Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Schools Matter: Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle

Schools Matter: Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle



“Blowing the racist dog whistle in politics is shameful. This disgraceful practice against black candidates unfortunately has a long and shameful history. That this would happen in California in 2018 is deeply disturbing. It appears you have chosen to follow President Trump’s playbook of using lies and fake news to smear prominent leaders of color.” — California Hawaii NAACP letter admonishing Marshall Tuck’s racism

The following is adapted from commentary here


The NAACP’s letter rightfully calls Marshall Tuck and his corporate backers out for their “[b]lowing the racist dog whistle in politics.” For business banker Tuck and the market-share obsessed charter school industry to accuse others of “not serving minorities” is really quite astonishing.


We must bear in mind that this is the same Tuck whose policies, much like those of his contemporary counterparts Tom Horne and John Huppenthal of Arizona, caused irreparable harm to students of color. Tuck closed down popular, research proven, Ethnic Studies programs. For example, Tuck completely eliminated Ethnic Sudies at (PLAS) Santee High School.Tuck also restricted and shuttered well regarded and research proven Heritage Language Programs and Dual Language Immersion programs. These language program closures and restrictions were so egregious, and such a violation of students’ civil rights, that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Public Counsel Law Center jointly filed a [Uniform Complaint Cause of Action against Tuck on their behalf.](https://www.scribd.com/doc/243731079/smoking-gun-marshall-tuck-violated-student-and-parent-civil-rights


It took years of protracted court battles to defeat Horne and Huppenthal’s attacks on students of color. We can stop Tuck from carrying out that same agenda by simply electing Tony Thurmond. Californians have an opportunity to show Tuck and his right-wing backers that there’s no room for bigotry and ethnocentrism in our public institutions.Schools Matter: Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle





Robert D. Skeels is a social justice writer, public education advocate, and immigrant rights activist. He lives, works, writes, and organizes in Los Angeles with his wife and cats. Robert holds a BA in Classical Civilization from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a JD from Peoples College of Law (PCL). A US Navy Veteran, he is a proud member of Veterans for Peace. A student of Liberation Theology and Paulo Freire's work, Robert devotes much time towards volunteer work for 12 step, church, homeless advocacy, and grassroots groups. Robert's articles and essays appear in publications including Jacobin, Truthout, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Schools Matter, Daily Censored, Regeneraci√≥n, K12NN, LA Progressive, and The Los Angeles Daily News. In 2013 Robert ran for the LAUSD School Board against a billionaire funded corporate reform candidate, finishing second in a field of five, with over 5,200 votes.Schools Matter: Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle

$43 million and attack ads. It’s the race for California schools chief — and it’s between two Democrats. - The Washington Post

$43 million and attack ads. It’s the race for California schools chief — and it’s between two Democrats. - The Washington Post

$43 million and attack ads. It’s the race for California schools chief — and it’s between two Democrats.

Image result for tony thurmond as superintendent of public instruction
One of the loudest and most expensive state races in the country is between two Democrats vying to win the nonpartisan position of superintendent of public instruction in California. More money is being spent on the race — for a position that has no independent policymaking power — than in most U.S. Senate campaigns.
The fight — the costliest in the state’s history for this post, with more than $43 million in campaign contributions, according to EdSource — is between state legislator Anthony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck, a former charter school network president.
Thurmond, who was elected to the California State Assembly in 2014 from the East Bay, has been a teacher, social worker, city councilman and school board member. Tuck is a former banker who became the first president of the Green Dot network of charter schools in Los Angeles. After that, he founded a nonprofit that used privately donated money from the wealthy to help turn around troubled traditional public schools. Four years ago, he ran unsuccessfully for state superintendent in a race that cost some $30 million (with a lot of it coming from billionaires backing Tuck).

The state superintendent cannot independently make education policy, but instead heads the California State Board of Education, which does make policy. The superintendent chief runs the state Department of Education and has a bully pulpit.
The fight between Thurmond and Tuck is the latest chapter in a long-running debate about public education in a state with a scandal-ridden charter school sector and severely underfunded traditional school districts. California has more charter schools — which are publicly funded but privately operated — and more charter Continue reading: $43 million and attack ads. It’s the race for California schools chief — and it’s between two Democrats. - The Washington Post




DeVos used as a villain to rally Democrats in midterm ads - POLITICO

DeVos used as a villain to rally Democrats in midterm ads - POLITICO

DeVos used as a villain to rally Democrats in midterm ads


Democrats intent on making this year's elections a referendum on President Donald Trump's policies are targeting a Cabinet member who galvanizes their base: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

DeVos is cropping up in Democratic TV spots, Facebook ads and debate one-liners in 2018 races, including in her home state of Michigan. Nearly two years after a bruising confirmation battle — and several high-profile stumbles — she remains as polarizing as ever. Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke last week became the latest Democrat to invoke DeVos as he campaigns to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.


While Republicans hammer on fears of immigrants and Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House, Democrats have been using DeVos as a symbol of what's wrong with Trump policies — mentioning her in more than $3 million worth of TV ads that aired more than 6,200 times, according to data provided to POLITICO by Advertising Analytics. The analysis included ads during Democratic primaries earlier this year as well as those being aired in general election contests.

Democratic strategists say DeVos resonates with base voters because she’s perceived as an opponent of public education and a billionaire who’s out of touch.

“Betsy DeVos is basically the embodiment of everything that Democrats were afraid the Trump administration was going to be — from right-wing fanaticism to blatant conflicts of interest to laughable stuff like owning however many yachts she has,” said Stephanie Grasmick, a partner at the Democratic consulting firm Rising Continue reading: DeVos used as a villain to rally Democrats in midterm ads - POLITICO


Florida Governor Rick Scott Found Ways to Protect His Fortune While in Office | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida Governor Rick Scott Found Ways to Protect His Fortune While in Office | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida Governor Rick Scott Found Ways to Protect His Fortune While in Office


The New York Times reported that Governor Rick Scott created a “blind” trust that was not at all blind. He has been plagued with ethical problems because…he is unethical.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Rick Scott had been governor of Florida for barely three months when questions first mounted about conflicts of interest. Fabulously wealthy but a newcomer to politics, Mr. Scott mandated random drug testing for state workers in March 2011, and was pushing the legislature to require it for welfare recipients. The Republican governor, who had made his fortune as a health care executive and investor, also proposed reorienting the state’s Medicaid system toward managed care.
As it happened, those moves would have created vast potential markets for the chain of 32 urgent-care clinics that Mr. Scott had co-founded a decade earlier, after his forced resignation as chief executive of the hospital company Columbia/HCA. News reports about the governor’s personal stake in the Solantic clinics, which he transferred to his wife shortly before taking office, stifled the momentum of his first months in office.


To shield himself from future conflict charges, Mr. Scott, who is now running to unseat the incumbent senator Bill Nelson, created a $73.8 million investment account that he called a blind trust. But an examination of Mr. Scott’s finances shows that his trust has been blind in name only. There have been numerous ways for him to have knowledge about his holdings: Among other things, he transferred many assets to his wife and neither “blinded” nor disclosed them. And their investments have included Continue reading:  Florida Governor Rick Scott Found Ways to Protect His Fortune While in Office | Diane Ravitch's blog

Support Andrew Gillum for Florida Governor -https://andrewgillum.com/

Image result for Andrew Gillum for Florida Governor

Support Andrew Gillum for Florida Governor - https://andrewgillum.com/

With the Free Press Under Attack, Student Journalists Thrive - NEA Today

With the Free Press Under Attack, Student Journalists Thrive - NEA Today

With the Free Press Under Attack, Student Journalists Thrive

Image result for With the Free Press Under Attack


Student journalists at Clayton High School, outside St. Louis, took a hard look at football-related brain injuries this fall, asking questions like, “Why do we still play football? What do we know about what it does to people’s brains?” and interviewing players, athletic directors, and a concussion expert at Vanderbilt University.
This followed a cover story on designing a “more perfect school,” based on what scientists know about sleep, exercise, and learning science, and preceded a deep dive into post-surgical pain medications that sometimes may lead young people to heroin addictions.
These aren’t easy times to be journalists. Recent polls show one in three Americans can’t name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, and more than a third of Republicans think “press freedom does more harm than good.” From the White House, President Donald Trump recently tweeted that “a large percentage of the media” is “the enemy of the people.”
And yet, the students at Clayton High School are doubling down on journalism. Never in her tenure have more students been involved in their award-winning print and online news outlets, says journalism advisor Erin Sucher-O’Grady. “We have about 850 students in the whole school—it’s a relatively small public school—and I have about 100 students involved in the Globe and the website,” says Sucher-O’Grady.
And it’s not just Clayton High School. College applications to notable journalism schools are up—24 percent at Northwestern University, for example. At the University of Maryland this year, the incoming class in the journalism college is 50 percent bigger than last year. “Every time [Trump] calls journalists the ‘enemy of the people,’ or says something about ‘fake news,’ or gets a crowd at a rally to jeer at the White House press corps,” Maryland journalism dean Lucy Dalglish told the Washington Post, more students decide “they’re going to major in journalism.”

Fake News?!

This isn’t the first time that current events have inspired a flood of journalism Continue reading: With the Free Press Under Attack, Student Journalists Thrive - NEA Today
Clayton High School journalism advisor Erin Sucher-O’Grady (center) with two Globe staffers in 2013.

Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model? - The New York Times

Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model? - The New York Times

Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model?

The tech giant is positioning itself in schools as a trusted authority on digital citizenship at a moment when the company’s data-handling practices are under growing scrutiny.

Image result for Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online.
Google is on a mission to teach children how to be safe online. That is the message behind “Be Internet Awesome,” a so-called digital-citizenship education program that the technology giant developed for schools.
The lessons include a cartoon game branded with Google’s logo and blue, red, yellow and green color palette. The game is meant to help students from third grade through sixth guard against schemers, hackers and other bad actors.
Google plans to reach five million schoolchildren with the program this year and has teamed up with the National Parent Teacher Association to offer related workshops to parents.

But critics say the company’s recent woes — including revelations that it was developing a censored version of its search engine for the Chinese market and had tracked the whereabouts of users who had explicitly turned off their location history — should disqualify Google from promoting itself in schools as a model of proper digital conduct.

Among other things, these critics argue, the company’s lessons give children the mistaken impression that the main threat they face online is from malicious hackers and bullies, glossing over the privacy concerns that arise when tech giants like Google itself collect users’ personal information and track their actions online.

As an analysis of Google’s curriculum published in Emerging Library & Information Perspectives, a graduate student journal at Western Continue reading: Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model? - The New York Times
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A Moment When Grassroots Mobilization for Public Education Is Making a Difference—Part 2 | janresseger

A Moment When Grassroots Mobilization for Public Education Is Making a Difference—Part 2 | janresseger

A Moment When Grassroots Mobilization for Public Education Is Making a Difference—Part 2


I was privileged to participate in the 5th Annual Conference of the Network for Public Education (NPE) in Indianapolis this past weekend.  I am posting some reflections on what I heard and learned at this important meeting.
One of the highlights at NPE’s Conference were presentations on excellent community organizing that is finally making a difference. Yesterday’s post and today’s describe two very different and encouraging initiatives.
What if parents, teachers and community united across an entire state to insist that the state fund its schools adequately?  Well, advocates in Wisconsin are doing just that.  As a bit of context, remember that Wisconsin has the nation’s oldest and one of the largest voucher programs and that the Bradley Foundation, located in Wisconsin, has historically been among the most lavish funders of the school privatization movement that drains tax dollars out of the public education budget.
Today, however, the Wisconsin Public Education Network has been mobilizing citizens and pulling together a mass of local parent and advocacy groups around a unified, pro-public school agenda across Wisconsin. Executive Director Heather DuBois Bourenane explains: “The Wisconsin Education Coalition is the hub for education advocacy in Wisconsin. We are a project of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. Our work is supported by voluntary contributions of our partners around the state… Our partners don’t always agree on every issue or policy, but our common ground is always rooted in our deep commitment to the success of every student in every school.”  The organization’s website displays a map of the Coalition’s partner organizations—at least 39 of them across Wisconsin.
Launched last summer at the Wisconsin Public Education Network’s 4th Annual Summer Summit, the #VotePublic Campaign has invited, “all supporters of public schools to make public education a focus of all elections—local, state and national. Knowing where candidates stand on issues impacting our public schools is essential to electing strong supporters of our Continue reading: A Moment When Grassroots Mobilization for Public Education Is Making a Difference—Part 2 | janresseger