IMPACT Analysis

Regarding the IMPACT program of Michelle Rhee, teachers object to that program which uses Master Teacher evaluation to determine teacher performance – teachers object to that as well as they do “Value Added” evaluation.

And, they object to Michelle Rhee herself, saying that she never had run a school district before.

Well, I am not certain that Demming knew anything about building cars, but he understood management for quality. I didn’t know a thing about TV when I was CEO of an LA TV station, and when asked what I knew about TV stations, I replied I didn’t manage TV stations — I manage people!

Management of PEOPLE is a transferable skill: Military people (in my case,) civilian people, TV people, teacher people, car mechanic people…we now have a community organizer who never managed 5 people in his life “managing” 340 million people…

The Washington D.C. school system is only MARGINALLY worse than the California school system. We rank about 47, D.C. ranks 51. The Washington system decided that even after Rhee left that they would continue her teacher evaluation policy.

I understand that teachers don’t like ANY evaluation system that might identify ANY teacher as unsatisfactory and that is why the unions have never identified or proposed a single system that THEY find acceptable — but that is not the real world. Teachers trash “value added” and “IMPACT” and…

Teachers: How about putting your proposal for weeding out unsatisfactory teachers on the table?



Static Analysis in a Dynamic World

In a classic case of static analysis in a dynamic world, The state Democrats in the Legislature and the Governor’s Office have instituted an internet tax. promptly announced their cancellation with California affiliates used to fill orders.

“Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law California’s tax on Internet sales through affiliate advertising which will immediately cut small-business website revenue 20% to 30%, experts say.

The bill, AB 28X, takes effect immediately. The state Board of Equalization says the tax will raise $200 million a year, but critics claim it will raise nothing because online retailers will end their affiliate programs rather than collect the tax.

Amazon has already emailed its termination of its affiliate advertising program with 25,000 websites.”

The Democrats looked at all of the tax revenue that it was missing by not collecting internet tax on orders placed with California fulfillment houses, but ordered from, and concluded that it would collect millions. (Static analysis.) countered by ending their relationship with all of those California concerns, concluding that can find alternate product in states that do not collect sales tax. (Dynamic analysis.)

It is common for Democrats to assume that they can multiply “x” transactions times “y” dollars and that will be the income. They assume that people will do nothing to counter the impending pain, but people DO avoid pain if there are alternatives – and has alternatives.

Please Support Carl DeMaio

There are precious few politicians with whom I do not feel like I must shower after meeting them.

I usually feel as if I should try to buy back my handshake, but Carl DeMaio is the exception. He was a tax activist before it was popular to be one, and as I have noted he refused his Councilman pension the first day in office,

May I suggest a donation to his campaign. Donating to politicians is something I seldom do, but this is getting tight and Carl has lots of strong opposition.

Donate at



It appears that Michelle Rhee, the reform-minded Chancellor of the Washington, D.C, school system for three years and who resigned (or was pushed out) when a new Mayor was elected that opposed her methodology, is still having an IMPACT.

IMPACT is the name of the teacher evaluation system she imposed on arguably the most expensive and worst school system in America. The system calls for five in-class teacher evaluations by master teachers each year, and to a lesser amount tying teacher grades to student accomplishment.

Obviously, the unions oppose any evaluation of teachers, who, in their minds are like the children of Lake Woebegone, where all children are above average.

Well they aren’t, and the New York Times tells us that the continuation of the Rhee methodology has resulted in the firing of 165 teachers last year and the potential to fire another 200 to 600 this year! (Out of a total teacher population of 4,200. If the same ratio were to be fired last year in California it would represent firing13,000 teachers, and this year would account for 15,800 to 47,400 teachers for poor performance!)

Pre-Rhee, 95% of the DC teachers were highly-rated, but fewer than 50% of the students were rated as proficient.

This system has had the support of the Obama administration, and to their credit this administration has constantly put pressure on the system to increase teacher performance. Because the Obama administration has placed $5 billion into school reform programs, many school districts and entire states (including New York) are looking into programs like IMPACT to see what they can do to better evaluate teacher performance.

It is notable because so many politicians who support public education opt out of public schools for their own children, including President Obama and President Clinton and you can’t blame them. Using 2000 Census information, the Thomas P. Fordham Institute determined in 2004 that compared to the national average, twice as many public school teachers send their children to private schools. In certain localities, like Chicago, public school teachers send their children to private schools at a rate greater than 40%.

If you have any influence with your local school board, you might introduce them to the concept of IMPACT.

Not Me!

The has a piece in which they ask former Mayor Susan Golding about the city pension problem, which began on her watch.

She denied any responsibility.


The advent of blogging gives readers, some of which are “insiders” an opportunity to reflect upon the denials — something that was not possible pre-blogging.

The parallels with Greece are obvious, where there are riots in the streets with the workers blaming the politicians for the mess — and rightly so, but without acknowledging their own responsibility in taking the high wages and obscene benefits.

Yes, the politicians took the union money, and danced the union tune — which turned out to be discordant. One would be hard pressed to find anywhere among the past union leaders or politicians any voice of reason, for all have kicked the can down the road hoping to be out of office when the music stopped. (To confuse metaphors.)

At least someone has looked back and lightly reflected on this issue, something that no one has done with the Sprinter, or the constantly failing California Center for the Arts in Escondido.

No politician ever takes responsibility for their errors, and all continue to be applauded at cocktail parties and addressed as “Congressman” or “Mayor” or “Councilwoman” regardless of their past sins. In the modern era the bad in them gets interred in their bones, unlike the days of Mark Anthony.

I recall that during a commercial break in a TV taping, a local retired and now deceased Congressman told me that his great regret was that he danced the union tune on ending the Bracero Program, and regretted the subsequent problems that ending that program has introduced, but he kept that confession to himself and no journalist ever disinterred the obvious story.

The application of a touch of shame is highly warranted when plans fall apart. Military leaders get sacked for poor outcomes, but there is never shame in political error. If politicians were to be denied their prized titles, and perhaps their pensions for failure of their plans, we might get better performance. (See “Downtown Library.”)

Hello, Apple…?

Microsoft tells me that if my computer is infected with the “rootkit” called “Popureb” that I will have to reinstall my Windows.

No way in hell!

I’ll be in the local Apple store and buy a MAC immediately if Microsoft cannot protect me against, or provide me a reasonable and rational method to solve, this problem.

Microsoft seems to think they are the only kid on the block.

They ain’t.


What Part of “No” Do You Not Understand?

My post on the SCOTUS brought forth several questions regarding the power of the states to override the federal government.

States may not override the federal government IN THOSE INSTANCES WHERE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS GRANTED POWER.

The problem arises in cases where the federal government is NOT granted power – and those under the 10th Amendment belong to the states.

One such decision where the federal system usurped such power is obvious: Abortion. Since it is NOT in the Constitution as a federal power, the decision on abortion should have been remanded to the several states.

As the Constitution was being debated within the states for a ratifying vote, the man who WROTE the Constitution with his own pen, James Madison, weighed into a series of newspaper articles written by several members of the Constitution Convention (subsequently combined into a book called the Federalist Papers), with this quote:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

James Madison, Federalist Papers, #45

It is not a question of whether it would be wise for a state to deny citizens ANY right — it would not be. The question is “Does it have the POWER to do so, or not do so, in effect, does the power lie with the state or the federal government.

The restriction on abridging free speech, SPCIFICALLY says, “Congress shall pass NO law…”

It’s pretty hard to debate that clause.

What part of “No” do you not understand?

What part of “Congress” do you not understand?