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madfloridian

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,325

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

Leading candidate for IL gov wants to shut down government, mass fire government employees.

So please explain to me why he is the leading candidate? Do the people of Illinois really want that to happen? I find that hard to believe. Hopefully polls are wrong this early on.

From David Sirota:

Bruce Rauner, GOP Candidate for Illinois Governor, Promises Government Shutdown and Mass Firing of Public Workers

The video is from last year, but it has just surfaced.

In a newly surfaced video, Illinois' Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner suggested that, if elected governor, he will fire public employees and potentially shut the government down in order to address his state's fiscal challenges.

The video, circulated today by the Illinois Federation of Teachers, shows Rauner addressing the Tazewell County Republican dinner in March. In remarks to that group, Rauner said: "We may have to go through rough times. We may have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. Sort of have to do a do-over and shut things down for a little while. That's what we're gonna do."


Here's what Reagan did in 1981. The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike. Reagan fired 11,000 of their workers, and he decertified their union.

Someone needs to tell the supporters of Bruce Rauner just what Reagan did. Maybe they have forgotten their history lessons.

Rauner is considered a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, as he has been consistently leading in polls in his election matchup against incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. His rhetoric against public employees stands in contrast to his business experience as a billionaire private equity executive who made his fortune managing government workers' public pension money.


About the polls, from July 29.

Rauner ahead in polls as Quinn counterpunches

In a ‘We Ask America’ poll conducted yesterday, Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner is leading incumbent Pat Quinn in the Illinois gubernatorial race by 14 points. To use a boxing analogy, Rauner is winning the early rounds by being more active, but now, Quinn has apparently stopped ‘feeling out’ Rauner and is ready to throw some punches himself.

..Per the poll, if the election were held today, 47 percent would vote for Rauner and 33 percent would vote for Quinn. That still left 20 percent undecided. But, in a June ‘We Ask America’ poll, Rauner was leading Quinn by 10 points. The timing of how Quinn is responding to the poll is worth noting.

....It is early in the fight. Expect a lot more – especially during and after the state fair. That’s when the gloves come off.





Founder of Parents Transparency Project refuses to reveal funding sources. Not so transparent.

From David Sirota:

In Push Against Teachers Unions, Campbell Brown Refuses to Release Names Of Funders

The founder of a high-profile group seeking to weaken teacher tenure laws refuses to reveal who is funding her efforts, despite her organization's stated aim to "bring transparency" to education policymaking. Campbell Brown, a former CNN news anchor who founded the Parents Transparency Project and the Partnership for Educational Justice, rejected the request for details about her funders during her appearance on "The Colbert Report" Thursday night to discuss a new lawsuit.

The suit aims to get New York courts to mimic a recent court ruling in California, which weakens union-negotiated teacher tenure laws. Brown said her group is "helping and supporting" the lawsuit, which was filed this week. Asked who is funding her group, Brown told show-host Stephen Colbert: "I’m not going to reveal who the donors are." She defended her secrecy on the grounds that critics "are also going to go after people who are funding this."


Sirota points out that unions could not get away with such tactics. They must reveal sources of funding.

As Brown keeps the identity of her financial backers under wraps, her organization describes itself as a group "whose mission is to bring transparency" to education policymaking.

Politico has reported that under current law, Department of Labor rules require unions to "disclose more than many political groups about their internal operations," funding and expenditures. By contrast, many political groups seeking to limit teachers unions' workplace rights and replace traditional public schools with privately run, union-free charter schools have been able to keep the identity of their benefactors shrouded in secrecy, though periodic leaks have shed at least some light on the funders.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:59 PM (1 replies)

10 Reasons to be against unions.

From AFSCME on Twitter

Yes, this is like the "Parents Revolution" movement which was funded by charter school leaders.

Someone above mentioned it. They don't refer to it as that very often anymore, but the fact still remains that it was not really a grassroots movement at all.....it was funded and founded by billionaire reformers. Sort of like the "grassroots" group called Freedom Works...remember that?

It's faux astroturf, fake grassroots.

"Parent Revolution"? Not really. Not grassroots. Started by charter school companies.

Parent Revolution claims to call for increasing parental authority over public education. But as a longtime advocate of parents taking active roles in education both at home and at school, I find this organization’s message to be a fraudulent promissory note, asking parents to believe that — when their note is cashed with the parents’ signature — Julio and Jamal will learn to read.

....Parent Revolution? Not really. The organization was founded by a group of charter school operators led by Green Dot Public Schools, which already operates several schools in Los Angeles. Green Dot’s founder, Steve Barr, also served as chairman of Parent Revolution’s board of directors.

..."I next met up with the well-financed organization in Sacramento, where it shuttled a busload of wishful parents, wearing Parent Revolution T-shirts, to testify before the State Board of Education.

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, Parent Revolution has more than enough dinero to keep up the rhetoric and the supporting antics. But that obscures real educational issues and keeps their followers from asking about the group’s real agenda, which unfortunately is all about charter schools, and not about Julio and Jamal or their sisters and brothers ever becoming educated.


There's a good find at Schools Matter by a blogger there. In effect the Broad Foundation admits its donation to Parents Revolution is to form more charter schools.

However, the most important discovery made during this investigation was a sizable $50,000 contribution from the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation to Parent Revolution on their 2009 990 Form. Corporate charter charlatan Ben Austin constantly states that his organization supports "parent empowerment" and is leading a "dynamic social movement" "committed to a kids-first agenda where parents have a real voice in their kids’ futures." Sounds very noble no? Well, in a rare lapse of candor, the Broad donation defines both the purpose of their contributions and Parent Revolution's raison d'être:

"To support efforts to help Charter Management Organizations apply for new LAUSD schools under LAUSD's School Choice Resolution"

This puts to lie all of Austin's bluster about a "kids-first agenda" and reminds us that school privatization and growing charter school market share is Parent Revolution's only agenda.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Aug 1, 2014, 01:35 PM (1 replies)

Campbell Brown won't name funders cause they will be harassed. Her BS is getting deeper. Video.

I just watched her interview with Stephen Colbert. She is so annoying and superior and condescending to teachers.

Colbert at the end says he "respects.." her....because there is no one else sitting "at the table" with him. He admits it's unusual to have protestors outside his show.

It's amazing to me that she would admit to not naming her funders, her sponsors...because they would be harassed. Oh, my..okay for her to harass teachers by trying to get rid of their due process, but we certainly don't want her rich funders annoyed.

The video is at Crooks and Liars

Mrs. Dan Senor has a new project to keep her busy this summer and fall. As the new school year looms on the horizon, Campbell Brown 'tearfully' announced that she has no option but to file a lawsuit in New York that looks just like the recently-decided Vergara v. California.

....Colbert does a terrific job of untangling her public relations spin and getting to the bottom of things, but even he couldn't get any answers to who her financial backers might be. While yelping about how the protesters at the gate were trying to shut down a conversation about the "crisis" state of public education -- hello, Shock Doctrine -- she demurred from answering any questions about her donors, saying they would be harassed.

One of the student-plaintiffs is affiliated with StudentsFirst New York. Dan Senor is a board member for StudentsFirst New York. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that if you know who funds StudentsFirst, you'll get an idea of who is funding the lawsuit.

With all of that out of the way, sit back and watch Colbert try like hell to get something besides PRspeak out of union-busting Brown.


I like it when Colbert asked her how they are "helping" the students and parents...he asks if she is giving them cash or what.

Once career teachers can easily be replaced by cheaper less experienced teachers, the situation is ripe for the "reformers" to move in. Changing teaching from a career to a temp job...it's the public school teachers with few resources versus the billionaire boys' club moving in to profit from our students.

She sounds so much like Arne Duncan. They both talk in glittering generalities and use public relations speak. Trying to get them to give a real answer to a real question is impossible.

Getting deeper by the minute.

Editing post to give a new link to the video...since the other was taken down.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/08/01/stephen-colbert-to-campbell-brown-why-are-we-blaming-the-teachers-maybe-its-the-dumb-kids/

See the really big smiles of Campbell Brown and Plaintiffs as they sue teachers for due process.

They absolutely look radiant, so happy. They are filing a suit against teachers who have due process rights. They are well-funded, ready to begin their fight against public schools teachers.
Campbell's husband, Dan Senor, is not pictured. However he is joining his wife in her fight against public education.

He was a major architect of the Iraq invasion, but since he is on the board of Michelle Rhee's group Students First he is in a position to help in the anti-union anti-teacher fight.

Teacher Tenure Fight Comes to New York City


Plaintiffs backed by Campbell Brown file suit to overturn teacher tenure laws. (WNYC)

I doubt that cheering little girl has understanding of this situation.

Seven parents filed a lawsuit with New York State Supreme Court on Monday seeking to overturn teacher tenure laws that they said prevent their children from receiving a "sound basic education" that is guaranteed by New York State’s constitution.

“Having bad teachers who can’t be removed, having a rating system which makes a mockery of a legitimate rating system for teachers, these are all systematic deprivations of the right to a sound education," said attorney Jay Lefkowitz. His firm, Kirkland and Ellis, is working pro bono for a new group called the Partnership for Educational Justice founded by former TV anchor Campbell Brown. They note that more than 90 percent of the state's teachers were rated effective or highly effective in 2012 but only 31 percent of state students were proficient on their math and reading tests in 2013.

The suit follows on the heels of the controversial Vergara ruling in California against tenure protections in June. Of the seven plaintiffs named in the suit, five are from New York City and two from Rochester.

Bronx resident Angeles Barragan said her daughter fell behind due to an incompetent teacher who didn’t assign homework and didn’t help her child learn to read. Now Natalie is repeating second grade at Kings College School P.S. 94.


Notice no blame is assigned to the student, no blame to the parent. Only the teacher.

This is very similar to the overturning of teacher due process rights in California recently. The parents and students stand publicly blaming only the teacher.

I find myself wondering to myself, but never out loud of course....were rewards given to these parents for their efforts? And the students who were paraded in public...did they really understand the implications of what they were doing?

Just like the California ruling, the plaintiffs are pictured publicly. Mainly students. Do they really understand?

Michelle Rhee is smiling.


Attorneys Theodore Boutrous, far right, and Marcellus McRae, second from right , are joined by nine California public school students who sued the state to abolish its laws on teacher tenure, seniority and other protections, during a news conference in January.

The union said:

"This suit is not pro-student. It is fundamentally anti-public education, scapegoating teachers for problems originating in underfunding, poverty, and economic inequality," California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt said.

The CTA described Students Matter as a group created by Silicon Valley multimillionaire David Welch and a private public relations firm and said the group is supported by former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor "Michelle Rhee and Students First, Parent Revolution Executive Director Ben Austin, billionaire and school privatizer Eli Broad, former lawmaker Gloria Romero, and other corporate education reformers with an interest in privatizing public education and attacking teachers' unions."


This is basically a sad time in America's history of public education. It is sort of like the beginning of the end for a proud tradition.

Instead of giving schools needed resources, the policy of this administration is taking those resources, and lot of money....from public schools. They are giving it to private companies who want to form charter schools that are not regulated financially or educationally.



London yesterday, July 26. Huge rally for Palestine. Video.

Published on Jul 26, 2014

Thousands March In Free Palestine Protest, London 26th July 2014
PHOTOS HERE: http://www.demotix.com/news/5372515/t...

Footage taken on Whitehall outside Downing Street.



Delightful! Fox News station calls out Rick Scott on being expert question dodger. Great video.

Watch those eyes. He thinks he's so clever.

Those famous "educators", Campbell Brown and Dan Senor, on attack against NY teachers.

This is a perfect example of why education "reformers" have so much influence, though they know little about education. There is money and power behind them, and the media loves them. Teachers have little money and influence, and there are only a few bloggers telling their side of it.

How in the world did a former CNN anchor and an Iraq war architect get the credibility to move into New York public education? Who gave them the authority to try and force teachers to lose due process and collective bargaining rights?

There's a important graph at Muckety. Also an article about them.

Brown and Senor take on New York teachers





TV journalist Campbell Brown and Republican strategist Dan Senor are becoming the first couple of school reform.

Brown, a former CNN anchor, is the founder of Partnership for Educational Justice, which wants to abolish teacher tenure in New York.

Her husband, Senor, is a former adviser to the Romney campaign and spokesman for the Bush administration’s Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Senor is on the board of StudentsFirstNY, another group that has faced off against the teachers unions. The organization is an affiliate of StudentsFirst, founded by former DC school chancellor Michelle Rhee.

The couple’s school connections overlap in many ways, as illustrated in the interactive Muckety map above. StudentsFirst and Success Academy share funders and board members, including billionaire hedge funder Daniel Loeb.




Don't miss Salon's article today by very capable education writer, Jeff Bryant. Love its digs at Michelle Rhee.

A reeling Michelle Rhee passes the lead to Campbell Brown

For years, Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chancellor, has been upheld in the media as someone with the formula and fight required to “fix” public schools.

...Supported by shadowy money and shaky science, these wealthy folks have created a “blame teachers first” campaign that seeks to address education problems rooted in inequality and low investment by attacking teachers’ job protections and professional status. Their efforts are, of course, “for the children.”

...But recent developments in the career trajectory of Rhee may have prompted the Blame Teachers First crowd to pick a new front person to lead their campaign: former CNN anchor Campbell Brown.

..Rhee’s Sullied Reputation

However you feel about Rhee and her campaign to label “ineffective” teachers as the cause of just about everything wrong with public education, her luster certainly seems to be waning.


I wonder how New York teachers feel right now while waiting the same shenanigans that led up to the teachers of California losing their due process rights in court?



Holocaust survivor speaks out for Gaza. Amazing statement.

Found at Twitter



I looked up more about Reuven Moskovitz and found this article from 2010. He is quite an activist. From BBC

Jewish activists sail to Gaza in defiance of blockade

Richard Kuper, a member of the UK-based organising group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said it was a symbolic act of protest and also a message of solidarity to "Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice".

"This is a non-violent action," he said.

"We aim to reach Gaza, but our activists will not engage in any physical confrontation and will therefore not present the Israelis with any reason or excuse to use physical force or assault them."

Among the activists is 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz.

"It is a sacred duty for me, as a (Holocaust) survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children," he said.


Well said, Mr. Moskovitz.

Crossposted at Twitter
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