Thursday, January 27, 2011

Modern School: School Lunch Giant Sodexo Guilty of Gross Labor Violations

Modern School: School Lunch Giant Sodexo Guilty of Gross Labor Violations

School Lunch Giant Sodexo Guilty of Gross Labor Violations


SEIU Local 1 Protesting Sodexo
School Lunch giant Sodexo is guilty of gross wage, health and safety violations for its employees, according to reports by Trans Africa Forum and Human Rights Watch. Employees in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guinea, Morocco and the U.S. suffer poverty wages, high rates of workplace injuries, and risk of dismissal for union organizing. In Colombia, Sodexo served contaminated food to its own employees, giving 60 of them food poisoning.

Sodexo, with 380,000 employees in 80 countries, portrays itself as one of the most ethical multinational firms out there, a meaningless piece of propaganda when one considers that the entire purpose of being

Maybe This Is Why Attacking Teachers Is So Popular…And Why It’s So Important To Speak Positively About Our Students | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Maybe This Is Why Attacking Teachers Is So Popular…And Why It’s So Important To Speak Positively About Our Students | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Maybe This Is Why Attacking Teachers Is So Popular…And Why It’s So Important To Speak Positively About Our Students

Attacking and blaming teachers, unions, and the state of schools is a popular tactic by many “school reformers” (see Did You Know That THE Key To Saving American Education Is Firing Bad Teachers?and The Media’s War On Teachers).

It’s also been a very effective tactic.

Obviously, many of our schools are facing real challenges, but, if you consider all the schools in the United

The Washington Teacher: Having Our Say At The Education Transition Summit

The Washington Teacher: Having Our Say At The Education Transition Summit

Having Our Say At The Education Transition Summit

Featuring Candi Peterson, WTU General VP

For the first time ever, the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) sponsored an Education Transition Summit om Tuesday, January 25 at the Kellogg Center. Of late, teacher turn-out has been low at union sponsored events due to what amounts in my opinion to a disenfranchised membership. I arrived at the event shortly before 3:30 p.m. and could hardly believe my eyes when swarms of teachers and school personnel starting walking through the glass doors to the Kellogg Center. Certainly this over 500 plus crowd was more than I could have ever hoped for.

There were many smiles, hugs, pats on the back and congratulations about our recent WTU victory. The lines were endless and the Kellogg center was so accommodating in doubling the number of seats for so many unexpected guests. When no more seats could be provided due to

Sac City Unified focuses on Sacramento Charter High - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Sac City Unified focuses on Sacramento Charter High - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Sac City Unified focuses on Sacramento Charter High

Published: Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 - 4:37 pm

Sacramento City Unified Superintendent Jonathan Raymond is hopeful that his district can move past the divisiveness surrounding Sacramento Charter High.

The district has formed a focus group that will decide how to best gauge the community's desire for the Oak Park campus, which the district says is underutilized by Sacramento Charter High.

"There is a lot of history around this issue; there are a lot of rational and frankly irrational arguments," Raymond said. "It's time to put that aside and say what is best for kids and how can we move forward?"

The district approved the charter following a split vote in 2003 and the decision remains



Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/27/3358253/sac-city-unified-focuses-on-sacramento.html#ixzz1CHsflAMA

Shifting the numbers: Men of color and education | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Shifting the numbers: Men of color and education | Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Shifting the numbers: Men of color and education

by Samuel Reed III on Jan 27 2011

The statistics paint a bleak picture. In Philadelphia public schools, 51 percent of Latino and 46 percent of African American males do not graduate. The School Reform Commission'sAfrican American and Latino Male Task Forcecommissioned a study to understand what factors contribute to the low achievement and dropout problems for young men of color.

The provocative panel Shifting the Numbers: Men of Color and Education, sponsored by Makuu Black Cultural Center and Teach for America, was not

Remainders: A suggestion on the semantics of “last in, first out” | GothamSchools

Remainders: A suggestion on the semantics of “last in, first out” | GothamSchools

Remainders: A suggestion on the semantics of “last in, first out”

  • Chancellor Cathie Black will appear on NY1’s Inside City Hall tonight at 7 and 10 p.m. (no link)
  • A brief history of how Michelle Rhee learned to play politics. (Politico)
  • A new study says private funding dramatically changes NYC charter schools’ funding picture. (NEPC)
  • Miss Eyre: Why did it take four hours after bus service was suspended to cancel school? (NYC Educator)
  • A Bronx teacher says we should be talking about seniority, not “last in, first out.” (JD2718)
  • Deborah Kenny talks about the effect of federal education cuts on Morning Joe. (MSNBC)
  • The SOTU was all inside baseball and laundry lists when it came to education matters. (Eduflack)
  • AQE is starting a letter-writing campaign urging Gov. Cuomo to spare schools in his budget. (WAMC)
  • Teach for America is getting $100 million from four donors to start an endowment. (AP)
  • Andy Rotherham says focusing on pass/fail ratings for teachers prevents real innovation. (Time)
  • Leonie Haimson reports on Tuesday’s City Council school closure hearing. (NYC Public School Parents)
  • More dangerous PCBs — this time in Brooklyn’s PS 11. (Daily News)
  • Advocates list their suggestions for how to help students as their schools phase out. (EdVox)
  • Ruben Brosbe explains how his students are learning through art, even if it looks like they aren’t. (GS)
  • Was Eric Nadelstern a visionary educator or an administrative pawn? (Peter Goodman)

Queens Teacher: Fiscal Disparities in NYC Charter Schools

Queens Teacher: Fiscal Disparities in NYC Charter Schools

Fiscal Disparities in NYC Charter Schools

Adding Up The Spending: Fiscal Disparities and Philanthropy Among New York City Charter Schools

In prominent Hollywood movies and even in some research studies, New York City (NYC) charter schools have been held up as unusually successful. This research brief presents a new study that analyzes the resources available to those charter schools, and it also looks at their performance on state standardized tests. The study reaches some surprising conclusions, some of which include the following:

• Spending by NYC charter schools varies widely, and these differences in spending per pupil appear to be driven primarily by differences in access to private donors. The most well-endowed charters receive additional private funds exceeding $10,000 per pupil more than traditional public schools receive. Other charters receive almost no private donations. (The study’s analysis is based on data from 2006 to 2008 contained in audited annual financial reports, IRS tax filings of non-profit boards overseeing charter schools and charter management organizations.)

NJ Spotlight | Guest Opinion: Dumping Toll Collectors? Not So Fast

NJ Spotlight | Guest Opinion: Dumping Toll Collectors? Not So Fast

Guest Opinion: Dumping Toll Collectors? Not So Fast
Competing goals, tough questions, and no easy answers

New Jersey Turnpike toll collectors are as Jersey as it gets. There is a great scene from the 1984 movie "The Pope of Greenwich Village," where two dysfunctional New York cousins, Paulie (Eric Roberts) and Charlie (Mickey Rourke), are driving down the Turnpike on their way to Monmouth Racetrack to place a bet on a "sure thing."

As they are on the Turnpike, Paulie gives the toll collector a tip, confident that he is about to win big. When Charlie asks him why he did that, Paulie says something about how miserable his job must be, standing in that tiny tollbooth all day. “I just made his day, Charlie.” Well, fact is, tollbooth collectors currently make about $30 an hour, particularly those who are "more experienced" at their job.

But as tough as that job may be to sit or stand in such a tiny space for so many hours, there are over 850 Turnpike employees that wish they could turn back the clock to 1984. Why is that? Because there is a very serious proposal on the table to "privatize" toll collection on the Turnpike, which would in turn save tens of millions of dollars for the state of New Jersey.

A task force reported to Governor Chris Christie recently that a realistic estimate of annual savings by privatizing toll collection on the Turnpike would be between $35 million and $42.5 million a year. The catch is that in the request for proposals for a private company taking over toll collection calls for toll collectors to make $12 per hour -- not $30 an hour. All this in an effort to ultimately move to some sort of automated collection of tolls where no actual employees are involved in taking money from us.

You know what is interesting here? This is a classic example of two legitimate but competing goals that run into each other and only one goal can survive. Think about it. Everyone says they want government to spend less money, to find ways to be more efficient, and to cut the number of government employees. You know, that whole thing about smaller government is best. All together that sounds fine, and people agree to it in theory.

But there is another competing goal, particularly in such difficult economic times, which is to keep as many people employed as possible -- including Turnpike toll collectors. Toll collectors buy things like cars, houses, refrigerators, toys for their kids -- you know, stuff you pay

Obama School Reform Plan Relies on Big Business - BusinessWeek

Obama School Reform Plan Relies on Big Business - BusinessWeek

Obama School Reform Plan Relies on Big Business

With Republicans gunning for the Education Dept., the President needs companies to help him fend off deep budget cuts

To help the U.S. compete with emerging economies such as China and India, President Barack Obama pitched Congress on a renewed focus on education in his Jan. 25 State of the Union message. "This is our generation's Sputnik moment," he said, invoking the U.S. response to the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first satellite. That feat, at the height of the Cold War, jarred American assumptions of technological superiority.

With a divided Congress and House Republicans gunning for the Education Dept., Obama's school reform plans may depend largely on Big Business. Administration officials say

GRAND JURY CONVENED FOR IRVINE 11 CASE, FELONY CONSPIRACY CHARGES POSSIBLE « Occupy UCI!

GRAND JURY CONVENED FOR IRVINE 11 CASE, FELONY CONSPIRACY CHARGES POSSIBLE « Occupy UCI!

GRAND JURY CONVENED FOR IRVINE 11 CASE, FELONY CONSPIRACY CHARGES POSSIBLE

If you have been indicted, subpoenaed, or contacted by the Orange County DA regarding this case, call the National Lawyers Guild Hotline at 415-285-1041 and the Los Angeles NLG Chapter at 323-653-4510.

Have yet to receive independent confirmation, but OC Weekly reports:

Radio station KPCC 89.3 reported today the Orange County district attorney’s office has convened a grand jury to look into the possibility of filing conspiracy charges against a group of Muslim students busted at the UC Irvine campus in 2010 for disrupting the speech of U.S. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

The information was reported during Larry Mantle’s morning show, Air Talk, which then opened the phones to callers expressing incredulity that a grand jury was convened for what they feel is essentially a free-speech issue. There were also those who theorized that a politically motivated Tony Rackauckas is strategically appeasing conservative Jewish Orange County constituents. Orange County DA’s office

John Merrow: The State of the (Teachers) Union

John Merrow: The State of the (Teachers) Union

John Merrow: The State of the (Teachers) Union

Was the President sending a strong message to teachers unions in his State of the Union address? Sure looks that way in the light of day.

What most of us saw and heard was high praise for education. He put it #2, behind "innovation" on his list. Five of his 23 guests were students, and a 6th -- Jill Biden -- is a community college teacher. That's all good. Mr. Obama praised "Race to the Top" and called for rewriting No Child Left Behind, and that's all good too.

He went out of his way to praise teachers and remind us all that parents must do their job --turn off the TV, and

City schools are suspending more students, and for longer | GothamSchools

City schools are suspending more students, and for longer | GothamSchools

The Fate of the Canceled Regents « JD2718

The Fate of the Canceled Regents « JD2718

The Fate of the Canceled Regents

The NY State Education Department has issued its response to the many regents cancellations due to weather. The most affected exams were

  • US History (necessary for a regular diploma) and
  • Geometry (the second of three math exams needed for the advanced regents diploma). Also canceled in many districts, including New York City were
  • Physics and Chemistry (one of the two is often needed for the advanced regents diploma) and

Schools Matter: Schott Foundation Slams Obama's Planned Renewal of ESEA as RTTT

Schools Matter: Schott Foundation Slams Obama's Planned Renewal of ESEA as RTTT

Schott Foundation Slams Obama's Planned Renewal of ESEA as RTTT

If there could ever be a plan purely antithetical to the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act that President Johnson pushed through Congress in 1965, the Oligarchs' Race to the Top (RTTT) is it. Rather than a universal treatment for a universal acknowledgement of poverty and segregation as the problem in schools, RTTT is a competition based on selection of those willing to accept the high-dollar bribes for transforming their systems into segregated corporate charter schools that ignore poverty and treat children as malleable inmates in total compliance minimum security prisons, i. e., KIPPs. How these times have a-changed. And yet it is this Gates-approved bribe-acceptance method chosen by Obama as the strategy to address what he calls our Sputnik moment. Very bad joke and not funny.

Schools Matter: Time Magazine, The Tiger Mom, and Inaccurate Reporting

Schools Matter: Time Magazine, The Tiger Mom, and Inaccurate Reporting

Time Magazine, The Tiger Mom, and Inaccurate Reporting

American Schools, Test Scores, Poverty and Patents

Sent to Time Magazine, January 27, 2011

"The Roar of the Tiger Mom" (Jan 31) reports that the US was "mired in the middle" in on the PISA examination, given to high school students in 60 countries, and that China will soon overcome the US in patent applications. Both statements deserve more comment.

Middle-class American children attending well-funded schools outscore nearly all other countries on international tests. American children attending schools with less than 10% of students living in poverty averaged 551 on the PISA reading test, second in the world.

Our overall scores are unspectacular (tied for 10th out of 60 on the PISA) because we have a high percentage of children living in poverty, over 20%. This is the highest among all industrialized countries. In contrast, child

This Week In Education: Poverty: "Economist" Compares Unions To Chinese Residency Limits

This Week In Education: Poverty: "Economist" Compares Unions To Chinese Residency Limits

Shanker Blog » Schools As Battlegrounds

Shanker Blog » Schools As Battlegrounds

Schools As Battlegrounds

We warn you to leave your job as a teacher as soon as possible otherwise we will cut the heads off your children and shall set fire to your daughter

- Letter to Afghani teacher from Taliban insurgents

These threats, in a letter from Taliban insurgents to an Afghani teacher, are emblematic of the deteriorating situation for teachers and students in many parts of the world. Between March and October 2010, for example, 20 schools in Afghanistan were attacked using explosives or arson, and insurgents killed 126 Afghani students.

These and other atrocities were documented by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a new “school battleground”report, which was released as part of the organization’s annual human rights survey summarizing conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide.

Of countries where attacks upon school buildings, teachers and students occur, Afghanistan probably has the highest profile – students sprayed with gunfire, “girls doused with acid.” Nevertheless, the report makes clear

Teacher pensions under attack. Torturer Burge get his, no problem. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Teacher pensions under attack. Torturer Burge get his, no problem. « Fred Klonsky's blog

Teacher pensions under attack. Torturer Burge get his, no problem.

As of January 1st, anyone becoming a teacher in Illinois will have a different pension plan than previously hired teachers thanks to Governor Quinn and the state legislature. It will take a decade longer to max out and the benefits will be sharply reduced.

But there are those, like leaders of the Chicago Civic Committee, for whom this is not enough. They want to

10 Steps to Protect Students During School Phase-Outs « EdVox

10 Steps to Protect Students During School Phase-Outs « EdVox

10 Steps to Protect Students During School Phase-Outs

By Ruddie Daley and Judith Defour

We are members of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, parents and NYC public school teachers. In the last few years, it has been painful to watch parents and children suffer when neighborhood schools shut down. Teachers who work in struggling schools don’t know when their school might be targeted for closure. As a result, they are always worried about how long their job will last, and often they end up leaving the system.

Many CEJ parents have experienced the negative impacts of school closings first hand. When a school is phased out, it falls apart around the students. Teachers and counselors flee for other jobs, community-based programs relocate, afterschool programs, sports and arts disappear, many students drop out, and the rest become increasingly marginalized in the building that used to be theirs. It is extremely hard for students to succeed in this environment. Furthermore, school phase-out puts an undue burden on surrounding schools, and

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