Poll: Do You Know William Arrowsmith?

[If you're reading this post in via RSS, click here to take the poll.]

It’s a simple question, really – you know him or you don’t.

Since I don’t know what you know or don’t know, the best way to find out is to ask. Do you know William Arrowsmith? Please choose an answer below, it’ll only take a second.

And when you answer, answer honestly. Not only does no one likes a cheater, but there’s a relatively-unknown circle of Hell reserved for those who cheat using Google.

I’ve wanted to write something up about a few of Arrowsmith’s points for years now. I started re-reading a piece to think about how I’d approach it when I realized that I have absolutely no clue whether anyone knows the man or his work.

So, these results, albeit from a small sample size, will give me an idea of how to approach this project. [I also get to test out this nifty AJAX WordPress poll plugin].


Hartwick High School Varsity Basketball Team, 1948-1949

The Hartwick High Huskies Varsity Basketball team, 1948-1949 season.

The caption reads:

Seated: Frederick Baker, John Hurtubise, William Hurtubise, Captain, John Burns, John Mistretta.

Standing: Coach William E. Dalrymple, Joseph Orlando, Robert Caskey, Donald Gras.

That ’48-49 season was a tough one. The gym, which also served as the Community Center, was gutted by fire in 1948. The basketball team practiced in the snow that season. They played their “home” games on opponents’ courts, losing their first 16 before winning their final 2 games.

Binghamton’s Sunday Press, March 6, 1953, gives some additional context for the Hartwick sports of this era:

“The Hartwick School in this Otsego crossroads contains 26 boys and no gym. Of the eligible males 23 play varsity or J.V. basketball in the low white wooden hall next to the feed mill.”

More on this later.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the Education Blogosphere

If you’ve got 5 minutes, check out the video of the wildly entertaining Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performing the theme song from the Sergio Leone classic “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” The first minute is slow, but it picks up. It’s a must-watch [as is this medley which starts with Handel and works into The Eagles, Sinatra and more].

That triad of Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco is an awfully fitting taxonomy for the weekly goings-on in the education blogosphere…

blondie, the good

  • Ed in ’08 has finally progressed from their ineffectual “Rock the Vote!”-style participation rhetoric by highlighting the documentary 2 Million Minutes on their homepage. As I’ve written in the past, 2MM is a serious look at how we go about secondary education – and education in general – in the United States as compared to India and China. If you haven’t yet seen the trailer, there’s a link right on the Ed in ’08 homepage – I encourage every education blogger to look into 2MM and request a screening in your area.


  • The Online Education Database [OEDb] has released their rankings of online education programs. They factored in acceptance rate, financial aid, graduation rate, peer Web citations, retention rate, scholarly citations, student-faculty ratio, and years accredited. The overall score is used to rank each college by its average ranking for each metric for which data was available. In their words, “We think more transparency is a good thing; a set of objective, quantitative rankings — however imperfect — should help shed some light on the relative attractiveness of the most popular accredited online colleges.” This is an excellent first step toward separating the legitimate opportunities for online degrees from the pretenders – and worse, the diploma mills – that weigh down the industry.



  • Congratulations to Darren of Right on the Left Coast for his 3rd year blogging anniversary. Congratulations are also in order for D-Ed Reckoning, who not only relayed some fine anecdotes about his 15-year history with the internet [$22/hour for CompuServe use?] but also managed to draw ire from Alexander Russo. How dare you suggest that you’ve been reading a seminal education blog longer than that Perez Hilton of the education blogosphere, Mr. DeRosa? You should know your place.


angel eyes, the bad

  • The Houston Chronical’s School Zone blog is usually fairly good, but they really blew it this week when they posted, “Fried Chicken for MLK?” HISD’s menu, in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., included fried chicken. School Zone presented the situation as if a lineup of mammies in blackface gleefully slopped the stereotypical food on the tykes’ plates – but that isn’t even close to the truth. A look at the menu shows that not only was the fried chicken served along with hamburgers and a rancher salad, it wasn’t even headlining the list. Also, the MLK, Jr. Center of Atlanta confirmed that fried chicken was his favorite meal [along with General Lee and many, many others, I might add]. School Zone’s source for internal commentary on the issue? Gayle Fallon, President of the Houston Federation of Teachers. Grow up, School Zone – and specifically the author of this post, Jennifer Radcliffe. Leading with tendentious headlines – then burying the relevant facts in paragraph 4 – is shoddy, race-baiting journalism.


  • The Hillsborough County School District [Florida] has embraced grade inflation of the highest order – it’s all a curve on the District-level exams. One of the most harmful effects is that the curve essentially pits classes from one school against others. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to beat those dummies over at [insert underperforming school's name]. This is quite likely to mask troubles with this year’s scheduling change that forces teachers to instruct in 6 out of 7 periods – no more planning. Not only has HCSD emasculated the purpose of an exam – an exam being the certification of knowledge – but it’s succeeded in clouding real analysis of its personnel decisions. The Wall sums up the relevant concerns.


  • The Education schools fail. It’s old hat by now, but Jay P. Greene and Catherine Shock’s pithy City Journal article on the prevelance of “multicultural” courses in education schools relative to math courses is worth a read. From the text: “The average ed school, we found, has a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 1.82, meaning that it offers 82 percent more courses featuring social goals than featuring math.” Skoolboy’s got it wrong and Sherman Dorn misses the point.

tuco, the ugly

Horn’s latest post, “Unending War Relies on Steady Supply of Dropouts and Pushouts,” plays that tired, offensive reel that our armed forces are populated by hopeless, talentless, dumber-than-dirt dropouts who have chosen the military in lieu of a life in the gutter:

“These youngsters today have failed to make it in the testing factories we call schools, and recruiters, armed with these kids’ school data (NCLB mandates it), have an unending supply of hot leads.

What would that recruiting poster look like–an army one group of dropouts and pushouts who can still contribute to the America’s world class military economy. Sign your body up today!” [emphasis added]

Sign your body up today, you mindless, ignorant rubes! Horn thinks you’re only good for stopping bullets in Chimpy McHalliburton’s never-ending quest to trade Blood for Oil.

I asked one of those animalistic, Morlockian subhumans currently serving in the Army about Horn’s post. After all, he fits Horn’s stereotype well: after graduating from a rural public school in the US, he went to college in Canada [that cesspool of Re-thug-lican, flag-waving, Toby Keith-loving trash, correct?] where he graduated in just 3 years with a double major in international relations and history. A year after earning that degree, he joined up with the US Army – not that he had a choice, being one of those dropout/pushout sacks of garbage that Horn so pities.

He says about Horn’s piece:

Horn’s post is not only factually wrong but deeply offensive. I invite him to visit any major military post and converse with those whom he terms, “poor, brown and black” soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen. He will find young men and women who are passionate about their country, concerned with what is morally right and who seek to improve themselves through their service. - A 2nd Lieutenant, United States Army Infantry

He’d likely decline that invitation, Lieutenant – unless, of course, you asked him to come and enlighten you.

Almost as charming is Sunday’s post that pays tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. Well, for a sentence – then he takes a shot at George W. Bush. Titled “Tomorrow”:

we can celebrate the life and contributions of a great man, Dr. King


we can mark the first day in the last year of the worst President in all of our American history.

Sheesh, and Mr. Downes thought I abused Edmund Hillary’s legacy to make a “cheap political point.”

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Horn wrote one of today’s Onion Radio pieces, “Uneducated Outbreeding Intelligentsia Two-to-One” unaware that it’s a satire publication?

Monmouth University should be ashamed of itself for employing Horn, though they surely aren’t. And to Horn, I’ll say what George Patton would say if he were alive today:

You’re one lowlife son of a bitch, Jim.

I Could Take 28 Kindergarteners in a Fight, How ‘Bout You?


Sometimes when you read about education issues all day you starting thinking things like, “How many 5-year olds could I beat up before they finally got the best of me?”

And sometimes there’s a resource out there that’ll give you the answer.

How Many Five Year Olds Could You Take in a Fight?

Here are the ground rules:

  • You are in an enclosed area roughly the size of a basketball court
  • There are no weapons or foreign objects
  • Everyone is wearing a cup (so no kicks to the groin)
  • The children are merciless and will show no fear
  • If a child is knocked unconscious, he is “out.” The same goes for you.

My favorite question:

During the fight, would you feel morally comfortable picking up a child and using him/her as a weapon to throw at other children?

28 for me! Feel free to take the quiz and post your results.

From their website:

Please Note: All our badges and widgets that you can install on your blog come with an extra link attached that you may remove if you wish. The extra link is the <a> tag located at the very bottom of the HTML code we provide. Removing it will not affect the widget in any way.

They’re up front with that extra link – excellent. Sneaky link tactics stink.

James Fenimore and Cooperstown People

James Fenimore Cooper

From Katharine Jermain Chapman’s “Through the Glimmerglass,” 1946:

Todd explains to Susie:

“James Fenimore Cooper gets very lonely and cold sometimes sitting there in the park – He tells me stories about Cooperstown – if I tell them to you, Susie, will you write it down just the way he tells me? – ‘cause James Fenimore has traveled everywhere and he feels sad because no one seems to know what a very big man he is – Fenimore Cooper’s stories are read the whole world around.”


“Aristocracy has gone by the board!” James Fenimore says you’ll never have a fine town when the real people eat and drink with their grocer. You have to have sort of superior people, those who read a lot and know things about the big world outside, to run the town right.

James Fenimore lost all patience with Cooperstown “Tradespeople” when they took the Three Mile Point property that belonged to the Coopers away from him and gave it to the Village of Cooperstown.

It was this way, Susie, James Fenimore had been in Europe three years and he’d seen lots and lots of the whole wide world. He knew grand people who could talk about everything that he understood and he could talk to folks that knew more about the world than he did.

So you see, when he came back to America and started to live in Cooperstown, he was ready to help everybody. Do you know no one would listen to him! They all thought he was just stuck-up and proud.

Mind you, Susie, over on the other side of the world he’d been telling everyone what a real live, grand place America was. “Everyone in our country is ‘Free and Equal,’” he said, but, when he came home, he found that they didn’t act that way at all. The very first thing that happened was they took his land away from him.

You know, Three Mile Point is the prettiest point on the whole lake and a nice, easy row from town; so all the townsfolk got to going there for their swimming and picnics; they were building a nice “pavilion” for meetings and dances right down on the Point by the beach.

Well, one day, soon after James Fenimore came home, he rode up to see his property. He went along the lake road and came down to the Point where he saw all the townspeople gathered for a picnic. It was the day of the opening of the “pavilion.” There was a band player, too, I guess. James Fenimore couldn’t believe his eyes at first. Then he got mad and he snapped his riding whip and rode right into the crowd and told them to get off his premises.

Gee, they were all mad. They said to James Fenimore, “You can’t put us off this land. Your uncle William gave this land to us years ago and we’ve always used it for ourselves and our families. It belongs to the Village of Cooperstown.” So there was a free-for-all fight right then and there. When James Fenimore rode home, he was so darn mad that he went to law but the lawyers (I guess they liked to swim at Three Mile Point themselves) sided with the townsfolk and gave the land belonging to James Fenimore to the Village to keep for their very own use despite all the Cooper family and James Fenimore Cooper besides.

You see, he never should have stayed away from home so long. They all treated him like a foreigner. After that, James Fenimore had a good mind to go right back overseas and never come back home, but ‘stead he loved it so in Cooperstown, that he just settled down in the village and built him a house for his wife and him to live in and pretty soon she had a child, as all women will, and that kind of settled him down for good.

One day – and it was a pretty day – James Fenimore was riding through the woods and he came out on the point below Three Mile where the lake stretches out in a wide bay towards Cooperstown. It was all so swell and pretty that James Fenimore said to himself, “I’ll just write up about this whole picture – stories about Otsego Lake and the Indians and those old days. I’ll show these Cooperstown people that “a Prophet (that’s a wise man, Susie, who knows and sees everything both before and behind) is not without fame save in his own country.”

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