HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » yurbud » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

Journal Archives

RAVITCH: U.S. Dept. of Ed. Bails Out Failing For-Profit College Chain

This makes me wonder if the Obama administration cares about the party winning anymore elections or offering voters a choice at all.

This is the kind of blatant crony-care I would have expected from the Bush administration.

These guys get a bailout--how about the students who took out massive loans to go to these scam colleges, or even bailouts for students who took out massive loans to go to regular private and public colleges?

Washington seems to have taken Grover Norquist's words to heart and put their own spin on it. They want the MIDDLE CLASS to be weak enough that they can drown it in the bathtub.

But no misdeed of the wealthy can go unrewarded. If they are too incompetent to make more money from us directly, then they can get a bailout until the figure out how to steal properly.

Peter Greene comments here on the U. S. Department of Education's decision to bail out Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a for-profit chain.

Not so long ago, the U.S. DOE pledged to monitor predatory for-profit colleges. Not so, it seems. Not now.

Greene writes:

"Corinthian has a somewhat checkered past. Okay, checkered might be generous. They have grown prodigiously since being founded in 1995, acquiring around twenty other post-secondary institutions from Duff's Business School to the American Motorcycle Institute. They operate the Everest College chain, plus a few others. They've been called "the nation's worst private college chain" and have been sued more times than anybody seems to be able to count. The State of California in particular seems to be intent on driving them out of business, charging them with the usual predatory practices of marketing to poverty-level folks with promises of careers that never appear. This would also be the chain who got caught (by Huffington Post, of all people) hiring their own grads to keep their grad-employment numbers up.

They are, in short, exactly the kind of for-profit college that the feds said they were going to shut down."

The announcement was made by Ted Mitchell, Undersecretary of Education, who served previously on the boards of for-profit education institutions and was CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which is a major supporter of privatization efforts.

dianeravitch | June 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Categories: Education Industry, For-Profit, Higher Education | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-89G

RAVITCH: Common Core Writer Blasts CC Basic Reading Standards

One of the writers of the Common Core doesn't like how those standards have been translated into standardized tests, and predicts half of students will never pass those tests.

Maybe that's the point.

If the bar is raised so high half the kids fail, the corporate "reformers" can point at that "failure" as a reason to continue privatization--even though privatized, for profit charter schools are usually less accountable, have less experienced teachers, and produce no better results than traditional public schools.

Isn't it time to stop letting the wealthy dictate public education policy in ways that make them wealthier at the expense of our kids?

Why don't we try smaller class size, more social services on campus in high risk communities, and ways to attract more teachers to the job instead of driving them away.

Dr. Louisa Moats was part of the team that wrote the foundational reading standards for the Common Core. In "Psychology Today," she strongly criticized the standards.

Among other things, she said:

"I never imagined when we were drafting standards in 2010 that major financial support would be funneled immediately into the development of standards-related tests. How naïve I was. The CCSS represent lofty aspirational goals for students aiming for four year, highly selective colleges. Realistically, at least half, if not the majority, of students are not going to meet those standards as written, although the students deserve to be well prepared for career and work through meaningful and rigorous education.

"Our lofty standards are appropriate for the most academically able, but what are we going to do for the huge numbers of kids that are going to “fail” the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test? We need to create a wide range of educational choices and pathways to high school graduation, employment, and citizenship. The Europeans got this right a long time ago.

"If I could take all the money going to the testing companies and reinvest it, I’d focus on the teaching profession – recruitment, pay, work conditions, rigorous and on-going training. Many of our teachers are not qualified or prepared to teach the standards we have written. It doesn’t make sense to ask kids to achieve standards that their teachers have not achieved! "

dianeravitch | June 24, 2014 at 7:00 am | Categories: Common Core, Teachers and Teaching | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-87w

Has anyone here ever watched BOONDOCK SAINTS?

So many of my college students have said that it was their favorite movie over the years, that I finally got around to watching it.

It was kind of fun and watchable but had a couple of glaring plot holes about character motivation in some key points, but even more weird was Willem Dafoe cross-dressing, pretending to be a hooker a mob boss sent some of his henchmen as a perk, and ANY guy saying yes (unless he had a Willem Dafoe fetish).

His character in drag looked a little worse than Wendy the prostitute in BREAKING BAD.

If you've seen it, let me know what you thought.

Were politicians who voted for the Iraq War "mistaken"?

I just saw a story where Harry Reid said he was "misled" and "mistaken" in his vote for the Iraq War, which has more or less been the mantra of those Democrats who voted for it.

Likewise, the Bush administration at most claim they were "mistaken" about the intelligence on Iraq--not that they pressured analysts to change their reports and even used some pure lies.

However, even if most or all of what the Bush administration said about Iraq had been true, Iraq would still have been no threat to us or even to Israel.

Everyone in Congress in 2002 was old enough to remember the Cold War, when both the United States and Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other (and the rest of the world) several times over, but neither fired the first shot for fear of being wiped out by the retaliation.

Why then would some country with a SMALLER nuclear arsenal launch a nuke at us or even give a nuke to terrorists to detonate here, knowing that at best, they might take out a city or two here, but our retaliation would wipe their country off the map?

Likewise, Israel has hundreds of nukes, and could easily burn any of her neighbors off the map if they were nuked.

To believe otherwise is to believe you live in an action movie or cartoon, and few politicians are that stupid.

Some in Congress actually laid this out before the war, but most of the media wouldn't give them the time of day.

Do you think that Democrats who voted for the Iraq War really believed Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States?

Louisiana: Governor Jindal Drops Common Core and PARCC


Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal held a press conference today to announce that the state is dropping its participation in PARCC and Common Core. He directed the state board to develop its own standards and assessments.

dianeravitch | June 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Categories: Common Core, Jindal, Bobby, Louisiana | URL:http://wp.me/p2odLa-87y

Read more: http://wp.me/p2odLa-87y

A REPUBLICAN governor has dropped the corrupt and deeply flawed Common Core--when will corporate Democrats admit that handing public education over to Wall Street is a failed policy that the public DOESN'T WANT?

Are you an 11% Democrat?

Someone posted a poll that said only 11% of Democrats want a candidate more "liberal" than Hillary Clinton and 83% were fine with Hillary or wanted someone more conservative.

I don't mean this as a criticism of Hillary in particular. She would have done roughly the same job Obama or any number of DLCers would have done.

However, I wonder if the results of that poll would be the same if you asked some specific questions:

Should corporations be held accountable for criminal actions, pay closer to full restitution and their executives sent to prison?

Should those very wealthy individuals who live primarily on investment income have a separate, lower tax rate than most middle and working class people?

Should workers get to keep a greater share of the wealth they create for their employers?

Should public education be privatized, turning our tax dollars and children's education over to the same Wall Street scammers who outsourced your job, gambled with your mortgage then foreclosed you, and got trillions in bailout dollars that they didn't use to help the economy?

Should we have trade deals that enrich transnational corporations but impoverish average Americans AND average people on the other end of the trade deals?

Should there be cuts to social programs in the name of balanced budgets while the budget for a military as big as that of the rest of the world combined is uncut and the many of the most profitable corporations in human history not only pay no taxes but GET subsidies from the federal and state governments? AND start more costly wars?

Should we continue overthrow foreign governments, by covert means or overt wars, when those governments are not compliant enough to oil companies, plantation and sweatshop corporations, and international bankers?

Should all policy decisions of our government be for sale to the highest bidder, and the role of average Americans be restricted to being sold on what has already been decided behind closed doors?

Should the differences between our major political parties be limited exclusively to abortion, gay rights, gun control, immigration, and the role of religion in public life?

If you asked questions like this, not only would most Democrats be progressives, but so would a lot of Republicans.

Taken in this light, do you want someone more progressive than Hillary, about like Hillary, or more conservative?

RAVTICH: Mother Crusader Follows the Money in Vergara Tenure Busting Decision

So a bunch of billionaires including real estate mogul Eli Broad funded the group that paid for the lawsuit that struck down teacher tenure in California.

And one of the big funders was Arne Duncan's Assistant Secretary of Education for civil rights.

How does it help kids civil rights if teachers are further demonized and driven out of the profession?

Who is going to want to teach in a tough neighborhood if they know they could lose their jobs because their students don't get the same test scores as suburban kids whose parents hover over them and make sure they do their homework every night?

The Obama administration is doing real, lasting harm to education by pursuing these mean-spirited, corrupt education "reforms."

Obama still has time to change course here.

But not much.

by dianeravitch

Mother Crusader, written by New Jersey parent Darcie Cimarusti, determined to find out who was putting up the millions to beat teacher tenure and seniority in California. She examined the 990 tax forms for "Students Matter, the organization that led the battle against the California Teachers Union.

Students Matter spent more than $3 million from 2010-2012; the amount spent in 2013-14 has not yet been reported.

"The 990's also reveal that the money behind the suit wasn't Welch's alone. The two largest contributions did indeed come from Welch; $550,000 from "The Welch Trust" and $568,357 from "LRFA, LLC" which is some sort of business entity that links directly back to Welch's Infinera.

So that's well over $1M from Welch.

The next biggest dollar amount came from none other than Eli Broad, who kicked in $200,000 to buy the Vergara ruling."

"The next biggest dollar amount, $100,000, came from "Tammy and Bill Crown." It took some digging around to figure out that William H. Crown, who seems to split his time between Chicago and Portola Valley, CA, is one of the heirs to Chicago billionaire Lester Crown's fortune.

"Lester Crown, 80, chairman of Henry Crown & Co., the privately held company that is the vehicle for much of the family's investments

"William H. Crown, 41, general partner in Henry Crown & Co.; president and CEO of another family-run investment company, CC Industries Inc. (son) Bucks: Regulars on Forbes' billionaires list, Lester Crown and clan ranked 52nd this year with an estimated net worth of $4 billion."

And then there is this: "A $30,000 donation from the Emerson Education Fund may be one of the most interesting, however. The Managing Director of the Emerson Education Fund is Russlynn Ali, who also just happens to be on the Students Matter Advisory Board." Ali was at Education Trust before she became Arne Duncan's Assistant Secretary of Education for civil rights. Recall that school segregation has been soaring in the past decade. Could it be because the U.S. Department of Education believes that tenure is a greater threat to civil rights than segregation?

Darcie likens Vergara to the Parent Trigger, which brings disruption to communities, not much else, and she concludes:

"It's my greatest hope the Vergara decision does not spread to other states, and is overturned in California on appeal due to pressure from the actual parents, teachers and students who would be affected but this reckless ruling. I don't know about you, but personally I'm pretty sick and tired of monied interests buying legislation, and now a court decision, that could potentially impact my (and your) kids and their teachers."

dianeravitch | June 17, 2014 at 9:00 am | Categories: California, Corporate Reformers, Teacher Tenure | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-86t

Saudi is funding a lot of Sunni rebels in Iraq: are they on our team or gone rogue?

The weird thing about 9/11 and since, is that the Saudis were big funders and even coordinators of al Qaeda and other Sunni fundamentalist groups, but in many cases, they worked to undermine governments our government didn't like (see Iran, Libya, etc.).

With this current chaos they are causing in Iraq, is Saudi backing this to support some broader US foreign policy goal like breaking Iraq into smaller, more easily bullied pieces, or are they "going rogue" and pursuing their own agenda of beating down Iran to be the top dog in the Middle East?

Also, if it's the second, what should, can, or will the US government do about the Saudi involvement?

My guess is they will do about as much about it as they did about their involvement in 9/11.

So which is it: Saudis support of Sunni fighters in Iraq part of larger US strategery or Saudis gone wild?

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co. should go get their shower of flowers & chocolates on streets of Iraq

I believe it was Bush administration advisor Richard Perle who said the Iraqis would greet our invasion with flowers and chocolates, but now some eleven years later, the top Bush administration officials have been far too modest and delayed collecting the adoration of the Iraqi people they so richly deserve.

However, now that they are long out of office, and the move couldn't possibly be seen as a cheap stunt for short term political advantage, they should go.

Walk the streets, shake the hands, and admit matter-of-factly that they are the ones who made Iraq what it is today.

I think it would be a cathartic experience for all of us, Americans and Iraqis alike.

Will centrist Democrats go bipartisan with Cantor-beater on fighting "crony capitalism"?

Centrist Dems are always looking for a way to win over Republican voters and take bipartisan action with Republicans in Congress (no matter now weak and irrelevant GOP is at the moment).

This guy who beat Cantor have them a great way to do both: go after crony capitalism. You know, letting lobbyist write the laws for their industry, giving no strings attached bailouts, leaving office to go work for the corporations they served while in office, looking "forward not backward" when it comes to corporate crime.

If Centrist Dems not only SAY they are going to fight against these things but actually START FIGHTING them before the election, maybe by taking education policy away from wall st, think of the bipartisan mojo they'll have election day.

It might even inspire progressives to trust them.

Since Centrist Dems love bipartisanship so much, I know they will do this, and I'm giddy with anticipation.
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »