Sunday, July 19, 2015

Et Tu Bernie - Reveals Himself as Deformer, Shrinking Distance with Hillary

it comes down to this--On the one hand, you have Democrats. Top down, Test-and-Punish, privatization in the inner city, and the Common Core corporate scam. On the other hand, you have Republicans. Who want to destroy public education entirely through charters, vouchers, and privatization. Honestly, when it comes to policy, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference.... Daily Kos
How interesting that Republicans seem less deformy than Democrats?
Of course, closet deformers at the AFT/UFT like Leo Casey go on the attack over our opposition to deformy stuff by branding us tea party supporters.
Beware the Strawman

@rubinsteindds @NTampio @mma718 @MOREcaucusNYC You don't want to discuss Common Core, where your position is aligned w/Republican far right.

Leo Casey @LeoECasey
@NTampio @mma718 @MOREcaucusNYC Or maybe you would like to join Walker, Jindal, Cruz, etc. campaigns, becuz they oppose Common Core.
Poor Leo, Randi, et al -- stuck with the deformy Democratic Party for life.

Really, over time, what does it matter who the AFT endorses? It is about the process. I would support Bernie and probably will - but I have a hard time backing people with ed deform tendencies.

See Eterno at ICE blog for some interesting points and links to Ravitch pieces on the Murphy Amendment. WHERE TO NOW EDUCATION PROGRESSIVES?

Harris Lirtzman left an important comment:
Never underestimate the power and moral suasion that the mainline civil rights groups have on the Democratic Party--for good and historic reasons. We all know that there are many local and state civil rights groups that have come out against the testing and accountability regime because they see, on a day-to-day basis, the harm that is being done to children-of-color in our public schools. Never forget that Dennis Walcott was president of the National Urban League before he became Bloomberg's education puppy and then Schools Chancellor.

The national civil rights organizations had a reasonable case to make in the days before NCLB was enacted that children-of-color were overlooked when school accountability was an aggregate statistic, if it was measured at all. Urban schools were never held accountable for their performance and, despite Title 1 funding, were often abandoned by school boards and administrators. I would think that ten years of NCLB might have disabused them of the belief that annual accountability testing ensures that children-of-color get the support and interventions they need in their schools but old fears take a long time to die and I don't believe that people who say that the mainline civil rights organizations have "been bought off by Gates and the reformers' are being fair though I'm not naive and don't doubt that the funding they get is part of it all.

NEA said that it would use the vote to score Senate members. The AFT took no position.

I am not a man who usually bites my tongue but I have nearly bitten it in two the last few weeks as I watch many of my colleagues transform the long-time debate about pushing back the reformistas and opposing the authoritarian structures in our unions into a litmus test about whether someone supports Hillary Clinton or the sainted Bernie Sanders. The arguments are couched in terms of "process" but the real conversations and the most scalding comments now are about a particular political endorsement which I, at least, don't think will make that much difference in the long run. I don't support the early AFT endorsement of Hillary Clinton--I think it was a cynical undertaking which, importantly for me, violated a pact among the members of the AFL-CIO not to endorse any candidate before July 30. So much for labor solidarity and "we shall not be moved."

I have pretty much taken a vow of silence on any of this union political endorsement outrage because I am agnostic about Bernie Sanders and pragmatic about Hillary Clinton. Agnosticism and pragmatism turn out to be verbotten among teacher activists who easily lose track of the fact that they, in aggregate, represent a relatively small number of teachers nationwide and who need to maintain some humility in face of the challenges that all of us fighting the reformistas, at large, and the authoritarians, in our unions, face every day.

I think that there will be some long term damage, in terms of trust and credibility, so long as teacher activists call out "process" when they really are upset that a particular candidate was endorsed. Many teachers do support that candidate. Could the endorsement have been delayed and a more open process used to come to a decision? Of course. But the tenor of the debate is disproportionate to the harm done and seems to me to indicate a certain naivete about how the political process works and how our unions have played this game for many years. Perhaps we've reached a point of "no mas." I hope so but let's be honest about why, now, the "no mas" has taken on such a personal edge to it. 
Hey there - don't rely on politicians - organize and one day show up at their door with thousands.

Daily Kos
Bernie Sanders Just Broke A Promise 

Well, he and almost every other Democrat in the Senate. Why, oh why can't they get it right on education?
The Senate was going through its vote-a-rama on amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act when the Murphy amendment came up for a vote.

What is the Murphy Amendment, you ask?
Short answer, it's a continuation of the same Test and Punish policies of the failed No Child Left Behind.
The 12-page text of Murphy’s SA 2241 reads more like No Child Left Behind (NCLB), with its detailed prescription for reporting on student test results, for “meaningfully differentiating among all public schools” (i.e., grading schools), including publicly identifying the lowest five percent, and, among interventions, potentially firing staff and offering students the option to transfer to other schools and using part of the budget to pay for the transportation.” This amendment would have enacted tough, federal-mandated accountability, akin to setting up an “achievement school district” in every state.
Almost every Democrat voted for this. This was co-sponsored by Elizabeth Warren. 
She even released a statement expressing her disappointment.
[In her statement, she says the ESEA as passed] “eliminates basic, fundamental safeguards to ensure that federal dollars are actually used to improve both schools and educational outcomes for those students who are often ignored.” That sounds good until you realize what she means. “Educational outcomes” mean test scores. She’s talking about test-based accountability. She is against the ESEA rewrite because it doesn’t necessarily put strings on schools’ funding based on standardized test scores like NCLB.
She continues, “Republicans have blocked every attempt to establish even minimum safeguards to ensure that money would be used effectively. I am deeply concerned that billions in taxpayer dollars will not actually reach those schools and students who need them the most…”
She is upset because Republicans repeatedly stripped away federal power to Test and Punish schools. The GOP gave that power to the states. So Warren is concerned that somewhere in this great nation there may be a state or two that decides NOT to take away funding if some of their schools have bad test scores.
And Bernie said he was going to "End No Child Left Behind" yet he voted for this extension of the same. Right now, Democrats seem to be under the impression that the only way to tell if a school is doing a good job is to engage in high stakes testing and only use the test scores as a guide.
Which is utter bullshit. The only thing a test score shows is parental income.
Real school accountability would be something more akin to the original vision of the ESEA – making sure each district had what it needs to give kids the best education possible. This means at least equalizing funding to poverty schools so they have the same resources as wealthy ones.
But today's Democrats won’t hear it. The Murphy Amendment seems to show that they’re committed to punishing poor schools and rewarding rich ones.
So it comes down to this--On the one hand, you have Democrats. Top down, Test-and-Punish, privatization in the inner city, and the Common Core corporate scam. On the other hand, you have Republicans. Who want to destroy public education entirely through charters, vouchers, and privatization.
Honestly, when it comes to policy, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference.

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