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we have managed to transfer religious belief into gullibility for whatever can masquerade as science.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Before the Fall

Incredibly Detailed Map Of The World’s Religions Code for religious types below  Continue Reading

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Time And Space

How can anyone talk about healthcare in the current environment without carrying a lot of deplorable baggage? For instance, a lot of imagery involves the concept of single-payer healthcare versus the free market. But healthcare has not had a free market since the advent of Medicare in 1966; the federal government has manipulated and twisted the market in dozens of different ways. To see just a glimpse of that landscape, take a look at a summary of a health care plan that is supposed to minimize that manipulation. The number of workarounds to government interference boggles the mind. The direction for serious discussion should be to put the entire system in its proper context.

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Stone To Live By

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Cold Civil War

On June 16, 1858, over 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln spoke on the division in our country over the issue of slavery. That speech established his credentials in the political debate of the time, even though he lost that particular election. In the speech, he quoted the biblical statements of Jesus, "A house divided against itself cannot stand”. And so the speech takes that name. In particular, in Matthew 12:25, Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Notice the inclusion of the state.

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To Block Or Not To Block

Finally, after much unnecessary rumble, the schedule for classes at Housatonic Valley Regional High School has been decided by Principal Jose Martinez. He acted in concert with a parent committee who were adamant about improving the education for their children. The new schedule, a compromise, will be a six day rotation schedule over five weeks. The first two days will have four 75 minute blocks so that experience with personalized learning can get started. The next four days will have six 50 minute blocks with less variability for each subject leading to less confusion for the students. The parents were informed of the decision yesterday by Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel; the teachers were informed by Martinez.

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A Fond Farewell

Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain

In honor of Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain’s many years of dedicated service to Regional School District #1, a reception will be held on Monday, June 5, 2017, at 6:00 pm in room 133 at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. All are invited to attend.

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All Show, No Tell

Recently, a union grievance was filed against Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel. The complainant, a teacher, anonymously alleged that Vogel openly discussed the teacher’s medical history in public. The Region 1 Board of Education heard the grievance this week. The representative for the teacher’s union, Bob Namnoum, refused to allow the grievance to be held in executive session to maintain privacy of the teacher. No evidence whatsoever was presented to support the claim. No one testified to the alleged action. The board found that the grievance was without merit and denied the grievance. In summary, an unknown employee, using the union as cover, has made a serious claim against Vogel, but has not stepped forward with evidence. As it currently stands, this is pure, unadulterated union harassment.

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The Students Win

Today, the budget for Region 1 was approved by a vote of 488-450.  While Kent voted against the budget by 106-50, Salisbury countered with a positive vote, 196-60.  A vote against this budget would have meant cuts to staff, so the students are better off.

Town Yes No Total
Canaan 33 51 84
Cornwall 81 47 128
Kent 50 106 156
North Canaan 60 94 154
Salisbury 196 60 256
Sharon 68 92 160
Total 488 450 938
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Parent Committee

Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members in the Region One:

On March 22nd, at a meeting with parents regarding the 2017-18 HVRHS schedule, Dr. Vogel proposed a process that would include teachers, parents, and students to develop a new schedule for the High School.

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Memory Leaks

All of us have had the same problem; we can’t recall a memory that we know we have. Sometimes we have an image of a thing, but can’t put a word to it. Sometimes the memory feels like an echo in our mind but the connection is lost. In the programming of computer software, that’s called a memory leak. Typically, in order to store information, a programmer creates a glob of memory to insert the requisite data and then creates a pointer to allow retrieval. If the pointer is lost, the memory doesn’t go away, just the ability to retrieve it. Memory fills up, while usefulness decays away. If that sounds like old age, join the group. The real question in education is how to enhance retrieval in order to promote mastery. And a different look at subject in a paper by Karpicke and Roediger1 offers a clue.

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