Friday, September 12, 2014

Teachers' union furious over Council maneuver

Teachers' union furious over Council maneuver:



Teachers' union furious over Council maneuver

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten (left) and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan (right). (File photo: Charles Fox / Staff Photographer)
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten (left) and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan (right). (File photo: Charles Fox / Staff Photographer)
Leaders from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and its national arm came out swinging against City Council on Friday. The union chiefs said they were shocked and insulted by Council's failure to put on the November ballot a referendum asking voters whether they think the School Reform Commission should be replaced with an elected school board.

The local control referendum, which would have been nonbinding, was widely expected to make the ballot. The stage was set on Thursday, with a large rally before the Council session.

But Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, sponsor of the bill to put the measure onto the November ballot, said she pulled the bill because she did not want to endanger the passage of a $2-per-pack cigarette tax in Harrisburg.

Jerry Jordan, PFT President, and Randi Weingarten, leader of the American Federation of Teachers, blasted Council in a statement issued on Friday.
"Given the support for local control expressed in the past by our city's elected officials, Council's failure yesterday to put the referendum up for a vote was not only shocking, it was insulting to the 40,000 citizens who signed on in support of the measure," Jordan said.
Weingarten, who has devoted considerable attention to Philadelphia, said that the "community submitted tens of thoursands of signatures demonstrating they want a referendum on local control of their school district. In denying them this chance, the City Council is letting the community down. This begs the question, 'Why are they afraid of a vote?'"
Both Jordan and Weingarten said the union will continue to push hard on the local control issue, despite the defeat this week.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/school_files/Teachers-union-furious-over-Councils-maneuver.html#qsOOMD4iw2yBx5Ti.99

Diane Ravitch in Harper’s Magazine | Reclaim Reform

Diane Ravitch in Harper’s Magazine | Reclaim Reform:



Diane Ravitch in Harper’s Magazine

Diane Ravitch expresses more in two sentences than most people can state in two chapters.
Harper's - Diane Ravitch
In the October issue of Harper’s Magazine a cover story, “PBS Self-Destructs: and what it means to viewers like you” by Eugenia Williamson, describes the full history of the takeover of Public Broadcasting by the Koch Brothers, Bloomberg, the Gates Foundation and other billionaire owned and controlled corporations and their tax-free foundations.
Diane Ravitch was asked about the lack of even-handed news coverage regarding the so-called education reform movement, in particular PBS coverage of charter schools which are invested in by these same billionaires and their tax-free foundations. (Yes, these tax-free foundations all have hedge funds and investments that make enormous profits that stay within the foundations. The appointed or board elected officers and trustees are paid enormous amounts of money and other compensation.)
“‘We’ve had public schools since the 1820’s,’ Ravitch added, ‘and we’ve never had a moment in history where the U.S. Department of Education and the big philanthropists together wanted to replace our public education system with privately managed schools. It’s a whole new thing! And PBS doesn’t seem interested.'”
The article is an eye-opening historical overview and a brilliant presentation of the corporatization of America, especially its public news and information media, by a handful of billionaires.


Also, Diane Ravitch’s latest book, Reign of Error: the hoax of the privatization movement and the danger to America’s public schools, explains even more in well researched detail.

Family Reunion | Deborah Meier on Education

Family Reunion | Deborah Meier on Education:



Family Reunion

ATTENTION ONE AND ALL. Check out the trial of the new film on Mission Hill: Good Morning Mission Hill. Check on where and when it’s being shown. And ask your local PBS station to show it if they are not already planning to.
Dear friends (and other readers),
deb in pool2
As I lolled lazily in the swimming pool (see above) in Bodega Bay –at our one every five-year family reunion) I thought mostly about my amazing and wonderful Larner family (descendants of my grandparents, Sara and Maylor Larner). I am lucky to have such interesting, kind, and engaged relatives. I also had time to think about absolutely nothing. Plus a little left over to think about “the world,” and my particular obsessions—public schooling and the democratic idea. How much does the sense of family that pervades my life and in my work in schools have a connection to my obsession about the future of both.
On my return home from California I joined a few friends at a local Hillsdale restaurant to celebrate the work of a colleague and friend—Nancy Mann—who has just retired from being the principal of Fannie Lou Hammer Freedom High School in the Bronx. She was a great CPESS humanities teacher and our union rep, and, along with Peter Steinberg, agreed to start a new CPESS-like school in the Bronx. She has just completed 20 (could it be?) years of inspiring leadership in that quite remarkable school. The occasion felt family-like.
-Deb

Nite Cap 9-12-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT



James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




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