Saturday, July 31, 2010

Votin' Republican? You Betcha!

There's been some talk among ed bloggers that teachers should vote Obama out and show Dems that we still wield a lot of power. There's certainly some wisdom in that. After all, could a Republican be worse than Obama? The idea started appealing to me more and more in recent weeks.

I've never voted Republican before and I wasn't sure I could pull the lever. So I tried out being a Republican for a few days. I kicked a street beggar. I traded in my Prius for a Hummer. I even bought some Haggar slacks with an elastic waistband. All in all, it didn't feel that bad. And then....

Newt Gingrich came out and said he supports going to war with Iran and North Korea. I guess the two wars we are losing right now just aren't enough for him. Then Newt said he believes that Sarah Palin will run in 2012. *shudder*

For what that might look like, I refer you to this video. In it, Andy Borowitz imagines a Palin presidency. I hereby bestow upon him the joke of the year award for claiming that if Palin became president, she'd "cancel the agreement between nouns and verbs". Give it a look.

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Joel Klein's Bald Faced Lie

I'll keep this post short and sweet, but I have not seen this mentioned elsewhere so I thought I'd share it. In a letter to parents regarding the testing fiasco, Klein wrote:

As you know, we have made dramatic progress over the last several years. But this year, the State changed the way the tests were graded.

Look at that first sentence. It is a bald faced lie. The state education department hired Harvard researchers and discovered that the tests had gotten easier over the last four years.

The second sentence, while technically true, gives the impression that the decline in scores is due only to the state changing its scoring. That is a lie by omission.

I don't know how parents can trust anything coming out of the DOE or that man's mouth.

Test Scores: Worse than you Think

This week was actually a perfect time to release the new, revised test scores for a number of reasons. School is out, the mayor is back in, the governor is on his way out, and the Unity Crew of the UFT has already agreed to using test scores to evaluate teachers despite the fact that no one knows what the hell they mean, much less how teachers can "add value" to them.

Perhaps more importantly, test scores just could not be pumped up any further. At some point, they had to be readjusted. Now happened to be a good time because of all the above.

Unfortunately, I believe we are wrongly assuming that because the scores have been readjusted, they are now accurate. Nowhere have I seen the formula the state used to draw the cut lines where they did. Nor did the state disclose whether the scores would have gone down even without the change in cut scores. (If anyone knows how to find this information, please let me know.)

If the state willfully dumbed down the tests and changed the cut scores for years and years, as it now appears they did with gusto, what on earth is there to make us think the current scores are truly accurate?

Think of it this way. If the tests last year were easier than ever, resetting the cut scores to where they were four years ago still does not reflect the reality of student reading skills. And one more thing that disturbs me about the current numbers is that no one is discussing what happened on the writing part of the exams.

I scored three different writing tests in three different grades this year. Anyone who was there can verify that teacher-scorers were always told to give students the benefit of the doubt in grading. I first blogged about it here when I described how a single run on sentence could be graded a 3 (the highest score for mechanics). When grading the actual answers we were told to ignore the mechanics completely and give a 4 out of 5 (five being the highest score) to students who simply addressed the question, and a 5 if there was some evidence of "voice". A number of teachers who were deemed to have graded too leniently were publicly called out by the poobahs running the center and were told give higher scores. This was allegedly done in the name of making sure we were all grading students fairly, i.e., that we were all giving them the same inflated grades for the same substandard writing.

So even if we assume that the multiple choice portion of the ELA tests were re-calibrated correctly, which is a rather large assumption, it remains true that the the writing portions of the tests were inflated beyond all reality.

The math teachers I have spoken with told me the same thing happened to them when they were told to give high scores to students on their constructed responses. Teachers were told to give medium to high scores as long as students showed "some evidence" that they understood how to answer the question, regardless of whether they actually got the problem right.

So while it's a good thing that the scores were reset, it's pretty clear to me that they are still too high. And that is a bad thing, because come the 2011 school year we will all be evaluated on our ability to increase those scores.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mr. Mulgrew? This is Opportunity Knocking...

I've heard from a few teachers and administrators who were stunned by the re-calibrated math and ELA scores. They wonder how we could have done so poorly. Let me set everyone straight. The scores did not go down; the bar was raised to where it should have been all along. Raw scores this year are about the same as last year. All that's happened is that the state stopped gaming the scores to make itself look good.

As expected, Mayor4Life and Joel Klein have wasted no time at all in spinning this year's test scores to make themselves seem less culpable. If they succeed, you know who will be scapegoated--teachers. But this was not a failure of teachers--this is a breakdown of honesty in a corrupt system that banked everything on test scores.

Rather than letting BloomKlein rewrite the narrative to their own advantage, Michael Mulgrew needs to seize this opportunity to step up and change the way things are done. He can prove--using that very data that BloomKlein so used to love--that the gains under the billionaire mayor and lawyer chancellor were all smoke and mirrors. Mulgrew took a stab at that, saying “The city desperately needs a real instructional strategy to improve our schools. As it starts to put one together, I hope that this time the mayor and the chancellor listen to people who know something about education, including the teachers who actually spend their days helping kids learn.” Sounds OK, but instead of letting the city set the agenda and hoping we get a seat at the table, we need to be proactive and set the agenda ourselves. You can bet that parents are angry about this chicanery by the city and state, so we can channel some of that anger to our benefit. Here's the agenda that Mulgrew needs to lay out, at least as I see it:

  • It's time for Klein to be fired. His programs and agenda have led to scores that have flat-lined for the past 4 years of more. His tenure has been an abject failure. It's time for an educator to take the reins.
  • We need a new evaluation system led by teachers. Until and unless the city and state can prove their numbers are genuine and reflective of the job done by individual teachers, test scores should play no role in the evaluation process.
  • Let's demand an end to new charter schools in our city. Charters have underperformed city public schools and their drop this year was worse despite cherry picking their students and guiding poor students out.
  • Dump all the unproven teaching systems that have handcuffed teachers and kept students back. It's time for America's Choice, Teacher's College, Everyday Mathematics, and Impact Math to go.
  • Give teachers the opportunity to develop a curriculum that works for their school within the framework of the standards.
  • De-emphasize test prep and return to teaching the basics, including thinking skills.
  • Demand an end to mayoral control, which has been an unmitigated disaster.
That's all that crosses my mind at the moment. Feel free to contribute your thoughts.

Opportunity knocked once for Mulgrew when he assumed the role of UFT president with a 91% mandate, and he refused to answer. It's knocking once again, but this time he needs to seize the opportunity and make a real difference for the teachers he represents and the children of New York.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Test Scores Plummet! (yawn)

So, the state recalibrated the 2010 ELA and math scores to (maybe) where they should have been in the first place, and the scores dropped faster than Octomom's sextuplets. We are basically back to where we were four years ago, erasing all the "gains" that Mayor4Life used to show why NYers needed to give him an unprecedented 3rd term.

The philosophical question of whether something can be erased that never existed in the first place remains a mystery.

The state needed to hire a bunch of Harvard researchers to tell them that the tests and the scoring of those tests have gotten easier over the years. They could have saved a lot of money and time by asking bloggers. I just did a quick search of my own blog, and found quite a few posts about how easy the tests had gotten, like this one, this one, this one, and this one, to name a few. Perhaps I should get a job as a Harvard researcher.

Much ado will be made of this news, but in the end, the whole revelation about test scores will add up to little more than a big yawn. Once the dust settles, Mayor4Life will still be mayor, Klein will still be chancellor, Mulgrew will still be the UFT president, and the Post will still churn out editorials on why teachers are to blame and not the clowns who run the show. You, as a classroom teacher, will still be teaching in an overcrowded classroom, in an overcrowded school, with few supplies and even less respect.

The only real difference for you, dear teacher, is that your job will hinge upon these results come the 2011 school year. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Donors Choose to Teachers: Drop Dead

Donors Choose decided to respond to the backlash against them due to their decision to take money from the anti-teacher, anti-union movie Waiting for Superman. The entire response amounted to little more than a giant FU to teachers. Let's look at what they said--their response is indicated by italics. believes that public school teachers know their students’ needs best, and we exist to facilitate as much support for their classrooms as possible.

That sounds reasonable, but it's unrealistic. If the KKK or American Nazi Party offered to fund projects for DonorsChoose, I'm assuming they would refuse, even if there were no strings attached. Their money would facilitate support as much as anyone else's, yet I feel fairly certain we won't be seeing those organizations listed as donors any time soon. Yet DonorsChoose sees fit to accept money from the makers of Waiting for Superman--a movie that glorifies Michelle Rhee, who just the other day fired 241 teachers, or 6% of her staff. She also threatened to fire another 700 teachers next year. That would amount to over 25% of the teachers in the DC public school system. In what way does this support teachers?

To do so, we work with people and institutions from a variety of education policy perspectives. For example, we collaborate regularly with school districts, AFT and NEA chapters, traditional schools of education, alternative teacher certification programs, traditional public schools, charter schools – organizations that all want to encourage public school teachers to seek classroom resources through

I know who you work with. No one is saying that part of your organization is suspect. The problem is who you take money from. At the top of your partnership page, you spotlight Build-a-Bear and Sonic Drive-Ins, which are pretty benign organizations. Reading further along, it seems Bill and Belinda Gates are big sponsors. Are you aware that Bill Gates--the richest man in America--recently said that teacher pensions were a huge problem and should be cut? Bing--a Microsoft company under Gates, contributed more than a half million dollars to you. Bloomberg, who would like the right to fire teachers, is also listed as a supporter. There appear to be a number of hedge funds and banks supporting you as well. Hedge funds in particular are driving the charter school movement that is threatening public education in this country. I'm not alleging any wrongdoing on your part, but you are known by the company you keep, and you keep company with a lot of anti-teacher donors.

The individuals and institutions supporting these teachers’ requests represent equally diverse viewpoints. We think "Waiting for 'Superman'" has the potential to make public education top-of-mind for even more people throughout the country, and we look forward to channeling this expanded interest into direct support for teachers and students.

Suppose you were promoting yourselves as a pro-animal organization, like HSUS, for example. Would you take money from hunting organizations or the NRA because they offer diverse viewpoints? Would you take money from Canadian baby seal clubbers because they also have diverse views, or would you look to support animals?

Canadian baby seal killers are to animals as Waiting for Superman is to teachers. Their "interest" in the issues is not to promote the general welfare but to bludgeon their victims in their own self-interest.

Donors Choose is not wielding the club themselves, but they sure as hell are holding the coats of the folks who do wield them.

If you want to join the Facebook page and boycott Donors Choose, please click here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boycott DonorsChoose!!!

I've set up a page on Facebook for people wishing to boycott DonorsChoose for their support of the movie Waiting for Superman. You can read all about the issue here.

Please join the page and show your anger! Click on the link to in the upper right of the blog, or just click here.


Friday, July 23, 2010

An Open Letter to DonorsChoose.Org

UPDATE: If you want to boycott DonorsChoose after reading this post, click here.

I was rather surprised to see a reply from DonorsChoose.Org in the comments section of my post accusing them of having stabbed teachers in the back. I do welcome the response, however, because if it is genuine, perhaps there is an opening to set the record straight. In brief, DonorsChoose has seen fit to urge their members--who are teachers--to pledge see the film Waiting for Superman. In return, DonorsChoose will get money for every pledge. Apparently, DonorsChoose sees nothing wrong with this, but I know a lot of teachers do, as well as some of my fellow bloggers, such as NYC Educator. I'd prefer to continue the dialogue here, in public, as DonorsChoose themselves claim to want to spur debate. So here's my open letter to you, DC--I'd love to hear your response (in email as well--I want to be sure you're really who you claim to be).


Thank you so much for replying. I'd like to respond by asking you a rather simple question: Why do you exist?

I'm not being facetious--I am dead serious. In my view, you exist because of the sorry state of public education funding today. In NYC, public school teachers receive a measly $150 a year for supplies, which for many of us works out to less than a dollar a year per child. We don't get a pencil, or a piece of chalk, or a sheet of paper unless it comes out of our own pockets. Many of us work in dilapidated classrooms and trailers, with no air conditioning in the summer and not enough heat in the winter. We work in severely overcrowded classrooms--the highest average class size in the state--and we take on any and all comers. No child is ever refused entrance to a public school, even if they're disruptive and completely unmotivated. Public schools take on this challenge every day, and we do a damn fine job.

On the other side of the coin, we have charter schools--the kinds of schools being touted in films like Waiting for Superman. Charters are often given the most prime locations in their neighborhoods, frequently pushing out public school kids. I have never heard of a charter classroom being run from a trailer. Similarly, I have never heard of a charter school that didn't have more than adequate supplies. They are given the basics that are denied to public school teachers. Add to that the fact that many charters cherry-pick their students, and the ones that don't can kick out unruly children or even kids who don't perform up to their standards. When they are thrown out, guess where they go? Back to public schools.

Despite the huge advantage for charters, they show no better results than public schools nationwide.

Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein are pictured as the heroes of Waiting for Superman because they want to "reform" schools. By reform, they mean they want to eviscerate teacher contracts, eliminate seniority and tenure, and create charters where teachers are hired as will employees who can be fired at the drop of a hat. Check out any review of the film--this one by Roger Ebert, for example--and you will see that teachers and unions are cast as the villains in this script. According to the reviewers, teachers are seen as do-nothings who hide behind their union for protection. The truth is that all teachers are hired by the system, and the system has 4 years to evaluate whether a teacher is good enough. After that, if they believe a teacher is incompetent, there is a process to remove teachers by giving them a due process hearing.

What message does it send to teachers when an organization like yours, that claims to be working in the interests of teachers, accepts money from the producers of a film that casts public school teachers as the enemy?

Now, I'll be the first to admit I'm no Superman. There's no S on my chest--just a little chalk dust. I do my best to instruct whatever students show up in my room, in whatever numbers, and with whatever paper I can buy at the dollar store. I've been doing this for more than two decades. The vast majority of my 80,000 colleagues do the same thing, day in and day out, even when the roof is leaking.

So yes, DonorsChoose, there IS a superman, but if you're looking for red boots and a cape, you'll surely be disappointed. But if you peek into the typical public school classroom, you'll see dedicated teachers working hard every day. They are your members, and they want you to lend us a hand in a very difficult job--not to add another brick to an already far-too-heavy load.

If you want the support of teachers, reject the funding of those who want to see us lose our jobs.

I look forward to your reply.


Mr. Talk

Thursday, July 22, 2010

DonorsChoose Stabs Teachers in the Back

UPDATE: If you want to boycott DonorsChoose after reading this post, just click here.

So you get a crappy $150 in Teacher's Choice every year, which will most likely be eliminated entirely this coming school year. seems like a good solution. You join up, tell donors what you need, and hopefully good hearted citizens will contribute to help support your classroom projects. Sounds like a great idea, right? And it was.

Until the ed deformers ruined it, that is. I was shocked to receive an email from DonorsChoose asking me to see the anti-teacher, anti-union film Waiting for Superman. If I pledge to see it, the email said, DonorsChoose will get some money to support more classroom projects. Never mind that if the film makers get their way, you most likely won't have a classroom or a job, so your need for project funding will be drastically reduced.

Here's a quote from the email: This fall is poised to receive support from hundreds of thousands of movie-goers who see Waiting for "Superman," a new film from the director of An Inconvenient Truth. Just as An Inconvenient Truth inspired action on climate change, Waiting for "Superman" aims to inspire the nation to improve public education opportunities.

Uh, yeah. More like "Just as the actors in The Devil In Miss Jones did to each other, Waiting for Superman is trying to do to teachers."

I canceled my account there today, and I urge you to do the same. Let them know why you decided to cancel and why. Tell them they need to support teachers, not help villify them. Contact them at

Sharing is Caring

Now you can spread the word about any post you find interesting on Accountable Talk. Just click below any post you like and send it to email, Facebook, and a bunch of other places. What better way to spread the word?
Let's face it--most visitors to anti-deform blogs like this already agree with many of the posts. Sharing the word means a few more people will join the fold. That's how movements grow these days.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Keep on Pushing On

My fellow bloggers and I have been sounding the alarm for years that the NYS math and ELA tests were too damn easy, and have gotten easier every year since Mayor4Life wrested mayoral control from the voters two terms ago. The reason they were getting easier is obvious--it made everyone look good. The problem, of course, is that the "gains" were all phony. The state has almost admitted as much, acknowledging that a score of 3--or proficient--doesn't translate into success on the Regents exams.

So what will the state do? De-emphasize testing and allocate more money to resources to help bring students up to speed? Ditch the unproven curricula used in both math and English for more proven methods? Offer remedial help to those students who scored threes but who teachers clearly identify as struggling?

Surely you jest. All that will happen is that the state is going to make the tests--wait for it---harder.

That's right. If the tests were flawed, we obviously have no choice but to make them harder in the future! That way, students who've been told that they're proficient can now be told that they're barely literate! That's the DOE way.

If you've been pushing for 8 years, as BloomKlein have, on a door that says "Pull", chances are that pushing harder in the same direction will not yield better results. But that's what the state and the city want. Unrelenting testing has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, so they're going to do more of it, and push even harder.

Where will the blame for this disaster fall? Squarely on teachers, naturally. The same data that Mayor4Life took credit for when he was running for (stealing) his third term will now be used to 'prove' that teachers have not been doing their jobs.

It could be worse, of course. Just because the same people who've run the tests for the last 8 years are at it again isn't going to do any harm. I mean, even though the tests will be harder, it's not like these tests are going to be used to evaluate us or anything. Right, Mulgrew?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I believe the main goal of BloomKlein and the deform movement is to change teaching as we know it. They'd like to end tenure, longevity pay, and pensions. They'd like a longer work day and year. They'd like to eliminate traditional public schools and replace them all with charters--schools that they can dole out to their pals like Eva Moscowitz as rewards for loyalty. They'd like to have a transient work force, comprised primarily of Teach for America type recruits who'll work hard for a few years and then move on to greener pastures.

Let's suppose they achieve that goal. My question is: Who will they get to teach the children?

I think it's a reasonable question. It wasn't all that long ago that the DOE held recruitment fairs in foreign countries. They could not get enough bodies to fill all the classrooms. Of course, a few things have changed since then. Salaries are higher, but not much higher (if at all) than the inflation rate. What has really changed is the economic picture in this country. Now that unemployment is high and college grads are having a tough time finding work in their chosen fields, teaching for a few years seems like a good career move. So, for now anyway, there are a lot of bodies available to fill classrooms. Short-sighted thinkers like Klein probably believe this situation will last forever, but I don't.

Teaching has always had a (very) few good things going for it (I'm leaving out the existential rewards of teaching the children themselves): a shorter work day relative to other jobs, more vacation time, and job security. There are a lot of negatives to teaching, as well. Lack of respect, poor working conditions (trailers, etc.), low pay considering educational level, all make teaching a job you have to love or leave.

The negatives are all still there. The problem is that if the deformers have their way, the positives will slowly evaporate as well. They'd like to make the school day and year longer, and take away job security. Given that, who would want to become a teacher?

The deformers may be deluding themselves that they can have such a revolving door policy, but they simply can't. According to a Times article, it's been found that about 85% of TFA candidates leave by the end of the 4th year of teaching. That means in a fully TFA-staffed DOE, of the 80,000 teachers needed, 68,000 will leave every four years. And that would mean that the DOE would have to replace 17,000 teachers every year. The DOE couldn't fill that many vacancies in these awful economic times; how on earth could they fill them when times get better and companies start hiring graduates again?

So what is the DOE's endgame? I know they want to destroy the union, but the reality is that career teachers stabilize the system because we stay in good times and bad times. The city has already tried recruiting in foreign countries, and that was when there were about 6,000 vacancies due to retirement incentives. The DOE will have to start recruiting on Uranus to fill 17,000 annual vacancies.

As for me, my endgame involves retiring by the time all of this happens. Of course, that may be Bloomberg's strategy as well. Destroy the system, and then leave it to the next mayor to pick up the pieces.

Friday, July 9, 2010

When the Charter Bubble Bursts

We know we are in the midst of an economic crisis, and real estate has been hit especially hard. And there's one group out there losing their homes at an alarming rate. In fact, one in seven of these people are now delinquent on their mortgages. You might guess that it's the middle class, or lower income individuals who were talked into sub-prime loans. But you'd be wrong.

It's the wealthy.

Yes, according to the New York Times, one in seven homeowners with a mortgage of over one million dollars is now seriously delinquent in their payments and in danger of immediate foreclosure. Don't cry them a river or demand a bailout, however; many of these people are simply choosing not to pay. Like so many others, the rich have seen the values of their homes decline and many properties are underwater (more is owed than the home is worth). Unlike many other people, the rich appear much more likely to just walk away from their mortgages and stick the taxpayers with the bill. Sam Khater of CoreLogic, a senior economist with a flair for understatement, was quoted as saying, "The rich are different. They are more ruthless."

Ruthless is right. Remember, most of these wealthy homeowners aren't in terrible financial straits--they just see their homes as a bad investement and walk away. Never mind what happens to the neighborhood. And who cares if the taxpayers are left holding the bag?

So I have to ask: What happens when the charter school boom goes bust? When the hedge funds finally eliminate charter caps and charters become ubiquitous, what will happen in the next finanacial downturn? Let's face it--it is the rich who own and operate charters. Will they walk away from their schools with as little care as they abandon their properties? Will they show concern for the neighborhoods they ruin?

Make no mistake: it can happen. Charters are the darlings of hedge funds right now because they are the reform de jour and politicians are looking to throw money at them. But that won't last forever. The very reason Bloomberg wants charters is that he can run them on the cheap by eliminating pesky unions that demand fair wages, pensions, and reasonable working conditions.

With a charter on every corner, they'll lose their special status. When the economic downturn happens, which it does in cycles, charters will be cut to the bone just like public schools are now. If there isn't enough profit, will the wealthy charter school operator keep the school going for the sake of the community, or will he just cut and run?

Let's put it this way: If the rich are walking away from their in-ground pools and marble staircases, why would they worry about a local school?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Take the IQ Test!

Question 1: How many triangles are in this picture?

Question 2: How many boobs are in this picture?

Question 3: How many real boobs are in the above picture?


Question 1: 27

Question 2: 9

Question 3: 3

How to score: You pretty much have to be a professional athlete to score with any of them.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Rants

First of all, happy summer to everyone!

Here are a few rants, as I'm just too lazy to write anything longer:

You know how Klein always says charter schools are better because they have such high application rates? Well, the truth is that there were about 50,000 applications to charters last year. Considering there are over a million students, that's a pretty low percentage. Compare that to the fact that there were 26,000 applicants for teaching jobs in NYC despite the fact that almost no one will be hired. This must mean we are the greatest teaching force in the world!!!

I suggest that we hold a lottery for these prospective teachers, just as we hold lotteries to see who's going to get into charter schools. (Doesn't the word "lottery" just scream out the idea that if you don't get chosen, you're a loser who has to go to a lowly public school?) I'd further suggest that we make it a real lottery, and sell lottery tickets to these applicants at about $1000 a pop. That would raise 26 million for our cash strapped schools. I know what you're about to say--that a lottery does nothing to ensure the quality of applicants. Perhaps not, but since most teachers are gone in a few years anyway, it fits in perfectly with Klein's high churn rate strategy. Charge them to get in, then deny them tenure. Rinse. Repeat.

Bloomberg opposes taxes on the rich to pay for teachers because he fears the rich will leave and take their tax dollars elsewhere. Many of the wealthy have already begun scoping out properties in other desirable areas where the super-rich tend to gather, such as Cheboygan, Michigan. The heck with going to the Met--the rich can instead first-night in style at the Cheyboygan Opera House, which saves tax money by also serving as city hall, police headquarters, and a fire station. That's the kind of fiscal restraint that the rich are looking for.

The mayor has no objection to taxing things done by the poor and middle class. The state has implemented a huge new tax on cigarettes and tanning salons with nary a peep from Bloomie. You see, rich people smoke less, and the rich who tan, like House Minority Leader John Boehner, often have their tans applied by servants wielding orange Crayolas.

When informed of the new taxes, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi immediately responded. "Cigs and tans being taxed? Why not just tax my frickin' pouf or casual sex and get it over with?" Upon hearing Snooki's remarks, Governor Patterson immediately implemented a Pouf Tax, although he decided against the Casual Sex Act Act, just in case. Snooki's response was immediate. She took her tax base, moved to Michigan, and started a new reality show called Cheboygan Shore, co-starring Bill Gates (Billy G) and Rush Limbaugh (RushFat).

In other economic news, the price of an early screening to the Michelle Rhee love fest known as Waiting for Superman has been slashed to $25. In response, Mr. Talk has announced that tickets for his long awaited summer blockbuster Waiting for Kryptonite can be had for $1.19, or for free if you swipe him into the subway with your Metrocard.

In what may be related news, the docs have upped my meds.