AFT making deals with Weingarten’s consent **edited

Mercedes Schneider has another great post up on the deals being made by Randi Weingarten.

I tried to reblog it, but i think with all the comments and permalinks in the box, it crashed.

Anyway, here is the comment I posted in the reblog:

I’ve had this blog up on my queue to read when I got a chance, and something can be said for patience and delay…sometimes the rewards are astounding…as the comments here.

When you start messing with knowledgeable teachers, you better bring your best game…cause you’re messing with the best.

From Allyson:
Allyson permalink

Question: what makes you think you can have access to my children’s data without my consent? My kids’ school does not act for me in this capacity-no permission from me!
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From Dave:

Dave permalink

Hi Dan,
I’m an actual classroom teacher here working in the trenches. Nice to meet you. First, congrats on your business. I’m sure it is going to make you boatloads of money in the years to come, mainly from grants from the Gates Foundation among other. Rupert Murdoch will no doubt want to buy you out at some point, but that could be very profitable for you, too.

As a practicing teacher, I must say on behalf of those who feel as I do (and we are legion), that we have had quite enough of the promise of tech companies reforming education and making our lives and our teaching easier. You don’t. Mostly, we view you and your dime-a-dozen tech companies as leeches who are just hanging on to suck whatever profit you can out of our already stretched too thin school (and state) budgets. We’d really appreciate it if you put your considerable intellectual talents to better use, say, by joining NASA or helping find a cure for cancer. Honestly, we got this. We are going to teach the heck out of our kids every year, and we don’t need any further technology updates to do it.

You are right, however, and parents should realize this: an INCREDIBLE amount of precious learning time is flushed down the toilet because of computers, SMART Boards that don’t function correctly, software that freezes and hard drives that lock up, lost or missing passwords–the list goes on and on. Give me a black board, a piece of chalk, books and paper and I’ll turn ANYONE’s kid into a college-bound student. So will three million other educators … as long as you and other techies stay the heck out of our way. See, it’s our administration that’s the problem. They fall for the snake oil that you peddle, and they keep buying more (my district just sunk a 100 grand into a I-Ready, which now has my fifth graders matching letters to letter sounds like four year olds because of the score they got on the diagnostic. Crimony, what a mess! And now my students’ morale is low.

Just please, Dan, get out of the business and save teachers the headache, and the inevitable battle that we’re going to wage and win against you like we did against inBloom.
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And finally from Lloyd:
Lloyd Lofthouse permalink

Dan Carroll:

Pardon my language, … but it isn’t important if you do or don’t.

Before I went to college on the GI Bill, and then was a public school teacher for thirty years (1975-2005), I served in the U.S. Marines and fought in Vietnam. Before that, I was born to poverty with parents who both dropped out of high school at the age of 14. My dad actually spent time in jail as a teen for breaking and entering, and my older brother about 15 years in prison for a host of crimes.

Growing up in poverty and then ending up teaching children who lived in poverty taught me one thing. It isn’t the material that’s going to teach these kids. It’s the teacher, and a well trained teacher can teach without materiel from someone in the private sector offering material that will make that company a profit and/or pay the CEO a hefty annual salary.

In fact, the worst possible material was always the “crap” that was forced on teachers by administrators who had been convinced by someone working for a corporation that it would make a difference—and none of that junk ever did make a difference. I talk from experience.

So, cut the crap, Mr. Carroll. You aren’t doing teachers a favor by offering them “what you think” is access to materials that will help them do their job while possibly gathering cradle to grave informatory on children to sell to the highest corporate bidder or making a profit for some hi-tech company that sells tablets or laptops or software.

Will you deny that you plan to, or have an agenda, or have goals to gather information on children and sell it? If you answer is no, then please put that in writing and sign it with a promise that you will voluntarily go to prison for ten years or longer if you ever break that pledge. In addition, I want to pick the same prisons my brother served in. No white-collar criminal country club.

A dedicated teacher can teach without material, because they will create their own like I did in my early years in the classroom when there wasn’t enough textbooks to go around, And guess what, with teacher created material, many of the children I worked with soared and continued to do well year after year. And most of the material I used for thirty years was generated by me.In fact, most of the dedicated teachers I know seldom used the “crap” that came from people who thought they knew what teachers needed to do their job.

Why is it that teacher generated material works best? Easy answer: because the teacher who works with these at-risk kids usually knows what works best for their student population— that is, when the teacher can engage the students that often resist learning what’s taught.

Of course, I used the stories in the literature textbooks, but most of the support material in those textbooks wasn’t suitable for the students I worked with. To be frank, I didn’t like most of the “crappy” lesson in those textbooks that others felt would help me do a better job as a teacher.

This is where I want you to really pay attention. This is what teachers NEED most:

FIRST: A national early childhood education program—-that is part of the public schools and not run by a private sector corporation out to make a profit or pay some CEO a six figure, or higher, annual salary—-that’s available to every family and/or child as early as age 2 and specifically for children who live in poverty.

There’s a reason why the country needs a non-corporate, quality early childhood education program, and it is the fact that almost 24% of children in America grow up in poverty [more than any developed country]—-for that reason, teachers don’t need some “ignorant fool” [emphasis mine] to offer them material “that will help them do their job,” because material isn’t going to motivate a child who comes from a dysfunctional home or who is hungry or who lives in a community that’s ravaged by drugs and/or street gang violence similar to the schools where I taught for thirty years.

SECOND: New teachers starting out should be offered the best training possible and that’s a full time, paid, year-long residency with a master teacher in that master teacher’s classroom—this is the program that trained me as a teacher, and it made all the difference—and this program must include at least one full-year of follow up support after those young teachers have a classroom of their own.
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You can read Dan Carroll’s mindless comments at the blog.
I had experience with the *cough* smartboards where you really could not draw on them as you would a chalk board. Besides subjecting the kids to more electro-magnetics, it is a “shiny object” to entertain, with little value in educating children.

Like Dave in the comments,  says– give me chalk and chalkboard. The only electricity required is the electrical current running in the brain. 🙂

**edited to correct “Dave” from Dan. Meh. Must have been a “mercury” day.

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. )

 

 

 

A discussion on population…

Gene Logsdon has put up a post on his thoughts on population growth and food availability.

It’s a touchy and uncomfortable subject….to say the least.

It brings up eugenics–there are stories out there of people like Bill Gates and the Rockefellers advocating for population control via eugenics and even through genetically modified food.  There is a video out there of Bill Gates advocating vaccines for this purpose.  I don’t know what to make of the video, so I’m not posting it– you’ll have to go find it yourself.

I think advocating de-population is morally and ethically wrong.  We get into the self-righteous, superiority of those who think they are *more special* than the rest, therefore, they should live while others die.

The comments are as interesting as the blog–with one suggesting that the population growth perhaps was a spiritual one of bringing more light into the world….

…with that, I would disagree.  There is so much negative energy on Earth that I would happily volunteer to go right now if God would take me.   Just give me enough morphine to stop my heart, and I’m good to go…

Speaking of negative energy, I was just thinking last night how much I missed teaching.  I enjoyed it and the kids’ earnest quest for knowledge.  I also liked that I didn’t have to put up with office politics nor office gossip.  When I was teaching, I would stay in the room and eat my lunch so I didn’t have to hear the teachers gossip (yes, they gossiped…mostly about stupid substitutes…).  I went in, did my job, and went home while avoiding all of that negative energy.  I didn’t have to put up with the tired questioning of my single status–there is definitely a prejudice against single people in this country.  The downside, of course, is the pay and the work-on-demand instead of a steady schedule.

And if you try to avoid the gossip and cut people off…as some suggest you do…you’re still screwed because the gossips then turn on you as a target.  I’ve actually had that happen to me.  I ended up leaving a good job because of it.

I suppose the questioning of population growth is related to our bad economy…not enough jobs that pay living wages….while jobs are shipped to other countries for even lower wages…and Burger King and their ilk go to other countries so they don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes….while war hawks push us towards another war again…while not taxing the rich….

Yeah, I’m in a negative mood…how could you tell?  😦

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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…

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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??)

 

Scientists and Medical Professionals Against Vaccines

Digging deeper, I found this piece with three healthcare professionals–scientists–who are against vaccination…and why they are against it.

Dr. Meryl Nass, the last video, is especially helpful for those who are questioning vaccines.  She illustrates that those spouting the scare tactics of disaster if we don’t get vaccinated are often just spouting “facts” that they have no clue, as the physician claiming knowledge of the statistical analysis of vaccine safety and efficacy.

What’s really puzzling, and heartbreaking, is the insistence that these tiny little babies need to be flooded with these vaccines right after birth.  It’s insanity.  I had chickenpox at six months of age–by the scare tactics, I should have died because my immune system was supposedly not developed enough yet….and yet I lived.

More here.  I’ve linked to this piece before, but it bears repeating.

Why are Doctors Silent? This piece illustrates the upward battle of physicians to voice their concerns.

And you might recall Shane Ellison, the former Big Pharma researcher who quit Big Pharma because of the cholesterol lie–and how that lie has been perpetuated.  Here, he outlines all the reasons he, a scientist, will not vaccinate his own children.

And according to The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, the polio vaccine program launched by Bill Gates paralyzed 47,500 children in 2011 alone. And those injured by the vaccine died at twice the rate of those infected by “wild” polio!

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…easier to see the Bill Gates connection with Stephen Colbert, eh?

Between 1983 and 1990, there was a 423% increase in measles cases among vaccinated individuals. Then in 2006, the largest mumps outbreak in twenty years occurred. Among those infected, 63% were “immunized,” as shown by Neil Miller in Vaccines: Are They Safe and Effective? Others found similar results.

In The Journal of Infectious Diseases, scientists from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine wrote, “Vaccine failure accounted for a sustained mumps outbreak in a highly vaccinated population.”

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If parents need further proof of toxicity, they can read vaccine package inserts. The insert for the DPT vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur warns that, “A review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found evidence for a causal relation between tetanus toxoid and both brachial neuritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome [pain and loss of nerve and motor function].” Makers of the Tripedia vaccine for DTaP state that certain outcomes are so frequent that they had to list them. These reactions include:

 

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
• Anaphylactic reaction
• Cellulitis (a bacterial skin infection)
Autism
• Convulsion/Seizures
• Brain dysfunction
• Low muscle tone and strength
Nerve damage
• Hyperventilation/apnea

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Cancer cells are normally present in our bodies and our miracle immune system disposes of them.  But when the immune system is compromised, as in chemically laden food, polluted water, polluted air, heavy metal exposure, it cannot perform the miracle of disposing of cancer cells, and they begin to grow.  This fact seems to be left out of the conversation.

Or if it is talked about, it is with a sense of resignation that we can’t do anything about that.  That’s just bull.  We can change things if we are willing to do the work of changing our expectations and lifestyles.  It’s really not that hard, if one is committed to it.