Saturday, December 14, 2019

Charter Astro-Turf Protest at AFT Forum in Pittsburgh While Booker Chickens Out

Arthur is reporting from the big education forum with some Dem candidates in Pittsburgh. First a message from our leader, Randi:
I’m in Pittsburgh right now, getting ready for “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Opportunity for All,” with Democratic presidential candidates Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.
We’ll be kicking things off shortly—tune in now to the livestream on our website. The forum will also be streamed through MSNBC and NBC News.
This is the only major election-related event dedicated to public education. It will give voters and our members the chance to ask candidates how they plan to fund our future and give students and educators the tools and resources they need to succeed.
The forum is also the final step in the first phase of our AFT Votes endorsement process. The AFT’s 2020 presidential endorsement process was designed to engage members in a number of ways, including through town halls with many of the candidates. Candidates have been hearing from AFT members and answering their questions, and today will be no exception.
We are proud to co-host this important event with our partners at the Alliance for Educational Justice, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Center for Popular Democracy Action, the Journey for Justice Alliance, the NAACP, the National Education Association, the Network for Public Education Action, the Schott Foundation for Public Education—Opportunity to Learn Action Fund, the Service Employees International Union, and Voto Latino.
This is our chance to learn more about what the candidates plan to do for students, educators and working families. Click here to watch the town hall now!
In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President
P.S. For more information on the AFT Votes process and how you can get involved, visit
She doesn't mention Booker who was supposed to be there. I expect Charters to be a big topic. I don't trust MSNBC - Bill Gates was one of the original founders and they were so favorable to ed deform Rahema Ellis is back again to do her "magic" - she was one of the worst.

I'm heading for the beach so I will rely on Arthur's reporting.

Diane warned us about a charter slug protest:

Charter Industry Announces Its Plans to Disrupt Pittsburgh Forum on Public Education on Saturday


And have no doubt - it is an industry with lots of money to be made.
And Arthur follows up from the scene:

As for those poor charter supporters can stand out there feeling sorry for themselves, but even at our forum, we have Cory Booker, who champions standardized testing, supports not only charters but also vouchers, and who was an early supporter of DFER, an organization that constitutes the reformiest of the reformies. He appeared before one of Betsy DeVos's from groups and called them his earliest supporters. He takes money from Gates, Broad and the Walmart family. They aren't paying him to support public education. Mayor Pete may have little to say about charters, but he's taking a crapload of money from them. I don't personally believe they're supporting him simply for his charming smile.
Arthur just posted that Booker got "sick" and begged off.

Steven Singer is also reporting from Pittsburgh as Diane Ravitch comments:

Steven Singer: Charter Schools Exploit Children of Color

by dianeravitch
The New York Times recently wrote an article claiming that many black and Hispanic families were disappointed that Democratic presidential candidates were abandoning the charter school crusade beloved by the leaders of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, and currently by Betsy DeVos.

Diane gives us loads of examples of charter school perfidy. Here is another:

There are many ways in which nonprofit charters make a profit. Most involve complex real estate transactions and such things as “triple net leases” which are hard for the public to understand. Such deals often involve a charter operator owning or leasing the real estate and renting it to the charter school at exorbitant rates, with the public footing the bill.

Michael Kohlhass: How “Nonprofit” Charter Schools Make a Profit

by dianeravitch

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