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Monday, September 5, 2016

Michigan-Missouri-Hawai'i Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education

Michigan Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education:

Michigan-Missouri-Hawai'i Grassroots Education Network

Introducing NPE Grassroots Education Network

State and Local Banner Grass and National

Dear friend and ally in the fight to save public education,
We would like to invite you to participate in an exciting Network for Public Education (NPE) service initiative, called the NPE Grassroots Education Network. We believe that it is our obligation to better serve allied groups in the struggle to preserve, promote, improve and strengthen our public schools. We are reaching out to leaders of local, state and national organizations across the country in order to foster communications and connections among groups that share common interests and concerns.
Your participation in the NPE Grassroots Education Network will not only help your organization reach more people who care about your issues, but we are confident that it will also serve to strengthen the national movement to save our schools.
What does participating in the NPE Grassroots Education Network mean for your organization? First and foremost, this is a service initiative on the part of the Network for Public Education. If you participate you are fully autonomous; your group is not a member or chapter of NPE. We will not charge you and we are not receiving a financial benefit for creating this initiative. We want to help you amplify your voice and forge alliances as we fight together to strengthen and preserve our public schools.
 Texas Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

Virginia Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

Wisconsin Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

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South Carolina Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

Rhode Island Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

Oregon Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

Ohio Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

North Carolina Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

New Hampshire Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education -

Introducing NPE Grassroots Education Network - Network For Public Education:

Gates funded “independent” media cheers Gates plan to privatize public education in Liberia - Wait What?

Gates funded “independent” media cheers Gates plan to privatize public education in Liberia - Wait What?:

Gates funded “independent” media cheers Gates plan to privatize public education in Liberia

Image result for big education ape Bill Gates

In stunning expose written by Adam Johnson of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), it becomes undeniably clear that Bill Gates has reached the point where his billions not only fund the myriad of corporate education reform initiatives that are sweeping the country and the world, but his investment in the media taints much of the coverage of these developments.
The Guardian (8/31/16) published a broadly positive report on Liberian education, which is handing over the reins of 120 primary schools to a consortium of private education companies and NGOs in a pilot program exploring privatization of the West African nation’s schools. One passage in particular was especially glowing:
The deputy minister [of Education], Aagon Tingba, is reading The Bee Eater, a biography of Michele Rhee, a polarizing educational reformist and former chancellor of Washington, DC, public schools.
“She changed the lives of children in Washington, but people complained her methods were controversial. But she made a difference. So why can’t we do that here?”
What the piece failed to note—other than the fact that Rhee’s tenure left DC’s schools “worse by almost every conceivable measure” (Truthout, 10/23/13)—is that multi-billionaire Bill Gates is both the major investor of the company administering the Liberian education overhaul and the principal of the Gates Foundation, sponsor of the Guardian’s Global Development vertical, where the story appeared.
The story clearly labels the Gates Foundation as its sponsor. What it never mentioned is that Bill Gates is a major investor of the firm at the heart of the story, Bridge Academies International, having pitched in, along  Gates funded “independent” media cheers Gates plan to privatize public education in Liberia - Wait What?:

Why the presidential election matters for immigrant students

Why the presidential election matters for immigrant students:

Why the presidential election matters for immigrant students

DACA and deportations aren’t the only issues on the line

Kemberly Gil, a DACA recipient, DREAMer and college student rallies for immigrant rights in a 2014 protest in New York. Photo: U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of Rural & Migrant Ministry

 mberly Gil came to the United States from Colombia when she was 3 years old. She was with her parents, her older brother, and her younger sister. Like most undocumented immigrants in this country, Gil and her family crossed the border legally — on a tourist visa. After six months, however, the visa expired, and they lost their right to stay.

That was in 1999.
The family has lived in New York state since they arrived in the U.S. and, while Gil’s parents were always honest with her about the fact that she was undocumented, it wasn’t until she attended an immigrant’s rights rally when she was in fourth grade that she realized being undocumented was a problem, and one that affected a lot of people. Though she was only a child, she volunteered to speak to the crowd, calling on lawmakers to understand undocumented immigrants are people, too.
“I remember that I cried that day,” Gil said. “But no one heard me. The people there heard me, but the people who make decisions … nothing happened.”
Then, in the summer of 2012 President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he created by executive order. Gil and her siblings became eligible for driver’s licenses, work permits and protection from deportation for two-year, renewable terms.
The federal government approved 819,512 DACA requests from the program’s inception through March 31, 2016. An additional 539,000 people have renewed their original two-year reprieves.
But this fall, the presidential election could mean the end of DACA. Donald Trump has not only promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, the Republican presidential candidate has said he would also eliminate the program. It is, perhaps, the most prominent immigration policy at stake when Americans go to the polls. And that’s not the only way a Trump administration could affect the lives of one of the fastest-growing populations in U.S. schools. In fact, the contrast between two presidential candidates on immigration policy has quite possibly never been so stark.
Immigrants have grown from just 4.7 percent of the U.S. population in 1970 to an estimated 13.3 percent in 2014, according to Census data, and the number of immigrant students has grown accordingly. Both the actions and the possible inaction of the next president will have far-reaching consequences on these students in U.S. schools.
The next president will have a say in how unaccompanied minors are treated once they get to this country, how the federal government handles deportation or combats civil rights violations against immigrant students, and how much federal funding will be given to support 4.5 million English language learners — a growing portion of Why the presidential election matters for immigrant students:

Audio: Preschool suspensions really happen — and that's not OK | 89.3 KPCC

Audio: Preschool suspensions really happen — and that's not OK | 89.3 KPCC:

Preschool suspensions really happen — and that's not OK

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This story is part of a series from NPR Ed exploring the challenges U.S. schools face meeting students' mental health needs.
Every year, thousands of children are suspended from preschool.
Take a second to let that sink in.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 6,743 children who were enrolled in district-provided pre-K in 2013-14 received one or more out-of-school suspensions.
And that's just public pre-K. Still more children were likely suspended from the nation's many privately-run preschools and day cares.
While most suspensions come as the result of a child's disruptive, sometimes violent, behavior, experts and advocates now argue that suspending a 3- or 4-year-old, no matter how bad the behavior, is a bad idea.
"Expelling preschoolers is not an intervention," according to a policy statementissued earlier this year by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Rather, it disrupts the learning process, pushing a child out the door of one early care and education program, only for him or her to be enrolled somewhere else, continuing a negative cycle of revolving doors that increases inequality and hides the child and family from access to meaningful supports."
But what to do?
Answer: Study Connecticut.
First, lawmakers there took a rare vote last year, limiting out-of-school suspensions for children from preschool through second grade.
More importantly, though, the state has spent more than a decade pioneering an intensive, classroom-level intervention — one that new research from Yale suggests is making a powerful difference in preschools across Connecticut.
The boy with the orange socks
Children bound from wall to wall through a small YMCA gymnasium in a low-income neighborhood of Bridgeport, Conn. While most play tag, one boy wearing bright orange socks heads straight for a crate in the corner. There, among the foam Audio: Preschool suspensions really happen — and that's not OK | 89.3 KPCC:

Charter Schools: Two Weeks Filled with Scathing Critiques | janresseger

Charter Schools: Two Weeks Filled with Scathing Critiques | janresseger:

Charter Schools: Two Weeks Filled with Scathing Critiques

Today is Labor Day. This blog is returning after a two-week break—two weeks filled with probing criticism of the controversial charter school education sector.
In a Labor-Day-related commentary, Harold Meyerson, executive editor of the American Prospect, explores the growing anti-union, anti-democratic power of the charter lobby: “Funded by billionaires and arrayed against unions, it is increasingly contesting for power in city halls and statehouses where Democrats already govern… This abrupt elevation (or self-elevation) of today’s charter school entrepreneurs into tomorrow’s civic leaders may seem surprising, but it’s part of a larger pattern… In future decades, historians will have to grapple with how charter schools became the cause celebre of centrist billionaires—from Walton to Bloomberg to Broad—in an age of plutocracy.  The historians shouldn’t dismiss the good intentions behind the billionaires’ impulse: the desire to provide students growing up in poverty with the best education possible. But neither should they dismiss their self-exculpation in singling out the deficiencies, both real and exaggerated, of public education as the central reason for the evisceration of the middle class.”
Meyerson continues: “By spending sufficiently to shift the composition of Democratic caucuses in legislatures, city councils or school boards to the right, they (the charter school lobby) can undermine public education… In their mix of good intentions and self-serving blindness, the billionaire education reformers have much in common with some of the upper-class progressives of a century ago, another time of great wealth and pervasive poverty.  Some of those progressives, in the tradition of Jane Addams, genuinely sought to diminish the economy’s structural inequities, but others focused more on the presumed moral deficiencies and lack of discipline of the poor. Whatever the merits of charters, the very rich who see them as the great equalizer are no closer to the mark than their Gilded Age predecessors who preached temperance as the answer to squalor.”
Then there was comedian John Oliver’s much publicized take-down of charter schools, created as less regulated and, hence, supposedly more creative and innovative than their public school counterparts that are castigated by charter proponents as hamstrung by bureaucratic oversight.  If you haven’t watched Oliver’s amazing and carefully researched comedy critique, I urge you to check it out.
I also urge you to follow up by reading Jeff Bryant’s piece that expands upon Oliver’s ridicule. Bryant notes that because Oliver’s broadcast was so widely viewed, charter school advocates have rushed to criticize Oliver and defend their pet project. But, declares Bryant, “None of Oliver’s critics seriously refuted the crux of his argument that there might be something fundamentally wrong by design, rather than by implementation or intent, with the idea that a ‘free market’ of privately operated and essentially unregulated schools is a surefire way to improve education opportunities for all students… (W)hat charter advocates generally won’t admit is that many of the problems these schools cause are reflective of what inevitably seems to happen when an essential public service is privatized… Numerous experts point out charter schools blur the line from what it means to be a public institution providing a public good and that, by their very design, they expand opportunities to profiteer from public tax dollars and private public assets… Over the years, the U.S. Department of Education has rewarded charter schools with over $3.3 billion in federal funds, and with passage of the most recent federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, USDoE will send $333 million more to these schools before the current fiscal year is over.”
In the Washington Post, columnist Valerie Strauss published the transcript of Oliver’s critique and some of the response from charter school supporters.  Strauss also responded to Oliver’s comedy riff by publishing an analysis from Carol Burris, the award-winning, now retired New York City high school principal who serves as executive director of the Network for Public Charter Schools: Two Weeks Filled with Scathing Critiques | janresseger:

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Still Stupidly Punishing Children + ICYMI: Fall kick-off edition


FL: Still Stupidly Punishing Children
Sigh. So you will probably recall that some of Florida's educational leaders have lost their damned minds , having decided that the full force of districts and state powers must be brought to bear in order to beat a bunch of nine-year-old children into compliance. In some school districts, administrators had concluded that third grade children who opted out of the Big Standardized Test could not b


Why Charters Love "Public School"
The question is up for pseudo-debate once again because of the National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases that charter schools are private corporations . The decision is new, but the fact that charters are private businesses is not. While charter fans are trying to act shocked and surprised ., I'm just going to go ahead and link, for the six-zillionth time, to that special occasi
Brookings Fails at Teacher Diversity Research
This is just exceptional. In mid-August, Brookings released a report looking at the huge inequity in the teacher force , specifically the question of how to get more teachers of color in the classroom. Their conclusion, loosely paraphrased, is that the problem just can't be solved . Which seems, I don't know-- counterintuitive? improbable? wrong? There are some red flags in this report. Right up f

SEP 03

ICYMI: Fall kick-off edition (9/4)
As always, if you see something that really speaks to you, share it. Michigan Spends $1 Billion on Charter Schools But Fails To Hold Any Accountable Well, that headline for this Detroit Free press pretty well covers it. Schools Open, Schools Close-- Charter Schools and the Ties That Bind From Harvard, a thoughtful consideration of the real costs of school closures Rubric for the Rubric Concerning
Some Gates Charter Personalized Love
Don Shalvey has been pushing charter schools for many, many years. He was serving a superintendent of the San Carlos School District when he launched the first charter school in California . That was 1992. In 1998 he joined with Reed " Elected Schools Boards Suck " Hastings (Netflix) to for Californians for Public School Excellence, an astroturf group created to push charter school legis
Is Poverty No Longer a Thing?
Mike Petrilli was over at Campbell Brown's place this week where A) he was oddly billed as a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a book author, but not as the head honcho of the Fordham Institute and B) suggesting that we might need to reconsider our stances on poverty, now that it's not so much of a thing. I'm not an economist and I don't play one on tv (though economists pretend

SEP 02

Dyett Opening Again
You may recall that a year ago, activists launched a hunger strike to protest the closing of Dyett High School in the historic Bronzeville section of Chicago. Chicago Public Schools appeared bound and determined to carve the school up and turn it into one more private turnaround money salad (with gentrification dressing on top), even though community members had done everything just the way they w

SEP 01

Duncan Stops Pretending
As the head of the United States Department of Education, Arne Duncan must have felt some pressure to be supportive of public education in this country. But now that he's a private citizen and name-for-hire, he is held by no such restraints. That's made extraordinarily clear in his piece for Atlantic, in which he " examines the issues at the heart of the charter-school debate ." It would
The Struggles of Boy Teacher
Dylan Felton is an English teacher in his sixth year, working at Collingswood High School, a public school in Camden*, NJ. Felton aspires to be an "educational leader," which makes his recent piece in the Huffington Post all the more extraordinary. In " What It's Like Being a Male Teacher ," Felton mushes together a couple of separate issues, some of which deserve discussion a

AUG 31

Education vs. Poverty
Ben Spielberg, at 34justice, has put together a short stark piece that juxtaposes five simple pieces of data. There is nothing new here, but putting these five points side by side is compelling. 1) There are achievement gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten, and they are related to family income. 2) School quality is a minor factor in explaining the testing (aka "achiev

AUG 30

Charter Fans Put Bounty on John Oliver's Head
How much did John Oliver's piece on charter schools upset charter cheerleaders? About $100,000. Yesterday the Center for Education Reform, Jeanne Allen's pro-charter advocacy group, announced the " Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School " video contest, in which your charter school can win $100,000 for creating a video that will show John Oliver "why making fun of charter schoo

AUG 29

English Teacher Side Hustle
Forbes may be the magazine of the business world, but they aren't above the occasional listcicle. Today my feed coughed up the insta-classic " 15 Easy Side Hustles You Can Start This Weekend ." Ryan Robinson is the writer, and his intro slide sets it all up: Not ready to leave your job, but also not ready to start up? Here are some ideas that can help you earn some extra money on the sid
Mr. Gates Chats with Mr. Bowling
A week back, Bill Gates took to his blog to report on a sit-down with Nate Bowling. He calls it " A Powerful Conversation about Schools, Poverty and Race ," and that may be overstating the case a bit, but it's worth a quick look. Nate Bowling has won an assortment of teaching awards, most recently Washington State Teacher of the Year. He blogs at A Teacher's Evolving Mind , and his self-
MI: Boatloads of Money
“People should get a fair return on their investment,” said former state schools Superintendent Tom Watkins, a longtime charter advocate who has argued for higher standards for all schools. “But it has to come after the bottom line of