Friday, February 8, 2013

Class Notes 2/4

What a Super Bowl!  Uncle Ray Ray got to ride off into the sunset and will now be the most watched father during University of Miami football games where his son will play in the fall.  Joe Flacco is about to be a 100millionaire, and Ed Reed can now shed his Django fro.  Everything else in the aftermath of the Super Bowl has just been noise.  Partially because of the stomach flu turned cold I've been battling, and partially because none of the notes I took in the last couple week have moved anywhere (not surprised).  That said here's what I got for this week:

POLITICS:  Major cities are starting to get fed up with the systemic shutdown and or reconfiguration of public schools in key neighborhoods predominanted by students of color.  Advocates for Crenshaw HS in Los Angeles are not happy with the proposed reconstitution of their high school into three magnet schools fearing that it would disenfranchise many current students and are calling on the US Dept of Education (USDOE) to examine the nature of this restructuring on the grounds that it is racially discriminatory act.  If successful, Los Angeles would join the list of major cities where the USDOE has already agreed to look into school shutdowns and reorganizations.  This list currently includes, Chicago, Detroit, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.  This is intriguing because if these cities start winning these cases and organizations like the Crenshaw Cougar Coalition are successfully able to defend their districts, then it may lead to a greater discussion about the President's Race to the Top education program, which is flawed in how it rewards schools for success as measured primarily by test scores, but cares little about the means by which the success is achieved.  Full article on Crenshaw Complaint

SPORTS:  There was a time when I could name at least three players on any of the Top 20 college basketball teams in the country.  It made college basketball especially exciting to watch because you were getting a good preview of the dudes who would soon dominate the NBA.  With the current "one-and-done" rule in place, the best players in college now leave after one season to take NBA money leaving college teams in a constant state of flux and the games less exciting.  What  kills me is that NBA teams feel forced to take players on potential, so their game is watered down because each roster only has so many players who actually know what their doing.  Teams also can't rely on the draft to improve.  The Charlotte Bobcats' roster is full of former 1st round picks, including last year's #2 pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (9ppg) and they aren't close to being a .500 ball club.  The NBA either needs to invest more money in the Developmental League (D-League) so that if players continue to leave school after one year they have a vehicle for improvement or work with the NCAA to come up with a new standard of when players can enter the league.  Of the three one-and-done players the University of Kentucky sent into the league last year, only Anthony Davis is averaging double-digits in scoring (13ppg).  It stands to reason that another year in college, particularly for Marquis Teague wouldn't have hurt.

ENTERTAINMENT:  The Grammys are this weekend.  My picks in the categories that I'll pay attention to (by the way, who comes up with these categories?):

Record of the Year:  "We Are Young" - FUN
Album of the Year:  Frank Ocean
Song of the Year:  "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen
Best New Artist:  FUN
Best R&B Song:  "Adorn" - Miguel
Best R&B Album:  "Robert Glasper Experiment" - Robert Glasper
Best Traditional R&B Performance:  "Lately" - Anita Baker
Best Rap Performance:  "Ninjas in Paris" - Kanye and Jay-Z
Best Rap Song:  "Lotus Flower Bomb" - Wale
Best Rap Collaboration:  "Tonight" - John Legend and Ludacris

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