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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,856

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

Hey Floridians for Yes on 2 (Medical Marijuana)...next weeks rallies around the state.

Here is a link to the full statewide flyer.


Here is the United for Care website.

Here is the text version.

Dear Friends,

We’re taking the Amendment 2 “For the Patients” bus on the road next week, and we want to make sure you have all the details so you can come out and show your support for compassionate care in Florida!

There will be two events in each city – one at a local university to rally and get out the vote, and a Town Hall to answer questions from the community. Food and refreshments will be served, and you’ll get to hear from senior members of the Yes On 2 campaign, as well as patients, physicians, and caregivers.

Details of all locations and times are listed below. You can RSVP by clicking on the individual events which will link you to the Facebook event pages. This is a great way to invite your family and friends! You may also send an email to the event organizers. View the full statewide flyer here.

Student Rally with John Morgan
Monday October 6th, 10:00AM
University of Central Florida
Student Union
4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando FL 32816
RSVP to: Miguel@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with John Morgan
Monday October 6th, 6:00PM
Winter Park Civic Center
1050 West Morse Blvd., Winter Park FL 32789
RSVP to: Miguel@unitedforcare.org


Student Rally with John Morgan
Tuesday, October 7th, 11:50AM
University of South Florida
Room MSC-3707
4103 USF Cedar Circle, Tampa, FL 33620
RSVP to: Bianca@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with John Morgan
Tuesday, October 7th, 5:30PM
Tampa Park Plaza
1417 Tampa Park Plaza St., Tampa FL 33605
RSVP to: Bianca@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with Ben Pollara
Wednesday, October 8th, 3:00PM
South County Civic Center - Room C
16700 Jog Rd., Delray Beach, FL 33446
RSVP to: Mhowson@unitedforcare.org

Student Rally with Ben Pollara
Wednesday, October 8th, 5:00PM
Florida Atlantic University
Student Union – Lot 16
777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431
RSVP to: Mhowson@unitedforcare.org

Student Rally with Ben Pollara
Thursday, October 9th, 1:00PM
Florida International University
Graham Center – GC140
11200 SW 8th St., Miami FL 33174
RSVP to: Nick@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with Ben Pollara
Thursday, October 9th, 7:00PM
Betty Ferguson Recreational Complex
3000 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens, FL 33056
RSVP to: Nick@unitedforcare.org

We have just over 30 DAYS to make sure all Floridians know Amendment 2 is on the ballot November 4th, and that voting YES means our sick and suffering will have safe, legal access to a proven medicine that works.
We’re really looking forward to seeing you out on the campaign trail!
- Ben
Ben Pollara
Campaign Manager
United for Care

P.S. Can't make it to the events? Please help show your support by making a donation to our $50k goal.

Paid for by People United for Medical Marijuana, 20 North Orange Avenue, Suite 1600, Orlando, FL 32801
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Oct 2, 2014, 10:09 PM (7 replies)

NC charter school teachers can't get paid, can't get unemployment. State has no record of school.

There is a video at the news link as well as the article. The charter owner speaks as if there is no problem. State investigating what happened to the $285,170 they gave the school in July.

Charter school teachers concerned about not getting a paycheck

She says this is what he told her. "The school is shut down," Frye said. "So I don't have any money to pay you, so I don't know what to tell you."

Other teachers are now worried about getting their paycheck. Their next pay day is September 30. But school's founder tells WBTV teachers will not get paid on September 30th. Stone says he is still working to find the money.

The teachers said working there was a challenge.

"We didn't have any textbooks," Berg said. "We didn't have any teacher support. We didn't have WIFI at the school, so we couldn't stream anything in. We couldn't do any research at school. We were handicapped to do the very best that we could for our students."

No unemployment insurance.

What makes matters worse, teachers say they can't collect unemployment while they look for work.

"The state doesn't have record of Concrete Roses STEM Academy," Berg said. "So we don't have any recourse."

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.
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