**-- ... like the ones that broke the story the Times helped Villaraigosa try to keep a lid on. Rutten also more or less admits the Times helped cover up the marital trouble of the previous L.A. mayor, James Hahn, even though it clearly affected his performance (when he insisted on going home to look after his kids!). ... 10:54 P.M.
The Whole Souljah? Does Obama get Souljah points for endorsing a form of "merit pay" in a speech to the big teachers' union, the National Education Association? Or did he demonstrate only that he reads the New York Times ("Long Reviled, Merit Pay Gains Among Teachers"). ... Backfill: Eduwonk seems mildly impressed, adding:
But, I'd still really like to see someone make the true and courageous point that while hardly perfect, No Child Left Behind isn't nearly as horrific as it's made out to be. That's post-partisan in today's climate.
Also: Is "merit pay" for good teachers nearly as important as making it easier to get rid of mediocre teachers? (You want to get hissed, tell that to the NEA.) In the successful organizations I've worked for, the positive incentives (in the form of unequal pay) weren't nearly as powerful as disincentives (in the form of fear that you might get fired if you didn't do your part). For one thing, negative incentives are highly compatible with teamwork. They get the whole organization going, including people who'll never be hot enough to get performance bonuses. They don't breed envy and backstabbing. ... 10:21 P.M. link
Prediction! The Chris Matthews Show put on an airless, non-urgent, pre-taped, vacation special--featuring airless, non-urgent predictions. In that spirit, here's mine: With the immigration semi-amnesty bill shelved, the economy growing, and various states acting to crack down on undocumented workers, wages for the unskilled-- Sen. Webb's "dispossessed workers at the bottom"--will begin to rise noticeably (maybe not at a late-90s pace, but certainly much faster than they've been rising in the past few months, which have failed to live up to the hopes of January, including my own). Also: The NYT editorial board will refuse to note the connection. ... Casual Empricism Corner: I'm seeing "Help Wanted" signs everywhere I go in L.A.. Not just at In-N-Out! ...
Friday, July 6, 2007
Somehow I missed this anti-comprehensive You Tube ad from June 26. I'm not sure I buy the premise--that Lindsey Graham has to be somehow paid to be self-righteous and wrong-headed. But the ad's main image sticks with you. ... 1:42 A.M.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
More Mirthala: Telemundo finally has someone everybody wants to see! So of course they ... take her off the air. Estupido MSM. ... What's wrong with an hour Mirthala Salinas Special? They could add bilingual subtitles for the millions of new Telemundo viewers. ... But no. They'd rather please Howie Kurtz. (Or maybe it's a respectability play: "See! We're as much of a doomed hidebound media organization as all the doomed hidebound English-language media organizations!") [via L.A. Observed] 11:19 P.M.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007