Thursday, January 26, 2012

Demonstrators Protest Michelle Rhee and corporate agenda

“Silent” protestors with their mouths taped shut  confronted Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and corporate education proponent Michelle Rhee as they entered a  carefully promoted and controlled  discussion about education issues at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St, in Sacramento on Wednesday, January 25.
Demonstrators held a news briefing with local media outlets.  The Sacramento Bee did not cover the demonstration.  This protests occurs as Wall Street corporations and foundations are funding not only the privatization of education.  The protestors set up a ‘gauntlet” of protestors with their mouths taped shut –something Rhee admitted to doing to her noisy students when she was a teacher. She later said some of the students were hurt when they removed the tape.
The “Town Hall” organized by Rhee and Johnson gained positive press coverage on local news channels.  They covered Rhee’s views and the advocacy group without describing her connections to right wing groups.
Why do many reporters not report on the realities of the corporate sponsorship of  one group of  “school reformers”?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Conference: Attack on Public Education

The Attack On Public Education
And Privatization
January 22 (Sunday), 2012, 10:00 AM -5:00 PM
Laney Theater, Laney Community College
900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94607

There is a national systemic organized plan for the total priva-
tization of public education through the use of multi-billion-
aire supported non-profits such as the Gates Foundation, Broad
Foundation and the KIPP Foundation to place paid lobbyists into
governmental positions on school boards and other government
At the same time, the privatization of the University of California
and the CSU system through corporate regents and trustees who
are profiting from these public institutions is a growing scandal.
This conference will look at how the destruction of public edu-
cation is taking   place in California, who is doing it and how to
stop it and defend the right to a public education for all working

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Death and Life of the American School System

The Death and Life of the Great American School System
             Educational historian Diane Ravitch will make a presentation in Sacramento on Jan. 20, 2012 sponsored by local CTA affiliates- that is good.  The public needs this conversation and teachers need this support.  The Bee story on Jan 12 unfortunately uses a misleading headline- Testing Critic to address teachers. The issue is testing and more.  And, the public needs to consider what is happening to their schools- not only teachers.
            The Bee  article by Melody Gutierrez is reasonable, while the general reporting on education in national newspapers, magazines and television leaves much to be desired.   Ravitch’s book and her presentations will offer a small but important counter story.
Why do many reporters not report on the realities of school change?
  They too often  rely upon the wisdom of selected “spokespersons” and other elites. 
They have been sold a framework of  a corporate view of accountability. Corporate sponsored networks and think tanks such as the the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the Broad Foundation,  the Bradley Foundation, the Pacific Research Institute,  and the Olin Foundation provide “experts” prepared to give an opinion on short notice to meet a reporters deadline.  Most reporters assume that these notables are telling the truth when in fact they are promoting a particular propaganda such as in the film “Waiting for Superman”.  Who do they not talk with?  They fail to interview experienced teachers and professionals who have worked for decades to improve the quality of inner city schools.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Corporations Sell Out Schools

Selling Schools Out

By Lee Fang
Posted on November 17, 2011, Printed on January 9, 2012
If the national movement to "reform" public education through vouchers, charters and privatization has a laboratory, it is Florida. It was one of the first states to undertake a program of "virtual schools" — charters operated online, with teachers instructing students over the Internet — as well as one of the first to use vouchers to channel taxpayer money to charter schools run by for-profits.
But as recently as last year, the radical change envisioned by school reformers still seemed far off, even there. With some of the movement's cherished ideas on the table, Florida Republicans, once known for championing extreme education laws, seemed to recoil from the fight. SB 2262, a bill to allow the creation of private virtual charters, vastly expanding the Florida Virtual School program, languished and died in committee. Charlie Crist, then the Republican governor, vetoed a bill to eliminate teacher tenure. The move, seen as a political offering to the teachers unions, disheartened privatization reform advocates. At one point, the GOP's budget proposal even suggested a cut for state aid going to virtual school programs
Lamenting this series of defeats, Patricia Levesque, a top adviser to former Governor Jeb Bush, spoke to fellow reformers at a retreat in October 2010. Levesque noted that reform efforts had failed because the opposition had time to organize. Next year, Levesque advised, reformers should "spread" the unions thin "by playing offense" with decoy legislation. Levesque said she planned to sponsor a series of statewide reforms, like allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, "even if it doesn't pass…to keep them busy on that front." She also advised paycheck protection, a unionbusting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly "under the radar."

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Privatization & The War Against California Teachers-Fired CTC Attorney ...

See this and other posts about how California teachers are "evaluated."