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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Arizona Lawmakers Cut Education Budgets. Then Teachers Got Angry. - The New York Times

Arizona Lawmakers Cut Education Budgets. Then Teachers Got Angry. - The New York Times


Early on the morning of March 14, Kelly Berg went to her closet and picked out a bright red blouse. Until recently, she had rarely worn red, but she was heading to the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, and a red top would tell everyone exactly who she was: a teacher.

Red shirts and blouses had emerged as the official uniform of teacher uprisings against low pay that were spreading from West Virginia to Oklahoma and Kentucky under the rallying cry “Red for Ed.” Just one week earlier, a Facebook post by Noah Karvelis, a 23-year-old teacher in Phoenix, lit the spark in Arizona, asking teachers to wear red on March 7 to demand more money for the state’s chronically underfunded public schools. Within days, 6,000 people clicked that they were on board. Berg, a high school math teacher for 23 years with a master’s degree who was taking home $1,620 a month, was one of them. On the designated day, a Wednesday, thousands of Arizona teachers turned campuses red from the New Mexico line to California. Karvelis and other young teachers then took it upon themselves to keep the activism going, declaring every Wednesday Red for Ed day — but Berg decided to wear it daily. “I wanted people to come up and say: ‘Kelly, today isn’t Wednesday. Why are you wearing red?’ ” she said. “It was so I could tell them, This is how important it is. We need to make our voices heard.”

In the past, the idea of participating in anything that resembled a political movement had repelled Berg. “I would say, ‘Don’t talk to me about politics,’ ” she recalled. “ ‘I think it’s a waste of time.’ ” A 46-year-old lifelong Republican, she called herself a “sleepy voter,” as if she sleepwalked through the voting booth every four years. “I was just voting for the person with an R by their name or not voting.”

This was true even though the Legislature and governor — unified under Republican control since 2009 — cut education spending more than any other state in the wake of the Great Recession. Berg suffered doubly because her husband, a web developer, lost his state job, and now the entire family of six — they have four sons, ages 7 to 13 — was on her health plan, with the premiums cutting her previous take-home pay almost in half. She was working three extra jobs to keep the family afloat, arriving home most nights barely in time to check her kids’ homework and kiss them good night. Across the state, teachers were taking in roommates, working second and third jobs and leaving the profession in such waves that substitutes without standard certifications were leading more than 3,400 classrooms statewide. Two thousand more couldn’t be staffed at all.

In December 2016, the day before Christmas break, Berg heard that her son Mark’s sixth-grade teacher had quit to take a private-sector job for more money, and suddenly she felt that she couldn’t take it anymore. She needed to understand why Arizona’s schools were so poorly funded and who was responsible. She turned for help to her best friend, Tiffany Bunstein, who followed state politics closely and, like Berg, had been teaching for more than 20 years at Dobson High School in Mesa, a sprawling, demographically diverse suburb east of Phoenix. “I went to Tiffany and said, ‘I want to know what you know,’ ” Berg said.

Bunstein, 47, an active member of the teachers’ union and a Democrat, told her friend that she had once been uninformed, too. “Then when you start paying attention and you see what’s been happening,” she said, “it’s like clearing your glasses: Damn, this is what’s been going on all along?” With Continue reading: Arizona Lawmakers Cut Education Budgets. Then Teachers Got Angry. - The New York Times

Privatization Report Card - Network For Public Education - via @Network4pubEd

The Other Side Of School Safety | PopularResistance.Org

The Other Side Of School Safety | PopularResistance.Org


Image result for black lives matter at school
Above photo: Jalijah Jones, 16, poses for a portrait at his home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on July 22, 2018. In December 2017, Jones was Tasered at school by a police officer while already being restrained by four school security guards following an altercation with another student. At the time, Jones was 15 years old and weighed about 120 pounds. The other student walked away. Casey Sykes.

Students Are Getting Tasered And Beaten By Police

In the wake of the deadly Parkland shooting, more armed police officers are being stationed in schools. But what happens when they’re the ones perpetrating violence?
Jalijah Jones, then a freshman at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, remembers the punch of thousands of volts hitting his slight frame. At 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds, he was small for his age.
He remembers four school security guards officers pushing him up against a hallway wall before a school police officer arrived and Tasered him. He remembers a feeling of intense cold as if his high school hallway had just turned into a walk-in freezer. He remembers falling to the ground, his muscles betraying his mind’s desire to stand.
Then he remembers nothing.
Jones, who loves to run track and play football, had never been in a physical fight at school before. It was just a teenage drama. He owed another kid a small amount of money. Angry words were thrown back and forth, then a push and a shove and some swinging. But no one had been hurt until a school police officer Tasered the teen.
Jones, who says he blacked out after falling to the ground from the shock of the stun, remembers being cuffed a few seconds later, and the school cops dragging him through the hallways and out of school. His body shook furiously as he was loaded into a police car, before being escorted to the hospital in an ambulance. He was charged with resisting arrest ― a charge that he is still fighting many months after the December 2017 incident.

No One Tracks Police Brutality In Schools

The police officer who stunned Jones is one of over 80,000 currently stationed in public schools around the country, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education, covering the 2015-16 school Continue reading: The Other Side Of School Safety | PopularResistance.Org
Image result for black lives matter at school

DeVos' advocacy - high profile to under radar | Opinion | The Journal Gazette

DeVos' advocacy - high profile to under radar | Opinion | The Journal Gazette

DeVos' advocacy - high profile to under radar

WASHINGTON – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came to Washington, to promote the cause of her life – school choice. Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. President Donald Trump had promised a $20 billion program.
But more than a year and a half later, the federal push is all but dead.
That's partly because DeVos herself emerged badly damaged from a brutal confirmation process, with few people – even in her own party – interested in taking up her pet cause.
She's also been stymied by division among Republicans over the idea of federal incentives for school choice. And Democrats are united against her.

“She's certainly not a very effective lobbyist” for her cause, said Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “She has enthusiastically pushed it, and arguably the politics of choice are more complicated than they were two years ago, and the choice community is more split.”
That has left DeVos with the bully pulpit. She uses it to promote alternatives to traditional public schools, typically plans that allow tax dollars to follow children when they leave for private schools. She may have won some converts, but she's alienated many others.
Congress already has said no to her budget proposals. A proposed tax credit supporting voucher-like scholarships has died. A new spending bill again offers little for school choice enthusiasts.
And if Democrats gain power after this fall's midterm elections, chances for action would fall even further. For all practical purposes, the fight is over, and she lost. School choice has become the latest ambitious policy plan to arrive in Washington with great hope, only to die a quiet death.
Opposition has come from lawmakers who represent rural states and see little benefit in school choice programs when so few alternatives to traditional public schools exist in their communities. As structured, critics say, a grant plan proposed by DeVos would have amounted to a windfall for states that already have these programs.
That concern arose as early as DeVos' confirmation hearing, when Republican Sen. Mike Enzi questioned whether school choice would offer much for rural places such as his home state of Wyoming.
DeVos also ran into trouble with libertarian-minded conservatives who complain that a new federal program will bring new federal regulations.

Her aides reply that she doesn't want a large federal program, either. They point to states enacting or expanding school choice, and they claim success with a heightened public debate.
“The focus of the education debate is on school choice now in a way it never has been,” said Nathan Bailey, an Education Department spokesman. He added: “Secretary DeVos has been clear from Day One that school choice should be driven from the local level.”
And there has been movement at that level. In Illinois, a new program creates a backdoor voucher, giving corporations a tax credit if they donate money for private school scholarships. Georgia expanded a similar program. And North Carolina created publicly funded educational savings accounts to help families of children with disabilities pay private school tuition and other expenses.
Tommy Schultz, spokesman for the American Federation for Children, the group DeVos founded and Continue reading: DeVos' advocacy - high profile to under radar | Opinion | The Journal Gazette

There Is Virtually No Difference Between Nonprofit and For-Profit Charter Schools

There Is Virtually No Difference Between Nonprofit and For-Profit Charter Schools
There Is Virtually No Difference Between Nonprofit and For-Profit Charter Schools
Every single charter school in the United States of America is either a disaster or a disaster waiting to happen

Stop kidding yourself.
Charter schools are a bad deal.
It doesn’t matter if they’re for-profit or nonprofit.
It doesn’t matter if they’re cyber or brick-and-mortar institutions.
It doesn’t matter if they have a history of scandal or success.
Every single charter school in the United States of America is either a disaster or a disaster waiting to happen.
The details get complicated, but the idea is really quite simple.
It goes like this.
Imagine you left a blank check on the street.
Anyone could pick it up, write it out for whatever amount your bank account could support and rob you blind.
Chances are you’d never know who cashed it, you’d never get that money back, and you might even be ruined.
That’s what a charter school is—a blank check.
It’s literally a privately operated school funded with public tax dollars.
Compare that to a traditional public school—an institution invariably operated by duly elected members of the community with full transparency and accountability in an open forum where taxpayers have access to internal documents, can have their voices heard and even seek an administrative position.
THAT’S a responsible way to handle public money!
Not forking over our checkbook to virtual strangers!
Sure, they might not steal our every red cent. But an interloper who finds a blank check Continue reading: There Is Virtually No Difference Between Nonprofit and For-Profit Charter Schools
public edu

Stop Corporate Surveillance In Schools: A Movement Supporting People-Powered Classrooms (Webinars 9/11& 12/28 ) – Seattle Education

Stop Corporate Surveillance In Schools: A Movement Supporting People-Powered Classrooms (Webinars 9/11& 12/28 ) – Seattle Education



Exciting news and updates!
Classrooms, Not Computers has found a new title for its campaign:
Stop Corporate Surveillance in Schools: A Movement Supporting People-Powered Classrooms Without Corporate Data Mined Students. 
Our mission is the same—to build a community-based movement to dismantle the corporate-driven policies and practices in schools that lead to violations of student privacy, surveillance of children and teachers, and corporate profiteering (we call this Education Reform 2.0).
You can check out the first call here:
We will be holding our second webinar on Sept 11 from 8:00-9:00pm EST.

This webinar will cover these three points:
1) Provide a brief overview of what Education Reform 2.0 is
2) How the SCSS campaign is working to eliminate corporate surveillance
3) How teachers, students, parents and members of communities can coordinate locally to be part of the campaign effort.
Our two-part strategy is to inform and then to develop sustainable, empowering actions centered on local community agency and control.
Who we are:
Morna McDermott is the SCSS campaign coordinator
Peggy Robertson is the SCSS information and communications coordinator
Michael Ippolito is the technical organizer and outreach
Alison McDowell is the lead researcher
Popular Resistance is the “parent” platform
Call times in Pacific and Eastern Time:
  • Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018 5pm PT / 8pm ET (1 hours 30 minutes)
  • Friday, Dec 28, 2018 5pm PT / 8pm ET (1 hours 30 minutes)
To register click here.
Stop Corporate Surveillance In Schools: A Movement Supporting People-Powered Classrooms (Webinars 9/11& 12/28 ) – Seattle Education


What School Safety Reports Ignore: Reducing Class Size – Seattle Education - via @writernthesky


Seattle’s Naviance Opt-Out Go Round – Seattle Education - via @writernthesky

merry go round