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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 37,020

Journal Archives

PIC: US flag with Puerto Rico's star added:

If Obama cuts Social Security for deal with GOP, he'll repeat Baby Bush mistake

of blowing his political capital to please a handful of rich cranks by screwing everyone else.

Ironically, cutting benefits and raising the retirement age would do directly what Republicans could only come at indirectly through their privatization scam.

The one promise I don't want Obama to keep is more bipartisanship with the GOP.

Will Congress vote to allow Puerto Rico statehood?

Given the referendum that just passed there, it would be hard to justify denying it since doing so could be seen as giving up a little piece of empire by starting to push them out of our control.

Republicans would have to buck their xenophobic base, but they do need to court Latinos too.

So how will it go down?

Wisconsin voucher schools get worse test scores, so Walker EXEMPTS them

So why exactly are we giving our tax dollars to for-profit schools that do WORSE than existing public schools?

And when will the leaders of the Democratic Party admit that this is a scam and their support of it is blatant corruption?

Our education policy should not be dictated by right wing think tank and hedge fund managers looking for a way divert our shrinking education dollars in to their pockets.

Democrats at the top need to call this a failure and change course NOW.

Wisconsin Raises Standards, Voucher Schools and MPS Schools Plummet

by dianerav

Wisconsin decided to raise the passing mark on its tests, and the results were not pretty in Milwaukee.

90% of students in voucher schools were found not to be "proficient" in math or reading.

In the Milwaukee public schools, 85% were not proficient in reading and 80% were not proficient in math.

Governor Scott Walker has solved the problem for the voucher schools: In his new legislation expanding the voucher program to more students, the schools will no longer be required to take the state tests.

Therefore, their proficiency rate will not be known or reported.

In the future, there will be no more comparing the results of voucher schools and public schools in Milwaukee.


What's the most iconic photo of Sandy's storm damage so far?

I had an idea for a simple photoshop that says, "Are oil & coal worth this?"

Michelle Rhee's "StudentsFirst" backs candidates who CUT education funding

You know someone is the product of a conservative think tank and a corporate shill when they call their astroturf group "StudentsFirst" then use it to back candidates who support cutting education spending.

Michelle Rhee, darling of the media and the public face of corporate centric education reform, also backed the opponent of a former teacher of the year because that teacher vowed to fight for real public education and against the privatization agenda.

It goes on to say that one privatized online charter is doing worse than public schools under threat of closure (the for profit charter gets no such threat of course).

This is one issue where we must pry Democratic politicians away from the corporate teat and make it more painful to latch back on than to stay away.

Michelle Rhee is endorsing and funding rightwing candidates across the nation, showering cash on those who are opposed to teachers' rights and unions and support privatization of public education.

In Ohio, she is using her StudentsFirst millions--collected from anonymous billionaires, millionaires and corporations--to support opponents of public education.

An Ohio blogger writes:

Now, here in Ohio, Michelle Rhee’s true colors simply cannot be ignored. Rhee has chosen to fund multiple candidates in Ohio who are running for the Ohio House this year, citing their individual votes to support the Kasich budget that cut public education funding by $1.8 billion as a reason for StudentsFirst’s support. Let me restate that: StudentsFirst supports these candidates because they supported Kasich’s budget that cut $1.8 billion from school funding.
PlunderBund (http://s.tt/1rpCF)

Of all her endorsements in Ohio, the most disgusting is that Rhee is supporting a candidate with no education experience running against Maureen Reedy, an experienced and admired teacher. The two are candidates for an open seat in the 29th district.


PIC: Celebrity lookalike for Romney son who gave Obama death stare

If Romney wins, maybe this son could design the real Hunger Games.

Five reasons why Chicago should have an elected School Board not a Rahm appointed one

I have never been too happy with the elected board that overseas my community college district, but reading this, it sound like a board appointed by a corporate boot lick like Rahm Emanuel is not only more corrupt, but incompetent at even things you would expect business people to be good at like keeping up their credit rating.

Is it going to take a million teacher march on Washington to get Obama and the corporate wing of the Democratic Party to stop implementing right wing education "reform that" is ultimately about turning our kids education (and our tax dollars) over to the Wall Street hedge fund managers who broke the world economy?

If they can't do finance right, which is their actual job, why should we trust them with our kids?

  1. The CPS board members are appointed by the Mayor and not elected by the people. They answer to the mayor and ignore the community.

  2. Some members of the board voted to raise the CPS property taxes to the highest amounts allowed by the law. At the same time, they have lobbied to lower property taxes for themselves.

  3. Some residents of communities like North Lawndale have seen their property taxes increase at a faster rate than people from other parts of the city, in spite of the fact that property values are decreasing and many home owners are on fixed incomes.

  4. North Lawndale is the target area for school closings, turnarounds and other educational experiments that can distract our students. Yet, there is not one person on the CPS board from the West Side.

  5. Even though the board is made up of business people, Chicago Public Schools just proposed a budget that will spend all the cash reserves for next year. As a result, their credit score was lowered. CPS must now pay higher interest rates. The more money they spend on interest, the less money will be available for the classroom.


Do the Wealthy Need Segregated Charter Schools?

Supporting links at original.

Heilig wrote a post recently about Great Hearts, the charter chain that has been trying to locate in an affluent neighborhood in Nashville, thus far without success. As readers of this blog may recall, the Metro Nashville school board has turned Great Hearts down four times. For exercising discretion, the district has been punished by TFA Commissioner Kevin Huffman, who has withheld $3.4 million in state aid from the district. Huffman, of course, believes he must be obeyed because he is the all-powerful commissioner and how dare they reject his order.

Now Great Hearts want to bring multiple charters to San Antonio, and you can guess where they want to locate. As Heilig says in his title, "Hey! The Wealthy Need Segregated Charters Too!?"


Tennessee Commissioner of Ed cuts a district's funding for board vetoing charter school in rich area

A local school board refuses to approve a new

If we had a truly independent Justice Department, this would be cause for a corruption investigation and indictment.

Tennessee's TFA Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman ordered the Metro Nashville school board to grant a charter to a school run by Arizona-based Great Hearts. The School board voted no. It voted no four times. It said the school wanted to locate in a neighborhood where it would draw mainly from well-to-do white families; the board wanted assurance that the school would serve a diverse enrollment. Great Hearts expects families to make a "voluntary" contribution of $1200-1500 upfront.

Huffman retaliated by cutting state funding to the Nashville schools by $3.4 million in the middle of the term. It's his way or the highway. What a lesson for the children of Tennessee.

Part of the district's response:

We were disappointed to learn around noon today that the Tennessee Department of Education has refused to reconsider its decision to withhold nearly $3.4 million in taxpayer funding designated for the education of more than 81,000 students in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The funding is 10 percent of the state’s annual “non-instructional” funding for Nashville’s children.

The $3.4 million reduction is significant and raises concerns about how the amount was determined and whether it is consistent with other penalties assessed by the state. Tennessee law does not address penalties in this situation.

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