Sunday, November 20, 2016

Another Excerpt from Demand the Impossible! A Radical Manifesto | Bill Ayers

Another Excerpt from Demand the Impossible! A Radical Manifesto | Bill Ayers:

Another Excerpt from Demand the Impossible! A Radical Manifesto

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Bill Ayers -- Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto | Haymarket Books -http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Demand-the-Impossible

[DEMAND the IMPOSSIBLE! is available from Haymarket Books or any local bookstore. I thought I was finished a month ago posting excerpts from the book, but when I read to students and comrades this week in Roma, Bologna, Napoli, and Milano, Italy, and when the talked turned inevitably to the rise of a fascist movement, I felt compelled to share the following. Thank you.]

Here, then, is a partial diagram of the known world, a rough sketch of what is, but certainly not a picture of what could be or should be:

*  An empire unapologetically resurrected in a cauldron of deliberately constructed fear, and in the name of renewed patriotic nationalism. 

*  Unprecedented military expansion, a state of permanent war and the creation of a war culture, a gulag that stretches the length and breadth of the country, where mass incarceration is a defining characteristic in the “land of the free,” and white supremacy reigns triumphant in the “home of the brave.”

*  Militarized police forces acting as aggressive occupying armies in poor communities, and the never-ending serial shootings of Black citizens. 

*  The identification of opaque and ill-defined enemies—“illegal” immigrants, border violators, Muslims, Arabs, foreigners, queers, Black people, independent women, terrorists—as a unifying cause. 

*  A panopticon-like existence in which we are all aware of being under constant surveillance—cameras everywhere, mountains of data from our purchase and travel patterns to reading and information preferences Another Excerpt from Demand the Impossible! A Radical Manifesto | Bill Ayers:


Councilwoman Gym’s statement on the Board of Ethics Settlement with Mastery Charter | Parents United for Public Education

Councilwoman Gym’s statement on the Board of Ethics Settlement with Mastery Charter | Parents United for Public Education:

Councilwoman Gym’s statement on the Board of Ethics Settlement with Mastery Charter


“Last school year, the School Reform Commission approved Mastery’s bid to take over the Wister School in an unprecedented 11th hour move that went against the recommendation of Superintendent Hite.
Now we know that Mastery engaged in an expensive lobbying campaign to ensure that result, in the process tearing apart a community and subjecting school students and families to the kind of disruption and churn that inflicts lasting harm. School improvement must be based on best practices that benefit students, not who has the most lobbying dollars to spend.
In past years, the School District limited lobbying by entities who are competing to obtain lucrative contracts to manage schools through the Renaissance process. However, last year no such rules were in place, resulting in an explosion of lobbying activity, much of it directly aimed at parents and community members.
We will never have a full picture of how many thousands of dollars Mastery spent to lobby the District, though the expense reports they must now file will detail what outside services they hired. Allied organizations such as Philadelphia School Partnership and its affiliate Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners appeared to be actively working on behalf of this takeover as well, but their actions and expenditures have still not been evaluated publicly.
The Renaissance process for school turnarounds, which has been put on hold as the District undertakes a full review, is untenable. It has degenerated into costly and divisive campaigns that cause lasting damage to school communities and distract us all from our more fundamental mission: to build a system of public schools that increase equity and educate all children.
In addition, this entire ugly process underscores the need for an end to the School Reform Commission, as well as the adoption of clear and robust rules on ethics and conflict of interest.”
Councilwoman Gym’s statement on the Board of Ethics Settlement with Mastery Charter | Parents United for Public Education:

Trump opposes federal involvement in education. But do his plans ensure a ‘Race to the Bank’? - The Washington Post

Trump opposes federal involvement in education. But do his plans ensure a ‘Race to the Bank’? - The Washington Post:

Trump opposes federal involvement in education. But do his plans ensure a ‘Race to the Bank’?


President-elect Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he doesn’t suppose a strong federal involvement in public education. It’s a district and state responsibility, he says, and that’s how it should be. But what will the upcoming Trump administration actually do to ensure that this vision is implemented?
In this post, Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who is executive director of the nonprofit Network for Public Education, looks at the signs that Trump and his allies have been waving about his education reform priorities and paints a disturbing picture of where the education world may be headed.
Burris was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and the same organization named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year in 2013. She recently wrote a series on California charters, which you can find hereherehere and here.
By Carol Burris
Donald Trump had little to say about education during the campaign, but that does not mean that he and those who surround him do not have a plan. There are clear indications that President Obama’s Race to the Top will be replaced with something that could be called “Race to the Bank,” as the movement to privatize education seems certain to accelerate under an administration run by Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence.
Trump’s disdain for public schools is apparent. The Trump/Pence website uses the adjective “government” instead of  “public” when referring to community schools. It claims that school choice is “the civil rights issue of our time.”
Donald Trump Jr. used the convention as an opportunity to denigrate public schools by comparing them to “Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers.” Trump Jr.’s rhetoric belongs to a long-standing, right-wing belief that public education is a socialist institution and that schools should be run by the private sector.
Let’s stop for a moment and think about the “government” that runs public schools. It is not, as the slogan implies, a Washington cabal. Except in those cases where mayors have grabbed control, public schools are governed by locally elected school boards. The origin of the school board dates to 1647, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony required every town to establish a public school. Committees of school governance sprang up, becoming autonomous, local governing boards as early as the 1820s.
Nearly all school board members serve without pay. Most are dedicated, locally elected community servants who must abide by strict laws regarding conflict of interest — laws from which many corporate charter boards are exempt. Yet school boards are viewed as an Trump opposes federal involvement in education. But do his plans ensure a ‘Race to the Bank’? - The Washington Post:


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