Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Teachers' Union President arrested in Mexico


Powerful Leader of Mexican Teachers’ Union Is Arrested

The leader of Mexico’s powerful teachers’ union, the largest labor syndicate in Latin America, has been arrested on accusations that she embezzled millions of dollars in union funds for personal expenses, including California residences, cosmetic surgery and artwork, the country’s attorney general announced Tuesday night.
The arrest of the union boss, Elba Esther Gordillo, a bombastic figure viewed as a kingmaker among politicians for her ability to deliver votes and suppress enemies, stunned a nation accustomed to seeing powerful figures escape scrutiny despite whispers of their spending habits.
“She was this mixture of political patron, incredibly powerful union boss and very, very wildly ‘entrepreneurial,’ ” said Gabriel Guerra, a political analyst in Mexico City.
Ms. Gordillo was arrested a day after President Enrique PeƱa Nieto signed into law sweeping changes in education law, designed to break the union’s grip on hiring and the administration of schools, and a day before the union planned to meet on a strategy to fight the changes. The timing of the arrest is sure to raise questions; Mexican presidents have been known to use the power of federal prosecutors to go after rivals, only for the cases to fall apart eventually.

Sequester + austerity = stupid budget cuts


Take Action: The Senate will vote Thursday on legislation to prevent harmful cuts.  Please tell your Senators to vote for the American Family Economic Protection Act, S. 388 and for more information on how your state would be affected by the cuts, see our state fact sheets.
 In economics austerity is the  policy of reducing government spending by cutting social services such as health care, education, food assistance, and other welfare assistance.   At the federal level, Republicans and some Democrats  seek austerity by cutting social Security and Medicare. Republicans also are insisting on massive budget cuts known as the sequester.  By any name, these cuts are bad.  In the case of state governments  public tax money is used for police, fire fighters, park services, nurses, doctors, social workers and health assistants.  State  and local austerity efforts cut these services.
In the current economic crisis, the governments of Ireland, Greece, Italy, the UK, Spain and Portugal have implemented austerity programs and cut their budgets  creating  more unemployment and making  the recessions in these countries worse.

This is not acceptable !


When Will They Ever Learn?

 PBS: MAKERS: Women Who Make America tells the story of how women have helped shape America over the last 50 years through one of the most sweeping social revolutions in our country’s history, in pursuit of their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity and personal autonomy. Aired  on PBS Feb. 26 .

It certainly was an excellent documentary- but, the writers and producers left out Latinas.   There were two brief cameos with Dolores Huerta and an Albuquerque construction company owner Alvarado. : Makers: Women Who Make America
Episode:
Here are notes to tell the rest of the story.
As a further illustration of  the Anglo centric view of the documentary, they even left out  Congresswoman Patsy Mink who wrote the legislation for the landmark Title IX legislation.  See http://www.patsyminkfoundation.org

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Billionaires try to buy LA school board election


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg is among the plutocrats pouring money into LA's school board elections.
A group of billionaires and astroturf groups is trying to buy a Los Angeles school board election to expand the corporate education policy agenda in that city. One big goal is to defeat one-term incumbent and former teacher Steve Zimmer. The "Coalition for School Reform" has gotten $1 million from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But the group wasn't exactly broke before Bloomberg's contribution, according to the LA Times:
Education and arts philanthropist Eli Broad leads the way with a contribution of $250,000 to the coalition, which includes L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Also in for $250,000 is billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio, who headed the Univision network for years.
Lynda Resnick, the entrepreneur behind POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and other ventures, has donated $100,000 to the coalition. Investor Marc Nathanson and his wife, Jane, have together given $100,000.
Bloomberg's former schools chancellor, Joel Klein, who now runs NewsCorp's education division, 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

David Bacon.  Journalist, photo journalist, labor journalist, immigrant rights activist. Speaking Feb. 20, 2013.  2013.  Hinde auditorium.  Sacramento State. 1:30 PM.
Sponsored by the Serna Center. See post below. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

False Promises- MOOCS. There is no democracy here


 This is an  initial analysis of some of the issues in Massive-on line education  MOOC as advocated by Jerry Brown in place of adequately funding higher education.
Geoff Shullenberger
"In the MOOC philosophy, education is understood fundamentally as a transfer of information, in line with the computational understanding of cognition in which the mind is a processing device being fed input and generating output. This is a twenty-first-century version of what Paulo Freire called the “banking method of education,” a model that Deweyan humanists and practitioners of critical pedagogy have long repudiated as reactionary and disempowering.
Open Online Courses (MOOCs) they offer. The New York Times education section dubbed 2012 “The Year of the MOOC,” and the paper’s celebrity columnists Thomas Friedman and David Brooks have been hailing MOOCs as a “revolution” and a “tsunami.” Time announced in a cover article on MOOCs that “College is Dead. Long Live College!” and USA Today assured us somewhat less hyperbolically that “college may never be the same.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

California School Budgets


Under the budget proposed by Governor Brown,
public school spending  K-12 in
California  will increase by $1,000 per student.
This is an increase of some  $ 9.2 billion due to  Proposition 30  and Prop. 98 mandates.
It will remain more than $850 million below the 2007- 08 levels, after adjustment for inflation
Source. California Budget Project.  www.CBP.org

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mexican American Digital History Project



The Mexican American Digital History Project.  Dr. Duane Campbell.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
At orchard suite,  Student Union
Sponsored by the Serna Center.
Reception follows at the Multi-cultural Center (Library 1010)
3:00—4:00 p.m.
California State University
Sacramento,6000 J Street,
Sacramento, CA 95819 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

How Walmart money and others directs Sacramento school "reform" efforts


 See the excellent analysis by Seth Sandronsky
Last December 3, the California Fair Political Practices Commission recommended fining Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a Democrat, $37,500 for improperly reporting donations to his multiple nonprofit groups. The political watchdog agency agreed to this penalty at a Dec. 13 meeting. The donations included a total of $500,000 between Jan. 19, 2012, and June 5, 2012, from the Walton Family Foundation to Stand Up for Sacramento Schools, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit school reform group that Johnson founded in 2009 with a commitment of $500,000 from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
The money trail, however, goes beyond Mayor Johnson’s untimely reporting of donations to his nonprofits. His local education reform efforts illustrate a broader national trend: corporate funding of education reform via nonprofits to alter public schools. In an era of a growing income gap between corporate America and the general public—the one percent and 99 percent, in the words of the Occupy Wall Street movement—the power of corporate-funded philanthropy to shape public policy has become part of the social landscape. In the case of school reform, breaking public-sector unions is high on this elite agenda. Consider the Walton Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nonunion behemoth based in Bentonville, Ark. This family had a net worth of $115.5 billion in 2012, according to the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America. Its foundation “invested” close to $160 million in K-12 education reform across the U.S. in 2011: http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/about/2011-grant-report.
Read the detailed and valuable report.
http://sacramentopress.com/headline/78980/Opinion_Private_money_and_public_schools_Part_I


Fair Use
FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE CONTAINS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. WE ARE MAKING SUCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE IN OUR EFFORTS TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF ENVIRONMENTAL, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, ECONOMIC, DEMOCRACY, SCIENTIFIC, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, ETC. WE BELIEVE THIS CONSTITUTES A 'FAIR USE' OF ANY SUCH COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THE MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/USCODE/17/107.SHTML. IF YOU WISH TO USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FROM THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES OF YOUR OWN THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE,' YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.

If any publisher or owner of a copyrighted product believes we have violated your copyright, please contact us and we will usually remove the article, except under the guidelines of fair use above.  We will then post material about the contested issue  from alternative sources.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

National Day of Action to Support Seattle Teachers' Test Boycott


“We demand quality assessment!”

Wear Red on Wed for Ed!  Scrap the MAP!

*Join the event on Facebook!*
Click here for a list of events
ScraptheMAPpicketsign
Supporters will hold meetings, press conferences, rallies, take photos, and wear red to show support
For more info, visit:
http://scrapthemap.wordpress.com/
What: Educators, Students, Parents and supporters of Public Education nation-wide will take action in support of Garfield High School teachers and all teachers in Seattle Public Schools refusing to administer the MAP test.
Teachers at Garfield High School and other Seattle Public Schools have gained national attention and support for their stand against the Measure of Academic Progress, for its invalidity, waste of time and resources and its scandalous arrival to Seattle.  We call on supporters of public education nationwide to participate in actions in their locale to show their support for our effort to Scrap the MAP.  Supporters will hold meetings, rallies, take photos, and wear red to show support on February 6th. 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

School "reformers" have it wrong


The school reform dialogue is frequently centered upon the executive role of Principals. Advocates such as Michelle Rhee assert that Principals and other leaders should be able to select teachers, dismiss teachers, and design instruction through their control of teachers. The Broad Foundation has particularly advanced this viewpoint through their training of business executives as district superintendents.  These self described reformers have it wrong.  Their view is fundamentally in error. That may be one of the big reasons it is not working. 

The argument for this extraordinary role for principle leadership comes from two sources, ideological assertions that hide a particular view of learning and a model of the role of  principals based upon models of directions and management  from private industry.  This model is inappropriate for public schools and professional teachers.  The reformers have not learned the basic  role and functions of democracy in public education.

In  private industry and commerce a leader is in charge  because the goal of the
Institution is to make profit.   The leader is empowered to make decisions to maximize profit. this is a part of the complete domination of work life in the private sector by authoritarian structures.  Private industry usually  is not a democratic environment.  Workers do not have the right  to decide how to do their work.  They are to follow orders or leave.

Friday, February 01, 2013

School budgets improve, remain lower than 2007.


Important report on the state budget. State spending per K-12 student will rise in the current (2012-13) fiscal year and in 2013-14 due to voter approval of two revenue measures – Proposition 30 and Proposition 39 – last November, according to the Governor’s proposed 2013-14 budget. Yet even with this increase, per student state support for public schools will remain much lower than the 2007-08 level, after adjusting for inflation.
The full report is at
 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.