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Sunday, March 15, 2015

SEIU State Council Reverses Course, Endorses Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s Run Against Rahm Emanuel - ‪#‎Chuy2015‬ ‪#‎imwithchuy‬

SEIU State Council Reverses Course, Endorses Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s Run Against Rahm Emanuel - Working In These Times:

SEIU State Council Reverses Course, Endorses Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s Run Against Rahm Emanuel

Garcia on election night. SEIU Health Care Illinois Indiana Executive Vice President April Verrett is to Garcia's immediate left, and HCII President Keith Kelleher (in glasses, holding a "Chuy" sign) is visible on the far right. (Garcia Campaign) 

The SEIU Illinois State Council has decided to endorse Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in his run against Rahm Emanuel for mayor of the City of Chicago, reversing the council's previous decision to remain neutral in the race—and overriding the desires of SEIU Local 73 to maintain that neutrality.
The Chicago Tribune reported this afternoon that while an official announcement of the endorsement would come tomorrow, the council had made the decision today. Jerry Morrison, a "political operative" at Local 1, told the paper, "We usually play to win in politics, and [the union's involvement in the race] will be significant."
Not all SEIU staffers were pleased with the decision. Matt Brandon, Secretary-Treasurer for Local 73—whose union had previously filed an internal cease-and-desist request against HCII for its endorsement of Garcia—said his local attempted to block the vote. "We raised several objections at the meeting to procedure and rules, but of course we were overruled," Brandon told the Tribune before accusing the other two locals of being radicals:
"They are trying to create more of a socialist agenda," Brandon said, while his local is trying to take more of a realist approach. "I just think the mayor has done a lot for our members."
Similarly, in early March, Brandon told In These Times he "totally disagree[d]" with the widespread characterization of Emanuel as an anti-union mayor, saying Local 73 had been able to secure key gains from the mayor.
The endorsement comes as a number of unions and community leaders are rethinking their decision to sit out the mayor's race after Garcia and three other candidates unexpectedly forced Emanuel into a runoff late last month. Last week, Teamsters Local 743 decided to endorse Garcia, as did key African-American leaders including Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Danny Davisearlier this week.
SEIU's Illinois State Council is made up of three SEIU locals in Chicago and throughout the state: Health Care Illinois Indiana, which represents home health workers; Local 1, which represents building services workers like janitors; and Local 73, which represents public sector workers. HCII had previously endorsed Garcia and given him multiple large donations, defying the council's vote of neutrality; Locals 1 and 73 had pledged neutrality in the race, but Morrison told the Chicago Sun-Times after Emanuel was forced into a runoff that "this is now a different election." 
The large majority of the city's unions either stayed neutral or sided with Emanuel in the first round of the race. UNITE HERE Local 1, which represents hospitality workers in Chicago, could be seen directly behind the mayor as he gave his election night speech. 
Most of the city's labor movement still has not come over to Garcia's side. But the decision of several key locals to move to his side in the last few weeks leading up to the runoff could provide a much-needed boost of financial resources and boots on the ground for the progressive challenger, who is reported in a recent Tribune poll to be trailing Mayor Emanuel by double digits.
In January, In These Times's David Moberg explained why the majority of the city's labor movement was sitting out the race. Moberg noted, however, that there was a chance union leaders might be willing to shift their position.
But some may jump into the race if Garcia’s campaign takes off. Sources familiar with the thinking of SEIU Local 1’s leaders say there was enthusiasm for [Cook County Board President Toni] Preckwinkle and [Chicago Teachers Union 
SEIU State Council Reverses Course, Endorses Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s Run Against Rahm Emanuel - Working In These Times:

The mayoral debate Chicago needs: Here are the questions - Crain's Chicago Business ‪#‎Chuy2015‬ ‪#‎imwithchuy‬

The mayoral debate Chicago needs: Here are the questions - Blogs On Politics - Crain's Chicago Business:

The mayoral debate Chicago needs: Here are the questions

Chicago voters wanted a second round in the race for mayor, and they got one. But now that an April 7 runoff has been set, what should the candidates be talking about?
For the most part, not the stuff in their TV ads. Though it was appropriate for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to do a little bit of a mea culpa in his latest spot, he is not now and never will be Mr. Warm and Fuzzy. His foe, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, will win a personal popularity contest every time. Nor should the ads emphasize the "Mayor 1 Percent" stuff that Garcia has been peddling:
Though Emanuel has handed out some corporate goodies, his ladle has been far, far smaller than Garcia suggests, and is considerably smaller than the boodle Richard M. Daley dispensed.
I'll have more on the latter after I finish up a research project. Meanwhile, here's the debate I'd like to see.
The first thing on the agenda is money. Not because people don't count, but because they do.A city whose bond rating was just lowered to two levels above junk won't be able to keep schools open, pay police or do any of the other things we all need without the economic resources to pay the tab.
At the top of the money list is worker pensions, a subject on which Emanuel, pending Illinois Supreme Court review, has made some progress but still faces a $550 million increase in payments in the year that begins Jan. 1, just for police and fire.
Garcia says anyone now on the payroll ought to get what they've been promised no matter what, with no changes or concessions. If you really believe that, sir, how are you going to get the money? Isn't some shared sacrifice, in which taxpayers pay more and workers get less, the fairest and sanest way out of this mess?
Emanuel, meanwhile, needs to tell Chicago how he'll handle that $550 million police/fire cliff. And he needs to tell the city if he has a Plan B in case the courts throw out his earlier pension deal covering city laborers and white-collar workers.
Next at the top of my list is taxes. To both men, I pose this question: Are there any circumstances under which you'd agree to a hike in property taxes over the next four years, perhaps as a last resort? If not, what is on the table?
So far, Emanuel has ducked on property taxes, while Garcia has seemed to rule them out, as well as a commuter tax and a levy on LaSalle Street financial transactions. That's cool, guys. But how are you going to pay the bills? This one particularly applies to you, Mr. Garcia, since you want to freeze and potentially end the city's red-light camera system, which annually pulls in tens of millions of dollars. How would you replace that money, sir? And, Mr. Emanuel, why don't you drop the facade and concede that the cameras are at least as much about raising revenue—a sin tax of sorts—as they are about safety?
Another key area the two need to debate in the five weeks left is economic development.
Let's start with improving the Chicago Transit Authority, which much of Chicago uses to get to work. Does either candidate have a funding source to extend the Red Line south to the city limits? Garcia at one point seemed to throw out the possibility of a gasoline tax for transit capital work but has been silent on the issue since. Is he still for the idea? How about Emanuel?
Tax-increment financing, otherwise known as TIF, has been and remains a big issue. Emanuel, when he ran four years ago, suggested that the era of big downtown TIF deals was pretty much over but since has approved funding for a Wolf Point office building, a Near West The mayoral debate Chicago needs: Here are the questions - Blogs On Politics - Crain's Chicago Business:

Peg with Pen: ALEC, Pearson, Gates & Opt Out Bills vs. Civil Disobedience

Peg with Pen: ALEC, Pearson, Gates & Opt Out Bills vs. Civil Disobedience:

ALEC, Pearson, Gates & Opt Out Bills vs. Civil Disobedience

I am not a supporter of opt out bills. This surprises lots of folks. Opt out bills distract from the real issues. Opt Out is NOT an anti-testing movement. We support teacher-created tests, portfolios, projects - all the things that allow teachers to determine how best to support their learners. Opt Out is a social movement which gains its power through the act of refusing the tests - an act of civil disobedience which denies the government and the corporations the much coveted data.  Data is the new gold. Refusing the tests, as an act of civil disobedience, is absolutely necessary in order to restore learning to our classrooms while demanding wrap around services and equitable funding for all schools.  Opt out bills do nothing to change the inequitable conditions in our public schools that legislators continue to ignore.  If Opt Out is legal, we can be guaranteed that our schools will still have racially and culturally biased high stakes tests.  Our schools will still funnel money to corporate testing and the technology for testing - a never ending cash cow.   Our schools will still lack nurses, librarians, libraries, art, music, PE, counselors and more.  Our schools will still operate within the confines of a fear-based environment which requires teaching to the test all year long. Our schools will still be segregated and void of democracy. Children will continue to be harmed. Teachers will continue to commit educational malpractice against their will.

Opt Out as an act of civil disobedience is necessary in order to force the government to change immoral and unjust laws.  

I do not need permission to opt out. Opt out bills proclaim to the masses that Opt Out must be legal in order for parents and students to refuse the tests.  If Opt Out is legal, and all repercussions are removed, they have just placed us back in the mode of servitude to the corporations via government mandates. Nothing changes. We lose our power and we lose the mass awakening that is occurring across the country as individuals look around and recognize that our democracy is being dismantled via the take down of our cornerstone, our public schools.

There is much to pay attention to as we gain power via Opt Out. It's important to recognize that co-optation of this social movement could indeed mean the decline of the Opt Out Movement.   

ECS , Education Commissioner of States, recently came out with a document that shares the legalities of Opt Out.  ECS is funded by Pearson and Gates, among others.  As Morna Peg with Pen: ALEC, Pearson, Gates & Opt Out Bills vs. Civil Disobedience:

Garcia: 'I will transform the way we run city government' | Chicago ‪#‎Chuy2015‬ ‪#‎imwithchuy‬

Garcia: 'I will transform the way we run city government' | Chicago:

Garcia: 'I will transform the way we run city government'

 Mayor Emanuel claims that he has led our city forward. But whenever light is shed on his actual record, we find he has violated the public trust, squandered opportunities for reform, and left the working families of Chicago with the bill. What’s worse, we don’t even know the extent of the problem.

For four years, the current mayor has hidden critical information from Chicagoans — about how he’s spent tax dollars, about the debt he’s saddled on future generations, and about the savings we could realize from the “waste, fraud and inefficiencies” that even Mayor Emanuel has admitted riddle his budgets.
As mayor, I will transform the way we run city government. I will put the people of this city back in the drivers’ seat through real accountability. And I will bring the leadership it takes to bring people together and make tough decisions collaboratively.
My administration will open our books to the light of public scrutiny. And — for the first time in history — we will audit city budgets and operations to take a hard look at how Chicago spends its money.
No one outside of the mayor’s inner circle can tell you how badly Chicago’s books are cooked. But I will not look taxpayers in the eye and ask them to shoulder a greater burden before we have exhausted all other options and made sure that the very wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share.
We also need to be honest about the mismanagement that got us here.
Mayor Emanuel hired a City Comptroller who’s been convicted of taking kickbacks. Mayor Emanuel claimed to have saved $60 million in Streets and Sanitation operations when the Inspector General says that number is $18 million or less. The Emanuel administration claimed the red light cameras were for safety when the evidence shows they are a revenue grab. The mayor “renegotiated” the hated parking meter contract to make it harder for the city to change the terms of or even exit the contract, at the same time that the city forked out tens of millions of dollars in overpayments.
Emanuel has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in police overtime without a single audit or month-to-month breakdown of expenditures, despite repeated requests from City Council members for hard documentation.
Emanuel has said he hasn’t raised property taxes, but property taxes for city agencies under his control have spiked by 11 percent, or $342 million, since he took office in 2011. And he’s used those new taxes meant for our schools to funnel over $70 million to for-profit education companies that enrich ‘consultants’ and corporate owners, while closing 50 neighborhood public schools.
Instead of retiring bond debt, the current administration has refinanced expiring bonds in “scoop and toss” deals that will balloon in cost and soak taxpayers for millions in interest payments for decades.
The current administration has also continued to use TIFs as a piggy bank to give big corporations and campaign donors millions of dollars for development projects that don’t need these handouts such as the Marriot Hotel near McCormick Place.
And he tried to back-door a property tax increase of hundreds of millions of dollars into a pension deal that alienated workers and may not survive a court challenge.
Emanuel’s pay-to-play raids on the public coffers have crashed the city’s bond rating and left us in worse shape financially than when he took office. At the same time, he’s shortchanged workers’ pensions by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Mayor continues to say “trust me” — when he has failed to earn our trust.
Instead, we need a system-wide budget overhaul — for the City, CPS, the Park District and City Colleges. These operations together spend more than $17 billion in hard-earned tax dollars for frontline services that our residents need and deserve. My budget advisors estimate we could save at least hundreds of millions of dollars by using economies of scale to leverage better deals and wiser combined spending for these agencies.
As mayor, I’ll end the gimmicks, hidden taxes and growing debt that Emanuel has relied on to run the city — because Chicagoans have a right to truth in taxation.
As mayor, I will put our fiscal house in order. I’ll start running this city for the people, not the privileged few.
We can create financial stability and build a world class city where all Chicagoans can survive and thrive. We just have to build it together.
Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is a candidate for mayor of Chicago.Garcia: 'I will transform the way we run city government' | Chicago:

Forget Test Scores: Let’s Rank Those PARCC States Now | deutsch29

Forget Test Scores: Let’s Rank Those PARCC States Now | deutsch29:

Forget Test Scores: Let’s Rank Those PARCC States Now

Image result for no soup for you seinfeld

According to Louisiana superintendent John White, a primary sell for Louisiana giving its illegitimate version of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is as follows:
For the first time, parents will be able to compare their children’s skills with the performance of students in other states.
So, once the next school year begins, parents will know how their children compared to children who completed the Pearson-contracted PARCC (which Louisiana is not part of) absent any detailed context of across-state differences in social and economic systems and with no ability whatsoever to “make” one state “resemble” another on any given desirable characteristic.
But this is test-score-driven “reform,” and its obsession with test scores must needs lead to some kind of comparison– hence the drive to compare among PARCC states just because that’s how it is supposed to be in the corporate reformer mind.
The PARCC consortium website continues to identify 12 states and DC as “PARCC states”: Arkansas, Colorado, DC, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island.
However, a common listing does not comparability make.
New York is administering a different Pearson test this year, not PARCC; Massachusetts is only giving PARCC in some of its districts; Mississippi withdrew from using PARCC assessments in January 2015 and has contracted with Pearson for “emergency” exams to replace PARCC tests for 2015. And, of course, there’s Louisiana– a state that is giving its pencil-and-paper “PARCC” tests– tests created not by Pearson but by Data Recognition Corp (DRC).
So, if one considers which of the PARCC states are actually administering (or, shall Forget Test Scores: Let’s Rank Those PARCC States Now | deutsch29:

The Seattle Education Association calls to suspend the SBAC | Seattle Education

The Seattle Education Association calls to suspend the SBAC | Seattle Education:

The Seattle Education Association calls to suspend the SBAC

I’ve been asked where the Seattle teachers’ union, the Seattle Education Association (SEA), stands on issues that I write about.
Well, they took a stand on the SBAC.
This resolution was passed on March 9, 2015.

Whereas in order for a standardized test to give meaningful information, it must first be administered to a normed sample group and proven to have reliability and validity; and in 2014-2015 reliability and validity of scores for the Smart Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test have not yet been established; yet Washington is planning to use the results as a baseline in their state accountability systems; and,
Whereas a statement on the SBAC website in Olympia, WA in November 2014 indicates that the SBAC is designed so that almost 7 in 10 eighth graders, and 6 in 10 third graders, are expected to fail to reach the arbitrary “goal” set by the test-makers; and,
Whereas the 2014 WEA Representative Assembly and the NEA RA passed six action items relating to objections to the use of standardized testing; and,
Whereas Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School Senate, made up of faculty, parents, administration, and students, recently announced that they had decided not to administer the SBAC to their juniors this spring for reasons including: the test will not benefit the juniors, it is not valid assessment strategy, it will produce unreliable outcomes, and it is not required for graduation; and,
Whereas at the Oregon Education Association Representative Assembly (OEA-RA), members of the Oregon Education Association (OEA) passed a resolution in April 2014 calling for a moratorium on the SBAC; and,
Whereas the Portland Teachers Association representative assembly recently passed a resolution calling for their members to speak out about the excessive time they spend on testing and preparing for tests, and to become involved with parent groups to educate the public about opting out; and,
Whereas the Obama Administration awarded PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) a combined $360 million to develop the new standardized tests aligned to the CCSS instead of dedicating said funds to provide the The Seattle Education Association calls to suspend the SBAC | Seattle Education:

“Springtime for Hitler” and Education Reform | educationalchemy

“Springtime for Hitler” and Education Reform | educationalchemy:

“Springtime for Hitler” and Education Reform

Posted: March 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 No, this is not a contentious and offensive analogy between Common Core, testing and Nazi Germany. It’s a post about how a movement can be co-opted. And how to fight back. It’s about strategy co-optation and “ideological camouflage” in which one agenda can be disguised as something else. In this instance it’s about corporate players camouflaging private interests as a public good, and then pointing the blame elsewhere as a distraction. These strategies (listed here) are not top secret. Anyone who has taken marketing or advertising 101 knows how public perception can be manipulated by media and “research.” Because something is not common knolwedge does not make it conspiracy. It just makes the public susceptible to ideological manipulation. I reference here a few historical and fictional examples of how such strategies have been used, and how the American Legislative Exchange Commission’s (ALEC’s) agenda to corporatize, profit from and privatize our public schools eerily mirror these tactics.

The title of this blog is a reference to the movie The Producers (1967). The premise of the movie is that the two main characters, a theater producer for Broadway (played by Zero Mostel) and a meek accountant (Gene Wilder) are both in a slump and they are in need of money. It occurs to Gene Wilder that they’d make more money with a flop than a hit because they can collect the insurance when it goes belly up. So they create a Broadway musical they believe will flop, basing it on a screen play written by an old post-war Nazi nut. There’s the infamous scene where the audience sits in shock and horror while the singers and dancers on stage all croon, “Its springtime for Hitler and Germany.”
So what if…just what if… you were an organization that intended to privatize public education? Given how deep seated our democracy is with the ideal of public education, such a proposal would not win over very many except the most die-hard followers of Milton Freidman. Perhaps you’d get more people to adopt your agenda if first you created systematic “reforms” intended to be a flop. And then when the reforms “fail” you could cash in on your real agenda?
The goal of ALEC is to craft model legislation behind closed doors to create state level policies which serve the interests of their corporate partners. They are a powerful private-public partnership devoted (to a fault) with Milton Freidman’s notions of private enterprise at the expense of the public good.  Many of the polices we are seeing promulgated right now can be traced to model education legislation bills which can be seen etched carefully into state-level policies that call for:
-more (corporate led, hedge fund invested) charter schools,
-more vouchers draining the funds greatly needed by starving public schools into the pockets of “venture philanthropists,”
-the call for new teacher evaluations (rolling out the red carpet for union busting TFA faux teachers, and Pearson’s “Springtime for Hitler” and Education Reform | educationalchemy:

End the negative rhetoric about local schools

End the negative rhetoric about local schools:

End the negative rhetoric about local schools

When did we allow ourselves to become so negative, dismissive of facts and focused on political expediency more than doing what is right for the right reasons? There has got to be a better, more positive way to have a discussion about public schools. What's positive shouldn't get lost in a heated public discourse.
Monroe County is home to some of the highest achieving and best schools in the state and nation. In all corners of our region great instruction happens on a daily basis. Children meet and exceed rigorous standards, staff members perform at a high level and communities are engaged in their children's schools. The situation is actually pretty good. Not perfect, but, boy, are your schools working hard to get there.
Despite significant success over a long period of time, the governor repeatedly talks about failing schools and the need for major reform. He cites 178 public schools that are failing as evidence. According to the New York State Department of Education website, there are 4,530 public schools. This equates to 96.1 percent of schools finding success and 3.9 percent not making the grade.
According to Education Week's 2015 "Quality Counts" report card, New York state schools rank ninth in the nation. The 2015 Newsweek and US News & World Report"Best High Schools" lists include multiple Monroe County schools citing their overall excellence. The average high school graduation rates for our 19 Monroe County districts (including RCSD) is 89.7 percent, significantly higher than the national graduation rate of 81 percent. Our schools are not failing. Again, they're not perfect, but they are working really hard to get there.
The days of a one-size-fits-all approach in the classroom are past, so why is this one-size-fits-all approach acceptable in legislation? Just as every student has different strengths, weaknesses and needs, so do our districts. The answer is not more legislation; it is more local control.
We continue to be concerned about the pervasive negative rhetoric regarding what we know to be great public schools. We know that we need to continue working hard to continuously improve. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Reform efforts should focus on what works and not on negative rhetoric based on the faulty use of statistics and political attacks on teachers.
Kevin McGowan is superintendent of Brighton Central Schools and Mike Pero is superintendent of Pittsford Central Schools.End the negative rhetoric about local schools:

Public schools aren’t failing | The Charlotte Observer The Charlotte Observer

Big Education Ape: Troubled public schools starving, not failing

Will the US Department of Education take your school’s Title 1 funds if you opt your student out of the SBAC? Short answer, no. | Seattle Education

Will the US Department of Education take your school’s Title 1 funds if you opt your student out of the SBAC? Short answer, no. | Seattle Education:

Will the US Department of Education take your school’s Title 1 funds if you opt your student out of the SBAC? Short answer, no.

There is no federal or state law that requires financial penalties to schools’ Title I funds if parents refuse to allow their children to take the PARCC tests. The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law did include a mandate that required schools to have a 95 percent participation rate on state tests or face sanctions. The intent of that law was to prevent schools from hiding subgroups of students from the accountability structure and was not aimed at preventing parents from refusing to have their children tested.
The parents in the states of New York and New Jersey have been fighting back against the Common Core Standards for the last year and the corresponding  PARCC battery of tests which is our SBAC set of tests in Washington State.
But let’s start at the beginning.
It is illegal for the Federal Government to specify a national curriculum or national test.
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into Federal law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as part of the “War on Poverty” program. This bill ensured that children in poverty would receive additional funding for their school programs. The funding allocated was to include the professional development of teachers, class materials, and support for parent involvement. This federal money is referred to as “Title 1″ funding. (Note: Part of the original ESEA agreement ensured there would not be a national curriculum decided by the Federal government, but rather that each state would determine its own curriculum.)  ESEA was to continue for five years, but Congress has reauthorized the bill every five years and each time it is reauthorized, members of Congress, along with the President, have made changes to the bill.
Any standardized curriculum can only be legally developed at the state or district level. Arne Duncan and his backers, particularly Bill Gates, really, really wanted a standardized curriculum throughout the fifty states. Conundrum. What to do? Have a private entity, led by Achieve Inc., create the curriculum and tests and make it sound like the states had determined the standards, thus the name “Common Core State Standards”. Thing is, no one at the state level in any state ever had anything to do with creating the standards and in fact, the Common Core Standards had not been completed when the state legislators across the country voted to have them implemented in their states. It took some slick Will the US Department of Education take your school’s Title 1 funds if you opt your student out of the SBAC? Short answer, no. | Seattle Education:

Mayoral Candidate’s Plan for Community Schools Has Undisputed Proof of Concept  | Philly in Focus

Mayoral Candidate’s Plan for Community Schools Has Undisputed Proof of Concept  | Philly in Focus:

Mayoral Candidate’s Plan for Community Schools Has Undisputed Proof of Concept 

With the endorsement of teacher's in tow, former Philadelphia City Councilman wants to optimize available space in public schools.

By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
               CLICK HERE to read "Fueled by Nostalgia, Former Councilman’s Campaign for Mayor Becomes Official."
3.10.15: Philadelphia – (Politics): On Monday, March 16th, 2015, The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will formally endorse former Philadelphia City Councilman, Mr. Jim Kenney, in his campaign to become Mayor.
Mr. Kenney, though he’s admitted to not having the proverbial Big Bang Theory to solve the conundrums facing the School District of Philadelphia, has embraced the concept of full-service community schools, which no doubt contributed to him winning the approval of the 12,000 member strong union, who will directly benefit from having community organizations, nonprofits, and universities, among others, collaborate to transform schools into the center of community life.
 Mayoral Candidate’s Plan for Community Schools Has Undisputed Proof of Concept  | Philly in Focus:

School (False) Choice Sunday | Cloaking Inequity

School (False) Choice Sunday | Cloaking Inequity:

School (False) Choice Sunday

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 1.19.10 PM
Have you ever been unhappy with your “choices”? For example, you go to a Redbox and there are 60 movies in the machine, but not one film seems interesting. Even though there are many “choices”, you are not happy with any of them. Or how about when someone else defines the choice for you. For example, you are choosing a restaurant on a Saturday night and your companion says that they are open to eating anywhere but then they proceed to reject the next ten suggestions. Then they proceed to give you a list of three restaurants they would prefer for that evening— they have defined the choice for you. Or how about if you are a teenager and your parents tell you that you can see any movie you want as long as its Spiderman at 10 a.m. These are all examples of false choice.
The choice argument is very powerful in the current education policy discourse. The core of the argument goes like this, “parents should be able to choose a high quality school.” What I want to focus on first is the “top concerns” for public schools.
Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 10.00.18 AM
In the Public Interest conducted a poll of voters to gauge what communities find as problematic in their schools. I think a fair translation is that these are the most desired choices for their schools. Here is a little Sunday “Family School (False) Choice Sunday | Cloaking Inequity: