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Posts Tagged ‘Self-awareness’

A Pasted Post From Naked Capitalism Explains Why Teachers Wonder Where their Dues Go

August 7, 2020 Leave a comment

“Viewpoint: Pro-Labor Candidates Are Upending New York Politics—But Where Are the Unions?” [Labor Notes]. An ugly picture:

At a candidate forum in Central Brooklyn for a New York state senate race, the moderator asked a simple yes or no question: “Do you support charter schools?”

It was no surprise that public school teacher, union member, and democratic socialist Jabari Brisport answered with a terse “nope”—unions rightly see charters as an effort to privatize and deunionize the teaching profession.

It’s also sadly not much of a surprise that his opponent, sitting Democratic Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright, answered with a “yes.” Charter schools are backed by deep-pocketed corporate interests, many of them major donors to the Democratic establishment. During the primary campaign, Wright received $7,500 from Democrats for Education Reform, a pro-charter group funded by the likes of Walmart heiress Alice Walton and hedge fund titan Dan Loeb.

The real surprise is that the statewide teachers union (NYSUT), which is largely controlled by its New York City local, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), decided to endorse Assemblywoman Wright, the candidate who explicitly opposes the union’s own legislative agenda, over one of its own members.

Brisport still won the Democratic primary for the 25th senate district convincingly—without his union’s support—even defeating Assemblywoman Wright in her own assembly district. And he’s hardly the only example of a pro-labor candidate winning without official labor support.

And union veterans wonder why younger members balk at paying union dues?

Pandemic Prodding More Parents to Consider Homeschooling

August 7, 2020 Leave a comment

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Bay Area parents, concerned about the lack of high quality and engaging on line instruction provided by public schools last Spring and concerned about the safety of their children in a “hybrid” program are increasingly looking into options and one of the more appealing ones is homeschooling. I have long believed that some kind of homeschool hybrid would emerge as a strong if not the best direction for public schools to go. But given the thinking of the parents quoted in this TV news story and the existing laws and regulations on homeschooling, now is not the time to launch such a program. The bottom line lure of homeschooling based on this report is that the government has less control over the curriculum and the lives of children. This is very appealing to parents who struggled to get their children to complete the online school work on time and satisfactorily but could become a means for parents to completely ignore schooling altogether and in some cases could lead to neglect and abuse at home. Finally, and just as concerning, it will clearly widen the opportunity gap as children in homes with books and access to high speed internet connection get opportunities that far exceed those who lack both.

Based on the latest thinking it appears that the COVID 19 virus is going to be with us for an extended time period. We might have to begin now to figure out how we can make schooling more equitable in this New Normal.

Teachers AND Parents See Eye-to-Eye on Opening School: Don’t Do It!

August 6, 2020 Leave a comment

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According to the survey recently conducted by NPR, there is a nearly complete alignment between parents on the question of whether or not schools should open: neither group wants to see it happen given the current set of circumstances. So… which group will incur the wrath of the President and the Murdoch branch of the media? Inevitably the headlines on the pushback will make this a union vs. “the economy” issue and will claim that the teachers fear of contracting COVID is baseless. The POTUS has already tweeted once that the teachers are doing this to ruin the economy so he will be defeated. Neither he nor his supporters or the GOP seems willing to accept that PARENTS, who will bear the brunt of schools remain shuttered, are equally concerned about the risk associated with reopening schools too soon.

I hope that sane minds and level heads will prevail and we will quickly decide to close schools through the end of the calendar year and focus the scarce time that remains on making remote learning more successful in September.