UFT/AFT Long Time Support for Shutting Down Schools

    Former UFT and AFT President Sandra Feldman: “If a public school is not doing the job it is supposed to do, I think it ought to be closed down and redesigned.” 

    What does that mean - supposed to do?  Shanker said much the same thing from the early 80's on - the true beginning of the sell-out to ed deform.

    *  “I don’t think having money out as a carrot is going to work.” — Feldman on merit pay.
     Don't think for a minute Feldman or Shanker would have opposed the various merit pay schemes floated through MulGarten.

    Then head on over to Norms Notes and re-read the Newsweek Gate-Weingarten piece and tell me which side the UFT/AFT is on.  Bill Gates and Randi Weingarten

    Afterburn: Mike's EIA archive also had this tidbit.
    *  Linda Darling-Hammond of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future:
    Her stance on alternative forms of teacher certification caused some controversy among the crowd. Terming these programs “education lite,” Darling-Hammond claimed they “keep salaries low and use teacher education as the cash cows to fund the law school and the engineering school.” Her view angered many proponents of alternative certification, particularly those who were holding a workshop at the conference to introduce their programs to the participants.

    Happy New Year, ya'll.

Post Title

UFT/AFT Long Time Support for Shutting Down Schools


Post URL

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UFT/AFT Long Time Support for Shutting Down Schools

    Former UFT and AFT President Sandra Feldman: “If a public school is not doing the job it is supposed to do, I think it ought to be closed down and redesigned.” 

    What does that mean - supposed to do?  Shanker said much the same thing from the early 80's on - the true beginning of the sell-out to ed deform.

    *  “I don’t think having money out as a carrot is going to work.” — Feldman on merit pay.
     Don't think for a minute Feldman or Shanker would have opposed the various merit pay schemes floated through MulGarten.

    Then head on over to Norms Notes and re-read the Newsweek Gate-Weingarten piece and tell me which side the UFT/AFT is on.  Bill Gates and Randi Weingarten

    Afterburn: Mike's EIA archive also had this tidbit.
    *  Linda Darling-Hammond of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future:
    Her stance on alternative forms of teacher certification caused some controversy among the crowd. Terming these programs “education lite,” Darling-Hammond claimed they “keep salaries low and use teacher education as the cash cows to fund the law school and the engineering school.” Her view angered many proponents of alternative certification, particularly those who were holding a workshop at the conference to introduce their programs to the participants.

    Happy New Year, ya'll.

Post Title

UFT/AFT Long Time Support for Shutting Down Schools


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/uftaft-long-time-support-for-shutting.html


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Oh, the Irony: Deny Black Waiver Post Dec. 23 hearing comments of parents and lawyers

Post Title

Oh, the Irony: Deny Black Waiver Post Dec. 23 hearing comments of parents and lawyers


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Oh, the Irony: Deny Black Waiver Post Dec. 23 hearing comments of parents and lawyers

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Oh, the Irony: Deny Black Waiver Post Dec. 23 hearing comments of parents and lawyers


Post URL

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Deny Waiver Coalition Response

    SupremeCourtDecisionOnWaiver_101230.pdf
    DENY WAIVER COALITION
    .
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    CONTACT:
    Norman Siegel (Attorney)          347-907-0867
    Mona Davids                                 917-340-8987
    Noah E. Gotbaum                          917-658-3213
    Lupé Todd (for Asm. Jeffries)      917-202-0116

    Parents Vow To Continue Fight For Quality Education In NYC
    .
    Albany Supreme Court Judge Sides With Education Commissioner;
    Rejects Challenge To Steiner-Black Waiver

    On Wednesday, December 29, Judge Gerald Connolly of the Albany County Supreme Court denied the petitions submitted on behalf of 13 parent Petitioners and one teacher challenging New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner's waiver of employment requirements for Cathleen Black so she could assume the office of Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. 
    The Petitioners, including New York State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries (D-57) and members of the Deny Waiver Coalition, contend that Ms. Black does not have the qualifications necessary under New York State law to oversee the educational system that serves their children and, furthermore, that Commissioner Steiner misinterpreted State law and exceeded his authority in granting the waiver to Ms. Black.

    Attorney Norman Siegel, representing the 14 Petitioners, stated the following:  "We are disappointed with the Court's decision.  We believed that there would be a different outcome and that Ms. Black's waiver would not be allowed to stand.  I will be consulting with the parents and teacher to determine their next step." 

    Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a parent Petitioner, said, "The decision by Judge Connolly is extremely disappointing but we will not throw in the towel with respect to the effort to improve our public schools system. Cathie Black remains unqualified to be chancellor. We will make a determination about whether to appeal shortly."

    Parent Petitioner Mona Davids said, "I am disappointed in Judge Connolly's decision but not surprised.  The decision to grant a waiver to Black who is clearly unqualified shows our children that it's not what you know but who you know. The appointment of unqualified Black has served as a catalyst to mobilize parents throughout the city to fight for a quality education for our children."

    Noah E. Gotbaum, parent Petitioner, stated, "This case is just the beginning of the movement of parents and educators to fight for our 1.1 million kids and to stand up against the current business model of education and its constituency of out-of-touch billionaires."

    Teacher Petitioner Julie Cavanagh was unhappy with the decision.  "I am saddened by the decision handed down today, but I am inspired by the brave parents, educators and citizens who stood up and fought for justice and for their voice to be heard. I stand firm in the beliefs held by the Deny Waiver Coalition; our children deserve a qualified Chancellor with the education credentials the law requires."

    Parent Petitioner Patricia Connelly said, "While I am profoundly disappointed with today's decision by Judge Connolly, I for one am not ready to let this illegal and immoral waiver stand.  I join my fellow petitioners in demanding that the public be restored to our rightful place at the table in protecting and promoting a truly democratic public education system here in New York City."

    Parent Petitioner Shino Tanikawa, said, "I am deeply disappointed and puzzled by Judge Connolly's decision.  However, I am, along with the others, determined to continue fighting for what is right."

    Chris Owens, a parent Petitioner, expressed his frustration with the perspective of Commissioner Steiner and the Court.  "Unfortunately, this judge ignored the true intent of the Education Law - to protect the quality and integrity of education management in New York State.  Given the current state of our streets, I am uncomfortable with someone who only has management credentials handling this City's education storm and the future of my two sons."

    Ms. Black was nominated by Mayor Bloomberg on November 9, 2010 to succeed outgoing Chancellor Joel Klein.  Commissioner Steiner granted the waiver on November 29.

     
    Attorneys Norman Siegel and Herbert Teitelbaum, representing the 14 Petitioners, were joined by attorneys Roger Wareham and Eric Snyder, each representing additional New York City public school parents who are also challenging the Steiner waiver.  Three separate Article 78 petitions challenging the waiver had been filed and were consolidated during the court hearing.

    Parent Petitioners were Assemblyman Jeffries (Brooklyn), Hon. Chris Owens (Brooklyn), Ms. Mona Davids (Bronx), Mr. Noah Gotbaum (Manhattan), Ms. Khem Irby (Brooklyn), Ms. Lydia Bellahcene (Brooklyn), Ms. Patricia Connelly (Brooklyn), Ms. Monica Ayuso (Queens), Ms. Mariama Sanoh (Manhattan), Mr. John Battis (Brooklyn), Ms. Latrina Miley (Manhattan), Ms. Shino Tanikawa-Oglesby (Manhattan) and Ms. Maria Farano-Rodriguez (Staten Island), as well as teacher Petitioner Julie Cavanagh (Brooklyn).
     

    # # # 
     




    Visit the Deny Waiver Coalition website:  http://www.denywaiver.com/



    The DENY WAIVER COALITION ("DWC") is an association of public school parents and educators as well as concerned community leaders opposed to granting a waiver of employment qualifications to Ms. Cathleen Black, the proposed Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.  The DWC also supports improvements to the Chancellor selection process.

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Deny Waiver Coalition Response

    SupremeCourtDecisionOnWaiver_101230.pdf
    DENY WAIVER COALITION
    .
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    CONTACT:
    Norman Siegel (Attorney)          347-907-0867
    Mona Davids                                 917-340-8987
    Noah E. Gotbaum                          917-658-3213
    Lupé Todd (for Asm. Jeffries)      917-202-0116

    Parents Vow To Continue Fight For Quality Education In NYC
    .
    Albany Supreme Court Judge Sides With Education Commissioner;
    Rejects Challenge To Steiner-Black Waiver

    On Wednesday, December 29, Judge Gerald Connolly of the Albany County Supreme Court denied the petitions submitted on behalf of 13 parent Petitioners and one teacher challenging New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner's waiver of employment requirements for Cathleen Black so she could assume the office of Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. 
    The Petitioners, including New York State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries (D-57) and members of the Deny Waiver Coalition, contend that Ms. Black does not have the qualifications necessary under New York State law to oversee the educational system that serves their children and, furthermore, that Commissioner Steiner misinterpreted State law and exceeded his authority in granting the waiver to Ms. Black.

    Attorney Norman Siegel, representing the 14 Petitioners, stated the following:  "We are disappointed with the Court's decision.  We believed that there would be a different outcome and that Ms. Black's waiver would not be allowed to stand.  I will be consulting with the parents and teacher to determine their next step." 

    Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a parent Petitioner, said, "The decision by Judge Connolly is extremely disappointing but we will not throw in the towel with respect to the effort to improve our public schools system. Cathie Black remains unqualified to be chancellor. We will make a determination about whether to appeal shortly."

    Parent Petitioner Mona Davids said, "I am disappointed in Judge Connolly's decision but not surprised.  The decision to grant a waiver to Black who is clearly unqualified shows our children that it's not what you know but who you know. The appointment of unqualified Black has served as a catalyst to mobilize parents throughout the city to fight for a quality education for our children."

    Noah E. Gotbaum, parent Petitioner, stated, "This case is just the beginning of the movement of parents and educators to fight for our 1.1 million kids and to stand up against the current business model of education and its constituency of out-of-touch billionaires."

    Teacher Petitioner Julie Cavanagh was unhappy with the decision.  "I am saddened by the decision handed down today, but I am inspired by the brave parents, educators and citizens who stood up and fought for justice and for their voice to be heard. I stand firm in the beliefs held by the Deny Waiver Coalition; our children deserve a qualified Chancellor with the education credentials the law requires."

    Parent Petitioner Patricia Connelly said, "While I am profoundly disappointed with today's decision by Judge Connolly, I for one am not ready to let this illegal and immoral waiver stand.  I join my fellow petitioners in demanding that the public be restored to our rightful place at the table in protecting and promoting a truly democratic public education system here in New York City."

    Parent Petitioner Shino Tanikawa, said, "I am deeply disappointed and puzzled by Judge Connolly's decision.  However, I am, along with the others, determined to continue fighting for what is right."

    Chris Owens, a parent Petitioner, expressed his frustration with the perspective of Commissioner Steiner and the Court.  "Unfortunately, this judge ignored the true intent of the Education Law - to protect the quality and integrity of education management in New York State.  Given the current state of our streets, I am uncomfortable with someone who only has management credentials handling this City's education storm and the future of my two sons."

    Ms. Black was nominated by Mayor Bloomberg on November 9, 2010 to succeed outgoing Chancellor Joel Klein.  Commissioner Steiner granted the waiver on November 29.

     
    Attorneys Norman Siegel and Herbert Teitelbaum, representing the 14 Petitioners, were joined by attorneys Roger Wareham and Eric Snyder, each representing additional New York City public school parents who are also challenging the Steiner waiver.  Three separate Article 78 petitions challenging the waiver had been filed and were consolidated during the court hearing.

    Parent Petitioners were Assemblyman Jeffries (Brooklyn), Hon. Chris Owens (Brooklyn), Ms. Mona Davids (Bronx), Mr. Noah Gotbaum (Manhattan), Ms. Khem Irby (Brooklyn), Ms. Lydia Bellahcene (Brooklyn), Ms. Patricia Connelly (Brooklyn), Ms. Monica Ayuso (Queens), Ms. Mariama Sanoh (Manhattan), Mr. John Battis (Brooklyn), Ms. Latrina Miley (Manhattan), Ms. Shino Tanikawa-Oglesby (Manhattan) and Ms. Maria Farano-Rodriguez (Staten Island), as well as teacher Petitioner Julie Cavanagh (Brooklyn).
     

    # # # 
     




    Visit the Deny Waiver Coalition website:  http://www.denywaiver.com/



    The DENY WAIVER COALITION ("DWC") is an association of public school parents and educators as well as concerned community leaders opposed to granting a waiver of employment qualifications to Ms. Cathleen Black, the proposed Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.  The DWC also supports improvements to the Chancellor selection process.

    Find us on Facebook

    OwensRallyMona Davids Speaks At Lawsuit Press Conference
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Deny Waiver Coalition Response


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Supreme Court Rules for Black Despite Strong Arguments Against Her Nomination, Parents Stand Firm

    UPDATE:  SupremeCourtDecisionOnWaiver_101230.pdf

    If you've seen the videos I posted apparently the lame pro-Black arguments won out - or maybe it all didn't make a difference.  Now some of our allies think this is a good thing for all over time. But let's wait and see.

    Meanwhile, my wife's co-worker who manages large systems and numerous employees in a large hospital called today to say she is more qualified than Black. And my wife who also managed at the same place just reminded me she has a Masters in Public Administration from NYU. I'm sending Bloomberg her info just in case Black makes a total mess.

    One thing I thought was funny was how even some attorneys at the hearing gave Black the benefit of the doubt about her managerial ability - large budgets, lots of employees, managing large facilities - when the largest number of employees is supposedly around 2000 - and in fact she was being kicked upstairs.

    Thanks to Queens Teacher 
    Update: Story is now here. Money quote from Mayor4life Bloomberg:

    "This decision should bring an end to the politicking and grandstanding and allow us all to focus on what matters most: continuing to improve the quality of education we offer New York City’s public school children..."
    No doubt he'll give those 1.1 million schoolchildren the same attention he gave the snow around their homes.
    I have bad news for his dishonor- it's only just begun.
    JOIN IN JANUARY 19 AT BROOKLYN TECH TO GREET BLACK FOR HER FIRST PEP MEETING.

    NY Times report here (and there will be an appeal.)

    Well anyways, here is a report I wrote with Lisa Donlan based on the notes she took at the hearing for The Wave to be published in the Dec. 31 edition. Lisa and I are working on putting her extensive notes into some form of historical record to go with the videos so next time they choose someone even less unqualified than Black - why have any degree at all?


    Lawyers for Three Groups Fighting Black Nomination Get Hearing in Albany

    by Norm Scott and Lisa Donlan 

    With designated NYC schools chancellor Cathie Black due to take office on Jan. 3, a hearing was held on December 23 in Albany over three lawsuits opposing the nomination with State Supreme Court justice Gerald Connolly presiding.

    Attorney and Brooklyn parent of two children Eric Snyder made the first argument followed by Roger Wareham representing two parents and famed civil rights attorney Norman Siegel representing one teacher and 13 parents, including Brooklyn State Assemblyman Hakim Jeffries.

    Snyder claimed that all routes to qualifications for Chancellor outlined in the law require a graduate degree. The legal question seemed to hinge on the fact that while State Ed Commissioner regulations relating to how the education law is to be applied explicitly require a graduate degree, the education law itself (revised in 2007) does not explicitly do so. Snyder argued that the statute refers to the regulations and the regulations are explicit in NOT allowing the waiving of the higher degree requirement. The legal problem seems to be to puzzle out the intentions of the law: is a Master’s degree required by law or not?

    Waivers for past chancellors, all of them lawyers but not meeting the qualifications for the Chancellorship (Joel Klein and Harold Levy among others) were granted because a JD degree is considered equivalent to a Masters. Black only holds a BA. The judge pointed out that he was “cognizant” of the disconnect between the statute and the regulations. Snyder claimed that State Education Commissioner Steiner’s decision in granting the waiver relied on the regulations and not the statute.

    Norman Siegel claimed that even in granting the waiver, Commissioner Steiner pointed out that Black lacks skills in many critical areas: educational standards, curriculum, accountability and the use of performance data, preparation of great teachers and turning around low performing schools, only granting the waiver on the condition that a deputy with these skills be appointed. Chief Accountability Officer Shael Polokow-Suransky was subsequently given the position but Mayor Bloomberg affirmed that Black would be totally in charge.

    Siegel said that the statute makes no provision for a chancellor to rely on a staff for these qualifications with the law specifically referring to how “the candidate” (and never a plural or team or staff supported candidate) shall meet the requirements laid out in the law for the position of Chancellor (termed by Roger Wareham as a "shadow" Chancellor as second in command to palliate the lack of training, credentials and experience of the candidate). "Thus one can make an irrefutable inference as to the intentions of the legislature on this matter."

    Wareham reviewed Black's lack of qualifications, interest, knowledge or involvement of any kind in public education and said the over 1 million children would be done irreparable harm with the appointment of a Chancellor who was not even qualified to teach, let alone supervise teachers who all must hold a Masters. "If this nomination goes through I can foresee the day when even a Bachelors degree is waived," said Warenham.

    "Black has exceptional experience in dealing with large organizations, collaborating, leading, engaging diverse stakeholders, building relationships and managing facilities and money," said Assistant Attorney General Kelly Munkwitz, who represented Steiner and NY State, claiming that what Black didn't get in the classroom was covered in her career as a magazine and newspaper publisher.

    This led to some discussion over the nature of substantial experience, private vs. public sector, the experience that would inform decisions making, the role a second in command with qualifications could play, and the fact that surely an educator with substantial management experience could have been found. Wareham pointed out that indeed context does mater when it comes to qualifications for decision making in public education, citing several coaches/sports teams managers who by the same logic would be as qualified to run our public school system as Black by these standards.

    "This is about the individual best suited to run a school system that's the size of a fairly large city," said Assistant Corporation Counsel Chlarens Orsland who represented Bloomberg. None of the lawyers pointed out that with a $23 billion budget, 1700 schools and 135,000 employees, managing the NYC school system is far out of the range of Black's managerial experience in organizations with no more than 2000 employees and budgets not even one tenth the NYC schools budget. "What does she know about facilities management," asked one observer in the gallery?

    The respondents made mention of the unique nature of NYC school district, which the law mentions in several places may require unique requirements for NYC as an argument for the Black waiver even though this section of the law does not make this exception explicit. Had the Legislature wanted NYC to have different requirements for the NYC chancellor the law would state so claimed the lawyers challenging Black.

Post Title

Supreme Court Rules for Black Despite Strong Arguments Against Her Nomination, Parents Stand Firm


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Supreme Court Rules for Black Despite Strong Arguments Against Her Nomination, Parents Stand Firm

    UPDATE:  SupremeCourtDecisionOnWaiver_101230.pdf

    If you've seen the videos I posted apparently the lame pro-Black arguments won out - or maybe it all didn't make a difference.  Now some of our allies think this is a good thing for all over time. But let's wait and see.

    Meanwhile, my wife's co-worker who manages large systems and numerous employees in a large hospital called today to say she is more qualified than Black. And my wife who also managed at the same place just reminded me she has a Masters in Public Administration from NYU. I'm sending Bloomberg her info just in case Black makes a total mess.

    One thing I thought was funny was how even some attorneys at the hearing gave Black the benefit of the doubt about her managerial ability - large budgets, lots of employees, managing large facilities - when the largest number of employees is supposedly around 2000 - and in fact she was being kicked upstairs.

    Thanks to Queens Teacher 
    Update: Story is now here. Money quote from Mayor4life Bloomberg:

    "This decision should bring an end to the politicking and grandstanding and allow us all to focus on what matters most: continuing to improve the quality of education we offer New York City’s public school children..."
    No doubt he'll give those 1.1 million schoolchildren the same attention he gave the snow around their homes.
    I have bad news for his dishonor- it's only just begun.
    JOIN IN JANUARY 19 AT BROOKLYN TECH TO GREET BLACK FOR HER FIRST PEP MEETING.

    NY Times report here (and there will be an appeal.)

    Well anyways, here is a report I wrote with Lisa Donlan based on the notes she took at the hearing for The Wave to be published in the Dec. 31 edition. Lisa and I are working on putting her extensive notes into some form of historical record to go with the videos so next time they choose someone even less unqualified than Black - why have any degree at all?


    Lawyers for Three Groups Fighting Black Nomination Get Hearing in Albany

    by Norm Scott and Lisa Donlan 

    With designated NYC schools chancellor Cathie Black due to take office on Jan. 3, a hearing was held on December 23 in Albany over three lawsuits opposing the nomination with State Supreme Court justice Gerald Connolly presiding.

    Attorney and Brooklyn parent of two children Eric Snyder made the first argument followed by Roger Wareham representing two parents and famed civil rights attorney Norman Siegel representing one teacher and 13 parents, including Brooklyn State Assemblyman Hakim Jeffries.

    Snyder claimed that all routes to qualifications for Chancellor outlined in the law require a graduate degree. The legal question seemed to hinge on the fact that while State Ed Commissioner regulations relating to how the education law is to be applied explicitly require a graduate degree, the education law itself (revised in 2007) does not explicitly do so. Snyder argued that the statute refers to the regulations and the regulations are explicit in NOT allowing the waiving of the higher degree requirement. The legal problem seems to be to puzzle out the intentions of the law: is a Master’s degree required by law or not?

    Waivers for past chancellors, all of them lawyers but not meeting the qualifications for the Chancellorship (Joel Klein and Harold Levy among others) were granted because a JD degree is considered equivalent to a Masters. Black only holds a BA. The judge pointed out that he was “cognizant” of the disconnect between the statute and the regulations. Snyder claimed that State Education Commissioner Steiner’s decision in granting the waiver relied on the regulations and not the statute.

    Norman Siegel claimed that even in granting the waiver, Commissioner Steiner pointed out that Black lacks skills in many critical areas: educational standards, curriculum, accountability and the use of performance data, preparation of great teachers and turning around low performing schools, only granting the waiver on the condition that a deputy with these skills be appointed. Chief Accountability Officer Shael Polokow-Suransky was subsequently given the position but Mayor Bloomberg affirmed that Black would be totally in charge.

    Siegel said that the statute makes no provision for a chancellor to rely on a staff for these qualifications with the law specifically referring to how “the candidate” (and never a plural or team or staff supported candidate) shall meet the requirements laid out in the law for the position of Chancellor (termed by Roger Wareham as a "shadow" Chancellor as second in command to palliate the lack of training, credentials and experience of the candidate). "Thus one can make an irrefutable inference as to the intentions of the legislature on this matter."

    Wareham reviewed Black's lack of qualifications, interest, knowledge or involvement of any kind in public education and said the over 1 million children would be done irreparable harm with the appointment of a Chancellor who was not even qualified to teach, let alone supervise teachers who all must hold a Masters. "If this nomination goes through I can foresee the day when even a Bachelors degree is waived," said Warenham.

    "Black has exceptional experience in dealing with large organizations, collaborating, leading, engaging diverse stakeholders, building relationships and managing facilities and money," said Assistant Attorney General Kelly Munkwitz, who represented Steiner and NY State, claiming that what Black didn't get in the classroom was covered in her career as a magazine and newspaper publisher.

    This led to some discussion over the nature of substantial experience, private vs. public sector, the experience that would inform decisions making, the role a second in command with qualifications could play, and the fact that surely an educator with substantial management experience could have been found. Wareham pointed out that indeed context does mater when it comes to qualifications for decision making in public education, citing several coaches/sports teams managers who by the same logic would be as qualified to run our public school system as Black by these standards.

    "This is about the individual best suited to run a school system that's the size of a fairly large city," said Assistant Corporation Counsel Chlarens Orsland who represented Bloomberg. None of the lawyers pointed out that with a $23 billion budget, 1700 schools and 135,000 employees, managing the NYC school system is far out of the range of Black's managerial experience in organizations with no more than 2000 employees and budgets not even one tenth the NYC schools budget. "What does she know about facilities management," asked one observer in the gallery?

    The respondents made mention of the unique nature of NYC school district, which the law mentions in several places may require unique requirements for NYC as an argument for the Black waiver even though this section of the law does not make this exception explicit. Had the Legislature wanted NYC to have different requirements for the NYC chancellor the law would state so claimed the lawyers challenging Black.

Post Title

Supreme Court Rules for Black Despite Strong Arguments Against Her Nomination, Parents Stand Firm


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Death Panels, Bloomberg Style

    With Ambulances Stuck in Snow, City Resorted to Triage

    A woman with stroke symptoms in Midwood, Brooklyn, waited for an ambulance for six hours, finally arriving at the hospital with telltale signs of advanced brain damage. In Forest Hills, Queens, bystanders waited for three hours next to a man lying unconscious in the snow before they were able to flag down help. And in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a mother in labor who started calling 911 at 8:30 a.m. on Monday did not get an ambulance until 6 p.m., too late to save the baby.
    As a blizzard bore down on New York City on Sunday and Monday, 911 dispatchers fielded tens of thousands of calls, trying to triage them by level of severity, from snowed-in cars at the low end to life-threatening emergencies at the highest. But even the ambulances assigned the most serious of the calls sometimes could not get there. At least 200 ambulances got stuck on unplowed streets or were blocked in by abandoned cars, city officials said Tuesday.
    As the backlog of calls grew — it ultimately reached 1,300 at its highest point — an unusual directive went out across the computer screens within ambulances, emergency workers said. It told them that after 20 minutes of life-saving effort on a nonresponsive patient, they should call a supervising doctor, who would make the call about whether to give up. While it is rare for a person to be revived after 20 minutes, it is usually up to the medical crew to decide when to call the doctor.
     MORE:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/nyregion/29hospitals.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

    Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/

Post Title

Death Panels, Bloomberg Style


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Death Panels, Bloomberg Style

    With Ambulances Stuck in Snow, City Resorted to Triage

    A woman with stroke symptoms in Midwood, Brooklyn, waited for an ambulance for six hours, finally arriving at the hospital with telltale signs of advanced brain damage. In Forest Hills, Queens, bystanders waited for three hours next to a man lying unconscious in the snow before they were able to flag down help. And in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a mother in labor who started calling 911 at 8:30 a.m. on Monday did not get an ambulance until 6 p.m., too late to save the baby.
    As a blizzard bore down on New York City on Sunday and Monday, 911 dispatchers fielded tens of thousands of calls, trying to triage them by level of severity, from snowed-in cars at the low end to life-threatening emergencies at the highest. But even the ambulances assigned the most serious of the calls sometimes could not get there. At least 200 ambulances got stuck on unplowed streets or were blocked in by abandoned cars, city officials said Tuesday.
    As the backlog of calls grew — it ultimately reached 1,300 at its highest point — an unusual directive went out across the computer screens within ambulances, emergency workers said. It told them that after 20 minutes of life-saving effort on a nonresponsive patient, they should call a supervising doctor, who would make the call about whether to give up. While it is rare for a person to be revived after 20 minutes, it is usually up to the medical crew to decide when to call the doctor.
     MORE:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/nyregion/29hospitals.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

    Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/

Post Title

Death Panels, Bloomberg Style


Post URL

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Bloomberg is Understanding!

    by Lynne Winderbaum, retired teacher and Bronx HS UFT District Rep and Executive Board member
    Posted to NYCEdNews listserve.

    No one should say that our mayor is not understanding of how unique challenges can affect the statistical measurement of one’s job performance. And so it was that I listened to Mayor Bloomberg explain with a bit of impatience and annoyance that the city’s performance in the wake of the snowstorm was not up to par because of a series of unique challenges. He begged for understanding because, you see, it was the biggest effort to clear snow that the city has ever seen, there were a large number of city agencies and personnel involved, there were near white-out conditions, and hundreds of city buses and dozens of ambulances were stuck in the snow.

    But the mayor should be aware that all that matters is the outcome, not the difficulties inherent to the job. The data shows that the average response time to structural fires in 2008 was four minutes 33 seconds. The average response time for medical emergencies in 2008 was four minutes 30 seconds. However, in this case, data released today show that the FDNY had a 3-hour delay in response to critical cases, like heart attacks, and 12-hour delays for non-critical calls. A five alarm fire in Elmhurst raged for 3 hours when firefighters were delayed by the blizzard conditions.

    Surely, firemen and EMT’s are to be judged “ineffective” when it comes to a response time so far below the city standard.

    It is incumbent on the news organizations, for the sake of our citizens, to FOIL a list of all firemen and EMT’s that were on duty during this time period and to identify them by name in the newspapers. The mere fact that response time data was influenced by so many factors beyond their control, as detailed by the mayor above, is no excuse to fail to reach or exceed the standard of response time expected by the city.

    The Fire Department of the New York is expected to comply with the request of the news agencies for the release of names and response times recorded in this snapshot of time. Extraordinary challenges notwithstanding, emergency responses to all calls should be within five minutes.

    UFA objections that FDNY personnel who were not on duty during this time period would not produce data, and therefore would not be publicly judged as are their colleagues, are unfounded. UFA objections that response time data does not reflect the totality of the job and are unreliable are unfounded as well.

    Perhaps there should be merit bonuses for the fastest responders to ensure that firefighters show more dedication to their work and our citizens’ welfare. Those who take on the most challenging conditions are no exception. Data is king and the statistics are the only objective way to measure the value of the workers.

    It is also unfounded to excuse the longer response times from any engine companies who were impacted by the increased demands created by the closure of firehouses in their neighborhoods.

    It is commendable that the FDNY receives the gratitude of the citizenry and the satisfaction of knowing they have saved lives and property. But these things are not measurable as are response times.

    It is incomprehensible that in the face of this disappointing data the mayor would excuse FDNY performance by saying, ““And I want them to know that we do appreciate the severity of these conditions they face, and that the bottom line is we are doing everything we possibly can, and pulling every resource from every possible place to meet the unique challenges…”

    Oh wait. Nobody wants to privatize the fire department or find reason for it to be run by corporate interests who have scant experience improving performance in fire and medical emergencies. Nevermind.

    Lynne Winderbaum, retired teacher
    __._,_.___
    Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/

Post Title

Bloomberg is Understanding!


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/bloomberg-is-understanding_28.html


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Bloomberg is Understanding!

    by Lynne Winderbaum, retired teacher and Bronx HS UFT District Rep and Executive Board member
    Posted to NYCEdNews listserve.

    No one should say that our mayor is not understanding of how unique challenges can affect the statistical measurement of one’s job performance. And so it was that I listened to Mayor Bloomberg explain with a bit of impatience and annoyance that the city’s performance in the wake of the snowstorm was not up to par because of a series of unique challenges. He begged for understanding because, you see, it was the biggest effort to clear snow that the city has ever seen, there were a large number of city agencies and personnel involved, there were near white-out conditions, and hundreds of city buses and dozens of ambulances were stuck in the snow.

    But the mayor should be aware that all that matters is the outcome, not the difficulties inherent to the job. The data shows that the average response time to structural fires in 2008 was four minutes 33 seconds. The average response time for medical emergencies in 2008 was four minutes 30 seconds. However, in this case, data released today show that the FDNY had a 3-hour delay in response to critical cases, like heart attacks, and 12-hour delays for non-critical calls. A five alarm fire in Elmhurst raged for 3 hours when firefighters were delayed by the blizzard conditions.

    Surely, firemen and EMT’s are to be judged “ineffective” when it comes to a response time so far below the city standard.

    It is incumbent on the news organizations, for the sake of our citizens, to FOIL a list of all firemen and EMT’s that were on duty during this time period and to identify them by name in the newspapers. The mere fact that response time data was influenced by so many factors beyond their control, as detailed by the mayor above, is no excuse to fail to reach or exceed the standard of response time expected by the city.

    The Fire Department of the New York is expected to comply with the request of the news agencies for the release of names and response times recorded in this snapshot of time. Extraordinary challenges notwithstanding, emergency responses to all calls should be within five minutes.

    UFA objections that FDNY personnel who were not on duty during this time period would not produce data, and therefore would not be publicly judged as are their colleagues, are unfounded. UFA objections that response time data does not reflect the totality of the job and are unreliable are unfounded as well.

    Perhaps there should be merit bonuses for the fastest responders to ensure that firefighters show more dedication to their work and our citizens’ welfare. Those who take on the most challenging conditions are no exception. Data is king and the statistics are the only objective way to measure the value of the workers.

    It is also unfounded to excuse the longer response times from any engine companies who were impacted by the increased demands created by the closure of firehouses in their neighborhoods.

    It is commendable that the FDNY receives the gratitude of the citizenry and the satisfaction of knowing they have saved lives and property. But these things are not measurable as are response times.

    It is incomprehensible that in the face of this disappointing data the mayor would excuse FDNY performance by saying, ““And I want them to know that we do appreciate the severity of these conditions they face, and that the bottom line is we are doing everything we possibly can, and pulling every resource from every possible place to meet the unique challenges…”

    Oh wait. Nobody wants to privatize the fire department or find reason for it to be run by corporate interests who have scant experience improving performance in fire and medical emergencies. Nevermind.

    Lynne Winderbaum, retired teacher
    __._,_.___
    Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/

Post Title

Bloomberg is Understanding!


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/bloomberg-is-understanding.html


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Why?

    Why would the UFT/AFT not take a strong stand against charter schools and school closings since both lead to severe reductions in teachers belonging to the union and thus weaken the union? This was a question asked by a young teacher at a recent meeting.

    My short response was that their prime directive is holding onto power and any fight back would require organizing the rank and file into a potent force which would require democratizing the union (once you wake people up they make demands) which would in turn threaten their hold on power. Thus they will readily accept a smaller membership - which they can control in a very tight manner. And after all, fighting the oligarchy pushing ed deform is one big job and isn't it better for the leaders to be on their good side and hope for some goodies from Gates and Broad (who gave the UFT charter $1 million) along the way. (Don't worry, they know you're with them and understand when you mouth off a bit for the benefit of the members.)

    And then I came across this from a piece by Chris Hedges (Chris Hedges on Orwell and Huxley).
    “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake,” Orwell wrote in “1984.” “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

    Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/

Post Title

Why?


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/why_27.html


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Why?

    Why would the UFT/AFT not take a strong stand against charter schools and school closings since both lead to severe reductions in teachers belonging to the union and thus weaken the union? This was a question asked by a young teacher at a recent meeting.

    My short response was that their prime directive is holding onto power and any fight back would require organizing the rank and file into a potent force which would require democratizing the union (once you wake people up they make demands) which would in turn threaten their hold on power. Thus they will readily accept a smaller membership - which they can control in a very tight manner. And after all, fighting the oligarchy pushing ed deform is one big job and isn't it better for the leaders to be on their good side and hope for some goodies from Gates and Broad (who gave the UFT charter $1 million) along the way. (Don't worry, they know you're with them and understand when you mouth off a bit for the benefit of the members.)

    And then I came across this from a piece by Chris Hedges (Chris Hedges on Orwell and Huxley).
    “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake,” Orwell wrote in “1984.” “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

    Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/

Post Title

Why?


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/why.html


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Great Satire: Last Stand for Children First And Accountable Talk


    http://www.laststand4children.org/
     



    MORE SATIRE



    I swear I was going to write something along these lines below but I can't top Accountable Talk. However, wouldn't it have been perfect if the storm came one week later on Jan. 2 in the in between period between Klein's leaving on Dec. 31 and Black taking over on Jan. 3? Imagine the conversations on Jan. 2 as the snow was falling. 

    Schools Open Today, "Chancellor" Announces

    In her first major decision as presumptive "chancellor", Cathie Black announced today that despite the blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow on NYC, public schools would be open today.

    Read SMORE at AT

Post Title

Great Satire: Last Stand for Children First And Accountable Talk


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/great-satire-last-stand-for-children_27.html


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Great Satire: Last Stand for Children First And Accountable Talk


    http://www.laststand4children.org/
     



    MORE SATIRE



    I swear I was going to write something along these lines below but I can't top Accountable Talk. However, wouldn't it have been perfect if the storm came one week later on Jan. 2 in the in between period between Klein's leaving on Dec. 31 and Black taking over on Jan. 3? Imagine the conversations on Jan. 2 as the snow was falling. 

    Schools Open Today, "Chancellor" Announces

    In her first major decision as presumptive "chancellor", Cathie Black announced today that despite the blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow on NYC, public schools would be open today.

    Read SMORE at AT

Post Title

Great Satire: Last Stand for Children First And Accountable Talk


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/great-satire-last-stand-for-children.html


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Julie Cavanagh on The Dangers of Edu-Philanthropy: Education's Trojan Horse

    Julie Cavanagh

    Julie Cavanagh


    The season of giving is upon us. In the month of December, most Americans find themselves ignited with a civic spirit and generously give of their time, their talent, and their treasure. At my little school in Red Hook, Brooklyn we aim to make giving a value that is present throughout the year. Our school, and hundreds of schools across New York City and the country, participate in the Penny Harvest, a Common Cents program.

    The Penny Harvest is a program that is aimed at igniting the civic spirit of a new generation and teaches children about the importance of philanthropy. Students harvest pennies throughout the fall. Common Cents turns those pennies into dollars and the children turn those dollars into good deeds. Common Cents awards each school's "Student Roundtable" a grant. Roundtable students engage in a democratic process to identify local and global needs and design service projects and make donations to causes they, and their school as a whole, feel are important. Students at my school have assisted BARC animal shelter here in Brooklyn, they have created a certified bird habitat, and have started a GRRReen Campaign at our school, which includes holding an annual GO GRRReen festival to increase their community's environmental awareness.

    The children in my school have certainly learned what philanthropy is through our partnership with Common Cents; we have been named a School of Excellence because, school-wide, our children engage in a myriad of service projects and programs, which ultimately empowers them to make a positive difference in their world. From my perspective -- as an urban educator -- empowerment is the most important element of a program that serves children and families who have historically been disempowered. All too often, decisions are made for subsections of our citizenry without their input; often, the decisions being made do not wholly benefit those they are intended for. If only we worked to empower those that have been so often left behind, we could engage in policy discussions that would move our society forward. Instead, we ignore the actual stakeholders, particularly when it comes to education policy, creating results that are often not beneficial to the intended targets.

    As the saying goes, "Nothing about us, without us," and I love those who have added to the end, "...is for us."

    Our students are well on their way to becoming engaged, and thoughtful citizens. They have learned that everyone has something to give, no matter how small. More importantly they have learned that giving is an act that reminds us all of our interconnectedness; that our efforts should be spent benefiting the many, not the few, and that when even one of our citizens suffers, we all suffer. The grown-ups who largely consider themselves philanthropists today, particularly edu-philanthropists, could use a lesson from my students.

    From Gates, to Broad, to Bloomberg, edu-philanthropists have been pouring their time, talent and treasure into education. They tout themselves as education reformers, but, largely, their dollars are not simply good deeds. Instead, their gifts are thinly veiled attacks on our public education system. Edu-philanthropy is education's Trojan horse.

    Read more: The Huffington Post



    Edu-philanthropists cloak themselves in the slogan of reform and civil rights, they have gained access to our public education system with their wealth, and they seek to dismantle our public education system from the inside. They deliver shiny new trophies to poor communities in the form of charter schools, but all that glitters is not gold. Their covert operations seek to destroy unions with ideas such as merit pay, because their oligarchy cannot survive if there is a vibrant middle class of "commoners." With healthcare and pensions, who can question their authority? They insert ideas of 'choice' and 'accountability' with jingoistic appeals to freedom and opportunity, but these words are merely masks for "vouchers" and "data," which will further sort and separate our children, creating a more disparate system than we already have. Their ideas are born out of a free-market ideology that only reinforces the roles of privilege and subordination in our country, roles true believers in education seek to eliminate.

    There is an obvious economic benefit for the privileged few to control our public education system. For one, they can privatize it and gain access to, in their words, the "untapped K-12 market." Secondly, by controlling the education sector, they can maintain the disproportionate distribution of wealth in our country.

    Recently there has been push back from us "commoners," those of us who actually have children in, or teach in, the public education system. One of the greatest examples of this was the defeat of Mayor Fenty in Washington, D.C. Even in this case however, where the voice of the people whose children's education is at stake was so strong in rejecting the "reforms" of Fenty and Rhee, edu-philanthropists sat in waiting to make sure their ideas for education reform, with the dual carrot-and-stick of their millions in funding, stayed in place. Is it considered philanthropy when the targets of your gift giving are loudly saying, "No thanks!"?

    This is a gift horse we should look in the mouth. Edu-philanthropists speak of education reforms that go against the ideals they uphold for their own children or the children of their peers. They speak of policies that limit the job security, wages, pensions, and health care of working folks while they sit on their millions. What may seem like a gift, is actually a sneak attack on our public education system.

Post Title

Julie Cavanagh on The Dangers of Edu-Philanthropy: Education's Trojan Horse


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/julie-cavanagh-on-dangers-of-edu_27.html


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Julie Cavanagh on The Dangers of Edu-Philanthropy: Education's Trojan Horse

    Julie Cavanagh

    Julie Cavanagh


    The season of giving is upon us. In the month of December, most Americans find themselves ignited with a civic spirit and generously give of their time, their talent, and their treasure. At my little school in Red Hook, Brooklyn we aim to make giving a value that is present throughout the year. Our school, and hundreds of schools across New York City and the country, participate in the Penny Harvest, a Common Cents program.

    The Penny Harvest is a program that is aimed at igniting the civic spirit of a new generation and teaches children about the importance of philanthropy. Students harvest pennies throughout the fall. Common Cents turns those pennies into dollars and the children turn those dollars into good deeds. Common Cents awards each school's "Student Roundtable" a grant. Roundtable students engage in a democratic process to identify local and global needs and design service projects and make donations to causes they, and their school as a whole, feel are important. Students at my school have assisted BARC animal shelter here in Brooklyn, they have created a certified bird habitat, and have started a GRRReen Campaign at our school, which includes holding an annual GO GRRReen festival to increase their community's environmental awareness.

    The children in my school have certainly learned what philanthropy is through our partnership with Common Cents; we have been named a School of Excellence because, school-wide, our children engage in a myriad of service projects and programs, which ultimately empowers them to make a positive difference in their world. From my perspective -- as an urban educator -- empowerment is the most important element of a program that serves children and families who have historically been disempowered. All too often, decisions are made for subsections of our citizenry without their input; often, the decisions being made do not wholly benefit those they are intended for. If only we worked to empower those that have been so often left behind, we could engage in policy discussions that would move our society forward. Instead, we ignore the actual stakeholders, particularly when it comes to education policy, creating results that are often not beneficial to the intended targets.

    As the saying goes, "Nothing about us, without us," and I love those who have added to the end, "...is for us."

    Our students are well on their way to becoming engaged, and thoughtful citizens. They have learned that everyone has something to give, no matter how small. More importantly they have learned that giving is an act that reminds us all of our interconnectedness; that our efforts should be spent benefiting the many, not the few, and that when even one of our citizens suffers, we all suffer. The grown-ups who largely consider themselves philanthropists today, particularly edu-philanthropists, could use a lesson from my students.

    From Gates, to Broad, to Bloomberg, edu-philanthropists have been pouring their time, talent and treasure into education. They tout themselves as education reformers, but, largely, their dollars are not simply good deeds. Instead, their gifts are thinly veiled attacks on our public education system. Edu-philanthropy is education's Trojan horse.

    Read more: The Huffington Post



    Edu-philanthropists cloak themselves in the slogan of reform and civil rights, they have gained access to our public education system with their wealth, and they seek to dismantle our public education system from the inside. They deliver shiny new trophies to poor communities in the form of charter schools, but all that glitters is not gold. Their covert operations seek to destroy unions with ideas such as merit pay, because their oligarchy cannot survive if there is a vibrant middle class of "commoners." With healthcare and pensions, who can question their authority? They insert ideas of 'choice' and 'accountability' with jingoistic appeals to freedom and opportunity, but these words are merely masks for "vouchers" and "data," which will further sort and separate our children, creating a more disparate system than we already have. Their ideas are born out of a free-market ideology that only reinforces the roles of privilege and subordination in our country, roles true believers in education seek to eliminate.

    There is an obvious economic benefit for the privileged few to control our public education system. For one, they can privatize it and gain access to, in their words, the "untapped K-12 market." Secondly, by controlling the education sector, they can maintain the disproportionate distribution of wealth in our country.

    Recently there has been push back from us "commoners," those of us who actually have children in, or teach in, the public education system. One of the greatest examples of this was the defeat of Mayor Fenty in Washington, D.C. Even in this case however, where the voice of the people whose children's education is at stake was so strong in rejecting the "reforms" of Fenty and Rhee, edu-philanthropists sat in waiting to make sure their ideas for education reform, with the dual carrot-and-stick of their millions in funding, stayed in place. Is it considered philanthropy when the targets of your gift giving are loudly saying, "No thanks!"?

    This is a gift horse we should look in the mouth. Edu-philanthropists speak of education reforms that go against the ideals they uphold for their own children or the children of their peers. They speak of policies that limit the job security, wages, pensions, and health care of working folks while they sit on their millions. What may seem like a gift, is actually a sneak attack on our public education system.

Post Title

Julie Cavanagh on The Dangers of Edu-Philanthropy: Education's Trojan Horse


Post URL

http://kingsavenuetattoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/julie-cavanagh-on-dangers-of-edu.html


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Some links on a lazy Sunday blizzardy evening

Post Title

Some links on a lazy Sunday blizzardy evening


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Some links on a lazy Sunday blizzardy evening

Post Title

Some links on a lazy Sunday blizzardy evening


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