Thursday, January 30, 2020

Latino Voter Outreach in Iowa

antiracismdsa: Latino Voter Outreach in Iowa: Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization to Discuss Successful Voter Outreach Campaign; 70% of Adult Lati...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Diane Ravitch on Disruption’s Educational Carnage

No Child Left Behind was a disaster and school choice has failed. A new book points the way forward from the wreckage.
 January 29, 2020

Photo: Jack Miller

It’s been 10 years since education historian and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch became the school choice movement’s most vocal apostate by detailing its fallacies in her book The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
Her tale of how a onetime charter school true believer from within the corporate-reform think-tank establishment could no longer ignore the contrary evidence of her own eyes came as a wake-up call. It gave authoritative voice to the anger and frustration of the over 3 million public school classroom teachers whose hands had been tied by the country’s destructive disinvestment in its children. And it contained Ravitch’s own vow to devote the rest of her life to trying to make up for her error.
That mea culpa thrust the New York University research professor into the center of the national public education debate and elevated her to a role as a revered leader of the groundswell of political resistance that followed. With 2013’s Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, she further documented the failure of charters and the carnage wreaked by high-stakes testing, while inventorying evidence-supported and cost-effective reforms that had been sidetracked by the school-privatization movement.
Now, Ravitch completes the arc with Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools, which was published last week.
The completed trilogy bears all the Ravitch signatures: her mastery of the rapier epithet and incisive metaphor; her lucid and authoritative marshaling of the evidence; and, most of all, the page-turning, first-person power of her own dramatic conversion that formed the heart of Death and Life.
Slaying Goliath charges that, after 20 years of having wholly hijacked education reform with destructive high-stakes testing and standardized test scores, and by demonizing teachers, the school choice movement — whose members Ravitch pejoratively redubs “the Disrupters” — has not only failed at reform, it has awakened a sleeping giant. Ravitch identifies and deconstructs the aims and the rhetoric of the Disrupters, along with their manifold scandal-tainted failures. But Slaying Goliath is primarily the story of the anti-privatization resistance and its culmination in the 2018-19 Red for Ed teachers’ strikes, and in this year’s 12-person field of 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates, of whom only one (neoliberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg) is running as a charter school booster.
Capital & Main spoke to Ravitch by phone as she prepared for a cross-country book promotion tour that will bring her to California with a stop in Menlo Park on February 6 and in Los Angeles February 9.

Capital & Main: Why Slaying Goliath, why now?
Diane Ravitch: I started writing the book in February of 2018, inspired by the West Virginia teachers’ strike. West Virginia changed the national narrative, which was a huge accomplishment, because we’ve had at least 20 years of teacher-bashing, and public school bashing and appeals funded by billionaires for privatization, making outlandish promises about how if the schools were in private hands, they would accomplish X, Y and Z. And it took time to figure out that they hadn’t fulfilled any of their promises.
No Child Left Behind has required that we would have 100 percent [grade level] proficiency [in reading and math], and nobody made that goal. The things funded by Bill Gates and Eli Broad and all the other [billionaire charter promoters] had made outlandish claims about closing the achievement gap. And as I point out in the book, it’s literally impossible to close the achievement gap because if you’re using the standardized test as your measure, the gap is structured into it. So that’s really the focus, which is to say this behemoth, this Goliath, has not succeeded. And I boldly predict that the resistance will ultimately prevail because the billionaires have nothing to offer but disruption, and disruption is very bad for children.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Not Me; Us - the Sanders Campaign

 Not Me; Us - the Sanders Campaign: Naomi Klein, IT MADE FOR  a tough juxtaposition. Late Monday night, CBS News  reported  that Bernie Sanders had just done exactly wha...

Friday, January 24, 2020

Update: Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

CONTACT: Kindra Britt
PHONE: 916-319-0818
January 24, 2020

Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Update

The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) was charged with developing an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum that shall be a guide to allow school districts to adapt their courses to better reflect the pupil demographics in their communities. Last week at the IQC meeting, California Department of Education (CDE) staff presented a brief update on the status of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. CDE recommended that revisions to the draft follow the State Board of Education guidelines and follow Assembly Bill 2016, the legislation that directed the state to create a model curriculum. This will ensure that the curriculum is written to encourage cultural understanding of how different groups have struggled and worked together, as well as highlight core ethnic studies concepts such as equality, justice, race, ethnicity, and indigeneity. CDE also recommended that it be written in language that is inclusive and supportive of multiple users.
Since the last IQC meeting in November, much work and outreach has been done by CDE after receiving thousands of public comments about the draft released in summer 2019. In October, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a panel discussion that included subject matter experts as well as legislators. The panel provided different perspectives on ethnic studies implementation at the K–12 level. CDE staff have also used this time to review, analyze, and synthesize the more than 20,000 public comments to make recommendations to the IQC in spring 2020. WestEd is currently conducting focus groups for CDE that are comprised of teachers with ethnic studies experience as well as teachers who have not taught ethnic studies but may in the future. CDE is also working with districts that have implemented ethnic studies to utilize their learnings in our recommendations.
Keeping in mind that ethnic studies has traditionally been a higher education course, the model curriculum that the IQC is charged with developing will serve as a guidance document to schools that choose to implement ethnic studies in the K–12 system. Over the course of history, both in our state and nationally, specific ethnic groups have had unjust treatment even from respected institutions of authority. The curriculum taught in our schools has not done enough to highlight and preserve the contributions of people of color and has actually minimized the importance of their role. A movement to create a better model of inclusion to be taught in our K–12 system was established in the hopes of teaching a history that is more representative of what actually occurred. Ethnic studies as a whole should represent a broad range of topics, but it must devote a special emphasis to people of color, including their experiences and their important role in our state and national history. 
Therefore, our recommendations will acknowledge and honor the four foundational groups: African American, Asian American, Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x, and Native American. By providing guidance to teachers on how to make connections to student population demographics utilizing various resources, including the History and Social Science Framework, we must also honor the human experience and the intersectionality of all students that we serve.
We are proud of the efforts that have been made since our last update, and we look forward to providing our recommended revisions to the IQC in spring 2020. As of now, the legislation allows that a final draft will go to the State Board of Education for adoption in March 2021.
The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. You may also follow Superintendent Thurmond on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Not Me; Us - the Sanders Campaign

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Not Me; Us - the Sanders Campaign: Naomi Klein, IT MADE FOR  a tough juxtaposition. Late Monday night, CBS News  reported  that Bernie Sanders had just done exactly wha...

Sunday, January 19, 2020

March With Poor People's Campaign


Join Us!

Monday January 20, 2020 
7:30 AM Leaving 
Oak Park Community Center
Martin Luther King Blvd And Eighth Ave
At 8:00 AM

Bring Your Banners
Bring Your Flyers
Build Your Organization

March Against Poverty, Environmental Devastation, War
and Institutional Racism and Reawaken Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign

The March will start at the Oak Park Community Center and Join Other Marchers at the Sacramento City College at 9:15 AM
Program and Tabling at Sac City College

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

How to Win the Latino Vote- and the Election


MIAMI : I am dreading the 2020 presidential race, which I think will be the most brutal Americans have ever witnessed. Irrespective of who the Democratic nominee is, President Trump will use all the power and dirty tricks at his disposal to remain in power for another four years.
As was the case in 2016, if Democrats want to have any chance of defeating Mr. Trump they will need the strong support of Latino voters. This time, however, they will have to work extra hard to get it.
The truth is that no candidate will be able to win the White House without Latino votes. Not even Mr. Trump, who got 29 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2016. A higher Latino turnout in states like Florida and Arizona could have produced a completely different outcome that year. Mr. Trump would never have won the presidency without Florida’s 29 electoral votes and Arizona’s 11.
The number of eligible voters of Hispanic background who did not cast a ballot in 2016 was heartbreakingly high. Over half of the 27 million eligible Hispanic voters stayed home. Why? Although many of them didn’t want to vote for Mr. Trump, in part because he had made racist remarks about Mexican immigrants, they weren’t at all enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton.
This year, for the first time in history, Hispanics will be the largest minority group of potential voters in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2020, compared with 30 million African-Americans.
If Hispanics shake off their apathy and turn out in record-high numbers in crucial states, a Democrat may well defeat President Trump. But for this to happen, the Democrats must be honest with the Latino community: They must vow not to fall into the same traps they have in the past.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

War is a Racket !

The last week has been a roller coaster.
Many of us have breathed a slight sigh of relief as things deescalate a bit around Iran. But this doesn’t mean it’s over. Far from it. The need for a broad based, working-class anti-war movement, led by the communities most affected, has become yet more clear. The bipartisan drumbeat for war in Washington and in the capitalist media, the surveillance rhetoric coming from Democratic mayors, and the way Republicans labeled any debate as traitorous, were immediate and could be revived at any time. And the silent war against civilians, of sanctions, will continue and will disproportionately hurt the poor. We have seen that civilians always suffer in the war zone.
Besides the catastrophic results of even a proxy war in the Middle East for Iranians, Iraqis and others in the region, including undocumented, displaced Afghans in Iran, the domestic impact here can’t be overstated. Medicare for All would be off the table. Abolishing student debt would be off the table. Disaster response for Puerto Rico, rocked by their worst earthquakes in a century, would be off the table. A Green New Deal, our only hope for stopping the kind of climate change induced extreme weather that has led to massive fires in Australia and massive floods in Indonesia (mirroring our own fires and floods in 2019), would be off the table. A federal housing guarantee, which would directly benefit the tens of thousands of homeless veterans that the U.S. capitalist class has discarded after using their bodies for war, would be off the table.
Investment in public programs that benefit us all would be cut so that poor and working class people could be sent abroad to kill other poor and working class people.
And, those that would see us divided would continue to drive deeper wedges. Here in New York, there has been a string of violent antisemitic attacks. Many of us responded with solidarity. But the media and the politicians are using the opportunity to call for repeal of a hard-fought bail reform law which took effect January 1st. Internet trolls pit black people and Jews against each other, a project which would only be strengthened by war, along with Islamophobia and xenophobia.
Yet, as always, I have hope.
Prior to Trump’s assassination play, Iran was rocked by working class protests against the rising cost of fuel. 
India’s Hindu nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi faces widespread protests over draconian measures targeting India’s Muslim minority, the latest a mass strike of 250 million people just yesterday.
And here in the U.S., DSA and our allies in struggle are in the streets and building our power.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Public Advocates Endorses Schools & Communities First Initiative


Today, Public Advocates Inc. announces its endorsement of the Schools & Communities First ballot initiative and pledges to support the effort to place it before California’s voters on the November 2020 ballot and secure its passage. Below is a statement from our President and CEO Guillermo Mayer:

For nearly 50 years, Public Advocates has joined parents, students, teachers and community partners throughout California in working to create a public school system that serves all students. For far too long, our public schools have been woefully underfunded, leaving students of color and low-income students behind. Since the 1970s, as our public schools increasingly served more diverse students, our investment as a state in public education has plummeted, leaving us bouncing around the bottom third to, at times, near last place nationally for school funding and near dead last in school student-to-staff ratios. This year voters have an opportunity to right this wrong and turn the page on the racist underfunding of our public schools by supporting Schools & Communities First. 

Schools & Communities First is an important step towards California reclaiming its place as the Golden State when it comes to investing in young people. The initiative will close loopholes in the state’s tax system by requiring large corporations to pay their fair share of property taxes, while protecting homeowners and small businesses. This initiative would significantly boost equitable school funding through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) while supporting local governments to expand services to the same communities where schools with high-need students – English language learners, low-income, foster youth—are located. While LCFF was a significant community victory by providing the framework for more just school funding, equity for our kids and communities cannot be realized without adequate school funding. Most importantly, this measure comes authentically from, and has the growing support of the communities most impacted by our multi-decade disinvestment in public education and local government. We wholeheartedly support this grassroots movement to build racial and economic justice in California schools and communities. 

Supporting Schools & Communities First is consistent with Public Advocates’ nearly five decades of leadership in advocacy on school funding equity in California, from our role as a lead counsel in Serrano v. Priest (equalizing school funding statewide), Williams v. CA (requiring equal access to basic educational necessities), and the Campaign for Quality Education v. CA (seeking adequate school funding statewide) as well as our central role in helping to shape and implement the Local Control Funding Formula.

The Schools & Communities First initiative is a smart and just way to begin to address the adverse effects of our inequitable tax system under Prop 13. We are honored to join in this movement, which will take us that much closer to the day when all schools will be beacons of hope and places of infinite possibility and opportunity for every public school student in California.

Monday, January 06, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: Michelle Rhee Has Been Robbed

CURMUDGUCATION: Michelle Rhee Has Been Robbed: As the various lists of faces, names, moments that defined the education policy debates of the last decade have been tallied up, one name ha...

Friday, January 03, 2020

Trump, Troll-in-Chief, Wags the Impeachment Dog By Going to War With Iran

Trump, Troll-in-Chief, Wags the Impeachment Dog By Going to War With Iran

Best Year Ever- Can You Believe It ?

Best Year Ever.  Can you believe it?

Nicholas Kristof

SCUSD and Black Parallel School Board Seek Settlement

Sacramento City Unified School District and Advocacy Groups Pursue Settlement of Lawsuit Alleging Disability and Race Discrimination

SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento City Unified School District (District) and plaintiffs suing the District for alleged discrimination against students based on race and disability asked the federal court to pause litigation so the parties may seek potential resolution through settlement.   

The lawsuit, alleged as a class-action, was filed by a coalition of nonprofit advocacy groups on behalf of the Black Parallel School Board (BPSB) and three students in the District. The suit alleges that the District’s policies and practices in the areas of special education and student discipline harm students with disabilities, and in particular, Black students with disabilities. 

While the District does not agree with the allegations in the lawsuit, “we appreciate plaintiffs’ willingness to work with us,” said District Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar. “The District believes that we should work cooperatively with the plaintiffs to identify potential policies and practices that may not serve the best interests of the District’s students with disabilities, and to jointly find solutions to those issues, which would include addressing factors which limit service options or strategies for serving District students,” said Superintendent Aguilar. 

The parties have asked the Court to grant a seven-month stay of the litigation. During the stay, and by early February, the District has offered and agreed to implement several measures intended to benefit students with disabilities, including Black students with disabilities. These measures include:
  • Halting all District suspensions based on “willful defiance” not only for students in kindergarten through third grade, but up and through eighth grade;
  • Offering students a special education assessment plan within 15 days of a request for such assessment; and
  • Directing school administrators and staff not to ask or require students to leave school as an informal response to concerns with student behavior.
“These measures are significant to students with disabilities and their parents and guardians whom we and other advocates in our community fight for and support,” said BPSB Chairperson Darryl White. “The District’s willingness to implement these interim measures has encouraged BPSB to engage in cooperative discussions with the District about potential broader and more permanent reforms and protections for our students.” 

Also, during the stay, an agreed-upon set of experts will review the District’s data and practices in the areas of special education, student discipline, and implicit bias.  That review will include expert interviews of students, parents, District staff, and other stakeholders. After the assessment and study of the information gathered, the experts will issue recommendations that the parties will consider as part of a possible settlement to create positive, lasting change for students and their families. 
The Court granted the requested stay of litigation today, December 20, 2019. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.