Thursday, July 28, 2016

K.J.’s just-released emails show alternate city government reality - Sacramento News & Review -

Sacramento News & Review - K.J.’s just-released emails show alternate city government reality - News - Local Stories - July 28, 2016:

K.J.’s just-released emails show alternate city government reality
New documents reveal how the mayor used city staff for political maneuvering and attempted power plays

In July of 2013, Kevin Johnson had just prevented the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle. His days were busy shilling influential locals to buy season tickets, and maneuvering to prevent signature gatherers from putting an arena-subsidy referendum on the ballot. But, on July 26 of that year, the mayor—who often likens himself as Sacramento’s CEO—also found time to fly to Atlanta and play human-resources director and personally conduct an exit interview of a low-level worker with the National Conference of Black Mayors.
It’s true: New emails acquired by SN&R last week, as part of its recent legal victory against the mayor, reveal the lengths to which Johnson and his staff went to mop up blowback from his takeover at NCBM.
The more-than 70 emails and documents, which the mayor worked to keep secret for more than a year, don’t appear to contain any incriminating criminal evidence or “smoking guns” regarding Johnson or his ascension at the mayors group. But they do reaffirm a contentious, costly and time-consuming conquest of the Georgia-based nonprofit.
Perhaps more importantly, these Johnson communications also show how the mayor uses public city staff and his private employees to advance his political ambitions.
“Having a second, or alternate, bureaucracy that’s outside the government system … I think that’s unusual,” is how Peter Scheer, with the Northern California-based First Amendment Coalition, described Johnson’s administration at City Hall.
And they also function as a template for how a 21st century politician can use private email, such as Gmail, to skirt transparency, a case study that First Amendment and freedom-of-information experts refer to as a new frontier for elected leaders in California.
Scheer argued that Johnson’s use of private emails should be a concern.
“I think that’s inappropriate,” he said of his widespread use of Gmail accounts to avoid scrutiny from Sacramento News & Review - K.J.’s just-released emails show alternate city government reality - News - Local Stories - July 28, 2016:

I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton Because I Cannot Possibly Vote for Donald Trump. | deutsch29

I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton Because I Cannot Possibly Vote for Donald Trump. | deutsch29:

I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton Because I Cannot Possibly Vote for Donald Trump.

In Election 2016, I have a choice between Trump and Clinton, and Trump is too dangerous for me. I am no fan of Hillary Clinton; I am tired of political dynasties like the Bushes and Clintons. If I had had the opportunity, I would have voted for Bernie Sanders for president.
But that is not reality today. Clinton or Trump.
There is no way that I will miss casting my vote, and there is no way that I will vote for Donald J. Trump.
My chief research and writing focus is on K12 public education. Unfortunately, no candidate (Sanders included) realizes the damage that so-called “school choice” presents to America’s public school system. Maybe Clinton will come around; maybe not.
But my concerns about America’s relationship with the international community and. by extension, American national security, currently override all else as far as Election 2016 goes.
Yes, Hillary Clinton used an unsecured email server to transmit classified documents. This bothers me, indeed it does. But my concern with that issue is eclipsed by Donald Trump’s amazingly stupid verbalizing approval of a Russian hack of Clinton’s emails. As the July 27, 2016, New York Times reports:
Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, and encouraged them to publish whatever they may have stolen, essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.
 “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” …
Mr. Trump later tried to modify his remarks about hacking Mrs. Clinton’s emails, contending they represented an effort to get the Russians to turn over their trove to the F.B.I.
“Asinine” does not capture the utter foolishness of Trump’s words– words that illustrate well the lack or forethought and restraint that Donald J. Trump would surely I Will Vote for Hillary Clinton Because I Cannot Possibly Vote for Donald Trump. | deutsch29:

“The 74’s” Fact-Checking of the Democratic Platform | VAMboozled! #DNC #DemsInPhilly

“The 74’s” Fact-Checking of the Democratic Platform | VAMboozled!:

“The 74’s” Fact-Checking of the Democratic Platform

As we all likely know well by now, speakers for both parties during last and this weeks’ Republican and Democratic Conventions, respectively, spoke and in many cases spewed a number of exaggerated, misleading, and outright false claims about multiple areas of American public policy…educational policy included. Hence, many fact-checking journalists, websites, social mediaists, and the like, have since been trying to hold both parties accountable for their facts and make “the actual facts” more evident. For a funny video about all of this, actually, see HBO’s John Oliver’s most recent bit on “last week’s unsurprisingly surprising Republican convention” here (11 minutes) and some of their expressions of “feelings” as “facts.”
Fittingly, The 74 — a non-profit, and (allegedly) non-partisan, honest, and fact-based news site (ironically) covering America’s education system “in crisis” that publishes articles “backed by investigation, expertise, and experience” — took on such a fact-checking challenge (however not void of feelings) in an article senior staff writer Matt Burnum wrote: “Researchers: No Consensus Against Using Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations, Contra Democratic Platform.”
Apparently, what author Barnum actually did to justify the title and contents of his article, however, was (1) take the claim written into the 55-page “2016 Democratic Party Platform” document that: “We [the Democratic Party] oppose…the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations, a practice which has been repeatedly rejected by researchers” (p. 33); then (2) generalize what being “repeatedly rejected by researchers” means, to inferring that a “consensus,” “wholesale,” and “categorical rejection” among researchers “that such scores should not be used whatsoever in evaluation” exists; then “The 74’s” Fact-Checking of the Democratic Platform | VAMboozled!:

SOS Rally and March: Video and Transcript – Education Town Hall Forum

SOS Rally and March: Video and Transcript – Education Town Hall Forum:

SOS Rally and March: Video and Transcript

Denisha Jones, July 9 Rally, photo: BadAss Teachers
Denisha Jones, July 9 Rally, photo: BadAss Teachers

July 8-9 March and Rally for Public Education. Videos here
“The Fight for Education is only Worth it When We also Fight for Social Justice”
By: Dr. Denisha Jones, BAT Board of Directors
This is the powerful and moving speech that Dr. Jones delivered at the People’s March for Education and Social Justice, copied from BadAss Teachers Association on Blogspot
Denisha Jones, July 9 Rally, photo: BadAss Teachers
Denisha Jones, July 8 Rally, photo: BadAss Teachers
As we have been preparing for this march and rally I have been asked countless times what the overall goal of this event is. Some have questioned the value of marching and rallying to achieve our goals. Personally I believe that there are many different reasons why we should march and rally. First we must come together and celebrate the progress we have made in the past five years. When hundreds of thousands of parents and students and teachers have opted out of high stakes testing across the country we need to celebrate. This does not mean we do not have much work to do but we should also take time to celebrate. Another reason we march and rally is to make our voices heard. We must remind society that education is not a privilege that only the rich can afford. We must demand that public education be preserved as a human right for all. When we march we elevate the voices of our students, their families and ourselves.
I have also been asked what makes this march/rally different than the one 5 years ago. And to that question I simply respond this time we have woken up to the reality that our fight to save public education is only worth it when we also fight for social justice. What good are high quality schools if black boys and girls are being herded into the prison industrial complex? What good are high test scores if our communities are ravaged by poverty and violence? What good is a child centered curriculum if families lack access to health care and jobs? We cannot fight for public education if we don’t fight for social justice.
Some of you might be wondering what it means to fight for social justice. Well it means acknowledging that this country has failed to serve all people well. We must acknowledge how institutional and structural racism, xenophobia, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism, and classism have worked to oppress our non white non male brothers and sisters around the globe. We must acknowledge that we cannot have equitable public schools when we have income inequality.
We are the 99% and we must work together to not just restore the middle class but to eradicate poverty or at the very minimum to lessen the effects poverty has on the ability of our children to learn and grow. We must acknowledge that no human being is illegal and we must support the struggles of our undocumented brothers and sisters to live free of fear of deportation. We must acknowledge that mass incarceration has replaced slavery and Jim Crow and is wreaking havoc in our black and brown communities.
We cannot have equitable schools when our students’ parents are locked up for nonviolent crimes. We must acknowledge that climate change is a very real challenge to our future and we must prepare our children to be leaders in the green revolution.
We must acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. We must fight against police brutality and state sanctioned murder. We must put an end to private prisons fueling the school to prison pipeline. We must remember that any of our black and brown students can be the next Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, or Michael Brown. We must put an end to preschool discipline that unfairly targets black and brown boys and girls. We must protect our LGBT students and teachers who continue to be oppressed and lack real protection against discrimination. We must work to end SOS Rally and March: Video and Transcript – Education Town Hall Forum:

With A Brooklyn Accent: "Political Correctness" or Common Sense: The Racialized Rhetoric of Donald Trump.

With A Brooklyn Accent: "Political Correctness" or Common Sense: The Racialized Rhetoric of Donald Trump.:

"Political Correctness" or Common Sense: The Racialized Rhetoric of Donald Trump.

I am not coming to the ‪#‎StopTrump‬ movement from an "Ivy Tower" perspective. My coaching experiences in Brooklyn actually have a lot more to do with my opposition to him than my academic training.
During the 80's and early 90's when Brooklyn was a racial tinderbox, I was coaching CYO basketball and sandlot baseball. I took racially mixed teams from my neighborhood into all white neighborhoods like Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, and Howard Beach and into all Black and Latino neighborhoods like Red Hook, East Flatbush and the neighborhoods near the Farragut houses.
Everyone in these neighborhoods knew how dangerous a time we lived in. And they practiced incredible self restraint. No matter how angry coaches, parents and players got, they NEVER were allowed to refer to the race of an opposing players, much less use a racial slur. This discipline was universally practiced whether the neighborhood was white or Black and Latino. At literaly hundreds of games, some of which involved fierce arguments. The one time that discipline was broken, by parents from a team in Flatbush, I had to break up a near riot at our local gym
THIS is the kind of self-discipline and common sense that Donald Trump refused to follow when attacking a Mexican judge by natioality, or singling out Mexican immigrants as sources of With A Brooklyn Accent: "Political Correctness" or Common Sense: The Racialized Rhetoric of Donald Trump.:

Little Rock schools desegregated 59 years old. Now ‘we are retreating to 1957.’ - The Washington Post

Little Rock schools desegregated 59 years old. Now ‘we are retreating to 1957.’ - The Washington Post:

Little Rock schools desegregated 59 years old. Now ‘we are retreating to 1957.’

The face of the boy in the background reflects his feelings as he looks at two of the six black students who attempted to enter North Little Rock High School on Sept. 9, 1957. The boy and other white students are not identified. The black youths are, Richard Richardson, 17, and Harold Smith, 17, right. (William P. Straeter/AP)

Anyone familiar with efforts to desegregate public schools in this country knows about Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., where, in 1957,  nine black students enrolled at the then all-white school to test the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. The students were barred from entering the school on Sept. 4, 1957, by National Guard called in by then-Gov. Orval Faubus, but on Sept. 25, federal troops ordered by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, escorted them into the school and they started their first full day.
But there is a new story of Central High — and school segregation — that needs to be told, and in this post, Jeff Bryant does just that. Bryant, director of the Education Opportunity Network, a partnership effort of the Institute for America’s Future and the Opportunity to Learn Campaign. He has written extensively about public education policy. This first appeared on, and I have permission to republish it.
By Jeff Bryant
Stories about historic efforts to address racial segregation in American public education often start with Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957. But the story of Little Rock and segregation badly needs updating.
Central High became one of the first practical tests of principles established in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruling that overturned racially separate public schools. When nine black students showed up for opening day of the historically all-white school, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called in the National Guard to prevent them from entering. President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by calling in federal troops to escort the students into the school, and Faubus eventually backed down.
But the story of racial integration in Little Rock shouldn’t be confined to Central High. The same year Central was integrated, another school, Hall High, opened in the all-white part of town with an all white student body. Hall would not integrate until 1959 (Faubus closed all Little Rock high schools in school year 1958-59 to protest federal intervention), when threeLittle Rock schools desegregated 59 years old. Now ‘we are retreating to 1957.’ - The Washington Post: 

CURMUDGUCATION: NV: Vouchers Go To Court

CURMUDGUCATION: NV: Vouchers Go To Court:

NV: Vouchers Go To Court

Last year, Nevada passed a voucher law that was a big wet kiss to reformsters and everyone else who wants to dismantle public education.

It's about the simplest voucher law we've ever seen. The state of Nevada will pay you $5,100 to take your kid out of public school. You can spend your $5,100 on a charter school, a private school, a religious school, or on supplies to home school (does a new roof for my home school building count, I wonder). Unlike other voucher laws which are specifically aimed at poor students or students with disabilities, this law has no limits-- it's for everybody.

There are any number of problems with this approach. We can talk about the philosophical issues with abandoning the whole idea of public education and switching to a system in which we just give parents a tax-funded check to spend on whatever. We can talk about the practical issues of such a system in Nevada, where Clark County (Las Vegas) has one of the biggest school systems in the country, while Esmerelda County has a total population of 783. We can talk about the challenge of extensive state oversight of how these tax dollars are spent (or the irresponsibility of having no such oversight). We can talk about the legal issues (already visited in other voucher cases) of funneling public tax dollars into private religious schools.

The economics are weak as well. Poor kids get a full $5,700 for their vouchers, which is enough money to get into pretty much none of the private schools available (and of course those schools don't have to accept them even if they can make up the difference). Why is it that voucher  and faux voucher choicey programs, the ones that say "All students deserve the same school choices as rich kids" never propose that taxes be raised so that students can receive the kind of money that really goes with those choices?

Instead, we get the usual weak bromides, like the law's sponsor, Senator Scott Hammond, telling 
CURMUDGUCATION: NV: Vouchers Go To Court:

Are Dems abandoning corporate reform? Some are giddy over Kaine pick #DNC #DemsInPhilly

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Are Dems abandoning corporate reform? Some are giddy over Kaine pick.:

Are Dems abandoning corporate reform? Some are giddy over Kaine pick.

Kaine never mentioned education reform in his DNC speech. 
Lots of ed activists are sending me this piece by Jeff Bryant at Campaign for America's Future. Jeff is a good education writer and usually knows what he's talking about.

Here he says that by adding Tim Kaine (no, Donald, he's not the governor of NJ) to the Clinton ticket, Dems may be abandoning current corporate-style school reform policies, which have plagued public education for the past few decades.

I'm for keeping hope alive, but not convinced.

If true, this would really piss off the likes of DFER, Gates/Broad/Walton power philanthropists, Arne Duncan, John King, Peter Cunningham and Wall St. hedge-fund reformers.

It could also pull opt-out parents and anti-Common Core folks closer to Clinton and  away from Trump.

AFT and NEA leaders are likely gleeful over this supposed shift and see it as redemption (payback) for their premature Clinton endorsement. We'll see.

Bryant writes:

The policy outline for K-12 education coming from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign remains vague, but supporters of Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders have substantially altered how public education is framed in the Democratic Party platform, and Clinton has become more strident in her attacks on “for-profit” charter schools and vouchers that allow parents to transfer their children to private schools at taxpayer expense.
Vague indeed.

He refers to a recent piece by Lauren Camera for U.S. News and World Report on Kaine's "hefty education resume." Camera points to the significance of the Kaine choice over New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is "someone who would have been more favorable to big supporters of the high-stakes testing and charter school expansionsMike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Are Dems abandoning corporate reform? Some are giddy over Kaine pick.:



Latest News and Comment from Education