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Friday, August 10, 2018

All the ways Brett Kavanaugh is going to help Betsy DeVos – ThinkProgress

All the ways Brett Kavanaugh is going to help Betsy DeVos – ThinkProgress

All the ways Brett Kavanaugh is going to help Betsy DeVos
Kavanaugh's confirmation could do irreparable damage to public education and students.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has faced opposition from advocates of abortion rightsworkers’ rights, and voter rights, all of whom have pointed out the disastrous effect he could have on crucial protections. But little has been said about Kavanaugh’s potential impact on public education and the irreparable damage he could do to students.
Since her confirmation, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has pushed for private school vouchers at every opportunity, dismantled civil rights protections, anddefended for-profit colleges at the expense of students and taxpayers — and all evidence points to Kavanaugh sharing her agenda.
DeVos’ continued support for vouchers is particularly egregious, considering the overwhelming research that shows their harmful effect on student learning. In voucher programs, states or cities use taxpayer dollars to pay the tuition costs for students to attend private schools. As a result, vouchers funnel money away from the public schools that serve approximately 90 percent of students.

DeVos proposes rule to make it harder for defrauded students to get their loans forgiven
The impact of Washington, D.C.’s federally sponsored voucher program on student learning, for example, was equivalent to missing 68 days of school. Voucher programs in Louisiana, Indiana, and Ohio fare similarly. What’s more, vouchers aremeaningless for students in rural states like Alaska, Maine, and North Dakota, where there are few alternatives to local public schools — and any loss of students could end up decimating the public system.
Over the past couple of years, DeVos has largely been unable to enact her voucher agenda due to its unpopularity across the country and within Congress. But, if confirmed, Kavanaugh may be the solution to her problems.  
Kavanaugh’s record on education speaks for itself. In Florida, as an attorney, Kavanaugh defended — for a reduced fee — then-Governor Jeb Bush’s private school voucher program, which the Florida Supreme Court later found to be unconstitutional. In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, he praisedformer Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist’s view that a wall of separation between church and state is “based on bad history.” In the same speech, he also lauded Rehnquist’s majority opinions upholding both private school vouchers in Ohio and tax deductions for private school tuition in Minnesota.
Image result for randi weingarten aft Brett Kavanaugh
The risks of a Kavanaugh confirmation are real. Last year, the Supreme Court ruledthat Missouri could not deny funding to a church for fixing up its playground, despite the state’s prohibition on public funds going to religious institutions. While the ruling was narrowly focused on playgrounds, Betsy DeVos celebrated the decision.
At the same time, the Supreme Court declined to rule on a Colorado case in which the Colorado Supreme Court found a voucher program unconstitutional. This case could very well find its way back to the nation’s highest court, with a Justice Kavanaugh ready to strike down any prohibitions on funneling public money away from public schools and to private religious institutions.
Importantly, vouchers are not the only issue on which Kavanaugh and DeVos are fully aligned. While the Trump administration has been calling to arm teachers, the National Rifle Association is pushing for Kavanaugh’s confirmation with at least $1 million of ad buys.
Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy?
DeVos is making it nearly impossible for students cheated by their colleges to get Continue reading: All the ways Brett Kavanaugh is going to help Betsy DeVos – ThinkProgress
Image result for Brett Kavanaugh WRONG

Ref Is Gone: Ripples of Hope from a Resignation - LA Progressive

Ref Is Gone: Ripples of Hope from a Resignation - LA Progressive

Ref Is Gone: Ripples of Hope from a Resignation

In resigning from the L.A. school board last month, Ref Rodriguez pled guilty to felony conspiracy, admitted to money laundering, and agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to the ethics commission. Downfall of the longtime charter-school treasurer opens a seat on the board of the school district with the second most students in the nation, 18 percent of them in charter schools.
As a new school year starts, his departure leaves lessons about representation, and misrepresentation, in the communities that narrowly elected him three years ago and throughout metropolitan L.A.

As a new school year starts, his departure leaves lessons about representation, and misrepresentation, in the communities that narrowly elected him three years ago and throughout metropolitan L.A.

First, Rodriguez’ exit amid a criminal trial for manipulating money and his public disclosure statements shows the gulf in openness between some private charter-school operations and the public sector. Several charter schools in L.A. County face challenges over their accounting standards, dramatized by the FBI raid on the Celerity schools’ offices in 2017. Rodriguez himself faces an ongoing probe by federal investigators for writing checks to entities he had a financial stake in, which came to light along with his scheme of fraudulent reimbursement of phony donations. Besides disserving the public, this shortcoming in the area of financial oversight could hurt the reputation of candidates closely aligned with charter schools when they face voters.
Second, Rodriguez’ misdeeds prompted an unusual outcry from a diverse group of community leaders, including Neighborhood Council members, current and retired education professionals, and former members of the L.A. school board. Protests centered on misrepresentations in his campaign and intensified this spring when he stayed on the board after his arrest during work hours for public drunkenness. They highlight a healthy and growing concern for integrity in representation in governing bodies for Angelenos in communities along the L.A. River. Voter turnout in local and state elections in neighborhoods in the eastern parts of the county often comes in at half that witnessed in Westside and Valley districts. But civic engagement among voters in Eastside and adjacent communities is making a comeback.

Whistle-blowing over Rodriguez’ fraud is a case in point. It did not take rocket scientists to spot a suspicious pattern of low-wage workers employed by his chain of charter schools supposedly finding $1,000 or more in the closing days of 2014 to make lavish donations to Rodriguez’ campaign for school board. It did, however, take alert citizens. Many of us answered questions Continue reading: Ref Is Gone: Ripples of Hope from a Resignation - LA Progressive

Big Education Ape: L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member's Felony Plea | Capital & Main -

Big Education Ape: BREAKING NEWS: Ref Rodriguez pleads guilty to conspiracy and resigns from L.A. school board -

Big Education Ape: OMG: CCSA's Ref Rodriguez's PUC Lakeview Charter Academy Audit -

Black To School With The New Book, “Teaching for Black Lives”: “Every school in the country needs this.” – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Black To School With The New Book, “Teaching for Black Lives”: “Every school in the country needs this.” – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Black To School With The New Book, “Teaching for Black Lives”: “Every school in the country needs this.”

It has been exhilarating to read the reviews that are steaming in about Teaching for Black Lives, the new book I co-edited with Dr. Dyan Watson and Dr. Wayne Au. Recent reviews include The Washington Post who called the book, “A handbook to help all educators fight racism” and Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union, who wrote, “I consider it a must-read—the kind of book with ideas so interesting, you want to chew them over with others.(Reading group, anyone?) The bonus is the book’s rich, evocative art, which is as intense as the essays.”
At the early book tour stops I have spoken at in Minneapolis and Chicago the reception has been overwhelming—selling out of the copies of the books we came with and engaging in many wonderful discussions with educators and organizers about how to fight for racial justice in education.
I am hearing from educators across the country on social media who are reading the book closely as they prepare to return to the classroom. Teachers from Denver and Philadelphia have organized study groups around Teaching for Black Lives. The editors of the book are lining up book tour stops this school year in Seattle, Maryland, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and in New York City at the Schomburg Library for Research in Black Culture.  One of the things people love about the book is the gorgeous artwork. Black artists from around the country contributed vivid illustrations that bring the essays alive. The beautiful cover illustration by Ekua Holmes has become what I imagine freedom to be when I close my eyes.
DyanWatson_t4BLOur hope is that this book is used both to bring antiracist pedagogy into the classroom and to help build the growing Black Lives Matter at School movement. The BLM at School movement started in Seattleand then became a week of action in Philadelphia during the 2016-2017 school year. Then the movement exploded nationally during the 2017-2018 school year with educators in over twenty cities participating in a week of action for racial justice in the schools from February 5-9.
Check out the below reviews for Teaching for Black Lives. If you’re convinced, order the book, organize a study group, invite the editors of the book to come speak to your campus, join the #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool action during the first week of February, and teach for Black lives every day of the year.
“‘Teaching for Black Lives’ — a handbook to help all educators fight racism.”
“Teaching For Black Lives book presents ideas for empowering marginalized students.”
“Teaching for Black Lives offers a rich array of essays that help build a school-to-justice pipeline.”
This book is not just for teachers in the classroom, but also for those of us who 
care about making Black lives matter in the community. It should be required reading for all who care about the future of Black youth.”
—OPAL TOMETI, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder and executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration
This book is for all the educators who want to look at what they are teaching—and how they are teaching it—to help students figure out this era of upheaval… The writers are educators, reporters, authors, and activists. Their eloquence and passion force us to challenge our assumptions about other people and ourselves. To me, that’s the very best kind of reading.
LILY ESKELSEN GARCIApresident of the National Education Association
Teaching for Black Lives … is the one you need.”
 KELLY WICKHAM HURST, from her article for the Medium, “Teachers Need to Prepare for the 2018–19 School Year. Here’s How.”
“In this edited volume, we learn that Black Lives Matter is not just a rallying cry in the movement against police abuse and violence, but it is also a critical framework for understanding the persistent attacks on public education. As public schools face withering attacks on the national, state, and local level, this important collection edited by Watson, Hagopian, and Au will educate, inspire, and rally those in the struggle for education justice. From students, to educators, to a public that cares about public education, this book is a must- read to know the issues at stake and the strategies necessary to win.”
—KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR, Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
“This is essential. Every school in the country needs this. No book better unpacks and gives color to the modern movement we’re in than this.”
—SHAUN KING, activist and journalist
“I love Teaching for Black Lives because it’s a bible to understanding both the contributions of Black and Brown people to America as well as the struggles and chains of institutional racism.”
—MICHAEL BENNETT, author of Things That Make White People Uncomfortable
“Every teacher in America needs to pick up this book.”
—LINDA SARSOUR, national co-chair of the Women’s March and co-founder of MPower Change
Teaching for Black Lives is a moral lifeline for all educators looking to rehumanize our schools and society through education, love, and action.”
—AWO OKAIKOR ARYEE-PRICE, educator and national co-organizer of Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action
Richie Pope
“Again, the folks at Rethinking Schools have stepped out to produce a timely volume that should become a central staple in how we understand race and the radical imaginary in K–12 classrooms.”
—DAVID STOVALL, Professor of African American Studies and Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
“Anyone who teaches Black students or has a Black child in school must read this book.”
—DARNELL M. HUNT, Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at UCLA
Teaching For Black Lives is not just a recommendation, but a liberating ultimatum.”
Black To School With The New Book, “Teaching for Black Lives”: “Every school in the country needs this.” – I AM AN EDUCATOR