A must watch: The Call to Education Justice Conference, Dr. Yohuro Williams spells it out

No introduction is needed. Dr. Yohuru Williams is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History at Fairfield University. He is the author of Teaching US History Beyond the Textbook (2008) and Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights, Black … Continue reading A must watch: The Call to Education Justice Conference, Dr. Yohuro Williams spells it out

The Weekly Update: The corporate empire of public education and where that leaves the rest of us, ALEC, Gates and charter schools

So much news, so little time. From Real News: U.S. Student Homelessness Up 10% Since Last Year  Highest increases of homeless children seen in states like North Carolina where austerity policies predominate. All those people we come in contact with daily, the sales clerk, that friendly person at the bank, the barista…they’ll all hurting, quietly, and I never knew they were in such pain, not until the strikes began to happen. Then I realized that these workers get paid so little that we are subsidizing the overhead of the 1% by providing workers with food assistance and healthcare, ensuring that … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The corporate empire of public education and where that leaves the rest of us, ALEC, Gates and charter schools

Poverty doesn’t matter! Really?

  “Homelessness and poverty up close is hard. It smells, actually in my room this year, it takes from the very fiber of a being, it is destructive to those that stand in uselessness looking as well as those suffering it. I’m dealing with a woman and her child suffering terribly now — she should never be alone in this, her faculties are not good enough to deal. She can’t go grow food on some family place, she’s like a forgotten being. And so are the supports that should exist, dysfunctional. But my concern is a child, one not washing, … Continue reading Poverty doesn’t matter! Really?

The Weekly Update: Money, power and corruption; Gates is not so sure his ideas will work…but, oh well; TFA, Inc cashes in again and more

Corruption kills. This post is dedicated to Laporshia Massey. From Parents United for Public Education in Philadelphia: Her name is Laporshia Massey and our hearts are breaking Our hearts are breaking over the death of beautiful 12 year old Bryant Elementary student Laporshia Massey, who died following an asthma attack that apparently started at school.  We grieve for her entire family and the Bryant community. According to the City Paper, Laporshia became ill during the school day. No nurse was scheduled. Laporshia called a family member, telling her repeatedly, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” A staff person drove the sixth … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Money, power and corruption; Gates is not so sure his ideas will work…but, oh well; TFA, Inc cashes in again and more

The Weekly Update: Predatory capitalism, privatization, sequestration and our children, Common Core Standards and opting out

Everyone is back in school, the privatizers are not letting up but parents, students and teachers are fighting back. Diane Ravitch is coming out with her new book on September 18th, a book that is totally awesome by the way. I will have a review posted on September 17th. We’ve got some great forums and events happening this Fall in Seattle, see the right hand column for information, and I am rested up, revved up and ready to go. First up, It’s the poverty stupid. Diane Ravitch in her new book, Reign of Error, points out very clearly how poverty … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Predatory capitalism, privatization, sequestration and our children, Common Core Standards and opting out

Empire

I decided to re-post this today after waking up to watch Obama, with Boehner and Pelosi sitting on either side of him, say that we must bomb Syria, but only for 60 days with a 30 day extension, just in case. Empire     While preparing for a class on the history of architecture and its evolution from Egypt to Rome,  I read about villages created for Roman soldiers in lands far away from Rome. It occurred to me that there were similarities between what the United States is doing today and the final days of the Roman Empire.   … Continue reading Empire

Weekly Update: The charter school debacle in New Orleans, eight year olds grading their teachers in Georgia and more on Bill Gates

The Weekly Update: News you might have missed. With Initiative 1240, the charter school  initiative backed by Bill Gates who has provided $1M to the cause, looking like it will be appearing on the ballot this fall, more folks are starting to talk about charter schools in our state. Fortunately the word so far is that most people don’t want charter schools, just like the last three times it was voted on in a general election. Folks in our state want their schools to be adequately funded. Period. Someone sent me this comment that was posted on the Seattle Schools … Continue reading Weekly Update: The charter school debacle in New Orleans, eight year olds grading their teachers in Georgia and more on Bill Gates

Weekly Update: Some good news, Teach for America, Inc.- the sham and Jesse Turner on poverty

First some good news. A Seattle student at Salmon Bay, a progressive alternative K-8 school in Seattle, won C-SPAN’s Student Cam 2012 first-place award for a very insightful video titled “Who Owns Free Speech?”. Check it out. Now onto Education Radio and Teach for America. According to the introduction of this segment on The Sham of Teach for America, Part 1: In this week’s show (Part One of a two part series), Education Radio continues to disrupt the dominant narrative of corporate education reform by investigating the organization Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of many insidious examples of … Continue reading Weekly Update: Some good news, Teach for America, Inc.- the sham and Jesse Turner on poverty

Weekly Update: It’s the Poverty Stupid and the Crazy Talk of Teacher Evaluations Based on Test Scores

As many of us have been saying over and over again, it’s not an “achievement gap”, it’s an “economic gap”, it is income disparity that has created the chasm between students who are able to succeed in school and their counterparts who are not. When folks decide to ignore that basic issue, you have crazy talk like charter schools, merit pay and teacher evaluations based on test scores as the way to eliminate the difference in success rates in our schools. Have any of these policies made a difference? No.  Which gets us back to having to actually face the … Continue reading Weekly Update: It’s the Poverty Stupid and the Crazy Talk of Teacher Evaluations Based on Test Scores

Weekly Update: Online Learning and Charter School Failures, Successful Military Children and of Course, Much, Much More

This first article by Dave Sirota on how it still boils down to economics in education. See What Real Education Reform Looks Like. Below is an excerpt: As 2011 draws to a close, we can confidently declare that one of the biggest debates over education is — mercifully — resolved. We may not have addressed all of the huge challenges facing our schools, but we finally have empirical data ruling out apocryphal theories and exposing the fundamental problems. We’ve learned, for instance, that our entire education system is not “in crisis,” as so many executives in the for-profit education industry … Continue reading Weekly Update: Online Learning and Charter School Failures, Successful Military Children and of Course, Much, Much More