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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 85,434

About Me

Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.

Journal Archives

I taught during toughest times of Florida's school integration years.

Florida was slow in getting around to this. I would say late 60s is when it fully was implemented. It was a trying time on both sides of the aisle. I was in a school in an area with both well-established white and black communities. There was tension on both sides. There was anger, distrust, and a lot of pushing back.

Teachers were in a way on the front lines. The black community loved their school, were attached to their teachers, and most were not pleased at the integration being forced on them. Our school and its teachers and students were wary, not knowing what to expect. Some were blatantly against it, most were thinking how to make everyone feel comfortable and accepted.

Never once was there name calling that I heard. We had to all compromise and negotiate with each other on a daily basis. Those teachers were forced from a school they loved and told to come to ours or were assigned elsewhere. The students and parents were thrown into situations they were not sure how to handle.

There was some resentment. One mother who did not want these changes got upset with me soon after orientation day about something. She said I was sitting in my white ivory tower judging folks. I called her into the room and told her more about my so-called ivory tower which was filled with tragedy about that time. We hugged, decided that we would work together and stop judging.

One parent asked me to go with her to visit their old school so she and her kids could say good-by. Another teacher asked to join us. Other parents were there saying their good-byes as well. Eyes were filled with tears because this kind of change was so hard on everyone.

We got through the rough spots somehow, but it was not easy. Most of us noticed that it wasn't long before mutual respect took the place of some of the resentment.

I have not posted for several weeks, and I will probably stop for a while after this post.

When it all boils down to the basics of what has happened the last few weeks.....it turns out that most of us have supported the goals of Black Lives Matter. Many others like I did donated when it started. There is absolutely no doubt of the need for that group and others like it.

What has been hard to get across is that when you determine that I and others are the enemy, when you assume we are white supremacists who believe we are superior....you take away any way to discuss rationally. There is a premise that if we are white we are automatically racist and misusing white privilege. That is not true in most cases.

Once someone puts me on the defensive with an assumption like that, once nothing I say matters....it's hard to feel good about it.

My gripe was never about the right to protest, it's about the manner of the protest, the way it was done. The screaming and refusal to allow both sides to be heard.

This episode in the end is not about Bernie, he can handle himself very well. It has been a clever subterfuge to make it about Bernie's supporters, which of course it is not. It has made many just quit posting rather than take a chance on hurting their candidate. I am one of them.

I don't like being called a white supremacist. It carries so many ugly connotations, and I don't deserve that. I think if you call people names and say insulting things to them, it's hard to have a conversation.

Arne Duncan: $1.4 Trillion In Student Debt Isn't That Big Of A Deal

$1.4 Trillion In Student Debt Isn't That Big Of A Deal

The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and other federal financial regulators are all worried that the rise in student debt risks slowing economic growth. Bankers worry it'll lead to a decline in other types of lending. Some policymakers are concerned it will hurt home sales, cause a decline in new small businesses and result in lower retirement savings.

Voters are concerned, too, which has led 2016 presidential aspirants to talk about student debt on the stump. Even Donald Trump claims he's worried.

But Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama's education secretary, thinks that's all overblown.

.....Outstanding student debt, which totals nearly $1.4 trillion, has climbed 86 percent since Duncan took office in January 2009, Federal Reserve data show. The figure stood at $730.7 billion three weeks before he took office, and that amount is expected to double by early next year, despite the Obama administration's successful efforts to increase the amount of grants available to students from low-income households.

The words of Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities:

"It strains credulity to assume that the last 18 months of this administration will accomplish that which the six and a half years prior failed to address or take notice of," Nassirian said. "Most of what they've done has been talk. I seriously doubt that much else will change."

No matter how Bernie adjusts his message, it won't be enough. Not ever.

Because in actuality much of this outrage over his messaging is not about Bernie at all. It may have been about Bernie at first at Netroots Nation, but now it has turned into something else.

No other candidate is being scrutinized so closely, no other candidate's every utterance on racial issues is being analyzed word by word. I literally mean word by word.

Not ready to leave DU just yet, so I will not give my interpretation of what it is going on....but it is about far more than Bernie.

He could give a whole speech on how black lives matter, it would not be enough.

To his credit after the Netroots Nation event, he humbled himself as they wished.

He immediately went to work to adjust his message, even though his decades of work already spoke for him.

It doesn't matter what Bernie says, because it's not about Bernie.

He did a brilliant job today against Chuck Todd's idiotic verbal assault loaded with talking points. Yet I have seen posts already analyzing how he could have done it better.

That's how it will be from now on. Because it's not about Bernie. AND it's not about his supporters...so tired of hearing that.

Grumpy old Grandpa...

7 ways Bernie Sanders reminds us of our grumpy grandpa

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is probably best known in Washington for two things. One -- his status as the Senate's only self-identified socialist -- is unique. The other, a bit less so: as even his friends would admit, Bernie Sanders can be kind of a grump -- a charter member of the "get off my lawn" caucus.

The presidential primary challenger to Hillary Clinton is regularly drawing crowds in the thousands for his message decrying income inequality, and his calls for a more even distribution of the nation's wealth. Ask him about the minimum wage. Ask him about Wall Street malfeasance. But whatever you do, don't ask him about, say, the way he likes his coffee. Bernie Sanders isn't big on small talk.

I so relate to the small talk thing.

“I’m a grumpy old guy,” Sanders told The New York Times' Nick Corasaniti in May. He was talking about his approach to the Internet. He could have been talking about his entire political career.

Been on message like forever:

And that "grumpy old man" demeanor actually dates back to his earliest days in politics. Here's Boston Globe's Christopher Rowland on Sanders:

"When I was a reporter for the Brattleboro Reformer in 1988, I covered Sanders on a campaign swing through southern Vermont as he was waging a losing campaign for US House (he won in the next election cycle, in 1990). He was completely humorless, relentlessly focused on the evils of the American corporation. Not self-important, but self-serious to an extreme....

....Yes, those of us who covered him back in the 1980s can attest — this is the real Bernie. He has been on message, it seems like, forever.."

I tend to be on the serious side, so I appreciate that part of his personality.

Found the linked interview from skimm.


Yes, I have 100% lifetime voting record. I believe a woman has the right to control her own body, and not the government.

I strongly supported the Supreme Court decision.

I really haven't thought too much about that.

I don't.

Do you have many of these questions?

With some cream.


They were not "humble enough" and had to be shut down.Words of BLM founder.

Those are the reasons given for the Netroots Nation fiasco.

From Raw Story:

‘We will shut down every single debate’

“He couldn’t take 15 more minutes of the heat,” Cullors said of Sanders in an interview on This Week in Blackness, making reference to the senator ending his appearance as demonstrators at the event walked out en masse.

Journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, who interviewed both Democratic candidates during the forum, later told The Raw Story that he was directed to wrap up his discussion with Sanders 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

Cullors told This Week host L. Joy Williams that she felt neither O’Malley nor Sanders were “humble enough” during their town hall appearance, and called on presidential candidates to be willing to openly discuss issues of race and gender.

“No more skirting around the issues,” Cullor said. “We will shut down every single debate.”

Posting here in the Bernie forum. Out of the GDP until later, much later.

I guess they will let us know when Bernie and Martin are humble enough.

Interesting article on funding, but doesn't go far enough.


I maybe will be in Education and GD, or maybe not.

Bernie Sanders voices concerns about police brutality in Dallas campaign stop

(Link should work now..what a confused mess)

Music used with the permission of Neil Young.

Sounds like quite an appearance. And just like he said in
June of this year, Bernie spoke of police brutality and walking while black. Just like he has been doing.

From Dallas Morning News Trailblazer blog:

Bernie Sanders voices concerns about police brutality in Dallas campaign stop

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sought Sunday during a Dallas visit to calm complaints about his response, at a progressive activists gathering this weekend, to concerns about police brutality.

“We want a nation where a young black man or woman can walk down the street without worrying about being falsely arrested, beaten or killed,” Sanders told more than 8,000 people who packed a Sheraton Hotel ballroom to hear him.

....But on Saturday, Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, got a less-than-friendly reception at Netroots Nation. Attendees chanting “black lives matter” interrupted the pair, and Sanders at one point threatened to leave. By Sunday afternoon, #berniesoblack was trending on Twitter, as users both mocked Sanders’ response and hailed his progressive agenda.

Sanders’ appearance in Dallas, though, drew no protests. The crowd hailed his standard lines on topics from abortion and civil rights to Social Security and corporations.

....Supporters were greeted with revolution-themed song like “Uprising” by Muse, and attendees could be heard laughing as the music changed to “Rocking in the Free World” by Neil Young—a jab at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

(Okay, I checked the link to the Dallas Morning News article, and the text has changed. I gather it's only a freebie one time read only. If anyone has paid they can check the full article. I am leaving as is for now. )

This is crazy stuff. Don't know whether to delete it or leave it.

(Someone just posted correct link. Thanks.)

What Bernie said in June of this year about Black Lives Matter. Did the hecklers know?

The episode yesterday at Netroots Nation has now to me become not about candidate Bernie Sanders, but about far more than that.

Though I support Bernie in the primary, this issue is much deeper and more important to the 2016 election than it is about one person.

It's about groups that attack the very people who are standing for them the most. It's about trying to make two very fine candidates look bad in a public venue. It's about not allowing discussion, demanding that only certain words are acceptable, and shouting out anyone else speaking.

Black Lives Matter is an important and vital group. Yesterday they publicly embarrassed one of their strongest advocates.

What Bernie has said (so far) on Black Lives Matter

From June of this year.

A little over a month ago Bernie Sanders said this:

The Good News is: That you're hearing more and more about that issue. You're hearing about Ferguson, you're hearing about Baltimore, you're hearing about New York City, you're hearing about elsewhere.

The Bad News is: IF you think these issues have just occurred in the last year of two, you'd be sadly mistaken.

The truth is that for many many decades, there have been situations where the Police Officers have treated Prisoners terribly. And even in some cases, absolutely unjustly killed them.

The poster also listed some of the solutions Bernie mentioned.

1) We have to recognize Police have a tough Job. We got to Respect them. They have to be well-paid. And they have to be well-trained.

2) BUT, if a Police Officer does something wrong, like anybody else, they have to be held Accountable for their actions. If they break the Law they have got to be held Accountable.

3) We need to stop the Militarization of Police. Police Departments should NOT look like 'Armies'.

4) Community Policing: In effect, to integrate Police Officers in the Community -- so that they become part of the Community, so that actually know the people by name. We have to end the concept of of the Police as the Oppressors.

What Bernie was saying when the shouts got louder...

“Black people are dying in this country because we have a criminal justice system which is out of control, a system in which over 50% of young African American kids are unemployed. It is estimated that a black baby born today has a one in four chance of ending up in the criminal justice system.”

Rather than listen the protestors shouted him down. He never got to finish talking about it. About 9 minutes in.

The Netroots Nation videos of Bernie and Martin.

Editing to change the link to Bernie's video. Someone just found the full interview, which is the one I saw live. Thank you, Skwmom.

Keep calling our candidates racist. Keep shouting them down without allowing them to speak. There will be no winners at all then.

The Netroots Nation seems mostly pleased with all of it at their twitter feed.


They should apologize to our candidates.

"how strange the politics of education are these days" Diane Ravitch weighs in on ed bills.

Bush I started it all, he even had Diane Ravitch as his assistant Secretary of Education. Later in 2010 Ravitch renounced her support for his policies.

George Bush II pushed even harder for "reform" policies. He got the No Child Left Behind policy in effect. However much of what he wanted to accomplish failed because the Democrats opposed them.

When President Obama took office he adopted those Bush policies and was able to get more done because there was no party opposition.

However the "reforms" were carried to extremes, and though Democrats were still accepting of them....the Republicans started opposing them.

Now it appears the Senate and House bills effectively take away the power of Arne Duncan to threaten states that don't do things his way. Now it appears powers revert back to more local and state control.

More from Diane Ravitch:

She speaks of an amendment put forth by the the Democratic Senator from CT and co-sponsored by Senator Warren. It was supported mostly by Democrats, and the amendment failed. It is tiring to see Democrats keeping on supporting things that will harm students, teachers, and parents.

Murphy Amendment Did NOT Pass, Fortunately

Just to demonstrate how strange the politics of education are these days, one of the key amendments to the Senate “Every Child Achieves Act” was called the Murphy amendment. It failed. It would have revived or worsened the punishments of NCLB. It main supporters were Democrats. Mercedes Schneider describes this amendment (and others) in this post. Schneider writes: “Senator Murphy’s (D-CT) amendment 2241 (which Warren co-sponsored) went up for a vote and was rejected 43-54. The 12-page text of Murphy’s SA 2241 reads more like No Child Left Behind (NCLB), with its detailed prescription for reporting on student test results, for “meaningfully differentiating among all public schools” (i.e., grading schools), including publicly identifying the lowest five percent, and, among interventions, potentially firing staff and offering students the option to transfer to other schools and using part of the budget to pay for the transportation.”

This amendment would have enacted tough, federal-mandated accountability, akin to setting up an “achievement school district” in every state.

She lists those voting for and against.

It is as though Democrats voted to continue the punitive policies of the Bushes, and the Republicans voted against it. So strange.

Ravitch then speaks for the recently formed Network for Public Education:

Senate’s “Every Child Achieves Act” Passes by 81-17

Speaking for the Network for Public Education, I will say that we are pleased to see a decisive rejection of federal micromanagement of curriculum, standards, and assessments, as well as the prohibition of federal imposition of particular modes of evaluating teachers. We oppose annual student testing; no high-performing nation in the world administers annual tests, and there is no good reason for us to do so. We reject the claim that children who are not subjected to annual standardized tests suffer harm or will be neglected. We believe that the standardized tests are shallow and have a disparate impact on children who are Black and Brown, children with disabilities, and children who are English language learners. We believe such tests degrade the quality of education and unfairly stigmatize children as “failures.” We also regret this bill’s financial support for charter schools, which on average do not perform as well as public schools, and in many jurisdictions, perform far worse than public schools. We would have preferred a bill that outlawed the allocation of federal funds to for-profit K-12 schools and that abandoned time-wasting annual testing.

Nonetheless, we support the Senate bill because it draws a close to the punitive methods of NCLB and RTTT. It is an important step forward for children, teachers, and public education. The battle over “reform” now shifts to the states, but we welcome an era in which the voices of parents, educators, and students can mobilize to influence policies in their communities and states. We believe that grassroots groups have a better chance of being heard locally than in Washington, D.C., where Beltway insiders think they speak for the public. We will continue to organize and carry our fight for better education to every state.

The parties have totally switched sides on the reform and privatization of public education.

I have found myself in agreement on education with some of the most extreme tea party bloggers.

It really makes no sense.

Arne's family has gone back to Chicago already and enrolled his kids in private school there...where he used to be CEO of Chicago Public Schools. I have read he will be staying on in DC until the end of Obama's term, even though the powers he had over the states are apparently no more.

Yes, the politics of education are strange, and to me...sad. A Democratic president will have a legacy of not supporting public education as he should.
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