Late last month, over 100 teachers, students, and parents from across the country gathered in Denver for the United Opt Out National Spring Action, a conference aimed at growing the resistance to corporate education reform and high stakes standardized testing across the nation. Throughout the weekend, the education activists brainstormed and planned in area-focused work groups, interspersed with talks from, among others, a Finnish teacher and education scholar, a parent turned education activist, and a high school senior. All of it revolved around one central theme: organizing resistance to the global corporate education reform movement. (more…)
Archive for the 'Education' Category
The education privatizers are trying to convince us that parental ‘choice’ will solve all the problems in our schools. But the choice they have in mind is to dismantle a once-proud system of education that was nurtured and funded by a society of Americans willing to work together.
The wealthiest among us seem to have forgotten how important it is to cooperate, as most Americans did in the post-WW2 years, in order to forge new paths of productivity and inventiveness. A vibrant society makes great individuals, not the other way around. Education must be at the forefront of such cooperative thinking. Here are four good arguments for it. (more…)
Back in the day, when unknown, surgically enhanced women approached random pro football players, they were usually just prostitutes sent by Lawrence Taylor to tire rivals out before games.
Now players just don’t know who to trust.
A week after news of the Manti T’eo hoax broke, NFL.com reports some Washington Redskins players were contacted by a fan using the pseudonym “Sidney Ackerman”, as well as a photo avatar stolen from porn actress C.J. Miles (as opposed to the NBA player of the same name). full story
Chicago sued for alleged discrimination against black teachers
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Chicago Teachers Union has sued the nation’s third largest school district, saying Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign to reform or close underperforming public schools discriminates against African-American teachers and staff. The federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday and announced on Thursday is the latest battle with the city since teachers staged a week-long strike in September. It alleges that more than half of the tenured teachers fired in the most recent round of school closings and turnarounds were African American. But blacks make up less than 30 percent of the tenured teaching staff in the district and 35 percent of the tenured teacher population in the failing schools, the lawsuit claims. (more…)
Apple has been granted a patent that would make your smartphone useless when entering an area deemed too sensitive for mobile photo and video.The technology, if implemented, would likely be welcomed by many. It could, for example, be extremely useful to Hollywood executives worried about mobile-savvy bootleggers and teachers concerned about less-than-honest students.
But it also has some darker potential implications. Recent political and populist movements — most notably the Arab Spring — have relied heavily on the power of mobile devices and social media. Disabling protesters’ ability to record police actions or other events would be a powerful controlling force.
And photo and video aren’t the only things that might be restricted. The patent, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in late August, would force devices to go to sleep entirely after entering certain areas. That means no Twitter, no Facebook, no calling, no texting.
The Chicago teacher strike is over, but the assault on our nation’s children has just begun. As with all free market systems, the price is set high enough to ensure a profit for the companies doing business, even though not everyone will be able to afford their product.
With our private health care system, 1 out of 6 Americans are uninsured. It’s frightening to think of a private educational system in which 1 out of 6 children have to settle for an inferior education.
We’ve learned a lot in recent years from the struggles within our schools. Here are three sensible considerations for anyone involved in the education of our children. (more…)
Under Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping new school voucher program, tens of millions of Louisiana taxpayer dollars will be used to offer vouchers to more than half of the state’s poor and middle-class public school students. These students can in turn use these vouchers to attend more than 120 private schools, including a number of small, Bible-based learning institutions that boast extreme anti-science and anti-history curriculums while championing creationism.
Earlier this week, C. Welton Gaddy, the president of a national multi-faith religious group, blasted Jindal’s program in a letter to the governor, claiming the effort represents “a ruthless attack on public education” and violates the separation of church and state.
“Let me be clear: I am not appalled that a Christian school is teaching its students that God created the Earth … Children in my church learn that every Sunday,” Gaddy wrote. “I am appalled that these schools are teaching theology as science, and they’re doing so with government money, my tax dollars.” (more…)
Al Madrigal travels to Arizona, where the powerful evidence of hearsay convinced the Tucson school board to ban Mexican-American studies programs.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Tucson’s Mexican-American Studies Ban|
Charles and David Koch are infringing on intellectual freedom and independence in colleges and universities by controlling entire fields of study and the faculty hiring process. Defend academia and share this video. TAKE ACTION: http://KochBrothersExposed.com/KochCollege [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f_7uE2rqWw[/youtube]
The CPS Grind on Teachers By Katie Osgood
Recently, in Chicagoland, a story hit the papers about a teacher committing suicide. She wrote in her suicide note that the major reason for this drastic act was work-related. According to her colleagues, this woman took her own life because of the bullying and fear she experienced at her school.As I discussed this event with a friend who is a current CPS teacher, he mentioned that in the comments section of the article many non-educators were shocked and horrified at this tragic happening but were also quick to assume that the woman must have been “soft” or had some kind of underlying mental health problem. But, he quipped, when many CPS teachers heard about the incident, they just shook their heads and said, “Yeah, I can see that happening.”
Truth is, so could I. When I think back to my measly one year of teaching at a horribly-run CPS elementary school, I can very easily imagine that scenario unfolding with a number of my colleagues and yes, even with myself. Did you all catch that? Suicide is not considered shocking in the realm of teaching in CPS.
And I don’t think the general public understands the toll that years of working in an increasingly horrible environment coupled with the latest wave of teacher-bashing actually takes on the people who do the hard work of education.
Let me try and paint you a picture: (more…)
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a jaw-dropping prescription for fixing city schools.
“Professor” Michael Bloomberg said Thursday he would accomplish more with less by slashing the teaching staff in half — and that’s just the beginning, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer. He looked like he was from another planet when he dressed as a hippie for a political show, but the mayor’s blueprint for fixing city schools have some asking “what was he smoking?”
“If I had the ability to just design the system and say ex cathedra this is what we’re going to do you would cut the number of teachers in half and weed out all the bad ones,” Bloomberg said. That’s right. The mayor told people at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology conference it would be far better to run city schools with way fewer people. And, by the way, on the billionaire’s perfect planet that would mean cramming more kids into each classroom.
“And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students,” Bloomberg said.
Andrea Spencer is dean of the School of Education at Pace University.
“When I heard the statement I was really shocked,” Spencer said. “There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that half of the teachers in any system are ineffective. What there is evidence to support is the fact that larger classes really place detriments in the way of learning.” (more…)
An Ohio mother of two was sentenced to 10 days in jail and placed on three years probation after sending her kids to a school district in which they did not live. Kelly Williams-Bolar was sentenced by Judge Patricia Cosgrove on Tuesday and will begin serving her sentence immediately.
The jury deliberated for seven hours and the courtroom was packed as the sentence was handed down. She was convicted on two counts of tampering with court records after registering her two girls as living with Williams Bolar’s father when they actually lived with her. The family lived in the housing projects in Akron, Ohio, and the father’s address was in nearby Copley Township.
Additionally, Williams-Bolar’s father, Edward L. Williams, was charged with a fourth-degree felony of grand theft, in which he and his daughter are charged with defrauding the school system for two years of educational services for their girls. The court determined that sending their children to the wrong school was worth $30,500 in tuition. (more…)