Jan 06

Tug McGraw Passes Away


"1-2 count on Willie Wilson… the Tugger needs one more… one more…


The Phillies are the World Champions, the World Champions of baseball! It’s pandemonium at Veterans Stadium, 65,000 fans on their seat. This city has come together over a baseball team. The Phillies are the World Champions, this city knows it, and this city loves it."

Jan 04

Tom Hoffman’s Wish-List

Tom Hoffman has an edu-tech wish-list for 2004, and its an excellent list. (I personally love the first one — let’s get schools demanding control of their own data — and the fifth one — hey Six Apart, how about an educational version of MT that is tailored a bit more to school needs? Oh…and keep it free. Hm. Maybe I’m asking a bit much.)

But I’ll add a few more:

  • More school systems — especially New York City — understanding that schools are content-providers and let schools host their own services. Give more teachers and students and administrators email and web tools.
  • More understanding of how technology is a progressive educational tool. Let’s get more programs like blogging that encourage student writing, student creation, student-centered learning.
  • More university projects like Berklee Shares where universities share their knowledge with the general public (even if there’s a cost for the higher-level stuff.)
  • An increase in e-rate monies — and a change in its funding equation — so that schools can upgrade their hardware.
  • More school-business partnerships that are true partnerships, where the businesses aren’t just looking at the school as a possible target market.
  • More teachers and students and administrators blogging. Let’s read more about the experiences we all share in our schools.

Happy 2004 everyone!

Jan 02

NCLB Funding

Not a surprise, but a Washington Post article today reports that NCLB funding is being disproportionately distributed to right-wing groups. Again, this isn’t a shock, but it should make people realize how — in addition to everything else that NCLB does — Bush’s block grants can be used to push a very specific educational agenda.

And isn’t it funny how NCLB money is funding groups that favor home schooling and vouchers?

Jan 01

What the Market Will Bear

So Joe links to a NY Times article today about the salaries of college football coaches. Is it right, the article asks, that a football coach might make five times as much as the university president? For me, the answer is clearly — no. But here was the quote that caused me to write today:

"Is Alex Rodriguez worth $250 million to play baseball?" said Skip Bertman, L.S.U.’s athletic director and former baseball coach. "Of course not, and it’s not a question of whether a baseball player or a coach is worth that much. The issue is what is the market value."

No it’s not.

Dec 31

101 Ways to Save the Internet

For the New Year, Wired Magazine has published its 101 Ways to Save the Internet, and it’s an interesting list. It’s got suggestions for just about everyone from Apple to Microsoft to the government… although, I was wondering where the Linux suggestions were, especially with the all the changes going on with Red Hat.

It does make you wonder… what is the next phase for the internet? Clearly, WiFi is already here to stay. With the cell-phone, picture camera, does-the-dishes PDA devices, no one thinks that using the internet means being changed to a desk anymore (as I type this from my laptop with a wireless router, sitting in a comfy chair…), but what is next?

For me, blogging represents my continued hope that the internet can be used to increase the amount of real communication that can happen between people. Perhaps more powerfully, as we saw the first internet wave of individuality get overrun by the same corporate culture that existed in the "bricks and mortar" world, we now see blogging as a way that alternative voices are getting heard again. Do we live in a segmented world where we all surround ourselves with voices that reinforce what we already believe? Perhaps. That’s my concern, but at least there are different segments this way.

Dec 30

Dean’s Shaky Comments

The Democratic race is getting ugly, and Howard Dean is making a few mis-steps, I think. Yesterday, Dean suggested that his supporters might not back the nominee if it’s not him. That’s all kinds of not good, and Joshua Michael Marshall explains why:

I don’t care if Dean says he’ll endorse whoever wins. He’s playing the defection card. And that crosses the line.

I don’t doubt that it would be hard to reconcile some Dean supporters to another Democratic nominee. But that’s not the point. By saying it, he’s leveraging it, and encouraging it.

The price of admission to the Democratic primary race is a pledge of committed support to whomever wins the nomination, period. (The sense of entitlement to other Democrats’ support comes after you win the nomination, not before.) If Dean can’t sign on that dotted-line, he has no business asking for the party’s nomination.

Marshall is spot on right. This isn’t the way the game gets played. I think, right now, a Dean-Clark ticket is the best chance to beat Bush, despite my personal affinity for Kerry. (Who, by the way, had this to say about Dean’s comments.) But I think that the primary season may be more interesting than some of the pundits are predicting.

I just hope that it battle-tests the nominee, rather than weakens him. The goal here is to take back our country.