Ellis also worked from script!


"Tiny, desperate, unwell:"
Did California have "great public schools" back in the good old days?

That's what Miriam Pawel recently said. She said it in an op-ed column in Tuesday's New York Times.

(For details, see yesterday's post.)

Pawel said California's schools were "great" way back when, in the golden age which covered the decades before 1978. She seemed to say that California's fabulous schools lured people into the state.

She offered no evidence in support of her claims. But then, they never do, and their editors never complain!

The notion that public schools were great Back Then is a standard, know-nothing script of the many front-line reporters who parrot conventional press corps lines about our allegedly failing public schools and their ratty teachers.

The schools were always great Back Then. By rule of law, they must be said to be terrible/awful today.

NBC News, whose cable arm was born in consort with Bill Gates, was long inclined toward this billionaire-sponsored party line. Back in 2010, Rehema Ellis told Lester Holt what's shown below as NBC kicked off one of its pro-"reform," party-line weeks—events in which it then participated on an annual basis:
ELLIS (9/26/10): Good evening, Lester. It was an exciting event. For two hours today, the teachers who joined us were inspiring, some even emotional, about the job that many say is stressful and extremely demanding.

Right now, the teacher's job is under critical review because of what is and what is not happening in the classroom. America's public school students are in trouble. On nearly every major ranking, the results are disappointing.

Forty years ago, American students were first. Now, among 30 developed nations, our students rank 24th in math, 17th in science and 10th in reading. Sixty-eight percent of American eighth graders cannot read at grade level.
Ellis had been a decent, personable NBC reporter for sixteen years at that point. That said, she wasn't an education specialist. Nor must a person have specialized knowledge to get thrown on the air by network news orgs to tell us the stories about pubic schools they very much want us to hear.

Did Ellis understand the familiar basic claims found in that short report? Could she have supported her claims and insinuations?

In each case, we'll guess that the answer is no.

Some of Ellis' claims were misleading; others seem to be false. But you don't have to know any actual facts to go on the air and say things like that. You simply have to know the scripts about public schools, the ones preferred by major news orgs like NBC News and the New York Times.

"Forty years ago, American students were first" in the world? We know of no basis for that claim, pleasing though it may be. Indeed, it seems clear that that claim just isn't true. Meanwhile, Ellis was picking and choosing her international data in the requisite way these people always do.

She cited results from the Pisa, the major international testing program on which American kids perform less well. As is required by "billionaire boys club" law, she omitted results from the Timss, the second major international testing program, the one on which American kids perform better.

Ellis was picking and choosing her data in the way then required by law. Her claim about our kids once having been best seemed to come from thin air.

That said, how good were American public schools during the golden age Ellis recalled or invented? As we watched Ellis recite for Holt, we recalled a once-famous text.

(For our real-time reaction, click here.)

Ellis said our kids were best in the world back in 1970. Three years before that, in 1967, Jonathan Kozol had published a once-famous book, Death at an Early Age.

Kozol described the year he'd spent teaching fourth grade in a low-income Boston school. His once-famous book won a National Book Award during the golden age cited by Ellis. Chapter 2 started like this:
KOZOL (page 9): Many people in Boston are surprised, even to this day, to be told that children are beaten with thin bamboo whips within the cellars of our public schools and that they are whipped at times for no greater offence than for failing to show respect to the very same teachers who have been describing them as ni**ers.
Oh, that glorious era! Indeed, Kozol started his opening chapter with some of the most memorable persuasive writing of that or any day. This was his real-time account of an age when, according to NBC News, “American students were first:”
KOZOL (page 1): Stephen is eight years old. A picture of him standing in front of the bulletin board on Arab bedouine shows a little light-brown person staring with unusual concentration at a chosen spot upon the floor. Stephen is tiny, desperate, unwell. Sometimes he talks to himself. He moves his mouth as if he were talking. At other times he laughs out loud in class for no apparent reason. He is also an indescribably mild and unmalicious child. He cannot do any of his school work very well. His math and reading are poor. In Third Grade he was in a class that had substitute teachers much of the year. Most of the year before that, he had a row of substitute teachers too. He is in the Fourth Grade now but his work is barely at the level of the Second. Nobody has complained about the things that have happened to Stephen because he does not have any mother or father.
We know of no evidence that American students were ever "first in the world." As far as we know, the limited international testing conducted during that era never showed any such thing.

Meanwhile, we would have thought that everyone knew that American schools often did very poorly, during that era, by kids who were low-income or perceived as "minorities." That said, Ellis recalled a golden age, as they always do.

In Tuesday's New York Times, Pawel described a similar golden age in California. Its public schools were "great" before 1978, she repeatedly said. She closed her piece by wondering if the Golden State will ever have such wonderful schools again.

Yesterday, we showed you data which might sensibly make you wonder about the claims Pawel unloosed. Tomorrow, and again next week, we'll offer additional data concerning various basic points.

Like Ellis, Pawel isn't an education specialist. That said, education reporting at our big news orgs is largely recitation of script. Alas! Our news orgs routinely work on "gossip" and "fiction," much as Professor Harari has said.

That's the way our journalistic elites typically work in this, the dumbest and most fictional of all possible worlds.

Are we really "the rational animal," as sacred Aristotle said? When the new year finally starts at this site, we'll be chasing that old chestnut down.

Might that claim perhaps be seen as "Aristotle's error?" When the new year finally begins, we'll make it our business to ask.

Tomorrow: Again with the actual data!


  1. “conventional press corps lines about our allegedly failing public schools and their ratty teachers.”

    It is unfair and frankly dishonest to ascribe that view to Pawel, by lumping her in with Ellis.

    Pawel is strongly *supporting* the LA teachers in their strike. One of the reasons she cited for the ongoing problems is the spread of charter schools. What I pointed out yesterday in her op-Ed bears repeating:

    “It’s a vicious cycle: The more overcrowded and burdened the regular schools, the easier for charters to recruit students. The more students the district loses, the less money, and the worse its finances. The more the district gives charters space in traditional schools, the more overcrowded the regular classrooms.”

    Again, Somerby wants to ignore this crucial aspect of Pawel’s op-Ed.

    1. TDH is complaining for the umpteenth time about ignorant reporters writing about schools. Now maybe he should be writing instead about the deleterious effects of charter schools. But he isn’t. And it’s his blog, so he gets to choose the topics. What about this is so hard to understand about this?

    2. Somerby was complaining that these education writers are writing to a script. The commenter @12:53 was pointing out that there was more to Pawel's article than the part Somerby was complaining about -- content that doesn't fit his script but is vitally important to education.

      To the extent that Somerby ignores the important things a writer is saying in order to focus on an offhand statement that gripes him, Somerby is being pretty lazy and demonstrates a lack of concern about education, students, and teacher issues in order to focus on a petty gripe. Yes, it is his blog, but @12:53 makes a good point.

      I think Somerby has lost interest in education and is not bothering to keep up with developments in that field. But he still likes crapping on people.

  2. It should surprise no one that Jonathan Kozol was (and still is) a firm believer in integration. In his 2005 book “The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America”, “Kozol documents the continuing and often worsening segregation in public schools in the United States, and the increasing influence of neoconservative ideology on the way children, particularly children of color and poor children of urban areas, are educated.”

    So, sadly, Somerby would have to consign Kozol to the ranks of pseudo-liberal frauds for his obviously pseudo-liberal beliefs.

    But, unlike Somerby, Kozol never abandoned those schoolchildren that he documented back in 1967.

  3. “Did California have "great public schools" back in the good old days?”

    Does anyone see any problem with Somerby’s citing of Kozol’s book in connection with an op-Ed about LA schools?

    It is this: Kozol is specifically talking about his experiences in the *Boston* public schools. Not LA. Thus, logically, one cannot infer anything at all from that book about LA schools in 1967, 1970, or 1978...or any other year.

    And NAEP scores tell us little in this regard either.

    And then “we would have thought that everyone knew that American schools often did very poorly, during that era, by kids who were low-income or perceived as "minorities."

    Ah. “Everyone” knew this. Ironic to make this kind of statement in a post criticizing Pawel for making statements without evidence.

    1. Pawel writes, "Forty years ago, American students were first." Presumably this general and (according to TDH) incorrect statement includes students from both Boston and LA.

      Try reading for comprehension. The statement is not that everyone knew, but that TDH thought everyone would have known. Presumably in part because of Kozol's popular work. To make it even clearer for you: TDH is saying that everyone, and certainly any reporter on education, should have known.

    2. I thought Ellis said that, not Pawel.

    3. I stand corrected. Thank you.

    4. Oh. I see. Somerby “thought” everyone would know. What did he think they would know about LA schools from 1973 from reading a book about Boston schools in 1967? Is it even legitimate to assume that schools were generally worse? That is Somerby’s assumption, no more justified than Pawel’s.

    5. I've muddied the waters a bit by misnaming the author of the We-Were-#1 quote as Pawel when it was actually Ellis. Sorry about that. Anyone who had read Kozol or knew anything about the American system of apartheid (de jure in the south; de facto, elsewhere) would have reason to distrust Ellis' general statement.

    6. Glad you corrected that. I won’t accuse you of having poor reading comprehension, but I will ask again how the presence of segregated schools in the US necessarily implies anything about the state of the public schools *IN LA* back then. For all you of Somerby know, they were a bastion of integrated schools.

      And it’s more than a little interesting that l, even with your careful reading skills, you mistook Ellis for Pawel. I’d say that is possibly Somerby’s fault, since he wants you to do just that.

    7. For all you of [sic] Somerby know, they were a bastion of integrated schools.

      At any time now, you can quit telling me what I know. It’s probably a wise policy to extend that to what Somerby knows.

      LA schools weren’t ever and aren’t now bastions of integration. California in general and LA in particular spent about 20 years fighting integration. From Prop 14 in 1964 allowing restrictive covenants. (That one ended the career of then-governor Edmund Brown, Jerry’s father.) To Proposition 1 in 1979 outlawing busing. Prop 14 didn’t survive first contact with the courts. But Prop 1 is still embedded in the state constitution.

      Los Angeles was definitely not part of that Golden Age you seem to posit and that your favorite journalists write about.

      My reading skills aren’t bad, though imperfect. But at least I understand they don’t extend to reading minds. And when I do make a mistake, the responsibility is all mine.

    8. "At any time now, you can quit telling me what I know. It’s probably a wise policy to extend that to what Somerby knows."

      Yes, who knows what's in the heart of a man who repeats Right-wing nonsense?

    9. Ya wanna back that up with a quote from TDH? I think we'll find that TDH said something you disagreed with, and in your best tribal fashion, you decided the disagreement made him a right-winger.

    10. "coastal elites" ridiculing "flyover country" indeed.

    11. deadrat,
      Somerby runs a media criticism blog, which bashes liberals. The inference that the media is in any way "liberal" is a nonsense Right-wing talking point.

      Forget trying to ID those who post as "Anonymous". Instead you should be trying to identify how you missed something so obvious.

  4. Another irony should be noted: exactly the kind of talk about “failing public schools” that Somerby criticizes (rightly, to some extent) has led to the rise of charter schools and their embrace by conservatives or neoconservatives (like the billionaire Walton family of Wal-Mart) as a “solution” to failing public schools, but quite clearly also as a way of undermining teacher’s unions and setting their own agenda for public school education. Pawel is criticizing charter schools and supporting traditional public schools and public school teachers. But Somerby cannot take that line, because he supports charter schools. So he is left with falsely attacking Pawel as yet another hack.

    1. Here's TDH's actual position (from 9/26/15): "(For the record, we aren’t opposed to charter schools in any way at all. We are opposed to ludicrous claims which get made on their behalf.)"

      The blog isn't about the educationist establishment; it's about the reporting on the educationist establishment.

      Is this still not clear?

    2. That doesn’t explain his failure to even mention Pawel’s concerns about charter schools. He completely ignores that. Thus, his reporting on the reporting is incomplete, not to say dishonest.

      I also take issue with your notion that he only talks about education *reporting*. He has clearly taken sides, on deBlasio’s proposals about New York’s specialized high schools to his (Somerby’s) clear opposition to any discussion of integration. He is most definitely not running a pure media critic blog. Not anymore, anyway.

    3. I’ll try again. TDH’s hobbyhorse is the ignorance of reporters who write about education. In his opinion, they substitute narrative for fact And that narrative is partly responsible for the success of grifters like DeVos in setting up their charter school con.

      Now I understand that you’d like TDH to take on the failings of charter schools, including those documented by Pawel. But ¡Qué lástima! that’s not what he wants to write about. Your dissatisfaction with the topics that TDH chooses to write about doesn’t make him “dishonest.”

      I don’t understand why you think TDH is opposed to any discussion of integration. He’s discussed the topic at length with regard to NY’s specialized high schools. HIs “side” is that basically there aren’t enough white kids in the schools of big cities to achieve the racial diversity of ideal integration.

      TDH is certainly not running a “pure media critic blog.” Far too much Aristotle, Wittgenstein, Harari, and whatever scientists or mathematicians he can’t or won’t understand.

    4. If one wants to provide an honest critique of a media story, or in this case, an op-Ed, then one should fairly state the main points being made. Somerby does not do that. Pawel’s op-Ed discusses possible reasons why LA schools are not performing well today, including school funding and charter schools. But his principal criticism is that Pawel’s claim of a decline is unproven, although there is evidence that supports her claim.

      And, for heaven’s sake, he described deBlasio’s plan as a deliberate “race war”, and he constantly accuses “liberals” of perpetrating a 50-year con by advocating integration. The inability to integrate given existing demographics is not his only complaint. He often uses the most vitriolic, incendiary language to rail at “liberals.”, and that is hardly the mark of an objective writer, or someone interested only in critiquing the reporting on education.

      And I do not ask Somerby to take on the failings of charter schools. I would ask you to check your reading comprehension at this point. I ask him to discuss Pawel’s critiques of charter schools. Isn’t that what a media critic is supposed to do, examine all of the arguments being made by the writer?

    5. If one wants to provide an honest critique of a media story, one should suck my cock.

      So shut the f up dumb twat.

    6. Anonymous at 9:29, I don't think they publish in a font that small.

    7. No matter what kind of a poker hand I show you, you keep yelling Bingo!

      How long have you been reading this blog? How long should it take you to figure out what TDH wants to write about? Dear God, the man is practically an obsessive about his favorite topics, one of which is the assignment of the young, the lazy and the uninformed to stories about education, whereupon the young, the lazy, and the uninformed serve up some standard narrative.

      That’s what TDH writes about. To paraphrase Monty Python, if you want thorough critiques of media stories, that’s room 12A, next door. This is abuse.

      The particular narrative in question is that the current sad state of American schools stands in stark contrast to the long-past Golden Age of American Education, when we were, by gum, NUMBER ONE. It isn’t; that wasn’t ever, and we weren’t. So sure, things are bad now, but we aren’t going to fix that by pretending that we can return to the glorious Cloud Cuckoo Land of the past. In that pretense (and in ignoring things like improving test scores), we invite the predations of grifters like Betsy DeVos.

      So TDH is “vitriolic” and rails at liberals, which is “hardly the mark of an objective writer.”

      Do ever listen to yourself? That’s right, that’s not the mark of an “objective” writer. That knocking sound you’re hearing is a clue begging to be let in.

      You want TDH to “discuss Pawel’s critiques of charter schools.” But he won’t do that. The knocking is getting even louder. You want TDH to examine “all” of the arguments.

      For God’s sake, man, go down and OPEN THE GODDAM DOOR!

      You do know you’re reading a blog, right?

    8. We have explained why CA is not a version of that narrative but you don't listen. You don't care about anything here but putdowns so you have no place here. Go away. Take Leroy with you. Double useless.

    9. We? Is there more than one of you? Can't tell the clueless without a score card, and you're all Anonymous. Of course CA is not a version of the narrative. That's the whole point. The narrative is spun by people like Ellis and other Golden Agers.

      You haven't any more clue what I are about than you do about Somerby's inner thoughts.

      And I have no place here? What, you think you're the bouncer on the rope line at the popular club?

      That might explain some things.

  5. "A picture of him standing in front of the bulletin board on Arab bedouine..."

    What the fuck does this mean? Who would be retarded enough to read this twaddle?

    Anyhow. Bob, dear Bob. California is a state where 60-strong hordes of yutes raid commuter trains to rob to passengers.

    Who the fuck cares about their math and reading?

    1. I read the link you posted about those Oakland kids, Mao. It said that they took wallets and pocket change from about 7 commuters. There were 40-60 kids (based on victims estimates) on a rampage but they didn't systematically rob the riders (or else the BART is majorly underused at that time of day). Not exactly the crime of the century, although certainly annoying.

    2. Whoa, a dembot who can read! ...but only the parts that suit the lib-zombie cult dogma, it sounds like.

      Oh well, no surprise there...

    3. "...but only the parts that suit the lib-zombie cult dogma, it sounds like."

      Other than anyone who pays a modicum of attention, how could anyone believe that every Right-wing accusation is a confession?

    4. Papa ooo mao mao papa oooh mao mao, why you always demeaning the Zombies, they were a fine group with a lot of good songs.

  6. Here’s some data about LA from NAEP. Los Angeles as an urban area performed *significantly lower* than the 2017 large city average. Only 22% of students perform at or above proficient level.


    Whether or not LA schools were “great” in the good old days, these are hardly stellar numbers.

    Something seems, well, not good with LA schools. Should Pawel say the opposite? (There would be hell to pay if she did).

    1. No, but she shouldn't state (or imply) that the something "not good" is a fall from the grace of a previous Golden Age of Education in California. At least not without evidence to back up such a claim.

    2. Perhaps not. But her main point is that the funding formula changed significantly in 1978, and that, plus the spread of charter schools has led to the current lackluster state of LA public schools.

      Look, her op-Ed wasn’t particularly impressive in my opinion, but she raises valid concerns. But Somerby doesn’t want to differentiate Pawel from Ellis, and therefore won’t deal with the main points that Pawel is making. After all, Pawel is talking about a specific school district, not the entire US public education system.

    3. You're right. TDH doesn't want to differentiate P from E. As far as he's concerned, they're both purveyors of unsubstantiated narrative about past glory days. And you're right, TDH doesn't want to talk about Pawel's "main points." But complaining about that is a bit like going to a chess tournament and being disappointed that no one is playing poker.

    4. Somerby does not read the TDH comments. The comments offered here are for everyone else, to have a conversation, a discussion, a discourse.

      Adhering to Brother deadrat's requirements would likely lead to little or no discussion, although his point has some merit - I just threw that last part in there for amusement, watch me work!

      Belew might agree:

      Talk, it's only talk
      Arguments, agreements, advice, answers
      Articulate announcements
      It's only talk

      Talk, it's only talk
      Babble, burble, banter, bicker bicker bicker
      Brouhaha, balderdash, ballyhoo
      It's only talk
      Back talk

      Talk talk talk, it's only talk
      Comments, cliches, commentary, controversy
      Chatter, chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat
      Conversation, contradiction, criticism
      It's only talk
      Cheap talk

      Talk, talk, it's only talk
      Debates, discussions
      These are words with a D this time
      Dialogue, dualogue, diatribe
      Dissention, declamation
      Double talk, double talk

      Talk, talk, it's all talk
      Too much talk
      Small talk
      Talk that trash
      Expressions, editorials, expugnations, exclamations, enfadulations
      It's all talk
      Elephant talk, elephant talk, elephant talk

  7. I like Kozol and I have read both his early book and his later one. However, the info Somerby quotes as support for his argument is an anecdote, not statistics. No matter how good the schools are, on average, you are always going to be able to find examples of kids who are struggling and whose lives sound pathetic. Somerby's use of Kozol here is just like the series of films made that show how a school can be turned around and evil administrators foiled simply by bringing in an untrained but enthusiastic young (and attractive) teacher who relates well to the students and wakes up their inner love of learning (and usually song and dance). A much better film is "Chalk" -- wonder if Somerby has seen it?

  8. Found this:

    “California public schools, which during the 1960s had been ranked nationally as among the best, have decreased to 48th in many surveys of student achievement.”


    Seems to bolster Pawel’s assertions.

    Oh, well.

    1. You left out the footnote attached to that statement. It's 43. Follow the associated link to the Rand report that says, "Widely regarded as one of the best systems of education in the country as recently as 30 years ago, the California public school system has since become, according to most measures, one of the worst."

      Unsourced; undocumented. But, hell, it's common knowledge that everyone knows, right?

      Oh, well.

    2. I didn’t provide the link as any incontrovertible evidence, just to suggest it isn’t Pawel’s view alone. I decry Somerby’s willingness to lump all writers together, and frankly yours, as members of some “educationist establishment” whose views are indistinguishable from one another. Does Somerby even care about schools? Or does he just care about how they are reported on? If he actually cares, as one would tend to think, then he ought to see the nuances that distinguish, say, Pawel from Ellis, and see a set of potentially valid concerns on her part that might help enlighten the reader and may actually be a valid diagnosis of the problems, in this case with the LA public schools.

      But he seems interested solely in scoring points. And I am suggesting that IF HE ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, then he should be doing more than that.

    3. Deadrat, when the basis for funding the public schools changed in the late 70s (and with the Serrano Decision about inequalities resulting from property taxes as a source of school funding), the need to find school funding from the State legislative budget created a vastly different political situation in California. The CTA (California Teacher's Association, the statewide union) is a major player in politics in the state, usually supporting Democrats, just as the national teachers' unions supported Hillary Clinton with both manpower for precinct-level campaigning and money. Similarly, the CFA (California Faculty Association) for the CSU public university system and the equivalent community college faculty unions support Democrats. The UCs are not unionized. The only union more powerful is the prison employees these days. So, funding schools was seen as a Democratic issue, not bipartisan (as it usually is with property-tax funding). California endured Ronald Reagan and the tax revolt just at the time when it was shifting funding to the state. That is where the drastic decrease came from (with little commensurate increase for poorer areas) because Republicans had no reason to respond to the needs of the mainstays of Democrat politics and because of the traditional small government, cut spending, starve the beast, reduce taxes approach of Republicans. When the tide turned and Gray Davis was elected (a Democrat), he had the misfortune of being governor at the time energy was deregulated and Enron bilked the State of California, causing a financial crisis for which he wasn't to blame but was blamed anyway. Swartzenegger won the recall against Davis by promising to repeal the car license tax. As a result, the pendulum never swung back and schools continued to be starved of funds. When it looked like things might improve under Gerry Brown, we had 2008 and the recession. I worked in the CSU and we were furloughed in 2009 (with a 10% cut in pay), then went for another 4 years without any raises. This, after many years of inadequate budgets. Then we had a chancellor who decided to make the system pay for itself by charging higher tuition, so the students were asked to make up the shortfall in state funding. This isn't an option at the K-12 level. Parents watched the quality of schools go down the tubes, with the elimination of recess, arts, school days per year, length of the day, access to kindergarten, staffing by librarians (most libraries were closed), counselors, psychologists, nurses, specialists and aides. In wealthier districts, parents picked up the slack. The lottery helped but it was inconsistent funding and thus couldn't be budgeted, so didn't help with any staffing problems. Teachers had no guarantee of employment from year to year but routinely received layoff notices at year end. This encouraged many to seek other careers.

      Anyone living in California during these years knows that this happened from reading daily newspapers and watching the evening news. If you had kids, you knew first-hand.

      The idea that someone like you would come along and ask for sources or question the reality of what happened to the schools in California is just plain ludicrous. It is like asking a New Yorker for a source proving that 9/11 happened. I don't know what your game is, but it isn't polite discourse. Somerby, in his niche in Baltimore, may be unaware of what goes on across the country, but when someone tries to tell you, making them jump through hoops over the obvious, or implying as Somerby did that someone doesn't know their stuff, is about as stupid as the way our president behaves out of his deep ignorance.

      Give it a rest.

    4. Wow. A great slab of text, explaining exactly… What?

      Somerby: “Pawel said California's schools were "great" way back when, in the golden age which covered the decades before 1978.”

      Which age are you covering here, 7:56? Goodness gracious. I mean, actually, wtf?

      Sorry if I stepped on your toes, deadrat.


    5. Don't worry about my toes or my feelings, Leroy. I don't have any of the latter. If I did though, I would feel a little bit bad that I had provoked over 600 words about how things got worse. I try to blame the transmitter before the receiver.

      Yeah, Republicans made things worse. That's what they do. But are we to believe the narrative that they drove us out of paradise?

    6. Anonymous at 7:20P.

      But he [TDH] seems interested solely in scoring points. And I am suggesting that IF HE ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, then he should be doing more than that.

      I don’t know what TDH is really interested in, and I have no way of knowing what he actually (er, sorry, ACTUALLY) cares about. And I’m certainly not about to suggest what he should be doing more of.

      I know what TDH writes, and I know how check on how accurate he is. And in this case, he’s right: at no time did LA bask in the glorious yellow glow of a Golden Age of Education. I find his suggestion apt that we not trust journalists who tell us otherwise.

      YMMV, of course.

    7. You should be asking yourself why your only friend here is Leroy. And you wonder why people call you a troll!

    8. Really? That’s what I should be asking myself?

      Leroy isn’t a friend. I don’t know Leroy. I don’t even know for a fact that he’s a he. Leroy is just someone I’ve exchanged appreciative comments with.

      Because, ya see, this is a blog commentary.

      I don’t wonder why people have called me a troll. It’s easier for them than responding substantively. And I don’t give a shit what people here call me.

      Because, ya see, this is a blog commentary.

      Ya got anything to add that might be germane to the conversation (for lack of a better word)?

      I didn’t think so.

    9. daedrat - I think you need to examine where you stand.

    10. Keep it up everybody. This is moderately entertaining and slightly informative. One minor quibble though:

      “When it looked like things might improve under Gerry Brown, we had 2008 and the recession. I worked in the CSU and we were furloughed in 2009…”

      Schwarzenegger was still governor in 2008 (and 2009 and 2010). At that time, Jerry Brown was attorney general. He regained the governorship in 2011.

    11. Anonymous at 12:07P,

      Sure. Did you have something specific in mind? If it's my attitude, then "“I've had complaints about it, but it keeps getting worse.”

      If it's my positions, what in particular do you think I've got wrong?

    12. deadrat - I think you're barking up the wrong tree with your attitude here pal. You're gonna have a lip on the sidewalk if you make me come down there.

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. Heh heh. Anon threats of violence, which in no way could possibly be carried out.

      "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
      -Isaac Asimov

      Since it appears that your _initial_ reaction is towards violence, I can't wonder but what kind of boob you must be, 4:45. Come at me, dawg! : )

    15. I'll take my elbow to your cheek pal. Meet me at midnight tonight.

    16. Leroy,
      We could have used that Asimov quote on 09/12/2001.

  9. I would like to see the SES over the same time period and see if correlates. In LA, any family with the means will send their kid to private school, I suspect the decline in achievement matches the decline in SES of the student body.

  10. Hey everyone!
    I'm so excited. My ex-boyfriend is back after few months of breakup, I’m extremely happy that will are living together again. My boyfriend of 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant. I have cried myself to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again. Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes, my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy, he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along. He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change. I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with. I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe. He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy, he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.
    I was really upset and I needed help, so I searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and I did it then he did a spell for me. 17 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again...
    All thanks to Dr Ahmed if you have any marital, relationship or divorces problem contact Dr Ahmed now and I guarantee you that he will help you.
    Here’s his contact.
    Call/what’s-app: +2348160153829
    Email: Ahmedutimate@gmail.com

  11. deadrat, I’m not Leroy, and I love your posts. You are one of a very small number of commenters here who clearly sees what Bob is saying in any given post and understands the seemingly incredibly tricky concept—at least based on the often surreal claims they make—that Bob can write about anything he likes on his own blog and is under zero obligation to see everything the same way that they do. Thank you very much for posting here. Long may you continue.

  12. Eric, kind of you to say. My views and their presentation are an acquired taste, so I don’t hear your sentiment often. Thanks.

    As often as TDH decries tribalism, you’d think his commenters would understand their tribal impulse to label TDH as a betrayer of liberal causes because he criticizes liberals. Or because he doesn’t also criticize Fox News.

    I’d like to stay if only because everyone needs reminding that David in cal is a moral and intellectual idiot. But there’s only so much Wittgenstein I can take. Not to mention willful ignorance about science and math.

    1. You're sockpuppeting now, dembot, aren't you?

      You're hilarious, my dear. Thanks for the laugh, and please keep clowning.

  13. I have been casting spells for many years and I have helped many people, I might be able to help you too. I am honest, and I genuinely care for all the clients who choose me to cast a spell for them.

    If you have any questions about Love, Money, curse, protection, bad luck, divorce, court cases, or about me please call or email me. I really want you to feel comfortable before moving forward with any spells, or other services. I will take the time to explain things to you and provide you with honest advice, to what is best for your situation. I will not pressure you into having a spell cast, I will leave that decision up to you, and when or if you decide to move forward, I might be able to help you.
    I will respect your Privacy. I will not seek to obtain any of your personal information beyond what you might voluntarily offer and all information you might give me including emails, phone numbers and photos will remain private and confidential.
    I perform my Rituals only at night between the hours of 0.00 - 0.59 (South African time) lasting 1 hour but of course, this depends on the nature of the ritual, some rituals might take hours and can also become necessary to be performed at specials places like; flowing streams, cemeteries and other places dictated by the gods.
    I do not want anyone to be under any illusions about my spells and its numerous rituals. Real and effective Voodoo is no child's play, it is expensive because, after the rituals, I will have to destroy all the materials involved by fire and the ashes scattered over a flowing stream or river.
    You will get what you seek.But please understand this might take a lot of time and that individual results may vary. contact +27663492930, greatogudugu@gmail.com

    Herbal cure for Following DISEASES,this is not scam is 100% Real.

    -DIARRHEA and so on...