They Cared!

Over a year ago I posted “Does District 103 Mater?” In it I rhetorically asked if the good people in Lyons Elementary School District 103 cared that the mayor of Lyons had taken over the school district. Well they did care, because two days ago three of Mayor Getty’s hand-picked school board members were voted out – they now have a minority of seats!

I can’t tell you how the news of this election buoyed my spirits. After watching the worst kind of self-serving and anti-individual-rights politics for the past few months, it is refreshing to find out that people still care enough about their schools to vote for those who care about children.

Democracy still works in America for those who stand up for what is right.

educationunderattack | April 6, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Tags: public education, public schools, Mayor Chris Getty, Lyons Elementary School District 103, Democracy | Categories: Education Under Attack, Pubic Education | URL: http://wp.me/p5fAS3-hI

Education Under Attack

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Over a year ago I posted “Does District 103 Mater?”  In it I rhetorically asked if the good people in Lyons Elementary School District 103 cared that the mayor of Lyons had taken over the school district.  Well they did care, because two days ago three of Mayor Getty’s hand-picked school board members were voted out – they now have a minority of seats!

I can’t tell you how the news of this election buoyed my spirits.  After watching the worst kind of self-serving and anti-individual-rights politics for the past few months, it is refreshing to find out that people still care enough about their schools to vote for those who care about children.

Democracy still works in America for those who stand up for what is right.

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We’re progressives, we support our values (and our values are under siege) | Eclectablog

Eclectablog

Given the events over the past two months with the ascension of Donald Trump to the presidency, I don’t need to tell you that our progressive values are under daily assault.

With blue states like Michigan under total Republican domination, it goes without saying that we are all feeling the brunt of their anti-women, anti-worker, anti-public schools, anti-government attacks on the things we believe are bedrock values in America.

Every day, the writers of Eclectablog pull back the curtain on what’s happening with thoughtful analysis, guidance on how to frame these fights, and information you can use to be a fierce progressive warrior.

We’ve kept the Flint Water Crisis front and center on the national stage. We’ve shown how corporatists are working overtime to siphon our tax dollars into their own bank accounts.

We have elevated the situations of women, workers, educators and students, and those who want to move our country in the right direction. We can’t do that without your help.

Source: We’re progressives, we support our values (and our values are under siege) | Eclectablog

PLEASE VOTE FOR HELEN!!

PLEASE VOTE FOR HELEN!!

BATs please  support our friend Helen Gym, City Councilwoman for Philadelphia and a champion for public schools and immigrant communities. Helen needs your vote in the prestigious EMILY’S List Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star challenge. You can use this link to cast your vote http://helengym.ngpvanhost.com/form/-3277645761042053120
Helen was a powerful speaker at our first BAT rally in front of the USDOE in Washington, DC.  She is an amazing advocate for children, communities, and teachers. See Helen in action here https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B46K6M62UzVtSGNER1NZZWJEOTg/view
Elected in 2015, Helen Gym became Philadelphia’s first Asian American woman seated to City Council, winning her at-large seat after more than 20 years in grassroots organizing on behalf of Philadelphia’s public education system and immigrant communities. Helen has been a tireless advocate for immigrants, students, women and families. She is on the front lines of the resistance against Trump, and her work has already garnered national attention.
Helen is making headlines again as one of six national finalists for the EMILY’s List Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award! Voting ends Friday, April 14th at noon, so please click here to cast your vote for Helen today!
The award is named for Gabrielle Giffords, the courageous Congresswoman from Arizona, and honors a pro-choice Democratic woman in local elected office who has a promising career in public service ahead of her.
Please join BATs in helping to honor Councilwoman Helen Gym for her victories, and help bring national attention to the issue she’s fighting for.

Here is Helen speaking at our first BAT Rally in front of the USDOE – July 2014!

Thank you for supporting and voting for Helen!

Solidarity

Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director BATs

Melissa Tomlinson, Asst. Executive Director BATs

The BATs Board of Directors and Steering Committee Directors.

CURMUDGUCATION: Trump Education Sad Argle Bargle

CURMUDGUCATIONThe slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.

Trump Education Sad Argle Bargle

 

So, Donald Trump held a town hall, if your idea of a town is a place where only CEOs live. It included some Presidential word chunks on the subject of education, and happened all the way back on last Tuesday and yet somehow I missed it (almost as if I’m not actually a CEO) but Valerie Strauss was right on top of things for the Washington Post.

As one might expect, the entire conversation was a fact-free zone. It included some fact-free questioning from Catherine Engelbert, the head honcho at Deloitte, a consulting/accounting company you’re probably not important enough to know about. But to be clear, this is a consulting firm that does not actually do anything, but describes itself with language like this:

Clients count on Deloitte to help them transform uncertainty into possibility and rapid change into lasting progress. Our people know how to anticipate, collaborate, and innovate, and create opportunity from even the unforeseen obstacle.

Englebert walked straight out of Lehigh University with her BS in Accounting and into a partnership at the multinational company. So when she talks about the “disconnect between what employers need and what are our students coming into the workforce are prepared to deliver,” you know that she backs that up with all the first-hand knowledge of a multinational bean counting consultant. Englebert throws in some statistics– NYC schools graduate 70%, and only 37% are assessed as college and career ready. The first number may have some basis in reality, but the second has none. That’s okay– it fits in with the Trump narrative that public schools are a festering black pit of carnage and fail. His response–

Why are the numbers so horrific in terms of education and what happens when somebody goes through school and then they can’t read?

Well, sometimes they become famous and get tv shows and even become President. Even Englebert didn’t allege that we are graduating a bunch of illiterate folks, and she tries to add that NYC has done some great things and couldn’t we throw some more money at public-private partnerships, but Trump plays her off and notes that public education in cities is “rough,” because all cities are hell-holes of despair and non-whiteness.

Other highlights from our Commander in Chief?

Charter schools are another thing people are talking about, a lot, and some of the charter schools in New York have been amazing. They’ve done incredibly well. People can’t get in, you can’t get in. It’s been, I don’t call it an experiment any more. It’s far beyond an experiment. If you look at so many elements of education and it is so sad to see what is coming, what’s happening in the country. … The cities. It’s a very rough situation.

Yes, people are talking about charters, just like they’ve been buzzing about that Frederick Douglass fella. I will agree that charters are no longer merely experimental– we’ve established pretty clearly that under most of the operating circumstances in this country, they are failing to produce any kind of real success.

But education? Sad. Many elements are sad. I would be impressed if Trump could name a single element of education, but not holding my breath.

Also, he’s going to do something about Common Core. Or he’s already doing it. That part is unclear, although given the current laws on education, I think it’s safe to say that he is doing everything he can about Common Core, which is nothing. He seems to think that Common Core is about school districts being controlled from DC, where there are bureaucrats, he says, who may be very nice but are making lots of money and don’t give a hoot about your local community. It is unclear whether he is describing how things used to be or how they are currently operating under Trump; one more indication that he still thinks he’s a candidate and that government’s problems are not actually his responsibility. It is also unclear whether he knows that he has stacked his education department with a heaping helping of Jeb Bush-issue, Common Core lovers.

Betsy DeVos is doing a “terrific” job and has one of the “toughest jobs of any of our secretaries,” which would explain why taxpayers are paying millions of dollars for DeVos body guards. She’s also got a “tremendous track record,” a statement for which I have supplied the subject and the verb because Trump begins just dropping out nouns with superlatives stapled to them, rather than actual sentences, but anyway– doing what? As USED Secretary? Previously? I mean, we’ve all been looking over her track record pretty closely and I’m not sure where the word “tremendous” applies, though she does have tremendous amount of money, so maybe that’s it.

Oh, and in other tremendous news, Trump reports that Ivanka and some other administration officials are “totally in love” with education issues and what the hell does that even mean? What does it mean to be in love with an issue? “Oh, I just feel so warm and fuzzy when I think about income inequality, but when I look at systemic racism, I want to take it home and cuddle it all night long.” It’s almost as if he sees issues not as problems to be solved that affect the real lives of real people, but as a sort reality show challenge, a game that gives you the opportunity to show how awesome you are. “Oh, yeah– I am in love with the rope climb because I always have the fastest time.”

As an education commenting guy, I have read many, many, many extrusions of education argle bargle. Arne Duncan could spout sentence-ish gibberish like nobody’s business. But Trump, who has only a couple of main education themes to hit — schools are awful, charters are wonderful, and Common Core, whatever it is, must go, somehow– can fracture partially-formed empty sentence husks with a special kind of flair and wild carelessness, like a driver who pushes a car past the edge of a cliff because the law of gravity won’t be enforced for him.

Trump also says “I think we are going to have a great four years,” and I’m not sure what great is supposed to mean, but I am pretty sure that “we” does not include those of us working in public education.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION: Trump Education Sad Argle Bargle

Suicide in University Students – The Catalysts for Change

 

Suicide in University Students

by thecatalystsforchange

Reblogged from :

https://factsofthehumanmind.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/suicide-in-university-students/

Death is a taboo in our society. We avoid discussing this inevitable event at all costs. We are apprehensive even to say that someone has died: we use words such as “passed away”, or “gone on to the next life”.

Talking about death is extremely painful even for people who have lived a long and happy life. Therefore, the conversation about those who still had their whole lives ahead of them is even more distressing.

Read more… 838 more words

thecatalystsforchange | April 10, 2017 at 5:32 PM | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p7jKej-LR

Source: Suicide in University Students – The Catalysts for Change

Teacher Shortage as “Shock Doctrine” | BustED Pencils

Below is a letter that has been revised.  However, the message is appropriate for any supporter of public schools, professional teachers, and equity for all children. The original letter was sent to the state wide leaders of teacher education in Wisconsin.  The letter was written because of my adamant disapproval of toying with teacher licenses even… Read more »

Source: Teacher Shortage as “Shock Doctrine” | BustED Pencils

Peters and Stabenow Endorse the bombing of Syria, Amash calls it an Act of War

Peters and Stabenow Endorse the bombing of Syria, Amash calls it an Act of War
by Jeff Smith (GRIID)
Last Thursday, the US military engaged in a bombing mission against Syria, launching 59 Tomahawk missiles directed at several targets on the Middle Eastern country.

However, this was not the first time that the US has bombed Syria in recent years. Since 2014, the US has been bombing Syria regularly (roughly 8,000 airstrikes), but unlike this past weekend, there was not an outbreak of protests across the nation, like the ones targeting the Trump administration. READ THE FULL BLOG POST – https://griid.org/2017/04/10/peters-and-stabenow-endorse-the-bombing-of-syria-amash-calls-it-an-act-of-war/#like-25476

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last Thursday, the US military engaged in a bombing mission against Syria, launching 59 Tomahawk missiles directed at several targets on the Middle Eastern country.

However, this was not the first time that the US has bombed Syria in recent years. Since 2014, the US has been bombing Syria regularly (roughly 8,000 airstrikes), but unlike this past weekend, there was not an outbreak of protests across the nation, like the ones targeting the Trump administration. 

Endorsing the US Missile Strike against Syria

Since the Thursday evening US military attack against Syria, politicians have been responding to the Trump administration’s actions. Michigan Senator Gary Peters made the following statement on Friday in support of the missile strike: 

“Bashar Al-Assad’s ruthless use of chemical weapons to kill innocent men, women, and children is abhorrent and cannot be tolerated. Our ultimate goals in resolving the crisis in Syria should be restoring stability…

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Fred LeBrun: Charters Schools Are “a Costly Distraction”

Fred LeBrun: Charters Schools Are “a Costly Distraction”
by dianeravitch
Fred LeBrun writes a column for the Albany Times-Union on politics. He is one of the most insightful journalists in the nation on the subject of education.

The New York state budget was late this year because of disagreement over a tax break for real estate developers, whether to raise the minimum age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, and how much money to throw to charter schools. The State Senate will vote on the budget deal tonight. The Republicans and Governor Cuomo are in love with the charter school lobby, despite the fact that charters in the state capitol of Albany–where the Legislature meets–have been a terrible disappointment. They can see the evidence before their eyes that charters open with grandiose promises and close without a whimper. That doesn’t matter.

LeBrun writes:

Diane Ravitch's blog

Fred LeBrun writes a column for the Albany Times-Union on politics. He is one of the most insightful journalists in the nation on the subject of education.

The New York state budget was late this year because of disagreement over a tax break for real estate developers, whether to raise the minimum age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, and how much money to throw to charter schools. The State Senate will vote on the budget deal tonight. The Republicans and Governor Cuomo are in love with the charter school lobby, despite the fact that charters in the state capitol of Albany–where the Legislature meets–have been a terrible disappointment. They can see the evidence before their eyes that charters open with grandiose promises and close without a whimper. That doesn’t matter.

LeBrun writes:

In the tentative budget deal announced Friday night, all three made it through. No great surprise…

View original post 718 more words