Educators in Atlanta were convicted of cheating on standardized tests yesterday. They allegedly gave students answers or changed the answers themselves. It was a sad end to the legacy of Superintendent Beverly Hall, who was previously celebrated for her achievements in turning the school district around–she had been named Superintendent of the Year and was hosted at the White House for her role in dramatically raising Atlanta’s test scores, all while collecting performance bonuses of $500,000. Hall died last month and was not present to see the verdict, nor did she have to stand trial (she had been granted a later trial because of health concerns). 11 of 12 educators were convicted of racketeering, a charge that is usually used against organized crime syndicates or similar offenders. Some of these teachers could spend up to 20 years in prison.
I have ambiguous feelings about prisons in general, but I think everyone needs to read this NY Times article about the ADX, the highest security prison in the U.S. The prison relies on solitary confinement as a punishment, and prisoners are alone for 23 hours a day. As one former warden described it, the goal isn’t rehabilitation.
This whole debate about the legal dispute between Angry Asian Man and Angry Little Asian Girl has been quite enlightening. They say that hardship teaches you who you are, and this case is no different–I think we’ve confirmed a lot about Asian American feminism, and to a lesser extent the Asian American media-sphere. Granted, I already knew most of this because I am often ahead of the curve, but as I get older, it always makes me happy to know I was correct.
The feminist issue came up when, according to Reappropriate, Lela Lee implied that she wasn’t a feminist:
If you’re wondering why the hell a 9-year-old girl was even allowed to have an Uzi in her hand, read here. I don’t want to say that it’s stupid, but…it’s stupid. Why would you ever put a fully automatic submachine gun in the hands of a child? In Oregon, they don’t allow fully automatic guns. Even if you have a semi-automatic AR-15, ranges don’t allow you to shoot too fast.
Hofstra University has decided to eliminate the SAT requirement. Beginning in 2014, students have the option of deciding whether to submit their SAT scores as a part of their admissions application.
“I will feel more empowered. I am a good student and have good grades, but…” junior Keana Cooper said, referring to how some students just struggle with standardized testing.
“I am an all A student, a great student, but when it comes to the standardized tests, you get nervous. It wont reflect your abilities in school,” junior Madison Tarabay added.
Everyone in politics has been talking about Bowe Bergdahl, a non-official prisoner of war who was being held by the Taliban. According to most reports, one night five years ago while serving in Afghanistan, Bergdahl left a note in his tent saying that he was done, and he quietly left his post. Most evidence suggests he deserted his fellow soldiers. The Taliban captured him and held him for five years. Other American soldiers were killed in action while looking for him. And now, just a few days ago, Obama traded him for five top level Taliban leaders who were being held at Guantanamo.
Matthew Hashiguchi asked me to post info about his project the Good Luck Soup Interactive. See the video above for more info. You can donate to his Kickstarter here. It’s interesting how they are planning to do the interactive map.
I thought it was similar to what Densho does, but this looks like it’s geared more towards a younger audience who might be interested in where the internees have gone and how it looks on an interactive map. I myself am probably more old-school–I’d prefer to hear the voices of the interned, and I have no need to know where they went from there. Then again, I don’t even own a smart-phone or have a Twitter account, so I’m not exactly living in modern times.
The photos in this collection of pictures, featuring Glenn and Maggie from the Walking Dead (although not with zombies), have been making the rounds. It’s a cool collection of pictures, featuring an Asian male in good photos.
Funny quote from Korean American politician Mark Keam:
In an interview with the Korean Times and reported on by AsAmNews earlier today, Keam predicted a Korean American would be the first Asian American elected US President.
In explaining his answer, he said “Chinese-Americans have made a mark, but we have to consider the fact that there are at least twice as many Chinese as Koreans in the U.S.,” he said. “Their level of success has peaked out as there are no real prominent elected Chinese officials now.”
He then released the standard non-apology apology.
This is pretty funny. It’s pretty cool how everyone knows how to play chess. Magnus is making the rounds these days, playing chess with rich luminaries such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates was a good sport about it; Magnus beat him using only 12 seconds on his clock.