The Blinders of Partisanship: How Republicans and Democrats Miss the Point – We’re All Being Screwed

gadflyonthewallblog

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Perhaps the biggest disappointment of this election cycle wasn’t Donald Trump’s victory.

It’s how quickly many of our allies on the right gave up their beliefs to fall in line.

Under President Barack Obama, those on the left and right were united against Common Core.

We both realized it was a terrible policy – though sometimes for different reasons. Never-the-less, we put aside politics to fight Bill Gates, David Coleman, Eli Broad and other privileged left-leaning elites.

And through this common struggle we came closer ideologically. I’m a New Deal FDR Democrat, but even I could see how the Obama administration overstepped its federal authority pushing charter schools, standardized testing and the Core down our throats.

But as soon as Trump ascended to the Oval Office, many conservatives gave up their objections to this same kind of federal overreach.

Apparently Obama was wrong to push charters, but Trump is just…

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On 2/19/17, the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Internment Order

Bill Ayers

https://monthlyreview.org/2003/07/01/construction-of-an-enemy/

Remember that the US Supreme Court upheld the internment orders in Korematsu v. US., convicting US citizen Fred Korematsu for refusing to comply with the order.  The Korematsu decision has long been viewed as one of the “ante-canon” landmarks of constitutional law, along with Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson.  But it has never been overruled by the Supreme Court, so in a sense it lies in wait…

Korematsu’s conviction was finally overturned in 1998 by a California federal court that found that the Supreme Court decision was based on a fraudulent military report, and Clinton gave him a presidential medal of honor.  The dissent of Robert Jackson (former chief US prosecutor in Nuremberg) in Korematsu is worth revisiting today:

“But once a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such…

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A View of the Long Game: Where Art Thou Public Education?

educationalchemy

Image result for alice in wonderland

The privatizers are busy at work. Unless you live under a rock (a tempting thought lately…) you probably feel like I do every time you turn on the news; the sensation of riding the Tilt a Whirl while taking ‘shrooms. It’s exhausting at best, and terrifying at worst; trying to untangle what is happening around us. Take Devos and her anti-Grizzly platform as the prime example of current insanity.

The most recent effort toward destroying public ed comes in the form of the Choices in Education Act of 2017. I live in Maryland along with Andy Harris (R) who is co-sponsor of this bill. (lucky me).

Many activists fighting against education reform are already on top of pushing back and calling for action against this bill, as well they (and we) should be. Like many of my friends and colleagues I am also strongly opposed to a voucher…

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Steven Singer: The Ignorance and Arrogance of Betsy DeVos

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steven Singer watched the Betsy DeVos hearings and was taken aback by her ignorance of education policy and her arrogance in thinking she is qualified to be Secretary of Education.

He writes:

Betsy DeVos wouldn’t commit to protecting students with special needs.

She wouldn’t commit to keeping guns out of school campuses.

She wouldn’t commit to holding charter and voucher schools to the same standards as traditional public schools.

She didn’t know the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was a federal law.

And she couldn’t explain the difference between proficiency and growth.

That’s your nominee for Secretary of Education, America!

During a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) tonight, DeVos showed herself to be hopelessly out of her depth.

She tried to cover her ignorance by being noncommittal. But it was obvious that she had no idea what she was talking about more…

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SubmitIn 2007, the Council of the District of Columbia, along with the mayor, the United States Congress and the president, amended the city’s home rule charter. The motivation for doing so was to eliminate the elected school board and give direct control of the District of Columbia Public Schools to the mayor. Features were written into the law to ensure a participatory role for stakeholders in the running of the schools. One such provision in the Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA) of 2007 was the process by which the DCPS chancellor was to be selected. The governing legislation states that“….(b)(1) Prior to the selection of a nominee for Chancellor, the Mayor shall: (A) Establish a review panel of teachers, including representatives of the Washington Teachers’ Union, parents, and students (“panel”) to aid the Mayor in his or her selection of Chancellor; (B) Provide the resumes and other pertinent information pertaining to the individuals under consideration, if any, to the panel; and (C) Convene a meeting of the panel to hear the opinions and recommendations of the panel. (2) The Mayor shall consider the opinions and recommendations of the panel in making his or her nomination and shall give great weight to any recommendation of the Washington Teachers Union…” Almost immediately after passage, features of PERAA have been treated by the executive as if they were optional, instead of mandatory, and the Council has approved the Mayor’s nominations, notwithstanding the Mayor’s violation of the legally required process. When former Mayor Adrian Fenty chose Michelle Rhee to be his school’s chancellor, he ignored every aspect of the process delineated in PERAA in making the selection. In 2011, former Mayor Vincent Gray, selected Kaya Henderson to be chancellor and, again, ignored the legally-mandated process for making the selection. And, again, the council placed its imprimatur on a choice that completely disregarded the law. As the city prepares to select the third chancellor since the passage of PERAA, another mayor, this time Muriel Bowser, is again treating the stakeholders’ role with disdain by announcing her choice of Oakland Public Schools Superintendent Antwan Wilson to lead DCPS. Mayor Bowser has not followed neither the letter nor spirit of the law in selecting Antwan Wilson. Prior to the selection of Mr. Wilson, Mayor Bowser did not provide resumes and other pertinent information about candidates being considered to the panel created to give opinions and recommendations about the selection. She did not meet with the advisory panel to hear opinions and recommendations about those under consideration for the position as chancellor. Nor did she give great weight to the recommendations of the Washington Teacher’s Union, as required under PERAA. In fact, she made it impossible for WTU to give any recommendations to her on the “individuals under consideration” because she refused to provide WTU representatives or other members of the advisory panel the resumes of any of the candidates under consideration. While Superintendent Wilson may have the qualifications and temperament to run DCPS, this is not the purpose of my letter. Should Mr. Wilson ultimately be approved by city council for the position as chancellor, the Washington Teacher’s Union will work with him enthusiastically and with a sense of partnership on behalf of all DC public school children. However, before that relationship can be initiated, Mayor Bowser should follow the legally-mandated process for choosing a chancellor. Although compliance at this stage of the process would be retroactive, the Washington Teachers’ Union recommends that prior to acting on Wilson’s nomination, city council should pass a Resolution finding that Mayor Bowser violated the PERAA and must in future adhere to all of its provisions, including distributing resumes of all candidates considered and personally meeting with the advisory panel to hear its recommendation for a candidate and those of the WTU prior to the Mayor’s selection of a nominee. This Resolution would be, in effect, a public censure of the Mayor and is a well-recognized form of legislative action for expressing a legislature’s strongly held position. It would preserve WTU’s objection and enable the Council to publicly assert the need for executive compliance with the selection law. During the nearly decade-long existence of PERRA the council has allowed the executive to ignore many of its requirements. It is time for such thin oversight to end. The Council has a responsibility to ensure the Mayor is accountable to its laws, especially as to such an important matter involving such a crucial executive-branch agency as DCPS. Our members and allies ask that you honor the letter and spirit of PERAA and protect the rights it gives stakeholders to comment on the individuals the Mayor was considering for crucial choice of chancellor before the Mayor has made his/her final selection. Elizabeth Davis is author and President of the Washington Teachers’ Union

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