Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Off topic post

New Jersey missed out on it's share of "Race to the Top" education funding because they provided 2011-11 budget data instead of 2008-9. That misstep cost them roughly 5 points on the 500 point grading system (only in Washington would you have a test graded from 0-500). Ohio was the lowest ranked state to win grants from the Race to the Top and they beat out NJ by.....3 points!

Obviously, this is silly, but frankly the concept of Race to the Top is misguided. States promise to make improvements to gain access to additional funds. Those funds will then be sent to districts that will use the money to rehire previously laid off teachers. These teachers will come back for a year until this second round of stimulus expires. Net/net the kids won't be any better off and we will have spent more money that we don't have.

I'd argue that any Race to the Top funds should go to new ideas only. The current public education system is failing if 25% of NY graduates require remedial math when they arrive in college. In NNY we should start in-house programs for the gifted and talented. Pull the top 10% of kids from each grade and spend the morning teaching them accelerated math, science, history, philosophy, etc. Group the k-2 and 3-6th grade kids together in a one room school house style of classroom. These kids would also convert to a modified Australian schedule - divide the school year into 1/3rds and take 3 weeks off at Christmas, 3 weeks in March and 5 weeks in the summer. Small districts could pool their resources and their kids to lower the total cost and improve the outcome.

This is a plan that would enhance our competitive status in the world, but this is a plan that would be frowned upon by every special interest that tells us they are looking out for my precious snowflake when they are really just concerned with protecting the status quo.

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Ah, Texas. In an effort to catch Louisiana and Mississippi as our beefiest state I give you the highlights of the Texas State Fair eating venues.

Wait, does that really say FRIED BEER?!?! If they can figure out a way to get some chocolate covered bacon in there, I might have to make a trip to the Texas State Fair.

"Deep Fried S’mores Pop•Tart – Pop•Tart with a sensational chocolate, peanut butter, s’mores flavor is lightly battered and deep fried. Hot out of the fryer, the sinfully diet-busting treat is drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream.

Deep Fried Frozen Margarita - Sweet and creamy funnel cake batter is deliciously coupled with margarita ingredients. Fried, dusted with a tangy lemon/lime mixture and lightly spritzed with south of the border flavor, it’s served in a salt rimmed glass. 21 and over, ID required.

Fernie’s Fried Club Salad – Super colossal 12” spinach wrap surrounds generous layers of juicy diced ham & chicken, shredded iceberg, crunchy carrot strips, ripe cherry tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar and hickory smoked bacon. Deep fried until lightly crispy; topped with deep-fried sour dough croutons on a stick and served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce. Choice of creamy Ranch, Thousand Island, or Caesar dressing.

Fried Beer - Beer-filled pretzel pocket is deep-fried to a golden brown. One bite and the escaping beer serves as a dipping sauce. 21 and over, ID required.

Fried Chocolate – A white chocolate mini candy bar + a cherry are stuffed into a mouth-watering brownie, dipped into delicious chocolate cake batter and deep fried to perfection. The finished product has a warm just-out-of-the-oven taste! Topped with powdered sugar and a rich cherry sauce and served with chocolate flavored whip cream.

Fried Lemonade – Lemon flavored pastry is made from Country Time® lemonade. First baked, then fried, this taste tempting treat is glazed with a mix of lemonade, powdered sugar, and lemon zest.

Texas Fried Caviar – Texas version of a southern good luck staple. Black-eyed peas are fried and laced with special spices blended with Old Bay® Seasoning and are available in regular or spicy. Find them in Cotton Bowl Plaza (next to Cotton Bowl steps), inside the Auto Building, near Big Tex, and on the Thrillway.

Cheers!

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