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madfloridian

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,530

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

NARAL Undercover Audio: Intimidation Tactics of Texas Anti-Abortion Group. Tracking license plates?

From You Tube today. This is the most chilling kind of intimidation, and it's legal.

Published on Aug 12, 2014

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas released a video containing audio from “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” a training hosted by anti-abortion groups at the State Capitol on August 4, 2014. The video reveals the methods anti-abortion activists currently employ to physically intimidate women from accessing safe and legal abortion care in Texas. The disturbing tactics outlined by the four speakers in the video include: identifying and monitoring patients, providers and clinic staff, lining sidewalks outside clinics to dissuade patients from entering clinics, tracking and cataloguing the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers.



Keoni Wright, plaintiff in Campbell Brown's lawsuit, is a member of Michelle Rhee's Students First.

Also Campbell's hubby, Dan Senor, is on the board of Rhee's NY Students First. I guess Michelle Rhee is wearing another big smile right about now.

Seems her Students First is playing some big roles in attacking teachers' right to due process before being fired.

I did not realize Keoni Wright, who is suing on behalf of his twin daughters, was a member of that group also.

Teachers Too Hard to Fire, Lawsuit

Kaylah and Kyler Wright are New Yorkers, first-graders, and twins. But while Kaylah excelled in reading last year, Kyler lagged behind. Their father, John Keoni Wright, blames Kyler’s teacher and he’s suing, but not the teacher—the state of New York. The lawsuit alleges the state’s teacher job protection laws shield incompetence.

Wright is a member of the StudentFirstNY, a non-profit supporting charter schools and opposing teacher tenure. He was joined Monday by six more parents filing a lawsuit spearheaded by a former TV personality Campbell Brown and her new organization Partnership for Educational Justice.

....The lawsuit cites a 2009 survey saying almost half of the state’s school districts, excluding New York City, wanted to launch a disciplinary action against a teacher, but didn’t.

Yet it fails to mention that the majority of such districts refrained from taking disciplinary action because the teacher in question resigned or retired.
One in three reported the process was too expensive or cumbersome.

In the past two years over 800 city teachers faced disciplinary action—about 500 were solved with the rest still pending. Only 40 teachers were terminated, but about half of the 500 resolved cases were settled, often with the teacher leaving or retiring, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Keoni Wright is the plaintiff speaking in this video:



He seems to equate giving homework and providing textbooks out of the teacher's own pocket as being an effective teachers. There is so much more to it than that.

This WP column seemed to have the same understanding of the video as I did.

A strange definition of a ‘bad’ teacher

During the interview with Louis, Wright discussed the education his young twin daughters are receiving at a New York public school, saying that one of them had a really good teacher and the other wasn’t so lucky. How did the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit explain this dichotomy? vWell, it turns out, he said, that one daughter received homework packets from her teacher while the other daughter didn’t. Why? After talking to the offending teacher, he said he discovered the following:

She didn’t have the supply, you know they were waiting for stuff to come. Meanwhile this other teacher was using her own money to buy these books to have supplies for her regular kids and an extra set for me.

Translation: The good teacher was spending her own money to buy supplies the school system should have provided to teachers in a timely fashion. The bad teacher didn’t.

Translation: The good teacher was giving homework to young kids. The bad teacher wasn’t.




Good teacher, bad teacher? Proper criteria? Hear from one Campbell Brown plaintiff.

The lawsuit by Campbell Brown and plaintiffs assumes that tenure protects "bad" teachers. I knew of teachers who lost tenure, but it was done without a lot of publicity. If it were a serious charge, then that teacher would be out of the classroom at once. Less serious charges might be handled with the teacher voluntarily resigning.

The parent judges the two teachers as to whether they give homework and provide the books. He then admits that the books were not in yet, the teacher did not have the materials yet. This method of judging assumes that all teachers have the personal resources to provide materials that the school district should be providing.

I always provided what I could, but no way I could provide textbooks. That gets very costly. This was kindergarten level. Still debate about how much homework is appropriate. How can a teacher by judged by the supplies that she provides?

He mentions that one compliments the child, the other doesn't. That argument has some merit, but not really that much.

Are these the proper criteria to use to put teachers jobs on the firing line?



They speak of data that proves that due process rights of teachers hurt students. Is there really data that proves that?

Is this what NY teachers are facing now? Being judged by criteria like this? My sympathy to them.

Where are the teachers' voices? Why is Campbell Brown getting so much air time? I only see teachers' arguments presented on forums and twitter.



Again Tampa's Fox 13 News attacks Gov. Rick Scott. Great to see Fox do this again.

This video appears to have just been posted today. It warms my heart to see Fox call out Rick Scott instead of praising him.



Several weeks ago I posted how the same Fox News station called him out on his non-answering of questions.



Posted by madfloridian | Fri Aug 8, 2014, 11:02 PM (9 replies)

Whoopi uses View, 2+ mil viewers, to attack teacher due process. Teacher/admin fights back.

Looks like the average viewership of The View is about 2.82 million weekly.

That's a very huge voice she has there. The View appears to have taken up Campbell Brown's campaign to end due process rights for New York teachers.

That gives Campbell's project a tremendous free and powerful voice.

Whoopi's attack on due process for teachers:



A teacher/administrator responds to her, and he points out that he has only a very tiny voice. So true.



Thank you educator Keith Reeves for your effort. Teachers do indeed have a very teeny tiny microphone.

The reformers have the billions.

WP Aug 4. Obama signs bill giving Israel $225 million for missile defense system

Obama signs bill giving Israel $225 million for missile defense system

President Obama on Monday signed a bill that will give Israel $225 million to restock its Iron Dome missile defense system.

The House voted 395-8 to pass the bill Friday night.

The missile shield system was developed jointly by the United States and Israel and is said to have intercepted dozens of rockets fired from Gaza during the conflict that began July 17. The system uses advanced tracking technology to determine if a rocket is headed for a population center; if it is it destroys the rocket mid-flight.

"And so, not only have we been supportive of Israel in its right to defend itself, but in very concrete terms -- for example, in support for the Iron Dome program that has intercepted rockets that are firing down on Israeli cities -- we've been trying to cooperate as much as we can to make sure that Israel is able to protect its citizens," Obama said.


395-8. That's a powerful statement.

Meanwhile:

There are large groups around the world protesting the killing in Gaza.



Map of protests

A unique protest from Ireland. They are laying in the streets in support of the people of Gaza.



In support of Gaza

Leading candidate for IL gov wants to shut down government, mass fire government employees.

So please explain to me why he is the leading candidate? Do the people of Illinois really want that to happen? I find that hard to believe. Hopefully polls are wrong this early on.

From David Sirota:

Bruce Rauner, GOP Candidate for Illinois Governor, Promises Government Shutdown and Mass Firing of Public Workers

The video is from last year, but it has just surfaced.

In a newly surfaced video, Illinois' Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner suggested that, if elected governor, he will fire public employees and potentially shut the government down in order to address his state's fiscal challenges.

The video, circulated today by the Illinois Federation of Teachers, shows Rauner addressing the Tazewell County Republican dinner in March. In remarks to that group, Rauner said: "We may have to go through rough times. We may have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. Sort of have to do a do-over and shut things down for a little while. That's what we're gonna do."


Here's what Reagan did in 1981. The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike. Reagan fired 11,000 of their workers, and he decertified their union.

Someone needs to tell the supporters of Bruce Rauner just what Reagan did. Maybe they have forgotten their history lessons.

Rauner is considered a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, as he has been consistently leading in polls in his election matchup against incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. His rhetoric against public employees stands in contrast to his business experience as a billionaire private equity executive who made his fortune managing government workers' public pension money.


About the polls, from July 29.

Rauner ahead in polls as Quinn counterpunches

In a ‘We Ask America’ poll conducted yesterday, Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner is leading incumbent Pat Quinn in the Illinois gubernatorial race by 14 points. To use a boxing analogy, Rauner is winning the early rounds by being more active, but now, Quinn has apparently stopped ‘feeling out’ Rauner and is ready to throw some punches himself.

..Per the poll, if the election were held today, 47 percent would vote for Rauner and 33 percent would vote for Quinn. That still left 20 percent undecided. But, in a June ‘We Ask America’ poll, Rauner was leading Quinn by 10 points. The timing of how Quinn is responding to the poll is worth noting.

....It is early in the fight. Expect a lot more – especially during and after the state fair. That’s when the gloves come off.





Founder of Parents Transparency Project refuses to reveal funding sources. Not so transparent.

From David Sirota:

In Push Against Teachers Unions, Campbell Brown Refuses to Release Names Of Funders

The founder of a high-profile group seeking to weaken teacher tenure laws refuses to reveal who is funding her efforts, despite her organization's stated aim to "bring transparency" to education policymaking. Campbell Brown, a former CNN news anchor who founded the Parents Transparency Project and the Partnership for Educational Justice, rejected the request for details about her funders during her appearance on "The Colbert Report" Thursday night to discuss a new lawsuit.

The suit aims to get New York courts to mimic a recent court ruling in California, which weakens union-negotiated teacher tenure laws. Brown said her group is "helping and supporting" the lawsuit, which was filed this week. Asked who is funding her group, Brown told show-host Stephen Colbert: "I’m not going to reveal who the donors are." She defended her secrecy on the grounds that critics "are also going to go after people who are funding this."


Sirota points out that unions could not get away with such tactics. They must reveal sources of funding.

As Brown keeps the identity of her financial backers under wraps, her organization describes itself as a group "whose mission is to bring transparency" to education policymaking.

Politico has reported that under current law, Department of Labor rules require unions to "disclose more than many political groups about their internal operations," funding and expenditures. By contrast, many political groups seeking to limit teachers unions' workplace rights and replace traditional public schools with privately run, union-free charter schools have been able to keep the identity of their benefactors shrouded in secrecy, though periodic leaks have shed at least some light on the funders.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:59 PM (1 replies)

10 Reasons to be against unions.

From AFSCME on Twitter

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'ętre:

"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)
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