"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, July 17, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - July 2013

Here are some pictures, graphic images and cartoons from around the net -- plus my own 2 cents worth of comments. Click on any image to see the full sized version.

Where is Your Money Going?

The Walton Family Foundation is just one of the billionaire's clubs currently funding the destruction of public education.

This is for the millions of public school teachers who shop at Walmart...just so you know where your money goes...

When Billionaires Become Educational Experts
Current reforms are allowing certain individuals with neither scholarly nor practical expertise in education to exert significant influence over educational policy for communities and children other than their own...
Who’s involved? Who are they connected to?
John Walton: ...assisted in the creation of the right-wing advocacy group Alliance for School Choice.

Carrie Walton Penner: Penner, who graduated from a private boarding school and attended two elite universities, sits on the boards of the KIPP Foundation (to which the Walton Family Foundation recently gave $25 million) and the California Charter Schools Association...

Greg Penner: Greg Penner, Carrie Walton Penner’s husband, is on the National Board of Directors for Teach for America, and is a director of the Charter Growth Fund, a “non-profit venture capital fund” investing charter in schools.
Alice Walton
Walton is a registered voter in Texas. She registered in the state in June 2008...

...Alice Walton was the top individual contributor to winning state legislative candidates in the 2010 elections that put [Wisconsin] Republicans in control of the state government. Under the first budget passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-majority legislature, funding for public schools was cut by $800 million over two years, while funding for programs that funnel public money to private schools increased by $17 million over two years.
Marchers denounce Walton Family Foundation for undermining Chicago's public school system
The Walton family, the richest family in America and heirs to the Walmart fortune, have given millions of dollars to initiatives which strip money from public schools, including nearly half a million dollars in support of Chicago Public Schools’ proposed school closures. Meanwhile, in 2012, the family spent $3.8 million—more money than they spent in any other city—opening new charter schools. The vast majority of the schools closing in Chicago serve low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, leaving many of these areas without neighborhood schools.

Art, Music and PE

The overuse of testing has squeezed the arts and physical education out of many school programs. Here's a great comment.

Do More With Less

It's not just budget cuts -- it's time cuts as well. Teachers are required to spend more and more of their time "teaching to the test" which reduces time spent on other things like read aloud, free silent reading time, history, civics and government, science, current events...

Teachers are being told what to teach, how to teach it, when to teach it, then being punished because students aren't successful...

Where is Accountability for Policy-Makers

Legislators and politicians, who have never set foot (or allowed their children to set foot) in a public school make the rules and then blame schools for not performing miracles. Think about the statistical impossibility of No Child Left Behind's requirement that, by 2014, 100% of students will be proficient on achievement tests. They make it harder and harder for public schools to operate, and for public school teachers to teach and then punish the schools for not doing more with less.

Where's the accountability on our politicians and policy makers? Why aren't they held accountable for the enormous level of child poverty in America?

Get Inside Someone Else's Brain

...on the value of reading and books...

"Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read." — Marilyn Jager Adams

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." — Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney

Don't Give Up


All who envision a more just, progressive and fair society cannot ignore the battle for our nation’s educational future. Principals fighting for better schools, teachers fighting for better classrooms, students fighting for greater opportunities, parents fighting for a future worthy of their child’s promise: their fight is our fight. We must all join in.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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