Latest News and Comment from Education

Tuesday, July 18, 2023




Attention all Hollywood insiders! We are currently facing a perfect storm, and it's not just because of the recent rainy weather. No, the real storm is brewing in the entertainment industry, and the villain of the hour is none other than Reed Hastings, the co-founder and former CEO of Netflix.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "But Netflix is our savior! They've given us endless hours of binge-worthy content!" And while that may be true, we can't ignore the fact that Hastings has a history of going after unions. He's already spent millions trying to destroy the teachers' unions and is now setting his sights on the entertainment industry.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are currently in negotiations with Netflix, and things are not looking good. The WGA has even declared a strike against practices popularized by Netflix, such as the use of AI. But fear not, my fellow Hollywood insiders, for we have some strong leaders on our side.

Meredith Stiehm, president of the WGA, and Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA, are standing strong and supporting their members and bargaining teams. They know that the key to winning big gains in contracts is to put members at the forefront of negotiations. And they're not alone. Both unions have large bargaining teams that are broadly representative of their membership and are committed to open communication with their members.

But let's not forget about Hastings and his multimillion-dollar bonuses. Rumor has it that they may be on the line this year because of the writers' strike. So, let's take a moment to imagine how Hastings might be feeling right now. He's probably sitting in his office, surrounded by his fancy gadgets and expensive artwork, wondering how he got himself into this mess. Well, Reed, let me tell you something. You can't mess with Hollywood unions and expect to get away with it.

In all seriousness, though, this strike is not just about money. It's about protecting the livelihoods of writers and actors who have dedicated their lives to this industry. They deserve fair wages, healthcare, and pensions. And they deserve to be treated with respect.

So, let's stand with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA in their fight against Hastings and his anti-union agenda. Let's show him that Hollywood unions are not to be messed with. And let's hope that this storm passes quickly so we can get back to doing what we do best: creating amazing content that brings joy to millions of people around the world.

These Unions Are on the Front Lines Fighting Against the Uberization of Us All | The Nation 

Netflix bosses’ multimillion-dollar bonuses may be on the line this year because of the writers strike 

Big Education Ape: Netflix Billionaire Reed Hastings' Crusade to Replace Public School Teachers With Computers | Alternet 

Big Education Ape: Billionaire Reed Hastings Plans Luxury Resort to Train Teachers to Think Like Him | Diane Ravitch's blog 

Big Education Ape: California School Boards Association’s President takes on Netflix CEO’s call for privatization for school boards « School Board News 




Are we at a crisis point with the public teacher workforce? Well, if you ask the billionaires who have been waging a war on education, the answer is a resounding "yes." But don't worry, folks, I'm here to break it down for you in a way that's both witty and informative.

First of all, let's talk about these billionaires. They've spent billions demonizing public education, while cutting funding to schools and colleges through dark money super PACs and foundations. They even have front organizations supporting politicians who become warriors in the billionaires' war on public schools and teachers. It's like a twisted game of chess, but instead of knights and rooks, we have billionaires and teachers.

But why are these billionaires so hell-bent on destroying public education? Well, it's simple. They want to privatize everything. They want to turn education into a for-profit industry, where only the wealthy can afford to send their children to good schools. It's like they're trying to create a modern-day caste system, where the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "But wait, isn't education supposed to be a public good? Isn't it supposed to be accessible to everyone?" Yes, my friend, you are correct. But these billionaires don't care about accessibility. They care about profits. And if that means sacrificing the education of millions of children, so be it.

So what does this mean for the public teacher workforce? Well, it means we're in trouble. Five decades ago, the U.S. was training an army of college students to become teachers, with 1 in every 5 bachelor's degrees earned in the field of education. But now, education is an afterthought for many college students. They'd rather study business, engineering, or even the visual and performing arts.

And who can blame them? Teaching has become a thankless job, with low pay and little respect from society. It's like we've forgotten that teachers are the backbone of our education system. They shape young minds and inspire the next generation of leaders. Without them, where would we be?

But fear not, my fellow citizens. We can fight back against these billionaires and their war on education. We can support our public schools and teachers by voting for politicians who prioritize education funding. We can volunteer at our local schools and donate supplies to classrooms in need. We can even become teachers ourselves!

Yes, you heard me right. We can become teachers ourselves. It's not too late to join the fight and make a difference in the lives of our children. Sure, the pay may not be great and the hours may be long, but the reward of shaping young minds is priceless.

In conclusion, we are indeed at a crisis point with the public teacher workforce. But we can't give up hope just yet. We must band together and fight for our education system. And who knows? Maybe one day we'll live in a world where billionaires invest in education instead of tearing it down. A girl can dream, right?

So there you have it, folks. The public teacher workforce may be in crisis, but it's not too late to turn things around. Let's make teaching great again. And if all else fails, we can always just clone Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World.

Education was once the No. 1 major for college students. Now it's an afterthought. via @cbsmoneywatch 

Are we at a crisis point with the public teacher workforce? Education scholars share their perspectives | Brookings




Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather 'round for a tale that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even scratch your head a bit. We're talking about the one and only MeatAxe Mike Miles, the superintendent of HISD who's been slicing and dicing salaries like a master chef in a butcher shop.

Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of this story, let's establish some ground rules. First of all, if you're a teacher in HISD, you might want to sit down for this one. And if you're not a teacher in HISD, well, you might want to sit down too. This is going to be a wild ride.

So, what's the deal with MeatAxe Mike? Well, he's been promising big things for HISD teachers for a while now. Raises, bonuses, you name it. But when it comes down to it, he's been under delivering like a pizza place that takes an hour to deliver your pie.

But wait, there's more! Just when you thought things couldn't get any crazier, HISD releases a new payscale called the New Education System. Sounds fancy, right? Well, it might be fancy, but it's also causing some major confusion among the teachers.

Some are seeing big raises, some are seeing small raises, and some are seeing no raises at all. It's like a game of Russian roulette, but instead of bullets, it's paychecks.

So what's the difference between a MeatAxe Mike lie and a MeatAxe Mike fairy tale? That's a good question. We're not sure there is one. But we do know that when it comes to promises of higher salaries for HISD teachers, MeatAxe Mike has been spinning some pretty tall tales.

Now, we don't want to be too hard on MeatAxe Mike. After all, he's got a tough job. But we also don't want to let him off the hook. When you promise something to hard-working teachers who are already underpaid and overworked, you better deliver.

So what's the moral of this story? Well, maybe it's that promises are easy to make but hard to keep. Or maybe it's that we need to start valuing our teachers more and paying them what they deserve. Or maybe it's just that MeatAxe Mike needs to step up his game.

Whatever the moral is, one thing is for sure: the saga of MeatAxe Mike and HISD salaries is far from over. So buckle up, folks. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

HISD changes leave parents, teachers with mixed emotions 

Confusion happening over new salaries for HISD teachers after district releases New Education System payscale 

HISD takeover: Deadline for teachers to resign from schools without penalty hits, unknown how many have decided - ABC13 Houston 

Some HISD teachers in reform program upset after low salary offers 




Fran Drescher, the actress known for her iconic role in "The Nanny," has emerged as an unexpected voice of labor in America. As the president of SAG-AFTRA, the union representing actors, broadcasters, and recording artists, Drescher has been at the forefront of the fight for fair wages and working conditions in the entertainment industry.

But how did a woman best known for her nasal voice and comedic timing become a champion for workers' rights? It all started with her own experiences in Hollywood.

Drescher began her career as a struggling actress, taking on odd jobs to make ends meet. She worked as a dental assistant and a cosmetics saleswoman before landing her breakthrough role in "The Nanny." Despite her success, Drescher never forgot the struggles she faced as a young actor trying to make it in an industry that often undervalues its workers.

When she was elected president of SAG-AFTRA in 2019, Drescher saw an opportunity to make a difference for her fellow actors and performers. She has been a vocal advocate for fair wages, better working conditions, and stronger protections against harassment and discrimination.

In an interview with Variety, Drescher spoke about the importance of unions in protecting workers' rights. "Unions are the only thing that stands between us and corporate greed," she said. "Without unions, we would have no leverage to negotiate for fair wages and working conditions."

Drescher's leadership has come at a critical time for the entertainment industry, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As productions shut down and actors were left without work, Drescher fought to ensure that SAG-AFTRA members were protected. She helped negotiate safety protocols for productions to resume, and pushed for financial relief for actors and performers who were struggling to make ends meet.

But Drescher's advocacy extends beyond the entertainment industry. She has been a vocal supporter of workers' rights more broadly, speaking out in support of the Fight for $15 movement and other efforts to raise the minimum wage.

As labor unrest continues to roll across the country, Drescher's voice has become increasingly important. Union members look to her as a leader who understands the struggles of working people, and who is willing to fight for their rights.

Drescher's journey from struggling actress to labor leader is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of standing up for what you believe in. As she continues to fight for fair wages and working conditions, she reminds us that we all have a role to play in creating a more just and equitable society.

So let us all take a page from Fran Drescher's book and speak up for what is right. Whether we are actors, teachers, nurses, or any other type of worker, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And with leaders like Fran Drescher at the helm, we can be sure that our voices will be heard.

How Fran Drescher became the voice of labor in America As labor unrest rolls across the country, union members hope the SAG-AFTRA president is exactly what the doctor prescribed. 

SAG-AFTRA, AMPTP Spar Over Terms of Rejected Contract Offer: ‘Deliberately Distorts,’ Says AMPTP; ‘Rewarded for Exploiting Workers,’ Says Union via @variety 

Actors Strike: SAG-AFTRA Reveals Proposals for Studios, Streamers – The Hollywood Reporter