5 challenges to accessing education for Syrian refugee children – Utne Altwire

Lessons learned from the Refugee Education Workshop at Stanford University.
More than half of the 4.8 million refugees who have poured out of Syria are children.
The world sees their faces as they cling to parents, bob in overburdened boats, cry in the arms of volunteers on beachheads.
The public rarely sees them in school. Syrian refugee children are going to school, of course.
In fact, Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken points out that today there are more Syrian children in Lebanese public schools than there are Lebanese.
But as Blinken said at a January 2016 Refugee …

Source: 5 challenges to accessing education for Syrian refugee children – Utne Altwire

Obamacare’s Faltering for One Simple Reason: Profit

Either Obamacare will include a universally-available, non-profit public option, or it will eventually expire. There is no third way.

There have been dozens if not hundreds of news articles about Aetna leaving the Affordable Health Care Act’s online marketplaces in eleven states, and whether this signals serious problems for Obamacare down the road.

But none of them have truly explained that what’s happening with Aetna is the consequence of a flaw built into Obamacare from the start: It permits insurance companies to make a profit on the basic healthcare package Americans are now legally required to purchase.

This makes Obamacare fundamentally different from essentially all systems of universal healthcare on earth. (There is one tiny exception, the Netherlands, but of the four insurance companies that cover 90 percent of Dutch citizens, just one is for profit.)

Why does this matter? The answer is…

Read more here: Obamacare’s Faltering for One Simple Reason: Profit

From the CURMUDGUCATION blog: Guest Post: “Is Integration Too Much Bother?”

guest post from Rita Rathbone, a teacher and blogger in NC. She writes regularly at Patiently Impatient.


The debate over charter schools has slowly spread into wider and wider circles of public discourse. In response to data supported concerns that charter schools are contributing to the resegregation of our schools, theNAACP and Black Lives Matter have expressed concerns. Some charter school advocates have taking an interesting stance in response. They propose that perhaps desegregating our schools is just too hard, too expensive, and too time consuming and simply shouldn’t be a goal or focus of education policy. A good example of this is a recent piece by Peter Cunningham. He leaves the reader with this question:

“So here’s the question: Should America spend hundreds of billions more to reduce poverty and should we risk more bitter battles to reduce segregation, or should we just double down on our efforts to improve schools? The liberal in me says we should do both. The pragmatist in me wonders…

Read the full blog post here: CURMUDGUCATION: Guest Post: Is Integration Too Much Bother?

Should struggling Michigan schools close? – CSMonitor.com

Should struggling Michigan schools close?

As Michigan policymakers examine the future of their state’s education, they may consider closing failing schools. Is it better for students to keep struggling schools afloat?

It would be a mistake for state officials to start closing underperforming Michigan schools for academic reasons because it would devastate communities while not improving student achievement, concerned educators said Wednesday.

Read more here: Should struggling Michigan schools close? – CSMonitor.com

WXYZ TV Editorial: Supporting students and teachers will move Michigan education forward! – from WXYZ.com

WXYZ Editorial: Supporting students and teachers will moveMichigan education forward!

The last week of summer vacation is approaching. It’s time to prepare Michigan kids to go back to school. For parents and guardians, it’s one of their …

Source: WXYZ Editorial: Supporting students and teachers will move Michigan education forward! – WXYZ.com

RNC pulls worst fundraising numbers in recent years | from OpenSecrets Blog

Even as talk in political circles has focused on the Trump campaign’s apparent reliance on the Republican National Committee for much of its basic voter mobilization effort in November, reports filed with the FEC over the weekend show the RNC having arguably the worst fundraising July in at least four presidential cycles.
The RNC reported receiving $27.2 million last month … read more

Source: RNC pulls worst fundraising numbers in recent years | OpenSecrets Blog

Spotlight on private prisons | OpenSecrets Blog

Federal private prisons are coming to an end, but federal lobbying by private prison companies has a deep record.
When the Department of Justice announced last week that it would phase out the use of private prisons, the news came as a blow to but one piece of a far larger industry  — one where federal private institutions are far outnumbered by state prisons and immigration detention centers …read more

Source: Spotlight on private prisons | OpenSecrets Blog

Outside groups dominating Senate contests this cycle, report finds | from OpenSecrets Blog

Outside groups have aired almost half of all political ads for Senate races this election cycle, an all-time high at 49 percent. Entities not associated with campaigns – such as PACs, super PACs and political nonprofits – are especially dominating the competitive contests, sponsoring more than 80 percent of ads in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire … read more

Source: Outside groups dominating Senate contests this cycle, report finds | OpenSecrets Blog

Study reveals outside groups, secret money far more prominent than ever before | from OpenSecrets Blog

In the long debate over the changing nature of election advertising, one thing is now clearer than ever: Outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited money – sometimes without disclosing the sources of their funds – make up a larger portion of election spending than at any point in the last 16 years, by far.

A new study co-authored by the Wesleyan Media Project and the Center for Responsive Politics provides the first ever analysis of ad-buy data from 2000 to the present cycle, tracking more than 700 ad sponsoring organizations, all of which have been standardized and coded according to their type and level of disclosure.

The term “outside group” …. Click here to read the full article

Source: STUDY: Outside groups, secret money far more prominent than ever before | OpenSecrets Blog

The Media Revolution: Seizing the Means of Story-Production!

The Media Revolution: Seizing the Means of Story-Production!
by John Laurits
Greetings, my sisters, brothers & others — These past days, I’ve reflected on the accomplishments of peoples’ movements in recent years and, while the establishment often gets its way, I couldn’t help but notice that we’ve succeeded in bringing some key issues & concepts into the public conversation that used to be taboo. For example, since the Occupy protests in 2011, […]

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