Local Control

Charter Schools Cherry Pick Students & Call it Choice – PART 1: The “I Didn’t Do It!” Excuse – Education Article

  It takes a certain kind of hypocrite to be a charter school champion.   You have to deny any wrongdoing one minute. And then admit you’re guilty but explain it away with the excuse “Everyone’s doing it!” the next.  Take cherry picking – one of the most common admonishments leveled against the school privatization industry.  Detractors claim that charter schools keep enrollment low and then out of those who apply, they pick and choose which students to accept.  Charters…

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Teachers Are More Stressed Out Than You Probably Think – Education Article

 When I was just a new teacher, I remember my doctor asking me if I had a high stress job.   I said that I taught middle school, as if that answered his question. But he took it to mean that I had it easy. After all – as he put it – I just played with children all day.   Now after 16 years in the classroom and a series of chronic medical conditions including heart disease, Crohn’s Disease…

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Gov. Wolf Tries to Stop Charter Schools Gorging on Public School Funding – Education Article

  Sooey! Here Pig Pig Pig!   No one minds that healthy call at the hog farm when it’s time to feed the sows.   But taxpayers do take issue with it when it’s the call of the state legislature gathering a different kind of swine around public tax dollars.   Pennsylvania’s 180 charter schools gobbled up $1.8 billion last year from the Commonwealth’s public schools.   And Gov. Tom Wolf is refusing to let them continue to gorge on…

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Blaming Schools for Student Absences is Like Denouncing Doctors for Disease – Education Article

 If something is wrong with children, it must be the school’s fault.   Right?   If kids can’t read, write and do ‘rithmetic, the teachers must not have taught ’em right.   It couldn’t have anything to do with home life, generational poverty, economic inequality and systemic racism.   Except that it almost always does.   Inextricably.  The fact is children who don’t live in safe, loving homes have much greater difficulty concentrating and caring about academics. Kids with impoverished…

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What Kind of A—hole Ransoms School Data? – Education Article

 You’ve got to be a grade A sleaze bag to steal from kids’ public schools.   But that’s exactly what a growing number of slime balls are doing when they hack into schools’ computer networks and hold their data for ransom.   Even worse – districts are paying it!   Just this week the Rockville Center School District in New York state paid an $88,000 ransom to get back files that had been encrypted by Ryuk ransomware.   The district…

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Every Charter School Must Be Closed Down – Every. Single. One. – Education Article

 The problem with charter schools isn’t that they have been implemented badly.   Nor is it that some are for-profit and others are not.   The problem is the concept, itself.   Put simply: charter schools are a bad idea. They always were a bad idea. And it is high time we put an end to them.   I am overjoyed that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are starting to hear the criticisms leveled against the charter school…

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Charter Schools Were Never a Good Idea. They Were a Corporate Plot All Along – Education Article

    America has been fooled by the charter school industry for too long.   The popular myth that charter schools were invented by unions to empower teachers and communities so that students would have better options is as phony as a three dollar bill.   The concept always was about privatizing schools to make money.   It has always been about stealing control of public education, enacting corporate welfare, engaging in union busting, and an abiding belief that the…

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Charter School’s Two Dads – How a Hatred for Public School Gave Us School Privatization – Education Article

Nathan saw in this an opportunity and invited Shanker to speak at the Itasca Seminar. His goal was to hide his side’s privatization aims under the shadow of progressive unionism.     And it worked. In fact, if you look up the history of charter schools, you’ll STILL find people who insist they were invented by Shanker.     With this cover, the Citizen’s League, which was underwritten by the Minneapolis Foundation, was able to pass a bill requiring mandatory…

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Busing and School Segregation Used for Politics not Policy – Education Article

 If children of all races went to the same schools with each other, it would be harder to treat them unequally.   Moreover, it would be harder for them to grow up prejudiced because they would have learned what it’s like to have classmates who are different from them.   And though most people agree with these premises in principle, our laws still refuse to make them a reality in fact.   Perhaps that’s why it was so astounding when…

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Top 10 Reasons Bernie Sanders’ Education Policies Are Light Years Ahead of Everyone Else’s – Education Article

    For most of my life, the United States has been neglecting its public school children – especially the black and brown ones.   Since the mid 1970s, instead of integrating our schools, we’ve been slowly resegregating them on the basis of race and social class.   Since the 1980s, instead of measuring academic success by the satisfaction of an individuals curiosity and authentic learning, we’ve been slowly redefining it to mean nothing but achievement on standardized tests.  …

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Charter Schools Are Quietly Gobbling Up My Public School District
 – Education Article

  I work in a little suburban school district just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that is slowly being destroyed by privatization.   Steel Valley Schools have a proud history.   We’re located (in part) in Homestead – the home of the historic steel strike of 1892.   But today it isn’t private security agents and industrial business magnates against whom we’re struggling.   It’s charter schools, voucher schools and the pro-corporate policies that enable them to pocket tax dollars meant…

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Sell Your Soul to the Testocracy: Kamala Harris’s Faustian Teacher Raises – Education Article

 I love the idea of Kamala Harris’ plan to give teachers a pay raise.  But once we get past ideas, it’s way more troubling.   The California Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful is proposing a $13,500 pay increase for the average teacher, with the exact number based on the size of each state’s pay gap.  That’s $315 billion more over a decade through federal matching funds, which amounts to a 23 percent salary increase for most educators.   Yes, please!…

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Pittsburgh School Board Candidate Anna Batista Takes Big Money From Special Interests – Education Article

  Meanwhile, her opponent Pam Harbin, a public school watchdog, is supported almost exclusively by grassroots donations.     Both candidates are running for District 4, which serves parts of Squirrel Hill, Point Breeze, Shadyside and North Oakland. Since they’ve cross filed and will appear on both the Republican and Democratic primary ballots, the seat should be decided in the May 21 primary.   Batista and Harbin have raised similar amounts for their campaigns. Harbin has $33,412.95 while Batista has…

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Schools That Hinder Opt Outs Are Participating in Their Own Demise – Education Article

You can’t be a public school and still ignore the will of the people.   That’s the problem at too many districts across the country where narrow-minded administrators are waging an all out war on parents opting their children out of standardized testing.   The federal government still requires all states to give high stakes tests to public school students in grades 3-8 and once in high school. So states require their districts to give the tests – despite increasing…

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The Forgotten Disaster of America’s First Standardized Test – Education Article

  The merry-go-round of history continues to spin because the riders forget they are free to get off at any time.   But we rarely do it. We keep to our seats and commit the same stupid mistakes over and over again.   Take high stakes standardized testing.   It was a disaster the very first time it was attempted in America – in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1845.   Yet we continue to prescribe the same error to students in…

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Let Voters Fix Harrisburg School Board – Not State Takeover – Education Article

Pushing the self-destruct button is the ultimate measure of last resort.   But that’s how several Pennsylvania lawmakers are suggesting we fix the dysfunctional Harrisburg School Board.   An election that could oust most of the very school directors responsible for the district’s troubles is less than a month away. But Democratic Representative Patty Kim, Republican Senator John DiSanto and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse all say we shouldn’t wait – The state should takeover the Harrisburg School District immediately.  …

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