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Member since: Sun Feb 6, 2011, 09:14 AM
Number of posts: 3,864

Journal Archives

Black Lives Matter, Teach for America, and Racial Justice in Education

Open Letter to DeRay Mckesson on TFA and Racial Justice in Education,
from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. (DeRay Mckesson is an activist in Black Lives Matter and former teacher with Teach For America. He is in Philadelphia to speak alongside Teach for America)

The Caucus of Working Educators is committed to racial justice in our schools and society, and we stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

We see Teach for America as working in opposition to the goals of publicly funded education for all students in Philadelphia and to the goal of increasing the number of teachers of color and teachers who are committed to building relationships with communities over the long term, which we see as an integral component of culturally responsive teaching.

We do not believe that the white billionaires that bankroll Teach for America and the corporate education “reform” movement are any more interested in the education of poor and working class Black and Latino children than we believe they are interested in ending police violence in Black and Brown communities.


Diane Ravitch on the East Ramapo School board, yeshivas and Orthodox Jews

Has anyone heard about this?

This is new to me and I am researching it.
I started with Diane Ravitch, and this is what I found.

I am told a similar thing happened in Lakewood NJ and I trying to find something on that.

I really like what this guy says.

"Ari Hart is an Orthodox Jew who disapproves of the actions taken by the Jewish-dominated school board in East Ramapo, Néw York.

In that district, the majority of the populace is Orthodox Jews, whose children attend yeshivas. Most students in the public schools are black and Hispanic. The school board takes good care of the yeshivas but it shortchanges the public schools.

Today, the state assembly passed a bill to install a state financial monitor for the district, to protect children in public schools.

Ari Hart chastises his co-religionists."

He writes:

“The board has drastically increased the funding going to yeshivas, but it has cut public school classes and extracurricular activities, attempting to sell public school assets at below market prices to private yeshivas, and more. These ethically and at times legally dubious actions have been documented by everyone from newspapers like this one to the New York City Bar Association to the New York State Supreme Court.”

“As an Orthodox Jew, when I first learned about what was happening in East Ramapo and about the attitudes of the board, I was shocked and disgusted. The Talmud teaches, “The world endures only for the sake of the breath of school children.” The public actions of this school board over the years have been in flagrant violation of that and so many other Jewish values and teachings.

The Torah we share demands over and over again we never trample the stranger, the immigrant and the poor — apt descriptions of many in the public school district. They have also caused a massive Chillul Hashem — desecration of God’s name. The leadership of the school board to date has grossly violated both American and Jewish values. This is not the way to use Jewish power in America.
Instead, we need to find a way to both advance our interests and needs while taking the needs of our fellow citizens into account; rather than just grabbing more and more slices of the pie and leaving those around us hungry, we work together to grow the pie so there is enough for all.

This would be a moral use of Jewish power, using it to call out those who are acting unjustly, even when they are from our own community. That is why thousands and thousands of Jewish New Yorkers are lobbying their legislators to pass these bills, which will provide needed oversight. Ultimately, this is about those school children in East Ramapo, and it’s about the very legacy that Jewish New Yorkers will leave on this great state.”

Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/national/309145/in-east-ramapo-an-immoral-use-of-jewish-power/#ixzz3comkGOxQ


If This is a War, Then Black Lives Matter is Losing

That tells us that our conditions – or real material conditions – have not changed substantially for over ½ century – over 60 years.

Indeed, in many ways, those conditions have worsened, such as the phenomenon of mass incarceration.

Why? Because the material conditions of millions of Black folk have changed due to de-industrialization, the resultant loss of the tax base, the corporatization of the public school systems, and the explosive expansion of the imprisonment industry – the creation of what I call the White Rural Jobs Program – prisons.
As the late historian Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) has written in his book The Twentieth Century:

‘despite his lofty rhetoric, Clinton showed, in his eight years in office, that he, like other politicians, was more interested in electoral victory than in social change.

To get more votes, he decided he must move the party closer to the center. This meant doing just enough for Blacks, women, and working people to keep their support, while trying to win over white conservative voters with a program of toughness on crime, stern measures on welfare, and a strong military.’ (Zinn, 428)

The neoliberal Clinton regime ushered in a program of repression that included the scuttling of habeas corpus via the anti-terrorism and effective death penalty act; the closing of the courthouse doors to prisoners via the Prison Litigation Reform Act; and the notorious 1996 Crime Bill, which spent billions on new prisons, and added some 60 new death penalties to the books.


Black Lives Matter Activists Declare Solidarity with Palestine

The statement revives the internationalism of the ’60s and ’70s, when black activists saw themselves as part of a global fight against Western colonialism.

Solidarity statement:

"Out of the terror directed against us—from numerous attacks on black life to Israel’s brutal war on Gaza and chokehold on the West Bank—strengthened resilience and joint struggle have emerged between our movements."

More than 1,000 black scholars, activists, students and artists and nearly 50 organizations have signed. Among them are names like Angela Davis, Cornel West, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Talib Kweli, and groups like the Dream Defenders.


The gifts and ghosts of Lamar Odom

A sweet article by Lee Jenkins, one of the good writers at SI.


Could this be the Chinese Spring?

China: Four Days of Violent Resistance to Waste Incinerator in Guangdong

"The pollution in the area is so bad that residents fear they and their children will not survive another major source of pollution nearby as the new privately owned waste incinerator would be. Survival is the motivating factor in driving people to the streets time and time again in the South China Province of Guangdong.

Chinese social media reports that protests beginning on October 3rd all day and night blockading roads at the front gate of the private construction company Conch Cement that is working on the incineration plant project, have escalated into riots on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday in the Yangchun City village of Spring Town. Police showed up in large numbers on Friday to clear out the protest, unsuccessfully, several police and other vehicles were overturned and set ablaze."


Bernie Sanders Is Changing American Politics—But He’s Not Thinking Big Enough

Sure, Sanders has pulled the political conversation strongly to the Left. But he—and the activists involved in his campaign—are capable of much, much more.

Personally, I’m not a Bernie pessimist or “Sandernista” who's all-in for the Vermont Senator. I think that the Sanders campaign is refreshing and he has made socialism positive for a younger generation. I wholeheartedly support his call for a ‘“political revolution against the billionaires” and have watched with great interest as his political program has shaken up the presidential race.

Yet big business and its allies dominate the highly undemocratic political party which Bernie is running under the auspices of. This raises a bigger question: What is Bernie’s deeper strategy for transforming the Democratic Party? So far, Bernie has said very little about this. When he speaks about challenging the status quo, he always seems to be talking about the intransigent Republican majority in Congress—not the party whose name he is running under. And while the GOP has certainly gone off the right-wing deep end in recent years, the Democrats have also drifted further and further in the same direction. Sanders has taken mostly strong progressive positions in his campaign that are well to the left of others in the party, but he has yet to put forward a longer-term plan about dealing with that drift.


Bernie Sanders’ Defense of His Pro-Gun, Pro-NRA Votes Was Absolutely Terrible

Although Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has positioned himself as a more liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton, he stands on the conservative side of one key issue: gun control.

In 2005, Sanders voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a terrible law that shields gun sellers and manufacturers from legal liability in most lawsuits.

Before the PLCAA, many states allowed victims of gun violence to sue gun sellers who negligently entrusted potentially dangerous individuals with firearms and ammunition.

The law effectively nullified the majority of these state protections. Clinton voted against it. Sanders has continued to defend it.


Why Was Lawrence Lessig Missing From the CNN Debate?

“Why are the insiders trying to keep me silent?” Lessig asked in a recent Politico Magazine piece in which he suggested that Democratic Party honchos are trying to stifle his campaign finance reform message. Lessig said that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given him the cold shoulder despite his numerous pleas to participate in the primary process.


What do the Democratic Debates have in common with DU?

In both of them,
criticize - you are OUT.

"rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) claims that she was uninvited from Tuesday's presidential primary debate after she appeared on MSNBC calling for more high-profile discussions between candidates."

Others said that Gabbard was not actually banned from attending. An unnamed person "close to the committee" told The New York Times that "[Gabbard] was not uninvited. The DNC team wanted this first debate to have all the focus on the candidates. Gabbard's people were told that if they couldn't commit to that, since Tulsi was trying to publicly divide the DNC leadership last week, then they should consider not coming."

gosh, where have I heard that argument before....?

requiem for democracy.
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