Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 83,765
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 83,765
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.
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Lyrics to the Circle Game.
Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Apr 12, 2015, 09:58 PM (10 replies)
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:39 PM (1 replies)
The doggie's smile is just plain contagious.
Animals Twitter site.
The large dogs love me. I am appreciated.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:59 PM (7 replies)
if it is his time.
There is a chilling article in the Tampa Bay Times this week about how the leader of Scientology was paying private detectives to tail his own father. They were to report back to their agency every hour during the day.
They were to follow him everywhere.
Police report: Scientology leader spied on his dad 'no matter where he went'
What Powell didn't tell police until they read him his rights and started asking questions about his guns: He had spent nine years working as a private investigator for the Church of Scientology, and for the previous 18 months he had run a full-time, Tampa-based spying operation on Ron Miscavige Sr., the father of church leader David Miscavige.
The article quotes Jenna Miscavige Hill, Ron's granddaughter. Her book about her leaving is quite powerful. She has reconciled with most of her family now and is close to her grandfather.
She said she would have to let her grandpa decide when and how to tell his story.
She said "her grandfather describes his departure from the church's desert headquarters as an escape and has come around to being "super supportive" of her anti-Scientology activities."
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Apr 11, 2015, 04:26 PM (5 replies)
From the Tampa Bay Times today:
Editorial: Tell the Legislature's Immoral Minority to expand Medicaid in Florida
The names are in the editorial. Kudos to the Tampa Bay Times for this:
Most Floridians want it. So do thousands of businesses and the medical community. So do Republicans and Democrats in the Florida Senate. Yet 80 Florida House Republicans are denying 800,000 Floridians access to health care by refusing to accept Medicaid expansion money from Washington. It is immoral, and it is financially irresponsible. Of those 80 House Republicans, 13 represent Tampa Bay districts. Call them. Email them. Ask them why they are blocking health insurance for your families, friends and co-workers.
There is a list of the names to go with the pictures. Phone numbers and email addresses are given. A partial list:
RICHARD CORCORAN, Land O'Lakes: (850) 717-5037, email@example.com — Corcoran is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the expected House speaker for 2016-18 and the chief obstructionist.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Apr 10, 2015, 04:29 PM (5 replies)
Third Way Partners with Former DNC Chairs to Urge Fellow Democrats to Support Trade Promotion Authority
From the letter from the DNC leaders...
As Democrats, we believe that America works when everyone plays by the same rules. 95 percent of the world’s population is outside our borders—and this number is only growing—which means that it’s important to set fair rules abroad and at home. Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will level the playing field for American workers and businesses by setting high labor, environmental, and other standards for 11 other countries in Asia-Pacific that make up nearly 40% of the global economy. If we don’t lead in this region, other countries will set weak rules that threaten American jobs and workers.
How do they know this? Why if this be true is it not generally known among rank and file Democrats? Or do we not need to know?
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 09:42 PM (5 replies)
Lately I find myself thinking in different terms than which party will win, which party is taking the strongest stands on the issues I believe in. To Obama's credit, he has take some firm stands recently which I respect. But he and Arne Duncan both seem unaware of the education crisis they are causing.
I posted some videos of some of our Florida Republicans who are speaking out against the overtesting, blasting Rick Scott's idiocy, and one even took strong swipes against the Koch brothers interfering in state government.
I am thinking in broader terms such as what is best for the people, and for the country's future. It's hard to imagine supporting those who are not after those interests. On 2nd thought though I realize that it really doesn't matter which politicians I support. On that I most assuredly hope I am wrong.
I have started several posts the last few days, but a mental block set in.
I started another post about the strong arm tactics of the education "reformers", but then I realized only a few cared and efforts would be wasted. And the leaders in both parties are financially beholden to the billionaire boys club (to quote Diane Ravitch), so they don't give a hoot how the teachers, parents, and students are faring under these new policies.
I saw an article about the continued push to ban abortion rights for women...to take such decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients and legislate them. I realize it is mostly the extremists on the right pushing to restrict women's rights, but frankly I don't see too many Democrats calling them out on the harm being done.
I think about Chuck Schumer taking over for Harry Reid, and these words of his from 2005 keep coming to mind.
"... we are going to intervene if anyone one democrat attacks another, we're doing that in states where there are primaries. We can't afford to do it anymore. This always happens in the primaries, we would throw up the cards and see where they landed. No more, we are finding the best candidate in every one of the seats where a Republican is vulnerable."
He is saying that Democrats can no longer afford to take stands for the people of the party like women. He is saying it is more important to win.
Schumer's stance with Bibi and against Obama has truly shocked me. It alarms me to think of his being in such a powerful Senate position.
Rahm won. Of course he did. He has for years manipulated our primaries. I could list time after time he got progressives out of races in our state to make sure his cronies won. Of course he won.
Then I saw a recent Jim Hightower article, and it said things just right.
Democrats, too, are dancing to the rich man's tune.
It's futile to hope that the GOP's gaggle of corporate-hugging, right-wing presidential candidates will seriously address the issue of rising inequality in our land – but where are the Democrats?
I have always voted for Democrats, and I want to continue to do so. I hope Schumer does not become leader of the Senate, I hope someone wakes up in time to save America's public education. I would like for Howard Dean to unblock me on Twitter, but I criticized his words against public school teachers...and I doubt he will. I would like to hear both parties take a stand for the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices.
But you know the old saying...."If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 01:44 AM (63 replies)
This post was hosted at the Washington Post. It is by Alan Singer on why parents have chosen to opt out their children from these tests, albeit in different ways. Singer is social studies educator in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies). He taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. He is also the author of several books. A version of this originally appeared on his Huffington Post blog.
How the Obamas opted their children out of high-stakes standardized tests
By Alan Singer
Florida is not making it easy for parents to opt out. Though the Opt Out groups are rapidly growing in numbers, threats from education leaders remain.
State Ed leader told FL Senate that opt out not permitted.
Florida students cannot legally opt out of the state's standardized exams, and their teachers and school districts could face trouble if they do -- or their parents do it for them, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart wrote today in a letter sent to key Florida state senators.
There are now two tiers of education forming now. There is one for those who can afford only public education for their children...and the tests are all-consuming. There is another level for those who want testing only for other people's children, and they send their own where they can get a well-rounded in depth education.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Apr 8, 2015, 12:55 AM (5 replies)
The general idea was supposed to be that charter schools could take these students from deprived backgrounds and do much better than the public schools could do. Several years and millions of dollars later, many disruptions and much harm to neighborhoods.....there is a lesson being learned.
That lesson is that there are no easy fixes in situations like this. There are no miracle schools.
The education model that fell apart
A pro-charter rally in Albany. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Once heralded as a new beginning for children living in grinding poverty and stuck in a long-troubled school district, Albany’s charter system has so far failed to live up to that promise. Five of the 12 charter schools that opened in the last decade have already closed, and others are being skeptically eyed by state officials.
Because there is a lack of oversight and regulation over charter schools, there were some very bad decisions made by some.
One of them hired a director who was still on parole from a bank theft.
Financial officer of 10 NY Brighter Choice charter management charged with embezzling $202,837.
The Brighter Choice Charter Middle Schools in Albany Friday Jan. 25, 2013. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)
ALBANY — The former chief financial officer for the Brighter Choice Foundation, which provides funding and support to 10 public charter schools in Albany, has been charged with embezzling $202,837 from the organization.
Well, how could Bender not know this when he would be handling all that money??
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Apr 5, 2015, 10:43 PM (16 replies)
State Senator Alan Hayes also (R) joins him.
He says: "We've got a train wreck, I kid you not."
Dear Arne Duncan, please listen to these two guys because they are honestly admitting they made mistakes about testing. Waiting for you to do so as well.
Florida senators' speeches on testing become big hit
During empassioned debate Thursday, Florida senators made clear what they really think about testing. The strong criticism from the Democrats, such as Dwight Bullard of Miami and Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth, came as no surprise.
"I'm done with the testing program in the State of Florida" - Senator Lee
"We've got a train wreck, I kid you not." Senator Alan Hayes
I could not access the videos of the two Democrats mentioned. I keep getting older ones. Will search tomorrow.
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Apr 5, 2015, 02:00 AM (2 replies)