Comment Guidelines

If I knew then what I know now, I'd have launched this blog on Wordpress.

But I launched it here, and it developed the two signs of a reasonably successful blog-- trolls and spammers. And so we have comment screening, which brings with it a desire on some people's part to know exactly how much they can get away with exactly what the guidelines for commenting are. If I haven't posted your comment, it could be about any of the following:

And please note--comment moderation IS turned on so you will not see your comment the moment you post it. You will not see it until I see it and approve it. Be patient, grasshopper.

1) No excessive rudeness or personal attacks. I don't have time to referee schoolyard fights, and I don't have any reason to allow assaults on me in my own living room.

2) Repetition is not argument. After you've said the same damn thing for the third time, I'm going to cut you off.

3) My tolerance for flat-out wrong, not-really serious arguments is limited, and on any given day, depending on what I've been reading, I may have no patience for your regurgitation of already-much-debunked talking points.

4) The blogspot interface is not very friendly. Sometimes I just plain miss comments. When I find twelve copies of the same comment waiting to be approved, that just adds to the a challenge and confusion.

5) I have a real life in the meat world. I know I seem prolific, but I really am not on here 24/7. It may take me a while to get to your comment.

6) Using the comments channel to taunt me and proclaim that I'm just afraid of your blinding intellect and brilliant arguments does not move me. If you want your post to go up, say something intelligent in a reasonably respectful manner. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Trolling is not. I taught teenagers-- saying, "What? Me?? I wasn't doing anything!!" is not a new or novel defense for me to encounter.

7) You are selling something. And doing it badly. Maybe not even in actual English. Honestly, you have no idea the crap that I keep away from my readers on a daily basis. It's kind of amazing-- does anybody ever let these spambot ads run, and do any people ever click on them? It has to be the most terrible business model in the world, and yet they keep coming at me like the Space Invaders army.

8) Responses to things that nobody actually said will also go in the dumpster. If you can't be bothered to actually read it, there's no point in having you respond to it. 

9) A new one, but increasingly necessary. When "Unknown" posters start having a conversation about how awesome they are, my radar goes up. Not hosting a sock puppet self-admiration society here.  

If you believe that you need and deserve an on-line forum that prints every single thing you have to say, then I encourage you to go set up a blog of your own (I recommend Wordpress).


  1. This is actually a comment on the blog re: value of public education. #1 I love the word irkedness. I feel the word so often in this arena. #2 I am a Social Worker, who worked as a School Counselor for 24 years until pushed out (another longer response, to be provided in the future). As a Social Worker, I had been a Substance Abuse Counselor when the earth was cooling (before the warming) and I remember a Supervisor saying we are not to be neutral to the point of not caring. Theraputic neutrality means not pushing the client. But we were in a Treatment Center trying to help clients heal! It's okay to have an opinion,i.e., your life's in the toilet your heroin addiction might not be the best thing for you.
    This brings me back to Public Education. Teachers and Counselors go into it to teach and help students learn. If we know the pedagogy is wrong, if we know the environment is not conducive to learning, if we are making kids anxious, they will not learn. We know what they need to learn. We know that all the screen time is creating more kids with ADHD, etc. We are trying to be true to an Educratic Oath (do no harm), so we must care and stand up for what is right, and point to what is wrong!~Cynthia B. Mann, L.C.S.W., P.P.S.C., Credentialed Teacher K-8

  2. speaking of comments......I would give almost anything to have someone check out what the post dispatch is doing to me....the last post sums it up... BG said...Not illegal, but certainly something less than an honest open forum.

  3. error of the day...I correct it after the story, it appears to me...and no one else. I will copy it to start a forum thread, and start blasting away...."Not in class: Chronic absenteeism a problem throughout region's schools" is the story...this will not be seen by anyone but me in St. Louis:I went to a lot of trouble to challenge some figures about slps student population...."I thought 36 thousand was wrong, and the former Mo supreme court judge's figure of 33,333 was also suspect. Superintendent Adams seemed to indicate 27,000 was the correct figure. So today...4384 times five, according to old math is 21,920. Hire a sportswriter to proofread your stories."

  4. Please notify me if you would rather I not do this...I am fighting a situation in which media worship of "reformers" is close to unanimous.

  5. I started a thread about this error on current affairs...then put it on a sportswriters forum...views quickly surpassed current affairs......
    June 21...Elisa Crouch........ ... 1fe07.html
    St. Louis Public Schools did not provide its data to the department by the deadline, so its schools are not included in the comprehensive data set. However, the district provided the Post-Dispatch the information on chronic absenteeism that it submitted late to the department. It shows 4,384 children in city district schools missed at least three weeks of school, a rate of about one in five.

    When I multiply 4384 by 5, I get 21,920.
    I just finished a struggle to correct two rightwing goofballs who indicated SLPS had 37,000 students.....I tried to find out if former MO Supreme Court Judge Wolffe was careless enough to come up with 33,333 in his much more accurate report than the rightwing slimeballs hired by the PD without much thought. Elisa weighed in with the info that slps has 10,500 charter school sudents.

    I finally weighed in with the figures of 8100 in charters, which is 30% of 27,000, citing what the appointed jokers who ask Mayor Slay and the state board how high to jump...what they said to Superintendent Adams.

    Today..thanks to is down to 21,920...."about".

    My lonely work on this today is barely censored comments on the article will be reprinted here, and will be run nationally on Peter Greene's Curmudgucator site......He is frequently a source for Diane more work to do here....stay tuned.

    Miraculous save for the Cardinals, as they beat the Cubs.....making it 12 out of their last 16 road games as victories. When they came home from the last trip, Ben Hochman said they had gone 10-4.......when I told him it had been 11-4 he thanked me and simply corrected his online version. (too bad about the five losses at home).

    That does not happen with education stories.......they have a license to make up what numbers work best. One in five with the absentee problems works better than one for 6.1.......or 7 or 8 if she had opted for the right wing clowns or the mysterious mistake from a Judge who knows 9 times as much about the events related to desegregation as any of writers included.

    you can look at the comments and see this:

    Phil Young · Central Missouri
    I'm laughing at all of these scientific reasons for being absent. How about lazy kids and worthless parents. When I started teaching, the solution was simple. We contacted the welfare folks. If the kids failed to attend, they cut off their benefits. I know: so sad, so cruel. It's pretty sad and cruel to allow kids to graduate (or fail to graduate) with no skills and no preparation to make a living.

    My thoughtful, sensitive response was automatically eliminated.....unless you look at what appears on my computer.....

    you "studied" counseling......not gonna challenge your expertise on South Texas history, or your admiration for Donald Trump......but please tell me you have not been counseling Missouri students without proper credentials.

    I cannot rule out that someone hacked into his facebook, but it has the terrible stench that a lot of people get from being from Texas.

    Speaking of stench....I gotta go home and hope the air conditioner repair guy arrives on time.......

  6. one of the comments posted after the story started this way....Jesse Gray

    Education is not a priority for far to many people. So why attend? Schools have been made the whipping boy for society's ills so schools have been forced to counteract society's problems.

    You are right Jesse....and the Post Dispatch personifies the attitude to which you refer......

    I have posted this on Hoch Corner, and current already has more views here. Education has to be discussed on current affairs, where there are so many subjects anything posted about education quickly disappears. The low life scumbags in charge of this newspaper see the need for a forum to discuss soccer......they absolutely fear providing one for education......because too many things they cannot control would be posted on it.

  7. Looks like I have not nephew is Matt Grossamann--research referenced by Paul Krugman in the nyt this week....and his wife....Sarah Reckhow who wrote "follow the money". how did dinner with those famous go? I gave an account at Diane Ravitch's sie: how was dinner? among other things…I talked to matt and sarah about his much referenced assymetry of democrats and ideology of republicans research…..Pau;l Krugman, New York Times and Jonathan Chait of the new Republic are the latest…..however….Special moment for me…last night, I joined my family…sister Jan and husband Larry, nephew Matt Grossmann and Sarah and children for dinner in an area I never go to….Mission Taco in U. City…Matt and Sarah are nationally renowned writers….I wondered….will anybody recognize them? As we approached the entrance, one guy jumped up and said….”hey! I know you! You’re Karaoke Joe!” Have patience kids……your time will come. Sarah is presenting a study at Washington U tomorrow on the subject of what is going on with outsider money being pumped into school board elections…..I will have to keep a wary eye on the pd…..they could take a few of her words and say…….government appointed boards are the only way that is safe…sarah will be saying anything like that….i am just thrilled that st. louis has her in town….

    I got off track….Matt and David Hopkins” research on assymetry of the political parties has been widely referenced…describing the way democrats put together various groups to cooperate to get things done…..I said part of the problem with the assymetry of the democrats lately is that there is one group of voters who they are neglecting…..Sarah immediately responded ” you are talking about teachers”….I said if she and Matt get bored some time…..spend a few minutes talking about what your uncle joe mentioned…..Sarah is more optimistic about what Hillary will do than I am…..and she is more tolerant of mexican cuisine than I am……I am kind of an old grouch.

  8. Saw your piece on Flat Earth... No personal attacks... your evidence of a sphere 0.. at no time ever does water hump up to conform to a shape that is under it.. 8 in. sq. per mile of curve should be physically miserable.. it is not there.. APPLIED Physics, not ballcrap theory math.. Shame on you for preaching this known LIE.. Bring more than a theory if you are calling it a FACT.. Walter Wayne Williams.. Plainwell MI.. Please send me some evidence that is not CGI or a Theory..

  9. I love your article that was published in the Washington Post, excellent and should be required reading in schools! Thanks you for writing it and sharing it.

  10. here's a read for you:

  11. Here's an article from an ex-Alabama Board of Education member, et al., on how to improve the profession by introducing more testing and weakening unions: