Harvard Rugby women celebrate Body and Strength

Ask someone how much I weigh and his or her answer is probably 20-40 pounds off the mark.  I've always been on the heavier-side -- literally -- than what a mirror might otherwise indicate.  I credit my gymnastic and swimming background for helping me appreciate my muscles, my tendons, my bones, my once-was flexibility, and my physique.  And, for showing me all the amazing things a body can do.  Scales have never been my "friend" -- but they haven't been my foe either.  I learned very quickly that numbers are numbers and you are you, but that you can't ignore one to the detriment of the other.

So, when I see a tumblr like this of the Harvard Rugby team of women who are celebrating themselves, I am proud and warmed.

Here's to "Rugged Grace":



DeKalb County (Atlanta) ranks 15th on School Choice -- Ahead of Boston and Charlotte and Cobb Co. (outside Atlanta) School Districts

A Brookings study released in Q1 2014, purportedly ranks school districts based School Choice, measured by 13 different categories of policy and practice.  Some of the 13 categories include virtual schools (and the % of students enrolled), availability of alternative schools (such as magnets, vouchers, affordable private, and tax credit scholarships), whether there is a policy of restructuring or closing schools, whether there is a common application to enroll, performance data, comparable standards and assessments, and transportation.  The purpose of the study is to "to create public awareness of the differences among districts in their support of school choice."  

A conversation about measurables aside (everyone knows that what you measure often dictates what you find), Brookings ranks the top 107 school districts -- with only New Orleans schools and NYC schools getting overall "A" or "A-" grades and school districts like Atlanta - Fulton County, Clayton County (south of Atlanta) and Shelby County, TN receiving grades of "F."  

DeKalb County (Atlanta) comes out passing with a "C+" at rank number 15.

Article found here:



Apparently, Just as Many Congresspeople attended UGA as Stanford

While legitimately pursuing Huffington Post (for a work assignment, I promise), I came across this little nugget.  According to research and data collection from a company called, just as many members of Congress attended the public universities of University of Virginia and the University of Georgia as members attended Stanford University.  Not quite sure whether that elevates those public universities, pulls down Stanford, or says something far less provocative, but I found it interesting -- in a I-might-need-this-as-a-trivia-answer kind of way.  Even more, The University of Texas - Austin has more than any of those schools.  Only Harvard (duh), Yale, and Georgetown have more members of Congress counted as alum.

What about the method?  Well, without a full statistical analysis, it seems that these differentials may even be underestimates.  For example, says, the study only counted a member's school once -- so if the member attended undergrad at particular university and then also attended some other graduate or post-secondary program at the same school, the study only counted the school once.  I suspect, if each program were independently counted, Harvard's numbers might be far and away above the others.  But, then again, so could fun public universities.  Thoughts?


How did your Georgia K-8 school do on the CRCTs (End-of-Year Summative Assessments)?

The Georgia Department of Education released the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) results on its website.  The CRCT tests 3-8th Graders on grade-level material in math, reading, science and social studies.  (Of course, the CRCT testing was the source of the "cheating scandal" I've written about before, but this is the final year of those tests.)

See this year's testing data here, by state, district, and school results.


The Most Compelling Points of Hobby Lobby (the dissent that is)

In light of the huge decision yesterday from the Supreme Court of the United States in Hobby Lobby et are portions of the dissent where Justice Ginsburg speaks so eloquently on several points -- with which I agree.

On Corporations as "people"

“In a sole proprietorship, the business and its owner are one and the same. By incorporating a business, however, an individual separates herself from the entity and escapes personal responsibility for the entity’s obligations.  One might ask why the separation should hold only when it serves the interest of those who control the corporation.”  – J. Ginsburg (dissent at p. 19).

“The distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court’s attention. . . . Again, the Court forgets that religious organizations exist to serve a community of believers. For-profit corporations do not fit that bill.” – J. Ginsburg (dissent at p. 17, 18).

On impact of corporate owner's religious beliefs (permitted to be exercised through a for-profit entity) on third-parties (i.e. employees)

“Women paid significantly more than men for preventive care, the amendment’s proponents noted; in fact, cost barriers operated to block many women from obtaining needed care at all. See, e.g., id., at 29070 (statement of Sen. Feinstein) (“Women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men.”); id., at 29302 (statement of Sen. Mikulski) (“co-payments are [often] so high that [women] avoid getting preventative and screening services] in the first place”).” – J. Ginsburg (dissent at p. 4).  “It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage . . . that almost one-third of women would change their contraceptive method if costs were not a factor . . . and that only one-fourth of women who request an IUD actually have one inserted after finding out how expensive it would be . . . .” – J. Ginsburg (dissent at p. 25).  

“Importantly, the decisions whether to claim benefits under the plans are made not by Hobby Lobby or Conestoga, but by the covered employees and dependents, in consultation with their health care providers. Should an employee of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga share the religious beliefs of the Greens and Hahns, she is of course under no compulsion to use the contraceptives in question. . . . Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby’s or Conestoga’s plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults.”  – J. Ginsburg (dissent at p. 23).