Saturday, November 16, 2013

11-16-13 Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Schooling in the Ownership Society All Week

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog:
Schooling in the Ownership Society

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk 
Schooling in the Ownership Society

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We thought we were done with Vallas but... he's back
Look out. Vallas is back in town. We tried to finish him off back in 2001 but...No sooner had I finished posting about how the Working Families Party and allies were running Paul Vallas out of Bridgeport, than I get the news that he has been selected as Gov. Quinn's running mate here in Illinois. Yes, the master of the disaster in from Philly to New Orleans and from Haiti to Chile, the buster of teacher unions, the school privatization guru himself, is back with a vengeance.Sun-Times political reporter Fran Spielman and David McKinney call it, "a stunning political move that puzzled many
'Hope springs eternal...'
Yesterday was the first official day of basketball practice. Alexander Pope said, "Hope springs eternal." Well, at least in November before we've played our first game. I've got a promising squad of hard-working, fun-loving kids and even have some height for a change. What Pope didn't say is that you can't teach height.Great news! Diane Ravitch's health has improved (I'm certain it was my mazzo ball soup that did the trick) and she has been cleared by her doctors to travel to Chicago to speak on January 11th.Saintly and patiently progressive Deb Meier lays out her views on democratic
Where democracy goes to die...
Chicago's City CouncilProgress Illinois PhotoThe Mayor's toadies were on full display in yesterday's Council meeting. When the Progressive Caucus moved to get two important measures out on the floor for a vote, Rahm put the hammer down. He even cut off the mic when Caucus leader and Rahm's possible opponent in the upcoming election, Ald. Bob Fioretti, took the floor to support the measures.The Caucus, which sponsored the two measures — a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Surplus Ordinance and a resolution calling for a citywide referendum on an elected Chicago school board — invoked "Rule 41&

NOV 13

Vallas is Quinn's white knight with a "servant's heart"
Gov. Quinn must think we are all idiots.Yesterday he described his newly-named running mate Paul Vallas as, a white knight — a school reform champion — who now would help focus his expertise on fixing the state’s pension crisis.Rahm, who also has a white horse, Bruce Rauner, in the Republican race, chimed in:"The governor made the decision to pick Paul Vallas based on his record of being a st

NOV 12

Study war no more
There was no where to go, no channel to turn this past 3-day weekend, to escape the hyper-commercialized Veteran's Day war culture. College and NBA basketball teams playing in camouflage uniforms. But little was said about the growing veteran suicide epidemic -- 8,000 each year, 22 each day. Fredy GuiterrezWhile last night's Dolphin/Bucs game was turned into a military extravaganza, there was no b

NOV 11

Weekend Vallas Quotables
Vallas (right) was beaten by Rod Blagojevich (left) in '02. Fran SpielmanSources said Vallas alienated teachers unions by privatizing some New Orleans schools and forging partnerships with Connecticut Republicans in a desperate attempt to hang onto his job there. -- Sun-TimesCarol Felsenthal[Paul's brother] Dean Vallas supported conservative Republican Brady against Quinn in 2010 because he though

NOV 08

Racing to the Top?
Socrates: "We're all mortal", even Diane. AMAZING DIANE RAVITCH, still blogging from her hospital bed. But she has to cancel her Chicago talk. First Free Church would have been packed to the rafters.This week I realized that Socrates was right: All men are mortal. So are all women. I am going to take some time off and rest: Doctor’s order. And I will take better care of my health. I’m re

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James Meredith: The civil rights issue of our time...
Accompanied by U.S. marshals and surrounded by jeering crowds, James Meredith enrolled as the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi in 1962.“The civil rights issue of our time is to stop unproven co-called education reforms from totally destroying our children’s public education,” says Meredith, “and to get parents, teachers, community leaders and elders, the whole ‘Family of God,’ to take back control of our children’s education from politicians, bureaucrats and for-profits, who have turned our public schools into pawns in a game of money and power.”  -- Diane Ravitc
Enron's "King of Natural Gas" turns to power philanthropy. Goes after "lavish" pensions.
John and Laura ArnoldPower philanthropist and billionaire hedge-funder John Arnold comes out of Enron's criminal enterprise. Arnold made millions trading natural gas derivatives at Enron and then billions from his hedge fund. He was known on Wall Street as the  "king of natural gas."  But when natural gas prices slumped, he turned full-time to running his foundation along with wife, Laura. According to the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, the fund has assets of $1.2 billion. They probably figured, if Bill and Emily could make the jump from Microsoft...The pair have tried and reinven
Look who's now running the Broad Foundation
Bruce ReedOne of the characteristics of the Ownership Society is the fluid movement of key personnel back and forth between government and corporations. Carry this over into the world of ed reform and what's been called the education/industrial complex and you find similar movement between government, and power philanthropy.The latest example has Bruce Reed, assistant to President Barack Obama and chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, being named president of the Broad Foundation, one of the big 3 in power philanthropy, along with Gates and Walton. According to a Broad Foundation release

NOV 05

How the D.C. charter hustlers play the game
Charter school hustlers in D.C. have come up with an innovative way to funnel public funds into their own pockets. In this case they  used the services of a local news personality, J.C. Hayward. to divert millions from Options Public Charter SchoolAs the school’s board chairwoman, Hayward allegedly signed contracts and approved bonuses for the former managers. He was also a paid consultant” for Ex