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Sunday, March 3, 2019

enrique baloyra: Fla House speaker calls pregnant women "host bodies" - YouTube

Fla House speaker calls pregnant women "host bodies" - YouTube

Fla House speaker calls pregnant women "host bodies"

Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva stepped in it this week when, on live television, he referred to pregnant women as “host bodies” five times during an interview with Jim DeFede. Throughout his political career Oliva has championed small government and individual freedom. But somehow he doesn’t think these freedoms apply to pregnant women when determining their own healthcare needs. The Miami Lakes Republican later tried walking back his comments by saying he was only trying to use a technical term. But then he forgot to refer to use the technical term for his own body: a lying sack of fertilizer. Florida Democratic Chair Terrie Rizzo characterized his remarks as, “hurtful, dehumanizing, and misogynistic.” “You’d expect to hear this offensive language in the Handmaid’s Tale,” referring to the book and popular TV series depicting a dystopian present, where Christian fundamentalists have taken control of the government. What makes the Speaker’s comments even more chilling are “fetal heartbeat” bills filed by Pensacola Rep. Mike Hill and Ocala Sen. Dennis Baxley, blocking doctors from performing abortions as early as six weeks. “Oops, someone said the quiet part out loud. No surprises here: the anti-choice movement has never valued women as people.” “[M]y Baptist school saw me as a potential incubator who smiled on demand and cleaned things.” “I only wish these same people who act pro life would extend that same philosophy to those who are living and support our rights to be free of gun violence. That would be pro life.” You see, it’s these same, self-described “pro lifers” who laugh at brown children in cages, make it easy for criminals and people on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist to get guns, and have never met a war they didn’t love. They shrug their shoulders when police officers shoot and kill black kids, saying they were probably up to no good. And their rhetoric is dangerous, because it incites wing nuts to bomb women’s health clinics and synagogues. They’re not pro life at all, just pro birth. Until it comes to their own mistresses, whom of course they fly to liberal states, where privater doctors can get rid of the “problem” discreetly. It never ceases to amaze me the number of women these forced birthers fool every election cycle. Legislative session incoming. Brace for impact.

How to Kill Public Schools – I Love You but You're Going to Hell

How to Kill Public Schools – I Love You but You're Going to Hell

How to Kill Public Schools
simpsons school
Who will pay to educate Mr. Burns’s doctor?

In some senses, of course, the United States has always had schools FOR the public. Even before the Revolution, there were schools that students without tuition money could attend. I’m finding out way more than I want to about the funding of early American “public” schools in my current research. As I’m finding, these “charity” schools had a wild mix of financial backers. Churches, taxpayers, wealthy individuals, and even not-so-wealthy people gave a lot or a little to educate impecunious children.
At different times in different places, a funding revolution swept the world of American education in the 1800s. Basically, this revolution replaced schools that were FOR the public with schools that were BY and FOR the public. That is, instead of parents, charities, philanthropists, churches, and governments all kicking in here and there to fund worthy students and schools, local and state governments committed to provided tax-funded educations to children. Those governments took tax money from everyone—whether or not they sent kids to the public schools—and in return promised to run schools for the benefit of the entire community.
There were big problems with this funding revolution. Not all children were included. Most egregiously, African-American students were often segregated out of public schools, or shunted off to lower-quality schools. And not all states participated equally. New England and the Northeast jumped early to the new model, while other regions hesitated. Plus, people without children and people who chose not to send their children to the public schools ended up paying for schools they didn’t personally use.
The heart and soul of public education, however, was that the public schools would be administered as a public good, like fire departments and roads. Everyone paid for them, everyone could use them, and everyone could in theory claim a right to co-control them. Even if your house didn’t catch fire, in other words, you paid taxes to support the firefighters. And even if you didn’t drive a car, you paid to maintain the public roads. And those firefighters and road crews were under the supervision of CONTINUE READING: How to Kill Public Schools – I Love You but You're Going to Hell

Betsy DeVos wants $5 billion, Should we Oblige? | Cloaking Inequity

Betsy DeVos wants $5 billion, Should we Oblige? | Cloaking Inequity


Betsy DeVos just proposed a $5 billion school choice proposal, asking the Congress for a national tax credit scholarship program that would allow parents to send their children to a private K-12 school of their choice. What are the particulars? She does not use the word “voucher” (likely because voters keep turning back the approach), but instead uses “education savings accounts.” Essentially, the tax dollars are redirected into “scholarship” US News describes this launderific approach,
Individual donors would be able to contribute up to 10 percent of their adjusted gross income to a scholarship-granting organization approved by a state, and businesses would be able to contribute up to 5 percent of their net taxable income.
It’s already a switcheroo that is being used at the state level. The financial malfeasance associated with Arizona and Florida’s “education scholarship accounts” has been notorious. The Chattanoogan reports,
Fraud, accountability and transparency have been persistent negative problems associated with the implementation of ESA programs. As reported in the Arizona Republic, an October 2018 audit by the Arizona Attorney General found that more than $700,000 was misspent on any number unrelated items such as beauty supplies, sports apparel, computer technical needs, and unwarranted spending outside of the needs of students. Fraud has grown so rampant in Florida that for the last two years the Orlando Sentinel has run a series entitled, Schools Without Rules, where they have documented the effects of unlicensed and untrained educators, mismanagement of funds, failure to pay teachers and pecuniary expenses, and inadequate services provided to special needs students along with a wide assortment of unmet and unfulfilled assurances.

Furthermore, Michelman summarizes the lack of student success associated with vouchers and ESAs. While Oscar Jimenez-CastellanosWilliam J. Mathis, and Kevin G. Welner discuss the problematic legal implications.
To be frank, Betsy’s proposal is likely DOA in the US House and even perhaps the US Senate. US News posits,
…the proposal faces a steep uphill battle in Congress, where Democrats now control the House of Representatives and even the more moderate Republicans in the Senate, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have been wary of school choice policies that originate at the federal level.
I had the chance to talk with NPR’s Marketplace about the proposal for 20 minutes last week. Here is the 2-minute program where they probably used the least interesting 5 seconds of our conversation (just being honest).
DeVos is up to exactly what everyone said she would be up to, in fact, Trump promised $20 billion for school choice during his campaign.
Researchers and civil rights organizations are taking notice. I am honored to relay that I have been asked to join a new a new initiative called Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS). This will encompass will involve a collaboration with the Education Law Center, as well as colleagues at the Southern Poverty Law Center. This startup initiative will engage with issues of vouchers and other uses of public funds to private education. While PFPS will be primarily law-focused, researchers will be closely connected to almost all of the group’s initiatives. They have invited a short list of a dozen researchers whose work concerns domestic and international vouchers. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
They asked me to give them a summary of my work on vouchers to apply to join the initiative, so I’d like to list those resources for you here.

Peer-Reviewed articles

Portales, J., & Vasquez Heilig, J. (2015). Understanding universal vouchers and urban public schools in Santiago de Chile: Educational administrators’ responses to choice. Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research, 5(2), 194-237.*
Portales, J. & Vasquez-Heilig, J. (2014). Understanding how universal vouchers have impacted urban school districts’ enrollment in Chile. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22(68). Retrieved from*

Policy Briefs

Vasquez Heilig, J., LeClair, A.V., Lemke, M., & McMurrey, A. (2014). Remarkable or poppycock?: Lessons from school voucher research and dataAustin, TX: Texas Center for Education Policy, University of Texas at Austin.
Vasquez Heilig, J. & Portales. (2012). Are vouchers a panacea?: Data from international implementation. Austin, TX: The Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis, University of Texas at Austin.

Articles in The Progressive Magazine

Cloaking Inequity blog posts

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Betsy DeVos wants $5 billion, Should we Oblige? | Cloaking Inequity

Oakland Teachers Strike Ends With Tentative Deal for Raise | PopularResistance.Org

Oakland Teachers Strike Ends With Tentative Deal for Raise | PopularResistance.Org


Striking teachers in Oakland, California, celebrated after reaching a contract deal Friday with school administrators to end a seven-day walkout.
To cheers and applause, union leaders from the Oakland Education Association announced that teachers had won everything they demanded — higher pay, smaller classes and more school resources — in a week of marathon negotiating sessions with the district.
“This is a historic contract with a win in every major proposal we made,” the Oakland Education Association said in a statement.
“We have achieved so much in the seven days of our historic strike in Oakland,” union President Keith Brown told a news conference. “Our power in the streets prevailed.”
The deal includes an 11 percent salary increase and a one-time 3 percent bonus, once the deal is ratified, Brown said.
Teachers were expected to vote Saturday, and if the deal is approved, return to classrooms next week.
“On Monday, March 4, we look forward to everyone being together again in the classroom,” Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said in a statement. “The contract will help ensure more teachers stay in Oakland and that more come to teach in our classrooms and support our students.”
Oakland’s 3,000 teachers walked off the job Feb. 21, effectively shutting the city’s 86 schools.
The district kept Oakland schools open during the strike staffed by a skeleton crew of substitutes. But most students stayed away in support of their striking teachers. The district said about 6 percent of students came to class during the weeklong action.
The walkout affected 36,000 students.
The Oakland Education Association said educators were forced to strike because administrators had not listened to their demands for two years. Teachers had been working without a contract since 2017.
Among their demands was a 12 percent retroactive raise covering 2017 to 2020 CONTINUE READING: Oakland Teachers Strike Ends With Tentative Deal for Raise | PopularResistance.Org

Oakland, CA: Billionaires Will Convene to Discuss New Plans for Privatizing Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Oakland, CA: Billionaires Will Convene to Discuss New Plans for Privatizing Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Oakland, CA: Billionaires Will Convene to Discuss New Plans for Privatizing Public Schools

What exquisite timing! The teachers in Oakland went out on strike to demand a decent living wage and to protest the destruction of their schools by privatizers, and guess who is planning to come to town?
The summit is sponsored by the usual suspects: The Walton Family Foundation (anti-union, anti-public schools, pro-privatization), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (ditto), The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (selling computers and depersonalized learning), and The Carnegie Foundation of New York (once a friend to public schools, but no longer).
Make plans to be in Oakland to send your greetings to the Robber Barons of our day.
Who knows? Maybe Betsy DeVos will be their keynote speaker.
They are planning to disrupt your public schools, destroy your unions, and continue marauding where they are uninvited and unwelcome.

W.V. teachers' rapid strike victory shows why progressives must join fight against privatization |

W.V. teachers' rapid strike victory shows why progressives must join fight against privatization |

W.V. teachers' rapid strike victory shows why progressives must join fight against privatization

The day after schools reopened, the teachers got what they wanted—a “clean” bill increasing teacher pay 5%.
Image result for W.V. teachers' rapid strike victory shows why progressives must join fight against privatization

This article was produced by Our Schools, a project of the Independent Media Institute.
West Virginia’s most recent statewide teacher walkout came and went so quickly there was too little time and attention to comprehend and appreciate the impact the teachers’ actions will likely have long-term on changing the narrative of the teacher movement and how politically progressive advocates and candidates relate to it.
In the very first day of the strike, teachers squelched new state legislation they objected to and then held out an additional day to ensure it would die. The day after schools reopened, the teachers got what they wanted—a “clean” bill increasing teacher pay five percent.
But, unlike their largely successful labor action from last year, this time the teachers weren’t making pocketbook issues the focal points of their demands. Instead, it was all about stopping school privatization through charter schools and a new voucher program. The point of the strike was to oppose a Senate bill that included bringing charters and a voucher program to the state even though the measure included the pay raise teachers wanted. Teachers accompanied their protests in the capitol building with chants of “Hey-hey, ho-ho, charter schools have got to go.”
This was a huge gamble for the teachers, not only because they risked a confrontation with the wealthy establishment that backs charters and vouchers but also because they could alienate the coalition of progressive activists who had supported teachers in the past but had never forcefully opposed charter schools.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: In Like A Snow-Covered Lion Edition (3/3)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: In Like A Snow-Covered Lion Edition (3/3)

ICYMI: In Like A Snow-Covered Lion Edition (3/3)

Things to read from this week. Keep sharing. Keep posting. Keep putting the word out there. And don't forget to keep an eye on the bloglist in the right hand column. The more you read, the more you know.

When Will We Stop Blaming Teachers

Another look at TNTP's Opportunity Myth-- one more attempt to explain that education problems are teachers' fault.

Why Did Indiana Teachers Leave the Classroom

A survey looks at why Indiana teachers left the classroom. Zero surprises here, but one m ore confirmation that teaching conditions have finally gotten that bad.

Thoughts on the Graduation Exam Mess in New Jersey

New Jersey is wrestling with using the PARCC as a grad exam, something it was not remotely designed for. Let Jersey Jazzman sort out the foolishness.

Elementary Principal Reads Books To Students on Facebook Live

If you need a little lift, read about this principal who puts on her pj's and reads a story over Facebook live every Tuesday night.

In Many Charter Schools, Graduation Odds Are Slim

Another item from the Department of Unsurprising Results. Someone crunched some numbers and discovered that an awful lot of charter students don't make it to charter graduation day.

Invisible Champions of Student Justice 

Wendy Lecker takes a look at how black teachers in Georgia were instrumental in the pursuit of desegregation. If you don't know Horace Tate's name, you should.

Virtual Charter School With 91% Failure Rate  

This was a surprise-- a cyber charter school with even worse results than I imagined. 10,000 students went in- 851 stayed.

Skype A Scientist 

More good news. Someone came up with a program that uses Skype and scientists to combat misinformation.

Last Night We Lay Down In The Streets

As Philadelphia transitions from state appointed commission to local school board, a battle is shaping up over whose local voices will be heard. It's citizens versus corporate once again.

Newsome Fast-Tracks Bill For Charter Standards      

It looks like California may finally subject its wild-growth charter sector to some actual accountability.

The Hook of Standardization   

From Ohio, an argument that "an educational system driven by standardized testing has run its course."

Choice Is a False Pretext For Draining Money From Public Schools  

From Florida, the Sun-Sentinal editorial board calls out DeSantis' choicey plans as theft from the public system.            

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: In Like A Snow-Covered Lion Edition (3/3)

Will Florida Abolish The Common Core
This post ran at Forbes three weeks ago. Anyone notice anything happening since then that would change my mind? Didn't think so. Newly-elected Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced last week that he will, via executive order, remove every "vestige" of Common Core from the state. Unless he changes his announced plan, he probably won't. Yeah, probably not. Florida is unique in the US when it come

MAR 01

Teach For America: Now With Less Teaching
Teach for America has always been a work in progress, an evolving enterprise in search of a reason to keep existing. Once upon a time it was all about teaching and plugging holes in the system. Then it was about supplanting traditional teachers (and trying not to say out loud that they needed to be supplanted because they sucked and the Best and the Brightest had better swoop in like a shining whi

FEB 28

OK: Voting With 60,000 Feet
Fans of market dynamics have a deep and abiding faith in the power of the podiatric plebiscite. When parents vote with their feet, schools will get better. Unions and minimum wage are not necessary, because if workers vote with their feet, employers will be forced to improve their offer. And yet, we have Oklahoma and teachers. The red flags have been numerous. The Oklahoma State School Boards Asso

FEB 27

OH: Lorain Schools In State Of Emergency
The state takeover of Lorain City Schools continues to spiral out of control (if you are joining us for this ongoing mess, you can start the story here ). Here's what has happened in the last couple of days. After announcing last Thursday that teachers at Lorain High School would have to reapply for their jobs, CEO David Hardy went on the television box to do an interview to try to-- well, it's no

FEB 25

FL: Further Dismantling Public Education
Here are two not-entirely-academic questions: Is it possible to end public education in an entire state? Can Florida become any more hostile to public education than it already is? Newly-minted Governor Ron DeSantis and a wild cast of privatization cronies seem to answer a resounding "yes" to both questions. But how would you do it? What resources would you need? What tactical moves would you make

FEB 24

OH: Lorain CEO's Purge Announcement Raises Fury
Last Thursday night, David Hardy, the state-appointed takeover CEO for Lorain City Schools told the public that all teachers at the high school would have to reapply for their jobs. If you want to read about how they arrived at this point, that story is here . This is just the next chapter in the story. After telling the public, Hardy then sent a letter to staff (because when you want to drop thi
ICYMI: So Long, February Edition (2/24)
Well, that just flew by. Here's a good batch of reading from the week. Remember, if it speaks to you, help it speak to somebody else. Betsy DeVos vs. Student Veterans By easing up on predatory for-profit colleges, DeVos has really stuck it to veterans trying to get an education. TFA Celebrates New Research That Suggests That Corps Members Are Ineffective Teacher Gary Rubinstein takes a look at TFA

FEB 23

TN: Market Forces Are Not Magical
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 parallel school systems with the same money that used to run one system. The other is that charter systems don't need a lot of regulation because the invisible hand of the market will take care of it all. Shelby County Schools
Charter Schools Are Not Public Schools
Modern charter schools prefer to attach the word "public" to their descriptions. Many of the charter advocacy groups include "public charter" in their title. And truthfully, there are no regulations attached to the term--any school can attach the word "public" to its title without having to worry about any sort of penalty. So technically, any charter school can call itself a public school. Heck,

FEB 22

OH: Lorain, HB 70, And A Reformy Attack
I began my career in Lorain, Ohio, so the ever-spinning mess there is of personal interest to me. But it is also a picture of much of the damage being inflicted on public education in the name of reform. This is going to be a really long read, the longest I've ever posted on this blog, but it's a story worth telling, because here we find most of the problems of ed reform on display. I: Lorain Back

FEB 20

What Is Your State's Grade For Data Privacy Protection?
If data is the new oil, then schools are the new Ghawar field . Nearly every single person in a generation passes through a school, and virtually all of them encounter computer-based technology. And everything that a computer assesses, measures, and facilitates, it can also record and store. You may think that such data is fiercely protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA

FEB 18

Wasting Time In School
It's tax season, so it's time for this sort of meme-- These are just another version the compliant that teachers hear all the time-- why are we learning this? When am I ever going to use it? Every discipline has its own version. English-- when will I ever need to know subjects and verbs? Math-- when will I ever need to know the quadratic equation? Phys ed-- when will I ever have to do a shuttle ru

FEB 17

ICYMI: Winter Is Forever Edition (2/17)
I do this every Sunday, so you can skip back week by week, or just search "ICYMI" in the search bar in the upper left to read some of the good stuff coming from other writers in the education world. Remember to share-- that's