Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 79,894
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 79,894
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.
with some very important words for Democrats of all shapes and sizes before that time comes. There are some important things in the article that still will have a bearing on the elections in the fall.
Galbraith has words for the Democrats.
Yes, he is critical of President Obama, but he is fair and intelligent about it. He is not one whose words are to be taken lightly.
In economic policy it was said earlier we have a lack of narrative. Recently, Gregory King asked why the people didn't know that the Republican Party is uniformly and massively opposed to job programs, to state and local assistance, and to every legislative measure that might aid and promote economic recovery from the worst crisis and recession in modern times. Why is that that they didn't know? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the White House didn't tell them?
For several years now we have been judged not by what we say but by loyalty to party leaders.
And we lost in 2010 to a group of uninformed people who actually stood up and spoke out loudly for their beliefs, confused and wrongheaded though those beliefs might be.
I have paid a price here in my reputation for being critical of the education policies of this administration. Several others have as well. Some don't bother to post about it any more. I think I will continue, but cautiously as the elections near. That's a shame because teachers are being stripped of union rights, dignity, and their careers.....because of bipartisan policy.
Galbraith added one more paragraph that really struck a chord with me.
This isn't a parlor game. The outcome isn't destined to be alright. It will not necessarily end in progress whatever happens. What we do, how we proceed, and how we effectively resist what is plainly about to happen, matters very greatly for the future of our country, of our children, and of another generation to come. We need to lose our fear, our hesitation, and our unwillingness to face the facts. If we thereby lose some of our hopes, let's remember the dictum of William of Orange that "it is not necessary to hope in order to persevere."
This administration has done some good things. I never post about the ACA because I think it's a beginning of what could get better. To even compare President Obama to what is now available in the extremist GOP is laughable.
But this is about more than just Obama. As a retired teacher I notice mostly things that affect teachers, seniors, the needy, and add to that women's rights. Firm stands should have been taken from the start, not thrown in at the last minute to make liberals feel better.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 12:22 AM (24 replies)
From Mother Jones:
GOP Gov. Rick Scott Raising Big Bucks With Founder of Abusive Teen Boot Camps
This Thursday, a who's who of Florida big shots will hold a private, $1,000-a-head fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida and Gov. Rick Scott's reelection effort, led by a host committee that includes Mel Sembler, the founder of a notorious substance abuse rehab program that folded after allegations of extreme abuse were lodged against several of its facilities.
More from Gorenfeld, who formerly wrote for Salon and Alternet and published a book called Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right, and Built an American Kingdom
This is an article from 2005.
His Own Private Abu Ghraib
And there was an article in Florida Trend May 1997 called Money Man Mel Sembler.
Money Man (Mel Sembler)
Welcome to the front lines of big-money political fund raising. Here, in a spacious second-floor office overlooking Central Avenue on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Mel Sembler is shaping the future of Republican Party politics. As the newly appointed finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, Sembler is the point man for the party's $50 million fund-raising campaign this year. Next year that figure will be much larger, he says. But don't expect to hear about the $25 checks from the Ma and Pa America.
And now he's still around helping to get Rick Scott re-elected. From the first link:
After Straight Inc. closed, the education arm of Sembler's organization lived on as a new program named the Drug Free American Foundation, which still exists today. Sembler, after serving as ambassador, continued to fundraise for prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney. He also hosted an event to raise money for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's legal defense fund when the former Bush White House aide was on trial for perjury.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Apr 1, 2014, 04:20 PM (1 replies)
The legislature is trying to pass some bills to expand vouchers to private schools. Right now only the physically or learning handicapped qualify for McKay vouchers, and the poor and needy qualify for others. Both take money from public schools and deplete their resources.
Teachers are constantly held accountable. It's past time that the "reformers" are held responsible as well.
Long ‘waiting list’ for Florida vouchers doesn’t actually exist
Florida’s lawmakers are considering expanding a voucher-like tax credit program because, legislators keep saying, there is a huge waiting list of families who want to participate. It turns out that there is no waiting list.
The people who process applications at Step Up, which publishes this blog, have become so overwhelmed in recent years that they no longer wanted to give low-income families false hope. They concluded that the main reason for the waiting list was mostly for show, and they wanted no part of that.
Last year charter school advocates were doing the very same thing...lying about the huge waiting list which turned out to be non-existent. They just make it up as they go.
FL charter schools claim 80,000 on waiting list. Not true.
Miami Demorat Representative Kionne L. McGhee didn’t let Florida charter school lobbyist Jim Horne off the hook during this week’s public testimony on the Florida House’s latest charter school bill. Horne, whom sources say wrote the bill, made the claim that there are 80,000 children on charter school’s waiting lists.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Apr 1, 2014, 01:08 AM (5 replies)
Winner and loser of the week In Fla Politics
The first sentence states "There are no winners."
Picture from TBT Rick Scott and Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Lt. Governor
Loser of the week 1
Rick Scott is planning to have 25 million to use in his campaign against Charlie Crist. Let's hope he continues to be a loser.
Posted by madfloridian | Mon Mar 31, 2014, 12:46 AM (4 replies)
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:47 PM (20 replies)
NY legislature: Charter schools get free space in public schools. Hostile takeover of public arenas?
Of course some charter schools have been doing this for years. But now the legislature has made it all legal. Charter owners costly ads were successful. Their large donations to politicians paid off well.
New York Legislature: Billionaire-funded Charter Schools Will Not Have to Pay Rent for Public Space
The following just in as the New York State Legislature responds to the pressure of a $5 million advertising campaign demanding free space for privately-managed charters. Also, the billionaires behind this ad campaign have given handsome sums to Governor Cuomo and other key politicians. Cuomo has received at least $800,000 from the charter advocates. Under the legislation below, the charters are given the right to expand as much as they want, without paying rent, pushing out the public school that once was sited in the building. The charters can afford to pay their “CEO” half a million dollars, but they can’t pay the rent. They can pay millions for attack ads on television, but they can’t pay the rent. They can hire the politically-hot public relations firm SDK Knickerbocker more than $500,000 a year, but they can’t pay the rent. Their biggest boosters are billionaires, like Paul Tudor Jones, whose Robin Hood Foundation raises $80 million in a single night, but the charters can’t pay the rent. The charters are proving to be public parasites in New York City, invading the host and doing harm to the 94% of children who are not in charters.
So how has the takeover of public space been working out for the public schools?
Eva Moskowitz moves charter school into another public school's space, boots them from classrooms.
..."Staffers at the district schools say their new neighbors have booted them from classrooms and stairwells, while sharing the libraries, cafeterias and playgrounds.
Another NY public school was told by the charter school moving in that they could move to the basement.
Harlem Success Academy, whose current enrollment is 361, serves kindergarten through second grade; it eventually plans to expand to eighth grade. P.S. 123 has an enrollment of 630 students this year in pre-kindergarten through seventh grade.
Taking over classrooms, computer rooms, libraries, teachers' lounges....they've been doing it but now it's legal. Money to politicians, 5 million dollars in ads made sure of that.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Mar 29, 2014, 09:43 PM (22 replies)
The Lakeland Ledger and the Ocala Star Banner have articles discussing the lack of funding to public schools for maintenance and new buildings. They managed to write whole articles without a single mention of the fact that for at least two years only charter schools got maintenance money and public schools got none....zero...zilch.
Now that is lousy journalism. There is not a word in either article that tells the real reason public schools are in such poor condition.
Here's some background.
Florida charter schools get 91 million for facilities. Public school funding dwindles.
Charter schools will receive $91 million for their construction and maintenance needs, state lawmakers agreed late Sunday.
Doesn't indicate just how much public schools will get for that 2013-2014 year. They will finally get some I hear.
In 2011 public schools got nothing, while charter schools got 55 million.
In 2013 charter schools received 64 million for maintenance, public schools got nothing. They must have upped it for the next year to 91 million.
Now for the two articles that don't even mention the word charter.
Here is the Ledger article March 26 2014:
Some Funds for Florida Public School Maintenance in Works
Florida's public schools and universities will receive funding for repairs and maintenance for the first time in two years.
The article fails to mention that the chairman, Seth McKeel is on the Board of Trustees of McKeel Charter schools
I am sure there is no conflict of interest there. No sarcasm tag needed it is so obvious.
From the Ocala Star Banner this week:
Editorial: Florida’s school maintenance crisis
Only a trickle of money is available from the Public Education Capital Outlay trust fund, which has been the longtime statewide source.
The article fails to even mention how many millions went to charter schools.
Kudos to the Orlando Sentinel. They did a lot better in pointing out the negligence of the state legislature's Rick Scott Republicans, but they still missed a few vital points.
Lawmakers stuffing more dollars into charter school construction
Yes, they are. Thanks for pointing out that fact while other papers definitely missed it.
Florida lawmakers are beefing up school construction dollars – both for charters and traditional public schools -- despite a steep drop-off in the funding source the state has historically relied on to pay for them.
Guess we should be thankful the public schools are finally getting something.
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Mar 27, 2014, 09:49 PM (6 replies)
The Third Way is at it again. On March 19th they put up an op ed at Politico accusing Markos of Daily Kos of folding up the big tent. Politico gave Markos a chance to respond today.
Here is the Third Way attack on the 19th.
Kos folds up the big tent
If Markos Moulitsas had his way there’d be no Affordable Care Act, no Dodd-Frank, no economic stimulus package. That’s the price when purity tests are applied to Democrats.
And once again they used the words "politics of purity".
We have all witnessed the devastating effect that the politics of purity can have, as the Republicans grapple with the toxic impact of the Tea Party on their candidates, their congressional leadership and their governing philosophy. Let’s not become them.
I hate that term. Through the years they have called us fringe, elitists and worse. They should not be accusing others of purity politics.
Here is Markos' response today.
We Don’t Need Two Wall Street Parties
It’s tough to be a “Third Way” corporatist in today’s Democratic Party. Sure, the numerically small faction of Wall Street and Beltway Democrats has long enjoyed an outsized influence on public policy, but all the hedge fund money in the world can’t change the fact that the party is in the midst of a dramatic reorientation toward a new progressive populism. And it turns out that populism is popular! Voters across the country are increasingly concerned about the pressing issues of income inequality and economic security, and elected Democrats have responded with a renewed focus on solutions for working Americans.
Posted by madfloridian | Mon Mar 24, 2014, 11:23 PM (101 replies)
I really got a big chuckle out of this post. The funny part is that Students First, the group founded by Michelle Rhee to attack public education, blames the suspicious "likes" on public school advocates.
It's either laugh or cry, and I think I will laugh at the absurdity.
StudentsFirst's "likes" on Facebook: Pathetic Popularity Contest
StudentsFirst's Facebook "likes" were bought from Bangladesh!!!
I love the way a site from Nashville Scene covers it, a site called Pith in the Wind.
Rhee Sees Fishy Bangladeshi Like Spike As Anti-Reform Swarm
We're still investigating why we were targeted and how some folks who oppose our education reform platform curiously brought attention to this issue within such a short time frame of it happening. We'll keep you posted as soon as we learn more.
Yes, blame it on the suspicious moves of those who oppose you.
Pith in the Wind sums it up:
The possible explanations seem to be these:
I choose A or D.
Posted by madfloridian | Mon Mar 24, 2014, 05:34 PM (3 replies)
Voting for Dems shouldn't be "a defensive crouch to prevent the insane sociopaths from taking over."
I am not sure I completely agree with that statement, but I am pretty close to doing so.
I will vote for Democrats because I know the dangers of not doing so. I have always voted. I don't remember a time when I did not vote. I am an informed voter who sometimes votes for the better of two candidates because one is likely over the edge and the other is far better.
It is not those like me we need to worry about. It is the apolitical, uninformed, mostly unconcerned voter who doesn't keep up with issues and the news.
A Hullaballoo post says it better than I can.
Alternatively, Democrats could give midterm voters something to believe in
Obama was totally correct in what he said recently:
“The challenge is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith,” Obama told a group of top Democratic donors gathered at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. “They say, ‘Y’know what, it doesn’t matter, I’m not that interested, I’m not gonna vote.’ And that’s especially true during the midterms.”
Here are some ideas offered by the poster. Good ones.
Right now the conversation on healthcare is between one side that wants slightly less expensive corporate healthcare, and one side that wants much more expensive corporate healthcare. It's between one side that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare just a little bit, and another that wants to cut it a lot. It's between one side that wants to implement some very gradual climate change policies that won't stop us from crossing runaway greenhouse barriers, and another side that doesn't believe in climate change at all. It's between one side that wants a very slow, painful set of immigration reforms, and another side that wants no reforms at all. It's between one side that wants to raise the minimum wage to something that still doesn't meet what it was back in the 1970s, and another side that wants to eliminate it.
I will vote. I always do. My concern is that we need to have more sharply defined issues that have been loudly communicated to the voters....issues that are more than just being a little better on serious things.
My personal addition to what the blogger said....let's stand for public education. Having both parties pushing the agenda of George Bush is really a bad idea. Lets start giving the resources back to the public schools instead of diverting them to private companies to enrich their coffers.
To clarify. Many very informed voters will take another path.
I should have made that clear in the OP. I speak for myself only.
It's not too late to get them on board though. TPP is just one example. Back away from it.
Take a firm stand that the safety nets for seniors and the poor and needy ARE sacred cows. They should be.
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 12:39 AM (22 replies)