Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Senate Bill Fails To Address Root Causes of Central America refugees...

antiracismdsa: New Senate Bill Fails To Address Root Causes of Ce...: The Republican bill in the House is far worse.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Democratic Party's Divide on Education - Teachers Unions

Democratic Party’s Divide on Education Policy gets Worse
Jeff Bryant
Political pundits who try to tamp down talk of divisions within the Democratic Party must not be paying any attention to education policy.
For quite some time, close observers of the nation’s education policy have been calling attention to the fault lines between education progressives in the Democratic Party and Third Way-style centrists, such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Democrats for Education Reform, who lean toward a market-based, econometric philosophy for public education governance.
As Furman University education professor Paul Thomas recently wrote for Alternet, “While the Obama administration has cultivated the appearance of hope and change, its education policies are essentially slightly revised or greatly intensified versions of accountability reform begun under Ronald Reagan.”
But the Democratic Party’s divergence from real progressive values for governing our schools mostly went unnoticed in major media outlets until recently when a few light bulbs went off among political observers. Writing for Slate, Matt Yglesias noticed, “Education reform, not ‘populism’ divides Democrats.” Then, Connor Williams of the New America Foundation saw the light and explained for The New Republic, “In 2016, Democrats have good reason to run against Obama’s education record.”
Now, Jonathan Chait has penned a piece for New York Magazine, “Teachers Unions Turn Against Democrats,” in which he postulates that a “backlash” to President Obama’s education policies, energized by education historian Diane Ravitch, could lead to an alliance between teachers unions and, gulp, Republicans.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

NEA Delegates call for resignation of Arne Duncan

by Motoko Rich

The long partnership between Democrats and teachers’ unions has frayed in recent years as the Obama administration has pursued policies that many teachers oppose, including performance ratings that link student test scores to evaluations and decisions about promotion or firing.

But the dissatisfaction hit a new level late last week when the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, with almost three million members, passed a resolution at its convention in Denver calling for the resignation of the secretary of education, Arne Duncan.

Why Does the Obama Administration Keep Getting It Wrong on Education Policy?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Child refugees on our border

antiracismdsa: Child refugees on our border: Dear President Obama:  July 3, 2014 We, the undersigned immigration, civil and human rights, faith, labor, anti-viole...

Over 200 groups sign letter to Obama about refugee children.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Breton repeats deeply flawed Vergara claims

Sacramento Bee opinion columnist Marco Breton published a piece on Sunday,  July 6, noting that Progress ( on race relations) has been slow since the 1994 campaign of California  Proposition 187. The first half of the article where he recounts the history of the Prop. 187 effort is reasonably  well done.  The second half, where he uses Prop. 187 as a means to blame teachers for low school performance does not have evidence to support it.  He takes up the Vergara case, a topic of several posts here.  Breton cites the opinion of Judge Rolf M True. 
 Here is a response to Breton’s assertions by Jeff Bryant.
The campaign against public school teachers and their unions has evolved from casting insults to inflicting real injury. The recent ruling by a California judge in the Vergara v. California case made it a legal precedent to equate teachers’ employment security to an affront to students’ rights to a quality education.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Let Teachers Teach, Stop Toxic Testing

by Félix Pérez
By one estimate, nearly one-third of school time is now spent preparing students to take standardized tests, administering the tests and reviewing the test results. Educators increasingly are saying, “Enough is enough!”
Join the national campaign to put the focus of public education back on student learning. 
The national rising tide against over testing is about to enter a new phase if 9,000 educators gathering the next four days in Denver approve the “National Education Association Campaign Against Toxic Testing.”
An open letter  from NEA and the “educators of America” states, “It is time to end this toxic testing and implement real accountability in our public education system. As educators who have dedicated our careers and lives to our students and their success, we will not stand silent while commercial standardized testing is used to reduce our public education system to wreckage.”

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

When Teachers are left out of Common Core

by Jeff Bryant
This act is wearing thin.
As implementations of Common Core State Standards falter around the country, supporters of the new academic benchmarks continue a sort of dog and pony show to reinforce the message to “stay the course.”
The latest such example came from the Center for American Progress who staged a panel recently on “A Roadmap for a Successful Transition to the Common Core in States and Districts.” Typical of these sorts of affairs, the panel consisted of two Beltway think tank execs and two former pols now firmly ensconced in the private sector. There wasn’t an actual practicing educator in sight.
The report bears out the superficial substance of the PR event, a view from 30,000 feet up with seemingly no input from practicing teachers and principals on the ground.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Do Teachers' Unions Have Any Friends in the Obama Administration?

by Diane Ravitch
We are living in an era when the very idea of public education is under attack, as are teachers' unions and the teaching profession. Let's be clear: these attacks and the power amassed behind them are unprecedented in American history. Sure, there have always been critics of public schools, of teachers, and of unions. But never before has there been a serious and sustained effort to defund public education, to turn public money over to unaccountable private hands, and to weaken and eliminate collective bargaining wherever it still exists. And this effort is not only well-coordinated but funded by billionaires who have grown wealthy in a free market and can't see any need for regulation or unions or public schools.
In the past, Democratic administrations and Democratic members of Congress could be counted on to support public education and to fight privatization. In the past, Democrats supported unions, which they saw as a dependable and significant part of their base.
This is no longer the case. Congress is about to pass legislation to expand funding of charter schools, despite the fact that they get no better results than public schools and despite the scandalous misuse of public funds by charter operators in many states.
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