Five Decades of ‘MarketWorld’ Education Reform


By T. Ultican 7/27/2019

There has been a fifty-year push to reform education using business management principles. In the period, Harvard Business School has trumped Columbia Teacher College concerning pedagogy. Unfortunately, the results are an unmitigated disaster for most communities and students. This market based endeavor – financed by billionaires – has transformed public schools into non-democratic profit centers. It is the precursor to the ultimate goal of dismantling universal free public education.

The radical right is pushing to privatize everything from policing; to prisons; to schools. They have spread the gospel that governments are incapable of solving problems and only businessmen can solve problems. In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan declared “…, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Viewing society as consisting of “makers” and “takers,” these apostles of privatization fear the tyranny of democratic majorities. They strive to make property…

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The One Sin White Evangelicals Couldn’t Forgive Barack Obama For

By John Pavlovitz

Over eighty percent of white evangelicals (many of them women) voted for Donald Trump in 2016, less than two weeks after video surfaced of him speaking with historic vulgarity about women. It would begin a pattern that would be repeated countless times in subsequent months, right up to this present second: professed Christians suddenly becoming […]

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Catch-22 at heart of state’s education system

Poor districts falling further behind

  • July 28, 2019

BENTON HARBOR — State officials “helping” failing school districts are only treating the symptoms and not dealing with the real problem, said Tom Watkins, who was state superintendent from 2001 to 2005.

“It’s kind of like standing downriver and pulling drowning victims out,” he said. “Maybe it’s about time we went upstream and asked, ‘Who’s throwing everybody in the river?’”

He said everyone needs to work together to fix the state’s education system, which has been broken for decades.

“We know that there are these big issues of poverty,” he said. “… Educating children will benefit all of us, and yet we kind of look the other way.”

He said pretending there isn’t a major problem with the state’s education system is like pretending that Michigan’s roads aren’t riddled with potholes.

“If you take a look at the roads, people can feel the bumps and get the pain of the potholes,” he said. “… The schools are viewed as – out of sight, out of mind. They’re only viewed as a problem if your kid is in it.”  – READ – SHARE – DISCUSS – LEARN MORE HERE ––at-heart-of-state-s-education-system/article_e479b4cf-4145-5ff4-95e7-6f759d57d2e2.html


Vigil to Abolish ICE in Kent County

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last night, roughly 80 people came out to participate in a vigil to abolish ICE in Kent County. The action was organized by GR Rapid Response to ICE and was meant to do several things.

First, we wanted to show people one of the locations where ICE operates out of. We chose this location because it is their operational facility, where agents are deployed from to go into our community and rip people from their families.

Second, we wanted to share information about some of the families that ICE has directly impacted through fear and violence, by reading examples and then placing flowers by the ICE building for each person affected.

From our narrative:

We are here at 517 Ottawa Ave NW, one of three ICE offices in Grand Rapids. When our immigrant neighbors are taken by ICE–from their homes, from their cars, on their way to work or to…

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Thousands of Students Could Lose Free School Meals if SNAP Changes


A Trump administration plan to tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could have a secondary effect: hundreds of thousands of children losing automatic eligibility for free school lunches, child hunger groups warn.

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Michigan Catholic Church wants to undermine women’s reproductive rights

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Those who are pushing for legislation that will further erode reproductive rights are gearing up for a big petition drive.

The Catholic Church in Michigan will be providing opportunities for parishioners to sign petitions in support of what they refer to as “partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion ban act.” This legislation is HB 4320, which you can read at this link

The Michigan Catholic Church will provide their members with an opportunity to sign the petition this coming weekend, July 27 – 28, and again on August 10 – 11. Here is a letter sent by the Catholic Bishop from the Diocese of Grand Rapids, a letter that appeared in church bulletins recently, throughout the diocese. 

In addition to the letter from the Bishop, there was information about the petition and what the Michigan Catholic Conference’s (MCC) position is on this issue – shown here below.


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Eulogy for a White Supremacist in Michigan: MLive downplays the role that John Tanton played in nurturing the current anti-Immigrant and White Supremacist climate in the US

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

On Thursday, July 18, MLive ran an article about the death of John Tanton. The MLive article acknowledges that Tanton was the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and was referred to in the article as an anti-immigration activist. 

The article also mentions that Tanton, “also held leadership positions as president of Zero Population Growth, chairman of the Sierra Club’s National Population Committee, founder of Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood Association and has been active in Negative Population Growth, Inc.”

However, the short article focuses on Tanton’s views about immigration and even provides a link to an essay he wrote in 1975. The article cites the current president of FAIR and an immigration lawyer, to fulfill the “balanced coverage” aspect of the article. However, the MLive story barely scratches the surface in terms of where Tanton stood on immigration policy nor the deeply white supremacist views he…

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Laura Chapman on the Center for American Progress Plan to Return to the Bush-Obama Agenda

Diane Ravitch's blog

Laura Chapman has been doing research on the Center for American Progress, which the media views as the voice of the Democratic Party. This may be the most depressing thing you read today. It calls for a return to the principles of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Both failed. CAP wants to resuscitate the worst features of both. Maybe CAP can persuade Arne Duncan to return as Secretary of Education. Then the disaster would be complete.

And here we go with the new progressive agenda for schools.

Almost every week Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress (CAP) appears on television to opine about the presidential elections. Tanden is a former aide to Hillary Clinton. CAP is supposed to function as a think tank for Progressives, especially Democrats. On July 2, 2019, CAP published: A Quality Education for Every Child: A New Agenda for…

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Force and Flunk, Tougher Kindergarten Lead to Parental Dissatisfaction with Public Schools

Force and Flunk, Tougher Kindergarten Lead to Parental Dissatisfaction with Public Schools

by Nancy Bailey

When children aren’t reading according to the corporate time frame set by Jeb Bush and his ilk (non-educators who want to privatize public education), parents become dissatisfied, even angry with public school officials and teachers when their children fail. The goal of many corporations is to end public education. They want privatization. To do this, […]

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via Force and Flunk, Tougher Kindergarten Lead to Parental Dissatisfaction with Public Schools

Reforming California’s Dysfunctional Charter School Law


By T. Ultican 7/17/2019

Members of the California legislature have engaged in an internecine battle over charter schools. Even the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) has expressed concern over lawless cyber charters and filed the first known complaint with the California Department of Education over A3 Education and Valiant Prep which were recently charged with stealing a stunning $50 million. California State Sen. John Moorlach (R) is warning that 85% of school districts in California are running deficits. Governor Gavin Newsom has statedrising charter school enrollments in some urban districts are having real impacts on those districts’ ability to provide essential support and services for their students.”

The drive to privatize schools in Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles has been fueled by enormous sums of money spent on elections. Billionaires led by Eli Broad and Richard Riordan have successfully installed a former investment banker – a…

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