Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 82,236
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 82,236
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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I notice discussion of this group lately and their influence on the party. In my mind the words of its present leader make it clear that their Third Way ideals are not for regular people. They are geared to benefit the corporate world.
Jonathan Cowan's attacks on Social Security started way back in 1995. From an editorial by him:
Op ed from Third Way prez Cowan calling to privatize Social Security.
The time has come to reinvent Social Security based on a "cut and privatize" approach that will be fair to all age groups. This reinvention should be based on three principles:
Cowan even had the nerve to appeal to "grandpa and grandma" to stop being so greedy.
Past words of "wisdom" by Third Way prez, Jon Cowan. Too much influence on Democrats.
Dear Grandma and Grandpa:
Cowan is not fond of "the left", which is a main characteristic of Democratic think tanks. He writes about our fantasies.
Third Way's Jon Cowan. "The left's four fiscal fantasies"
Fantasy No. 1 is that taxing the rich solves our problems
He's right about part of it....seniors tend to vote against their own best interests. Only now there are two parties wanting to cut their benefits.
I think 2010 would have been different if the Democrats had taken strong stands for the needs of the people instead of corporations. I think 2014 should not be a toss up. We should be coasting to a win. Get teachers on board instead of alienating them. Never again talk of cutting the safety nets for seniors and the needy.
The DLC is now defunct, the Third Way took its place. The goal of both was to have enough money from the rich that they did not need the rest of us.
I think it may be coming back to bite them. Or us.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Oct 29, 2014, 10:58 AM (39 replies)
I did not realize someone actually built one, and Cash drove it. Got lots of attention.
Johnny Cash loyalists will notice some differences between Patch’s Caddy and the Caddy described and built in the song. Bill Patch’s, quite honestly, fit together better, but when you look closer you’ll see one side has 2 doors and headlights, one side has just one of each. Patch’s final masterpiece is something of a Coupe and Sedan DeVille combination sporting parts from four decades.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Oct 28, 2014, 10:02 PM (11 replies)
These seem to me to be consequences of the unchecked race to reform education. These are the opposite goals to what I remember from my years of teaching.
We were expected to respect the individual personalities and learning styles of our students. Now the one-size-fits-all tests do not allow for that.
Individuality disappearing from classrooms, NY teacher argues
In an environment where quality of education is based heavily on standardized test scores and continual assessments, individuality has gone missing from our classrooms, New York City educator Diana Senechal argues.
She makes an important statement about the way every bit of learning must be judged. She says now "there's a fear that allowing students to soak in information without having anything concrete to show for it at the end of a lesson will result in no learning at all."
That's a real danger, she said, “But to demand concrete outcomes from every lesson is to shortchange the literature.” Senechal said that's what she means by solitude in education.
One thing that is not often mentioned is the way some charter schools with mostly minority students use rigid zero tolerance, no excuses discipline.
Edushyster recently posted an interview with Joan Goodman.
Professor Joan Goodman, the director of the Teach for America program at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the philosophy behind *no excuses* charter schools, and the price paid by students who attend them.
Article is very long, but a couple of quotes stand out.
ES: Minority children in urban areas are increasingly being educated at schools run by the types of charter management organizations you study, yet I find that people know little if anything about the way these schools view the world.
And one more:
ES: One of the questions you ask is whether there are legitimate limits to the power exercised by schools over children.
There appear to already be levels or tiers of education and policy.
Obama 2011 "One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching to the test."
If George Orwell were still alive, what would he make of the following quote from President Obama? (Thanks to Valerie Strauss for pointing to a piece written by Anthony Cody for his Education Week Teacher blog, Living in Dialogue.)
I agree 100& with everything the president said.
But I worry that his goals spoken above are not being carried out in our nation's public schools right now, and that taxpayer money is going to charter schools with such rigid discipline policies.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Oct 25, 2014, 06:17 PM (32 replies)
Encouraging tweet from Cecile Richards about her mom, Ann.
Mom never led in the polls - she was elected #TX gov b/c people showed up & voted. Ready to make history again? #tbt
I mailed my ballot this last week. I am trying not to let the polls and pundits discourage me here in Florida. According to both, Rick Scott and Charlie Crist are the same....they say there were no clear winners during the debates. Well, I say there is a clear winner when the nation and world are laughing at our present governor try to speak coherently.
I voted for Charlie Crist, and I voted a hearty YES on the medical marijuana amendment. We were feeling really good about that amendment for a while. But now the religious folks have gotten into the fray, our sheriff the loyal Southern Baptist is doing a good job of convincing people it would open the door to terrible things if sick people got to use what would really help them.
Now it's down close to 60% approval (it needs 60% in order to pass), down from a high of close to 80% not long ago.
The media is the worst. Most major papers have endorsed Crist...but you really have to dig to find that information.
So thanks, Cecile Richards, for reminding us that your mother never led in the polls.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Oct 24, 2014, 01:52 AM (28 replies)
He was there on the last leg of his promise to visit every state and territory during his time as chair.
Naming names. The ones who went behind Dean's back when he was in Samoa.
On January 7, White House political director Patrick Gaspard, a former top labor organizer from New York, called DNC executive director Tom McMahon. Gaspard told McMahon that Obama planned to name Virginia governor Tim Kaine as his new DNC chair and wanted to make the announcement at the DNC the following day. Gaspard asked if Dean would be around. Dean's planning to be in American Samoa, the last U.S. territory he'd yet to visit as DNC chair, McMahon responded. (He'd logged 741,000 miles on the job.) Should he postpone his trip?
It was an ugly rude thing to do.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Oct 22, 2014, 06:26 PM (0 replies)
He said it so casually. He really said pundits agree there was no clear winner. I haven't listened to any pundits since the debate last night, but I don't see how anyone could have watched it and thought there was no clear winner. I notice Al Ruechel sounds more and more like that lately. More spin from his mouth.
I did see some national polls in which more than 90% declared Crist the winner.
But that's the kind of press Rick Scott gets here in Florida. The worst they say is that there is no clear winner. Some "pundits" basically said the same thing after the last debate when Scott could not even speak in clear sentences to explain why he didn't come on stage on time.
Here is more from BayNews9 on last night's debate. Again pointing it out to be a tie. And check out the poll on the page....Crist and Scott neck and neck.
Scott, Crist get personal during final Florida governor debate
Did either candidate gain or lose ground in this last debate?
So just in case you were thinking people here in Florida had seen the light about what Rick Scott really is...then stop thinking that.
Luckily the national scene gave opinions to the contrary last time, and even Fox 13 in Tampa blasted Rick Scott.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Oct 22, 2014, 02:18 PM (30 replies)
Florida debate turns bitter
Videos are at the link.
Scott blamed Crist for the loss of more than 800,000 jobs while he was governor from 2007-2011, saying Crist is out of touch with average Florida voters because he grew up with wealth.
That is true. Scott's company was fined 1.7 billion for fraud. He was so arrogant at his deposition that this needs to be posted often as a reminder.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Oct 21, 2014, 10:29 PM (2 replies)
School was started five years ago, troubles still happening. Investigations still going on. They have received 70 million dollars in money from taxpayers, have repeated failed to meet standards.
This means money and resources taken from public school systems throughout the state.
Mavericks in Education: Failing to make the grade
Here are some of the problems listed:
• Overcharging taxpayers $2 million by overstating attendance and hours taught. The involved schools have appealed the findings.
Those are serious problems, some bordering on fraud.
When in doubt blame the management companies, over which Florida seems to have no control.
Pegg, who oversees charter schools for the Palm Beach County school district, said problems with Mavericks in Education have frustrated district officials. State charter-school laws do not address the performance of management companies.
If the management companies are to blame, then I heartily suggest the state get some kind of control over them.
The lack of regulation and control over public money and resources is appalling and dangerous.
And guess what? There's a rule in Florida that if a charter school applies to open.....the district are not allowed to consider their past history. They have to rely on the present application only.
Florida: Charter Operators with “Troubled” Histories Request Another Chance
The story in the Sun-Sentinel by Karen Yi and Amy Shipley says:
Incidentally this school included Frank Biden when it was founded. The article mentions him only as a lobbyist for the school now.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Oct 21, 2014, 09:26 PM (8 replies)
This is from Ms Katie's Ramblings by Katie Osgood. She writes of returning to public schools after six years teaching in a hospital setting.
Testing is Destroying My School
She also writes at Twitter
In just the first six weeks of school, I have administered more pointless, random, unnecessarily difficult tests to my students than I can count. We have barely had more than two consecutive days to simply teach where we were not interrupted by some ridiculous mandated assessment. There’s the REACH (for teacher evaluation purposes only), On-Demand Writing Tasks, tests that go to our network, tests for the district, tests because our school in on probation, and placement tests to use the TWO online test prep programs our school is forced to use weekly. These tests are not aligned to the curriculum, they don’t measure what we are actually learning in class, they are not tied to a broader unit of study. These are tests just to feed the data monsters.
I really had teachers on my mind today. I was thinking how thankful I am that I don't have to face what they are facing. Just imagine having to demand of students what they may be mentally incapable of doing, imagine breaking their spirits day in and day out.
Just imagine facing a school system being put in place by both parties which no longer recognizes students as individuals with varied abilities. The Secretary of Education of this United States feels that all students must be ready for college, all students will be able to pass all tests if teachers and parents are tough enough and demanding enough.
The powers that be are now applying the policies of "no excuses ever" and "zero tolerance" to academics.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Oct 21, 2014, 12:20 AM (14 replies)
When the Rick hits the fan
To begin with, Scott has all the telegenic appeal of a garden slug: lean and hairless and slick and creepy. But then again, I've been a friend and business partner of James Carville for 30 years, so who am I to judge?
Incidentally for the next debate CNN has made it clear there will be no fan at all. Even the DNC allowed Crist to have his fan onstage...and he wasn't even a Democrat yet.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Oct 18, 2014, 02:27 AM (1 replies)