Sunday, November 15, 2015

Teach for America 2, Parents 4: A Tale of Two Elections | The Progressive

Teach for America 2, Parents 4: A Tale of Two Elections | The Progressive:

Teach for America 2, Parents 4: A Tale of Two Elections



Teach for America scored big in Minnesota recently, with an Election Day, under-the-radar purchase of two suburban Minneapolis school board seats.
Purchase might be a strong word, but Teach for America and its affiliates definitely threw moneyed support behind Richfield, Minnesota school board candidates Crystal Brakke and Paula Cole. Both Brakke and Cole have served as TFA alums, and Brakke has stayed with the organization in executive positions. Currently, she works as TFA’s ombudsperson, based in Minneapolis.
Campaign finance reports for both candidates reveal a surprising influx of out of state dollars, primarily for Brakke:

  • California-based venture capitalist Arthur Rock, who has become notorious as a funder of TFA-affiliated school board campaigns, gave both Brakke and Cole around $600.00 each. Rock is a TFA board member, an investor in KIPP charter schools, and has used his fortune to prop up the controversial Rocketship Charter School chain, which seeks to promote large class sizes with fewer teachers and more educational technology.
  • New York resident Michael Buman also gave $600 each to Brakke and Cole. Buman is the Executive Director of Leadership for Educational Equity, or LEE, which is Teach for America’s more overtly political, and famously secretive, spinoff. In a 2014 article, writer Stephen Sawchuck noted that, in the span of just a few years, LEE went from a tiny operation—with a handful of staffers—to a coordinated team of 60 people, managing a budget worth close to $4 million. LEE’s stated mission is to “develop leaders” while “growing a movement.” Important note: Arthur Rock has paid $500,000 to place TFA alum in policy positions on Capitol Hill.
  • Alex Johnston, another East Coast resident, donated a relatively modest amount--$100--to Brakke and Cole, but his education reform pedigree should not be underestimated. Johnston is the former CEO of “ConnCAN,” which is part of the hedge fund-supported 50CAN franchise. At ConnCAN, Johnston deployed an elaborate marketing campaign to promote a now-familiar list of preferred reform strategies, such as expanding charter schools and evaluating teachers using test scores. Today, Johnston runs “Impact for Education,” which advises “forward-thinking philanthropists” on how to push for “systemic change in public education.”

Brakke also raked in thousands of dollars from Teach for America members in California,
- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/11/188411/teach-america-2-parents-4-tale-two-elections#sthash.l8TDZDPb.dpuf






Transcribed: Walmart’s Anti-union Employee Orientation Video | deutsch29

Transcribed: Walmart’s Anti-union Employee Orientation Video | deutsch29:

Transcribed: Walmart’s Anti-union Employee Orientation Video




In my November 11, 2015, post about former US senator Mary Landrieu’s becoming a “strategic advisor” for the very-anti-union Walton Foundation, I included the following nine-minute Walmart employee training video, which came to public attention in May 2015:


The video was made public, then disappeared, then returned.
Lest the video permanently disappear, I decided to transcribe the entire video so that the content is preserved. Plus it makes for some eyebrow-raising reading.
The video is a very telling account of the Waltons’ efforts to influence new employees to avoid signing an agreement to allow a union to represent them in labor negotiations. The video is entitled, “Protect Your Signature– New Associate Orientation.”
The primary message is that unions are out to make a buck, and that working at Walmart is ideal because all one must do to resolve any issue is speak to a leader. End of story.
But those unions just won’t go away. And even though signing that union card is each Transcribed: Walmart’s Anti-union Employee Orientation Video | deutsch29:

I Saw A Generation of Educators Destroyed By Silence In Tragedy [Howl Again] | The Jose Vilson

I Saw A Generation of Educators Destroyed By Silence In Tragedy [Howl Again] | The Jose Vilson:

I Saw A Generation of Educators Destroyed By Silence In Tragedy [Howl Again]

AllenGinsbergPA100811




Changing our Facebook profile overlays won’t be enough.
I’ve seen a whole generation of educators who have so much direct access to the most massive body of knowledge the world has ever seen and yet are so disconnected from the realities around them as a result. Folks with large followers elide the mere mention of race, religion, and gender in the context of power because, ultimately, it makes them culpable as well. I’m far from perfect, but, tomorrow, I plan on giving my students space to ask and speak, which leaves me open to not knowing the answers.
This means I’m not the expert, and I’ve learned to live with that, too.
As educators, we can’t wait until it’s OK for us to speak up and out about the domestic and international tragedies that plague our humanity. We can fabricate standards if we wish, but the underlying tension can’t be standardized. For those of us in schools, children generally look to those who they’re already learning from. But, from where I stand, hope is not enough. We must continue I Saw A Generation of Educators Destroyed By Silence In Tragedy [Howl Again] | The Jose Vilson:

Bill Honig: Replacing “Test and Punish” with “Build and Support” | Diane Ravitch's blog

Bill Honig: Replacing “Test and Punish” with “Build and Support” | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Bill Honig: Replacing “Test and Punish” with “Build and Support” 



Bill Honig, former State Superintendent of Instruction in California, suggests a replacement for the current approach to schooling. “Build and support,” he writes, is a far better strategy than “test and punish.” Unfortunately, NCLB and Race to the Top locks most schools into “test and punish.”
Honig writes:
“I wholeheartedly agree with the importance of Alice’s question. As more educators, parents, community, political, and opinion leaders become aware of the harm done and the lack of results from high-stakes accountability based on reading and math test scores ( “test and punish”) and privatization (“choice, charter, and competition”), they are increasingly open to alternative strategies. A viable replacement is staring us right in the face–not primarily from the limited number of excellent charter examples but mainly from our most successful schools, districts, and states which follow a more positive, engaging “build and support” agenda.
Massachusetts could offer a powerful model. It performs better than just about every country in the world. Similarly, our nation’s most successful districts and schools such as Long Beach, designated as one of the three best in the country and among the top twenty on the planet should inform this alternative to the top-down, harsh reform agenda. Many comments on this blog describe such schools. Several years ago, a broad coalition in the state of California rejected the major tenets of the “reform” movement, used Massachusetts and high-performing districts as a model, and is pursuing this more positive “build and support” agenda.
What are the hallmarks of the alternative “build and support” approach? First of all, it is patterned after what the best educational and management scholarship has advised, irrefutable evidence has supported, and the most successful schools and districts here and abroad have adopted.
These states, districts, and schools have placed improving instruction and teaching as the main driver of raising student performance. Their policies and practices center on implementing a rigorous and broad based liberal arts instructional program aimed at not just job preparation, but also citizenship, and helping students reach their potential. Curriculum, instruction, and materials embody a shift to a more active, collaborative classroom incorporating questions, discussions, and performances. Implementation efforts build on and improve current practice and endeavor to deepen learning for each child.
Crucially, successful states have provided local schools and districts the leeway and resources to accomplish these improvement goals. They have substantially increased school funding. They attend to class size, teacher pay, and investing in building capacity to continuously improve.
In addition, these “build and support” entities stress fostering the capability and motivation of educators to support improvement efforts by emphasizing improved working conditions, respect for teachers, the value of teacher engagement, and school-site team building. They also encourage the use of significant information about each student’s Bill Honig: Replacing “Test and Punish” with “Build and Support” | Diane Ravitch's blog:

“Corporatized” the movie: Coming to your neighborhood soon…if you can help | Seattle Education

“Corporatized” the movie: Coming to your neighborhood soon…if you can help | Seattle Education:

“Corporatized” the movie: Coming to your neighborhood soon…if you can help



corporatized_movie
Filmmakers Jack Paar and Ron Halpern are creating a film that will blow the lid off of the corruption that is behind the corporate takeover of public education.
In 2014, Jack Paar attended a rally for teachers, parents, and students in Washington, D.C. with his wife, an elementary school teacher. Jack says, “Before the rally in D.C., I didn’t really know that big business was taking over our public schools, nor did I understand why it was problematic. I know that there are others who don’t understand the real problems with our public education system because big business is really good at blaming it all on the teachers. However, it’s not the teachers who are to blame. It’s the fault of greedy politicians like Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo, and Arne Duncan, who are owned by greedy, big business: Pearson Learning, Gates Foundation, Walton Family, Eli Broad, Koch Brothers, and Bradley Foundation. To them your children are simply a dollar sign. So, we’ve decided to create a film that will reach a diverse audience and provide them with hard facts and heartfelt messages from dedicated teachers, parents, and students.”
“Corporatized” pulls back the curtain on the charade to reveal how big business is doing a devastating disservice to our public school students, and how they are dismantling and destroying the teaching profession in the name of profit.
Each year, over $600 billion of taxpayer money is used to fund the U.S. public education system. In today’s era of privatization, it was only a matter of time before corporate education reformers figured out a way to get at that money.
They didn’t just steal it. These savvy, corporate raiders are too smart for that. What “Corporatized” the movie: Coming to your neighborhood soon…if you can help | Seattle Education:



Schooling in the Ownership Society: My plan for funding CPS sports programs. So crazy it just might work.

Schooling in the Ownership Society: My plan for funding CPS sports programs. So crazy it just might work.:

My plan for funding CPS sports programs. So crazy it just might work.

Lease back the Skyway.


I just heard the news that CPS claims to be so broke that they're cutting elementary school sports programs out of the budget. As a former CPS coach, I'm horrified at the prospect. So I've come up with a funding plan that's so crazy, it just might work.

It came to me after reading about the Canadian consortium that just purchased the lease to the Chicago Skyway from the Spanish/Australian consortium which had originally leased it from us for 75 years, via former Mayor Daley. The original deal was all part of Daley's plan to solve the city's debt problem. It didn't. But it sure made a bundle in profits for the consortium.

That original Skyway concession company was a partnership of Cintra Infraestructuras of Spain and Australia’s Macquarie Group. Their $1.83 billion payment in January 2005 was nearly $1 billion more than the next highest bid, which prompted speculation that the investors had overpaid.


Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 11/15/15


CORPORATE ED REFORM




Schools Matter: Corporate Dixiecrat Version of ESEA Moves Closer to Passage
Schools Matter: Corporate Dixiecrat Version of ESEA Moves Closer to Passage: Corporate Dixiecrat Version of ESEA Moves Closer to PassageThe latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Act to replace NCLB moved ever closer in the past couple of days, as a deal was struck on a final version that will be tinkered with over the next two or three weeks before a final vote that will come after Thanks
CURMUDGUCATION: KY: Big Data in Action
CURMUDGUCATION: KY: Big Data in Action: KY: Big Data in ActionIf you've been following the discussions of Competency Based Education and personalized educationand huge new data mining, and you've been wondering what it would all look like on the ground--well, let's go to Kentucky!The US Department of Education is might proud of Kentucky and their embrace of a one-stop shop for data about students
When THEY take dirty money it is BAD, but when WE do … well that’s different. - Wait What?
When THEY take dirty money it is BAD, but when WE do … well that’s different. - Wait What?: When THEY take dirty money it is BAD, but when WE do … well that’s different.One of this week’s Emails from the Connecticut Democratic Party was another Call to Action to fight the influence of Corporate Money that is destroying our Democracy.The email urged me to add my name to the historic effort to end t
An open letter to the Seattle School Board: Rethink idea of a raise and contract extension for the superintendent. | Seattle Education
An open letter to the Seattle School Board: Rethink idea of a raise and contract extension for the superintendent. | Seattle Education: An open letter to the Seattle School Board: Rethink idea of a raise and contract extension for the superintendent.The following is an open letter from parent, Jill MacCorkle, to Seattle’s current and newly elected School Board Directors. At the November 18, 2015 S
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Sunday Reading from the Interwebs
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Sunday Reading from the Interwebs: ICYMI: Sunday Reading from the InterwebsSome reading for your Sunday afternoon leisure (if you have such a thing) The InvestmentJose Vilson went to New Jersey to talk to teachers there. This is a piece of what he had to say.EngageNY Math, Now Eureka, a Common Core DroppingOne feisty teacher's journey into the land of pre-packaged, not-so-gr
With A Brooklyn Accent: The Best Decision I Ever Made
With A Brooklyn Accent: The Best Decision I Ever Made: The Best Decision I Ever Made In the late 80's, I made a momentous decision. I decided to return the advance on a book that was 3/5 finished- a book that might well have taken me from Fordham to Columbia or Princeton or Yale- and devote the next ten years of my life to coaching and running youth programs in my Brooklyn neighborhood. It is a de
Puerto Rico Teachers Plan One-Day Strike to Protest Corporate Education Reform | gadflyonthewallblog
Puerto Rico Teachers Plan One-Day Strike to Protest Corporate Education Reform | gadflyonthewallblog: Puerto Rico Teachers Plan One-Day Strike to Protest Corporate Education ReformWelcome to sunny Puerto Rico.The ocean is a gorgeous cerulean blue. Palm trees wave gently in the salty breeze. And in the distance you can hear percussion, horns and singing.The protest has begun.Residents of this Unite
Questioning the power we give parents | @ THE CHALKFACE
Questioning the power we give parents | @ THE CHALKFACE: Questioning the power we give parentsOpt out or test refusal movements offer tremendous power to parents because teachers may not, in the vast majority of cases, be able to assume the risks of resisting standardized testing. The argument goes that you can’t “fire” parents and they ultimately know what is best for their children (except when
Schools and Obesity (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice
Schools and Obesity (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice: Schools and Obesity (Part 1)Recent articles trumpet that rates of children and adult obesity are not getting better (see here and here). In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched an anti-obesity campaign “Let’s Move” to reduce rates of childhood obesity. While the campaign has gained traction results have been di
Why You Can Opt Out of Standardized Tests Without Fear of Penalties to Your School | Seattle Education
Why You Can Opt Out of Standardized Tests Without Fear of Penalties to Your School | Seattle Education: Why You Can Opt Out of Standardized Tests Without Fear of Penalties to Your SchoolFrom Fair Test:Why You Can Boycott Standardized Tests Without Fear of Federal Penalties to Your SchoolStates, districts and schools sometimes claim they will lose federal Title I funds if parents, students or teach
Why rich folks love charter schools | Seattle Education
Why rich folks love charter schools | Seattle Education: Why rich folks love charter schools…even though they would never send their children to one.As a result of this change to the tax code, banks and equity funds that invest in charter schools in underserved areas can take advantage of a very generous tax credit. They are permitted to combine this tax credit with other tax breaks while they als
Alexander: School reform bill could be on Obama’s desk by December - News Sentinel Story
Alexander: School reform bill could be on Obama’s desk by December - News Sentinel Story: Alexander: School reform bill could be on Obama's desk by DecemberWASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has made fixing the No Child Left Behind school-reform law his top priority as chairman of the Senate committee that oversees education issues.The Maryville Republican is on the verge of achieving that goa
Charter Schools as Incubators or Charter Schools Inc.? | Randi Weingarten
Charter Schools as Incubators or Charter Schools Inc.? | Randi Weingarten: Charter Schools as Incubators or Charter Schools Inc.?When you hear the words "charter school," what comes to mind? High expectations? High student attrition? High achievement? Lack of transparency?There's no right or wrong answer, because charter schools, like other public and private schools, vary widely. The to
America’s reliance on standardized tests is creating a generation of intellectual infants - Quartz
America’s reliance on standardized tests is creating a generation of intellectual infants - Quartz: America’s reliance on standardized tests is creating a generation of intellectual infantsCan President Obama revolutionize the American education system before he leaves the White House? Probably not. But his “Testing Action Plan,” or TAP for short, is a step in the right direction.On Oct. 24, the p

YESTERDAY

United Way’s Common Core Promotion Costs It a Louisiana District | deutsch29
United Way’s Common Core Promotion Costs It a Louisiana District | deutsch29: United Way’s Common Core Promotion Costs It a Louisiana DistrictOn November 12, 2015, the St.Tammany Parish School Board (Louisiana) voted unanimously to discontinue its employee payroll deduction campaign for the United Way. Included in the concern that United Way had become “too political” was the national organization
Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 11/14/15
CORPORATE ED REFORMNYC Public School Parents: My frustrating Thursday: DOE's evasions and the Mayor's refusal to reduce class size or admit that he ever said that he wouldNYC Public School Parents: My frustrating Thursday: DOE's evasions and the Mayor's refusal to reduce class size or admit that he ever said that he would: My frustrating Thursday: DOE's evasions and the Mayor's refusal to reduce c











Latest News and Comment from Education

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers