Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday on Monday, June 18 - It's a Wrap

This past week was a bit lighter on activism than the busy week of June 4. I won't bore you right up front but you can read about the week that was with some commentary below.

Here are some connections to check out from the blogs on issues I would have blogged about. If you don't check out our extensive blog roll you are missing a lot. Really, I should just cull from all the great blogs and never actually have to write anything myself.

Last Stand for Children First
Anything written on this great satirical blog out of Chicago is a howl.


Marc Epstein nails the de-coupling of schools from the surrounding neighborhoods.

James Eterno at the ICE blog:
And his report of the Delegate Assembly (which I still hope to report on):

Gary Rubinstein discovers secret of charter schools that claim success:
....the strategy that charters have proved effective is:  Keep the bottom 15% of the kids away from the top 50% of the kids. What charters teach us

My comment
Some charter school charlatan will come up with this: we will take the 15% if you pay us a lot. Then they will do something analogous to the New Jersey half-way house scam the NY Times has been talking about -- cut services to the bone and treat the kids like prisoners. No one will rally care much anyway --- the operators will make a lot of money, the public schools -- whatever is left of them can compete with charters on a more equal basis, but ultimately they will disappear too since the only reason to keep them around was to service those 15%. A nice tidy package for the privatizers.
Might take another generation but it will come.
One of the big culprits in all this has been the teacher unions trying to straddle the line and refusing to challenge the very idea of charters as having that ultimate aim.

Perdido Street School:

AFT, NEA Need To Pressure Obama To Stop Teacher Bashing And Race to the Top

My comment:
Before pressuring Obama we have to pressure the teacher unions. But good luck with that when dealing with the UFT/AFT a top-down monopoly of power. The only pressure they will understand is when there are thousands of teachers in the streets screaming for their heads. See Chicago. Now that union might still endorse Obama but as a local political tactic given the war that is going on in that city. Or maybe not. If they go on a strike in the fall, it will be fun to watch Obama's silence in the midst of an election campaign and a labor war in his own city. The CTU seems able to gather community support at the grassroots level -- they have been working on this since the CORE caucus was founded 4 years ago so they have foresight.

Love this one:
if Walcott is correct, what he is saying is that the city knowingly agrees to hire arbitrators who send sexual predators back into the classroom. And since he is in charge of the DOE, the buck must stop with him. He is as guilty as anyone of what he claims is true. 
Dennis Walcott, Debunked
 Diane Ravitch who has a new toy with her new blog where she is prolific sent this link to a hilarious 11 minute video that features a conversation between a teacher and supervisor that nails the essence of the ed deform view of teachers.

Race from the Axe


Rahm's Longer School Day Tearing an Elementary School Apart
Another great blog out of Chicago

Ed Notes posts over the past week (in reverse order):
Here is the week that was -- if you're interested

Monday June 11: Hang out at home

Tuesday June 12: I work with a group called Active Aging that produces a TV show at Manhattan Neighborhood Network and we are doing a story on an artist/musician/and lots more named Leo Witlarge --- what an interesting guy and it should make a great story. He lives on Bushwick Ave. in what could pass for a museum. Check out some of his work:
In the evening it was off to Leonie Haimson's Skinny Awards dinner, which was packed, mostly with people I didn't know. The UFT had a table for 8 and I knew a few of them. I got to talk to a very interesting, a 2nd or 3rd careerer in the 9th year in our wonderful system working at a closing school. She said she has worked in a number of different jobs and systems and the NYCDOE is the most dysfunctional. "Intentionally dysfunctional," I told her to assist in its destruction so it can be privatized.

Weds June 13:  Only item was the UFT Delegate Assembly where I offered free dvds of our movie on condition of holding a screening in the school. Twelve people took me up on it. Even though online, we want people to see it in groups and that is why we ordered another thousand. Check it out if you haven't seen it and let me know if you want to hold a screening in your school and I'll get you a dvd.

Thurs June 14 - Flag Day. I think we used to get off when I was a kid. New air conditioning system installed, just in time for the small memorial/party we are holding for my dad this Thursday when it will be 97 degrees.

Friday June 15 -- electrician came to hook up the system. Interesting conversation about unions with the worker doing the installing. His whole family are union but he works for a private contractor, a guy who used to coach his teams as a kid and also a grad of Brooklyn Polytech. When the boss came by we had a nice chat --- a real down home guy with a great sense of humor. He even custom made a few small brackets I needed for another job, right on the spot.

Saturday June 16 -- The gala MORE happy hour.

Sunday June 17 -- out to Philadelphia area for our niece's fathers day invite. Two kids aged 4 and 1. They did lots of chasing around. And there was some water flying around. Got into the usual discussion with her father in law who is adamant that Obama is a socialist. If he only read what the left is saying about Obama as the ultimate supporter of capitalism.

Throughout the week there were lots of visits to my dad's apartment -- we have to have it cleared out by June 30. Put up a note there was free furniture available and the calls have been coming in. Need a 40 year old stereo system?

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