Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fourth Generation Teacher: When Representatives Don't Represent - Help support public education. Don't dismantle it. #EdBlogNet

Fourth Generation Teacher: When Representatives Don't Represent: Guest post this morning by my friend Niky Shobert...I'll let her words speak for us all.  Representative Strohm,  I am not in...

The Libre Initiative: The Koch Brothers’ Focus on Latino Voters - Michael Keegan President of People For the American Way http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/libre-initiative-koch-brothers-new-focus-winning-latino-voters

Dolores Huerta described Libre best: "This is just another flashy way for the Koch brothers to try to con Latinos into supporting a party that's run by anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-environmental extremists. We won't be fooled; the group has the wrong priorities on the issues that matter most to us." 
http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/libre-initiative-koch-brothers-new-focus-winning-latino-voters



Monday, February 23, 2015

Charter School Research: Separating Fact & Fiction #EdBlogNet #idraed @idraedu


Charter School Research: Separating Fact & Fiction  - Think Twice Think Tank Review

Reference Publication: 
Researchers describe the evidence on key charter school 
issues as part of their review of a recent think tank report
Contact: 
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Gary Miron, garmiron@gmail.com
Kevin G Welner, (303) 492-8370, welner@colorado.edu
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/nq59k4v
 
BOULDER, CO (February 23, 2015) – A new analysis from the National Education Policy Center released today examines a variety of claims made about charter schools and offers a comprehensive roundup of what research evidence has actually shown about these schools and their role as a vehicle for education reform.
The analysis is by Gary Miron of Western Michigan University as well as William Mathis and Kevin Welner, both of the University of Colorado Boulder. It was written for the Think Twice think tank review project of the NEPC. The project and the NEPC are housed at CU Boulder’s School of Education.
Miron is a veteran analyst of the growth and performance of charter schools nationally. Mathis is managing director and Welner is director of the NEPC.
The analysis is grounded in a review of a report issued last August by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Separating Fact & Fiction: What You Need to Know about Charter Schools. The original report lists 21 criticisms of charter schools, labeling them as “myths” and attempting to rebut them.
The NEPC review considers these criticisms and responses, using them to frame a research-based, item-by-item overview of the issues.
One overarching finding of the NEPC review is that, notwithstanding its title, the NAPCS report at best muddies the distinction between fact and fiction and at worst perpetuates certain fictions as fact and certain facts as fiction.
“Unfortunately, in addressing 21 ‘myths,’ it embraces fiction whenever useful to push advocacy goals, thus perpetuating its own myths and fictions about charter schools,” says Miron.
While offering an evidence-based response toSeparating Fact & Fiction, the NEPC review also provides in a single document a wide range of research sources and summary findings that researchers, policymakers, and interested citizens may find helpful in continuing discussions and debate over the merits of charter schools.
The review “provides a useful opportunity to walk through the various claims and succinctly address each,” says Mathis. Those include evidence concerning whether charter schools are equitably financed; the qualifications of charter school teachers relative to those at traditional public schools; and topics including student selection demographics, academic outcomes, segregation, and innovation.
“While the NAPCS report itself may provide only sound-bite fodder for advocates,” the authors conclude, “we hope that the two documents combined—report plus review—offer an overview of issues that does advance comprehensive understanding.”
Find the review by Gary Miron, William Mathis, and Kevin Welner on the NEPC website at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-separating-fact-and-fiction
Find Separating Fact & Fiction: What You Need to Know about Charter Schools, published by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on the web at:
http://www.publiccharters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Separating-Fact-from-Fiction.pdf.

The Think Twice think tank review project (http://thinktankreview.org) of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. The Think Twice think tank review project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information on the NEPC, please visithttp://nepc.colorado.edu/.
This review is also found on the GLC website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Part 3: Sheep as leaders? by Dave Greene #EdBlogNet

Part 3: Sheep as leaders?

Posted by Dave Greene 
Dave Greene
Who are we but a mirror of what we have learned over our lifetime coupled with the DNA shake we have been served? We have believed for a long time that the role of high schools and especially colleges was to prepare thinkers. That has morphed into preparing students for the specific discipline they have chosen (or have chosen for them) in which they will immerse themselves for the rest of their lives.

Students arrive pre-molded by the tall tales, myths, legends, values et al. given to them by the institutions of family, community environment, religion, media, and now even more so – social media. As a result we have all seen their propensity to have an opinion on everything. I spent a great deal of time with my students getting them to see the difference between “opinion” and point of view substantiated by research and evidence, not just the evidence the find to support their intuitive opinion. Too often they start with an apriori opinion and simply find the “facts” to support it.

This should sound familiar in dealing with those elite we call education reformers. They “know” schools must reform (and so do we) but they already have their answers based on their lives and the groupthink they all share. The problem is that they have both the influence and money to be heard and supported by those in power until they, themselves, get to those positions of power.

Deresiewicz refers to this groupthink as Plato’s “doxa” and tells us what we already know. “The first purpose of a real education…is to liberate us from “doxa” by teaching us how to recognize it, to question it, and to think our way around it.” As novice teachers in the Bronx, our Platos (my immediate supervisors) taught us that was how to teach social studies. I have been doing that ever since, trying to develop skeptics, not cynics. Our elites, however, are too often cynics who refuse to believe the Platos of their education matter. Why? Because more often than not they distrust everything and everyone but each other because of fear.

More specifically, many, from the time they entered school, were motivated by fear of failure by those institutions that molded them. They think they are leaders, but in fact are only trained to follow with the fear of failing to please the real authority, wherever it lurks, otherwise they fail.
On elite high school and college campuses, remarks Mark Edmundson, author ofWhy Teach?,
A leader “is someone who in a very energetic, upbeat way, shares all the values of the people who are in charge…. When people say ‘leaders’ now, what they mean is gung ho ‘followers’ ”.

Deresiewicz pleads to colleges to train citizens, not leaders; to train those who ask whether something is worth doing in the first place, rather than just a way to get things done. This is especially true in education policy where the “leaders” have all jumped on the data driven reform train with the rest of the pack, instead of asking whether or not that train is even on the right track.

Are they willing to go against the grain and say, “Hold on a bit, many public schools provide terrific education to their students, maybe we need to use our brains and resources to spread those ideas rather than crush them?” Are they willing to say, “Maybe we should focus on the environmental issues that lead to problems in schools rather than blaming those who work in schools?” And what if they asked, “What if we recognized that teachers, as the real experts in the field (not us), deserve to be heard and have a leadership role in revitalizing American schools, not reforming or destroying them?”

Do they have the courage to go against the au currant grain? Can they change the world for the better by listening to others beside themselves? Can they learn from those who led the positive changes in education 50 or more years ago? Can they figure out that justice, not condescending charity, is a virtue? Can they question their fellow entrephilanthropists and policy makers? Can they admit TFA in its present form is a bad idea, even though one of them created it and it is filled with thousands of them? Can they figure out that doing good doesn't mean doing well, or becoming a success and getting to the top by doing good?

Now that would be real leadership, wouldn’t it be?

Discuss this message

None dare call it nonsense (Robert Kahn's take on yesterday's announced decision by Judge Hanen) @EqualVoice_RGV @idraedu

(Robert Kahn's take on yesterday's announced decision by Judge Hanen)
A Texas judge's injunction against President Obama's executive orders on immigration will be overturned promptly by the 5th Circuit.
     U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, a right-wing appointee of President George W. Bush, let his animus against Obama and immigrants prejudice his judgment.
     Hanen knows nothing about how immigration policy has been conducted for centuries - or he doesn't care to know it.
     Any district director of U.S. immigration services has the power to do what President Obama did.
     A district director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the power to admit immigrants into the United States on a whim.
     He or she can set them free on no bond, or imprison them under any bond he chooses.
     He can give them work permits, or not; let them travel out of his district, or not; charge them criminally or not; order them sent to a deportation hearing immediately or put it off indefinitely. He can do this because of where they came from, or their religion, or because they entered the United States in one place instead of 10 miles up the river.
     And the ICE boss in the adjoining district can enforce opposite policies on every point.
     Neither Texas, nor the 25 other Republican-controlled states that shopped for judges before suing the Obama administration in Brownsville, Texas, would dream of suing an ICE district director for this.
     Because that's the way it's always been done.
     I did legal work in U.S. immigration prisons for years. I wrote the first history of U.S. immigration prisons. The situation has not changed one bit since my book came out 19 years ago.
     ICE district directors have immense powers, some of which I've described. An ICE deportation officer has virtually the same powers, though deportation officers are civil servants a mere GS step or two above a Border Patrolman, but unelected - as are ICE district directors.
     Since 1980, district directors for ICE, and its predecessor the INS, have done these things:
     - Ordered refugees of war to be imprisoned in one Border Patrol district, but let them go 10 miles away;
     - Set bonds at $7,500 in one district and at $1,500, or nothing, in an adjoining one;
     - Given work permits and indefinitely postponed deportation hearings for Nicaraguans, but denied work permits and ordered immediate deportation hearings for Salvadorans;
     - Ordered every border-crosser in their district locked up, then let them all go, then ordered them all locked up again;
     - Allowed refugees of war to be tortured in U.S. immigration prisons.
     Most of these peculiar orders were approved, or ordered, by the U.S. attorney general. An INS or ICE district director who bucked the attorney general on Monday would be looking for a job Tuesday.
     All of these contradictory, often cruel, policies were actions of the executive branch.
     Congress never complained, effectively, nor did the glorious state of Texas, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Obama administration - Texas, where 3-year-old babies were strip-searched because their mother asked to talk to a lawyer.
     What were those babies hiding in their vaginas?
      I saw a deportation officer raise the bond of a Salvadoran torture victim from $1,500 to $3,000 when my co-worker, a nun, tried to bond him out.
     Sister Suzanne raised another $1,500, and when she went to bond out her client the deportation officer raised her to $5,000.
     Sister Suzanne wrinkled her nose - a nun's protest - then got other nuns involved, and she got her client out.
     This is the way the U.S. immigration system is run: on whims and vindictiveness. On orders from the Executive Branch, and whatever the district director says next.
     To claim that the president of the United States has "exceeded his powers," by doing no more than any ICE district director does every day, is utter balderdash.
     Now Speaker of the House John Boehner has threatened to kill funding for the Department of Homeland Security unless the president rescinds his order protecting millions of people who were brought to our country as children, and graduated from schools, and lived honestly, and can prove it.
     Boehner's proposal is vile, dishonest and racist - not just because it is a naked appeal to his party's voters - but because it ignores the way U.S. immigration policy is conducted, and has been conducted forever.
     Surely Boehner, as Speaker of the House, knows this. He has access to this information.
     The only reason Boehner and his party can do this is because 99.9% of the U.S. people do not understand how our immigration services are run, and always have been.
     Boehner and his party are bathed with blood, dancing upon corpses, willing to shut down funding for U.S. counterterrorism operations around the globe, to gain a few political points.
     None dare call it sanity.
     Robert Kahn's book, "Other People's Blood: U.S. Immigration Prisons in the Reagan Decade," was published by Westview Press/HarperCollins in 1996. His views do not represent the views of Courthouse News Service.

Nadie se atreva llamarlo tontería > la acción del juez Hanen en contra del DAPA/extension de DACA

(Opinión sobre lo que pasó con la acción del juez Hanen en contra del DAPA/extension de DACA)
favor de aguantar la traduccion..
Nadie se atreva llamarlo tontería
Por Robert Kahn
       El orden judicial de un juez de Texas en contra de los mandados ejecutivos del presidente Obama sobre la inmigración se volcará rápidamente por el corte federal del quinto circuito 
      El juez de distrito Andrew Hanen, nombrado derechista del presidente George W. Bush, dejó que su animosidad contra Obama y los inmigrantes prejuzga su juicio.
      Hanen no sabe nada acerca de cómo se ha llevado a cabo la política de inmigración durante siglos - o que no le importa saberlo.
      Cualquier director de distrito de los servicios de inmigración de Estados Unidos tiene el poder de hacer lo que el presidente Obama hizo.
      Un director de distrito de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas tiene la facultad de admitir a los inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos en un capricho.
      Él o ella puede liberarlos en ningún enlace, o encarcelarlos bajo cualquier fianza que elija.
      Se les puede dar permisos de trabajo, o no; dejar que ellos viajan fuera de su distrito, o no; acusarlos penalmente o no; ordenar los enviaron a una audiencia de deportación inmediata o posponerlo indefinidamente. Él puede hacer esto porque de donde vinieron, o su religión, o porque entraron a Estados Unidos en un solo lugar en vez de 10 millas río arriba.
      Y el jefe de ICE en el distrito adyacente puede hacer cumplir las políticas opuestas en cada punto.
      Ni Texas, ni los otros 25 estados controlados por los republicanos que compraban a los jueces antes de demandar al gobierno de Obama en Brownsville, Texas soñarían con demandar a un director de distrito ICE para esto.
      Porque esa es la forma en que siempre se ha hecho.
      Hice el trabajo legal en las cárceles de inmigración de Estados Unidos durante años. Escribí la primera historia de las cárceles de inmigración estadounidenses. La situación no ha cambiado un poco desde mi libro salió hace 19 años.
      Directores de distrito ICE tienen inmensos poderes, algunos de los cuales he descrito. Un oficial de deportación ICE tiene prácticamente los mismos poderes, aunque los oficiales de deportación son funcionarios un mero GS paso o dos por encima de un patrullero de frontera, pero no elegido - como son directores de distrito ICE.
      Desde 1980, los directores de distrito para el ICE, y su predecesor, el INS, han hecho estas cosas:
      - Refugiados ordenada de guerra para ser encarcelados en un distrito de la Patrulla Fronteriza, pero dejarlos ir 10 millas de distancia;
      - Bonos fijado en $ 7,500 en un distrito y en $ 1,500, o nada, en una adyacente a uno;
      - Teniendo en cuenta los permisos de trabajo y pospuesto indefinidamente las audiencias de deportación para los nicaragüenses, pero negó los permisos de trabajo y ordenó audiencias de deportación inmediata de los salvadoreños;
      - Ordenado cada frontera-Crosser en su distrito encerrado, entonces que todos ellos van, entonces ordenó a todos encerrados de nuevo;
      - Refugiados animales de guerra para ser torturados en las cárceles de inmigración estadounidenses.
      La mayoría de estas órdenes peculiares fueron aprobadas, una orden o, por el fiscal general de Estados Unidos. Un director del INS o distrito ICE que se resistió al fiscal general el lunes estaría buscando un puesto de trabajo el martes.
      Todas estas contradictorias a menudo crueles, políticas, eran acciones de la rama ejecutiva.
      El Congreso nunca se quejó, efectivamente, ni el glorioso estado de Texas, el principal demandante en la demanda contra el gobierno de Obama - Texas, donde los bebés de 3 años de edad, se realizaron búsquedas de bandas debido a que su madre le pide que hable con un abogado.
      ¿Cuáles fueron esos bebés escondidos en la vagina?
       Vi a un oficial de deportación elevar el vínculo de una víctima de tortura salvadoreña desde $ 1.500 a $ 3.000 cuando mi compañero de trabajo, una monja, trató de unir a cabo.
     
 Hermana Suzanne planteó otros $ 1.500, y cuando fue a unirse a su cliente al agente de deportación la elevó a $ 5.000.
      Hermana Suzanne arrugó la nariz - La protesta de una monja - luego se puso otras monjas involucradas, y ella consiguió su cliente fuera.
      Esta es la forma en que el sistema de inmigración de Estados Unidos es ejecutado: en caprichos y venganza. Por órdenes del Poder Ejecutivo, y cualquiera que sea el director de distrito dice a continuación.
      Afirmar que el presidente de los Estados Unidos ha "excedido en sus poderes," por no hacer más que cualquier director de distrito ICE hace todos los días, es pura tontería.
      Ahora el presidente de la Cámara, John Boehner, ha amenazado con matar a los fondos para el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional a menos que el presidente rescinde su orden para proteger a millones de personas que fueron traídos a nuestro país cuando eran niños, y se graduó de la escuela, y vivió con honestidad, y puede demostrarlo .
      La propuesta de Boehner es vil, deshonesto y racista - no sólo porque es un recurso desnuda a los votantes de su partido - pero porque ignora la forma en que se llevó a cabo la política de inmigración de Estados Unidos, y se ha llevado a cabo siempre.
      Seguramente Boehner, como Presidente de la Cámara, lo sabe. Él tiene acceso a esta información.
     
 La única razón por Boehner y su partido pueden hacer esto se debe a que el 99,9% de la población de Estados Unidos no entienden cómo se ejecutan los servicios de inmigración, y siempre lo han sido.
    
  Boehner y su partido están bañados de sangre, bailando sobre los cadáveres, dispuestos a cerrar la financiación de las operaciones antiterroristas de Estados Unidos en todo el mundo, para ganar unos puntos políticos.
      
 Ninguno se atrevió a llamarlo sano.
      
 El libro de Robert Kahn, "La sangre de otras personas: Prisiones de Inmigración en el Decenio de Reagan," fue publicado por Westview Press / HarperCollins en 1996.

Friday, February 13, 2015

"Impaction" What Goes Around Comes Around - Rodolfo F. Acuña #EdBlogNet @idraedu #idraed

What Goes Around Comes Around
By
Rodolfo F. Acuña
[Thanks to http://bit.ly/1uBglh0]

On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet in cooperation with the CIA led a military coup assassinating constitutionally elected Salvador Allende and unleashing a reign of terror that in the first year conservatively murdered over 11,000 people. By 1982 neo-liberal wunderkind Milton Friedman declared that dictator Pinochet "has supported a fully free-market economy as a matter of principle. Chile is an economic miracle".

Pinochet along with "the Chicago Boys" -- free- market economists—set out to convert Chile into a free market, reducing the role of the state and cutting back inflation. According to Pinochet, Chile would become "a nation of entrepreneurs."

A la Ronald Reagan, Pinochet set out to privatize Chile and make education a marketplace. As a result, Chilean education became among the most expensive in the world. The outcome was dismal and Chile’s primary school system ranks 119th of 144 countries.  Students could not afford “to graduate, and even those who attain degrees seldom earn enough to pay off their debt.”  (Sounds familiar?)

A reason why education became unaffordable is that higher education was privatized and it received limited public funding. In 2006 students took to the streets in what became known as the  Penguin Revolution – the students wore black and white uniforms, carrying signs “education is a human right.” Not seduced by minor victories, they continued to fight for free education.

Protests erupted again in May 2011 with an eight-month long occupation of college campuses. This escalated into a sustained, three-year nationwide movement. At its peak, 800,000 students flooded the streets and were supported by 81 percent of the population.

Under the leadership of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean Congress passed a law that by 2016 education would be free.  Congress approved a corporate tax hike that will generate $8.2 billion in new revenue. (The U.S. defense budget was $581 billion in 2014). History had judged Milton Friedman and his “Chicago boys.”

What goes around comes around.

Change did not come about because the political process worked. Politicians did not conceive the change. It was the students taking to the streets and spreading the attitude, “we are fed up and we are not going to take it anymore,” that brought this about.
American students could learn from Chileans and develop a moral vision that included   education as a human right.  Chileans did not blame themselves for the crippling debt and the ineffectiveness of their government.
The demonstrations were nationwide and they lasted years. As one critic put it, students got politically involved and several of Chile’s student leaders serve in the Chilean Congress “whereas the US Congress is mainly composed of older millionaires, many of whom receive campaign funds from for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix.”
Another difference is that the United States is the citadel of neoliberalism where the 1 percent has achieved an ideological hegemony.  The sad fact is that American students will not be effective until they share a “moral vision” that demands education as a right.

In the fall of 2015 California State University at Northridge will be designated as an impacted campus. The term “impaction” has been around for some time and can apply either to majors or specific campuses.  “Major impaction means that the number of applications from fully eligible students to a designated program or major on a CSU campus during the initial filing ...” Campus impaction occurs when the number of applications received exceeds the number of available spaces. However, this is not always true and neither are the consequences.

Roughly from what I have been able to learn, CSU San Luis Obispo has been impacted for over a decade. San Luis Obispo has raised its admission requirement from a 3.0 GPA to a 3.2. Departments have the option of turning away students.  

The rationale behind impaction is that by limiting and cutting enrollment campus costs will be reduced. Campuses are under the illusion that the governor, the legislature and the Board of Trustees will then increase their budgets.  Impaction mainly affects first year students but includes other transferring students. The goal is to reduce the size of the university by one percent a year over the next seven years.

In theory students turned away from CSUN have the option of attending a non-impacted campus, for example, CSU Stanislaus, which may be okay for a student with substantial family support, but for poorer students of any race it is a hardship. For undocumented students, it is near impossible.  

It gets more insidious with majors. At many campuses students may be admitted on a "pre-major" status. Before getting admitted to the major, the student must complete the lower division courses prerequisites for admission to the impacted major.

It is divisive and pits students against one another and divides them. Minority opposition to impaction has nothing to do with lower standards for admission. They are demanding their rights and asking for equal access to a quality education. Impaction has the potential of being a means of managing enrollment and gives racist members of individual departments the power to avoid diversity.

There is nothing new about this form of social engineering. In 1985, Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds sought raise entrance requirements claiming that this would force the public schools to offer required classes. Thanks to the Latino community, students and California Legislators opposition to Reynolds’ proposal slowed it down and in the end her initiative proved to be a complete fiasco.

The only ones that will gain are for profit colleges and rich corporations.  According to The Huffington Post for profit colleges from 2007 – 2012 spent a combined $39.6 million on lobbying. By 2012 “For-profit colleges … collected $32 billion from the federal government through programs like Pell Grants, while many students failed to graduate. Among 30 companies investigated, 41.8 percent of revenue went to marketing, recruiting, and to profits while only 17.7 percent towards actual instruction.”  

Meanwhile, according to The Nation Magazine, “For-profit schools are driving a national student debt crisis that has reached $1.2 trillion in borrowing.” Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has said that for-profits “own every lobbyist in town.” Mitt Romney strongly endorsed the industry in 2012; he has financial ties to for-profit colleges Vatterott and Full Sail University. In 2013-14, House Speaker John Boehner was a top recipient of for profit money.

Giving the devil his due, Provost Harry Hellenbrand resisted impaction, he lost and is retiring. I will not be alive to see what went around come around. It will take a long time because neoliberalism is too well entrenched. For there to be change, American students have to develop a moral vision – Education is a human right.