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The Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy and the end of the People’s Democracy in the United States

Originally posted on Lloyd Lofthouse:

It will take only a few minutes to read this post and less than an hour to watch the five videos. The question is: If you’re an American, are you willing to give up that much time to learn about the threats against your democracy and the loss of the freedoms you take for granted? In fact, you don’t have to give up an entire hour in one sitting. You could read the Blog post and watch the first video, and then return to watch the second, etc., spread over several days.

“A new report shows that top CEOs were paid 331 times more than the average US worker in 2013. At the same time, the poorest fifth of Americans paid an average tax rate of 11 percent while the richest one percent contributed half that rate at state and local levels. In this essay, Bill reflects on the forces…

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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Those 24 Common Core 2009 Work Group Members

Lloyd Lofthouse:

I suggest you read who created the Common Core tests. I think I have more experience teaching in the public schools than all these people combined.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

In May 2009 , Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former State Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This CCSS MOU would become “Appendix B” for the US Department of Education’s (USDOE’s) Race to the Top (RTTT) program.

In June 2009, the National Governors Association (NGA), in conjunction with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, announced that 46 states were already signed on for what would become CCSS.

The formal document, the CCSS MOU, outlines in detail the different groups of individuals and what their roles would be in “developing” CCSS.

The document signed by Jindal and Pastorek in May 2009– the CCSS MOU that would become RTTT Appendix B– is the same document I wrote about in this post.

The CCSS MOU makes it clear that the chief decision makers for CCSS were the individuals on the…

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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Truth Behind “Waiting for Superman” and the myth of Teacher Tenure

FIRST:

Watch the trailer for the longer documentary that sets the record straight. Then if you want to learn more, please watch the full length version (scroll down to find it).

 

SECOND:

Then there’s “Fact-checking Waiting for Superman” that appeared at the Huffington Post.

Fact-checking Waiting for ‘Superman’: Documentary or Urban Myth?

“We simply cannot trust the corporate oligarchy currently making policies for our schools to create a fair evaluation system, including those who backed Waiting for ‘Superman‘, given their proclivity to misuse and distort data, as shown by the inaccurate figures cited in the film.”

“Rather than a documentary, perhaps the movie (Waiting for Superman) should be re-categorized, with an appropriate disclaimer, as an urban myth.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson/factchecking-waiting-for-_b_802900.html

THIRD:

Full length version of “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman”

 

FOURTH: Recently I had a debate with an individual, an acquaintance, who believed the schools were broken and the only way to fix them was to take away all teacher legal, due process rights so any teacher could be fired without due process. That way, the schools would be able to remove so-called incompetent teachers without the burden of proof.

That’s why I suggest you also read: The Myth of Teacher Tenure published by The Washington Post

“School districts consistently win the vast majority of the court decisions concerning the involuntary cessation of a teacher’s employment based on incompetency. In a comprehensive canvassing of court decisions based on teacher evaluation for competency, I found that the defendant districts prevailed in more than a 3-to-1 ratio, and that there was no significant difference between the outcomes for nontenured as compared to tenured teachers.”

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/the-myth-of-teacher-tenure.html

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Vergara v. California Part One: Thoughts on Hannah Arendt, a New Totalitarianism and Completing The Circle of Domination

Lloyd Lofthouse:

An example of how billionaires are destroying labor unions. In this case, they are using children to achieve their end goal.

Originally posted on Raginghorseblog:

The Vergara Nine surrounded by handlers.

The Vergara Nine surrounded by handlers.

It is a peculiar, dark and unhinged world in which we dwell and it seems to grow more so all the time. Consider the extraordinary case of Vergara v. California, now winding down and awaiting a judgment. Here we have nine students, bankrolled by Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur David Welch, co-founder of Infinera, and founder of the advocate group StudentsMatter, suing the state of California. The suit claims that teacher tenure laws have denied them their civil rights.

Yes, for those who have not been following the case, you read that correctly.

The claim is that tenure laws — which merely insure that a teacher who has already passed through a probationary period of at least three years has the right to a hearing or due process before he or she is fired — are denying the nine students, a multicultural lot who…

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Chile: Dismantling the Most Pro-Market Education System in the World

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Chili went over the public education cliff the United States is headed for and now, decades later, is climbing the cliff with goals to reverse the damage.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The following post was written by Mario Waissbluth, President of Educación 2020 Foundation, a Chilean citizen’s movement founded in 2008. Its latest reform proposals (in Spanish) are called “La Reforma Educativa que Chile Necesita”, and were published in April 2013. A book on this subject (in Spanish) is also available. These proposals were mostly adopted by and included in the educational program of the recently elected government of Michelle Bachelet, and are starting to be implemented now.

Valentina Quiroga (32) was one of the student founders of this organization and is now Undersecretary of Education.

Although Educación 2020 remains as a fully independent movement, the positions stated thereon are in many ways similar to those of the current government.

Chile: Dismantling the most pro-market education system in the world

Mario Waissbluth

In August 2013 I wrote in this blog a three piece series, called “Chile: The most pro-market system…

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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Why Doesn’t the New York Times Understand the Controversy Over Common Core?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In story after story, the New York Times consistently misses the essence of the controversy surrounding Common Core.

Today’s New York Times gives its lead article on page 1, column right, top of the fold, to the battle raging within the Republican party, about the Common Core. On one side is Jeb Bush, standing up for the Common Core standards (presumably a moderate, let’s not talk about his fight for vouchers and for the destruction of public education in Florida), while on the other are figures like Ted Cruz and other extremists of the party. Common Core, we are told, is now the “wedge issue” in the Republican party, with sensible people like Jeb Bush fending off the extremists.

A few weeks ago, the newspaper wrote an editorial enthusiastically endorsing the Common Core standards, while giving no evidence for its enthusiasm other than the promises offered by the advocates of…

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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Schneider to David Brooks: Common Core Does Not Encourage Opinion Writing Like Yours (UPDATE)

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

On Friday, Néw York Times’ columnist David Brooks wrote a column excoriating critics of the Common Core standards as “clowns.”

He didn’t seem aware that his personal opinion piece, devoid of documentation other than anecdotes, is precisely the kind of writing that David Voleman abhors. In his most famous statement about the Common Core, Coleman said that when you grow up, no one gives a &$@& about what you think or feel. Brooks told us what he thinks and feels, but gets all the facts wrong.

Here is Mercedes Schneider at her best. I will provide a link so you can see the video she embeds. YOU MUST ALSO GO TO HER POST TO SEE ALL THE LINKS EMBEDDED, DOCUMENTING WHAT SHE WRITES, AS THEY DID NOT TRANSFER TO MY BLOG.

Schneider writes:

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David Brooks, Common Core Circus Performer

Why newspapers hire individuals to regularly offer the public unsubstantiated…

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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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