"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Newark AFT Members Begin to Suffer Effects of Weingarten Deal

The following links and annotations are from Ken Derstine in Philadelphia.  We have to wonder how much longer Diane Ravitch will keep her buried while Randi Weingarten makes off with more millions in hard-earned dues from teachers who are losing their jobs because of Randi’s complicity with CorpEd and misleadership of AFT.  Ravitch posted Randi’s letter to Christie, but she dares not post anything critical of her collaborator (think Vichy) pal—such as the one posted from the Newark teacher below.
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Randi to Christie: Give the People of Newark Their Schools | Diane Ravitch’s blog - “Randi Weingarten sent the following letter to Governor Chris Christie, calling for an end to two decades of state control of New Jersey’s largest city.”
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Dear Ms. Weingarten, 
You are to be commended for writing a letter to Governor Christie. It is your visionary leadership and the historic contract you were instrumental in negotiating that have brought Newark teachers to the "top of the mountain." Moreover, your generosity in donating AFT funds to the Teacher Village being built to house Teach for America novices in Newark could not have come at a better time.
It is inconceivable that you could have had prior knowledge that record numbers of Newark teachers were to be laid off and replaced with Teach for America scabs. Your brilliant strategy of advocacy for weaker tenure protections, subjective evaluations and complicity with those who wish to turn teachers into Walmart employees has played nicely into the hands of your coconspirators Bill Gates and the Walton Foundation.
I am grateful to you for your wise stewardship of the AFT and your particular interest in advancing the interests of Newark schoolchildren by having them taught by a revolving door of unqualified teacher impostors. Send my regards to Cami next time you speak to her. 
In gratitude, 
A Newark Teacher
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Even my pal Michael Fiorillo seemed astounded when he read my earlier posting this morning "Dear Randi" From a Newark Teacher.
With Cami Anderson wanting to lay off 700 tenured teachers and replace them with newbie Teach for America scabs, this story takes on new dimensions, especially with Randi's letter to Chris Christie yesterday - excuse me for a minute while I gag.

I'm back. Really and truly, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Where Do Corporate Welfare Charter Kingpins Send Their Children to School?

One answer here from Tamarac Talk:

By: Sharon Aron Baron
Imagine your neighbor owns a Ford dealership, however not only will he not drive a Ford, none his family will either, preferring to drive BMW’s. Now imagine this: the state is giving his dealership money because they believe in his business.
Charter Schools USA operates 58 schools in several states, including Florida, for a combined 48,000 students, however, Charter Schools USA Founder Jonathan Hage along with his wife Sherry, Chief Academic Officer, send all four of their children to Pine Crest Schools – a private school
 Tuition for four children at Pine Crest Schools costs over $100,000 a year. In addition to the annual tuition, the Hage’s are big donors to the school and last year donated over $10,000 to their annual fund.
Charter schools are public schools that receive state tax dollars, but function with their own boards of directors and enjoy substantial independence from state and local regulations.
Broward County has “school choice” which means parents can choose to send their children to any public or charter schools they want as long as it has space and so long as the parents can provide the transportation. And the Hage’s certainly have the right. But what does that say about their own schools if they’re not good enough for their own children?
If driving is an issue from their $1.8 million home in Coral Ridge Country Club, rest assured. There are parents all over Broward County driving their children to schools, including theirs, that are even further.
Charters Schools USA runs seven schools in Broward County including: Coral Springs Charter School, Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science, North Broward Academy of Excellence and Renaissance Charter Schools in Coral Springs, Cooper City, Plantation and Tamarac.
“It’s not a comforting feeing. It certainly make you wonder why,” said Renaissance Charter School parent Kevin Muscolino who said he liked the school for his daughter who is attending her first year there. “This would be the same as if the guys working at my body shop took their cars to the dealership to be fixed.”

Let’s just do the math: With 8,600 students attending their seven schools in Broward County, this brings in over $49 million dollars annually for Charter Schools USA. . . . 

Corporate Astroturf Vultures Line Up in Memphis

As the corporate stooges of the school board waited on Tuesday evening for community members to utter their final useless pleas to keep their community schools open in Memphis, a group of fat corporate vultures had their own perch near the front in an area designated for "district officials." 

Any parent upset about public school closings should take the opportunity to spit in the face of anyone from the organizations listed in bold just below from an article from Tennessee Chalkbeat:
The school district auditorium in midtown Memphis was crowded Tuesday night, as the Shelby County school board’s debate over which schools to close before the 2014-15 school year reached its culmination. For many of the students, parents, alumni, teachers, community members, and media present, this was the last in a series of community meetings about the closings over the past two months.
Near the section of room marked for district officials, under a sign that read “Remember, it’s all about our students,” sat another group that had been to almost as many meetings as anyone in the room: Field organizers for StudentsFirst and Parent Empowerment, two school choice advocacy groups.
Representatives from school choice advocacy groups new to Memphis – Parent Empowerment and the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) – and from more-established StudentsFirst and Stand For Children attended nearly every community meeting focused on the closings this winter. . . .

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Getting Organized for the Restoration of Sanity in Schools

COMMUNITY FORUM ON STANDARDIZED TESTING: 
“TESTED TO DEATH”

Tennesseans Reclaiming EducationalExcellence (TREE) is excited to announce “Tested to Death,” a community forum featuring the authors of The Mismeasure of Education, Dr. Jim Horn and Dr. Denise Wilburn.

The event will be held at the New Song Church auditorium (formerly Turner School) at 2949 Nolensville Pike in Nashville on Saturday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Horn and Dr. Wilburn will discuss education policies related to high-stakes testing and the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) used to evaluate teachers.


The program is open to the public, and parents, teachers, students, and concerned citizens are invited to attend.