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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,401

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

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.


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

The 56 year long love story of James Garner. Beautiful tribute.

Thousands Gather In London For Protest Against Israeli Military Action in Gaza

From Huff Post UK

Gaza Conflict: Thousands Gather In London For Protest Against Israeli Military Action

Thousands of protesters have gathered in London today to call for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza and "justice and freedom" for Palestine.

Up to 15,000 people are thought to have marched through the capital from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington after Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza on Thursday.

This was the latest and one of the more peaceful demonstrations as rallies take place across the globe in recent days.

Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said London has "already shown its outrage at Israel's attacks on the mostly refugee population of Gaza, with people turning out in their thousands last week.

Charter schools a gravy train for US wealthy. Also path to citizenship for foreign investors. EB-5

As TeacherKen at Daily Kos pointed out last year....all you have to do is follow the money.

Just follow the money

Our democracy is being sold off, one piece at a time.

The idea of local control of public functions is disappearing.

And remember that the restrictions imposed upon government agencies with respect to rights protected in the Bill of Rights and elsewhere do not necessarily apply to corporate entities. No pubic school could fine a parent for a child's behavior, nor expel a child without due process, but charters are known to do both, often with regularity.

Perhaps it is hard for people to understand how much the profit motive is driving the expansion of charters - which I might note is only one part of the corporate attempts to control the hundreds of billions in tax revenue intended to fund PUBLIC education. The traditional media organizations have done a horrible job in covering this aspect of what is happening in American public education.

Also last year there was an important article at Forbes on how the EB-5 visas are now involving charter school investment.

Charter School Gravy Train Runs Express To Fat City

It’s not only wealthy Americans making a killing on charter schools. So are foreigners, under a program critics call “green card via red carpet.”

“Wealthy individuals from as far away as China, Nigeria, Russia and Australia are spending tens of millions of dollars to build classrooms, libraries, basketball courts and science labs for American charter schools,” says a 2012 Reuters report.

The formal name of the program is EB-5, and it’s not only for charter schools. Foreigners who pony up $1 million in a wide variety of development projects — or as little as $500,000 in “targeted employment areas” — are entitled to buy immigration visas for themselves and family members.

“In the past two decades,” Reuters reports, “much of the investment has gone into commercial real estate projects, like luxury hotels, ski resorts and even gas stations. Lately, however, enterprising brokers have seen a golden opportunity to match cash-starved charter schools with cash-flush foreigners in investment deals that benefit both.”

I am bringing this gravy train thought down to what is going on in Florida. The Chinese are very involved in this here, except we can't know the charter schools in which they are investing. They like their privacy, you know.

From 2012

Chinese investing 90 million in FL charter schools by next year. Remain anonymous.

Chinese funding Florida charter schools

Chinese investors are taking advantage of the EB-5 investment visa program, the so-called "green card via red carpet," by putting millions into Florida's charter schools and an aquaculture farm in Central Florida.

Under the EB-5 program, through investments of at least $1 million — or $500,000 for "targeted employment areas" — foreign nationals are able to obtain legal residency in the US so long as the money they invest will help secure or create at least 10 full-time jobs.

A group of Chinese investors have put $30 million into the state's charter school program to date and are looking to invest three times that amount in the next year, Ilona Vega Jaramillo, director of international business development for Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development arm, said in a US-China roundtable discussion last week.

She would not name any of the investors, citing confidentiality.

Just in case you were wondering how successful Florida charter schools have been...take a look at this list of charter schools that have closed here.

I have not counted them, but I hear there are 250 on the list...dating from 1998 until this summer.

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