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Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-08-04 15:03, landmark wrote:


John: I'm aware of the research that says class size does not make a difference and it's simply wrong as a generalization. It matters much less as the student gets older, but it matters greatly in the younger years, and for students who are low performers. The research is generally contradictory, but you can take a look at sites like http://www.classsizematters.org/ to look at some of the more positive benefits of class size reduction.

And of course, there are the millions of parents who are willing to pay a hefty premium to send their children to schools with small class sizes. Aside from the important matters of the amount of student attention that each teacher can give there is the matter of course choice. I know that in the HS I teach in we cannot offer a Calculus class, because there are not enough students to make up a class. OTOH, at one of the local private schools, a class of 8 students is sufficient to have such a class.

Finally if you think class size doesn't matter, let's do a little math. You probably want your child's teacher to check their homework each night. So suppose the teacher has, as the NYC Teacher contract allows, the union max of 34 students in each of her/his five HS classes. That means 170 HWs to grade. If s/he spends 3 minutes to grade each--'cause s/he's a lazy teacher-- that's 510 minutes a night of grading. That is, more than 8 hours a night in grading alone.



As I tried to suggest above, the "problem" is that nobody has every been able to show a relationship between class size and student achievement. That doesn't mean that class size doesn't matter, but it does make the politics tricky.

As Jeff has noted, not all classes are the same. If the infrastructure was in place, it would be relatively easy to teach introductory calculus to 100 or more motivated, capable senior students. Heck colleges and universities do it one year later anyways.

Should we cram 100 6-year-olds into a classroom and lecture them? I don't think anybody wants that for a number of reasons. Or, for that matter, would you want large groupings of high school students who were at high risk of dropout. We don't need research on achievement scores to see why these are bad ideas.

The real problem is when a school has odd numbers. If a primary school has, say, 66 Grade 1 students a choice has to be made. Do you make 2 classes of 33? 3 classes of 22? Do you have two classes of 25 and put the other 16 students in a mixed grade group with some Grade 2 students? Economics and best judgment are everything here, research be ***ed. The difficulty in this scenario is that very often economics dictates that two classes of 33 students be formed.

Now there will probably not be a significant detriment to these children AS A WHOLE in terms of standardized test scores, but that isn't the whole issue. There will undoubtedly be pressures and stresses on the teachers, and there is an increased risk to the most vulnerable students.

So don't get me wrong. I think that class size does matter. But nobody knows a magic formula to make everything all right.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
landmark
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On 2011-08-04 17:55, rockwall wrote:
Hey, I 'm just glad that Matt Damon, Landmark, and apparently several others here don't believe teachers are incentivized by money. I would think that means that we can quit whining about their low pay!

Did you ask your wife yet?
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-04 12:58, EsnRedshirt wrote:
The disadvantage is, for disadvantaged kids, private school may not be an option. They'll end up going to a public school along with the trouble-makers who couldn't get in to private schools. Why deprive them of a good education just because they're poor?


EXACTLY. Which is why I favor vouchers or tax credits for private school tuition.

Rich parents can already afford to pay for the taxes that support public schools they don't use and private school tuition, too.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-04 18:43, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 15:03, landmark wrote:


John: I'm aware of the research that says class size does not make a difference and it's simply wrong as a generalization. It matters much less as the student gets older, but it matters greatly in the younger years, and for students who are low performers. The research is generally contradictory, but you can take a look at sites like http://www.classsizematters.org/ to look at some of the more positive benefits of class size reduction.

And of course, there are the millions of parents who are willing to pay a hefty premium to send their children to schools with small class sizes. Aside from the important matters of the amount of student attention that each teacher can give there is the matter of course choice. I know that in the HS I teach in we cannot offer a Calculus class, because there are not enough students to make up a class. OTOH, at one of the local private schools, a class of 8 students is sufficient to have such a class.

Finally if you think class size doesn't matter, let's do a little math. You probably want your child's teacher to check their homework each night. So suppose the teacher has, as the NYC Teacher contract allows, the union max of 34 students in each of her/his five HS classes. That means 170 HWs to grade. If s/he spends 3 minutes to grade each--'cause s/he's a lazy teacher-- that's 510 minutes a night of grading. That is, more than 8 hours a night in grading alone.



As I tried to suggest above, the "problem" is that nobody has every been able to show a relationship between class size and student achievement. That doesn't mean that class size doesn't matter, but it does make the politics tricky.

As Jeff has noted, not all classes are the same. If the infrastructure was in place, it would be relatively easy to teach introductory calculus to 100 or more motivated, capable senior students. Heck colleges and universities do it one year later anyways.

Should we cram 100 6-year-olds into a classroom and lecture them? I don't think anybody wants that for a number of reasons. Or, for that matter, would you want large groupings of high school students who were at high risk of dropout. We don't need research on achievement scores to see why these are bad ideas.

The real problem is when a school has odd numbers. If a primary school has, say, 66 Grade 1 students a choice has to be made. Do you make 2 classes of 33? 3 classes of 22? Do you have two classes of 25 and put the other 16 students in a mixed grade group with some Grade 2 students? Economics and best judgment are everything here, research be ***ed. The difficulty in this scenario is that very often economics dictates that two classes of 33 students be formed.

Now there will probably not be a significant detriment to these children AS A WHOLE in terms of standardized test scores, but that isn't the whole issue. There will undoubtedly be pressures and stresses on the teachers, and there is an increased risk to the most vulnerable students.

So don't get me wrong. I think that class size does matter. But nobody knows a magic formula to make everything all right.

John


The magic formula is to keep hiring more union members ERRRRRR teachers.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
rockwall
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 18:46, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 17:55, rockwall wrote:
Hey, I 'm just glad that Matt Damon, Landmark, and apparently several others here don't believe teachers are incentivized by money. I would think that means that we can quit whining about their low pay!

Did you ask your wife yet?


Do I need to repeat myself?
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 15:03, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 11:24, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Rather than ask what would incentivize an individual teacher who is already on the job, ask which would better incentivize better candidates to make the choice to become a teacher in the first place

And exactly how does tying job security to teachers' students' scores from extensive standardized testing incentivize better candidates?
How does pitting one teacher against another with merit pay schemes that de-incentivize the crucial collaboration needed among teachers at the K-12 level help?
And how does demonizing teaching as a profession incentivize good prospects to go into teaching?
And how does the removal of capricious firing and due process guarantees incentivize good nominees?
And how does the extensive use of alternative hiring procedures to hire teachers with little training other than a summer of student teaching produce good teacher nominees?

My son asked if he should go into teaching. He probably would have a lot to offer. Unlike say, ten years ago, I had to tell him, that unfortunately, it could be a mistake in the present climate.

John: I'm aware of the research that says class size does not make a difference and it's simply wrong as a generalization. It matters much less as the student gets older, but it matters greatly in the younger years, and for students who are low performers. The research is generally contradictory, but you can take a look at sites like http://www.classsizematters.org/ to look at some of the more positive benefits of class size reduction.

And of course, there are the millions of parents who are willing to pay a hefty premium to send their children to schools with small class sizes. Aside from the important matters of the amount of student attention that each teacher can give there is the matter of course choice. I know that in the HS I teach in we cannot offer a Calculus class, because there are not enough students to make up a class. OTOH, at one of the local private schools, a class of 8 students is sufficient to have such a class.

Finally if you think class size doesn't matter, let's do a little math. You probably want your child's teacher to check their homework each night. So suppose the teacher has, as the NYC Teacher contract allows, the union max of 34 students in each of her/his five HS classes. That means 170 HWs to grade. If s/he spends 3 minutes to grade each--'cause s/he's a lazy teacher-- that's 510 minutes a night of grading. That is, more than 8 hours a night in grading alone.

The problem is much less the getting rid of bad teachers, but the retention of the good ones. They get fed up with all the nonsense people and politicians who have never spent any time teaching in a public school try to foist on the public.


My perception is that there will never be an answer to your satisfaction as to what criteria to use, because your primary objective appears to be protecting union job security ahead of all else. If evaluations are individualized, they're subject to politics and bias; if they're based on test scores, they undermine cooperation; and so on.

The numbers that we've examined on these boards regarding how few teachers get removed from public employment, and how expensive that removal process is, are RIDICULOUS, and they certainly don't reflect a "students first" mentality.

Whatever the system is, and whatever the criteria are, good teachers will never get the respect and compensation they deserve while bad teachers are protected so vehemently.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 19:30, rockwall wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 18:46, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 17:55, rockwall wrote:
Hey, I 'm just glad that Matt Damon, Landmark, and apparently several others here don't believe teachers are incentivized by money. I would think that means that we can quit whining about their low pay!

Did you ask your wife yet?


Just in case you missed it here's what I asked Rockwall, who said in another post his wife was a teacher.

"Ask her if she (and the teachers she knows) would do a better job with:

A) a $10,000/yr merit raise;
or
B) a class size cut by 10 students per class across the board.

I hope you ask her, and share the results."

Do I need to repeat myself?
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 19:30, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 15:03, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 11:24, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Rather than ask what would incentivize an individual teacher who is already on the job, ask which would better incentivize better candidates to make the choice to become a teacher in the first place

And exactly how does tying job security to teachers' students' scores from extensive standardized testing incentivize better candidates?
How does pitting one teacher against another with merit pay schemes that de-incentivize the crucial collaboration needed among teachers at the K-12 level help?
And how does demonizing teaching as a profession incentivize good prospects to go into teaching?
And how does the removal of capricious firing and due process guarantees incentivize good nominees?
And how does the extensive use of alternative hiring procedures to hire teachers with little training other than a summer of student teaching produce good teacher nominees?

My son asked if he should go into teaching. He probably would have a lot to offer. Unlike say, ten years ago, I had to tell him, that unfortunately, it could be a mistake in the present climate.

John: I'm aware of the research that says class size does not make a difference and it's simply wrong as a generalization. It matters much less as the student gets older, but it matters greatly in the younger years, and for students who are low performers. The research is generally contradictory, but you can take a look at sites like http://www.classsizematters.org/ to look at some of the more positive benefits of class size reduction.

And of course, there are the millions of parents who are willing to pay a hefty premium to send their children to schools with small class sizes. Aside from the important matters of the amount of student attention that each teacher can give there is the matter of course choice. I know that in the HS I teach in we cannot offer a Calculus class, because there are not enough students to make up a class. OTOH, at one of the local private schools, a class of 8 students is sufficient to have such a class.

Finally if you think class size doesn't matter, let's do a little math. You probably want your child's teacher to check their homework each night. So suppose the teacher has, as the NYC Teacher contract allows, the union max of 34 students in each of her/his five HS classes. That means 170 HWs to grade. If s/he spends 3 minutes to grade each--'cause s/he's a lazy teacher-- that's 510 minutes a night of grading. That is, more than 8 hours a night in grading alone.

The problem is much less the getting rid of bad teachers, but the retention of the good ones. They get fed up with all the nonsense people and politicians who have never spent any time teaching in a public school try to foist on the public.


My perception is that there will never be an answer to your satisfaction as to what criteria to use, because your primary objective appears to be protecting union job security ahead of all else. If evaluations are individualized, they're subject to politics and bias; if they're based on test scores, they undermine cooperation; and so on.

The numbers that we've examined on these boards regarding how few teachers get removed from public employment, and how expensive that removal process is, are RIDICULOUS, and they certainly don't reflect a "students first" mentality.

Whatever the system is, and whatever the criteria are, good teachers will never get the respect and compensation they deserve while bad teachers are protected so vehemently.

Expected more from you Lobo. Weak response. I've outlined above just a few of the dozens of policies that "reformers" have pushed through indicating that "students first" is the last thing they're interested in.
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 19:49, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 19:30, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 15:03, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 11:24, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Rather than ask what would incentivize an individual teacher who is already on the job, ask which would better incentivize better candidates to make the choice to become a teacher in the first place

And exactly how does tying job security to teachers' students' scores from extensive standardized testing incentivize better candidates?
How does pitting one teacher against another with merit pay schemes that de-incentivize the crucial collaboration needed among teachers at the K-12 level help?
And how does demonizing teaching as a profession incentivize good prospects to go into teaching?
And how does the removal of capricious firing and due process guarantees incentivize good nominees?
And how does the extensive use of alternative hiring procedures to hire teachers with little training other than a summer of student teaching produce good teacher nominees?

My son asked if he should go into teaching. He probably would have a lot to offer. Unlike say, ten years ago, I had to tell him, that unfortunately, it could be a mistake in the present climate.

John: I'm aware of the research that says class size does not make a difference and it's simply wrong as a generalization. It matters much less as the student gets older, but it matters greatly in the younger years, and for students who are low performers. The research is generally contradictory, but you can take a look at sites like http://www.classsizematters.org/ to look at some of the more positive benefits of class size reduction.

And of course, there are the millions of parents who are willing to pay a hefty premium to send their children to schools with small class sizes. Aside from the important matters of the amount of student attention that each teacher can give there is the matter of course choice. I know that in the HS I teach in we cannot offer a Calculus class, because there are not enough students to make up a class. OTOH, at one of the local private schools, a class of 8 students is sufficient to have such a class.

Finally if you think class size doesn't matter, let's do a little math. You probably want your child's teacher to check their homework each night. So suppose the teacher has, as the NYC Teacher contract allows, the union max of 34 students in each of her/his five HS classes. That means 170 HWs to grade. If s/he spends 3 minutes to grade each--'cause s/he's a lazy teacher-- that's 510 minutes a night of grading. That is, more than 8 hours a night in grading alone.

The problem is much less the getting rid of bad teachers, but the retention of the good ones. They get fed up with all the nonsense people and politicians who have never spent any time teaching in a public school try to foist on the public.


My perception is that there will never be an answer to your satisfaction as to what criteria to use, because your primary objective appears to be protecting union job security ahead of all else. If evaluations are individualized, they're subject to politics and bias; if they're based on test scores, they undermine cooperation; and so on.

The numbers that we've examined on these boards regarding how few teachers get removed from public employment, and how expensive that removal process is, are RIDICULOUS, and they certainly don't reflect a "students first" mentality.

Whatever the system is, and whatever the criteria are, good teachers will never get the respect and compensation they deserve while bad teachers are protected so vehemently.



Expected more from you Lobo. Weak response. I've outlined above just a few of the dozens of policies that "reformers" have pushed through indicating that "students first" is the last thing they're interested in.
LobowolfXXX
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Past posts by you on this topic have strongly indicated to me that "students first," while it may not be the "last" thing you're interested in, certainly isn't your highest priority.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-04 19:59, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Past posts by you on this topic have strongly indicated to me that "students first," while it may not be the "last" thing you're interested in, certainly isn't your highest priority. I'm not supporting any particular "reformers"; I'm saying that part of ANY framework that puts students first includes recognition that there are some bad teachers in classrooms, and there should be a less costly and onerous mechanism to identify and remove them than currently exists.


Yet another quote-for-edit. Doh!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 19:21, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 12:58, EsnRedshirt wrote:
The disadvantage is, for disadvantaged kids, private school may not be an option. They'll end up going to a public school along with the trouble-makers who couldn't get in to private schools. Why deprive them of a good education just because they're poor?


EXACTLY. Which is why I favor vouchers or tax credits for private school tuition.

Rich parents can already afford to pay for the taxes that support public schools they don't use and private school tuition, too.

Unless you're subsidizing most of the cost of the private school for poor parents, then it's useless for them, and moreover takes the public's money to subsidize the rich who already can afford the private school.
landmark
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On 2011-08-04 19:59, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Past posts by you on this topic have strongly indicated to me that "students first," while it may not be the "last" thing you're interested in, certainly isn't your highest priority.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.I've devoted most of my adult years to students.
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-04 20:05, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 19:21, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 12:58, EsnRedshirt wrote:
The disadvantage is, for disadvantaged kids, private school may not be an option. They'll end up going to a public school along with the trouble-makers who couldn't get in to private schools. Why deprive them of a good education just because they're poor?


EXACTLY. Which is why I favor vouchers or tax credits for private school tuition.

Rich parents can already afford to pay for the taxes that support public schools they don't use and private school tuition, too.

Unless you're subsidizing most of the cost of the private school for poor parents, then it's useless for them, and moreover takes the public's money to subsidize the rich who already can afford the private school.


Subsidizing ANY of the cost could be useful to them, and could make a difference for lower- and middle-class who right now would prefer, but cannot afford, to send their children to a private school.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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The model is obviously flawed as "ANY of the cost" would not be useful to many of the citizens of these United States, if they cannot come up with the rest of the cost. Sort of like handing someone a steering wheel and saying, gee, it's too bad you don't have enough money to buy the rest of the car. Since 40% of households earned less than $37,000 in income in 2003, it's hard to see how this would be useful. What it does conveniently do is distribute income upwards, to those who can afford to use the subsidy. A fairer policy would to be distribute the subsidy in a way that was inversely proportional to income. That's assuming that you think public money should be spent on private K-12 education, which I don't.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Although most voucher programs (all that I am aware of, actually) have failed to produce the expected results, there is still room for experimentation. The devil as always is in the details. How much do you regulate cost? How much do you regulate curriculum? By what mechanism do over-subscribed schools select students? Under what conditions are schools opened? or closed? etc.

This should not be read as an endorsement or an indictment of vouchers, by the way.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 21:46, landmark wrote:
The model is obviously flawed as "ANY of the cost" would not be useful to many of the citizens of these United States, if they cannot come up with the rest of the cost. Sort of like handing someone a steering wheel and saying, gee, it's too bad you don't have enough money to buy the rest of the car. Since 40% of households earned less than $37,000 in income in 2003, it's hard to see how this would be useful. What it does conveniently do is distribute income upwards, to those who can afford to use the subsidy. A fairer policy would to be distribute the subsidy in a way that was inversely proportional to income. That's assuming that you think public money should be spent on private K-12 education, which I don't.


Given that you don't think that public money should be spent on private education (by which I assume you mean that people choosing not to use public schools should still have to pay for them), it seems a little specious to say that a model is flawed because it will only pay for some of the cost, and not help those who cannot afford to pay the difference. After all, you're in favor of the model by which NONE of the cost is subsidized, leaving those lower- and middle-income households to pay the ENTIRE cost, which will obviously fail to meet the needs of a higher percentage of families than a model that DOES pay some of the costs.

If it's "hard to see how it would be useful," I think you're not trying. There are certainly plenty of people who can't afford the tuition of their private school of choice, but could afford it if it were less expensive by X%, given that X varies from family to family and from school to school. For all such families, such a model would be infinitely more useful than the current system.

As for the fairness of it, I think there are all sorts of different and reasonable ways to construe fairness (and I don't mean that flippantly).
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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On 2011-08-04 21:54, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Although most voucher programs (all that I am aware of, actually) have failed to produce the expected results, there is still room for experimentation. The devil as always is in the details. How much do you regulate cost? How much do you regulate curriculum? By what mechanism do over-subscribed schools select students? Under what conditions are schools opened? or closed? etc.

This should not be read as an endorsement or an indictment of vouchers, by the way.

John


Just curious, John...what do you mean by "the expected results" here?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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We don't need to subsidize private school, we need to subsidize public schools properly. Then the perceived advantages of private schools would be greatly reduced--except for the one that keeps it as an outpost for the rich.
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On 2011-08-04 21:58, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 21:54, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Although most voucher programs (all that I am aware of, actually) have failed to produce the expected results, there is still room for experimentation. The devil as always is in the details. How much do you regulate cost? How much do you regulate curriculum? By what mechanism do over-subscribed schools select students? Under what conditions are schools opened? or closed? etc.

This should not be read as an endorsement or an indictment of vouchers, by the way.

John


Just curious, John...what do you mean by "the expected results" here?


Usually voucher programs are put in place with three purposes in mind. First, they are expected to produce overall improved academic outcomes. Second, they are expected to benefit the worst off. And third they are expected to be more economically efficient than extant systems. As I recall (and I don't have my library with me right now) every implementation has disappointed on all three counts.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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