over completely when I tried to snap the first morning’s sunrise. Strangely pretty, IMO.


    Filed on July 24, 2005 at 8:54 pm under by dcobranchi


    I had to deal with this view every morning around 6:30. Pretty sucky, eh?


    Filed on at 8:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    Plus Mike.



    Filed on at 8:16 pm under by dcobranchi

    Boston-area papers have a review of the recent New England convention. There’s a bit of what might be perceived as Christian bashing, but on the whole it’s not bad.

    Gail Woodward, who stood beneath a colorful tapestry displaying a large minorah, and whose business card for Sounds of the Trumpet, Inc. included a graphic of a bearded elder blowing into a shofar, appeared at first to represent a glimmer of religious diversity, but the publications of her Texas-based organization, which offers “books on the Biblical Hebraic roots of Christianity and Christian growth” turned out to be more about a Christian appropriation of Jewish history and culture than anything a Jewish homeschooling family might be interested in.


    Filed on at 8:16 pm under by dcobranchi

    I just hate reading these kinds of articles.

    Haxtun’s efforts to enroll home-schooled students are beginning to gain speed. And the district has got some competition.

    The school board learned Tuesday that 32 students have signed on to participate, while the district has received another six inquiries. Administrators noted last month, the number of students was 28.

    The upcoming school year will be the fifth year Haxtun will work with parents who home school their children.

    The district provides computers, the curriculum, help with tutoring, and allows these students to participate in music, sports and field trips.

    In return, Haxtun gets to include those students in its enrollment count.

    IAATM, of course.

    I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on the edu-crats. They’re just responding to competitive pressures. The parents who’d sell out their freedom for a “free” computer are another matter entirely.


    Filed on at 8:15 pm under by dcobranchi

    and the home education is easy.

    Boston-area HEKs are enjoying the summer in this puff piece. Not a whole lot of meat, but no negative comments either.


    Filed on at 8:15 pm under by dcobranchi

    The same GoogleNews scrape found this under “home schools”

    Jellyfish seen, but few stings are reported


    Filed on at 8:14 pm under by dcobranchi

    Completely OT but my GoogleNews scrape found this interesting little blurb under the hed “Madison County taxes reduced”

    For the owner of a $100,000 home, school taxes will go up only $10, not $40 as previously anticipated.


    Filed on at 1:29 pm under by dcobranchi



    But it was an iffy thing for a bit. We were involved in a serious accident on I-95 yesterday afternoon. A car on our left crashed into the side of our van and smashed us head-on (at 75 mph) into the concrete guard rail. Everyone is fine (except Katelyn ended up with ~20 stitches to close a head wound). The car is distinctly not fine. More like a total wreck. Gruesome photos to follow.


    Filed on July 22, 2005 at 9:34 am under by dcobranchi

    After an apparently successful trial, the Czechs are poised to open up home education:

    The deputies of the junior ruling KDU-CSL and the senior opposition ODS have proposed to facilitate the home education of children, Lidove noviny (LN) wrote yesterday.

    Czech parents are now allowed to teach their child at home only if they prove that he or she has a “significant reason” for not attending school.

    The authorities accept a child’s physical handicap or a family’s religious belief as a significant reason, the paper said.

    The ODS and KDU-CSL bill, which is to be submitted to the Chamber of Deputies after the summer holidays, will allow parents to teach their children themselves, without proving a significant reason.

    As one might expect, the education ministry is opposed, but, in a bit of a surprise, the broader establishment seems not to be in lockstep:

    “We support individual education and we want to improve its possibilities,” lower house education committee head Walter Bartos (ODS) said.

    According to the paper, a majority of experts on education support this view.


    Child psychologist Vaclav Mertin told the paper that he welcomes the bill. “I am against the rejection of home education without even giving parents this chance,” he said.

    Thanks, comrades!


    Filed on at 9:11 am under by dcobranchi

    See how the owner class frolics while we slaves keep humming the machinery of their capitalist domination?


    Filed on July 21, 2005 at 10:54 am under by dcobranchi

    From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

    I’m concerned about information presented in the article about the Penn Hills School District’s attempt at obtaining reimbursement for cyber charter fees paid for Sen. Rick Santorum’s children (“Santorum tuition refund denied,” July 12 and TribLIVE.com).

    The article stated that according to a cyber charter school superintendent, Penn Hills had approved “home-school classwork” for two of the Santorum children; the article then refers to public schools reviewing the work of “home-schooled” students.

    Since students who use public cyber charter schools are not considered “home-schooled” students under the law, by referring to them using home-schooling terminology, you inadvertently blur the lines between two very different schooling options.

    Publicly funded cyber charter schools operate under the public charter school law and their students are considered public school students. Home-schoolers operate under the home education law, are not considered public school students and receive no public funding.

    Muriel Hergenroeder
    York Haven, York County


    Filed on July 19, 2005 at 7:20 am under by dcobranchi

    A couple of new posts over at the other blog.


    Filed on July 18, 2005 at 9:47 am under by dcobranchi

    This is almost entirely OT except that home education is mentioned in both of the following columns. I find it interesting that two conversative Christian columnists are both re-thinking the subjugation of the American Church to partisan politics.

    Vox Day and Kyle Williams— the start of a new meme?


    Filed on July 16, 2005 at 8:00 pm under by dcobranchi

    for a day or two. We’re on our way to Daytona Beach, FL. I’m going to hook up with Mike Peach while we’re down there. Pics to follow.


    Filed on at 11:52 am under by Tim Haas

    … when you really believe in letting your children follow their own interests:

    Cadet Haas.jpg

    Meet C/Amn (Cadet Airman) Haas, Delaware Air National Guard Cadet Squadron, Civil Air Patrol.

    It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with the military — my father was a Marine who served in Korea just after the war — but this is something I don’t think I could ever have foreseen.


    Filed on at 9:08 am under by dcobranchi

    I looked up the synthesis of TATP, the explosive used in the London bombings. Ridiculously easy. Three reagents, all of which are available at your local Home Depot. No special equipment is needed to run the synthesis, either. This is the kind of chemistry that a kid might try for kicks. VERY, VERY DANGEROUS! I have some experience with explosives including military grade. TATP is the most unstable compound I’ve ever seen. It will go off if you look at it funny with almost twice the power of an equivalent weight of TNT.

    Chemicals to watch out for– acetone; 3% or 30% hydrogen peroxide; sulfuric, hydrochloric, or muriatic acid.


    Filed on at 9:08 am under by dcobranchi

    and a nice idea.

    Computer programmer and home educating dad Ron has started a blog to teach HEKs programming in C.

    I’ve been thinking of doing these tutorials for a few weeks now. It had occurred to me that among home educating parents there must be a great deal of expertise in all sorts of areas. So, why don’t we share that expertise with other home educated kids (HEK).

    The blog format probably lends itself to all sorts of tutorials.

    WAH! WAH! WAH!

    Filed on at 9:08 am under by dcobranchi

    The NEA is whining because Florida won an award for supporting educational choice and reform.

    ECS President Piedad F. Robertson cited the “courage, confidence and creativity” the two states showed in expanding educational opportunities and improving quality.

    Florida in particular was recognized for its restructured K-12 educational system, universal pre-kindergarten program, the McKay Scholarship Program for disabled students and the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which gives students in failing schools vouchers to pay for private schools. The state was also praised for its several hundred charter schools and the Florida Virtual School.

    “Over the past several years, Florida and Utah have demonstrated a strong, sustained commitment to education reform and improvement and made impressive progress on several fronts,” Robertson said.

    The teachers’ union blasted the award. NEA noted that the fate of Florida’s voucher program remains in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court and that the McKay Scholarship program has been plagued with problems since it began.

    Shocker– the union is opposed to reform. So, what else is new?

    And in a possibly related move, it’s reported today that the NEA has decided to move its headquarters to the Bizarro World.

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