MSSLB – High Performing Charter School suspensions

Many Suspended Students are Left Behind (MSSLB) from high performing charters schools, according to numerous newspaper articles.  Just search “‘high performing charter school’ suspensions” online, and you’ll see what I mean.  Here’s one such story from “The Atlantic”.  There is concern that at least some high performing charter schools are achieving better test scores because they have forced out lower achieving students through repeated suspensions.

In Florida, bill HB 5105 would spend $200 million to create “schools of hope” based on bringing into the state high performing charter school operators from across the country.  But do legislators understand how these schools go about becoming high performers?  If these schools are created here — or in your own state — what happens if students are forced out with repeated suspensions?  Do they go back to failing public schools that are operating with far less funds — for example, minus $200 million?

If charter schools are given this kind of public funding, then they must be required to display the same transparency and rules that public schools must follow.  Otherwise it is not a fair comparison and the term “high performing” just becomes another way of saying “unfair”.

A Gorsuch Plot

U.S. Supreme Court justices are usually on the court for a long time, especially as average lifespans have increased.  It is a top judge’s job to make difficult decisions based on the law of the land — the U.S. Constitution.

With the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court many, particularly Republicans in Congress and President Trump, seem to have already concluded that his decisions will follow a consistently conservative line — maybe even plotting higher on the graph than former or current Supreme Court justices (see Ideological Leanings… below).  But will a graph (plot) of his ideological leanings continue along a straight line or veer over time?

It is interesting to note that since 1950, even most conservative justices have had more liberalized leanings (downward trajectory on the chart at bottom) later in their appointments.  Why is that?  Oliver Roeder theorizes on, a site well known for opinion poll analysis.

NEWWorthy would like to introduce one more possible reason: empathy.  The Fivethirtyeight list touches on similar issues, but they don’t mention empathy explicitly.  Perhaps it is because not everyone agrees upon the place for empathy in making Supreme Court decisions.  According to various articles, like this one in the Huffington Post, President Obama appeared to believe that empathy had a place in the Supreme Court.

Will Justice Gorsuch’s leanings plot follow a similar curve to other conservative justices?  I guess we’re going to find out.


A hyperloop passenger cabin

Okay, cabin may be an exaggeration.  It’s really called a capsule or maybe a pod.  Since it will travel at over 700 mph, presumably it will have to be austere to avoid safety hazards.  Also, compared to subways, you have to wonder if people will be allowed to stand during 760 mph travel from point A to point B.

2017 One Way Rentals from Florida

Not all rental car companies are advertising their spring 2017 one-way rental out of Florida deals — or at least I couldn’t find them all — but you can still check to see the rates.  For example, go to and check out a reservation on a car from Tampa, FL (or some other airport in Florida) to Atlanta, GA (or some other airport up north of Florida).  Try a 4 or 5 day period starting in mid-April.  I found daily rates starting around $7.50 or so, though they still add on taxes and fees to bring it between $15-$20 per day.  I didn’t check local Hertz car rental locations.  If you can rent one way from those, you might be able to find a one-way in April without the airport fees.

Enterprise has posted one-way out of Florida rates for Spring 2017.

So has Avis.

And Alamo too.

If you go, have fun!

Alternative Facts

We don’t know yet if “alternative facts” will be considered a new term or an old term by the end of 2017, but the term has already made the Urban Dictionary.  For now, we’ll consider it NEWWorthy until it isn’t.

As far as NEWWorthy is concerned, the term is worthy in that it points out that alternative facts — lies or falsehoods — should be placed where they belong: in an alternative universe.

Extending the reach of dermatologists

AI and medical technology has been coming together for years now, but many more advances are still in the lab.  Now, new research shows that AI can recognize skin cancer with results comparable to dermatologists.  With mobile phones, this could help to extend the reach of dermatologists, hopefully making more people aware of potential skin cancers that need further attention from an expert.

Terminology: Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic Advertising, or programmatic marketing, has been mentioned since at least 2014.  It’s basically the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time.  Startapp thinks it’s going to be big among business advertisers in 2017.

So is it NEWWorthy?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Some like Startapp seem to think so.

Advertising clip art

NEWWorthy Awards 2016

NEWWorthy Awards 2016 again asks what was NEWWorthiest for the year in inventions, discoveries, events, and other new-related categories. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog as much as we did putting it together.

We’re excited to see what’s in store for 2017. NEWWorthy will continue to keep an eye on what’s new and worthy.  Whether it’s new research in robotics or the latest new happenings in entertainment and travel — not to mention our new category: politics — we’ll be taking a look at it.

My own tiny contribution to what’s NEWWorthy in 2016 was “Family Tree Solitaire“, a new kind of card game for Android and Windows devices.  Over 400 people have tried it out on their phones, tablets, or computers.

Happy 2017!  Here are the NEWWorthy Award winners for 2016…

ENTERTAINMENT: Winner – Only rarely does a show like “Game of Thrones” come along with a vast storyline and huge popularity.  Even rarer is when a cliffhanger occurs which causes just about everyone — including those who barely know the show or don’t even watch it — to want to know what’s going to happen.  “Who Killed J.R. Ewing” or how “The Sopranos” or “M*A*S*H*” ended were those kinds of events.  In 2016, it was “Is Jon Snow Dead?

Honorable Mentions – The Tampa Bay Rays were the first major league baseball team to play in Cuba in 17 years and Cleveland Cavaliers: First NBA team to win championship after being down 3-1 in the finals.

NEWWorthy WORD(s): Winner – Virome.

Honorable Mentions – (Plant) nanobionics and post-truth.  Although not technically words, new science emojis are also NEWWorthy in 2016.

FINANCE: Winner – The cost of solar and wind energy is competitive with coal and gas.

Honorable Mentions – Home values, Apple may owe 13 billion euros in taxes, and the Fed raised interest rates again.

SCIENCE HEALTH: Winner – Experimental Ebola vaccine shows promising results

Honorable Mentions – Thermo by Withings(TM)  (Part of Nokia) takes temperature without touching skin.

SCIENCE: Winner – Gravitational waves discovered

Honorable Mentions – SkyCool Systems cools buildings using the sky.

TECHNOLOGY: Winner – Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo

Honorable Mentions – Artificial Imagination, Pizza ATM, Bot Economy slowly replaces apps, and Microsoft technology that recognizes words in a conversation as well as a human does.

MATHEMATICS: Winner – Prime numbers may not be as random as previously thought

TRAVEL: Winner – “One way out of Florida spring car rentals” is often a favorite on NEWWorthy travel.

Honorable Mentions – “2016 new hotel listings” on NEWWorthy and the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

OLDWORTHY: Winner – The R70i Age Suit can make you feel OLDWORTHY.  It can also teach you a thing or two about understanding aging.  It was a popular post on NEWWorthy this year.

POLITICS: Winner – This is a very new category, so the first winner will be selected for 2017 next January.  For now, here are a few honorable mentions.  If you’d like more information, on these are any other topics above without links, search on the terms in NEWWorthy or on the internet.

Honorable Mentions – Fake News, Post-truth, Robot Political Speech Writing, Election hacking, and Electoral College.

Fake News feeds Post-Truth Politics

Now that Oxford Dictionary has named post-truth as word of the year for 2016, Politifact has followed up with “Fake News” as “Lie of the Year”.  Post-truth and fake news work hand in hand, as fake news is the fuel in post-truth politics.

NEWWorthy is not just a blog about what’s new.  It’s a blog about what’s new and worthy of your time.  Fake news and post-truths are rarely if ever NEWWorthy, except in this instance where Oxford and Politifact have pointed these terms out.

Speaking of post-truths and fake news, here’s an example from President Trump’s new pick, Monica Crowley for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.  She claimed in 2011 that “Man-Made Climate Change Science Is Totally Bogus.

Facebook will start putting warning labels on some news that has been deemed fake news by fact checkers such as Politifact and others.