When the neighborhood is owned by billion-dollar companies

APOPKA, Florida (AP) — Many of the single-family homes in the Piedmont Park neighborhood of Apopka, Florida, used to be owned by families — the Vargases and the Townes, the Pierces and the Riddles. Now, they’re owned by Blackstone, American Homes 4 Rent and Colony Starwood Homes, companies associated with big real estate investment firms.

And the occupants are tenants, not owners.

In the decade since the housing boom deflated into a bust, financial firms recognized an investment opportunity in hard-hit areas like this Orlando suburb. Single-family homes lost to foreclosure could be bought cheaply and transformed into rent-generating income streams.

The corporate purchases have spread through Piedmont Park and surrounding neighborhoods, where the percentage of renters rose from a bit over 10 percent to more than 35 percent within a decade. Piedmont Park homeowners complain that the result is more transient neighbors, less engagement at homeowners’ meetings and difficulties reaching absentee corporate landlords.

Read the full story here…
http://bigstory.ap.org/4dcd5c1491a3475187a1d6b339a8852a

The right-wing propaganda machine Project Veritas is now going after teachers and their unions

The right-wing propaganda machine Project Veritas is now going after teachers and their unions
by seattleducation2010
The right wing attack dogs, Project Veritas, the group that took down ACORN and went after Planned Parenthood, is now targeting teachers and teachers’ unions. They “exposed” the president of the teachers union in Wichita by secretly taping him telling stories of dealing with difficult students. They’ve also taped teachers and union officials in New York, […]

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Seattle Education

action alert

The right wing attack dogs, Project Veritas, the group that took down ACORN and went after Planned Parenthood, is now targeting teachers and teachers’ unions.

They “exposed” the president of the teachers union in Wichita by secretly taping him telling stories of dealing with difficult students. They’ve also taped teachers and union officials in New York, New Jersey and Missouri.

These slimy characters will probably be at the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) conventions in July circulating the restaurants and bars, picking up anything they can.

From the Badass Teachers’ (BATS) Facebook page:

If you are a delegate, be careful who you socialize with! Don’t wear your convention badge when you go out into the community… Imagine that every conversation you have with a stranger is being taped.

Hmmm, I wondered who hired these hitmen.

Dora Taylor

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Get Out!! Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links

Summertime is in full swing around here. Though the longest day of the year is behind us, it feels like the season is just hitting its stride. The kids have only been out of school for a couple of weeks, so we’re still settling into the new routine (or, should I say, “un-routine?”) of structureless mornings, spur-of-the-moment events and outings, and late nights. While our friends on the other side of the world are preparing for winter, here the beach is calling, making it harder and harder to consistently keep my butt in the chair.

It’s an annual challenge to ….

Live to Write - Write to Live

Sunlight on the surface. A snapper in the depths. Sunlight on the surface. A snapper in the depths.

Summertime is in full swing around here. Though the longest day of the year is behind us, it feels like the season is just hitting its stride. The kids have only been out of school for a couple of weeks, so we’re still settling into the new routine (or, should I say, “un-routine?”) of structureless mornings, spur-of-the-moment events and outings, and late nights. While our friends on the other side of the world are preparing for winter, here the beach is calling, making it harder and harder to consistently keep my butt in the chair.

It’s an annual challenge to reconcile my daughter’s sense of summer freedom with my reality of summertime work. These are the months when my ability to focus is repeatedly put to the test. I do my best to be responsible, but sometimes the right thing to…

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Janice & Geoffrey Strauss: How to End the Teacher Shortage

Janice & Geoffrey Strauss: How to End the Teacher Shortage
Reblogged from Diane Ravitch’s blog:

This is one of the best articles ever on how to end the teacher shortage.

Janice and Geoffrey Strauss write:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s irrational vendetta against teachers and public education, aided and abetted by the state legislature and former Commissioner John King’s inept handling of Common Core, charter schools and the public education system have all led to such a toxic atmosphere in education that few candidates want to even get near public school teaching…..

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Diane Ravitch's blog

This is one of the best articles ever on how to end the teacher shortage.

Janice and Geoffrey Strauss write:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s irrational vendetta against teachers and public education, aided and abetted by the state legislature and former Commissioner John King’s inept handling of Common Core, charter schools and the public education system have all led to such a toxic atmosphere in education that few candidates want to even get near public school teaching…..

We must make public school teaching attractive again, and here is a short list of what should be done:

1. Eliminate the EdTPA. This system, promoted as increasing standards for teachers, is in reality so onerous and poorly thought out that it is discouraging qualified applicants to the profession. It costs both teacher candidates and the state millions, and has resulted in teacher candidates being less prepared for teaching rather than more so.

2. Eliminate…

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A testing culture is a toxic one

A testing culture is a toxic one
by SPJ
Education that values metrics over meaning is toxic. I’m being cute with “metrics over meaning.” What am I getting at here? Success as a student and a teacher is reduced annually to numbers. Each school year, as new metrics are invented and policies are aligned to value numbers, the power and control of quantitative values […]

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Chris Christie Dives to New Low with Proposal to Cheat New Jersey’s Poorest Children

Chris Christie Dives to New Low with Proposal to Cheat New Jersey’s Poorest Children
by janresseger
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has just proposed an absurd school funding reform plan that has united advocates left and right. All agree that it is immoral.

janresseger

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has just proposed an absurd school funding reform plan that has united advocates left and right.  All agree that it is immoral.

Joe Hernandez of Newsworksexplains Christie’s new idea: “Gov. Chris Christie is proposing major changes to the way New Jersey doles out education funding to school districts. Departing from a decades-old policy in which the state sent more aid to low-performing urban districts, Christie is recommending a funding formula that gives every district $6,599 per student.”

Here is the response of the editorial board of the NY Times: “(A) flat amount would make it impossible for poor communities to provide a sound education for disadvantaged children who need classrooms with more resources.  The state is required by law to send more money to those communities because they simply don’t have the tax base or property values to raise additional revenues on their…

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CURMUDGUCATION: Dem Platform: Public Ed Can Get Stuffed

Dem Platform: Public Ed Can Get Stuffed

Posted: 03 Jul 2016 05:10 AM PDT

Somebody leaked a copy of the Democratic platform to Diane Ravitch, and so now we can all see that trajectory of public ed in the Democratic party plan.

It looks pretty much like this…
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2016/07/dem-platform-public-ed-can-get-stuffed.html

  

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Kick Off July with These Great Reads

ICYMI: Kick Off July with These Great Read
The CURMUDGUCATION blog
Posted by Peter Greene,  03 Jul 2016

Lots of worthwhile reading from last week. And remember– you can keep up on many worthwhile bloggers just by using the links in the lefthand column. 

Debunking the Belief that Earlier Is Better

Rae Pica, known for her work at BAM Radio, comes to Parent Toolkit with a great explanation of why earlier is not, in fact, better.

The Politics of the Paragraph

I wrote about this article last week, and if you didn’t click through and read the whol thing, here’s your chance to correct that oversight.

Why Can’t My New Employees Write

Same thing. I wrote about this piece last week and you really should read this look at writing instruction.

Teach for America Has Gone Global, and Its Board Has Strange Ideas About What Poor Kids Need

“By promising innovative classroom techniques and inspirational leadership, the Teach for All model seeks to transform tremendous material deficits into a problem of character.” A super-solid look at one more attempt to expand the TFA model, and how that fits into the privatization agenda.

A New Argument for More Diverse Classrooms

I actually have mixed feelings here. I’m not sure we need an argument for mixed classrooms any more than we need an argument for co-ed schools– school needs to look like the world, period. But if you need an argument for diversity, here’s a good one.

Advanced Stage Charter Syndrome

Nancy Flanagan has been quietly kicking ass in the edu-blogging world for years. Here is a great piece from her about the ways in which the charter biz must inevitably show an ugly side.

It’s Like Invisible Drones

Nancy Bailey shows one more way to think of the data mining in schools and its bad effects.

How Can I Make My Students Republicans?

Clever, and worth a read. That’s all I’ll say.

Amidst a Catastrophic Budget Crisis, Louisiana Legislators Vote To Fully Fund a Charter Boarding School Forever

Do you have time to read one more example of charter school shenanigans? From Crazy Crawfish, one more example of how the charter biz can turn into a nest of vipers.

http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2016/07/icymi-kick-off-july-with-these-great.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FORjvzd+%28CURMUDGUCATION%29

Three former Barclays traders found guilty in Libor rigging trial | Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/libor-barclays-verdict-idUSL8N19Q25Q

By Kirstin Ridley and Carolyn Cohn

LONDON, July 4 Reuters) – Three former Barclays traders have been found guilty by a London jury of conspiring to fraudulently manipulate global benchmark interest rates in a stark warning to junior bankers and a major victory for Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The verdicts bring to five the number of people convicted in London for being part of a global financial conspiracy that has forced banks to pay fines of $9 billion, discredited rates like Libor and helped shred public faith in the banking industry.

Calcutta-born, U.S.-based Jay Merchant, 45, the most senior of the men on trial, was convicted unanimously. British former Libor submitter Jonathan Mathew, 35, and former trader Alex Pabon, a 38-year-old American, were found guilty by a majority verdict after a 10-week trial.

A second Libor submitter, 61-year-old Peter Johnson, had pleaded guilty in October 2014. The four men are expected to be sentenced at London’s Southwark Crown Court later this week.

Reporting restrictions on the verdicts were lifted on Monday after the jury failed to reach a verdict on two other defendants, 44-year-old Greek-born Stylianos Contogoulas and American Ryan Reich, 34. The SFO now has 14 days to decide whether it will seek a fresh trial for the two .

The verdicts come four years after Barclays became the first of 11 powerful banks and brokerages to be handed a hefty fine over rate fixing allegations, sparking a political and public backlash that forced out charismatic former CEO Bob Diamond, an overhaul of Libor rules and the criminal inquiry.