Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Personalized Learning Poised to Take Center Stage – Wrench in the Gears

Personalized Learning Poised to Take Center Stage – Wrench in the Gears:

Personalized Learning Poised to Take Center Stage

As new state education plans are unveiled, the ed-tech sector is positioning itself to take full advantage of the ESSA’s ample provisions for innovation / entrepreneurial experimentation on public school children. Language in Title lV-21st Century Schools Part F, Subpart 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act allocates $200 million+ annually in fiscal years 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 to “create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students.” Any state educational agency, local educational agency, consortium of such agencies, or the Bureau of Indian Education may partner with a non-profit organization, business, educational service agency or institution of higher education to develop these “innovative” products.
The New Schools Venture Fund Summit 2017, an invitation-only event, expects over 1,000 entrepreneurs, funders, policy makers, educators, and community leaders to converge on the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, CA next week to “reimagine education.” Technology features prominently with sessions on rigor in personalized learning, tech in special education, tech as an equity issue, and developing a robust R&D program to “drive the kinds of technological breakthroughs we need in education.” Platinum level event sponsors include the Gates and Walton Family Foundations, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative-all forces behind the Ed Reform 2.0 digital curriculum agenda. According to EdWeek, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recently teamed up with Chiefs for Change (CFC) to establish a “Transforming Schools and Systems Workgroup.”
Platinum sponsors
Their partnership will promote adoption of “Personalized Learning” at state and local levels, building on efforts underway in states like Rhode Personalized Learning Poised to Take Center Stage – Wrench in the Gears:

Teachers as Nurturers of Humanity

Teachers as Nurturers of Humanity:

Teachers as Nurturers of Humanity

No automatic alt text available.

Pleas e join Internet radio host Dr. James Avington Miller Jr. for the second show in our Teacher Appreciation Month series.

This week Dr. Miller will be discussing teachers as nurturers of humanity. It is the nurturing magic of the teacher that protects, provides, and promotes true learning in our students. This power is what makes all teachers special and different. This power is what makes teaching truly an art.

Please join us on Sunday - Mother's Day - as we celebrate teachers and the very extraordinary value they bring to our public school classrooms. 

Teachers are more than a set of data points. Teachers are the nurturers of all of humanity.

Knowledge is power !


Please click on the website below to listen live:

2:00 PM PDT
4:00 PM CDT
5:00 PM EDT
A direct listen-in line only
Station 1 - 716-748-0150
To call-in and interact live
Station 1 888-627-6008 toll free

Happy Mother's Day To The Moms Leading The Fight For Trans Students | HuffPost

Happy Mother's Day To The Moms Leading The Fight For Trans Students | HuffPost:

Happy Mother’s Day To The Moms Leading The Fight For Trans Students

Transgender kids have people who can and will support them.

On Mother’s Day, I feel incredibly lucky to know so many wonderful mothers of trans children showing me every day what unconditional love and support look like. In particular this year, I want to honor my mom and all the parents fighting for trans students to have the simple right to safe learning environments in school.
As a transgender woman and an advocate for trans youth, I know first-hand what it’s like to face bullying and violence, and I know how easily these problems can interfere with education, making classrooms and hallways hostile territory for anyone who is different. When I was in elementary school, I didn’t yet understand myself as transgender. I had no role models. There had not yet been any trans kids in the news, no Jazz Jennings. Like most kids, I just wanted to fit in, enjoy school, read, write, learn about math and science—but the world around me told me that I was different, and that difference was wrong. I was an awkward, shy kid who loved books. I was sensitive and known for crying. As early as preschool someone made up a rumor of me kissing a boy on the playground. I don’t think it ever happened—but regardless—I was taunted for it daily. I remember that feeling, of being the reject, the weirdo, the deviant.
But despite these challenges, I was able to be successful because my mom instilled in me the value of learning and education. She has a tough job—she is a reading teacher. Because she is fluent in Spanish and Latina, she has often found herself throughout her career helping kids who are struggling with a culture that tells them they are wrong for being Latinx. Yet just as she stands up for them, she also stands up for transgender students.
I was able to be successful because my mom instilled in me the value of learning and education.
Recently my mother’s school notified teachers they’d be conducting trainings on how to treat trans kids. My mom immediately took action and wrote a letter telling other teachers why it’s so important to respect trans kids.
“I’m sure you realize when a child transitions it is a very difficult time especially ‘for the adult,’” she wrote, “but seeing a person be happy and thrive in their chosen gender is a wonderful thing. The current bathroom issue is truly a form of discrimination, ignorance, and unjust fear.”
I love my mom, and yes, our journey through my transition may have been difficult at times, but this Mother’s Day, I’m so grateful for her and for all the other moms and all the other Happy Mother's Day To The Moms Leading The Fight For Trans Students | HuffPost:

Ex-Mayor Kevin Johnson Pie Thrower Jury is Hung | Davis Vanguard

Ex-Mayor Kevin Johnson Pie Thrower Jury is Hung | Davis Vanguard:

Ex-Mayor Kevin Johnson Pie Thrower Jury is Hung

Image result for Ex-Mayor Kevin Johnson Pie Thrower

Special Hearing Friday as 3rd Day of Deliberations Begin
Special to The Vanguard
Completely unexpectedly, about midday Thursday – after a day and a half of deliberation – the jury in the Mayor Kevin Johnson Pie Thrower case called the judge and reported that it was “hung” and could not make a unanimous decision on either of two charges, a felony and misdemeanor, facing alleged pie tosser Sean Thompson.
At 1:30 p.m. Thursday the jurors entered the courtroom and confirmed their deadlock, only saying that they had votes of 9-3 and 7-5 on the two charges most recently, not stating which way those votes went – guilty or not guilty.
The court sent them back to deliberate, but only after the jury requested clarification on questions involving what “official duties” the mayor has – the defense argued that Thompson could only be guilty of assaulting the mayor when he was involved in “official duties,” because attending a private charter school fundraiser, where he was pied, was not official duties.
Other jury questions involved definitions of “harmful,” key to a guilty charge – another point the defense emphasized during lengthy closing arguments, noting that the former Sacramento mayor was not harmed, other than maybe his ego, when hit in the face with a coconut cream pie.
A special hearing will be held Friday morning to decide on answers to those juror questions after which the jury will enter its third day of deliberations – with a few hiccups along the way, in a case that Sacramento County DA Anthony Ortiz promised was “simple.”
Ex-Mayor Kevin Johnson Pie Thrower Jury is Hung | Davis Vanguard:

Pie of the century

Trial judge questions Sac DA’s handling of Thompson charges

Thirty-two ounces of whipped cream, coconut shavings and sugar crumble were enough to launch a full jury trial last week, as one of Sacramento’s most veteran prosecutors clashed with a defense team over the velocity of a pie that hit former Mayor Kevin Johnson in September 2016.
The details of the incident were pored over for a jury with the kind of monomaniacal replaying often reserved for something like the Zapruder film.
With a line of witnesses and hours of testimony going by, both sides stayed locked to the end in an analytic dog fight about the power of a pastry. And the food theme permeated the courtroom beyond the alleged weapon of choice: Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz advanced his felony assault charge against activist Sean Thompson by calling zero police officers and no victim to the witness stand, relying instead on a virtual who’s who of the city’s restaurant scene to prove the case.
While jurors hadn’t ended their deliberations as of press time, Superior Court Judge Robert. M. Twiss had offered an opinion about the case on the record—though not in front of the jury—and in doing so joined a choir of criticism about the specific charges against Thompson being selectively enforced and politically motivated.
An unimpressed judge

The legal sparring in Thompson’s trial started before jurors were even selected. Defense attorneys Claire White and Jeff Mendelman successfully argued against a jailhouse interview Thompson gave being entered into evidence in its entirety. Thompson is charged with a felony count of assaulting a public official in retaliation for that person’s carrying out his given duties.
In his jailhouse interview, conducted a day after he “pied” the mayor at a fundraising event at Sacramento High School, Thompson spoke at length about what he perceived as Johnson’s lack of empathy and action for people living on Sacramento’s streets.
Ortiz wanted all of this 20-minute diatribe played for the jury. Instead, Twiss told the prosecutor he’d rule separately on each individual statement within the interview. Barred were Thompson’s comments calling the mayor “a real asshole” for the last seven years. Other remarks about feeling pressure to make a statement against the mayor, for focusing all his energy on the city’s elites while ignoring those struggling, were allowed into evidence.
During opening motions, after Twiss already made his ruling, Ortiz told the judge it wasn’t a good call to keep some of the jailhouse interview from the jury.
“I’ve never been part of a case when such a clear admission of a crime has been limited,” Ortiz argued, “when it proves nearly every element of this case.”
That remark prompted the judge to tell Ortiz exactly what he thought of the charges against Thompson.
“Stripping this case down, this is a simple misdemeanor battery—that’s what it is,” Twiss said of the felony allegation. “He put a pie in someone’s face. It’s being charged as a felony because of who the victim is, and I get that.”
In January, a host of defense attorneys—including one former prosecutor—told SN&R that the Sacramento County District Attorneys Office was inexplicably punitive when it came to handling low-level cases against local activists. At the time, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi strongly denied that claim.
Twiss’ comments drew no response from Ortiz. The next morning, the prosecutor was handling jury selection by asking potential candidates if they could arrive at a guilty verdict despite any personal views they had on the court wasting resources and taxpayer dollars.
Meditations of Mulvaney

Over the course of the trial, Ortiz made his case against Thompson with no designated law enforcement investigator seated by his side. Proof of the defendant’s guilt was offered through the testimonies of a  Pie of the century
Trial judge questions Sac DA’s handling of Thompson charges

Donors Backing CA School Vouchers Include Founders Of Netflix, Gap « CBS San Francisco

Donors Backing CA School Vouchers Include Founders Of Netflix, Gap « CBS San Francisco:

CA Donors Backing Push For Private School Vouchers Include Founders Of Netflix, Gap, KB Home

Image result for big education ape Netflix

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Much of the funding for pro-school choice groups and candidates in California comes from a handful of wealthy donors.
Analysis of top donors to school-choice ballot measure campaigns around the country found 48 individuals and couples provided most of the reported contributions to those initiatives since 2000.
Some of those top donors are major backers of pro-school choice candidates in California. Several are already pouring money into 2018 campaigns for governor and state schools chief in California.
Top California school choice donors include Netflix founder Reed Hastings, Gap founders Donald and Doris Fisher and KB Home founder Eli Broad. Members of the Walton family that founded Wal-Mart and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have also contributed millions to California school choice groups.
Thirty states plus Washington, D.C., have some combination of vouchers, government-subsidized education savings accounts or tax credits that help families afford private-school tuition or encourage private groups to fund scholarships, according to EdChoice, an advocacy group founded by Friedman and his wife.
Still, less than 1 percent of children in kindergarten through high school used vouchers to attend private schools in 2015. Just 5 percent of students were in charter schools that year, when charters were operating in more than 40 states. That’s up from about 3 percent in 2008, according to the Department of Education.
Charter schools are public but in several states are not held to the same accountability standards as traditional schools, which in theory gives them more freedom to innovate.
When standardized test scores of children who switched to charter schools or used vouchers are compared with those of students who remained in traditional public schools, some results have been promising. Other studies have shown little effect or even worse outcomes.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Donors Backing CA School Vouchers Include Founders Of Netflix, Gap « CBS San Francisco:

 Image result for big education ape broad

Don & Doris Fisher at the opening of a new Cartier store in San Francisco, September 2007. WENN Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Big Education Ape: Gap Co-Founder Doris Fisher Is Bankrolling the Charter School Agenda – And Pouring Dark Money In...

Evidence Mounts That School Choice Isn't Delivering Promised Results, Not That K-12 Privateers Are Listening | Alternet

Evidence Mounts That School Choice Isn't Delivering Promised Results, Not That K-12 Privateers Are Listening | Alternet:

Evidence Mounts That School Choice Isn't Delivering Promised Results, Not That K-12 Privateers Are Listening

What if school choice results in bad choice?

Related image

Another week, another round of evidence that providing parents with more “school choice,” especially the kind that lets them opt out of public schools, is not a very effective vehicle for ensuring students improve academically or that taxpayer dollars are spent more wisely.
The latest evidence comes from a study of the voucher program in Washington, DC that allows parents to transfer their children from public to private schools at taxpayer expense. The study found that students “who attended a private school through the program performed worse on standardized tests than their public school counterparts who did not use the vouchers,” reports the New York Times.
This study adds to others – from OhioIndiana, and Louisiana – finding that school vouchers have negative impacts on students.
Despite these results, many proponents of school choice contend the purpose of school choice was never about generating better results. It’s about choice for choice’s sake.
Results Don’t Matter?
That seems to be what US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos argues in her reaction to the news about the apparent failure of the DC voucher program. As the Washington Post reports, the report prompted her to say, “When school choice policies are fully implemented, there should not be differences in achievement among the various types of schools.”
That reaction struck education historian Diane Ravitch as an implication that “results don’t matter.” She writes on her personal blog, “If you parse this sentence, what she is saying is that when everyone chooses, none of the schools will be better than any others. They will all get the same results, even if they are dismal. The purpose of choice is choice.”
Ravitch points to an op-ed in a local DC paper that argues the “while point” of choice is for parents to pick schools they believe to be “best” for their children, regardless of the nature of the school or the results of its program.
The writer compares education to breakfast cereal, arguing that some parents may prefer Cheerios while some prefer other brands. What’s the big deal?
This line of reasoning aligns with DeVos’s recent comments comparing schools toEvidence Mounts That School Choice Isn't Delivering Promised Results, Not That K-12 Privateers Are Listening | Alternet: 

Dedicated to Moms Who Complain

Dedicated to Moms Who Complain:

Dedicated to Moms Who Complain

Happy Mother’s Day! Sometimes moms who make complaints are looked down upon—given the eye roll by certain school officials. But with today’s school reforms, complaints can change a child’s schooling and even provide needed support for teachers and schools.
Today, I pay tribute to a mom, Yadira Calderon, who recognized that, in her child’s case, complaints were justified and critical to her daughter’s success. She spoke out clearly and requested changes to her child’s education in a respectful manner.
Making a complaint can be tough especially if you are a quiet person, or if you trust that those at the school are doing what’s right. Is a complaint necessary? Is it the appropriate decision? Will there be repercussions?
I especially like that over time Yadira has come to recognize Dedicated to Moms Who Complain:

Why You Shouldn't Take Away Recess - Teacher Habits

Why You Shouldn't Take Away Recess - Teacher Habits:

Why You Shouldn’t Take Away Recess

I stopped taking away recess as a punishment for classroom behavior two years ago. I’ve never regretted it. The elementary school where I work uses a stoplight system for behavior management. If you’re unfamiliar, students start out with a clothespin on the color blue. If they break a rule, they move to green. Break another and it’s on yellow. Three strikes and it’s on red. Many teachers take away 10 minutes of recess from students on yellow and the entire recess for those on red. I used to.

I stopped for a selfish reason. Then, I justified my decision with other, better reasons. Here are the reasons you should stop taking away student recess for classroom misbehavior:

Stop Punishing Yourself

There were days when I made sure I didn’t put any students on yellow because I didn’t want to babysit during recess. I had stuff to do. If I was going to take away a student’s recess, that student had to be supervised by someone. Often, that someone was me. I’m a big believer in not punishing people who don’t deserve it, especially if one of those people is me.

Those Students Need Recess the Most

For the most part, the same kids lost recess over and over again. You know the type. They couldn’t sit still. Couldn’t leave other kids alone. Distracted others and interrupted me with their impulsive behavior. They weren’t made for sitting for long periods. They needed to move, make noise, and run into things. So what did I do to punish them for moving, making noise, and running into things? I took away the one time of their day when they could move, make noise, and run into things. The students I punished by taking away their recess were the ones who needed recess the most.

Everyone Deserves a Break

Some people see recess as a privilege, something to be earned. They tell their classes that if they want a recess, they better work for it. That’s wrong. Recess is a break. Everyone needs breaks. When you Why You Shouldn't Take Away Recess - Teacher Habits:

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mother's Day Edition + Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mother's Day Edition (5/14):

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mother's Day Edition (5/14)

Time for another batch of reading. I know I sound like a broken record, but when you read something you like, share it, pass it along, help add to its reach.  

How Google Took Over the Classroom

The New York Times takes a close look at how Google took over the classroom-- and what price we all may be paying. 

Don't Put Efficiency in School Ahead of Other Goals

Andy Smarick in US News once again applying some thought to consideration of reformy policy ideas.

Attrition in Denver Charter Schools

Jersey Jazzman comes through once again with the data, researched and laid out in clear form. This time it's the Denver charter schools, recently held up as an example of charter "success." Let's see what the secret of their success is, shall we?

The War on Education as Public Good

Wendy Lecker with another great set of insights on the assault on Public Education

We Are Teaching Kids How To Write All Wrong and No Mr Miyagis Rote Lesson Won't Help a Bit

A great response to that piece from the previous week that made all of us who teach writing snap our pencils in half.

Remembering Benjamin Barber

I have a Barber quote sticky-noted to my monitor. Jan Ressenger with a look at why he's important to remember.

Explaining the Persistence of Inadequacy

Jack Schneider and Ethan Hutt take a look at the history of achievement testing, and why we keep doing it even though it doesn't work particularly well.

Eleven Ways Chicago Is the Beating Heart of the Disastrous Charter School Agenda

A good look at how Chicago is, well, the beating heart of the disastrous charter school agenda 

99% of Students Handcuffed in School by NYPD Were Black or Hispanic

The headline tells you the bulk of the story, but there are more details in the reporting. 

Dear Bethune-Cookman 2017 Grads, Thank You For Telling Betsy Devos “Nah”

There were many responses to Betsy DeVos's ill-considered commencement gig, but this was by far my favorite. 

Rich, Clueless Reformsters Whine About Bloggers

All right, not the actual title of Sarah Lahm's piece, but it captures the gist. This is a well-documented look at what sorts of folks are determined to help themselves to money and power in Minnesota, and the masks they wear to do it.

Relay Graduate School, Librarians, and the Effort To Make Our Public Schools "Future Ready"

From Seattle, another look at how charterizing from within can work.

What School Policy Do Conservatives Really Want  

Adam Laats runs the awesomely-named I Love You But You're Going To Hell, where he interprets conservatives for those who don't speak the language. But he's also a historian in his day job-- here he is at the History News Network considering if conservatives are really getting what they want under Trump.

Artificial Stupidity
Facebook absolutely insist on showing me "top stories." Every time I open the Facebook page, I have to manually switch back to "most recent," because even though the Facebook Artificial Smartitude Software thinks it knows what I most 

Big Education Ape: Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION

Will Corporate Reformers Ever Admit They Were Wrong? - Living in Dialogue

Will Corporate Reformers Ever Admit They Were Wrong? - Living in Dialogue:

Will Corporate Reformers Ever Admit They Were Wrong?

By John Thompson.
t’s sure fun to watch corporate school reformers forming a circular firing squad. For a generation, conservative and neoliberal reformers sang from the same hymnal, even as they privately suppressed their many internal disagreements.  Now, accountability-driven, charter-driven neoliberal micromanagers are openly attacking their former allies who were primarily devoted to a market-driven agenda.
After years of denigrating classroom teachers and unions who did not see the supposed righteousness of test-driven, competition-driven reform, neoliberals now condemn conservatives with the same venom for not agreeing to the top-down imposition of incentives and disincentives. Now they ridicule conservatives, as they did educators, for not agreeing that a corporate system of rewards and punishment are supposedly essential to making education reform the “civil rights movement of the 21st century.”
We can unambiguously celebrate this new education civil war because conservative reformers deserve equal criticism. Too many of them are completely preoccupied with the free market, and merely beating down the public sector and unions. They’ve gone along with the “it’s about the kids” spin, but their hearts obviously weren’t in it. The principle that they truly embrace is their version of: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.”
In fact, the single best – and most honest – illustration of the frustration prompted by the multi-front counterattacks being launched against conservative reformers was revealed at the beginning of article that ordinarily would have been a victory lap. The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke wrote in the Daily Signal, “It was an honor to be at this White House event to watch Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Will Corporate Reformers Ever Admit They Were Wrong? - Living in Dialogue:
Image result for big education ape poverty
 Image result for big education ape poverty

Republicans in N.C. Senate cut education funding — but only in Democratic districts. Really. - The Washington Post

Republicans in N.C. Senate cut education funding — but only in Democratic districts. Really. - The Washington Post:

Republicans in N.C. Senate cut education funding — but only in Democratic districts. Really.

Image result for big education ape nc

This bit of North Carolina news won’t get as much attention as the infamous “bathroom bill,” which insisted that people at public schools and other government-run facilities use bathrooms that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificate, sparking a boycott of the state. But it is worth noting as a new lesson in how not to drag schools and kids into your legislative skirmishes — and as the latest attack on public education by North Carolina Republicans.
During a budget debate in the state Senate that started Thursday and went into the early hours of Friday, Republicans became annoyed at Democrats who, the Republicans thought, were unnecessarily offering amendments and prolonging the session. According to the News & Observer, Democrats offered five amendments pushing funding priorities, each of which was voted down.
At about 1 a.m. Friday, the Republicans halted the proceedings and went into private talks. At about 3 a.m., they returned, and a Republican senator introduced an amendment of his own.
This amendment proposed $1 million in new funding to fight North Carolina’s opioid epidemic, which has been called the most severe public health issue in the state. That’s an issue that would seem to be bipartisan — but there was a twist.
The money to fund new pilot programs for this cause had to come from somewhere, and the Republicans decided to take it out of education programs in Democratic districts, along with other things the Democrats had wanted.
The News & Observer said a rural district in northeastern North Carolina “took the biggest hit” from the amendment, with $316,646 cut from two early college high schools and the state banned from financially supporting a science, math Republicans in N.C. Senate cut education funding — but only in Democratic districts. Really. - The Washington Post:
 In Arizona, teachers can now be hired with absolutely no training in how to teach

New legislation signed into law in Arizona by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will allow teachers to be hired with no formal teaching training, as long as they have five years of experience in fields “relevant” to the subject they are teaching. What’s “relevant” isn’t clear.
The Arizona law is part of a disturbing trend nationwide to allow teachers without certification or even any teacher preparation to be hired and put immediately to work in the classroom in large part to help close persistent teacher shortages. It plays into a misconception that anyone can teach if they know a particular subject and that it is not really necessary to first learn about curriculum, classroom management and instruction.
The legislation was championed by Ducey, who has described it as a positive change that will entice “great teachers” into the classroom and help alleviate Arizona’s teacher shortages.
The state has been struggling with severe shortages as thousands of teachers have left the state in recent years for reasons including low pay, insufficient classroom resources, and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that they feel they have no flexibility and too little authentic instructional time.
A new analysis by the National Education Association found Arizona near the bottom of a state list of spending per student in 2015-2016, the latest data  In Arizona, teachers can now be hired with absolutely no training in how to teach

Weaponized Philanthropy: Document Trove Details Bradley Foundation’s Efforts to Build Right-Wing "Infrastructure" Nationwide | By Mary Bottari | Common Dreams

Weaponized Philanthropy: Document Trove Details Bradley Foundation’s Efforts to Build Right-Wing "Infrastructure" Nationwide | By Mary Bottari | Common Dreams:

Weaponized Philanthropy: Document Trove Details Bradley Foundation’s Efforts to Build Right-Wing "Infrastructure" Nationwide

Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort funded by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to assess and expand right-wing “infrastructure” to influence policies and politicians in statehouses nationwide.
The documents were made public in October 2016 on two Twitter accounts that cyber security analysts have linked to one of the Russian hackers alleged to have breached the Democratic National Committee. The Bradley Foundation confirmed in a statement that the hack had taken place and was reported to the FBI. More information about how the Bradley files became public is available here.
The documents open a window to the behind-the-scenes workings of one of America’s largest right-wing foundations. With $835 million in assets as of June 2016, the Bradley Foundation is as large as the three Koch family foundations combined, yet receives much less attention as a significant funder of the right.
CMD has examined thousands of these documents, including Bradley board documents between 2013-2016. The documents indicate that Bradley has a new stream of funding to build this “conservative infrastructure” and is using a metric to assess the strength and depth of that infrastructure in individual states — including “receptive” politicians, right-wing “think tanks,” symbiotic “grassroots” groups, friendly media, litigation centers, and opposition research — to guide Bradley’s strategic funding initiatives.
Bradley ranks states into four “tiers” of investment opportunities and prioritizes funding the top tier states. A re-creation of Bradley’s master chart listing all U.S. states and scoring Weaponized Philanthropy: Document Trove Details Bradley Foundation’s Efforts to Build Right-Wing "Infrastructure" Nationwide | By Mary Bottari | Common Dreams:

 Image result for big education ape Weaponized Philanthropy
Image result for big education ape Weaponized

Bernie, the Billionaires, and the School Board

Bernie, the Billionaires, and the School Board:

Bernie, the Billionaires, and the School Board

Big Education Ape: Sen. Bernie Sanders Endorses Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla for LAUSD School Board | UTLA

Just 20 percent of eligible Los Angeles voters turned out to the polls on March 7 to vote for their city’s next mayor and school board officials, and turnout is likely to be even lower for Tuesday’s school board runoffs. And yet, this race that barely anyone will vote in has turned into a high-stakes battleground, complete with record-setting amounts of political spending and bitter negative campaigning. It has pitted some of the richest men in American against none other than Bernie Sanders, in a brawl over the future of public education in the nation’s largest state.
Incumbent board president Steve Zimmer, backed by labor, is running against the education reformer Nicholas Melvoin; in another district, labor-backed Imelda Padilla is facing off against the charter-backed Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez in an open race.
Los Angeles is last of the big-city school districts to hold elections for local school board members—mayors in cities like Chicago and New York appoint their school boards, and Washington, D.C., dissolved its local school board altogether in 2007, giving education decision-making power to the mayoral-appointed schools chancellor.
Despite the current showdown, Los Angeles is hardly anti-reform. With 279 charter schools, Los Angeles has more charters than any other city in the nation. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), roughly 156,000 LA public school students—24 percent of total enrollment—attended charter schools during the 2015-16 school year. The second highest city on NAPCS’s list was New York, which enrolled 93,610 students in charters that year.
But the ambitions of national reformers still far exceed the district’s appetite for change, at least thus far.
Although the LA school board has approved most petitions for new charters and charter renewals, charter advocates say they feel the board’s support for opening new ones is waning.
And in September of 2015 The Los Angeles Times published a confidential document from billionaire Eli Broad’s foundation, revealing plans to increase Los Angeles’s charter school market share to 50 percent over the Bernie, the Billionaires, and the School Board:
Image result for big education ape Billionaires
Image result for big education ape Billionaires

An Eight Year Old Boy Committed Dr. Michael Flanagan - Badass Teachers Association

Badass Teachers Association: An Eight Year Old Boy Committed Dr. Michael Flanagan:

An Eight Year Old Boy Committed Suicide...

by Dr. Michael Flanagan

An eight year old boy named Gabriel Tye committed suicide on January 26th. Eight years old. As tragic as that fact is the events surrounding his death are almost worse.

School surveillance video shows the boy had been knocked unconscious by other students in a locker room, and laid there unattended for almost eight minutes. In that time almost a dozen other students, including the children responsible for the assault, stood around. Some even appearing to laugh at and kick him while he lay motionless.

There was a teacher right outside the door, but none of the student witnesses alerted him or called for help. When the school staff eventually arrived and discovered the boy, they apparently had no idea what happened. A school nurse assisted the child, but, they did not inform his parent of his being found unconscious, saying instead that he had fainted.

The child was taken by his mother to the emergency room later that night because he was vomiting. The school did not inform his mother that the child was found unconscious, and the subsequent symptoms associated with a concussion. This assault happened right next to the gym, in the locker room. All physical education teachers and school administrators are aware of concussion protocols. Apparently this mother was not made aware of the seriousness of a concussion. She kept the boy home from school the next day, but allowed him to return the following day.

And that is how this story might have ended, another child who was the victim of bullying in our schools. Except for the fact that this child hung himself that night.