Archive for teacher’s unions

VIDEO: "Going Public" exposes wealthy conservatives' aim to gut public education. "Mommy, they're gonna fire me!"

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public schools trailer for Going Public doc

school vouchers

Someone I admire greatly, Lisa Graves, is in the movies! Specifically, a documentary about the despicable movement to privatize public schools. Here's the first sentence of her bio at ALEC Exposed:

Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of PR Watch, SourceWatch, and BanksterUSA...

Please link over for the rest of her impressive resume.

And you can link over to all of our posts on privatizing public schools here, something I concentrate on because it infuriates me that so many wealthy Republicans and their corporate buddies (coughKOCHBROTHERScough) think nothing of closing our schools and then using the privatized ones, and our children, to turn a profit and bust unions.

Learning, teaching, and kids have nothing to do with it for these greedy, power-hungry monsters. This is about making money.

And by reducing tax dollars paid in, they cut public services for the rest of us while further enriching themselves, the richest people in the country.

Here's the trailer for "Going Public":

About a year ago we began the work on Going Public, our documentary whose goal is to remind the world that public education is the heart of our democracy. Our public schools are the last place where people from different classes and different walks of life come together to learn, to share ideas, and to be afforded a fair opportunity to reach for the American dream.

But today, an unholy alliance of wealthy conservatives and aggressive hedge fund managers have declared war on public education. Their goal is to dismantle public schools, and ultimately destroy the middle class and the opportunity of upward mobility that defines the can-do American spirit. We asked several questions: Why are teachers, their unions, and public education in general under attack now? Who stands to profit from this? And is there a real basis for these attacks? Finally, we want to know where our schools are working well and why. [...]

For anyone who’s ever hoped for a movement to bring back the dignity of public schools and restore their place in our democracy, for anyone who is looking for answers to the the role outside money is playing in helping to destroy public schools, we hope we’ve got your back.

How about throwing a little money their way so they can finish the project? Your donations will be tax-deductible, but more importantly, you're helping to expose the calculated destruction of public education and other services at the hands of those who care only about profit and power, not democracy, equality, the future of our children, and the lives of their fellow Americans.

privatize public schools Going Public doc

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Laugh line o' the day-- WI Gov. Scott Walker: Republicans are "the ones who care for the everyday people"

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laughing ha ha

Hey, did you guys hear the one about Republicans reinventing themselves? Oh em gee, it's hilarious. They actually think they're pulling a fast one on Americans by claiming to reach out to voters who flat out rejected them in 2012. The punch line is, they think saying they're doing that is the same as-- wait for it-- actually doing it!

now that's funny laugh

Clearly, they've been failing miserably at this sham of a "makeover." Just follow that link above to see the myriad ways they've made fools of themselves. It's as funny as it is pathetic.

It just got even funnier.

WisPolitics has this Moment of Levity from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker from his speech to the 2013 state GOP convention:

"We’re the ones who care for the everyday people of this state and this country, and it’s about time we stood up and told people about it." [...]

Walker said that principle was at the heart of his decision to push for more educational opportunities, be it in traditional public schools or charter schools, and to turn down federal money to expand the Medicaid program. [...]

Walker mocked claims from critics that the change was a sign he hates poor people.

walker world

Oh me oh my, where to begin?

  • "We're the ones who care for the everyday people of this state and this country." That must be why you were nearly kicked out of office. And why your "screw the 47%" presidential candidate lost in a landslide.
  • "Turn down federal money to expand the Medicaid program." Nothing says "caring for everyday people" like taking away their lifeline.
  • "Walker mocked claims from critics that the change was a sign he hates poor people." Did it ever occur to him that they say that because he hates poor people? See: "Turn down federal money to expand Medicaid."

On second thought, this wasn't very funny after all. More like infuriatingly, hypocritically tone deaf.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

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Wisconsin public schools scored better than private voucher schools in standardized achievement tests

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school vouchers

The Journal Sentinel has the following story in full, but I've hit my view limit and now would have to subscribe, so I'm relying on HuffPo's summary. The Sentinel's article is titled "Wisconsin voucher students lag in latest state test."

As you may recall, Republican WI Gov. Scott Walker has been pushing for school vouchers, and he's also tried his best to bust unions, as in teachers' unions, as in public schools. Remember this?

Previously I've posted that Walker’s budget funds school vouchers and charter schools “leaving public schools on life support” followed by Oops! Three Wisconsin voucher schools got state money after losing accreditation. He claims he wants more “choice,” but does Wisconsin spend more per student on vouchers than public schools?

Now it looks like public schools are getting the last laugh. Students who go to private schools, aka voucher schools, in both Milwaukee and Racine got lower standardized achievement test scores than the kids in Milwaukee Public Schools and the Racine Unified School District.

Must be all those thuggy union teachers and their thuggy union ways.

Meantime, Wisconsin Public Radio is reporting this:

A government watchdog group says voucher advocates have spent nearly $10 million over the past ten years trying to influence elections in Wisconsin.

And that's what all this is about.

public school cartoonUPDATE: Speaking of union busting, please read Lee Fang's latest at The Nation:

The Commonwealth Foundation, a right-wing think tanks in Harrisburg, is plotting to go after public sector employee unions.  In a letter from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) on behalf of the Foundation, the think tank announced "Project Goliath," a new effort to make Pennsylvania the next Wisconsin or Michigan.

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GOP reinvention? Republican WI Gov. Scott Walker to push school vouchers

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walker world

It was only yesterday that I posted this:

Dear GOP: Do you think America is deaf, blind, and/or stupid? On second thought, don’t answer that. Their claims of reinventing themselves are a joke. They can use all the carefully parsed words they want, but they are fooling nobody.

Of course, that was about a personhood bill that would ban abortions in North Dakota. Today it's about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's war on public education and unions.

Previously I posted that Gov. Scott Walker’s budget funds school vouchers and charter schools “leaving public schools on life support” followed by Oops! Three Wisconsin voucher schools got state money after losing accreditation. He claims he wants more “choice,” but does Wisconsin spend more per student on vouchers than public schools?

Walker is doing everything he can to make it harder on children, including special needs children, to access public education:

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to increase funding for voucher and public charter schools as well as his plan to create a new stream of funding to allow special-needs children to attend private schools drew immediate criticism Sunday from the state’s largest teacher union, public school advocates and a major disability rights group. [...]

(Walker’s) real focus is privatizing public education with another infusion of resources to the unaccountable taxpayer-funded private school voucher program while leaving our neighborhood public schools on life support,” [Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teacher union] added.

Now the Madison Capital Times is reporting more about his plan to force expansion of vouchers to nine school districts:

And influential former GOP leaders are suiting up to lobby for Walker’s plan to make more public school districts offer a voucher option, in which parents can get state funds to help send their children to private schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers said that "tying report cards to voucher expansion, as Walker proposes, would undermine bipartisan school reform efforts underway."

How's that reachy-outy thing workin’ for ya, GOP?

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Oops! Three Wisconsin voucher schools got state money after losing accreditation

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school vouchers

Previously I posted about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wanting more “choice,” but does Wisconsin spend more per student on vouchers than public schools?

Today JSOnline is reporting that a few Wisconsin schools got state money even though they'd lost their accreditation.

Three private schools in Milwaukee continued to receive taxpayer money through the voucher program after losing their accreditation, under a loophole in state law that requires such schools to obtain that official approval but not maintain it. [...]

But on Wednesday, the head of the agency that rescinded its approval of Brenda Noach and Washington DuBois said that both of those schools have now been reinstated.

Still, the questions raised by the DPI accreditation reports illuminate an oversight hiccup for the voucher programs in Milwaukee and Racine.

Of course, Scott Walker is proposing the expansion of  the voucher school program to other cities. What could possibly go wrong?

Accreditation is important for voucher schools because they are not required to follow the same regulations as public schools. [...]

Separate from the accreditation issues, the DPI [Department of Public Instruction] is withholding a portion of each of the three schools' voucher payment because of a failure to meet financial or other reporting requirements.

Privatization: It's the Republican dream.

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Gov. Scott Walker wants more "choice," but does Wisconsin spend more per student on vouchers than public schools?

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school vouchers 

Gazettextra.com is reporting that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said one of his goals is to "improve" public schools, but when improvement just isn't enough, it's school voucher time! Or as he likes to call it, "other options" *coughPRIVATIZATIONcough*.

And by other options, he means that government helps pay for tuition at private schools, including religious schools. Or as I like to call it, exclusion and discrimination.

Or as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and I both like to call it, siphoning funds away from public schools. *coughUNIONBUSTINGcough*

Then as I toddled around The Internets, I noticed a very astute Matthew DeFour at the Wisconsin State Journal asking, "Does the state provide more money to students who use private school vouchers than to students who attend public schools?"

The top Democrat on the Assembly Education Committee released a memo Wednesday from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau showing 80 percent of school districts in Wisconsin receive less general state aid per student than the $6,442 amount that about 24,500 students in Milwaukee and Racine can receive to attend private schools.

Here's the cover letter. Follow the link to see the contents of the memo, and this link to read more of DeFour's piece:

memo wisconsin public schools v vouchers

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VIDEO-- Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale. "Can the people of this land do something to live happily ever after?"

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Gather 'round, kiddies...

"Question: Is there no alternative, or can the people of this land do something to live happily ever after?"

Of particular interest: The segment at about 3:00.

And doesn't the politician receiving all those donations at about 5:30 remind you just a wee bit of... Scott Walker?

:

Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, is narrated by Ed Asner, with animation by Mike Konopacki. Written and directed by Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers. An 8 minute video about how we arrived at this moment of poorly funded public services and widening economic inequality. Things go downhill in a happy and prosperous land after the rich decide they don't want to pay taxes anymore. They tell the people that there is no alternative, but the people aren't so sure. This land bears a startling resemblance to our land. For more info, www.cft.org.

I believe...I believe... it's silly, but I believe...

H/t: @KingsburyQc

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