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Archive for May, 2019

Citing Harm to Public Education, Bernie Sanders Calls for Ban on For-Profit Charter Schools

May 19, 2019 Comments off

This is LONG overdue… but it raises several questions:

=> Why did it take so long?

=> Will other candidates weigh in on this issue?

=> Now that ONLY Bernie Sanders has taken this step, will the teacher’s unions support him or will they value “electability” over principle?

=> Now that one candidate has made this proposal, will the teacher’s unions insist that other candidates do likewise or will they value the DNC’s “electability” standards over their principles?

=> Will this get the attention of NAACP’s leadership enough to get them to actively support Bernie Sanders over Joe Biden, who is most unlikely to support this?

=> Will the funds streaming in from pro-privatization forces continue to the DNC if their eventual nominee adopts Bernie Sanders’ position on for profit charters?

Source: Citing Harm to Public Education, Bernie Sanders Calls for Ban on For-Profit Charter Schools

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Mandatory Universal Community Service: The Best Chance to Unite Our Nation

May 15, 2019 Comments off

Looking at the news and social media today, it is increasingly evident that we are no longer the UNITED States of America. Indeed, as a result of the libertarian foothold that emerged as a result of Reaganism and Milton Friedman’s economics and the opportunity for bloggers like me to publish ideas without the filter of the news media, we are increasingly individualized, personalized, and, therefore, isolated from each other.

Looking back at how this disintegration and dis-unity occurred over the course of my 72 years, I think the current state of affairs emerged from one misbegotten concept: the abandonment of the universal draft and the creation of the volunteer army. In retrospect, there was a chance to define America as a nation of citizens that cared about each other in the late 1960s. The war in Viet Nam was tearing our country apart as thousands of students idealistic anti-war college students took to the street and thousands of their working class cohorts were drafted to fight the war.

Then President Richard Nixon and Congress rightly perceived that one of the underlying causes of the dissent among college students was the inherent unfairness of the draft. Those who had political connections or wealth found ways to game the system by securing deferments. Those who had the good fortune to reside in areas where draft quotas were readily met never had to worry about being involuntarily drafted and could drift through their college-aged years without the fear of being conscripted to serve in the military. At the same time, those who resided in areas where few volunteered for the armed forces could expect to be drafted upon graduation or if they failed to make progress as undergraduates.

In 1969, Congress gave President Nixon the authority to modify the selection method for the draft. His initial “fix”, implemented by Executive Order, was to replace the existing draft system with a lottery whereby those eligible for the draft would have their birthdates assigned a number from 1 to 366. Those with lower numbers would be vulnerable to the draft and those with higher numbers no longer needed to worry. Any males in my age cohort can recall their draft number and their reaction when that number was revealed.

But the inherent inequities of the system were not addressed by the lottery as Two years later, he abandoned the draft altogether, replacing it with the all-volunteer army. In retrospect, this decision represents a missed opportunity.

WHAT IF instead of replacing the draft with an all volunteer army the President and Congress agreed to replace the draft with two years of voluntary service to be completed by all citizens before the age of 25. Those who wanted to serve in the armed forces could do so at a time that suited them and those who wanted to defer their service obligation until after college and/or graduate school could wait. This would have appealed to the idealism of the anti-war group by engaging them in the War on Poverty while allowing those who wanted to serve in the military to do so without feeling like they were alone in their commitment to making our country a better place.

By the way… we could institute this kind of universal service today and address the infrastructure upgrades we need while providing meaningful full-time jobs with benefits to millions of millennials. In doing so, we might provide a way for people across our country to get to know each other and become the UNITED States of America.

Denouncing DeVos, Warren Vows to Appoint Education Secretary With ‘Real Teaching Experience,’ Not Conflicts of Interest

May 14, 2019 Comments off

This would be a good first step…. but before embracing this idea I have a couple of clarifying questions:

  • Is someone who worked for Teach For America an individual with “real teaching experience”?
  • Is someone who worked in a selective charter school or a selective public school an individual with “real teaching experience”?
  • Is someone who only has “real teaching experience” capable of leading a complex bureaucracy?
  • And the most important question: does Ms. Warren intend to sustain the “bi-partisan” test-and-punish model adopted by George W. Bush, sustained by Barak Obama, and now placed on steroids by Betsy DeVos?

I am waiting for a candidate to express their unequivocal opposition to the test-and-punish model before I endorse anyone for 2020.

Source: Denouncing DeVos, Warren Vows to Appoint Education Secretary With ‘Real Teaching Experience,’ Not Conflicts of Interest

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Billions in Tax Cuts Undercut K-12 Funding and Now One Billion Plus to be Cut From Pell Grants for Ego Soothing Moon Launch

May 14, 2019 Comments off
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Segregation Worse than 30 Years Ago… and There is No Easy Fix

May 11, 2019 Comments off

www.nytimes.com/2019/05/10/us/threatening-the-future-the-high-stakes-of-deepening-school-segregation.html

Segregation is worse now than 30 years ago, especially in the north. And the problem will be very difficult to address by State or Federal laws given local zoning ordinances. Perversely the best chance to achieve integration MIGHT be gentrification where “urban homesteaders” move into economically distressed neighborhoods seeking low cost housing that is convenient to downtowns that are vibrant.

In Show of ‘Breathtaking Cruelty,’ Trump White House Unveils Plan That Would Evict Tens of Thousands of Children From Public Housing

May 11, 2019 Comments off

Here’s what this story DOESN’T say: the funds needed to pay HUD staff to assess the citizenship status of those living in public housing could be used for other purposes… like expediting the hearings of those seeking asylum at the border… an action that would limit the number of people held in makeshift prisons. The POTUS and the GOP would rather increase cruelty than relieve it.

Source: In Show of ‘Breathtaking Cruelty,’ Trump White House Unveils Plan That Would Evict Tens of Thousands of Children From Public Housing

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‘Fight if You Must’: Students Take a Front-Line Role in School Shootings – The New York Times

May 10, 2019 Comments off

Some students appear to have concluded that they cannot wait for a teacher or security officer to protect them during a school shooting.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/us/school-shooting-student-safety.html

It appears that the only way schools will ever get the help they need to address mental health issues is to call them “threat assessment teams”. Uniting people based on fear is always easier than uniting them out of compassion for those who are troubled.

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