Friday, February 05, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Predator Nation

by Charles H. Ferguson,
Director of film, Inside Job.
The stunning ascent of Bernie Sanders portends far more than a hard-fought Democratic primary. Its greater implication, whether Sanders wins or loses, is that America's crony capitalism will no longer go unchallenged. Thus Hillary Clinton and her husband, along with many others, are increasingly trapped by the wealth, credentials, and insider status they have pursued so fervently - because they derive from a corruption whose nature and consequences can no longer be concealed. America's financial elites are now so corrupt, arrogant, and predatory that political leaders beholden to them can't even pretend to deliver economic or political security, much less fairness or progress.
And now, finally, Americans are running out of patience. In addition to Bernie Sanders, there's Elizabeth Warren, Zephyr Teachout, and even movies - The Big Short has (deservedly) grossed $100 million. Everything suggests that American politics is now truly, fundamentally, up for grabs - a hugely exciting but also terrifying prospect. In America, the Great Depression yielded Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal; but in Europe, it created Hitler and Mussolini. America's reaction against its corruption and decline could show us at our best - or our worst.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

A New Narrative for Public Education ?

Jeff Bryant, 
An Old Story 
For decades, politicians have told the easy story that our public schools were “broken,” that they lacked “accountability,” and that the way to “fix” them was to impose mandatory outcomes – higher test scores and graduation rates – that would be evidence of better “results.” Now we know that story was flawed.
Today, we have reams and reams of test data and record-high high school graduation rates, but the rage over education policy burns hotter than it has in over 50 years, and more school districts are on the brink of total calamity every day.
Republicans want to tell a new story about schools as consumer products that will improve when “customers” have more “choice” imposed by the private sector and big business. It’s not a terribly new story. It’s also, frankly, an abdication of leadership, suggesting that these folks really have no idea how to provide for better schools so they’ll make parents fight it out for themselves, despite the obvious dearth of high quality choices already in the system.
Democrats, on the other hand, don’t’ really seem to have a story to tell about public education. But fortunately, a new narrative is emerging from sources outside the usual think tanks and policy shops.
The Emerging New Narrative 
This new narrative is familiar to parents and educators and anyone who can reflect on their own education journey: that every child has the innate ability to learn, that access to education opportunity is an inalienable right, and that it is incumbent on government to provide education opportunities as a common good, free and accessible to all.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Senate Bills Take Aim at California's Growing Teacher Shortage.

But, they do not deal with the problem of a shortage of Latino teachers created by the actions of many CSU- Campuses as described in the prior posts.
excerpt.

"But credentialed teachers from the Latino community and several Asian communities will not be available to hire because the Sac State pipeline for minority teachers  has been broken.  A new generation of mostly Anglo teachers will be hired which will continue the past failure to integrate the teaching profession in this region. Ending the pipeline will shape the nature of the local teaching profession for decades. Latino students make up 37 % of Sac City Unified students, Asians 17.4 %, African Americans 17.7 %, and White students 18.8 %. Latino families now make up over 37 % of California residents and Latino descent children now make up over 50% of public school students.


   The Bilingual Multicultural Education Department at Sac State was  set up as  a structure so that the university, CSU-Sacramento, could  serve the community by preparing and advancing hundreds of Chicano and Asian teachers each year.  Unfortunately, others shut down this vehicle. Between 1994 -2006, Latino descent students were about 35% of the total teacher preparation students each year ( 60 -90 students per semester).  After the termination of the department in 2010, Latino descent students were less than 10% of the total students in teacher preparation at Sac State (about 7 students).  This decline was a direct consequence of eliminating the department. "

See the post below this one.  Area Shortage of Latino Teachers Caused by...

Tuesday's  News Conference 
Each of the local news organizations, the Bee, KCRA, CPR, repeated the comments in the news release (below) as news. They did not consider the context of the "news" which ignores the lack of Latino teachers. Only publishing government sponsors news releases without analysis and context is commonly known as propaganda. 

Helping future teachers with the old programs...

SACRAMENTO -- Following on the heels of a Senate Education Committee hearing that highlighted the severity of a growing shortage of qualified teachers in California, three senators are proposing legislation to address the crisis.
After years of decline during the lean budget years that followed the Great Recession, the demand for teachers is again on the rise, as districts hired an estimated 20,000 new teachers for the current school year. This comes at a time when enrollment in teacher preparation programs at state universities has plunged — falling by 75 percent from 2001 to 2014.
As a result, school districts are increasingly being forced to hire individuals who are not fully prepared. The state Commission on Teacher Credentialing reports that nearly 8,000 teachers with substandard credentials or provisional permits were working in California classrooms in the 2014–15 school year — a 63 percent increase from just two years earlier.

Monday, February 01, 2016

The Latino Teacher Shortage in the Area Was Created by the Sac State College of Education

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil.
by Duane Campbell. Prof. Emeritus.  Bilingual/Multicultural Education. CSU-S. 

In 2015 after the Great Recession  a new state budgets sent large amounts of funds to k-12 schools and the funds of the Local Control and  Accountability Plan  were targeted to low income schools.  This increased funding will lead to a dramatic need for new teachers.  Sacramento City Unified plans to hire 100 new teachers, and many other local urban districts will do the same.  This faculty growth will continue for from 3-5 years.
But credentialed teachers from the Latino community and several Asian communities will not be available to hire because the Sac State pipeline for minority teachers  has been broken.  A new generation of mostly Anglo teachers will be hired which will continue the past failure to integrate the teaching profession in this region. Ending the pipeline will shape the nature of the local teaching profession for decades. Latino students make up 37 % of Sac City Unified students, Asians 17.4 %, African Americans 17.7 %, and White students 18.8 %. Latino families now make up over 37 % of California residents and Latino descent children now make up over 50% of public school students.
   The Bilingual Multicultural Education Department at Sac State was  set up as  a structure so that the university, CSU-Sacramento, could  serve the community by preparing and advancing hundreds of Chicano and Asian teachers each year.  Unfortunately, others shut down this vehicle. Between 1994 -2006, Latino descent students were about 35% of the total teacher preparation students each year ( 60 -90 students per semester).  After the termination of the department in 2010, Latino descent students were less than 10% of the total students in teacher preparation at Sac State (about 7 students).  This decline was a direct consequence of eliminating the department. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Manager that Created Flint's Water Crisis Is Now Manager of Detroit Schools.

Flint’s water contamination crisis began in April 2014 after Darnell Earley, an unelected emergency manager appointed by Snyder, switched Flint’s water source to the long-polluted and corrosive Flint River in a bid to save money. Earley is now the emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools. This week, Detroit’s teachers have staged a series of "sickouts" to protest the vast underfunding of the public schools, which have black mold, rat infestations, crumbling buildings and inadequate staffing

Feb.2, 2015.  Darnell Earley has been removed. 
See post below. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Detroit Teachers Strike Against Appalling, rat infested, Schools

President Obama visited Detroit on January 20th, 2016 to tout the city’s resurgent auto industry, which, after the federal government’s bailout, has seen a spike in job growth.
Detroit’s educators have taken advantage of the President’s visit to bring attention to the city’s “toxic” schools suffering from years of neglect. They are holding “sick outs,” a protest strategy that bypasses Michigan’s anti-strike laws by having  teachers collectively call in sick.
As the New York Times reports, the district recently had to close over 60 schools when teachers didn’t show up for work on a Monday. The teachers demand the district and state alleviate the financial problems of the school system, which appears headed toward bankruptcy. Instead of addressing the teachers’ demands, the district sought a court injunction to prevent further sick-outs. The judge refused to act, and the sick-outs spread, causing nearly every school in the 100-school district to close.
Pictures of the moldy, rat-infested, freezing cold buildings have been shared by teachers on the ground. After a recent visit to one of the schools, American Federation of Teachers’ president Randi Weingarten summarized: “dedicated and caring staff teaching kids in appalling conditions.“

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Teachers: We Need Chicano History in the California Textbooks - Act Now.


By Duane Campbell
The Mexican American Digital History Project and a broad group of allies have been working for over a year to add Chicano history to the California History/Social Science Framework, the document that determines what goes into textbooks in California. 
For  example see here. http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2015/04/teachers-we-need-your-letters-on.html  and numerous posts on this site. 
 The Quality Instructional Materials Commission of the California State Board of Education have posted their proposed revised framework and it includes most of what we proposed.  
Comments from teachers and community members are welcome. 
The IQC approved the draft History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools for its second review on November 20, 2015. The approved draft is posted on the History–Social Science Curriculum Frameworks Web page at 


Going forward, any new public comments will be submitted as part of the second review process. 
Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the draft History–Social Science Framework through February 29, 2016, via e-mail to HSSframework@cde.ca.gov. Comments may be submitted in any format, but if a commenter is seeking revisions to the draft it is recommended that the comment include the chapter, page, and line number(s), the text as it is currently written in the draft, and the exact language of the suggested change.
 
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