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Mon Jul 14, 2014, 09:30 PM

Smart-ass answer from DFER (pro-school-privatization) to Donna Brazile on new anti-reform...

group called Democrats for Public Education. DFER is a group of not really Democrats called Democrats for Education Reform. What they really want is more charter schools, less public schools, and more and more profit for the education Billionaire Boys' Club.

That response?

Joe Williams on announcement of AFT's launch of Democrats for Public Education:

"Welcome to the Jungle, baby."


Democrats for Education Reform

It's a big game to them. The DFER group looks down on public schools and the public school teachers, yet it is impossible to find a list of Democrats at their site.

Here is more about the new group being formed to supposedly fight back against education "reformers". I say supposedly because right now trust is hard to come by for me. Two national unions have now called for the head of Arne Duncan. Maybe some Democrats are getting the message.

From the Salon article about the new group.

Michelle Rhee’s minions meet their match: New anti-charter group declares war

For many years now, Democrats at the highest levels — including President Obama and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan — have pursued a series of so-called reform policies, which include charter schools, test-based teacher evaluations and eliminations of tenure. The Race to the Top program, where the Education Department forced school policy changes as a condition for competing for additional funding support, engendered a quiet revolution in the classroom. Duncan famously called Hurricane Katrina “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” an example of his desire to overhaul school districts and break union power.

Teacher’s unions typically resisted the reformers, but in the end would come back into the Democrats’ fold, perceiving Republicans as worse. Both the AFT and the National Education Association (NEA) endorsed President Obama in 2012. With teachers a substantial part of the Democratic activist base, unions had reasons to downplay the disagreements.

But a ruling out of California became a touchstone, bringing this simmering debate further into the open. In the Vergara case, bankrolled by Silicon Valley elites, a state judge effectively invalidated California’s teacher tenure rule as violating the civil rights of poor students, who cannot have bad teachers jettisoned from their classrooms. The ruling earned praise from Arne Duncan, and Obama Administration alums formed a public relations group to support future copycat lawsuits in other states. Vergara threatens perhaps the core position of teacher’s unions – job security for their members.

.....While Democrats for Public Education may not have the funds of DFER (as Brazile told Salon, “We don’t have their money and we don’t want their money”), there are plenty of races that could use a counterweight to education reform groups. Perhaps the biggest is in Chicago, where Rahm Emanuel earned the enmity of teachers for school closures and a bitter strike (during which DFER spent $1 million on pro-Emanuel ads). Emanuel faces re-election next February, and a new poll out this weekend shows that Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, leads him by 9 points. That comes before one dollar has been spent on the race, of course, and Emanuel will have millions at his disposal. So Democrats for Public Education’s role just in Chicago would be critical, if they decide to back candidates.


I hope this is a sincere move, because teachers right now could see false hope a mile away.

Perhaps some are noticing that November is not that far off, and that it is not just the teachers who are angry. Parents are organizing as well.

An apt description of Arne Duncan by an advocate for public education

Duncan is without question the most anti-teacher,anti-public school Secretary of Education in our history, and I say that advisedly. Both Bill Bennett Reagan’s second term Secretary) and Rod Paige (George W. Bush’s first term Secretary) had their faults, but they did nothing more than talk. Paige, remember, called the NEA a “terrorist” organization. But neither had the ability to open thousands of privately managed schools, neither persuaded states to judge teachers by the test scores of their students. Besides, both served Republican presidents so their antipathy to unions was not surprising. Duncan works in a Democratic administration. What is his excuse for applauding the mass firing of the staff in Central Falls, Rhode Island? The destruction of public education in New Orleans? The release of teacher names with student scores in Los Angeles? The Vergara decision, attacking due process rights? His close alliance with anti-public school groups like Democrats for Education Reform?


Since Arne will most likely never retire on his own...it is now up to the president to listen to the teachers of two national unions who want him gone. Fire him.

26 replies, 2109 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Smart-ass answer from DFER (pro-school-privatization) to Donna Brazile on new anti-reform... (Original post)
madfloridian Jul 2014 OP
GeorgeGist Jul 2014 #1
madfloridian Jul 2014 #2
madfloridian Jul 2014 #3
madfloridian Jul 2014 #4
madfloridian Jul 2014 #5
madfloridian Jul 2014 #6
Starry Messenger Jul 2014 #7
Lifelong Protester Jul 2014 #8
madfloridian Jul 2014 #9
Lifelong Protester Jul 2014 #10
wcast Jul 2014 #11
madfloridian Jul 2014 #12
Starry Messenger Jul 2014 #13
madfloridian Jul 2014 #14
Starry Messenger Jul 2014 #22
madfloridian Jul 2014 #24
femmocrat Jul 2014 #15
greatlaurel Jul 2014 #16
madfloridian Jul 2014 #17
greatlaurel Jul 2014 #20
madfloridian Jul 2014 #21
greatlaurel Jul 2014 #23
woo me with science Jul 2014 #18
madfloridian Jul 2014 #19
Mc Mike Jul 2014 #25
Jakes Progress Jul 2014 #26

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 09:35 PM

1. the intro is a mess.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 09:37 PM

2. Mine or theirs or both or what??

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 09:42 PM

3. ..

Oops meant to reply to George.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 09:52 PM

4. Seriously, please be clearer with your critique.

That's only fair.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:26 PM

5. Thanks for just walking away after an insulting comment.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:28 PM

6. Members of DFER...so many hedge fund and charter school folks. From 2010

http://www.uft.org/feature-stories/who-are-democrats-education-reform

There’s a political action committee called Democrats for Education Reform. A great name, but I heard that they only support nonunion charter schools, bash unions and get subsidized by Wall Street hedge-fund managers. What’s up with that?

You heard right. They’re like other public school bashers, except they call themselves Democrats. Democrats for Education Reform claims that it “leads efforts to frame the fight that is playing out within the Democratic Party on education issues.” It tries to accomplish that by pushing aside teacher unions as education spokespeople or even as informed practitioners. The organization advocates for nonunion charter schools, vouchers, merit pay, test-based teacher evaluations, curbs on tenure and removing teacher unions from almost any role in shaping curriculum or determining working conditions.

In just three years, DFER directed more than $17 million into political and grassroots advocacy for its version of education reform and for what Joe Williams, the group’s executive director and a former Daily News education reporter, credits as “creating momentum which has the potential to dominate education policymaking for years to come.”

DFER calls Barack Obama “the first ever Democratic president elected without significant support of teachers’ unions” — a shocker to those UFT members who went to toss-up state Pennsylvania to stump for Obama and to AFT and NEA members nationwide who campaigned for the candidate in 2008.


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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:33 PM

7. k&r

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:49 PM

8. I want to give this a BIG K & R

Dump Duncan! and happy to have Donna Brazile on 'our' side.

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #8)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:51 PM

9. Thank you and Starry Messenger for the recs.

It is important.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:55 PM

10. You are welcome!

When are folks going to wake up to the fact that if we don't start fighting back, and soon, there will be NO public education. As you may know, I am from WI and we are in a mess here. But as you can see from my name, I'm "out there"......

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 11:40 PM

11. I hope this has legs!

I didnt know DFER was a front for republicans. It's about time teachers stood up for education and ourselves.

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Response to wcast (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 01:13 AM

12. Unfortunately it is. Another false front group formed by "reformers".

I hope this new group is really what it seems to be. There are so many groups like Students First (Rhee) or Students Matter (formed to take away teachers' due process rights)...that it's hard to know who or what to trust.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 06:46 AM

13. Their FB page, for those who want to give them a like.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 09:09 AM

14. Thanks for the link to their Facebook page.

Hope they get a lot of interest.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 12:35 AM

22. Up to 1483. Last night it was hovering around 500.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #22)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 01:13 AM

24. Great! I can't find a twitter page for them yet.

Let me know if you do.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 11:11 AM

15. It is unfortunate that the names of the two groups are so similar.

The DFER = Republicans!

The real Democrats for Public Education has a stellar group of leaders with Strickland, Granholm, and Brazile. Hope they do great things!

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 11:35 AM

16. Thanks for the post.

K&R

Everyone needs to understand that our public education system is being dismantled so the tax dollars will pour into private corporations. It is a massive scam. I do not understand how it is even legal to do this.

Here is a link to an article about how the Gulen run charter schools are simply stealing Ohio tax dollars with the help of the GOP in Ohio. Gulen gives a lot of contributions back to the GOP. the children in these schools are not testing anywhere close to the public schools in Ohio.

http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/07/07/abj-investigation-reveals-more-financial-testing-and-immigration-troubles-at-gulen-charters/

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Response to greatlaurel (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 12:34 PM

17. Also if you have not read Sharon Higgins blog about Gulen charters...a link.

http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

Also about charter school scandals in general. I will never understand why taxpayers are not rising up against seeing their money used this way.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #17)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 12:27 AM

20. Great link. I did not know of that site. Bookmarking it.

Thanks! You know if public educators even look funny at public funds they get called on the carpet so fast their heads spin. I do not understand how these charters are able to steal so many public tax dollars and no one in the media bats an eye about it. You would think the all taxpayers would scream bloody murder about these out and out thefts of public funds. I am completely flummoxed at the lack of outrage.

The lack of interest on this website shocks me even more. The GOP is directly giving public tax dollars to these private charters which then give them massive campaign contributions right back. It is just that straight forward here in Ohio. Why aren't Democrats talking about this in their campaigns?

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Response to greatlaurel (Reply #20)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 12:30 AM

21. Here's why.

There is lack of interest here, and there is a dearth of Democrats talking out about these tactics because it is the policy of this administration.

And there are many who accept it rather than criticize our party policy.

And that is a shame.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #21)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 12:54 AM

23. Your analysis is spot on, but the Democratic Party better wake up about destroying public ed.

Democratic candidates need educators and school employees to vote for them. It is a huge voting block and if they all stay home or vote GOP, we are all in really big trouble.

I do not understand why the President has let Duncan loose to attack public ed. I am sure he has to know educators are a big part of the Democratic big tent. He could throw a few bones to the billionaires without giving away the whole store. I know politicians have to respond to the big donors, but Obama's education policies are insane! I like the president, but his education policies are really harming kids.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 04:14 PM

18. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 06:27 PM

19. What I think Joe Williams meant by his smarty remark.

I think he was referring to the attitude prevalent among corporations and billionaires that public education is a profitable venture for them.......and it seems like he meant it's a jungle out there. It is like a free for all attack on public schools, with everyone benefiting except teachers, students, and parents.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 06:24 PM

25. Impossible to find a list of Democrats for Education 'Reform' on their site.

The ones that back them aren't proud of the company they're keeping, and the rest of the group are repugs claiming to be Dems, I suppose.

Rec. Thanks.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 06:56 PM

26. K&R

But your last paragraph was a giggle. I'm sorry but I don't see this president ever listening to a union.

I supported him. I campaigned for him. I sent him money. But he has betrayed my support by working diligently to undo years of work by determined teachers to help students in order to funnel more money to the 1%. I have liked some of his efforts, and I know that he has been beset by the worst of human nature in the form of rabid conservatives. But he has tucked tail and bowed to them too often, and in the case of the thing I care about most, the thing I gave 40 years of my life to, he has sided with the worst of the worst. No republican could ever have have attacked teachers and unions and children like this. Before Obama, the Democrats would have fought tooth and nail to keep it from happening. But, as evidenced by the lack of interest or concern here on DU, if Obama does it, it is given a pass.

While I disliked his bailing bankers and wall street out before people and didn't like his embracing of the bush era NSA crap while letting the lies and treason of bush/cheney go without question, it is his support for the work of rhee and duncan that will be what I think of when I think of the legacy of this president.

Sorry to be so much a downer, but I can find nothing of the party that I loved from my youth. DU, which should be where Democrats act like Democrats, just yawns as we become the party of reagan.

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