Don’t Believe the New York Times’ Editorial about Remediation

The New York Times published an incredible, non-sensical editorial about remedial college classes. Read Dr. Diane Ravitch’s thoughts on this hooey.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday the New York Times published a bizarre editorial about remedial classes in college.

The editorial says that former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was right when he said that the students who opt out are poorly educated, and their parents are “white suburban moms” who were disappointed to discover that their children aren’t so smart after all. Duncan always liked to say that America’s children had been “dummied down,” and no one was willing to tell the unpleasant truth but him.

The Times‘ editorial said that large numbers of suburban students need remediation when they get to college. This conclusion, it said, was based on a study by an advocacy group called Education Reform Now.

The editorial referred to Education Reform Now as a “nonprofit think tank.” ERN is nonprofit but it is certainly not a think tank. ERN is the nonprofit (c3) arm of Democrats for Education…

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FBI joins federals investigation into Detroit Mayor Duggan’s $170 million home demolition program 

The FBI is assisting a federal agency’s investigation into Mayor Mike Duggan’s demolition program.

The probe centers around the rising costs of demolitions and questions about whether Duggan and other city officials schemed to award contracts to preferred companies.

The FBI’s Detroit Office confirmed Wednesday that agents have joined the investigation, which was launched by the Office of the Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or SIGTARP.

The investigation involves the Detroit Land Bank and the Building Authority, both of which dole out contracts for demolitions.

Source: FBI joins federal investigation into Mayor Duggan’s demolition program in Detroit | Motor City Muckraker

HAIL CAESAR! 17 Years of Fool’s Gold

HAIL CAESAR! 17 Years of Fool’s Gold
Guest post by HERMAN DAVIS· President, Detroit Public Schools Board of Education
Keeping A Good Man Down
In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a cabinet member in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, released: “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” Moynihan wrote failures in the Negro community were directly linked to the absence of black men in a patriarchal roles by forced extraction. He wrote: “In essence, the Negro community has been forced into a matriarchal structure, which, because it is so out of line with the rest of the American society, seriously retards the progress of the group as a whole, and imposes a crushing burden on the Negro male and, in consequence, on a great many Negro women as well.” In the last 52 years since his report, we’ve learned that not only does the lack of black men in leadership roles create myriad imbalances in the black community but the black tokenism and bourgeoisie leadership model doesn’t necessarily work either. What has worked is the genuine social role model who rises up from the community with values which the community can successfully emulate to better themselves. For instance, no one can deny the positive impact of the Cosby Show
on the growth of: – black high school students college; -African Americans pursuing medical and legal professions; -youth aspiring to provide two parent homes; – and the drop in teen pregnancy. There are many other examples of social role models who had a positive impact on African American achievement, too. In his triumphant heavy weight boxing match with Max Schmelling, Joe Louis helped to redefine the word “American” to include Negroes. Thurgood Marshall helped to redefine the right of African Americans to equal treatment, proving that existing separate and unequal educational standards forced upon black children created feelings of inferiority. Muhammad Ali taught the power of confidence. As Martin Luther King gave us a dream of full citizenship, Malcolm X acknowledged the racist nightmare we lived in and both paid the ultimate sacrifice for our right to self determination. Being a GENUINE leader is not so much about who your parents are, or how much white people approve of you, but whether or not you make a tangible positive difference through your example, which others can be proud of and emulate. On a local level, Council Member Nicholas Hood, Sr, did just that. Nicholas Hood overcame childhood disability to integrate the Detroit Fire Department giving many African American men the opportunity to make a living making a difference. Detroit and every other community in America, benefits from home grown community leaders who speak their language, contribute to neighborhood and share their values. Detroit has no lack of good people who have the best interests of their neighbors at heart. However, Snyder is arguing in court that the US Constitution does not guarantee citizens the right to elect local representation. So, not only is the black community forced into white patriarchy as Moynihan found, (which is also proven to have a negative impact), but Snyder argues that US citizens are not guaranteed local democracy. Black people may be the experiment, but in the end, the 1% want us all to be ushered into some kind of local serfdom of corporations profiting off our tax dollars.
Many white legislators in Michigan say that PA 10, 4, 72, and 436 are not about race, that they are neutral policies which save us from financially irresponsible leadership. Yet, it is well documented that both white communities and black communities in Michigan have faced financial dire straits in the last 5 years. Another fact is that PA 10 was passed for reasons that were not financial. No doubt, these “neutral policies” have impacted black communities disproportionately. It is a double insult. What good masters some white members of the Michigan Senate and House show themselves to be, using racist mythos that black leadership is incapable of managing our finances, and then replacing democracy with hand chosen black faces who pay the masters back by handing out lucrative contracts.
My colleague Elena Herrada says, “ What rapist gets to claim that they are going to counsel the victim?” The ugly truth is that plenty of rapists and molesters can threaten and abuse their victim when the abuser is among the most powerful members of society. They get to rape, and rape again. Since September of 2015, I along with other logical and responsible taxpayers have been asking for an audit of what happened to our money. However, we are told that when there is barely enough to pay teachers, so there is not $12,000 to do an audit. Ironically, our 5th Emergency Manager receives a salary of $12,000…. PER MONTH.
Hail Caesar!
Residents of Flint, Detroit and other communities have been emasculated and denied full citizenship. Residents in Emergency Management districts are second class citizens barred from participation in choosing how their local tax dollars are spent. Over and over we cry it is “taxation without representation” to deaf ears. This is how Ed Kurtz made a unilateral decision to enter into a multi-million dollar contract with an engineering firm to use the Flint River as the sole source of tap water sans treatment. The poor whites in Flint are proof that down the road, Snyder’s reliance on a white savior oligarchy is not only racist, it is classist too. The ladder doesn’t stop with poor whites, Snyder’s lawyers are going after the right’s of everybody who isn’t the 1%.
Hail Caesar!
In Detroit, Kevyn Orr announced he wanted to give $600 million dollars in school tax dollars to the Illitch family to build the new hockey stadium.Orr negotiated that the Illitch family would no longer pay taxes, television royalties or share parking fees with the city.The children would give up everything, and in exchange the City and schools would receive NOTHING. Orr says they were unwilling to negotiate, and getting nothing in return was the best he could do. Fortunately, State Representative Rose Mary C. Robinson
of Detroit questioned the Constitutionality of Orr’s decision and Schuette approved $424 million of school money
to build “Little Caesars Arena”. Now the State Senate moves to put cash and school assets in the hands of people we didn’t vote for chosen by people who don’t live here. The citizens get nothing, again. There will be no accounting of where 17 years of money went. Snyder believes he knows what is best for us. However, Snyder cannot claim all praise for our deficit and disenfranchisement. Credit also belongs to our other savior, Gov. John Engler. Visit the beautiful Fisher Building. Note the marble floors, the chandeliers of Swavorski crystal and Pewabic pottery. Visit Darnell Earley’s luxury office on the 14th floor raided by the FBI earlier this year. How did Earley get such fancy digs? In 2002, DPS was under its first round of state control under Public Act 10, and DPS was a huge cash cow. DPS already owned its administrative headquarters, bought and paid for. Engler’s team decided to splurge…. and leased the top five floors of the Fisher Building for $24.1 million
to house the district’s administrative offices from Engler’s friends, the Farbman brothers. “The not-so-funny joke? The Farbman brothers bought the entire building one year earlier for $21.3 million” for a quick profit from the DPS gravy train. Badump-bump!
Engler’s team splurged on so many contracts that even after citizens voted in 2004 to return to an elected school board, that Board’s hands were hogtied. Considering all the gravy ladled on tax payer mashed potatoes by these saviors, you’d think that State Representative Brian Banks’ (D, Detroit) proposal for an audit would be welcomed by a responsible State legislature. But 18 Republicans turned him down.They don’t want to know what happened to $2.1 billion dollars, because they already have made that determination. You see, it’s easy, it’s YOUR FAULT. It’s your fault and Snyder is very kind to help, so how dare you ask for an audit. However, the white patriarchy Fool’s Gold does not accomplish the task to rob the poor single handedly. They receive help from some of us.
The Historic & Tragic Mulatto Figure for Powerful White Men In the winter of 1963, Malcolm X spoke on the race issue at Michigan State University. He talked about the difference between the House Negro and the Field Negro: “Whenever that house Negro identified himself, he always identified himself in the same sense that his master identified himself. When his master said, “We have good food,” the house Negro would say, “Yes, we have plenty of good food.” “We” have plenty of good food.”
Unfortunately, when whiteness and wealth are measurements for goodness; morals and ethics are determined by skin hue and financial freedom, rather than by the words of founding fathers, Greek philosophers or Jesus. Thus, when whiteness and wealth are measurements for rightness, we will not be allowed to select our own leadership: leadership must selected for us. Snyder’s first choice for our 5th Emergency Manager was an “acceptable” Black women, Tanya Allen of Skillman Foundation. Allen is a living embodiment of the master’s stereotype of a loyal mistress. She begs in our name, not for our children, or our teachers, but for what profiteers and contractors want.
Allen throws darts at the black community to get her way, and then hides her hands. She schemes with those who steal from us, like Barbara Byrd Bennett. She plans with contractors like the Robert Bobbs and Norman Shys of the world. And she is silent when a judge, or Department of Justice rules her friends are guilty of harming our children.
“Too bad about Robert Bobb,” she lamented when Judge Wendy Baxter found Robert Bobb had caused irreparable harm to Detroit school children. Her heart goes out to Robert Bobb, not us, not our kids. Allen & the Emergency Managers fail to notice when teachers succeed and do the right thing by kids. Year after year she pushes to strip the black community of it’s power and put that power in the hands of her benefactor. She welcomed Snyder, she worked with him to close hundreds of our schools, and to steal our assets for the EAA. There is no greater faith in the Snyder’s placement of non-Detroiters over our tax dollars, than her own. She generates her self esteem, her value, her self worth from tokenism through which she suppresses the blackness within herself. In her mind, Detroiters need an overseer as much as she does.
Snyder to the Rescue The State’s destruction of DPS never happened according to many in the Michigan House and Senate. Legislators like Cotter are nose blind to the stench of the last 17 years of State control. They refuse to admit that Detroit schools started with a $100 million dollar surplus, a $74 million dollar reserve, and a $1.5 billion dollar bonding authority. They seek to convince their constituencies that DPS was broke in 1999. Any talk of any other facts is met with, “let’s not talk about the past.” One of the most quoted researchers, Dr. Thomas C. Pedroni was not allowed to testify before the Michigan Senate. Urban people rarely have any asset of value worthy of admitting to. That is the curse of the myth of racial inferiority. Our property only has value when they say so, and they choose not to say so now. The 3 card molley they play is to make us feel worthless and to make us feel that the “help” they “give” comes not because of our deserving help, but because of their goodness, generosity, benevolence and mercy.
Don’t expect legislators like Cotter to tell how the State’s Emergency Managers handed out no bid contracts over and over again to all the suburban donors until DPS was destabilized. No, they are doing US a favor because WE are irresponsible. Senator Knollenberg was quite clear in his understanding: We can’t improve our test scores because the Senate can’t make us white. We are inferior. They tell us that now is the time for us to learn to compromise. For us to learn to make due with less. For us to tighten our belt a little. Isn’t that what we always do? Smile. Make nice. Try to get along. They are bullies. They not only take our voting rights, but they destroy the legacy of our heroes. Thanks to Snyder, Detroit school children not only paid for Illitch to have a new stadium, gave Illitch the right to strip Joe Louis’ name from the stadium we paid for, and replace it with the name, “Little Caesar’s Pizza Arena.”
Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar!
Education is a Commodity It’s not just democratic or republican, it’s not black or white: it’s green. Without democracy, everybody is for sale. Don’t you want a charter at YOUR church? Kiss the ring. Don’t you want to be appointed to something? What does it take for YOU to grin and fetch it? All they ask for is just one Hail Caesar! What does it take for you to be a Sambo? Everybody has a price. Black people like kool-aid right? YOU too can get in, while the getting is good. Why do we need certified teachers, anyway? Why do we need voting rights when there are plenty of white people to think for us? Why should we be given the right to vote for who opens and closes our schools, like they do IN THEIR COMMUNITY? Each piece of legislation will have it’s merits, but in the end, each legislator’s decision to deprive us of an audit, of transparency, accountability, checks and balances, and competitive contracts will be based upon the following: – they believe we are inferior – we did not contribute to their campaign – we are incapable of stopping them in the voting booth Et tu, Brutus?
We have been robbed and back stabbed by those we trust who are in on the game. Somehow, it evades everyone that Black tax payers benefit from: – community input on services our children thrive in – the ability to vote for representation from our neighborhoods – an audit and an accounting of the expenditures of those tax dollars – transparency – leaders who take an oath of office – checks and balances – standards and best practices such as competitive bidding – public safety and protection from fraud
Carte Blanche
The $700 million being proposed is about 1/3 of the refund due to us for the man made State control disaster forced on us. The last time we made a deal for Fool’s Gold, they say that a majority of the pensioners voted, 2 to 1, for the Grand Bargain. Now we learn that Detroit pensions are $500 million dollars under where they need to be.
Duggan told a group of retirees that Kevyn Orr hid the facts from everyone. We were lied to. Fooled again. Bamboozled. Foiled again. Outsmarted. Outfinanced. Will you trust their new configurations of power? They tell you who is good, and who is bad and you always believe them. Does that kool aid you are drinking taste good? Being disenfranchised is never quite understanding why you are always on the losing side. Aren’t you tired of losing? Some talk about loving America, but that’s another lie too. These bills are not American at all. These bills are focused primarily on who controls the contracts made with public dollars. These bills are about who has the power, who makes the appointments, and who gets what of the assets.
These bills are all about white privilege; white privilege being the right to deny others DEMOCRACY, accountability and transparency.