Norfolk’s school system can’t catch a break. On the heels of the news that $1.6 million in Federal Title I money was left on the table because of missed deadlines comes news that the system is $4.5 million in the hole for this year. Of course, that’s down from the initial estimate of an $8 million deficit, much of which was offset by creative accounting, lower-than-anticipated fuel costs, and state funds. Still, that $4.5 million is going to have to come from somewhere, and the city’s teachers have to be nervous about the 2% raise that’s included in the current budget. Let me get ahead of that by saying: Balancing the budget on their backs would be a travesty, especially since the administration is on the hook for the lost Federal funds.
Suddenly realizing that 10,000 acres of land was just sitting around not making #CA$HMONEY, Chesapeake is looking into developing the area around Dominion Boulevard. There’s high talk of parks and pedestrian-friendly communities, but as a Chesapeake native myself, I can assert that at least one serious proposal will involve monster trucks.
Yesterday’s editorial rightly endorses the Virginia Beach Council’s decision to study ways to bring ultra-highspeed internet to the city. And it goes even further—noting that the nature of local cable incumbents (Cox in our area, or Comcast, etc., elsewhere) provides them with little incentive to innovate or improve service, as you would expect in a competitive marketplace. After all, these carriers control the wires, they light those wires, they bring the data to your house, and you have to deal with the one in your neighborhood or forego service. What’s that called? A monopoly.
During a New York Times Q&A, fraternity demigod Frank “The Tank” Ricard spoke on the possibility of shutting down the Greek system altogether: “The incident in Oklahoma, that is a real argument for getting rid of the system altogether, in my opinion, even having been through a fraternity. Because when you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary.”
When reached for comment, rising super senior and local Kappa Delta Alpha vice president Aaron Wheelan noted that Ferrell’s comments were “not chill.”
Cruz was at Liberty University, Jerry Falwell’s Potemkin college, yesterday to announce his inevitable run for the White House in 2016. It was a fitting backdrop for a candidate whose career has been marked by nativist (though he was himself born in Canada) and fundamentalist fervor. In this article, Ed Rogers, a longtime GOP campaign and White House veteran, gives a thumbnail sketch of Cruz and why it’s going to be tough for him to branch out into the mainstream. Sounds like the GOP establishment is going to be a tough nut for him to crack, mostly because they think he is a nut (see what I did there?). I thought it was just because he looked like The Penguin in that Michael Keaton Batman movie, but I guess it goes deeper than that. The Onion weighs in, too.
As Netflix UK continues to offer significantly fewer titles than Netflix US, nearly 35,000 spectators turned up to watch the procession of super-dead King Richard III, who will be formally reburied in Leicester Cathedral this week. The last English king to die in battle, Richard’s previous procession through Leicester in 1485 involved his naked corpse being paraded through town and “several days of public abuse.” This time, the crowd threw white roses on his coffin. The English just aren’t as metal as they used to be.
I’m a little skeptical when I read something on the web touting how well other countries do education (Remember the “School lunches around the world” article? While they certainly made me want to eat in those cafeterias, that kind of thing tends to be more anecdata than actual ground-truth.), but Finland’s new approach is pretty intriguing. Basically, teach concepts instead of subjects. It kind of flips the script on all our preoccupations with education like, “But how will they do on tests?” and “How will we know when students are proficient?” In a lot of ways, this is actually a reversion to an older way of learning, where students and teachers explored thematic concepts together (see also: classic films Agora and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure). I’m a fan of anything that gets us past the idea that schools are factories measured only by the test scores they produce. I’ll be interested to see where this goes.
And most importantly, on the Swiftybeat, Laura says:
Princess Frostine incarnate Taylor Swift was forced to purchase adult domains because all of you are disgusting.