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Judge says "Louisiana Illegally Fired 7,500 Teachers" after Katrina.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-22-12 10:48 PM
Original message
Judge says "Louisiana Illegally Fired 7,500 Teachers" after Katrina.
From the New York Times:

Louisiana Illegally Fired 7,500 Teachers, Judge Says

A judge confirmed that here on Wednesday, ruling that the Orleans Parish School Board and the Louisiana Department of Education, in laying the groundwork for a school reform movement that has become nationally recognized, illegally fired 7,500 school employees.

The decision by Ethel S. Julien, a civil District Court judge, backed by 45 pages of reasoning and historical narrative, reinforced a long-held counternarrative of the beginnings of that movement.


The judge pointed out that the state education superintendent asked for billions of dollars from the federal government in 2005 and that a significant portion would be used to pay out-of-work employees.

But in the following months, the state-run Recovery School District won control of nearly all New Orleans schools from the local school board, as well as most of the boards operating budget. The requested federal funds were directed to the recovery district.

In December 2005, the local school board, with few schools and little money in its control, passed a resolution firing 7,500 school employees, who at that time had been on disaster leave without pay, an employment status that Judge Julien found in her decision to be fictional. She concluded that the state was liable for rendering the local board unable to fulfill its contractual obligations to its workers.


If you haven't yet made the connection to the reformers failures in New Orleans and to Arne Duncan's policies...remember these words he spoke.

Hurricane Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans schools.

ABC News' Mary Bruce Reports: Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that Hurricane Katrina was "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans" because it gave the city a chance to rebuild and improve its failing public schools.

In an interview to air this weekend on "Washington Watch with Roland Martin" Duncan said "that education system was a disaster. And it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that we have to do better.




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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-12 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Arne brags on New Orleans, says do same to Detroit...with no hurricane
Sometimes I wonder how people are letting all this destruction of public schools happen so easily. I guess it goes to the effort to make those who speak out feel disloyal. That's a shame, really. To let public education go so easily into the past rather than question party policy.

Read Arne's further words about hurricanes and schools...

I see the progress here in New Orleans and I ask, 'Why not Detroit?' We don't need to wait for a hurricane before we can reform schools. I even think Detroit can leapfrog New Orleans.




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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-12 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Was that under Governor Blanco"
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-12 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes, it was.
She was governor January 2004 until January 2008.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-12 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. the destruction of public schools is joyously continued, while failing, horribly run charters
continue to usurp public school resources ranging from access to funding - and society seems lost on the matter. Like his older brother was a stain on America, Jeb was a stain on FL. I really hope that in our near future many people will start standing up against this massive overhaul and demand a stop to what's being done.




Get it here --->>>
www.zazzle.com/youre_not_in_the_1_why_vote_like_you_are...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-12 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I am not getting the reference..
Edited on Sat Jun-23-12 09:03 PM by No Elephants
Did Jeb influence Blanco on this?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-12 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Jeb and Obama, their plans differ only on vouchers.
I don't think this administration is much into vouchers. Just charter schools and closing schools for turnarounds. Jeb much admires Obama's work on education. Watch this video.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. and anytime I hear Pres. Obama praise anything the right-wingers are pushing on education, I cringe
The sitting president has influence regarding policy, sure, but ultimately a strong liberal Congress would get a lot more done and that's what I'm hoping to see prevail at some time in my life. So tired seeing rethug pols destroy everything and then the common worker defend the repubs and the rich (and none of the ones I know who do the defending are wealthy).
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. ............
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And, the following is from from Arne Duncan's wiki

"In 1992, childhood friend and investment banker John W. Rogers, Jr. appointed Duncan director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program mentoring children at one of the city's worst-performing elementary schools and then assisting them as they proceeded further in the education system.<3> After the school closed in 1996, Duncan and Rogers were instrumental in re-opening it as a charter school, Ariel Community Academy.<10> In 1999, Duncan was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.<11>

<snip>



Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Duncan to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools on June 26, 2001.<12> Opinions vary on Duncan's success as CEO; one prominent publication notes improved test scores and describes Duncan as a consensus builder,<13> while another finds the improvements largely a myth and is troubled by the closing of neighborhood schools and their replacement by charter schools, and what it describes as schools' militarization.<14>

<snip>

Secretary of Education

Duncan was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2009.<15> One of Duncan's well-known initiatives as secretary has been a $4 billion Race to the Top competition. It asks states to vie for federal education dollars by submitting proposals that include reforms such as expanding charter schools and judging teachers partly on how well their students do on standardized tests.<16> Duncan sends his own children to public schools.<15> In March 2011 Duncan said 82 percent of the nations public schools could be failing by next year under the standards of the No Child Left Behind law. The projection amounts to a startling spike from current data, which shows that 37 percent of schools are on track to miss targets set by the law. He said Four out of five schools in America would not meet their goals under by next year, Duncan said in his opening statement. This is why we have to fix the law now. Nobody can support inaction and maintain the status quo.<17>
Criticism

Teachers' unions, such as the National Education Association (NEA), have criticized the Obama Administration's embrace of charter schools as part of the Race to the Top. The NEA gave the Race to the Top a vote of "no confidence," and invited critic Diane Ravitch to speak at their 2010 meeting.<18> In February 2012, Duncan was criticized for appearing publicly on a panel with Michelle Rheeformer Washington D.C. Chancellor of Schools. The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education (the Department which Duncan heads) was, at that time, investigating whether D.C. schools had cheated to raise test scores during Rhee's tenure. On February 26, 2012, the New York Times quoted criticisms of Duncan by Richard L. Hyde, an investigator who exposed the large-scale test-score cheating that was endemic in Atlanta (Georgia) City Schools: 'Im shocked that the secretary of education would be fraternizing with someone who could potentially be the target of the investigation,' said. 'The appearance of a conflict of interest is troubling because it can cause the public to lose faith in the investigation.' <19>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Duncan








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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. Judge hands out damages as high as $480,000 for some.
I read one article that says the ones who brought the lawsuit will each get a million. In my mind they deserve every penny. Being fired because of a hurricane beyond their control, victims of those who took advantage of a catastrophe to push their agenda. As Rahm said, never let a crisis go to waste.

http://noladefender.com/content/firing-tho34usands-new-...

"A judge ruled yesterday that the mass firing of thousands of teachers and employees of Orleans Parish schools in the wake of the Federal Flood was illegal. Civil District Court Judge Ethel Simms Julien handed out damages as high as $480,000 to seven employees in the class action suit. More than 8,500 employees under the purview of the Orleans Parish School Board were put on "disaster leave without pay" in 2006 as the Recovery School District increased its reach in New Orleans. Julien called that designation "fictitious."

" The judge only awarded damages to the seven employees who were party to the suit, but thousands more could be eligible now that ruling has come down. The total amount damages awareded to the seven employees who were party to the suit was $1.3 million. The ruling states that the money must come from the state, the Department of Education and the Orleans Parish School Board."

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Wouldn't the Orleans Parish School Board have been under Nagin"
Well the Bard says it wants suggestions.

Care to go for it? http://www.nops.k12.la.us/pages/about_us

Elsewhere on that website, the board is soliciting applications for new charter schools.

"Never ket a crisis go to waste?" Isn't that another way of saying "Never fail to use a disaster for your own benefit?"

Well, in a way, I'm grateful you did not tell us that he said "Always do your bet to alleviate suffering in a crisis." I would have had to re-think my opinion of him and I am too tired for anything like that right now.

Good night!
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
11. Madfloridian's great work on the charter school issue caused me to remember
that Caroline Kennedy had supposedly been doing a lot of work around public schools in NYC. I remember thisw from when Caroline Kennedy saw then NY Governor Paterson (Patterson?) about U.S. Senate seat.

So, this morning, I decided, with some dread, to see if the work that had sounded so noble to me a couple of years ago was/is in fact around charter schools. I cannot tell you how said I am so sad to report that it is.


http://observer.com/2011/03/kennedy-and-klein-charter-c... /

Not only that, but Caroline actually got a NYC school official to declare a snow day--which meant her son's private school would likely declare one as well--because her son had a paper due to the next day and wanted an extra day to finish it.

Think for a second about how many kids are in public and private school in the five boroughs of NYC and how many of them have either two working parents or single parent families. Think how an expected snow day makes them scramble for child care and maybe shell out from tiny budgets for child care. Or puts kids at risk for God only knows what.

And when the chancellor told the story to an audience, Carolyn laughingly confirmed it, apparently thinking it was funny or adorable or something.

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-03-10/gossip/28689...

Gobstopped.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. :(
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Yep, Caroline Kennedy is strong for charters.
And worked closely with Joel Klein.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-12 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Well, she is a New Yorker and, if Shanker and her family's party pushed them,
I can understand it, though I don't agree with it and think it unfortunate.


It's closing schools in the entire city of NY because her son wanted more time to finish his homework that got me.

I mean, it's not as though a bad grade or asking his own teacher for an extension was going to get him kicked out of his private school, or keep him out of a good college or keep him from making enough in the future to feed himself. Those are the worries of people who have no ability to close school for a day.

I can't see any of her uncles or aunts doing anything like that, despite their privileged upbringing.

And what kind of Chancellor agrees, instead of trying to wake her the hell up? ILPMA (In loco parentis, my ass.)
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-12 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Yep, agreed. That was pretty nervy and weird...
of both of them.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-26-12 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. And jaw droppingly callous to so many children, parents and guardians.
It's mind boggling.

Being in Massachusetts, the Kennedy name has been magic here to Democrats for so long. For me, that "cute" little news story finally ended an era in a way that even Ted's death did not.
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