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Friday, March 1, 2019

Jackie Goldberg: A Chance to Reclaim our Public Schools #TEAMGoldberg #REDFORED

Jackie Goldberg: A Chance to Reclaim our Public Schools

Jackie Goldberg: A Chance to Reclaim our Public Schools

Jackie has a long history as a public servant with a passionate voice in defense of public education.
- Network for Public Education Action

When Ref Rodriguez pleaded guilty to felony charges related to campaign finance violations last July and was forced to resign from his Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board seat, he left the residents of Board District 5 without representation. When supporters of the California Charter School Association (CCSA) used bigotry to block Scott Schmerelson’s resolution to appoint Jackie Goldberg to fill the seat until a special election could be held, they ensured that this lack of representation continued. During this time, a charter school closed without notice, the police were called to question a kindergarten student, the School Board voted to make it easier for child abusers to enter the classroom, the LAUSD kept classes in session during the strike despite an admission that they could not guarantee the safety of certain students and the District signed a possibly illegal lobbying contract with a former state assemblyman surrounded by scandal.
The person who eventually wins the special election for the LAUSD Board District 5 seat will walk into a Board Room enveloped in turmoil. This is largely due to the fact that one of Rodriguez’ last moves in office was to work behind closed doors to install Austin Beutner as Superintendent despite his lack of professional experience and his connections to shady characters like David Pecker of the National Enquirer. In addition to his poor handling of the teachers’ strike, Beutner has attempted to usurp power from his bosses on the CONTINUE READING:  Jackie Goldberg: A Chance to Reclaim our Public Schools

Oakland: District and Teachers Reach Agreement | Diane Ravitch's blog #Unite4OaklandKids #WeAreOEA #WeAreCTA #strikeready #REDFORED

Oakland: District and Teachers Reach Agreement | Diane Ravitch's blog

Oakland: District and Teachers Reach Agreement 

This press release came from the Oakland Unified School district. It does not mention  mention any agreement on the teachers’ demand to call a halt to privatization, which sucked nearly $60 million out of the budget last year.

OUSD and OEA Come to Historic Agreement to End Teachers’ Strike

Oakland – Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is proud to announce that it has reached an agreement with the Oakland Education Association (OEA) on a new contract that provides a total compensation increase of 14% – an 11% on-going salary increase with a one-time 3% bonus for educators. It also reduces class sizes and maintains the fiscal solvency of the school district. This is a big win for our teachers, students and community.

“Today marks a sea change for OUSD as we take a major step in support of our teachers and students,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Our teachers are the core of everything we do as a school district, and we are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that shows them how valuable they are. The contract will help ensure more teachers stay in Oakland and that more come to teach in our classrooms and support our students.”
This seven day long strike was difficult for the entire community as it threw much of the city into uncertain waters and disrupted many lives. But it also showed our teachers how appreciated they are by our students, families and all of Oakland. Since the strike began, the bargaining teams for OUSD and OEA have worked long hours – sometimes overnight – trying to find common ground and it’s the result of this dedication of both teams that we finally have a tentative agreement in place.
“We are thrilled we were able to work with our colleagues on the OEA team to craft a solution that both honors our teachers and allows us to remain financially stable,” said Board of Education President, Aimee Eng. “This contract is a compromise made by people who worked together to focus more of our energy and resources in the classroom. This agreement does exactly that. Of course, we must thank State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond and State Assembly Member, Rob Bonta for the critical roles they played in helping us reach an agreement.”
“I personally agree with so much of what the teachers have been saying,” said Johnson-Trammell. “We cannot fix decades of chronic underinvestment in education with a single contract, but this is an important first step. We look forward to working together, directing the passion and energy that we saw during the strike into a collective effort to increase state funding and build the schools our students deserve. In this, we are united.”
Now we hope that all of us can focus on healing. Strikes are intense, emotional times, but now we will walk back into our schools, stand shoulder-to-shoulder and work together on behalf of our students. We will have to be intentional and conscious about how we rebuild trust and relationships that may have been damaged during the strike.
“I want to thank everyone in OUSD – from custodians to principals to front office staff, along with central office staff – who stepped up to keep our schools open and our students safe during the strike. I know it wasn’t easy,” said Johnson-Trammell. “I also want to acknowledge the conviction of our families in supporting our teachers from day one. On Monday, March 4, we look forward to everyone being together again in the classroom and engaged in teaching and learning.”
Friday, March 1, 2019
Contact: John Sasaki
Communications Director

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty : Health and Medicine Division

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty : Health and Medicine Division

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty

This new consensus study report from the Board on Children, Youth, and Families concludes that poverty causes negative outcomes for children, especially if it occurs in early childhood or persists through a large part of childhood. More than 9.6 million U.S. children live in families with annual incomes below the poverty line and studies estimate that child poverty costs the nation between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion annually in terms of lost adult productivity, the increased costs of crime, and increased health expenditures. The consensus study report identifies packages of policies and programs that could reduce child poverty by half within 10 years, at a cost far lower than costs the United States currently bears.
READ THE REPORT ONLINE FOR FREE: A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty : Health and Medicine Division

OPINION DUNCAN: ‘It Is Clear to Me That Mayoral Control Is by Far the Better Approach’ Than Elected School Boards | Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago schools have led nation in academic growth — under an appointed board | Chicago Sun-Times

DUNCAN: ‘It Is Clear to Me That Mayoral Control Is by Far the Better Approach’ Than Elected School Boards 

OPINION  Chicago schools have led nation in academic growth — under an appointed board

Polls suggest that a majority of Chicagoans favor an elected school board or some hybrid version of elected and appointed members.
Both candidates for mayor, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, also have expressed a preference for one of these alternatives instead of a board fully appointed by the mayor.
I’d like to make the case that abandoning mayoral control would be a mistake, one with significant consequences for students.
Arne Duncan join a roundtable discussion panel with representatives of Chicago area colleges and universities on how small high schools can enhance their academic curriculum by partnering with higher education institutions
Arne Duncan | Sun-Times file photo
Those who favor an elected or hybrid school board seem to want greater representation and accountability. When decisions like school closings are on the docket, people want to feel that their concerns are being considered. And when a school district chief commits fraud, or questions arise about how special education is being handled, we want accountability.
I not only understand those emotions and objectives, I share them. That said, it is clear to me that mayoral control is by far the better approach — not just for true accountability, but as means to accomplish what we all really want — schools that serve our children well.
First, concerns about the role of money and politics infiltrating our schools are real — more than $17 million was spent on recent school board elections in Los Angeles, and turnout for school board elections tends to be less than 10 percent. That may be why Chicago has never had an elected school board — it has always used some version of an appointment process.

The result of the appointment process is more accountability, not less. There is no question that Chicagoans know exactly who to blame or thank for school performance. Voters understand that whomever they elect will pick a school team they judge capable of overseeing the third-largest district in the country — a complex and critical undertaking that requires significant financial and CONTINUE READING: Chicago schools have led nation in academic growth — under an appointed board | Chicago Sun-Times

Politics of Compliance v. Politics of Resistance: “We don’t need no education” | radical eyes for equity

Politics of Compliance v. Politics of Resistance: “We don’t need no education” | radical eyes for equity

Politics of Compliance v. Politics of Resistance: “We don’t
need no education”

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher leave the kids alone
The December 2018 incident involving high school wrestler Andrew Johnson being forced to cut his hair in order to compete continues to draw attention. Erik Ortiz reports:
But following outcry from the community and the opening of a state civil rights investigation, an attorney for wrestler Andrew Johnson claims officials and referees are still giving him grief over his hair and have an “unrelenting fixation” with him….
Then, on Monday, an official with the state association that regulates athletics and conducts tournaments sent an email to state wrestling officials detailing which hairstyles require the hair to be covered. One image, according to NJ Advance Media, which reviewed the email, was of an unidentified black person with short, braided or dreadlocked hair and closely shaved sides.
More recently, Josh Magness details:
Police say the 11-year-old student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland said he wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because the flag is “racist,” according to WTSP.
Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher in the classroom, said she was offended by this comment and asked the student, who is black, why he didn’t leave the country, as reported by The Washington Post.
A teacher from Los Angeles, Larry Strauss, has subsequently weighed in onhow the 11-year-old was treated:
When children in a class — of any age — assert their political views, they are giving you an opportunity to teach. Not to teach them to shut up and obey you, but to teach them that they live in a free country where everyone has a say in how we govern and where criticism is welcome, or supposed to be.
Both of these instances represent a truism about formal schooling that CONTINUE READING: Politics of Compliance v. Politics of Resistance: “We don’t need no education” | radical eyes for equity

Illegal immigration taxes: Unauthorized immigrants pay state taxes - Vox

Illegal immigration taxes: Unauthorized immigrants pay state taxes - Vox

Undocumented immigrants pay millions of dollars in state taxes — even in the reddest states

All the money undocumented immigrants pay in state taxes, in one map.

President Donald Trump insists that there’s a national emergency at the “very dangerous southern border.”
He’s called it an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants endangering the lives and livelihoods of hardworking American citizens. And he’s used this narrative to justify taking billions of dollars from the US military to build a border wall.
But when a reporter disputed Trump’s claims earlier this month, Trump only made vague assertions about having “many stats” to back it up.
The president then repeated one of his most outrageous lies: that undocumented immigrants cost US taxpayers a ton of money.
“Billions and billions of dollars a month,” he said. “Billions and billions of dollars. And it’s unnecessary.”
I’ve written before about how false — and pervasive — this myth is. That, in fact, undocumented immigrants contribute billions of dollars in federal taxes each year, and their income taxes and payroll tax dollars are keeping Social Security and Medicare solvent.
But it’s also worth noting that undocumented immigrants are paying billions of dollars in stateand local taxes each year — in all 50 states.
While it’s impossible to get the exact numbers because of the limited data available, researchers at the left-leaning Institute for Taxation & Economic Policy estimate that undocumented workers paid a total of $11.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2014, the most recent year of data, according to their 2017 report.
That includes $7 billion in sales taxes and excise taxes, which are those paid on specific items like gas sales and vehicle registrations. Undocumented immigrants, like everyone else, pay for CONTINUE READING: Illegal immigration taxes: Unauthorized immigrants pay state taxes - Vox

The Haunting Prediction in Kerner Commission's Racism Report | Time

The Haunting Prediction in Kerner Commission's Racism Report | Time

This Government Report Showed How Racism Was Dividing America 50 Years Ago. Its Prediction Is Haunting
On July 27, 1967, President Lyndon Johnson stood before a national television audience to announce the creation of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (NACCD). The speech followed deadly and destructive riots in Newark and Detroit, which marked the culmination of four consecutive summers of racial unrest in American cities.
Creating a presidential commission seemed like the ideal option: it allowed him to demonstrate leadership without committing his administration to a specific course of action. He planned to kick the issue of urban violence down the road in hopes that by the time his commission issued its report, the crisis would have already passed. It was a strategy many postwar American presidents used to handle vexing political issues. Between 1945 and 1955, there was an average of one and a half presidential commissions appointed every year. Johnson would appoint twenty such commissions during his tenure as president. As the burdens on the presidency increased in postwar America, commissions became a convenient way for presidents to fill the gap between what they could deliver and what was expected of them. The popularity of presidential commissions also reflected the postwar fascination with experts and the belief that social scientists could offer objective solutions to complicated social problems.
Johnson filled the eleven-member commission that he announced that evening with mainstream bipartisan figures. For chairman, he selected Illinois Democratic governor Otto Kerner. Although Kerner would not play a major role, his name would become synonymous with the commission and its work. New York’s liberal Republican mayor John Lindsay served as vice chairman. There were two African Americans, two Republican and two Democratic members of Congress, representatives from both business and labor, and one woman. There were no radicals or young people, and there was no spokesman for the black nationalist movement. Johnson assumed that his mainstream commission would produce a mainstream report that would endorse the broad outlines of his existing domestic agenda and insulate him from attacks both from the right and from the left.
The new commission, however, failed to follow the White House script. Determined to assert their independence, commissioners hired a team of investigators, visited riot-torn areas, and held hearings with activists and CONTINUE READING: The Haunting Prediction in Kerner Commission's Racism Report | Time

Catch Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Angie Sullivan Blasts Nevada Legislators and Power Brokers Who Refuse to Fund the Public Schools

Angie Sullivan is a firebrand on behalf of children in Nevada. She is a first grade teachers in Las Vegas (Clark County), which most people think of in terms of glitz and glamour. But the children she teaches are poor and many barely speak any English. Her school is underfunded. Angie writes frequent email blasts to every legislator and she does not mince words. On April 27, thousands of teachers
Rhode Island: Can You Fire Your Way to Higher Scores?

The testscores came in and Rhode Island got bad scores. RI still uses PARCC, which is guaranteed to faiil most students. First the State Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner resigned. Now the Providence Superintendent is stepping down. Will that raise scores?


Breaking News from Los Angeles: Board Votes to Ask Voters to Approve New Taxes for Schools

From the Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Board of Education has voted unanimously to place a parcel tax on the June 4 ballot in hopes of capitalizing on a recent teachers’ strike that attracted broad support for local schools. If approved, the tax is projected to raise about $500 million a year, enough to close all or most of the gap between what the district is spending and the revenue it rec
Los Angeles: When You Go to a School in a Violent Neighborhood

Whats it like to go to a school in a neighborhood where violence and murder happen often? Sonali Kohli and Iris Lee write about kids growing up in dangerous neighborhoods. How does it affect the survivors? Some suffer physical wounds, all suffer psychological wounds. Gun control would help. Gun confiscation would help too. Th
Sign a Petition to Change the Charter Law in California

Allies who met at the Oakland conference of the Network for Public Educare are petitioning to regulate charter schools so they don’t harm public schools. Dear Friend of Public Education: On behalf of Educators for Democratic Schools , and Wellstone Democratic Club Education Committee (both active in Oakland) we are writing again to those who participated in the California Caucus of the NPE confer
National Education Policy Center: Has the Tide Turned Against Vouchers?

The National Education Policy Center asks whether the tide has turned against vouchers. i would argue in response to their question that there was never a tide favoring vouchers except among politicians who took campaign contributions from voucher supporters or who ideologically hate everything public. No public referendum on vouchers has ever endorsed them. The latest was in Arizona in 2018, whe
Linda Darling-Hammond at AASA: Testing Is Not Reform

The newly appointed chair of the California State Board of Education Linda Darling-Hammond spoke to the national conference of the American Association of School Administrators (the School Superintendents Association) and denounced the American reliance on high-stakes testing as a reform strategy. If America wants to be the world leader in education, then it should look to other countries as a mo
Wrench in the Gears: Incentivizing Pre-K Online Gaming

If you are a parent or grandparent, you know that little children need less screen time, not more. In this alarming post, blogger Wrench in the Gears quotes from transcripts where some deep thinkers (including Nobelist James Heckman) discuss ways to lure the little ones online, to give them digital badges, and scheme to come up with the right ways to sit them in front of computers. She begins: “T

FEB 27

MIchael Cohen’s Statement

TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL D. COHEN COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND REFORM U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FEBRUARY 27, 2019 Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today. I have asked this Committee to ensure that my family be protected from Presidential threats, and that the Committee be sensitive to the questions pertaining to ongoing investiga
Peter Greene: TFA Takes Control of Lorain, Ohio, Schools Peter Greene wrote a brilliant essay about Ohio’s response to the economic collapse of Lorain, which wa to put a czar in charge of the public schools, with unlimited power to do as he wished without any oversight. That czar—David Hardy—has limited education experience, having gotten his start in TFA. The teaching st
Expose: Trump’s Obsession with the Russia Investigation

The New York Times published a remarkable piece of investigative reporting about Trump’s obsession with the Russia investigation and his efforts to stop it. The article is worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. After it appeared, Trump tweeted that the Times is “the true enemy of the people.” The only media he likes are sycophants. He hates the First Amendment. It is behind a pay wall. To read the whole sto
D.C.: A Rating System Designed to Destroy Public Education

This is not a well-known secret: every distribution will always have a bottom 5%. In D.C., under the control of the Mayor, the school system had adopted a rating system that is guaranteed to produce winners and losers. The losers are set up for privatization. Parent activist and blogger Valerie Jablow thinks this stinks . She’s right. She writes: It’s not merely that the relativity of the STAR ra
New York City: Why the Renewal Schools Program Failed

Leonie Haimson explains in this testimony why NYC’s Renewal Schools Program failed, after spending nearly $800 million. The one Reform it refused to make in the city’s lowest performing schools was to reduce class size. And that, she believes, was a fatal flaw. This testimony was made almost a year ago. in case the formatting doesn’t make sense, here is the link:

FEB 26

Chicago: Two African American Women Will Be in Run Off in Mayor’s Race

Tonight, history was made in Chicago. Two African American women won the top two slots. Chicago’s next mayor will be an African American woman. Farewell to Rahm Emanuel; your disgraceful historic legacy will be closing 50 public schools in a single day. William Daley, the business establishment’s candidate, came in third. Au revoir. Paul Vallas, school privatizer supreme, trailed the field. CHICA
Oakland: Rightwing Toadies Put “Lies in the Skies” About OEA President

As Oakland teachers were striking, the rightwing propaganda machine hired a private plane to spread lies about Keith Brown, the union president. During the teachers’ demonstration, the plane flew over them trailing a banner saying that Brown is paid $350,000 a year. Lie. He makes a teacher’s salary. Maybe the Koch machine confused him with a charter school leader.
Oakland Strike: Teachers and District at Odds About Privatization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Statement by Keith Brown President, Oakland Education Association, on Status of Contract Talks I do not believe that it is helpful to bargain contracts through the media. Up until now I have refrained from discussing details to give the negotiating team on both sides room to bargain. However, after seeing a series of misleading reports come out of the administration today, I
“Arizona Republic” Wins Prestigious Polk Award for Investigating Charter School Scandals

Arizona blogger David Safier reports that an investigative team of reporters at the Arizona Republic has won a prestigious Polk Award, one of the highest honors in American journalism, for its fearless reporting about charter school scandals in the state. Safier writes: The Arizona Republic’s thorough, ground-breaking stories about charter school corruption and profiteering have received scarce p
Tulsa: Broadie Swarm Alert!

This comment was posted by a reader who teaches in Tulsa. It was written in response to a post on the blog that Broadies have now taken charge of all the top positions in the District of Columbia schools. The Broadies use unusual titles because they lack the credentials to hold jobs that require certification. A Broadie, for the uninitiated, is someone “trained” in the top-down management philoso
Peter Greene: Is Shelby County (Memphis) Approaching a Death Spiral Due to Charters?

Peter Greene writes here that the invisible hand of the market doesn’t work well for schools. There is no magic in the market. Shelby County in Tennessee is overwhelmed with charters and of course they want more. He writes: “Shelby County is running up against two of the fallacies embedded in most charter school policy. “One is the modern charter policy lie– the notion that you can run multiple p
John Thompson: Oklahoma’s “Staggering” Teacher Exodus

John Thompson writes from Oklahoma: The Tulsa World’s headline nailed the big picture, “‘Staggering’: 30,000 Oklahoma Teachers Have Left Profession in the Past Six Years, Report Shows.” The World’s Michael Dekker cites State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister who explained, “The loss of 30,000 educators over the past six years is staggering — and proof that our schools must have the resources to suppo

FEB 25

Good News: New Jersey Legislators Drop Bill to Expand Testing

Bob Braun, veteran education journalist, reports that the New Jersey Assembly leaders pulled the bill to expand PARCC testing bee cause they didn’t have the votes to pass it. The protests of parents and teachers must must have been heard. Twenty-six states signed up for PARCC in 2010, which was designed to fail most students with artificially high passing marks. All but five states have dropped P
Trump’s Nominee as Ambassador to the U.N. Will Be a Laughing Stock, Writes Max Boot

Max Boot, who now writes a column for the Washington Post, says that U.N ambassadors have typically had distinguished careers before they were nominated. Not so the latest nominee. Kelly Knight Craft was chosen to be U.S. ambassador to Canada, and now to the United Nations, because she and her third husband, the billionaire coal baron Joe Craft, are mega MAGA-donors. According to The Post , they
Wisconsin: Governor Evers Seeks to Freeze Voucher Enrollments and Charter Expansion

Recently elected Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has proposed freezing voucher enrollments and charter expansion. Neither charters nor vouchers have been more successful than public schools. Milwaukee, which has both, is one of the nation’s lowest performing school districts on the NAEP. Republicans in the legislature have vowed to protect privatization of public funding. They are determined to eli
Bob Braun: Will New Jersey Disgrace Itself by Hanging On to PARCC Testing?

Bob Braun covered education and other topics for New Jersey’s leading newspaper, the Star-Ledger, for half a century. Today, as a blogger, he excoriates his former employer—and the New Jersey Legislature—for their efforts to keep PARCC testing alive. The decision, he writes, will be made for political, not educational, reasons. He begins: “Today, the Legislature will sell out New Jersey’s childre
The Year of the Public School: 2019!

This is a message from theNetwork for Public Education. 2019 will be the year of the public school, with your help and support. “From West Virginia to California teachers are boldly standing up for themselves, their students and their schools. Teachers are walking out due to a lack of sufficient funding, which has resulted in the deterioration of salaries, fewer services for children and increase
ProPublica: Will the Sackler Family Be Held Accountable for More Than 200,000 Opioid Deaths?

Those of us in the field of education know the billionaire Sackler family as major funders of charter schools. Jonathan Sackler funded ConnCAN, then 50CAN, and sits on the boards of other charter promotion corporations. But in the wider world, the Sacklers are infamous for their ownership of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures and markets OxyContin, the drug believed to be responsible for

Gary Rubinstein, G.F. Brandenburg: TFA Celebrates Research Showing That Its Members Are Ineffective Teachers

Gary Rubinstein was a member of one of the first cohorts to join Teach for America. He decided to make a career of teaching, unlike most of those who enter TFA. He is now one of its sharpest critics because he knows the 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all