"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Medley #12

Privatization, Chicago, Indiana,
Charters and Tax Credits, Poverty, Duncan.

Five Steps to Destroy Public Education
  1. Under-fund/STARVE the schools financially
  2. Overcrowd the classrooms, reduce programs, supplies
  3. Fail the public school using NCLB and/or Race to the Top laws leaving the public school in death-throws
  4. Sell the school to private charters
  5. Public school, Dead On Arrival

A New Low

The five step plan above is working thanks to Arne Duncan, Tony Bennett, Bill Gates and all the other corporate reformers
Americans' confidence in public schools is down five percentage points from last year, with 29% expressing "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in them. That establishes a new low in public school confidence...

Big Money Joins Chicago Fight
Education Reform Now, a corporate reform group funded by Wall Street and other financial elites, is now involved in the Chicago teachers’ collective bargaining issues. ERN spent millions in New York state last year to attack teachers’ job protections. In the linked article, the group says it is not coordinating with the Mayor’s office, but this seems unlikely as its robo-calls are parroting what the school superintendent has said publicly.

Dumbing down education in Indiana
If there were evidence that second-career professionals make better teachers, there might be reason to support REPA II. But there is none. Finland certainly doesn’t promote that route to the classroom. Studies, including one from IUPUI’s Center for Urban and Multicultural Education, find that “teachers who are fully certified (through traditional college/university based teacher education programs) have a more significant positive impact on student outcomes than teachers who are not.”

Chartering the Whole District

Do you still doubt that the privatization of American public schools is proceeding at full speed? In Michigan the Governor has the right to appoint an "Emergency Manager" if a municipality is "failing," thereby bypassing elected officials (like city councils, mayors and school boards). Governor Snyder's Emergency Manager for Muskegon Heights Public Schools is planning to give the public schools away to the charter industry. Instead of funding the public schools, they're going to give them away...
The emergency manager for Muskegon Heights Public Schools is taking an unprecedented approach to eliminate the district's severe debt -- one of the worst deficits among Michigan's schools -- by chartering the entire west Michigan district.
...and in Memphis, too.
...the Memphis City Schools are faced with a whole list of disturbing recommendations, including one that would totally disrupt the feeder school system in Memphis, which will lead to privatized high schools in the next phase of corporate takeover

A Major Charter School Scandal

Why are people so quick to give up public oversight of public schools?
In response to whistle-blower complaints by parents and former teachers, the Oakland school board launched an independent audit of the charter’s finances. The audit reported that $3.7 million dollars were wrongly spent...Wrote the San Francisco Chronicle, “The founder and governing board of three controversial Oakland charter schools could face a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud, misappropriation of funds and other illegal activities outlined in an official audit report released Wednesday.”

Tax Credit Strategy Fuels Private School Choice Push
The political climate in many states has become ripe for private-school choice, and few choice models are proving as popular as tax-credit scholarships.

Despite what the "Reformers" say, Poverty Matters.
Legislators can extend the school day, force new tests on students and link the scores to a teacher’s job, but a new analysis about disparities in school funding raises the uncomfortable question of just how effective any reforms can really be when issues of equity are ignored.

Read More about it HERE...

Equitable and adequate financing of public school systems in the U.S. remains largely a state responsibility, and some states continue to either throw their entire education systems under the bus (Arizona, Tennessee), or selectively disregard children living in high poverty settings. Put simply, money matters. School funding equity and school finance reforms matter.

sh!t arne says
“Our goal is to work with educators in rebuilding their profession—and to elevate the teacher voice in shaping federal, state and local education policy,” said Secretary Duncan today at the launch of the RESPECT Project. “Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession—but America’s most respected profession,” he said.
Secretary Arne Duncan
National Conversation on the Future of Teachers Town Hall Meeting
So, Arne. You're going to do this while you and your corporate ed deformer pals continue to beat the sh!t out of these teachers you so respect. Give me a break! Seriously, Arne. How stupid do you think teachers are?

R.E.S.P.E.C.T..... Arne, you haven't a clue!
The teacher blogger at outside the box is absolutely right. Arne Duncan doesn't have a clue. He hasn't got the credentials to be the Secretary of Education. He has no experience in public school classrooms.

However both national teachers unions, the NEA and the AFT, have endorsed Obama, and by default, Duncan, for another term during which they can continue their onslaught against public schools. Apparently Duncan isn't the only one without a clue.

Which lever will you pull in November...the one for the Democratic candidate who says he supports public schools, hates teaching to the test and then does everything he can to destroy public education, or the Republican candidate who flat out promises to destroy public education?

Not much of a choice, is it?


Stop the Testing Insanity!


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