Monday, September 05, 2016

Monday Post

It's official.

ISIS claims responsibility for bombings that have, so far, claimed the lives of forty-eight people:

Near-simultaneous bombings claimed by the Islamic State group struck in and around strongholds of the Syrian government and Kurdish troops Monday, killing at least 48 people in a wave of attacks that came a day after the militants lost a vital link to the outside world along the Syrian-Turkish border.

The IS-run Aamaq news agency said the attacks included six suicide bombings and one remotely detonated blast. Most targeted security forces.

In the mean time, the only person doing anything solid to stop ISIS (because a pipeline can't exist with it) lets Obama pretend that his opinion matters.

Also letting Obama pretend that his opinion matters, Filipino president, Rodrigo Duterte:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned President Barack Obama on Monday not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or "son of a bitch I will swear at you" when they meet in Laos during a regional summit.

(SidebarObama has violated the rights of the average American citizen and used the NSA and the IRS to do it.)

It must offend the delicate sensibilities of that Kenyan narcissist to see that a sovereign nation does whatever it pleases. I have yet to hear Obama sound off on Saudi Arabia's many human rights abuses.

Speaking of human rights abuses....

Iran’s supreme leader on Monday said Saudi Arabian authorities “murdered” Muslim pilgrims who were injured during last year’s hajj stampede.

“The heartless and murderous Saudis locked up the injured with the dead in containers — instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst. They murdered them,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement on his website marking the anniversary of the disaster. He offered no evidence to support the allegations.

A top Saudi official said the criticism reflects “a new low” and is an attempt by Iran to “politicize the hajj.”


No one was trampled to death during Mother Teresa's canonisation.


For the first time since 2000, half of Ontario grade 6 students failed to meet the provincial standards in math on last year’s standardized test from the Education Quality and Assessment Office (EQAO).

Student performance has been steadily declining since the 2009-2010 school year — four years after a new and still controversial math curriculum took effect. It’s also the same year the first batch of kindergarteners to be taught entirely in the new curriculum would have taken the standardized test.

From 2009 onwards, grade 6 students have been faring worse each year, and more troubling is the number who meet the standard in grade 3 but fail in grade 6 has increased each year, hitting 21 per cent last year.
Any good math teacher will tell you correlation doesn’t equal causation, but the fact scores have fallen as the “discovery math” curriculum spread adds numeric weight to the longstanding criticism of the pedagogy.

The EQAO numbers also show that it’s math scores specifically that have suffered.

New Brunswick has some of the lowest educational scores in the entire country:

Now that the provincial government wants students to develop a sense of belonging in school, it has to stop downloading extra responsibilities on to teachers, says the president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association.

The 10-year education plan revealed Thursday by the Gallant government contains many of the same platitudes found in similar reports over the past decades.

Something new in the plan, however, is the desire for students to "have a strong sense of belonging" in their school.

Yep. That's what's important. 

Also: not assigning homework is like not assigning hockey or piano practice to budding young players or musicians. It's the quality, not quantity, that over-paid teachers need to assign:

Armitage is one of several Alberta teachers who say they can teach just as effectively — and maybe better — without loading down their pupils’ backpacks with exercises and assignments.

Homework has long had evangelists and detractors, prompting international debate over its merits for decades.

Proponents say homework gives children and parents a chance to talk about what’s happening in school, teaches them good study habits, and helps them take responsibility for learning. Children assigned homework also perform better on tests, according to some studies, although more homework is not always better.

Research shows a correlation between children regularly doing their homework and higher academic achievement, said Greg Thomas, a University of Alberta professor in the department of secondary education. However, some of that research has been heavily criticized, and it doesn’t prove that more homework caused grades and test scores to rise.

The current debate appears to be around how much homework students should do based on their grade level, Thomas said. A focus on time limits calls into question whether homework has a useful purpose, or is just “busywork.”

Yet another poll proves that the popular press is not listening to the opinion of the average Canadian but rather relying on a usual sampling of daft voters who don't understand what "deficit" means or that the current government wants to change the electoral system without consulting Canadians:

Despite Trudeau’s popularity, Canadians’ views on the role or importance of government haven’t shifted much since the 2014 survey.

(Sidebar: polls that support the notion that Trudeau is, in any way, popular usually come from one place.)

They still think government and small business make a bigger difference in the quality of their lives than say large companies, religious organizations or the media. About 38 per cent say government is “extremely important” for their quality of life and 49 per cent say “very important.”

The main exception to this view was the 28 per cent of the survey’s respondents who felt government was completely broken.

At the same time, Canadians want fixes but the magnitude of the change they are seeking has shifted since 2014, suggesting they want incremental not wholesale change.

In the 2014 survey, 48 per cent called for a “fundamental change of the way it operates” compared to 40 per cent who just wanted government to do a better job. That reversed in the latest survey with 36 per cent wanting major change and 51 per cent saying government should do a better job.

The main changes they want revolve around better leadership, more accountability and more efficient spending.

The above three will never be achieved as long as Trudeau or any Liberal is in office.

Since Trudeau has entered office, unemployment has risen and the economy has taken a beating. As usual, Trudeau refuses to answer questions for which he has not rehearsed answers, as when Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan criticised Obama at the recent G20 meetings. As if he actually knows what protectionism means, he casually attacked it as an American infection after agreeing to billion dollar deals with China, the country he openly admitted to admiring.

This man has no ruddy what he is doing (his backers do, though) and nor do his supporters.

And now, rare Star Trek home movies. Enjoy.

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