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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 37,079

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Teachers Unions Mean Better Teachers, New Study Says

To hear the hedge fund managers, real estate moguls, and software billionaires trying to reshape public education tell it, unions are the worst thing to happen to education ever since they supposedly make it impossible to fire crappy teachers.

A new study shows they have the opposite effect though: districts are more careful to weed out the bad apples before they get tenure.

And the reality is, a lot of districts (and those billionaires) don't care about how good or bad teachers are--they just want to replace expensive experienced ones with inexpensive inexperienced ones, which is why Teach for America exists.

When will we start basing our public education policy on what people with some expertise in the field say instead of what some rich guys who are looking to lower their taxes and/or siphon off our tax dollars for their profits from charter schools, software, and the real estate of closed schools?

If Democrats wanted to win back supermajorities in the House and Senate, they could say that they were dead wrong to try to privatize public education, and the correct role for the wealthy in our schools is to pay more taxes to lower class size and increase social services instead of testing, punishing, and draining money away in their various scams.

All that stuff you hear about how teachers unions protect bad teachers through the evils of due process and their general uniony badness? A new study for the National Bureau of Economic Research says nuh-uh. EduShyster interviews the study’s author, Eunice Han:

By demanding higher salaries for teachers, unions give school districts a strong incentive to dismiss ineffective teachers before they get tenure. Highly unionized districts dismiss more bad teachers because it costs more to keep them. Using three different kinds of survey data from the National Center for Education Statistics, I confirmed that unionized districts dismiss more low-quality teachers than those with weak unions or no unions. Unionized districts also retain more high-quality teachers relative to district with weak unionism. No matter how and when I measured unionism I found that unions lowered teacher attrition.

This isn’t all theoretical. Thanks to Republican state governments in Indiana, Idaho, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, Han had the chance to see how this played out in recent years:

If you believe the argument that teachers unions protect bad teachers, we should have seen teacher quality rise in those states after the laws changed. Instead I found that the opposite happened.


MICHAEL MOORE: 5 Ways To Make Sure Trump Loses (to Hillary!)

This post by Michael Moore makes me suspect he's a regular at DU.

Have you ever voted for a candidate because someone called you a childish fucking moron if you didn't vote for that candidate?

If you vote for that candidate, it's usually IN SPITE of that bullying pitch, and yet, we hear that exact approach here again and again.

Persuading people takes some thought, creativity, and empathy.

If you really want to convince progressives to vote for Hillary, you should try it.

3. You must be supportive of the depressed voter.

So many people have given up on our system and that’s because the system has given up on them. They know it’s all bullshit: politics, politicians, elections. The middle class in tatters, the American Dream a nightmare for the 47 million living in poverty. Get this straight: HALF of America is planning NOT to vote November 8. Hillary’s approval rating is at 36 percent. CNN said it last night: No one running for office with an approval rating of 36 percent has ever been elected president (Trump’s is at 30 percent). Even in these newer polls, 60 percent still say that Hillary is “untrustworthy to be president.” Disillusioned young people stop me every day to tell me they’re not voting (or they’re voting Third Party). This is a problem, folks. Stop ignoring it. You need to listen to them. Chastising them, shaming them, will not work. Acknowledging to them that they have a point, that Hillary Clinton is maybe not the best candidate, and then promising them that you will join them on November 9 in a political revolution that will demand Clinton enact her platform, that might go a long way to getting them to vote. They don’t have to change their opinion about Hillary. They just have to reluctantly vote for her and be allowed to feel very bad about doing it — and very good that we will fight on their side after the election.


THIS MODERN WORLD: Millennial lament

Those damn kids with their iPhones and Instagrams! When I wanted to talk to my friends I had to wait until my ma was off the phone. And if I thought something was funny, maybe two, three people saw it not half the world's teenage population.

These kids got it too damn easy!

Don't they...?


If Republican Party implodes at the national level for good, how will Democrats sell themselves?

@NAACP calls for national moratorium on charters

If charter schools are supposed to help inner city minority kids, why did the NAACP just call for a national moratorium on them?

Maybe because charter schools are more about diverting public education spending into the pockets of the already wealthy than helping kids of any race.

The NAACP got this one right. Unfortunately, the leaders of both major parties let hedge fund managers dictate public education policy instead of parents, teachers, and academics.

We need to convince Hillary to pick an actual educator for education secretary, and not another privatizer like Arne Duncan or John King.

The blogger who reported this explained what led the NAACP to this in an earlier post, and gave an excellent overview of the profit motive and players behind the education reform movement.

I don’t believe that this has been reported anywhere else. Last week at the NAACP National Convention in Cincinnati, the delegates voted in a new resolution on charter schools. It’s approval as policy will not be official until the National Board meeting in the Fall of 2016. However, this is a big news story that (I suspect because of the political conventions) has not yet entered the traditional media.

Yesterday in the post How will history remember the @NAACP on charters? I discussed the 2010 and 2014 NAACP charter school resolutions. The 2016 NAACP convention voted and approved the following resolution. I am honored it originated from the California Hawaii NAACP, where I serve as Education Chair.

The 2016 NAACP delegates at the national convention called for a moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charters.

So for those of you who emailed me yesterday saying that NAACP chapters in various places have gone rogue supporting charters— know that the force of the national organization is NOT on their side.


No New Charter Schools – NAACP Draws Line in the Sand

Source: Common Dreams

“…the NAACP opposes the privatization of public schools and/or public subsidizing or funding of for-profit or charter schools…”

“…the NAACP calls for full funding and support of high quality free public education for all children…”

The resolution goes on to oppose tax breaks to support charter schools and calls for new legislation to increase charter school transparency. Moreover, charters should not be allowed to kick students out for disciplinary reasons.


The pro-charter story has been told by deep pocketed investors such as the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family Foundation. But the idea that a separate parallel school system would somehow benefit black and brown children goes against history and common sense.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/07/30/no-new-charter-schools-naacp-draws-line-sand

If charter schools are supposed to help inner city minority kids, why did the NAACP just call for a national moratorium on them?

Maybe because charter schools are more about diverting public education spending into the pockets of the already wealthy than helping kids of any race.

The NAACP got this one right. Unfortunately, the leaders of both major parties let hedge fund managers dictate public education policy instead of parents, teachers, and academics.

Isn't finding out about Trump's Russian debt a matter of national security?

Even if Putin isn't pulling his strings, given Trump's AMERICAN mob ties, his Russian ones could certainly make him vulnerable to blackmail and coercion.

Don't presidential candidates go through some kind of background check before they start getting those intel briefings?

Also, I understand (though disagree) with why the Democratic Party avoids investigating the crimes of Republicans, but in the case of Trump, such an investigation could save the country from a fatal self-inflicted wound.

The Justice Department should be investigating both his foreign and domestic organized crime ties post haste.

I'm not a Hillary fan, but what are Trump's obvious weaknesses we could exploit to beat him?

The fact that he knows nothing and is a racist bully will not hurt him with Republicans at all.

Hillary's "what about the children" ad and using Trump's anti-women comments were great though again, won't shake his base.

What might is something like his "You're fired!" tag line with some blue collar guy sitting on his couch or at a bar watching Trump on THE APPRENTICE and turn to his wife or drinking buddy and say he was actually fired or cheated out of wages or best yet, replaced with undocumented workers by Trump.

NOTE: after I wrote the above paragraph, I saw that Kaine said, "Do you want to vote for the guy who said, 'You're fired!' or the guy who said, 'You're hired'?"

Also, he sells himself as a self-made man, but got a HUUUGE loan from his dad to start out.

It would also be worth doing something with his bankruptcies: while Donald was taking his Republicans in Congress were making it harder for consumers and impossible for student loan borrowers. (This one might play more to swing voters than the GOP base).
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