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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 06:58 PM
Number of posts: 36,177

Journal Archives

Should Obama & Dems back striking Chicago teachers or corporate ed "reformers" & Rahm?

Top Democrats have tried to have it both ways on education: give what they want to the corporate "reformers" who want to prove public schools are failing with endless standardized testing as an excuse to privatize public schools so they can skim our tax dollars as profits on the one hand, and keep teachers in the tent by funding ed at a higher level than republicans would and even budgeting money to keep teachers from being fired on the other.

But they can't have it both ways forever. They are either going to screw teachers and students to get that corporate cash, or side with those who signed up for a job with no expectation of getting rich, but just wanted to teach kids and be able to support their family. The latter also happen to be loyal voters and foot soldiers for the Democratic Party.

Education has broader implications too: it is part of the trend of merging corporation and state, with the corporate governance model of one dollar one vote instead of one person one vote dominating.

That the president's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a point man for the privatizers in Chicago, shows the cancer on the Democratic Party of trying to be the OTHER corporate party instead of a real alternative to the GOP.

I want a real alternative, and it's time for Democrats in office and candidates to decide if they are going to provide it.

Which side should Obama and Democratic politicians take?

LA school board members asks why privatized charter schools aren't held accountable

You know something is fishy when the same people who insist on testing regular public schools every other week, and using the results as an excuse to fire teachers or even close schools don't seem to care much about how their preferred replacements are doing.

They could save everyone a lot of time and trouble and just let public school teachers "innovate" the way they allow charter schools to, and save the micromanaging for professionals who need it, like the sociopaths on Wall Street.

Zimmer has the temerity to ask where the charter movement is going in Los Angeles. What is the end game? Who is looking out for the 86% of students who are not in charters? What are the consequences of "co-location" (i.e., giving charters free space in a public school, taking classrooms, facilities and resources away from the public school students)?


Zimmer points out that the 232 charters in the city of Los Angeles enroll 14.5% of the district's students, yet the board approves charters without more than five minutes of deliberations.

Only 7 of the city's 232 charters participate in the LAUSD data system, making it hard to know who they are serving and what they are doing.

He notes that charters are supposed to be incubators of innovation, yet they share nothing with public schools, and the board has no process by which to evaluate and share any best practices incubated in charters.


Why Bill Clinton spoke and Baby Bush didn't: impeachment polls

This got more hits than anything else on my blog when I originally ran it.


Was it just me or was there more policy substance in Michelle Obama's speech than Mitt Romney's?

yes it was mostly biographical, but she made real points about equal pay and student loans.

Romney was quite a bit more general.

Maybe he accidentally read his wife's speech again.


It's pretty sad that someone has to imagine a Democratic president needing to say these words, even sadder that it is unlikely to happen.

If these words aren't said though, every teacher is going to wonder why they bother to vote when both parties treat them like punching bags and their students as so many pork bellies big campaign donors are champing at the bit to privatize so they can drain our tax dollars into their profits.

I'd like to vote for a president who is right on this issue instead of being just slightly better than the alternative.

“You know that I have spoken out repeatedly against teaching to the test. I would not want this for my children, and you should not want it for yours or the children in your care. This is mis-education.

“Our country is now spending billons of dollars on testing and test preparation that should be spent in the classrooms of America, bringing back the 300,000 teachers who lost their jobs. reducing class sizes, restoring libraries, and providing services directly to children.


“One more thing. I realize that we were wrong to require states to allow more privately-managed schools as a condition of getting money from the Race to the Top.

“Through our mistakes, we inadvertently unleashed a movement to privatize our nation’s public schools and to turn them into for-profit centers for equity investors and technology corporations..."


Sarah Palin-Impersonating Porn Star Strips for RNC Delegates at GOP-Themed Club in Tampa

I for one am shocked that it isn't a rent boy dressing up as Sarah Palin for the closet cases of the GOP.

Sarah Palin may be a no-show at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, but, for some delegates at least, it seems her porn star double Lisa Ann is an adequate substitute.

The adult film actress, who has been making bank from her Palin resemblance since 2008, is best known to mainstream audiences from her role as Serra Paylin in the political porn parody Who's Nailin' Paylin?.

A dental assistant by trade, Ann arrived in Tampa over the weekend to perform a GOP-themed strip show at Thee DollHouse strip club on N. Westshore Blvd.

"Sarah Palin is in the house tonight!" Ann — I mean Paylin — exclaimed, before proceeding to remove her business skirt and black corset to reveal the two things that clearly set her apart from the GOP's 2008 VP nominee — her 38DDs.


CNN deletes ALL comments on corporate education reform critic Diane Ravitch TWICE

The Wall Street crowd has a real problem with democracy, and even feedback.

Apparently, their talking points on privatizing public K-12 schools are so shaky, they can't withstand even the criticism of those who comment on the CNN website.

If CNN so obviously scrubs comments critical of the privatization agenda, should they start advertising themselves as Fox News for people who aren't named Cleatus? Why don't the news Networks just start calling themselves Press Release Reading Services or Infomercials for Wall Street?

CNN Deleted All Comments on My Interview–Again!

by dianerav

A reader informed me that CNN deleted all comments on Randi Kaye's interview with me for the second time.

Here is the link if you are inclined to try for a third time to leave a comment:



corporate education reform film at Dem convention needs to be SWAMPED by real educators protesting

There seem to be few ways real educators can get the attention of the administration and make them admit that redundant testing, mass firings, union busting, and privatizing public education serves the wealthy who want to divert public education dollars into their own pockets--not the actual kids who need educating.

Diane Ravitch posted this invitation a reader got:

StudentsFirst, Parent Revolution, and Democrats for Education Reform are hosting a screening of the film "Won't Back Down" at the Democratic National Convention. It is not on the official program, so I hear.

This is the film celebrating the parent trigger, the law started by the billionaire-funded Parent Revolution in California and since adopted by the far-rightwing group ALEC as model legislation to encourage parents to seize control of their public school and hand it over to a charter school operator.


Join Us for a Screening of Won't Back Down at the DNC

You and your guests are cordially invited to a pre-screening of Won't Back
Down at the Democratic National Convention sponsored by Democrats for
Education Reform, Parent Revolution and StudentsFirst. The film will be
followed by a panel discussion with Michelle Rhee, Ben Austin, Joe Williams,
Mayor Kevin Johnson and others.

Where: EpiCentre Theaters - 210 E. Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Date: September 3, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 3:00pm


It would be criminal for this event during the media intensive convention to occur without teachers, parents, and those who want real public education making it clear that ALEC backed education reform is about PROFITS NOT PUPILS.

We should be both inside and outside this event, prepared with a couple of simple talking points like charters doing no better than real public schools according to the Stanford study, charters being free of the micromanaged curriculum and mandate to serve special needs kids that public schools have, and the profit motive underlying the whole ugly affair.

Obama will certainly be better on education funding than Romney, but that will mean little if most of the money ends up in the pockets of the privatizers.

Democratic politicians need to know that whatever campaign donations they get from this crowd will cost them far more in bad PR and the support of otherwise fervent progressives.

on Skinnydipping in Galileegate: Is paying for congressional travel a form of bribery?

That is really the only outrage I felt when I read about the congressman skinnydipping in the Sea of Galilee.

If someone pays for you to take a trip, that creates a debt as much as a campaign donation, an insider stock tip, a job for a layabout relative, or the promise of a job after they leave office.

And that debt creates access (at a minimum).

I don't know about you, but I can't afford to buy airfare for a planeload of Congressmen to come investigate my issues.

Maybe I'm missing something, but what's wrong with this rule:

  • If it's official business, the government should pay.

  • If it's campaign related, donors should pay.

  • If it's skinnydipping in the Sea of Galilee, they should pay their own fucking way.

What do you think?

I regret that Romney didn't pick Chris Christie.

He was the only hope of making this race entertaining with his cartoonish thuggishness.

He would make Joe Biden look like George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and FDR all rolled into one in the VP debates even if Biden didn't open his mouth.

Paul Ryan will do the same thing, but it will take a few more minutes to get there.
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