Happy Labor Day, Mom

Wow. what a great piece.

When I first saw the title, I thought it was going to be a piece on the unsung workforce of women who take care of the home and children…with nary an acknowledgement by law or wages…but I was pleasantly surprised that even though it was about a mother who works outside the home, it held such a great depth and context.

I disagree with the author’s assertion, however, that the education “reformers” don’t seem to grasp the hard-won battles women have had to fight for the same rights that men enjoyed without resistance….

…the “reformers” know EXACTLY what they are doing.  They know that the teacher’s unions have protected working women with equal pay for the same work performed as men teachers, with protection of being dismissed for asserting the same equal rights enjoyed by men such as being able to be married, have children, have reasonable work hours and good pay.  You have to remember who the “reformers” are and their indifference towards women, or worse, loathing of women.

(By a weird circumstance, I belonged briefly to the American Federation of Teachers and was amazed at their strength, unity, and benefits.    It was like nothing I had seen before. )




Mitch Daniels destroying college educations…

…starting with the Communications degree. Video here. (Gah, how politicians looove to plaster their mugs everywhere–Daniels had his mug on every webpage of the State’s website. Pfft.)

The first question…was Daniels talking from his $380,000 office??  Funny how “saving money” is for the “little people”…

I finished my degree in 3.5 years.  But this was only possible because I didn’t take classes to get my minor (which I will always regret).  If so, I would have been there a for another semester–a full four years.

You cannot get the well-rounded education that I received by 3 years.  I also took summer courses, which is what Daniels is recommending, but I regret most of it because they are not in-depth, as they should be, in order to really understand a topic.  You get soundbyte facts, not solid education.

And I can imagine that the courses Daniels and his henchmen are cutting out are the very ones that have given me the most incredible understanding of not only Communications, but the world as a whole:  Women’s Studies, Multiculturalism, Religious studies (Eastern), foreign language, Biological Anthropology, Social Knowledge  (where I learned of Columbus massacring the indigenous of the Bahamas and A People’s History of the United States, that Daniels would like to burn), Ancient History, and so on.

Yes, it has come to pass, folks–the event that I knew was coming when Mitch Daniels, who appointed the Board of Trustees while he was Governor of Indiana, then was “elected” by them without so much as any evidence of discussion amongst them….is now going to destroy higher education…starting with Purdue.

…and of course, the destruction of education is couched in terms that most folks would find appealing–saving money.

There are things you need to save money on and things that are priceless– a good, well-rounded education is not one of the things you want to skimp on.

So long, Purdue, it was great while it lasted…

My other posts:

Koch brothers and Mitch Daniels and universities. (note the link of the Lumina foundation to both Mitch Daniels and Bill Clinton, aka slick Willie-say-progressive stuff-but-actions of-conservative.)

Daniels and ethics here.






Gulen Charters, Ohio, Indiana, and politicians lining their pockets

Diane Ravitch has this up on the apparently greased palms of Republican Cliff Rosenberger and how Gulen schools have flourished in Ohio.  The article states that the investigation includes Indiana, as well….

Meanwhile, I’m reading a press release of Governor Mike Pence taking his family to England…on a “jobs creation trip”.  The release I read noted that he is paying for his children’s portion of the trip…but it left off his wife, whom is also going.  They’ll be gone for two weeks.  Unbelievable.  What a snow job–does anybody actually believe this guy is going to create jobs by this trip?  How many hours do you think he’ll devote to schmoozing for jobs?  I’m betting a day.  Half a day.  An hour.  A few minutes on the elevator down to the pool..

This article states that it is funded by the Indiana Economic Development Foundation through private donations.  I want to know who the donors are and what exactly Pence is doing–I don’t trust the tea partier at all.  They are good about saying one thing and doing the exact opposite–such as government being “too big”–and then, as I noticed yesterday in yet another press release, Pence created four more positions in his office for people who are no doubt cronies of his.  So, how does one “shrink government” by creating more useless positions while eliminating important ones, such as child welfare workers?

So, I’m waiting to see the fallout of this investigation and its connection to Indiana.  Pence and his henchmen are trying to wrest away what little control Glenda Ritz, an official elected by the people of Indiana, has on the Dept of Education.



Teachers, the wage gap, and the nearly homeless

Diane Ravitch has a blog up on one of the teachers involved in the Vergara case.  Ms. McLaughlin had replied to the “witch hunt” charges that she was a bad teacher…made by a student who also said there were five bad teachers and only one during her education–the one that wanted revenge apparently for being let go.

As I read the comments, the one by Chi-Town Res made me cry:

Yeah, and just wait until he hits retirement age and realizes that teachers with no union protections like me are exploited terribly. We are very low paid (and often hourly workers), don’t make enough money to get by on, let alone to save, have no pensions and are expected to live on about $900 per month from Social Security when we retire.

I could go live in a ghetto, since I will officially retire next month, because I can’t afford to continue living where I’ve been (renting) for the past 15 years, but I have no money to move. (Yes, homeownership was never an option for me.) Anyway, that’s the kind of income that even poor people in the ghettos can’t survive on in my area.

The reality is that I’m in arrears on my rent due to a further decline in my already low income and a high increase in my rent. I have applied to many places but I’ve been unable to find additional work. SS won’t actually start paying me until mid-September, my job put limits on our income and wouldn’t give me work for July, and I don’t qualify for unemployment compensation. I won’t get paid my measly wage again until the end of August. My landlord will not wait to be paid, and anyway I won’t get paid enough money then to cover back rent. I’ve been fighting becoming homeless for about three years now but, at this point, I have no more resources or anyone to turn to for help, and absolutely no one cares. So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will lose everything I own and be put out on the street and homeless before the fall. The only thing that could save my life now would be winning the lottery, but that is an intolerable hope.

The truth is that I could never afford to really stop working either, but SS has a limit on the amount of income I can earn. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. No one fully appreciates the “I’m living on a fixed income” cries, because the elderly are not revered in our society. No wonder the suicide rate for seniors is high.

As problematic as unions can be, not valuing the protections that unions provide workers is extremely short sighted.


Also noted in the comments was that one of the plaintiff’s lawyers was Ted Olson, who ended the vote recount and handed George W. Bush the presidency, against the American public’s wishes.  Blood is on his hands, as well, for the wars and the economic mess Bush left us in.

Be sure to click on the link for Diane’s original post on Ms. McLaughlin.  Really stunning to see how she is “witch-hunted” by those with their own agendas.  She seems to be an outstanding person with true caring about her students, as a good teacher needs to be.

From the link:

“Indeed, this whole Vergara trial was like something out of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” in China during the 1960′s. For those not acquainted with this, here’s primer: zealous students, under party leaders’ directions, would persecute their teachers. Kids would get their jollies as they put their teachers on a stage, put dunce caps on them, then screamed at them while forcing their teachers to bow their heads, kneel down, and confess their “crimes” and on and on…

These kids—appointed and empowered as “Red Guards” by Mao’s henchmen— would parade their former teachers through the streets…


Diane has also put up a link to a short film clip on the red army of children that illustrates the terrible time.

(A side note~I got this weird message that Diane Ravitch’s site was “untrusted”.  Say what??  It’s on a wordpress platform…why would I get that message?  Is someone trying to interfere with the traffic to her site??)


The Onion: Charter Schools Lottery

(hat tip Diane Ravitch)

The Onion has their usual satirical take on the Charter Schools lottery “system”.

“Between small class sizes, longer school days, individualized instruction, and superior college admission rates, charters provide amazing opportunities for students who don’t enter a convulsive state, fall into a coma, stop breathing, and cease all bodily functions during the admissions process.”



Spot on.

It’s really sad that the article hits Charter snobbery at its heart….and the kids suffer most of all.

Google and the NSA

Yasha Levine at Pando Daily has a report on the alarmingly close relationship between Google and the Dept. of Defense.

At first glance, you wonder what all the fuss is about, since Google is a tech company…but as the report flows along, there is a link to this piece by Consumer Watchdog.

From the report:

When   a   deal   between  NASA   and   top   Google   executives   to   use   the   base   was  first  disclosed  in  2007,  it  called  for  only  four  jets  to  use the  base.  
But  newly  released  government  records  show  that  the  Google  executive  0leet  has  now  grown  to  six  jets  and  two   helicopters,   while   at   least   40   Google   employees  hold  security  badges  at  the  base  and  all  of  the  planes  are  supplied  with  Department  of  Defense  jet  fuel.
[Italics mine.]
Wow, if ever there were a quid pro quo…supplying Google with expensive jet fuel?  Giving employees security clearance?  And all Google has to do is cooperate with divulging private information in contradiction of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits agencies from intruding into people’s privacy without a court warrant…
…but Google execs are too busy jetsetting to Cannes, Tahiti, and other places of interest…on the taxpayer dime…
Keyhole?  What an apt name for the company…funded by the CIA…that was to become Google Earth.  There’s just something unnerving to see one’s home on the internet for anyone to see.  Keyhole, indeed.
I do find it ironic and slightly amusing that the emails going back and forth from the Google execs and the various gov’t. agencies are being used against them…they seem to forget that their own privacy is abused by the system they created.
As I am reading this, I’m wondering why they would have to use Google at all?  Why is there such a push for privatization, when these services should be from government employees/agencies?  Not that I’m advocating invasion of privacy, mind you, but questioning the privatization movement that gets short term $$ gains by selling off public interests in land and intellectual property that was paid for by public funds.  And, of course, the lack of sunlight when something goes from public to private.
~~~~~As a side note…when I saw Eric Schmidt’s bespectacled face…I got a chill down my spine. Perhaps it’s because he just looks like a Nazi…and not a true evaluation of him…but there it is.


Leaving children behind…by ignorance…

(hat tip to Diane Ravitch and Mercedes Schneider)

This puts a light on the mindset of No Child Left  a Mind…only a politician would say such stupid things like they “don’t want to leave any child behind…” while ignoring the fact that it is child abuse to expect ALL children to be at 100%.  It shows how little they know about education, about children’s individual development, and about humanity in general.

We are not machines.

We are not here to make profits for them.

There is more to education (and life) than remembering facts and spewing them out.  A rich culture and thriving democracy require people with all kinds of creative expression–whether that be through intellect, arts, music, sewing, other crafts.   The marketplace of ideas is a concept for the media, but is true of democracy, as well.  If we all learn the same way with the same information spewed out–we gain very little when in contact with others…we don’t enrich ourselves nor they enrich themselves when we are not encouraged to express ourselves in positive creative ways without constraint.

For politicians to look at No Child Left a Mind as some sort of feather in their cap…shortsighted and delusional is how I would characterize that…

They are closing public schools in poor and minority neighborhoods…just the opposite of what these politicians say they want.  Children are stressed out and crying about testing that requires them to know things that are above their intellectual growth.

…not to mention the $$$ profiteering of Gates, Michael Milken, and the hedge fund managers involved in the scheme of trying to profit off our children.


Freedom of the Press and Democracy

David Swanson has a post up at FDL on James Risen being targeted with threats of jail time if he doesn’t reveal his sources.  Journalists have relied on sources to get information out to the pubic that they would not see otherwise.  It has been the backbone of our press.  Sunlight is the best defense against the dark ones who wish to move about without detection.  Good reporters need their sources and must have the ability to keep their identities secret.  Otherwise, they will not come forward with information that is imperative for a robust democracy.

What is happening to James Risen goes against the intentions of the First Amendment.

I hope you will sign the petition.


Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

From this link.

Bill Gates “explains” Common Core

Unbelievable.  Bill Gates–car salesman.  He is so full of it, that I don’t know where to even begin….

He states that these standards will allow children whom have moved to be able to pick up where they left off…again he misses the point that CHILDREN ARE INDIVIDUALS and they will either grasp a subject or not…according to where they are at in their personal development.

Gates also states that Common Core is made towards children’s development level.  Bullshit.  Utter bullshit.  You don’t teach integers, that is part of trigonometry, to grade school students!  You don’t teach the Code of Hammurabi to first graders!

He outright lies about government not dictating these standards.  Race to the Bottom guarantees that they will adopt their policies, or the schools will be denied federal dollars that were paid for by the public.

Mercedes Schneider points out more of the lies in her take on this…note the link to Indiana trying a shell game of getting rid of Common Core…but then adopting standards that are a warmed over version of Common Core.  Very disappointing to see that Glenda Ritz is going along with this charade.




Obama High School and Affirmative Action

Fred Klonsky posted his viewpoint on Barack Obama College Preparatory School and Obama’s silence on a Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action.

President Obama, however much I disagree with his education policies, is entitled to his opinion…whether it be for or against Affirmative Action.  I presume he is for it, but chose not to speak out at this particular decision.  I really don’t recall him speaking out on much regarding Supreme Court decisions— so because he’s black, he should speak out on this particular decision?

Perhaps I’m misinterpreting things…but this piece just struck me wrong.

As a side note~ Cabrini Green?  Really?  That was the housing project that was famously featured when former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne *cough* moved in….the press was all over it…but what they forgot to tell people was that she wasn’t moving in as in moving all her household…but rather, she kinda sorta stayed there one night a week./snark

Or perhaps it was a few hours in the daytime./snarkier

Or perhaps she just drove past the place…on her way to her real home…./snarkiest

We need jobs, not eggs.  Funny how it’s been thirty years and not much has changed, eh?

Oh, wait…

Rahm builds an elite high school on this historical spot….not only do you not get jobs, but you get thrown out.