Monday, October 20, 2014

Corporate so called "reformers" throw millions into the effort to elect an anti union Superintendent of Schools

Your vote will make the difference.  

Corporate school  “reformers” have raised over $4 million from the very rich during the last week to contribute to the campaign to elect  anti union leader Marshall Tuck as Superintendent of Public Instruction in California.   According the Sacramento Bee The fund includes $1 million each from Los Angeles businessmen Bill Bloomfield and Eli Broad, a major financier of efforts to overhaul public education. The Gap co-founder Doris Fisher and Laurene Powell Jobs, philanthropist and widow of Steve Jobs, have each contributed $500,000.

Incumbent  Tom Torlakson is a former teacher and is  supported by both major teacher unions.  He supports extension of Prop. 30 taxes passed in 2012 which have restored funding to California schools after the devastation of the national  economic crisis when over 30,000 teachers were dismissed in the state.  Schools in other states without new taxes currently continue to reel from austerity budget cuts.

This effort by many anti - union  philanthropists and a group of  Democrats,  to gain control of this office  raised in just one week  dwarfs the $2 million raised by teachers’ unions in favor of Torlakson.
Corporate advocates want Tuck in office to  support the anti tenure decisions and anti teacher due process  procedures of the Vergara  v. California case.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola, Republican budgets, and our safety


The Republican hysteria machine is at full throttle on the Ebola case.  Texas Governor Rick Perry and Congressional candidate are practicing the campaign of “Look over there !”  They focus on a campaign to denounce the White House for not banning flights from West Africa.  ( There are few  direct flights from West Africa to the U.S.). the campaign is designed to get readers to look at the flight’s as the fear issue.  That is, to look away from the Congressional action that cut the CDC budget by almost 50 % last year. This budget cut  produced a CDC that did not have the funds to adequately train hospital workers and nurses for infectious control and did not provide infection control equipment. See the statement by the Nurses here


We should keep some basics in mind.  Last year some 32,000 people died in the U.S. of influenza while some 40% of Americans have not yet received their vaccine for the flu.

Friday, October 17, 2014

LA district Superintendent Resigns after months of turmoil.

Marshall  Tuck could apply for this job!


From EdSource,  
In a statement issued jointly by Deasy and the board, the board stated that “at this time it does  not believe that the superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts.” Deasy has been at the center of a controversy regarding a $30 million contract awarded to Apple computer that distributed iPads to students. According to the statement, Deasy will remain “on special assignment” with the district until the end of the year.

From Hechinger Report-  an advocate of the corporate “reform” network.
Note. There are three links on this post to three different news sources of this story.  Readers are encouraged  to compare the coverage.   http://hechingerreport.org/content/months-turmoil-la-schools-superintendent-deasy-resigns_17718/

Take the Vergara v. California trial, which in June overturned state’s laws governing teacher tenure, seniority and dismissal. Deasy was the prosecution’s star witness. According to Zimmer, who supports some of the changes in teacher-protection, Deasy never even discussed the case with the school board. Zimmer was particularly disturbed that Deasy seemed to enjoy taking down laws that were put in place to protect the 28,000 teachers he leads.

His friends. ..
“Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa brought Deasy into the district with backing from billionaire Eli Broad, with the hope of growing the charter school system, confronting the teachers union, and changing the terms of teacher employment in Los Angeles
He is a 2006 graduate of a superintendent-training program funded by Broad, who favors teacher evaluations based on test scores.”

 Ed Note. These are the same bakers and financiers of the campaign of Marshall Tuck for California Superintendent of Public Instruction. See 
http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2014/10/corporate-titans-throw-millions-into.html below.

 This is not guilt by association.  This is recognizing the network of supporters for this group of “alleged” school reformers. Perhaps if Tuck looses the election, he can apply for this open job. 

For a news report on his departure, not a corporate  "reform" promotion piece, see
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-lausd-deasy-20141017-story.html#page=1


Thursday, October 16, 2014

We Need the Representative Democracies of Unions in our Schools

 October 16, 2014

Leo Casey of the Albert Shanker Institute replies to Deborah Meier again today.
Deb: To practice genuine democracy in our schools, our unions, and our communities, we need a different understanding of what it means to be political.
When I taught at Bard High School Early College in New York City, one of my favorite questions on my mid-year exam was: What did Aristotle mean when he wrote that "man is a political animal?"
For most Americans, the term "political animal" would invoke the worst of American political culture: the paranoid ranting of talk radio, the political television shows modeled after wrestling entertainment, the election campaigns dominated by negative attack ads, and the gridlock of a Congress where narrow partisan advantage is everything. No wonder so many Americans run in the opposite direction when they hear "political."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Corporate Titans throw Millions into Tuck Campaign

Corporate school  “reformers” have raised over $4 million from the very rich during the last week to contribute to the campaign to elect Marshall Tuck as Superintendent of Public Instruction.  According the Sacramento Bee The fund includes $1 million each from Los Angeles businessmen Bill Bloomfield and Eli Broad, a major financier of efforts to overhaul public education. The Gap co-founder Doris Fisher and Laurene Powell Jobs, philanthropist and widow of Steve Jobs, have each contributed $500,000.

This anti union efforts raised in just one week  dwarfs the $2 million raised by teachers’ unions in favor of Torlakson.
Corporate advocates want Tuck in office to  support the anti tenure decisions and anti teacher due process  procedures of the Vergara case.


A handful of ultra-wealthy donors who support school privatization and cutting public pension systems are behind a flood of spending supporting former Wall Street Banker Marshall Tuck's campaign for state schools superintendent, campaign disclosure records show.
Far from "Parents and Teachers for Tuck," the $4.7 million collected so far comes instead from sources that support school vouchers, privatization of public pension systems and using disruptive business tactics to overhaul public schools.
Major funders include:
$500,000 from Carrie Walton Penner, whose family made its fortune running anti-union, low-wage paying Wal-Mart. The Walmart 1% website reports that Penner's biography includes serving on the board of the Alliance for School Choice - a school voucher advocacy group.
 
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