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madfloridian

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,670

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

Jessa Duggar compares Holocaust genocide of 11 million people to abortion.

Behind that sweet smile is a highly judgmental attitude toward those who face what are often life and death decisions to abort...a decision that is between a patient, her family, her physician. It is not nor should it be a religious decision.

Jessa Duggar Compares Abortion to the Holocaust Because This Is the World We Live In



The 19 Kids and Counting star recently visited Washington, D.C.'s Holocaust Museum and rather than absorbing the atrocity of one of the greatest horrors in recent history, she decided to leverage the genocide of 11 million people to support her view on abortion.

"I walked through the Holocaust Museum again today... very sobering. Millions of innocents denied the most basic and fundamental of all rights — their right to life," Duggar wrote on Instagram with a photo of a concentration camp. "One human destroying the life of another deemed 'less than human.' Racism, stemming from the evolutionary idea that man came from something less than human; that some people groups are 'more evolved' and others 'less evolved.' A denying that our Creator — GOD — made us human from the beginning, all of ONE BLOOD and ONE RACE, descendants of Adam. The belief that some human beings are 'not fit to live.' So they're murdered. Slaughtered. Kids with Down syndrome or other disabilities. The sickly. The elderly. The sanctity of human life varies not in sickness or health, poverty or wealth, elderly or pre-born, little or lots of melanin , or any other factor."

Duggar, 21, proceeded to quote from the Bible, writing: "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?" (Proverbs 24:10-12) May we never sit idly by and allow such an atrocity to happen again. Not this generation. We must be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Because EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS. #ProLife"


I was impressed by this last paragraph by the TV Guide reporter.

The Holocaust claimed the lives of 6 million Jews and 5 million others, including gay people, gypsies, communists and those with disabilities. They were subjected to horrific experiments, mass exterminated and worked to death if they weren't killed on sight. Abortion is a legal procedure that one in three women undergoes. By legalizing abortion, it has helped reduce the number of unsafe and illegal means of abortion, which is a leading killer of pregnant women. Whatever your stance on abortion, comparing it to the Holocaust is tone-deaf, insensitive and irresponsible.


The Games Charter Schools Play.

The Games Charter Schools Play

Frank Breslin is a retired high-school teacher with 40 years of experience in the New Jersey public school system, where he taught English, Latin, German, and social studies.


The first game is cherry-picking.

Rarely, do they accept students with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, autism, ADHD, speech or language impairment, behavioral problems, or immigrant children still learning English, since these students tend to test poorly and would lower a charter's overall average.

.....However, sometimes, a few students who do test poorly are accepted, and only later then asked to leave after a charter has received the public-school money that comes with these students.


The other game is trickier.

Charters play a second game. They seem to have a curious split-personality whenever it suits them. In one breath, they claim to be public schools entitled to taxpayer money, while, in the next, they claim they are not, being private schools exempt from public-school accountability.

This seems a bizarre self-contradiction. Charters claim that they're private schools in being able to admit only certain students, yet when they do accept taxpayer money, they're legally bound to accept everyone! But when they, in fact, accept only certain students, they are not entitled to taxpayer money! Is this legal or logical?


In fact back in 2011 one charter school claimed to be private, but still got 23 million dollars.

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

Charter schools: Public or private?

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"


In 2013 NCLB decided Chicago charter school is really private, subject to private sector laws.

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.


The author decides the charters can get away with these games because after all:

And that, more importantly, charters were here to stay with no need of any legal justification whatsoever because, in the end, Big Money talks!

Cuomo: Still won't cater to teachers' union. Says he doesn't need their endorsement.

He's planning on treating teachers and other employees the same as before. In 2010 he and his running mate announced they would take on public employee unions....and they did.

"What the Democratic Party is all about is growth and change," Cuomo said. "It's a new day. There are new problems that need new approaches. And that is what's meant by the new Democratic Party."

.."One change from the "old" Democratic party seems to be the willingness of Cuomo and his running mate Robert Duffy to take on a powerful constituency -- the public employee unions. Duffy has battled with union leaders in Rochester over some of his controversial proposals, including his call for more control of city schools. Cuomo says he respects that.

"Yes, he tangled with public employee unions," Cuomo said. "Guess what, we're going to be tangling with public employee unions going forward."


AND he's going to do it again when re-elected. He's proud of his stance against public employee unions.

Cuomo: No Shift In Treatment Of Teachers In Second Term

From State of Politics:


Asked about whether he’s shifting his tactics post-primary, Cuomo said he wouldn’t change his approach to public workers and teachers labor organizations.

“I knew what I was doing when I did not cater to the teachers union. I didn’t have to take the endorsement of the teachers union the first time, by the way.”


He's probably right. He apparently doesn't need teachers on board to win. I wonder if that is true of the nation-wide races coming up this year.

I think they believe it to be true, that teachers are not a necessary factor for winning...because there has not been one single solitary favorable move toward this group since 2009.


Curmudgucation: Directory of Anti-Teacher Trolls

From Peter Greene at Curmudgucation blog.

This was posted after the anti-tenure for teachers ruling in California.

If there is any group that has been emboldened by the California court's fact-free finding against teacher job protections, it has been the legion of anti-teacher trolls. From mainstreamish media like Slate to the usual bloggy outposts, teacher bashing trollery is in high gear.


Directory of Anti-Teacher Trolls

Just a few, more at the link.


"Those Damn Unions" Troll

It's the damn teachers union. Teachers all want to go sleep at their desks because the union will protect them. The union does nothing but protect bad teachers. In fact, the union actually goes out, recruits bad teachers, and then cleverly forces administrations to give these crappy teachers tenure. The union also elected Obama President, and they have the power to bend all elected officials to their will (except for Rand Paul). Union leaders have a giant pile of money that they like to swim in a la Scrooge McDuck; they use it to buy all the elections and all the power.

Teacher Hater Troll

Teachers are the single biggest obstacle to education today. They are only in it for the power and the glory. Well, no-- they also became teachers because they knew that would put them in the best position to interfere with the education of American students, which is every teacher's goal. Teachers hate children, and they hate learning, so they become teachers so they can devote their entire lives to destroying those things. It's perfectly logical.

Race To The Bottom Troll

The guy who cooks the fries at McDonalds does not have tenure or make any more than minimum wage or get vacations, so neither should teachers. The guy who dropped out of school in tenth grade and now works part-time at Mega-Mart doesn't have job security, and he barely makes enough to pay his cellphone bill, so why should teachers not have to struggle, too? There are employers in this country who force their workers to toil in unconscionable conditions; why should we fight to improve those conditions when we can fight to drag teachers down to that crappy level instead.

...Like A Business Troll

You know, in every other job, you get judged on your performance and then rewarded or fired accordingly. Personally, I would have been a useless lazy bastard at my job except that my boss was always looking over my shoulder. People suck unless you threaten them. Nobody threatens teachers enough; that's why they all suck. All the best businesses like, you know, big investment banks like Lehman Brothers or energy companies like Enron-- those totally function on accountability.



How would you answer this test question? From a 1st grade Common Core test.



More about this issue from CBS this morning.

Educators, parents debate the Common Core

There is a video included. Note the words of Principal Carol Burris, who worked on Obama's campaign.

I am not against standards. We always had standards when I was teaching. And we knew that as quickly as Florida had weather changes, the standards would change, the name of the standards would change.....and we were told often that what and how we taught the last few years would damage children if we continued.

I am not against standards. I am against the high stakes testing of such standards. I am against making companies like Pearson wealthy by letting them formulate tests in secret. Before I retired there were parents in my primary classes hiring lawyers to see why their kids failed the FCAT.

I would love to read the letter that President Obama sent Carol Burris who worked on his campaign...the one she put away in the closet because it was so upsetting to her.

SO how would you answer the test question?

Florida schools that now have military weapons, armored trucks, MRAPs. Well-armed.

Putting this in General Discussion because these are places of education.

Pinellas schools buy assault rifles from military surplus program

The Pinellas County School District has purchased 28 M-16 assault rifles from the federal government and is preparing to assign them to school police officers in the coming weeks, the chief of the police unit said Wednesday.

....The district is one of at least 120 education organizations, including the University of South Florida, that have received military gear as part of a Defense Department program that came under increased scrutiny in August after the heavily armed police response to tensions in Ferguson, Mo.

....School police Chief Rick Stelljes said his department has wanted to purchase M-16 rifles, which he calls "long guns," for at least two years but was prohibited by cost. He said the government's program allowed him to buy each rifle for $50, significantly less than the $900 to $1,000 he would have otherwise paid.

....USF (Univ of South Florida, Tampa) was one of four universities in the state to receive rifles. The others were Florida International University, the University of North Florida and the University of Central Florida.

In the past five years, USF's police force received 20 M-16 assault rifles and a Humvee from the federal program in an effort to ensure officers weren't outgunned in the event of a Virginia Tech-style attack, Assistant Chief Chris Daniel said.


But there's more. And Pinellas schools received more than listed in that article.

Florida Schools Get Major Fire Power Through Controversial Military Surplus Program

According to the database, Pinellas County School police is in the only K-12 district in the state to receive surplus military tactical equipment. It received 2 armored trucks, 2 MRAPs and 22 M16s.

...Bay County Schools also received seven M16s and a .45 caliber pistol, and Palm Beach County schools received two .45 caliber pistols.

...According to the database, Florida International University received an MRAP and 49 M16 rifles. The University of North Florida got eleven M16s.

The University of Central Florida received 11 M16s and a grenade launcher that was converted to fire tear gas. A UCF spokesman said the guns were used in an incident last year when school police officers had to confront a heavily armed student.

The University of Florida got an armored truck and the University of South Florida in Tampa got twenty M16 rifles.


According to the article, several school districts say they will give some of the weapons back because of all the criticism. Maybe they hoped no one would notice.

NYC Educator's take on the infighting between 2 groups suing teachers to kill due process rights.

A day or so ago I wrote about how Mona Davids and Campbell Brown had their lawsuits against teachers combined by a judge. They are in a big battle with each other.

A judge consolidated a pair of lawsuits challenging teacher tenure in New York on Thursday — but the two people behind the cases couldn’t be farther apart.

Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union, who filed the first legal action, made wild accusations Thursday against Campbell Brown, who filed the second.

“This is our lawsuit. We will not be bullied by Campbell Brown,” said Davids, who passed out fake dollars bearing Brown’s likeness at a bizarre press conference outside Staten Island Supreme Court.


The NYC Educator called it Besieged At Every Angle.

Beseiged at Every Angle

It's pretty fun to watch Mona Davids and Campbell Brown bicker over who is best to curtail the right of working teachers to due process. Who wins the prize for hating working teachers more? I read that Mona was passing out fake money with Campbell Brown's face on it. After all, how dare Campbell Brown be more famous, have more money, and get more attention than Mona? Who the hell does she think she is?

It's amusing to see someone like Mona fighting money and influence. After all, causes she espouses would not even exist without it. There is no teacher crisis. There is no need for insane and incomprehensible rating systems to fire teachers. And the fact is, even if the handful of examples Campbell Brown walks around reciting like a studious fourth-grader were true the remedy would not be curtailing the rights and academic freedom of all.

In fact, it's a pretty well-established practice in bigotry to use examples of the few to tar the many. Let's not even focus on an ethnic or religious group and rather look at actual criminals. It's a fact that they exist. Were we to extrapolate the Davids-Brown philosophy, we'd eliminate the court system altogether because the guilty are sometimes acquitted. Let's stop coddling the accused with trials and lawyers. If some cop says you're guilty, that's good enough for us. That's pretty much what the teacher-bashers advocate when they say you should be left at the tender mercies of a tool like Dennis Walcott. And the more I see of Carmen Farina the more I wonder whether she's much of a step up.

.....It's so tiring to wonder whether or not the people we pay to represent us will be standing with us or those who'd destroy us. I know that Mulgrew wants to punch me in the face because I oppose Common Core. For now, he's defending our due process. But he seriously weakened it when he helped write the APPR law that can place the burden of proof on us rather than administration.


They don't want to share the dubious honor of filing an anti-teacher lawsuit...each wants to claim it exclusively.


Scotland's Unicorn. Interesting background.

From Scottish at Heart:

The Mystical Unicorn Of Scotland



Scots have a strong sentimental streak under that practical and reserved exterior, and Scottish culture is rich in superstitions, myths and legends.

So, choosing a heraldic symbol as awe-inspiring as the unicorn makes perfect sense!

In the 5th Century AD, interpretation of a passage in the Hebrew Old Testament described an animal that scholars believed was a Unicorn.

...This may be the beginning of their association with Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, which is the basis for the legends that claimed only a Virgin could tame the Unicorn.

...The Persians, the Romans, the Greek philosophers ,and even ancient Jewish scholars, all describe a horse-like creature whose single horn had magical properties that could heal any disease or illness.

The 2 groups filing lawsuits in NY against teachers' due process are fighting each other.

Two women with separate lawsuits to challenge teacher tenure are at odds

A judge consolidated a pair of lawsuits challenging teacher tenure in New York on Thursday — but the two people behind the cases couldn’t be farther apart.

Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union, who filed the first legal action, made wild accusations Thursday against Campbell Brown, who filed the second.

“This is our lawsuit. We will not be bullied by Campbell Brown,” said Davids, who passed out fake dollars bearing Brown’s likeness at a bizarre press conference outside Staten Island Supreme Court.



Enid Alvarez/New York Daily News Mona Davids has filed a lawsuit seeking changes to teacher tenure, but she doesn't see eye to eye with Campbell Brown, who also filed similar legal action.

And the article is more favorable to Campbell Brown, which just illustrates the state of journalism lately. This is a news article, not an editorial.

Brown sought to stay above the fray. “Our view has always been, the more parents, lawyers and families supporting this effort, the better,” Brown said.

A group that gathered at the courthouse to support tenure said the mudslinging and lawsuits distracted from important issues.



Campbell Brown

More from Capitol New York.

Anti-tenure plaintiff attacks would-be ally Campbell Brown

A would-be alliance in the battle over New York's teacher-tenure laws fell apart Thursday, as parent-activist Mona Davids held a press conference to attack CNN anchor-turned-education reformer Campbell Brown.

The drama between Davids and Brown, who are each suing to invalidate the state's tenure laws, threatens to delegitimize their shared legal argument which has, at least on its face, a chance of succeeding considering the positive result for anti-tenure reformers in the Vergara vs. California case earlier this summer.

....Davids, head of a group called the New York City Parents Union, accuses Brown of trying to steal the spotlight and divert resources away from her case.

"Campbell Brown is is trying to reform her image and make herself relevant on the backs of black and Hispanic children, our children. This is our lawsuit," Davids said at a press conference where members of her group held up fake $100 bills with Brown's screaming face in the middle and signs that read "Campbell Brown does not speak for NYC parents."


The Parents Union which has formed nationwide is the group which pushed the Parent Trigger Act in which a group of parents can take over a school, decide which charter group will get the nod. Actually it was formed by charter school groups. (The parents risk losing their power when the charter group takes over, I fear.)

This is not a healthy situation for students or teachers or parents. But for those funders who back the lawsuits there is much profit at stake if unions have less power.

David Boies plans to strip teachers of due process rights state by state.

I can't begin to fathom how harmful it is to say teachers' due process rights harm civil rights. It is amazing how Boies and Campbell Brown and others are simply getting away with it...the media never questions it.

David Boies, eyeing education through a civil rights lens

David Boies, the superlawyer who chairs a group that is trying to overturn teacher tenure laws in New York and elsewhere, said Monday that his organization is not looking to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court — at least not in the short run.


Well, thank goodness for that at least.

Last month, Boies became chairman of the Partnership for Educational Justice, a group founded by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown to challenge teacher tenure laws. The group says that tenure laws make it too costly and difficult to get rid of weak teachers and that poor students are saddled with the worst educators.

A similar group based in California — led by lawyers Ted Olson and Ted Boutrous, with whom Boies worked on the Supreme Court case regarding gay marriage — challenged and won a judgment in a Los Angeles court against that state’s tenure laws. The judge found that tenure laws violate students’ civil rights under the state constitution. The teachers union and Gov. Jerry Brown are appealing.


This is what he plans to do.

Boies said in an interview with The Washington Post that he is crafting a state-by-state strategy regarding teacher tenure because many state constitutions explicitly require the provision of an equal education to all public school students.


All these lawsuits against teachers' due process rights....a hearing before being fired...are putting the blame on teachers for ills that are not their fault at all.

I don't think I could have stood up for the rights of my students if I had not had a continuing contract behind me. That did not mean I could not be fired, but it meant that there had to be just cause.

I could give so many examples. This one stands out because of the child's suffering. A 2nd grader in my class years ago had serious kidney and bladder problems. Because of their religious views the parents would not take him to the doctor for treatment. We even worked out a way they could go now, pay later, but they instead had a violent reaction to our (guidance counselor and I) even talking to them about it.

They threatened to sue me, they were furious. I told them they would have to do what they had to do, but that their child was suffering. I told them of his daily embarrassments and tears. They were not even moved by it. I could take a firm stand because I had tenure (due process)...and even if the principal agreed with them there would have to be just cause. The principal in fact was running scared of a possible religious controversy, not sure how it would have gone.

We had to resolve it through child services.

So to Mr Boies, go ahead with your crusade against teachers' right to due process before being fired. You will probably win because the money, the power, and the media are all on your side.

But the children will have lost. Teachers will fear being advocates for children if they are in a tenuous position with an administration that wants no controversy.

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