Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Writing This Particular Book | The Jose Vilson

On Writing This Particular Book | The Jose Vilson

On Writing This Particular Book

Fuck That Shit

What About Our Dreams? (Had to use this again)

I‘ve learned a few things about writing this particular book. It’s definitely not like other books, but it is my book. I’m writing it because it’s about time I culminate the 1000+ blogs I’ve written in between my earlier private site, a

Rally in Support of Wisconsin Public Workers | Reflections on Teaching #wisolidarity #wiunion #weac

Rally in Support of Wisconsin Public Workers | Reflections on Teaching

Rally in Support of Wisconsin Public Workers

You can read about my experience at Tuesday’s rally at the California State Capitol here. It includes a slideshow with pictures including some from Larry Ferlazzo (sans the weird slideshow he used).

This Week In Education: Jobs: The Private Sector's (Misplaced) Anger At Public Employees #wiunion

This Week In Education: Jobs: The Private Sector's (Misplaced) Anger At Public Employees

Jobs: The Private Sector's (Misplaced) Anger At Public Employees

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein: "[There's] a perception that people in the "real" economy have suffered greatly, while public workers have been cosseted by their union contracts, their lobbying might and stimulus dollars. And there's some truth to

Es el Momento - Educacion, Becas, Universidades, Aprendizaje

Es el Momento - Educacion, Becas, Universidades, Aprendizaje

Univision Launches 2nd Phase of Education Initiative: Es El Momento - Hispanically Speaking News

Univision Launches 2nd Phase of Education Initiative: Es El Momento - Hispanically Speaking News

Univision Launches 2nd Phase of Education Initiative: Es El Momento



Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today unveiled the second phase of its highly successful, multi-platform education initiative, Es El Momento (The Moment is Now). The initiative’s second phase highlights the importance of children having role models in their lives, encouraging parents to teach by example and instill in their children the importance of education, as the key to their success.

“Es El Momento’s second phase illustrates the inspirational journey of Hispanic individuals who were given the support and motivation needed to follow their dreams and aspirations. The campaign further underscores the importance of engagement and parents’ and role models’ presence in their children’s lives to ensure academic achievement,” said Joe Uva, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc. “The continued success of Latino youth is critical to our country’s economic success and at Univision we are committed to playing our part to ensure we provide Hispanic families with access to the tools and resources needed to succeed.”

“We believe that education is the key to opportunity,” said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Our partnership with Univision is critical to spurring the conversation about the need for all students to graduate high school prepared for college and completion of a degree beyond high school. As Univision continues to be one of the most trusted sources of information for its viewers, we have confidence the second year of the

THE PERIMETER PRIMATE: "American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires" #wisolidarity #wiunion

THE PERIMETER PRIMATE: "American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires"

"American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires"

FROM YOUTUBE: "American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires" was filmed on location in Madison, Wisconsin, where thousands of hard working Americans came together in unity to fight back against a Governor bought and paid for by Billionaires to break up Unions and deny workers collective bargaining and a living wage. "American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires" was produced by Cynik Lethal and directed by Paradise Gray.

Scott Walker works for multi billionaires
John Boehner works for multi billionaires
while corporations get billions in welfare
and millions in this country been out of work for years


The Perimeter Primate, Sharon Higgins, is a wife and mother living in Oakland, California. She has been a committed and active public school parent since 1993. Once upon a time she worked as a critical care nurse and was also a ceramic artist. Later on, she became obsessed with certain school and social issues.

From 2001 to 2008, the Primate spent seven eye-opening years working as a parent coordinator at her local public middle school, yet another labeled as "failing." Now she spends some of her time reading, researching, thinking, and writing about urban education and social issues, then posts the product of those efforts on this blog.

In addition to serving as a Neighborhood Watch block captain, the Primate regularly volunteers at her daughters’ school. With so many parents working – or not particularly interested in helping out at their children's schools – she intimately understands the degree to which Oakland's schools, and ALL the people in them, need more adult help and attention.

Although she is undoubtedly viewed as a dinosaur by some, the Primate is proud to be one of those quintessential school "moms." From picking up garbage and scrubbing off graffiti, to organizing school tours and helping the school’s webmaster, she's not fussy about what she'll do. If something for the school needs to get done, the Primate might just jump in and do it. This on-site, frequent contact with a campus and school community allows her to keep her fingers pressed on the pulse of life at one of Oakland's struggling public schools.

She is very grateful for her poetry-loving husband who spends his days providing legal representation to people with multiple disadvantages who have been caught in the web of our criminal justice system.


Visit PAA on Facebook, too!


Be sure to check out my other blogs:

Η Απολογία; ή απλά περισσότερης μαλακίες; DFER: On Wisconsin? #wisolidarity #wiunion

Democrats for Education Reform

Those who actually read our regular missives know we like to goof around quite a bit here at Democrats For Education Reform. We get wrapped up in some heavy stuff and we usually find that a good sense of humor helps make the medicine go down much easier. Today’s note, however, is rather serious.
A few weeks ago when we named Wisconsin Senator Lena Taylor as DFER’s “Education Reformer of the Month” for February, we explained why we felt Senator Taylor’s brand of leadership was so crucial. Public education in the Badger State, like the rest of the country, faced so many crucial issues as it attempted to reinvent itself to better meet the needs of students and taxpayers that we felt that strong, pragmatic leadership was necessary.
Holy understatement, Batman. Multiply what we said then by a factor of like 1,000 today.
Senator Taylor is one of 14 Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate who have been holed-up in a non-disclosed location in Illinois so as to prevent a quorum, whereby their Republican colleagues would enact legislation that would significantly carve away at the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers.
Lena Taylor is not alone. Also holed up in Illinois for similar reasons is Indiana Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan, a founding member of DFER-Indiana, and a bunch of her Democratic colleagues.
The problem confronting them is one that most of us who consider ourselves to be Democrats for Education Reform face: How do we keep the political focus on providing a quality education for all students at a time when some Republican leaders appear to be primarily salivating at the chance to whack a significant political opponent ?
Last week I was quoted in the NY Times explaining DFER’s feelings regarding teachers unions and collective bargaining. In short: We believe that teacher unions have a crucial voice that should be heard in education debates, but they shouldn’t be the only voice. We believe that big problems can (and should!) be solved through collective bargaining, but that someone needs to be in there representing public education when the bargaining takes place. We’re fine with confrontation – in fact (like many union leaders have themselves told me) collective bargaining seems to work best when both sides show up with their A-games.
We’re kind of creeped-out by some of what we are seeing and hearing these days in the Heartland, at least in terms of seriously rolling-back collective bargaining rights for workers. Reform?
Here at DFER, we are extremely mindful about the difference between means and ends. Because we tend to believe that the inequities in educational access and opportunities are so severe that they require rather aggressive means to achieve the end of an excellent education for every child in America, we often end up in some pretty intense battles. But those battles are means, not ends.
If you are talking about up-ending a powerful status quo to achieve equity and excellence in education, it invariably means  you have to wrestle with powerful interests like teachers unions. We do that without offering apologies, and we’ll tell you it isn’t fun. But we also enter those battles in a way that is mindful of the important difference between ends and means.
Our “end” is not killing teacher unions. In fact, much of our political work would be a whole lot easier with teacher unions on our side. And as crazy is this may sound to some union leaders who have fought with me in the past, it isn’t all that hard for me to imagine a day when many of us ARE on the same page again. Seriously.
If some of the stuff you’re hearing out of Wisconsin right now sounds a little like the “end” is really just about weakening public sector unions, you’re not alone. We have the same concerns.
It didn’t have to be this way. In recent weeks, we watched the Wisconsin Education Association Council come out strongly in support of overhauling teacher evaluation systems. We’ve read reports about their willingness to contribute a share toward health and pension costs. We were as skeptical as everyone else about WEAC's sincerity, but the game was at least on. This should have been a time in Wisconsin where we were talking about how to build and sustain a better public education system for every student in the state. Astonishingly, that’s all been lost in the high-pitched battle that is playing out on the streets of Madison.
The fact that so many people are watching what looks an awful lot like an attempt to stomp unions out of existence threatens to hurt what has been a rather impressive era for education reform that has played out from coast to coast in the last few years. And it isn’t just Wisconsin and Indiana. The fight is playing out in places like Ohio as well, and while we’re normally an optimistic bunch here at DFER, we are profoundly worried that this kind of overreach will set education reform back years.
We urge all of our supporters to remain focused on ends and means.  Destroying teachers unions does not necessarily equal education reform. Effective action involves being FOR something, and not just against someone.
Which brings us back to Wisconsin Senator Lena Taylor, DFER’s “Education Reformer of the Month” for February 2010. While she is hiding out south of the border, she can use your help today. Leaders like Sen. Lena Taylor are going to need to play a crucial role going forward in Wisconsin. We need leaders like Taylor who understand just which battles are worth fighting and why.
Even if you can only give $10, please show your support for Senator Lena Taylor today by supporting her re-election through DFER’s Education Reformer of the Month page.
Thanks in advance, and keep up the fight for excellent education.

#wiunion Voces de la Frontera call for parents, students and community members to travel to Madison for statewide gathering in front of the Capitol to protect public education

Voces de la Frontera call for parents, students and community members to travel to Madison for statewide gathering in front of the Capitol to protect public education

Voces de la Frontera is Wisconsin’s leading immigrant rights group – a grassroots organization that believes power comes from below and that people can overcome injustice to build a better world.  They are organizing a a trip for parents and their children to Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday the 26th in an effort to support public education in Wisconsin and throughout the nation.

Certainly it is actions like this that will solidify progressive demands to stop busting unions and attacks on public education, public workers and public school teachers.

You can reach Voces de la Frontera at:

Below is their call to action for parents in both Spanish and English!
1027 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Ph: 414-643-1620
Fx: 414-643-1621

Dear Parents,

Voces de la Frontera is sponsoring a trip to Madison on Saturday, February 26 to fight a dangerous bill that would severely restrict the rights of teachers and other state workers. All students in public school will be negatively affected if this bill passes. Students and parents: come join us in Madison to show we will NOT tolerate this type of legislation in Wisconsin, and the community stands behind our educators!

The Racine bus leaves from Pick ‘n Save (Rapids Drive) at 10 am. Milwaukee buses leave from Rufus King HS at 10 am and Voces de la Frontera (1027 S. 5 St.) at 11 am. We will travel to Madison, attend a statewide gathering in front of the Capitol, and return home by 6:30 pm. Free pizza is provided. There is no cost to ride the

Please send the permission slip below with your child when they come to board the bus, and consider joining us yourself! Any questions, please call me at 414-469-9206.


Kate Werning, Voces de la Frontera

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Estimado Padres,

Voces de la Frontera los invita a un viaje a Madison este sábado, 26 de febrero para luchar contra una ley peligrosa que dañaría los derechos de maestros y otros trabajadores estatales.
Todos los/as estudiantes en las escuelas públicas serían dañados/as si pase esta ley.

Estudiantes y padres: vengan con nosotros a Madison para mostrar que NO aceptamos este tipo de legislación, y que la comunidad apoya a nuestros maestros.

El autobus de Racine saldrá de la Pick ‘n Save (Rapids Dr) a las 10 am. Los autobuses de Milwaukee saldrán de Rufus King High School a las 10 am y de Voces de la Frontera (1027 S. 5 St.) a las 11 am. Vamos a viajar a
Madison, visitar con politicos, participar en una marcha estatal alrededor del Capitolio, y regresar a las 6:30 pm.

Almuerzo gratis sera provisto por Voces de la Frontera. No hay costo de viajar en bus con nosotros.

Favor de mandar esta hoja con su hijo/a cuando venga al autobus el sábado, y acompañenos si Ud. puede! Si Ud. tiene cualquier pregunta, favor de llamarme al 414-469-9206.

Kate Werning, Voces de la Frontera

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I give my permission for my child to participate in the Voces de la Frontera trip to Madison on February 26.

Doy mi permiso para que mi hijo/a participe en el viaje a Madison el 26 de febrero con Voces de la Frontera.

Child’s Name / Nombre ________________________________________

School / Escuela ______________________________________________

Phone/Teléfono # ___________________ Emergency Phone/Teléfono de emergencia #__________________

Parent’s Signature / Firma ____________________________________________

* BRING this permission slip with you to board the bus! ¡TRAIGA esta hoja cuando venga al autobus! *