Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Charles Koch responds to Harry Reid - sort of -

Charles Koch responds to Harry Reid - sort of -:





in a very self-serving way, in this Wall Street Journal op ed.
I said it was self-serving.  It is also self-justifying.
It begins like this
I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.
Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
From there we learn that all that is wrong is the fault of collectivists, which somehow allows him to connect all that with Saul Alinksy - an indirect slap perhaps at the President for his former job as a community organizer, hired by a disciple of Alinsky?  If you have any doubt read this:
The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.
He never names Harry Reid, but clearly Reid's attacks have stung.
The key part of his argument is in this penultimate paragraph:
Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what 

Jersey Jazzman: Dear Bill Maher: Here's Why You're Wrong About Tenure

Jersey Jazzman: Dear Bill Maher: Here's Why You're Wrong About Tenure:



Dear Bill Maher: Here's Why You're Wrong About Tenure


Jersey Jazzman Jammin' All Week


Dear Bill Maher,

Let's dispense with the fanboy stuff first: I think you're great, I really liked Religulous, I think ABC screwed you over, and you come closer than anyone around today to keeping the spirit of America's greatest political philosopher, George Carlin*, alive.

But on teacher tenure you are just dead wrong:

What exactly is the argument for teacher tenure? According to the teacher's union's lawyer, "Tenure is an amenity, just like salary and vacation, that allows districts to recruit and retain teachers despite harder working conditions, pay that hasn't kept pace and larger class sizes." 
...Okay, but so is offering them a car. That's not an argument for why the teaching profession should be virtually immune from the normal threat of termination that just about every other employee in the nation lives under. Additionally, Hollywood writers, producers, and directors all have unions, but none provide any sort of protection like tenure; they mainly exist to argue for compensation and benefits. If you don't do your job, you still get fired. As it should be. Because this is America, and some amount of job insecurity is a good thing. It's why when you go to Greece or Italy you find yourself in a line 15 people deep because the person behind the desk doesn't really care about helping you. Because they're never getting fired. 
Shouldn't teachers' unions drop tenure and focus on compensation and benefits too? 
Let's start with this: I don't see anyone offering me a guaranteed new car every year in exchange for my workplace protections. In your construction, Bill, we teachers will give up
- See more at: http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2014/04/dear-bill-maher-heres-why-youre-wrong.html?spref=fb#sthash.rmIZYNn8.dpuf

The Common Core License: Open for NGA and CCSSO Alteration | deutsch29

The Common Core License: Open for NGA and CCSSO Alteration | deutsch29:



The Common Core License: Open for NGA and CCSSO Alteration

April 2, 2014



The so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being billed as “Preparing America’s Students for Success“; as “important for your child”; indeed, as The American Education Solution:
The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. [Emphasis added.]
What if CCSS doesn’t work?
Who is responsible?
Not the copyright holders, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
Yes, these two groups formally get the credit for owning CCSS. Indeed, they insistupon it:
NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be  The Common Core License: Open for NGA and CCSSO Alteration | deutsch29:

All Things Education: In truth, there is hope

All Things Education: In truth, there is hope:



In truth, there is hope



My last two posts have been attempts to address matters of race in (largely progressive) public education advocacy circles. Michael Lopez had a very thoughtful response to my post and Sabrina Joy Stevens wrote a powerful post related to the topic.

In the meantime, I have been following the recent conversation between Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehesi Coates, especially the references to "middle class" norms. I had a brief blog-based conversation with Matt Ygelsias surrounding this topic about three years ago as it has to do with education reform. Though we only talked about poverty and not about race. I remember making a conscious choice not to refer to race in those posts. Yglesias hadn't mentioned race and I guess I felt that my criticisms of his point of view were strong enough without pointing to race. I also wasn't sure that I as a white woman in conversation with a white man should say, your argument is lacking because race. I didn't want to use race as a rhetorical device.

Then commenter @MDS said, "we can not continue this conversation without confronting race." I didn't disagree but I didn't utter any regrets about it either. Now in retrospect I wonder if I was cowardly to not bring up race or if I "failed" to bring up race. I am certain that it was a neglected and necessary part of the conversation.

In any case, I have been drinking up every post that Coates has written lately and especially the posts he has written in response to Jonathan Chait about culture, poverty, and race. I have been so disappointed with Chait's responses and with other posts from white men. But then again, I have always found Chait's writing, especially on education, to be disappointing, so much so that I can hardly stand to read him. Nor do I find that he is particularly progressive or liberal, though I am starting to grow tired of such labels and am finding them more and more to be of limited use. So I started 
All Things Education: In truth, there is hope:

My Review of The First Review of My Book This Is Not A Test - The Jose Vilson

My Review of The First Review of My Book This Is Not A Test - The Jose Vilson:



My Review of The First Review of My Book This Is Not A Test

by JOSE VILSON on APRIL 2, 2014
in JOSE
this is not a test cover 3bLet me say, for the record, that I haven’t been excited yet. Not with the endorsements, the hundreds of folk who’ve pre-ordered it, the publisher’s ridiculously good execution with the basics (and then some), meeting Arundhati Roy through my publisher, the exclusive book party and eminent book clubs, or getting my first set of review copies for the five people I already had in mind to receive them anyways. Much of it stems from a childhood humility, one that assumes that I honestly don’t deserve the blessings I receive, so when I do, I don’t know how to react. The second stems from an understanding that I’m far from done with whatever it is that’s going on with me right now. I can’t describe it, but it’s all working well for some reason.
That’s the lens I used with Audrey Watters of Hack Education’s review of my book This Is Not A Test, a humbling tribute to a friend and a great writer, at least in her eyes. I’m still working on owning some of the latter.
She said:
“What then do we make of coming-of-age stories, particularly those that crack open experiences – or expectations of experiences – with schooling? Perhaps our task as readers and critics can be to see how certain stories might reclaim or decolonize these older genres, how they highlight the power dynamics and the cultural values we don’t often recognize or confront, and how they prompt us to consider not just whose stories get told but how these stories get told.”
True. And yet:
There is no fixed or singular identity here either. There are border crossings and hyphenations. Dominican, but not. Haitian, but not. Black Latino. Father. Poet. One of the fiercest writers I know. One of the most tender. Back-and-forth between Spanish and English. Rakim name-dropped
- See more at: http://thejosevilson.com/review-first-review-book-test/#sthash.ugA7rdem.dpuf

Sacramento News & Review - A strong move - Bites - Opinions - April 3, 2014

Sacramento News & Review - A strong move - Bites - Opinions - April 3, 2014:



A strong move

Bites was the only reporter inside last week's strong-mayor debate




When the AstroTurf group Sacramento Tomorrow rebooted the strong-mayor effort last year, it said it had nothing to do with Kevin Johnson.
And yet there was Boss Johnson on Wednesday night, March 26, at a town hall meeting, saying, “I hope you will support me in November” with a vote to approve the strong-mayor plan.
Johnson tag-teamed with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Iron Workers Local 118 president Kevin Ferreira, facing off against former MayorHeather Fargo, Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education candidate Anna Molander, and Oak Park activist Michael Benjamin.
The forum was put on by SEIU Local 1000, the state workers’ union. It was standing-room only and open to the public. But at the request of the mayor’s people, reporters were turned away at the door. Well, some reporters were turned away. Hell with that.
You know the basics of the strong-mayor plan by now. It would make the mayor an executive separate from the city council. He would introduce the budget and could veto any action by the city council. The council would need a super-duper majority of six out of eight votes to override—giving the mayor a much stronger veto than the California governor or the U.S. president. The mayor would hire and fire the city manager, making him the head of the city bureaucracy. The council’s power would be token at best, more likely they’d be a rubber stamp for whoever sits in the mayor’s office.
It’s never been clear what real-world problem the strong-mayor plan is supposed to fix. Johnson’s special brand of word salad doesn’t help. “What it all boils down to is this: At the end of the day, you have two different visions. And I would ask you to allow Sacramento to evolve with this vision going forward, where we can take our community to the next level.”
Got that?
Johnson’s teammate Ferreira told the union crowd that strong mayor would 


Related stories:
Strong mayor is a weak priority for Sacramento
The mayor and his supporters have successfully diverted attention from the very real problems our city faces to instead address his signature issues.SN&R, 11.14.13.

On Strong Mayor 4.0
SN&R worries Sacramento Tomorrow’s latest executive-mayor pitch will still be unconvincing.SN&R, 08.08.13. 

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Door cracks open to stripping Rahm of mayoral control of the schools. Travis' near win reverberates.

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Door cracks open to stripping Rahm of mayoral control of the schools. Travis' near win reverberates.:



Door cracks open to stripping Rahm of mayoral control of the schools. Travis' near win reverberates.


DID YOU HEAR THAT... The House opened the door ever so slightly Tuesday to strippingMayor Rahm Emanuel and any of his successors of the sole authority to appoint the Chicago public school system's board of education.  By a 108-5 margin, the House approved legislation sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, to create a task force to study whether the board should be appointed, elected or mixed. Ford’s bill now moves to the Senate.

... Some legislators are nervous about voting for Rahm's pension-busting bill because of Jay Travis' CTU-backed near defeat ofChristian Mitchell. This according to Chicago Sun-

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empathyeducates – On Children and Childhood

empathyeducates – On Children and Childhood:





On Children and Childhood

By Paul L. Thonas, Ed.D. | Originally Published at The Becoming Radical. April 2, 2014
children guessed (but only a few)

and down they forgot as up they grew
“[anyone lived in a pretty how town],” e.e. cummings
In one of those early years of becoming and being a teacher, when I was still teaching in the exact room where I had been a student (a school building that would eventually be almost entirely destroyed by a fire set by children), it was the first day of school, and I was calling that first roll—a sort of silly but important ritual of schooling for teachers and students.
Toward the back of the room and slightly to my left sat a big young man, a white male student typical of this rural upstate South Carolina high school in my home town; like me, he would accurately be considered in that context as a Redneck.
Just about everyone knows everyone in my hometown, and we are very familiar with the common names of that town. So when I came to this young man’s name—Billy Laughter (it rhymes with “slaughter”)—I said “Billy Laughter” (rhyming the last name with “after”).
Smiling, I scanned the room and then turned my eyes back to Billy; he was red-faced and on the edge of having a very bad first day, one that was likely going to result in his being punished for my having done a very stupid thing. I raised my hand, palm facing him, and said, “Billy, my mistake. I’m sorry. I was trying to be funny but it wasn’t.” And then I said his name correctly.
Billy had suffered a life of people mangling his name, and he wasn’t in any mood for my being clever on the first day of school.
Several years laters, when I was teaching a U.S. history class as part of my usual load as a member and chair of the English department, while I was having students form small groups, two young white males bumped 

Nite Cap 4-2-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2



James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




#IsraelMunoz,19 yr old founder of Chicago Student's Union, on saving public schools on Vimeo
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Morning Wink 4-2-14 AM Posts #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
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empathyeducates – The School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts in Preschool
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James Baldwin said it best: "For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAPMike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: From Stacey Gates at the CTU: We must protect our pensionsMike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: From Stacey Gates at the CTU: We must protect our pensions: From Stacey Gates at the CTU: We must protect our pensionsDear Mik




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