April 5: Week in Review

April 5: Week in Review

Within hours on Sunday afternoon, two Michigan basketball teams seasons came to an end, falling just short of the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. But a glorious silver lining quickly followed: Opening Day in Detroit on Monday, followed by Opening Day in Denver on Friday. Baseball is in the air, bringing the sweet smell of spring and of hope springing eternal for the loyal fans. Sports-wise, it's arguably the best time of the year. From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Commission Recommends Online Education Policy Improvements (Podcast) Colorado Ranks 21st in Per-Pupil Spending (and Other New Numbers from the NEA) (Ed Is Watching) New Independence Institute Ownership? Goodbye, Eddie; Hello, Little Ed Koch (Ed Is … [Read more...]

March 29: Week in Review

March 29: Week in Review

On Thursday I spent an hour live on air with Mike Rosen (AM 850 KOA) discussing open union negotiations and related issues in Jeffco Public Schools. More from the Independence Institute's Ed Is Watching Blog Colo. Digital Learning Policy Alternate Route Gives Some Spring Break Hope Opponents' Best Shot? Maybe Thompson Should Look at Innovating Educator Pay Watching Student Data Privacy Issue Means Not Watching Student Data Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton: The author quickly grips and engages the reader with the little-known mystery of a B-24 crew that was shot down in a 1944 bombing raid over Palau. Hylton weaves together the tales of … [Read more...]

March 15: Week in Review

March 15: Week in Review

Beware the Ides of March, but no need to beware the king of desserts. This past week included a memorable office party because of a memorable cinnamon roll layer cake (see picture above). Happy birthday, Mike! From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Education Reform Under the Gold Dome (Podcast) Whoa… Are the Wheels Starting to Come Off Common Core in Colorado? (Ed Is Watching) Colorado Education’s Political Soap Opera Almost Makes Me Want to Change Channels (Ed Is Watching) Top Facebook Links of the Week Rich Food For Nuanced Political Thought: "Somewhat Conservative" Voters Are Real Driving Force in the GOP (Washington Examiner) My Alma Mater's Richest Pro Athlete Contract... Ever: Arizona Cardinals Sign Jared … [Read more...]

February 15: Week in Review

February 15: Week in Review

I was quoted in School Reform News regarding the Colorado Education Association's legal and legislative challenge of the state's 2010 tenure reform. More from the Independence Institute Jeffco Teachers Union Takes Political Spectacle from Boardroom into Classrooms (Ed Is Watching) State Debate on How to Spend Extra Education Dollars Has Me Twisted in Knots (Ed Is Watching) Top Facebook Links of the Week If You're Open to Hearing the Truth: Jefferson County school district controversy (Velocity Radio) Pitchers and Catchers Report, Life is Good: MVP Cabrera says he's stronger after surgery (ESPN) We Conservative Writers Can (sort of) Imagine, Too: Writers tend to the Left because they have imagination, not compassion … [Read more...]

Of Mondays and Desperate Causes

On Saturday night I watched in dread as Magglio Ordonez slid into home plate, was tagged out... but never got up. Quickly confirmed to have a fractured ankle, he had to be aided off the field. The number three hitter in my Detroit Tigers lineup, swinging the bat well again after a forgettable 2009, gone for 6 to 8 weeks (2B Carlos Guillen landed on the 15-day disabled list after the same game). A mere matter of days before the non-waiver trade deadline. A season that on the cusp of the All-Star break looked like it could be promising... you can just about write it off now. A month ago relief pitching sensation Joel Zumaya broke his arm and finished his season while pitching against Minnesota. Less than a week ago third baseman Brandon … [Read more...]

Major League Commissioner Bud Selig Should Recognize Tiger Pitcher Armando Galarraga’s Perfect Game

WHEREAS, on June 2, 2010, at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga masterfully pitched a game against the Cleveland Indians in which he indisputably retired each of the first 26 batters he faced in succession with exactly 80 pitches thrown (62 strikes, 18 balls); and WHEREAS, Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson made a tremendous, over-the-shoulder running catch off Indians second baseman Mark Grudzielanek for the first out of the ninth inning; and WHEREAS, with two outs in the top of the 9th inning, the 27th batter, Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald, grounded the ball to Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who in turn flipped the ball to Galarraga, who clearly touched the bag with his … [Read more...]

RIP, Ernie

Tonight I am at a loss for words. The great Ernie Harwell -- to all of us who grew up with his voice and grew up to love Detroit Tigers baseball, simply "Ernie" -- passed away today at age 92, after a long bout with cancer. If you want to know why I'm choked up with tears, here's a start: My September 2009 posting: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell A full-length obituary in the Detroit Free Press And a fitting, in-game eulogy by fellow baseball broadcasting legend Vin Scully: … [Read more...]

Ernie Harwell, David Benke, and Appomattox: Making Today Memorable

Today -- April 9, 2010 -- will go down as a memorable day. First, my native state of Michigan officially declared it Ernie Harwell Day in honor of what looks very much like the legendary Hall-of-Fame baseball broadcaster's last Detroit home opener with us (and bless the Tigers, they beat Cleveland 5-2). Can't say it enough: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell. I've also learned that lawmakers from my adopted home state of Colorado have declared today David Benke Day, in honor of the selfless, heroic teacher at Deer Creek Middle School who doubtless helped save student lives from a deranged gunman. I'm honored to have met both of these fine, humble men, and am glad to know they share the same commemorative day. They are both most deserving, each in … [Read more...]

Recent Plights of Penry and McDaniels Give Me a Little Pause about 33

There's no stopping the forward press of time. I'm not so sure about turning 33 today, but at least my name isn't Josh. A few months ago the combination of age and name seemed so charmed. They were a pair of Colorado wunderkinds: one 33-year-old Josh making strides towards one of Colorado's most powerful positions, the other 33-year-old Josh newly occupying the other. Josh Penry was making giant strides toward the Republican nomination for governor. Then one day in November the plug suddenly was pulled on his campaign. Now he isn't even running for re-election to his own state senate seat in 2010. What's going on? But he's on Cloud Nine compared to Josh McDaniels, who yesterday felt the bitter sting of missing the playoffs in his … [Read more...]

Baseball Players Stump for EFCA: A Bad Way to Mix Sports and Politics

Here's the latest, greatest example why sports and politics don't mix .... At first, when I read this posting from the Right to Work blog, I thought I had another solid reason to cheer against the New York Yankees for whatever is left of the World Series:Mark Teixeira has a $100 million contract to play baseball with the Yankees. Good for Mark. But it’s too bad that this multi-millionaire is stepping to the plate on behalf of the union bosses by advocating for the Card Check Forced Unionism bill. But then I followed the link and found that two of the 12 Forced Unionism baseball spokesmen were Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies. And horror of horrors, my favorite hometown pitcher Justin Verlander is a … [Read more...]