Monday, February 28, 2011

Late Night: ‘And That’s How I Know That It’s Time to Be Brave’ | Firedoglake #WIunion #SolidarityWI

Late Night: ‘And That’s How I Know That It’s Time to Be Brave’ | Firedoglake
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Late Night: ‘And That’s How I Know That It’s Time to Be Brave’

By: Allison Hantschel Monday February 28, 2011 8:00 pm

“You can just walk in.”

That’s what I told a friend I took with me to Madison a couple of years ago. We were wandering around the morning after a conference, and since it was Sunday there was nothing much to do, so we walked up to the Capitol Square. “Can we go inside?” he asked, looking at the Capitol building.

The doors were unlocked. We took that to mean yes. We walked right in, into that magnificent marble and stone building you’ve all seen in videos over and over again by now. No metal detectors, no searches of our bags, no dogs sniffing at us. We didn’t have to take our shoes off. We didn’t need to sign anything. Our IDs stayed in our wallets. Our coats stayed on.

We wandered the halls, basically in silence, in a self-guided version of a tour schoolchildren around the state take every year. Hearing rooms and official offices were locked, and some hallways were roped off. A few guards stood around, but there’s really nothing to steal. You’d need a jackhammer to boost the

#edFL #awakeFL Ramblings of One Teacher Trying to Decipher Florida SB 736 & Insights from FEA President, Andy Ford « Continuing Change

Ramblings of One Teacher Trying to Decipher Florida SB 736 & Insights from FEA President, Andy Ford « Continuing Change

Ramblings of One Teacher Trying to Decipher Florida SB 736 & Insights from FEA President, Andy Ford

Ramblings of One Teacher Trying to Decipher Florida SB 736 & Insights from FEA President, Andy Ford

I am a Florida public school teacher and a parent. As many others, I am following this year’s Legislation closely. Each day, I am approached by fellow teachers and parents who are also trying to understand what is going on with all the bills that are hitting our House and Senate. One bill in particular, Senate Bill 736 is a serious worry to many. So, I did what I would recommend of my students: I printed, read, highlighted, sticky-noted, and outlined the bill. I must tell you, at 47 pages long, it was no easy matter.

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The bill is full of so many generalities, it is difficult to understand. So, I sought advice. I sent a few questions to

Schools Matter: A response to Bill Gates

Schools Matter: A response to Bill Gates

A response to Bill Gates

The First Step: Protect Children from the Effects of Poverty

Sent to the Washington Post, Feb 28, 2011

Stephen Krashen

Bill Gates proclaims that "other countries have raced ahead" of the US in education, and in order to catch up, our teachers must improve ("How teacher development could revolutionize our schools," Feb. 28). The premise is false: American education has been successful. The problem is poverty.

American students from well-funded schools who come from middle-class families outscore students in nearly all other countries on international tests. Our average scores are not spectacular because the US has the highest percentage of children in poverty of all industrialized countries (over 20%; in contrast, high-scoring Finland has

Who Stole America’s Cookies? | MoveOn.Org #wiunion #weareWI

Who Stole America’s Cookies? | MoveOn.Org

Who Stole America's Cookies?

Share this page on Facebook, and copy this text as your Facebook status today:

A public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO sit at a table with a dozen cookies on a plate. The CEO reaches across, takes 11 of the cookies, looks at the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that Union Guy: He wants a piece of your

Charter School Empowerment Law aka Parent Trigger - Editorials (CA Dept of Education)

Parent Empowerment Law - Editorials (CA Dept of Education)

Parent Empowerment Law

Response by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to newspaper editors on the Parent Empowerment Law, dated February 28, 2011.

To the Editor:

Reports that California's "parent trigger law" is in peril are way off the mark.

Despite news accounts to the contrary, no one has proposed dismantling the law. The question before the State Board of Education is: what rules should govern the process for carrying it out?

After requests by many organizations for additional input on this issue, the State Board asked the Department of Education to convene a working group of parents, teachers, administrators, and advocates for charter schools to help answer that question.

It is unfortunate that many are relying upon hearsay rather than the Board’s actual discussions. (Anyone interested in the actual proceedings can watch them beginning at 23:49 into the February 9th meeting [WMV; 05;11;56]).

The law remains fully in effect and operative. No regulations are required for it to remain fully available as a tool for parents. And in my view, the only purpose of potential regulations would be to clarify the process for carrying out the law.

Our schools need involved parents—particularly ones who are ready and willing to use every tool at their disposal to help their children succeed. Without a clear process in place, however, we risk diverting too much of their valuable time and energy from classrooms to courtrooms.

The working group held its initial meeting last week. I'm hopeful its experienced parents and educators will help us arrive at a clear, transparent, and workable system—one without the acrimony that has surrounded the first parent trigger petition in Compton.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

Polish Solidarity! « Fred Klonsky's blog

Polish Solidarity! « Fred Klonsky's blog

Polish Solidarity!

“Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On behalf of the 700,000 members of the Polish Trade Union NSZZ “Solidarnosc” (“Solidarity”) I wish to express our solidarity and support for your struggle against the recent assault on trade unions and trade union rights unleashed by Governor Scott Walker.

We are witnessing yet another attempt of transferring the costs of the economic crisis and of the failed financial policies to working people and their families. As much as some adjustments are necessary, we can not and must not agree that the austerity measures are synonymous with union busting practices, the elimination of

Daily Kos: A partial response to Bill Gates' op ed about teachers #WIunion #SolidarityWI

Daily Kos: A partial response to Bill Gates' op ed about teachers

Today's Washington Post features an op ed by Bill Gates titled How teacher development could revolutionize our schools. Teachers are the latest focus of Gates and his foundation. Before I respond to anything in this particular piece, let me remind readers that the last time Bill Gates got enthused about something in education, it was small schools. His foundations sank a huge amount of money into getting districts to create small schools while ignoring the research that had been done by those who had focused on the issue for years. The result was that the endeavor was not all that successful, the foundation has now pulled out of the effort, in some cases pulling the plug on ongoing efforts it had encouraged, and unfortunately tarnishing the concept and making it more difficult for those attempting to do it right.

Gates is now pushing a focus on teachers and teaching. That in itself would not be bad,

DO OVER: Wisconsin voters would not elect Gov. Walker in retrospect: poll | The Raw Story #StateSOS #WIunion #SolidarityWI

Wisconsin voters would not elect Gov. Walker in retrospect: poll | The Raw Story

Wisconsin voters would not elect Gov. Walker in retrospect: poll

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, February 28th, 2011 -- 7:06 pm
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If voters in Wisconsin could repeat the 2010 gubernatorial election, the majority would support defeated Democratic nominee Tom Barrett over Republican Scott Walker, according to a report [PDF] by Public Policy Polling.

Fifty-two percent of the 768 registered Wisconsin voters surveyed said they would vote for Barrett if they could do last fall’s election for governor over again. Forty-five percent said they would vote for Walker and four percent were uncertain.

"The difference between how folks would vote now and how they voted in November can almost all be attributed to shifts within union households," Tom Jensen of PPP explained. "Voters who are not part of union households have barely shifted at all - they report having voted for Walker by 7 points last fall and they still say they would vote for Walker by a 4 point margin."

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