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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:41 PM

Labor board decides Chicago charter school is really private, subject to private sector laws.

Last edited Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:51 PM - Edit history (1)

I am assuming they will still get public taxpayer money. Yet they will not be subject to any regulation by elected school boards or local districts.

Jersey Jazzman caught the implications of the ruling right away. Reformers like Michelle Rhee et al have repeated over and over that charter schools are public schools. Now it has been ruled that these charters in Chicago are not.

There will be many educators waiting on all the implications of this ruling. I don't see how they can claim to be one thing and be ruled to be something else. Is Arne Duncan aware of this? Does he approve?

It's Official: Charters are NOT Public Schools

The National Labor Relations Board gives its verdict: charter schools are NOT public schools!

Teachers at a Chicago charter school are now subject to private-sector labor laws, rather than state laws governing public workers. The move could impact how public schools are run down the road.

The ruling, made by the National Labor Relations Board last month, said the Chicago Math and Science Academy is a “private entity” and therefore covered under the federal law governing the private sector.

The decision overrules a vote taken by teachers last year to form a union in accordance with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. At the time, two-thirds of teachers at the school approved the union and it became official under state law.

...“This case was really about whether you organize via one method or another,” said Andrew Broy, director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. “It wasn’t about you can organize at all, whether you can bust unions, or anything like that.”


I believe that is the very same school that last year decided they were private so the teachers could not form a union. Here is what I reported on this last year.

Chicago charter school claims to be private so teachers won't unionize. Got 23 million public money

Another Chicago charter has claimed it's a "private" school in order to stop its teachers from unionizing. The school has received $23 million in public funds since it opened in 2004. But eight months ago, a solid majority of the school's teachers voted to organize. The school's board, with backing from the charter school association and the Civic Committee, decided to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in hopes of stalling off union certification.


"In papers filed with the National Labor Relations Board, attorneys for the Chicago Math and Science Academy on the city's North Side say the school should be exempt from an Illinois law that grants employees of all public schools the right to form unions for contract negotiations. -- Tribune"

Teachers report threats by principal, Ali Yilmaz as well as the firing of a popular and well-respected teacher who was part of the union organizing drive.

In the same Trib article, University of Chicago's Tim Knowles is sounding more and more like Wisconsin's Gov. Walker, claiming that collective-bargaining rights for teachers are "a risk to those basic freedoms".


Here is more from the article today at WBEZ91.5.

Labor board decision that school is "private entity" may set precedent

In many ways, they are like government contractors, said James Powers, the attorney representing CMSA. A school district signs a contract with a private group, usually a non-profit organization, to run a school and allocates public money based on the number of students served.

But as the charter sector grows in cities across the country, teachers unions and other pro-labor groups have said expanding charters is a “union-busting” tactic.


Charter schools want to be public schools so they can get taxpayer's money. Then they want to be private so teachers can't unionize.

I don't see how charter schools can legitimately have it both ways.

Crossposted at Daily Kos

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Reply Labor board decides Chicago charter school is really private, subject to private sector laws. (Original post)
madfloridian Jan 2013 OP
gollygee Jan 2013 #1
madfloridian Jan 2013 #2
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #34
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #3
madfloridian Jan 2013 #5
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #15
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #20
madfloridian Jan 2013 #4
LiberalFighter Jan 2013 #6
msanthrope Jan 2013 #27
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #7
madfloridian Jan 2013 #9
madrchsod Jan 2013 #8
madrchsod Jan 2013 #10
madfloridian Jan 2013 #13
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #11
madfloridian Jan 2013 #12
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #17
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #18
duffyduff Jan 2013 #45
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #14
madfloridian Jan 2013 #16
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #22
msanthrope Jan 2013 #25
FloriTexan Jan 2013 #19
madfloridian Jan 2013 #21
duffyduff Jan 2013 #23
msanthrope Jan 2013 #24
madfloridian Jan 2013 #31
msanthrope Jan 2013 #36
madfloridian Jan 2013 #38
msanthrope Jan 2013 #40
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #26
msanthrope Jan 2013 #28
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #29
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #30
msanthrope Jan 2013 #32
madfloridian Jan 2013 #35
msanthrope Jan 2013 #37
madfloridian Jan 2013 #39
msanthrope Jan 2013 #41
madfloridian Jan 2013 #42
msanthrope Jan 2013 #43
madfloridian Jan 2013 #44
msanthrope Jan 2013 #46
madfloridian Jan 2013 #33

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:43 PM

1. Then they need to stop getting public money

They can be private or they can be public, but they can't pick and choose what they want of each world. That's not playing fair.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:45 PM

2. My feelings exactly.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:21 PM

34. Ditto. nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:50 PM

3. Among other aspects, are these schools subject to FERPA or not? I would think

if they receive, have received, even one nickel of state and or federal money they
would be.

This whole thing is so bad on so many levels...sheesh.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:54 PM

5. If not they should be. They should have same tests as public schools. Make them public.

Many are not required to provide the same info as public schools.

So much of what is going on borders on illegal. They are getting away with it because there is no opposing party in the field of education.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:34 AM

15. Because both local & national administrations support it.

 

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:30 PM

20. It can be tested via a FERPA request. Any parent can proceed with a request and the US Dept of Ed

would be required to determine if the school was in fact bound by the law. As I understand it,
the dept may need to do what is referred to as a jurisdictional study. If they are bound by FERPA
all the documents that contain the child's name would need to be released..with some exceptions.

I would love to see this school challenged..this is such bullshit.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:50 PM

4. Seems Chicago to shut down 100 schools, add more charters run by private companies.

http://www.wbez.org/news/proportion-privately-run-chicago-public-schools-increase-104303

The proportion of privately run Chicago public schools to increase

"In a promotional video for a new high school called Intrinsic, illustrations of the city’s skyline and the EL tracks swirl around cartoon students. The students tout their teachers’ credentials and brag about the projects they’re working on.

“The teachers at Intrinsic are great,” says the cartoon boy. “They’ve worked at schools like Walter Payton and Whitney Young.”

Intrinsic is not open yet. It’s one of at least 17 new schools the district wants to open next fall. Fourteen charter and contract schools, run by outside groups and three district-run high schools. (See complete list at the end of this article.)"

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:19 PM

6. Don't see how they can stop the teachers from unionizing.

They just don't fall under state jurisdiction. The NLRA takes control.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:26 PM

27. Bingo. This 'outrage' is over which laws they can unionize under. nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:34 PM

7. Here in Michigan, it's even more blatant.

Even if the charter is managed by a school district with a union contract, the union teachers in the charter school have to have a different contract in that none of them can have tenure (even if they meet the requirements under the union contract).

The state legislature has built in loopholes just for charter and on-line schools, and some of them are real doozies. Add in that charters have worse outcomes than the districts they are in, and it's a real mess.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:43 PM

9. Michigan's gov plans to privatize may get federal money, Race to the Top.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/8510

"Apparently the EAA is a finalist in the current so-called "Race to the Top" competition. The Ann Arbor Public School district (as part of the Washtenaw Alliance for Education) and many other organizations and individuals have signed on to a letter sent to President Obama and Sec. Ed. Duncan objecting to the EAA's candidacy, and urging its rejection.

This is the key passage:

The EAA, a “state reform” district modeled after the problematic New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD), was established through an August 2011 interlocal agreement between then-Emergency Manager of Detroit Public Schools Roy Roberts and Eastern Michigan University under the former Public Act 4 of 2011 (“The Emergency Manager Law”), an act that was repealed by the Michigan electorate in the November 6 election. Shortly thereafter, the Detroit Board of Education voted to disband the EAA and to sever ties with Eastern Michigan University. Despite the voice of the electorate, our Michigan state legislature is pressing forward with bills during the lame duck session that would codify the EAA into state law.

We oppose the establishment of the EAA and ask that you stand in support of Michigan voters who are deeply concerned with its impact on our children’s education and on our rights as citizens to advocate for them."

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:35 PM

8. if they receive state funds of any kind they can be unionized

my wife is the sec treasure of a afscme union that represents private non profit company. they receive state and some federal funding along with other income sources. in fact the sector that she works in is the only growth the afsmce union has in illinois

i have no doubt that the teachers union in chicago and through out the state will be watching very closely to what ever rahm and his friends try to do. the democratic party is on thin ice when it comes to the unions in this state. it`s never a dull moment in the land of lincoln

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:43 PM

10. another problem with these school closures is `turf'

if rahm forgot what happened several years ago when a school was closed then someone should remind him. moving students from one turf into someone else`s turf sometimes starts a war.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:57 AM

13. I was reading about that. He seems clueless.

Is it Chicago that I read was questioning their math on the low usage of the schools. I saw it on twitter, will check. Might have been NY.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:51 PM

11. AFAIC, if they take public money, they're public schools.

I know, I'm not a judge. But I'm sick of the games the charters are playing. If they want to be private schools then they can get by on private funding.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:30 AM

12. I feel the same. It's ridiculous the games they play.

Someone needs to call them on it. Someone in leadership.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:57 PM

17. Bingo.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:09 PM

18. +1

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:58 AM

45. You and I know they AREN'T public schools. I know what your point is.

The whole purpose of them is to siphon public money, but just because an outfit takes public money, that doesn't make them public institutions. They are private schools in all but name. Period.

The only reason these "charters" exist in the first place is because outfits like the Bradley Foundation failed to con voters into supporting vouchers for private schools. They went this route of creating private schools that take public money. However, there is no accountability to taxpayers for these schools in how they are run or how they spend the money.

There is a whole lot more to being a public school than ripping off taxpayers. Cut the funding off from charters, and let them charge tuition if they are any good. 99.9 percent of them would close down right away.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:32 AM

14. KR. LOCAL CONTROL MY ASS.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:02 AM

16. Found a blog explanation...Charters get to decide what they are.

You are right. This ruling seems to take the control away from locals.

I have just glanced at the first couple of paragraphs about this at blog called Pension Vocabulary.

http://pension-vocabulary.blogspot.com/2013/01/charter-schools-ii-reprise.html

"(non-certified teachers and questionnable test results and elusive goals, oh my!)"

Remember from the vocabulary for Dec. 19th that Charter School’s are considered “public”; unless, that is, you happen to be a Charter School. Charter Schools often get to describe themselves just as they like in order to meet whatever purpose is necessary.

For example, even though a Charter School like Chicago Math and Science Academy is “public,” its lawyer may decide to label the school a primarily “private” institution that does not have to “follow an Illinois law giving public school workers the right to unionize,” for the purposes of refusing to accept a possible right to collective bargaining as requested by the school’s staff. This seems at first to fly in the face of logic, for CMSA has received over $23 millions in public money since it opened in 2004, and more than 80% of its annual budget comes from the Chicago Public Schools (Chicago Charter school in union battle. www.stltoday.com. 23 Feb 2011). Additional charter school funding comes from state and federal grants as well as private money. Indeed, according to the CMSA’s lawyer, Seyfarth Shaw, like other charter schools, private citizens established CMSA, and government has no sway over their operations. It’s that last point of view that allows those CEO’s who run charter school operations to argue the public/private nature of the institution as well as generate self-flattering names for the institutions (The Noble Street Charter Schools – Pritzker College Prep or Chicago Bulls College Prep).

Even a CEO of a charter operation speaking casually can sound rather ambiguous about the true nature of what a charter school is while answering questions: “’We’re in this business because we want to prove that public schools can work,’ said Juan Rangel, president of the politically connected UNO charter network, which operates nine schools in CPS and plans to open three more next year”
( http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-charter-schools-performance-1130-20111130,0,1660032.story).

Ironically, like any business, charter schools can close their doors when results become less than expected - or when the product is substandard? “Addressing the failures at UNO’s lowest performing school, Paz Elementary on the West Side, Rangel said, ‘We’re at a point where it’s do or die. We’re either going to put Paz on course… or we’ll have to consider whether this is a school we should keep open’” (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-charter-schools-performance-1130-20111130,0,1660032.story).


There's more at the link.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:48 PM

22. This is nuts. They cannot decide which laws they are required to adhere to unless Arnie Duncan

is one corrupted schmuck to a degree we have not yet witnessed.

It would have to be significant wheeling and dealing to pull this off. Where is the ACLU on this?

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:18 PM

25. Charters do not get to decide what they are....I think this blogger might be less adept at

reading comprehension than the reporter you cited above. He doesn't seem to understand that he's conflated two different entites--Chicago Math and Science, and CSMA.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:26 PM

19. K&R nt

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Response to FloriTexan (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:33 PM

21. Thank you.

Got your mail, thanks for the heads up on that.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:20 PM

23. They need to be abolished, period.

If you want a private school, create one, but don't ask the taxpayers to foot the bill.

Charter schools are NOT public schools. The "reformers" don't even pretend to claim that anymore.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:11 PM

24. The reporter who wrote the article you cited is an idiot. Both of your links lead back to the same

reporter, who apparently has a great deal of trouble with reading comprehension.

The NLRB did not find that the school itself---Chicago Math and Science Academy-- was a private entity. The non-profit contracted to run it, CMSA, is a private entity, and thus the teachers must organize under federal, not state law. This distinction is important, and underscores the problem of relying on an education reporter and a music teacher for legal analysis.


The issue in this case is whether a private, nonprofit
corporation that established and operates a public charter
school
in Chicago, Illinois, is exempt from our jurisdiction
because assertedly it is a political subdivision of the
State of Illinois within the meaning of Section 2(2) of the
National Labor Relations Act.1 The union that seeks to
represent teachers employed at the school—under Illinois
law—argues that the Board lacks jurisdiction. In contrast,
the nonprofit corporation itself has filed an election
petition with the Board and argues that the Act does apply.


http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RM-001768

Private non-profits should not be recognized as governmental entities as a general rule, even when contracted to run public services, such as a public school-- the NLRB decision is exhaustive in its analysis.

A suggestion--if you are going to report on a legal decision, then 1) read it, and 2) give a direct link to it.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:13 PM

31. I suggest you not call 3 sources idiots.

And would you explain to me why they claim to be private yet want that public money to fund them? They want the money, but they want no regulation by local districts.

I wonder if maybe that fact that they fired the teacher who led the organizing to be union might show their intent.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:41 PM

36. It's three blogs that use the same reporter, who is an idiot. These aren't 3 different 'sources.'

Did you bother to read the decision you are reporting on?

The reason I ask this is because the questions you are asking are all answered in the decision. So, either you haven't read the decision, or you missed the parts where your questions are answered.

But, to recap the NLRB decision--the charter school remains a public school. The organization contracted to run it is a private non-profit, pursuant to Illinois charter law. You, and your source conflate the two entities.

The NLRB decision found that the non-profit could not be considered a governmental entity, although it is subject to close regulation, so therefore, 2(2) of the NLRA applies, which means any union must organize under federal, not state law.

Now, madfloridian, perhaps you could tell us why that decision was incorrectly rendered.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #36)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:08 AM

38. I suggest you read again. One is from last year. One refers to another article.

I linked to the article to show there was far more in it and needed to be read.

One of them is from last year, and it is mine. I am no idiot, never have been.

I don't know why you do this to me and others all the time, but I do not post lies.

I heard things were getting rough here, and I agree. I have over 10 years at DU with 77,000 posts. I am called a troll and Obama hater.

You are nitpicking my posts very unreasonably.

There is harm being done here by the constant attacks on longtime members. It would be easier to just walk away again, but if all of us do that the only ones left will be effing attacking each other.

And all that will be left is genuflecting instead of questioning policies.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:19 AM

40. Nitpicking? I'm asking you to read the decision you are reporting on!

You write OP's on legal decisions--but when you are questioned about the legal decisions, you say you are being called a "troll and Obama hater."

If you are going to critique legal decisons, don't you think you ought to read them?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:23 PM

26. Arne Duncan and Rahm Emmanuel, two of the worst threats to the

Public Schools ever. Even Bush's SOE backed off and airc, resigned, after calling Teachers' Unions 'terrorists' . But now we have 'Democrats' going even further and the Left is suddenly silent.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:31 PM

28. This is an NLRB decision. What do either men have to do with it? Neither the City, nor the DOE

opined on the matter.

Not to inject facts into this, but the school in question was chartered long before either men came into office.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:30 PM

29. The fact is that those two men have been enemies of the Public School

system from the beginning. If you know those facts, if you do not know Arne Duncan's role in the destruction of the Public School system, and Rahm Emmanuel's then I can't help that.

If we had a SOE who supported teachers, who even knew something about actual education, the NLRB decision would get nowhere.

But for the past four years, Arne Duncan has displayed his ignorance of education time and time again, and I cannot think of a worse choice for the role of SOE than Duncan. As for Rahm, the man has done nothing but attack the Public School System every chance he gets.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:43 PM

30. +1

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:20 PM

32. Well, I guess if they had a time machine, they could go back to 2005, when the school was chartered,

revoke the charter, and then make sure that no case like that ever, ever got to the NLRB. OK.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:29 PM

35. This has nothing to do with the date of the charter. Don't hijack a thread...

on something that is not the issue.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:45 PM

37. I wasn't the one who brought up Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel. Take it up with the poster who did.nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:09 AM

39. Sabrina was right to bring it up. This ugly reform arose in Chicago and we need to say it...

out loud.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:26 AM

41. Well, if Sabrina's gonna bring it up, I'm gonna comment. You are free to put me on ignore. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:34 AM

42. Nope, I am not putting anyone on ignore.

14 people already have me there because I am either a troll or Obama-hater.

If I can't handle the heat here....well you know the rest of it.

It just makes me sad to see so much dissension and even mocking and ridicule.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #42)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:51 AM

43. 14 people have you on ignore, and that makes you a "troll or Obama-hater?"

I think you see persecution that is easily explained by simple disdain for your manner of posting. This is an Internet board--not everyone has to like you.


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Response to msanthrope (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:27 AM

44. Ha, and not everyone does for sure.

I think I hold the record for the most ignores in the shortest time back.

But then I am sure there are others who hold the record for making sure I know I'm no longer welcome because of my "one-note" postings.



And no, they actually use those words and call me such silly stuff as troll and obama-hater.



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Response to madfloridian (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:44 PM

46. Link, please to posts where you are called "troll" or "Obama-hater." nt

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:20 PM

33. Arne has harmed education more than Rod Paige did.

And he is not backing off one bit. Yes, the left is silent now because Bush's policy is now Obama's policy.

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