School Choice (+The Machine)

(Below video description) Poor students deserve just as good an education as rich students, right? So why are so many stuck in failing public schools? Denisha Merriweather, who benefited from school vouchers, explains the problem and the solution.

(Take the pledge for school choice! http://www.schoolchoicenow.com

(Below video description) Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

(Below video description) America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-ed…). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

New York’s Public School’s Spend $20,226 Per Below Average Pupil

I was feeling the steak salad at Tilt the Kilt, so I grabbed my newest copy of The City Journal and a book I am reading “Contradict: They Can’t All Be True,” and headed over. I must look like a COMPLETE idiot as I have my faced buried in either of the two… just glancing up to see if there is a change of score in the Blackhawks game (the only thing good to come out of Chicago… that and it’s school of economics [back-in-the-day]). Some good articles in the City Journal this time around. One was so interesting that I scanned a bit of it for others to read.

But before you do — two things. 1) promise to watch “Waiting for Superman” in the future, as well as 2) watching the video directly below, now. The video below is one — even if already seen — will refresh the visuals of what the below article explains:

So you know, UFT stands for United Federation of Teachers, and is the largest teacher union in New York. Here is a portion of the article:

…The UFT has been especially effective because, unlike other interest groups in the city, it gets two bites at the apple—through collective bargaining and through politics. Three structural features of the collective bargaining process skew in the UFT’s favor. First, even in the best-case scenario, in which the city fights for the children’s interests and the union battles to protect its teachers, the result would be something in between—that is, an outcome not fully in the interest of students. Second, the city is a near-monopoly provider of education. Absence of competition reduces pressure on the city to drive a hard bargain with the UFT, while lessening incentives for the union to moderate its demands. Third, the UFT contributes cash and campaign assistance to the politicians with whom it negotiates. To the extent that the UFT backs winners, the union ends up on both sides of the bargaining table. Consequently, negotiated outcomes favor the UFT over time.The United Teachers Federation (UFT) represent most of New York’s public schools, so you understand the acronym below:

In the political arena, no group in New York City can rival the UFT’s manpower and money. Most of its 116,000 members hold college and graduate degrees, making them more likely to be politically active. The union also collects huge sums in dues, which are automatically deducted from members’ paychecks. Each UFT member pays, on average, approximately $600 a year in union dues, bringing the union’s annual revenues to about $70 million—much of it reserved for paying union officials’ salaries, contributions to state and national federations, rent for office space, and the costs of collective bargaining. The UFT also maintains a Committee on Political Education, sponsored by members who voluntarily donate anywhere from 50 cents to ten dollars out of their biweekly paycheck for explicitly political purposes. The fund hauls in more than $10 million a year, about $3 million of which goes for lobbying and protests.

Thanks to its massive war chest, the UFT has become the Democratic Party’s largest underwriter in New York City and State. (It is also a major donor to the left-wing Working Fam­ilies Party.) Over the last two years, the union has given $1.7 million to city council candidates—all Democrats. According to the National Institute for Money in State Politics, in 2012 (as in most years before and since), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), largely a state-level extension of the UFT, was the Empire State’s big­gest contributor to candidates and parties in state politics. Seventy-nine percent of the NYSUT’s S1.2 million in contributions went to Democrats.

In his book Special Interest, Stanford University political scientist Terry Moe found that from 2000 to 2009, teachers’ unions’ cam­paign contributions exceeded those of all other business associations in New York State combined by a ratio of five to one. And most business groups don’t try to influence education policy so single-mindedly.

The UFT and the Democratic Party in New York are intertwined in other ways. For ex­ample, the union provides office space—next door to its headquarters at 50 Broadway in Manhattan—to the State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. Then—UFT president Randi Weingarten served as cochair of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senate campaign. Not surpris­ingly, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Senator Clinton dismissed the idea of teacher-merit pay as disruptive. A revolving door of consultants, campaign operatives, and lobbyists connects the UFT and the campaign staffs of state legislators and city council mem­bers. Many liberal interest groups in the city—such as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East, and other public-employee unions—are, for the most part, UFT allies. The union also helps fund other ad­vocacy organizations, such as U.S. Action and the NAACP, and think tanks, such as Demos and the Economic Policy Institute, whose loy­alty it can rely on in a pinch.

The UFT’s membership constitutes the larg­est single voting bloc in mayoral elections. And because teachers and school paraprofessionals live in all parts of the city, they can be decisive in low-turnout city council races. The UFT’s get-­out-the-vote operation is rivaled only by its ally, SEIU 1199. In 2013, de Blasio was elected mayor with just 752,604 votes in a city of 8.4 million people. Fully 42 percent of voters said that they belonged to a union household.

The UFT also spends millions each year lob­bying city council members and state legisla‑tors. According to the New York State Ethics Commission, the union spent $1.86 million in Albany in 2012. And the New York Public Interest Research Group re­ports that the NYSUT, to which the UFT contributes substantial revenues, was the state’s second-biggest lobby­ing spender in 2010, plunking down $4.7 million. (The Healthcare Education Project, a vehicle of SEIU 1199 and the Greater New York Hospital Association, was first.)

The UFT’s extensive political activities en­sure that the school system continues to serve the needs of teachers first. The union’s enduring objectives—better pay, benefits, and job protec­tions for its members—are divorced from issues of student achievement, as New York’s declin­ing school performance since the unionization of teachers in the 1960s makes clear. By 1990, nearly 40 percent of freshmen entering high school had been held back in earlier grades, while 23 percent of students dropped out of school altogether. In 1994, only 44 percent of students graduated from high school in four years. Only one in three third-graders could read at or above grade level in 1997….

[….]

All this spending means that the New York City school system now lays out $20,226 per pupil — double the national average of $10,608 — based on census data released in May 2014.

  • Daniel DiSalvo, The Union That Devoured Education Reform, The City Journal (Autumn 2014), 12-13, 16.

Chicago Teachers Union President Politicizes Math ~ REALLY!

This (the above and below) comes from EAG.org, here is part of the post by them, which can be linked to below:

…EAGnews has previously reported about the social justice math activists’ tricks in a book called “Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers,” edited by Peterson.

The book includes “lessons and essays about racial profiling, environmental racism, unfair mortgage lending practices of Big Banks, the ‘overabundance of liquor stores’ in minority communities, and slave-owning U.S. presidents,” EAGnews’ Ben Velderman wrote.

“The book’s other major theme is that capitalism’s unequal distribution of wealth is the root cause of the world’s suffering. Students learn to despise free market economics in lessons about third-world sweatshops, ‘living wage’ laws, the earnings of fast food workers and restaurant CEOs, and the ‘hidden’ costs of meat production,” Velderman reported.

In the book, Peterson explains his rationale for attacking the American narrative:

“I figure that if kids start questioning the ‘official story’ early on, they will be more open to alternative viewpoints later on. While discovering which presidents were slave owners is not an in-depth analysis, it pokes an important hole in the godlike mystique that surrounds the ‘founding fathers.’”

Unionists now can’t even leave math alone and have hijacked it to push their own political agenda.

Thank goodness a growing number of parents have access to charter schools, cyberschools, voucher schools and homeschools – all of which provide an alternative to government schools, many of which have been infiltrated by left-wing activists like Lewis and Peterson.

Read More

School Reformer, Author, and Principle-Dr. Steve Perry, Is Interviewed In Regards to the Chicago Teachers Strike

From video description:

Michael Medved interviews principle and author of, Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve–Even If It Means Picking a Fight, Dr. Steve Perry. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk) Topics discussed are, what exactly the strike is over, some of the particulars in the matter, what true reform is, with of course the ineffable commentary by Medved. Jay Carney, White House Spokes-Person, even makes a cameo appearance.

For more clear thinking like this from Michael Medved… I invite you to visit: https://www.medvedmedhead.com/

The Machine

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

Dennis Prager Comments on Heather Mac Donald’s Article About Racism In Education

In a must read article, “Undisciplined: The Obama administration undermines classroom order in pursuit of phantom racism,” Heather Mac Donald lays out how teachers are being blamed for racism rather than the parents and students and culture for misbehavior.

———————————————–
…Black elementary and high school students are disciplined at a higher rate than whites are. To Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, that disparity can mean only one thing: schools [teachers] are discriminating… (The fact that white boys were over two times as likely to be suspended as Asian and Pacific Islander boys was discreetly ignored, though it would seem to imply antiwhite bias as well.)…

…The feds have reached their conclusions, however, without answering the obvious question: Are black students suspended more often because they misbehave more? Arne Duncan, of all people, should be aware of inner-city students’ self-discipline problems, having headed the Chicago school system before becoming secretary of education. Chicago’s minority youth murder one another with abandon. Since 2008, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed in the city, mostly by their peers, according to the Chicago Reporter; virtually all the perpetrators were black or Hispanic. In 2009, the widely publicized beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert by his fellow students sent Duncan hurrying back to the Windy City, accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder, to try to contain the fallout in advance of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics (see “Chicago’s Real Crime Story,” Winter 2010). Between September 2011 and February 2012, 25 times more black Chicago students than white ones were arrested at school, mostly for battery; black students outnumbered whites by four to one. (In response to the inevitable outcry over the arrest data, a Chicago teacher commented: “I feel bad for kids being arrested, . . . but I feel worse seeing a kid get his head smashed on the floor and almost die. Or a teacher being threatened with his life.”) So when Duncan lamented, upon the release of the 2012 discipline report, that “some of the worst [discipline] discrepancies are in my hometown of Chicago,” one could only ask: What does he expect?

Nationally, the picture is no better. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly ten times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined. Such data make no impact on the Obama administration and its orbiting advocates, who apparently believe that the lack of self-control and socialization that results in this disproportionate criminal violence does not manifest itself in classroom comportment as well….

The following comes from a post on Trayvon Martin, via Larry Elder:

….True, black men, especially young ones, stand a much greater chance of being murdered than white males. But almost all murders involve a victim and a killer of the same race. Yes, instances of black-white murder — as, for example, when James Byrd, a black man of Jasper, Texas, was dragged to his death by three white men — do exist.  But nationally, according to the Department of Justice, 53 percent of known homicide suspects in 2010 were identified as black – although blacks comprise only 13 percent of the population. And in murders involving a single black victim and a single offender, 90 percent of the time it is a black perpetrator who murders the black victim. Similarly, 83 percent of whites are murdered by other whites.

What happened in Sanford, Fla. — a white person killing a black person — is extremely infrequent, occurring in 8 percent of black homicides. In saying “blacks are under attack,” Jackson paints a picture of whites targeting and hunting down black males….

Dennis Prager Reads from Andrew Coulson’s Article, `America Has Too Many Teachers`

From sudio description:

Andrew J. Coulson, Director of the Center for Educational Freedom at The Cato Institute, wrote a fantastic article for the Wall Street Journal that Dennis reads from. (Posted by Religio-Political Talk) It is entitled “America Has Too Many Teachers,” in it is this of many nuggets:

Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled—to 6.4 million from 3.3 million—and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers’ aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.

For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/

Teachers Unions Pay for Masses Of Democratic/Socialist Lemmings

It amazes me how ready people are to be led towards a goal they do not know anything about… literally. Anti-Americanism and socialism on display in this great video by Rebel Pundit — Via Big Government:

Monday night Chicago Teachers Union and Occupy Chicago protesters, along with some local residents, showed up in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood to protest converting 18 public schools into charter schools. While none of the schools considered for conversion are in the north-side neighborhood, these community organizers chose this location specifically because it is where Mayor Rahm Emanuel resides.

We asked several protesters the meaning of their signs and what brought them out to join the protest march. Many were quite pleasant and agreed to respond–despite being completely unaware of both the meaning and the names mentioned on the signs and stickers they held. There was one group in attendance, however, that responded to questioning with both defensiveness and aggression, directing their surprising hostility both at myself and another journalist on the scene.

After explaining who I was, a woman began to follow me through the crowds, interrupting interviews I was conducting and instructing protesters not to participate. One of her companions confronted me as I was attempting to cover the event, and refused to respond when I asked his affiliation or give his name, as well as acknowledge any organizations he is a part of. After further research, we identified him as Dennis Kosuth, a socialist organizer and longtime member of the International Socialist Organization. Both became quite confrontational and continued to harass myself and the other citizen journalist on the scene for the duration of the protest.

… Read More…

Teachers Close Down Schools To Save Them (Updated With Story of teacher Arrested at Protest Who makes $81,000 a year)

BigGovernment is reporting the following story about teachers and Oakland occupy:

It’s sad that teachers – who have such an influence over the future of America – where right in the mix when the riots and vandalism broke out Wednesday in Oakland, California.  Obviously that’s where their hearts are at.

Trouble was brewing when the Oakland Education Association – an affiliate of the National Education Association – endorsed the #Occupy mob’s call for a national strike on Nov. 2.  One declaration from the union stated, “We must shut down the schools to save the schools.”

Huh?  Perhaps a more accurate statement would be, “We must shut down the schools to protect our pensions and power.”

According to sources within the union, its leaders – including OEA President Betty Olson-Jones – were a part of the plotting to confront Bank of America, Whole Foods, and the sea port.

Do the taxpayers or the media even care?  Or is this just how they roll in Oakland?

Education Action Group reported in a recent “Focus on Reform” story:

“Evening all,” read an email from Steve Neat, communications chairman of the Oakland Education Association. “I’ve been talking to Caitlin Esch from KQED radio and she’s enquiring [sic] which schools are honoring the one-day general strike Nov. 2 as an entire staff. At this point I am aware of Bridges Academy and Maxwell Park. I know Oakland High is working on it. Any others that we know of?”

We hope the teachers of Oakland spell better than Mr. Neat. We’re sure he meant to spell ‘inquiring’ rather than ‘enquiring’.

This statement came from a flier distributed to the parents of students who attend Oakland’s Bridges Academy: “We, the teachers at Bridges, are joining the Occupy Oakland protest on Wednesday, Nov. 2. We will not be in our classrooms that day, all day. We are the 99%!!”

Do Oakland schools amount to anything more than indoctrination factories for hardcore leftists?

…read more…

From the NYPost via The Blaze:

…David Suker, 43, of The Bronx — who hasn’t showed up for work five times in the past two weeks — was nabbed Wednesday afternoon at Thompson and Prince streets after scuffling with and then shoving a shopping cart into a cop who’d ordered him to stay out of the street.

It’s the second time he’s been arrested in the protests…

[….]

A Department of Education source said the $81,000-a-year social studies teacher was out five times in the past two weeks without calling in sick.

He was also fined $1,000 on Aug. 9 for attendance problems, including excessive absences.

…read more…