Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Charter School Effort Gets $65 Million Lift

WaPo reported The charter school movement, begun 16 years ago as an alternative to struggling public schools, will today make its strongest claim on mainstream American education when a national group announces the most successful fundraising campaign in the movement's history -- $65 million to create 42 schools in Houston.

Wonderful news, particularly for parents in Houston
The money, which comes from some of the nation's foremost donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would make the Knowledge Is Power Program the largest charter school organization in the country. KIPP, which runs three schools in Washington, has produced some of the highest test scores among publicly funded schools in the District and has made significant gains in the math and reading achievement of low-income students in most of its 52 schools across the country.

Betsy Newmark blogged Generations of students have entered school and left, failed by our schools. Now a system has come along that helps some of those students and critics gripe that they aren't helping everyone. They would prefer to struggle along with one failed program after another while more generations of students are failed by their schools. These schools are taking their public money, adding in private donations and providing an excellent education for some kids. Yes, those kids are lucky to get there and we wish that all students could go to such schools. But until that happens, should we deny these students at the KIPP Academies their opportunities because we want to hold them hostage in the regular public schools in the hopes that their presence will help other students.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Colorado Woman Sues To Hold Web Crawlers To Contracts

InformationWeek reported The Internet Archive, which spiders the Internet to copy Web sites for posterity (unless site owners opt out), is being sued by Colorado resident and Web site owner Suzanne Shell for conversion, civil theft, breach of contract, and violations of the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations act and the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.

Shell is an idiot. If she does not want her site spidered, all she has to do is include a metatag that tells spiders not to index the page, and not to follow links within it.
Shell's site states, "IF YOU COPY OR DISTRIBUTE ANYTHING ON THIS WEB SITE, YOU ARE ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT," at the bottom of the main page, and refers readers to a more detailed copyright notice and agreement. Her suit asserts that the Internet Archive's programmatic visitation of her site constitutes acceptance of her terms, despite the obvious inability of a Web crawler to understand those terms and the absence of a robots.txt file to warn crawlers away.


Proof the left is insane

Bret Stephens wrote in OpinionJournal Since coming to office nearly seven years ago, Mr. Livingstone has become a symbol of the marriage of the European left and the Islamist right..... More mysterious, however, at least as a matter of ideology, has been the dalliance of the progressive left with the (Islamic) political right. Self-styled progressives, after all, have spent the past four decades championing the very freedoms that Islam most opposes: sexual and reproductive freedoms, gay rights, freedom from religion, pornography and various forms of artistic transgression, pacifism and so on. For those who hold this form of politics dear, any long-term alliance with Islamic politics ultimately becomes an ideological, if not a political, suicide pact.

Precisely. The same is true for the Democrats in this country. They are so mad at Bush that they ignore the much greater risk that Radical Islam proposes, and if Islam prevails, Conservative Christains will certainly be hurt, because they will have to live as Dhimmis under Islam and pay a steep tax, but the Secular Progressives will be in far worse shape. They support Gay Marriage, while Muslims not only will not let gays marry, they kill them, by beheading, hanging, throwing off buildings, or other ways. Dems support abortion on demand, while Muslims stone or give 100 lashes to people for having sex outside of marriage.
One cannot, after all, champion the cause of universal liberation in alliance with a movement that at its core stands for submission.... But the stakes today are different. At question for Europeans is not the prevailing view of a distant country. The question is the shaping of their own. Europe's liberal democrats were able, sometimes with outside help, to preserve their values in the face of an outside threat. Whether they can resist the temptations of Islamosocialism remains to be seen.