Who’s Buying Your Candidate?

This info is from the New York Times’s article here. I just played with it in excel.
Have you ever wondered where all the money comes from in the US election? Well, here’s seven of the top raising candidates and how much of their super pac money is coming from donations greater than one million dollars.
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Trades Shortages and Unemployment Rates

The BC government has announced $75 million in funding for trades training programs for the next year. This is because:

“Our goal with the Skills for Jobs Blueprint has been to ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs in our growing, diverse economy,” said Premier Christy Clark. “And as we move closer to realizing the generational opportunity of LNG, thousands more of those jobs are just around the corner.” (source)

Which makes you think there’s a major skills shortage in BC. Except there isn’t. Not for trades anyway.
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Soft Skills and Standardized Tests

The governor of New York recently proposed that 50% of teachers evaluations be based on the results of standardized tests. I’m not going to go into great detail about how much of fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of standardized tests that is. The short version is that standardized tests give the most useful information when disaggregated, so for example looking at a district by district sample, or by selecting randomized classrooms from the entire state/province to give an overall picture. Other people have explained what a problem it is to hold teachers responsible for things they don’t have full control over. I’m not going to go into that today. Instead I’m going to focus on the labour market.

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Secret witnesses in Canadian courts?

If you haven’t seen it yet bill C-44 (theĀ Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act) is an interesting read (see more here: http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-44/). It does a number of things, mostly putting in law things that are already happening. One portion of it is highly problematic, though others might take issue with different provisions, and that would be subsection 18 – the secret witness section. Here’s the complete text of that section before we get into the problematic part:

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For the New Board of Education

Although I was not elected (not even close) I’d like to give my thoughts to the new Board of Education in Abbotsford School District, SD34. Please take ideas from all of the candidates platforms. I mentioned during the forum that it’s important to cast a wide net to bring in a lot of ideas so that the best can be examined. Please use the ideas of all of the candidates, or at least examine them.

To that end, I’d like to propose four points for you to look into.

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