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The Shocking 50 State Report Card on Support for Public Education in the U.S.

State Grades from NPE Report Card of US  public education

 

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Corporate driven public education reform is destroying OUR children’s health and future

I was reading the latest issue of National Geographic Magazine when I saw the following paragraph and realized that the test obsessed corporate public education reform movement is threatening the health and future of most of America’s children.

Daniel Stone wrote, “Hard on the Eyes: Rates of myopia have increased around the world, particularly in Asia. In China about 90 percent of 17-to-19-year-old are nearsighted, up from an estimated 10 percent in the 1950s. Myopia is pandemic in the U.S. too, reports the National Eye Institute. Once thought to affect bookish children, nearsightedness is no believed to ‘arise form a lifestyle of not just too much study but of too little time outdoors,’ says researcher Ian Morgan. Glasses can clear up vision, but exposure to sunlight seems to be the best defense. A 2013 study in Taiwan found that spending school recess outside can prevent myopia’s onset.” – National Geographic Magazine, February 2016

There’s a lot more information out there that supports traditionally known methods of educating our children and little or no reputable support for the test obsessed rank-and-punish corporate system that billionaire oligarchs like Bill Gates funds with hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars to force autocratic, opaque, for profit corporate education methods on us and our children.

For instance, “Too much testing is killing recess” –  Miami Herald.com

5 Health Benefits of Playing Outside –  Care.com

  1. Improves Vision
  2. Promotes Social Skills
  3. Increases Attention Span
  4. Reduces Stress
  5. Provides Vitamin D

And there is more, a lot more:

“We are experiencing a cultural shift toward increased academics at the earliest possible age,” says Rhonda Clements, Ed.D., a professor of education at Hofstra University and president of the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play. The organization, part of the International Play Association, formed in 1973 with the mission of “protecting, preserving and promoting play as a fundamental right for all children.” Since then, it has become a leading advocate of preserving recess in schools.

Susan Ohanian was inspired to write the book What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten? when she read a 1998 New York Times article detailing the fact that Atlanta was building a new school without a playground. Then-Superintendent of Atlanta Schools Benjamin O. Canada explained the policy this way: “We are intent on improving academic performance. You don’t do that by having kids hanging on the monkey bars.” – parenthood.com

“Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not, Greenfield said.” – ucla.edu

“11 problems caused by the standardized testing obsession” –  washingtonpost.com

  1. The obsession with high-stakes standardized tests is stifling creativity and imagination in the classroom.
  2. Standardized tests are being used in high-stakes ways to evaluate and punish teachers.
  3. The obsession with standardized tests is promoting a culture of cheating in many schools.
  4. When standardized tests are the most important thing, the fostering of critical thinking in the classroom gets short shrift.
  5. Standardized tests mostly benefit companies making millions from them.

A Kindergartner’s Nightmare: Is this education? Is this what we want for our children and grandchildren? – seattleducation2010

“Today, more than a decade later, the law (that supports high stakes testing) is uniformly blamed for stripping curriculum opportunities, including art, music, physical education and more, and imposing a brutal testing regime that has forced educators to focus their time and energy on preparing for tests in a narrow range of subjects: namely, English/language arts and math. For students in low-income communities, the impact has been devastating. – neatoday.org

Positive Effects of Extra Curricular Activities on Students – dc.cod.edu

“Extracurricular activities are activities that students participate in that do not fall into the realm of normal curriculum of schools. They are found in all levels of our schools. There are many forms of extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, governance, student newspaper, music, art, and drama. Extracurricular activities are totally voluntary so students that do not want to participate in them do not have to. Lunnenburg states in his article that “Extracurricular activities serve the same goals and functions as the required and elective courses in the curriculum. However, they provide experiences that are not included in formal courses of study. They allow students to apply the knowledge that they have learned in other classes and acquire concepts of democratic life.”(2010, 2) Extracurricular activities have many positive effects on education. The positive effects that extracurricular activities have on students are behavior, better grades, school completion, positive aspects to become successful adults, and a social aspect.”

Education Inc.: How Private Companies Profit from Public Schools – commondreams.org

“For statewide testing in Texas alone, the company (Pearson) holds a five-year contract worth nearly $500 million to create and administer exams.” … “The mingling of business and education blurs the line between learning and profit-making. Some education reformers advocating for increased reliance on testing also lobby for the large testing companies. It’s often difficult to tell if lawmakers stick with education policies because they’re effective, or because they’re attached to high-dollar contracts.

“The emphasis on testing opened the door to more for-profit companies. In addition to the big testing contracts, No Child Left Behind requires schools that fail to meet requirements three years in a row to offer free tutoring. Companies soon rushed in to fill the need. By 2008, according to a PBS documentary, tutoring for standardized tests amounted to a $4 billion industry. Charter schools can subcontract their entire operations to for-profit companies.”

In conclusion: if you have read this far, who do you think benefits from corporate driven public education reform—funded by a few billionaire oligarchs, like Bill Gates, the Walton family and the Koch brothers—our children or the corporations and names behind the systematic destruction of community based, democratic, non-profit, transparent public education?

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

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Who do you think should pick the elected leaders of the United States?

Lloyd Lofthouse

My old friend did it again. He’s a good bellwether for far-right conservative thinking, because he is a born-again fundamentalist Christian, far-right libertarian who thinks abortion is murder and that women should be ruled by men because, well, women are women, and the Bible supports what he thinks.  He reads far-right writers, and he watches and listens to far-right media. If he thinks something, you can easily guess where he is getting his ideas.

Anyway, he recently wrote in an e-mail: “You’ve probably heard Churchill’s comment on democracy – ‘It’s the worse form of government except for all the others.’ This can be said about money and elections also – ‘The rich are the worse ones to choose our leaders except for all others.’ Society can be looked at as composed of various groups – rich, poor, artists, criminals, theologians, those living on welfare, students, men, and woman – a…

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“Every child deserves a quality education and the opportunity to thrive.” – Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

This post is a copy of the letter I wrote to the Congressman.

Dear Congressman DeSaulnier:

One of your flyers arrived in our mailbox today.  The front said, “Every child deserved a quality education and the opportunity to thrive.” Your flyer than said, “Mark wants to hear from you.”

I opened the flier and read the five points you claim to fight for every day.

  • Make college more affordable
  • Improve Head Start programs
  • Create safe environments for children
  • Provide healthy meals for students
  • Protect the health and well-being of student athletes

Flyer from Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

While I agree with your five points, what wasn’t there is why I have decided to stop supporting most it not all Democratic Party candidates. The GOP lost me when Reagan was governor of California. The Democrats are losing me because of the Obama administration, and its support of the corporate education reform movement that declared war on the public schools back with the fraudulent and flawed A Nation at Risk report that came out of the Reagan White House in 1983. Have you ever read the Sandia Report of 1990? If not, you should.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×7847271

The public schools are under attack by special interests: for instance, the Bill Gates billionaire cabal, the Koch brothers cabal (ALEC), the Walton family, Eli Broad, hedge fund billionaires, etc. Arne Duncan is the worst Secretary of Education in U.S. History.

Too many democrats support opaque, for profit (no matter how you look at it) often fraudulent and inferior corporate Charter schools literally stealing money from community based, democratic, transparent public education.  For instance, Eli Broad wants to spend almost a half billion dollars to take over half of the children in the Los Angeles Unified School District and put them in the hands of often corrupt and autocratic corporate education deformers.

Where is your support for the community based democratic public schools? I didn’t see that in your flyer.

I was a public school teacher for thirty years (1975-2005) in Southern California. During those years, I often worked 60 – 100 hour weeks and so did many of my fellow public school teachers.

I was born into a family living in poverty. As a child I had severe dyslexia and also had a life threatening health challenge. Out of high school, I joined the U.S. Marines and ended up fighting in Vietnam. In 1968, I went to college on the GI Bill and five years later graduated with a BA in journalism—the first in my family to go to college and graduate.

Today, I’m the author of three award winning novels and one award winning memoir. My wife is Anchee Min, the author of two memoirs and six novels. Her first memoir was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Carl Sandburg Award. One of her novels was a finalist for the British Book Awards. Many of her books have been national bestsellers, and her work has been translated into more than 30 languages and has sold more than a million copies in English alone. When we were dating back in 1999, she sat in my classroom to watch me teach, and she knows the challenge teachers really face to get all the children to make an effort to learn.

Yes, I agree that every child deserves a quality education and the public schools have always offered that opportunity for students who arrive ready to learn. Teachers teach but what they teach must be learned by the students, and the parents/guardians must support both the teachers and the children for learning to take place. Public school teachers cannot do the learning for the children.

Most if not all of the opaque, for-profit and nonprofit corporate Charters schools are not offering a quality education for EVERY child. The evidence is overwhelming that these charters are cherry picking students and suspending many at-risk students that need the most help until those children leave and hopefully return to the public schools that are now challenged to offer adequate resources to educate these children because frauds and charlatans like KIPP, the Success Academes in New York and the New Orleans Corporate Recovery School District are legally being allowed to rob from the poor/middle class and give to the wealthy.

I suggest strongly that you match your actions in Congress to what your flyer says and fight to fully fund and supportthe community based democratic public schools and close the door to psychopaths like Eva Moskowitz and Michele Rhee. You should also start reading Diane Ravitch’s Blog and her books in addition to my award winning “Crazy is Normal” teacher’s memoir to discover what it means to be a teacher. No more NCLB. No more RTTT. No more Common Core high stakes testing that ranks teachers, fires them and then closes public schools.

In the next presidential election, I plan to vote for the Green Party candidate for president unless I hear from the Democratic Party candidate that they support the public schools and offer the country a written pledge that they will resign from the office of president if they go back on their word. It is obvious that Hillary Clinton is not that candidate, because she has close ties to Eli Broad, who is waging an all-out war to destroy community based, transparent, democratic public education.  If this means the GOP takes the White House and both Houses of Congress, well, I’m 70 and only have a few years left. I’d hate to die knowing that the democracy I fought for in Vietnam is now an oligarchy ruled over by the Walton family, Koch brothers, Eli Broad and the Bill Gates cabal.

If you believe in the Republic of the United States and its democracy, then fight for it in Congress and prove what you think with your actions and not your words. If you fear the wealth of the oligarchs and the power that wealth buys, then what you do in Congress will reveal that too.

Have you read the January 15, 2013 Stanford Report on U.S. student performance?  If you haven’t you should.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/january/test-scores-ranking-011513.html

Sincerely,
Lloyd Lofthouse

PS: Our daughter graduated from Stanford in June 2014, and she attended California public schools k – 12.  I told her when she was in third grade that learning was her responsibly and not her teachers. Her teachers were responsible to teach, and if she didn’t learn, even from incompetent teachers, it was her fault and not the teachers. When she was in her second year at Stanford, I asked her how many of the almost 50 public school teachers she had k – 12 had been incompetent. She thought about it and eventually said TWO. The five public school districts she attended k – 12 did their job and she did hers. I think that anyone who blames public school teachers for children who don’t learn is fools and/or frauds.

If you honestly love the United States and what it is supposed to stand for, please share copies of this letter with the members of both Houses of Congress.

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HEY, LET’S BLAME IT ON THE TEACHERS AS USUAL

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

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Discovering the Real U.S. Prison Pipeline

I understand that Arne Duncan, the worst Secretary of Education in U.S. history, is talking about the alleged school-to-prison pipeline on Sirius talk radio today (Sunday, October 11, 2015).

For decades there has been a myth that a school-to-prison pipeline exists in the United States, and that the public schools are responsible for the exploding prison population.

This is a lie supported by propaganda paid for by the for-profit, autocratic, often fraudulent and inferior corporate education reform movement.

The U.S. had compulsory public education in every state by 1917, but the Prison Pipeline wasn’t built until the Nixon (1969 – 1974) and then Reagan (1981 – 1989) administrations.

Image for Prison and Jail Population from 1920 to 2013

  • In 1920, the population of the U.S. was 106 million with about 100 thousand in prison and jail (0.09% of the population).
  • In 1940, the population had reached 132 million with about 250,000 in prison and jail (0.18%)
  • In 1960, the population was up to 180.7 million and the prison population ratio was lower than 1940 (0.13%)
  • In 1970, Republican President Nixon declared war on drugs.
  • In 1980, the populated was 226.5 million and the prison population had just passed 500 thousand (0.22%).
  • By 2000, the population had reached 282.2 million, and the prison population hit 2 million (0.7%).

What caused the growth of the U.S. prison population after 1983 has nothing to do with America’s public schools and everything to do with the fraudulent, corrupt, autocratic, for-profit corporate education reform movement that parallels the growth of the private-sector for-profit prison movement in the U.S. that spends millions annually to lobby government to increase the length of prison sentences and increase the number of crimes that leads citizens, who mostly live in poverty and are illiterate, to prison.

In addition, the The Washington Post reported how for-profit prisons have become the biggest lobby no one is talking about

Federal and state governments have a long history of contracting out specific services to private firms, including medical services, food preparation, vocational training, and inmate transportation. The 1980s, though, ushered in a new era of prison privatization. With a burgeoning prison population resulting from the War on Drugs (In June 1970, President Nixon, another Republican like Reagan, declared this war on drugs) and increased use of incarceration, prison overcrowding and rising costs became increasingly problematic for local, state, and federal governments.

In response to this expanding criminal justice system, private business interests saw an opportunity for expansion, and consequently, private-sector involvement in prisons moved from the simple contracting of services to contracting for the complete management and operation of entire prisons.

The modern private prison business first emerged and established itself publicly in 1984 when the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was awarded a contract to take over a facility in Hamilton County, Tennessee. This marked the first time that any government in the country had contracted out the complete operation of a jail to a private operator. The following year, CCA gained further public attention when it offered to take over the entire state prison system of Tennessee for $200 million. The bid was ultimately defeated due to strong opposition from public employees and the skepticism of the state legislature. Despite that initial defeat, CCA since then has successfully expanded, as have other for-profit prison companies. – Private Prisons in the United States

The real title of this prison pipeline should be ALL of the following options:

  • The Arne Duncan to Prison Pipeline
  • The David Coleman to Prison Pipeline
  • The Pearson to Prison Pipeline
  • The Walton family to Prison Pipeline
  • The Bill Gates to Prison Pipeline
  • The Eli Broad to Prison Pipeline
  • The Koch brothers to Prison Pipeline
  • The President Reagan to Prison Pipeline
  • The A Nation at Risk to Prison Pipeline
  • The G. W. Bush to Prison Pipeline
  • The Bill Clinton to Prison Pipeline
  • The President Obama to Prison Pipeline
  • The for-profit, autocratic often fraudulent and inferior corporate education reform movement to Prison Pipeline.
  • The for-profit war to privatize the public sector to Prison Pipeline.

To read more about what the autocratic, for-profit corporate education reform movement has done to build this pipeline to prison, I suggest you read the ACLU’s What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

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HEY, LET’S BLAME IT ON THE TEACHER AS USUAL

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

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The Hostile Corporate Takeover of America’s Public Schools Opens a Pandora’s Box

Unless you live in a closet or cave without electricity and the internet, it’s no secret that the hostile for-profit corporate takeover of America’s democratic public schools has led to billions of tax dollars lost to white collar fraud and crime with a lot more to come. > Despite Big Problems Charters Attract Hedge Fund Support and Presidential Candidates Hungry for Dollars

One of those attempted hostile takeovers is happening in Los Angeles, I read about this at John Thompson: Dare Anyone Say No to Eli Broad on Diane Ravitch’s Blog.

Thompson wrote, “It (Broad) produces a multicolored map of clusters of low-performing schools (in the city of Los Angeles), while pretending that it doesn’t undermine their case. The graphic supposedly shows, ‘These areas are especially ripe for charter expansion.’”

The Broad report doesn’t mention the poverty in those same areas of low-performing schools, but, and this is a BIG but, there is more than just poverty in Los Angeles. With that poverty comes extremely dangerous street gangs, and Los Angeles is home to the largest population of street gangs in the United States.

It would be nice to compare the Broad map to two other maps—the Los Angeles Street Gang map and a second map—if I could find one—that reveals where the most poverty is in Los Angeles, because in 2012, 29.9% of the children in Los Angeles lived in poverty.
Child Poverty in California

In addition, Los Angeles is home to more street gangs than any city in the United States. Will Broad’s opaque, authoritarian, for-profit corporate Charter school scheme identify all the gang members and make sure none of them get in to his charters—I think this is unlikely?

I taught for thirty years in an area of Los Angeles County where the local street gangs pretty much ruled the streets around the schools—even the local police didn’t risk patrolling some of those streets at night.  In fact, I witnessed with my own eyes a drive by shooting from my classroom doorway in the street beside the high school where I taught as school was letting out.

Hardly a week went by without one of our students being gunned down due to rival street gang violence. For instance, one night while working late with the editors of the high school newspaper, a hard core teenage gang member was gunned down and murdered with a shotgun blast to his guts on campus at 7:00 p.m. right outside of that classroom where I was working late with the seven female student editors of the high school newspaper. The poverty rate in that community was and still is higher than 90%.

“Gang presence in U.S. schools is a formidable obstacle for educators, law enforcement, and other youth-service professionals. Street gangs are linked to crime in elementary, secondary, and high schools, and on select college campuses. Schools provide fertile grounds for recruitment and many public schools are rife with gang activity such as assaults, robberies, threats and intimidation, drug distribution, and weapons offenses. Gang presence on college campuses is a growing concern as more gang members are gravitating toward colleges to escape gang life, join college athletic programs, or to acquire advanced skill sets for their gang.”
> FBI’s 2013 National Gang Report

Approximately 1.4 million people were gang members as of 2011, and more than 33,000 gangs were active in the United States. Los Angeles has been nicknamed the Gang Capital of America, with an estimated 120,000 gang members as of 2007 (11.6% of the nation’s total). According to a May 2001 Drug Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center, Los Angeles was home to 1,350 gangs.

But the Los Angeles police department only has 9,843 officers, who were outnumbered more than 12 to 1.

I wonder if Eli Broad plans to privatize the police force in Los Angeles too, so he can wage war against these gangs to clean up the streets and keep their members out of his corporate Charters. Imagine what that will cost the tax payers when the police work for an autocratic, opaque, for-profit corporation that doesn’t have to answer to the same rules and regulations that the public police must follow or else. And if Broad ends up buying the Los Angeles Times newspaper as he wants, he’d also control the media in Los Angeles so his corporate police crimes would probably not appear in his newspaper.

Street gangs are expanding in Los Angeles, and Eli Broad—even if he doesn’t know it yet—is going to end up competing with them, because Eli Broad is an autocratic billionaire at war with democracy, but so are the street gangs in Los Angeles.

“Various Crip and Blood factions have shown an inclination to cooperate with one another based on drug trafficking. They have established funds from drug money to provide for bail and lawyers. The traditional ‘dope lawyers’ are showing up on non-drug gang cases. These lawyers are not local attorneys but are from Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. This illustrates the growing wealth and sophistication of these gangs. Some of the older and more successful street gang members in Los Angeles County have purchased legitimate businesses to launder drug money. Some of these businesses are car washes, auto painting/body and fender shops, motels, auto dealerships, and liquor stores. The next step could be respectability in the community for these drug-trafficking gang members, as well as involvement in politics. The wealth and sophistication of the gangs, coupled with their penchant for violence gives them the potential for becoming one of the largest and most dangerous crime problems in the region if not the Nation.”

Eli Broad wants to replace the transparent, democratic, public schools in Los Angeles with his own opaque, autocratic, for-profit, corporate charters. The street gangs already have a strong presence in the public schools to recruit new members, so Broad’s charters will be in competition with the gangs as they attempt to infiltrate his corporate schools. This means Broad will soon be at war with the largest and most dangerous crime problems in the region if not the Nation.

In fact, the gangs might even take advantage of the opportunity Broad wants to create and open their own corporate charters through front organizations.

Eli Broad had better tread carefully with his hostile goal to grab the public schools in Los Angeles. He and his entire family might not wake up one morning to discover that he has been eliminated by the Crips and/or Bloods because he dared to invade their turf.

Before the hostile corporate takeover of public schools started with NCLB and Obama’s RTTT, the gangs couldn’t buy the public schools and own and manage them but now they can.  The door is wide open. If one secretive Islamic Turkish Cleric can own 120 American Charter Schools, what’s going to stop the gangs from doing the same thing? > The Atlantic

Then again, maybe the Sinaloa drug cartel already owns Eli Broad, and he is allegedly their legitimate but corrupt front. After all, the feds say that Los Angeles is the epicenter of cartel money laundering, and what better business to launder money than an opaque corporate charter school chain that doesn’t have to make its money transactions public like the public school?

_______________________

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

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Lofthouse’s 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).

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Eli Broad, the Billionaire at war with democracy, the want-to-be Emperor of Southern California

This post is about Eli Broad’s Hostile Takeover of the democratic Los Angeles Unified School District and his goal to control and own the media in Southern California.

Who is Eli Broad—he isn’t the image created by his propaganda machine? Eli Broad wants to buy the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union. Why does he want to own and control the two largest newspapers in Southern California? Politico Media

Scholastic.com says, “Broad, who made his ­fortune in home building, is worth $6.3 billion, putting him 55th on the Forbes 400 list. That can’t compete with Gates, first on the list with $66 billion. And so the Broad Foundation is much smaller—and more strategic—than the Gates Foundation; it’s more aggressive and disruptive in many ways, and as a result more upsetting to those who disagree with its approach. … For example, Broad is a fan of the so-called parent trigger, which many other foundations and reform groups have not yet endorsed and many district administrators find threatening and unhelpful. He is a big supporter of Teach for America, which has won its share of both accolades and criticism. And he’s a fan of former D.C. schools chief and reform firebrand Michelle Rhee … he tends to fund efforts that bypass, or even blow up, existing systems.”

Now this California autocratic billionaire, who clearly despises and hates the democratic process, is enlisting other wealthy backers in a $490 million scheme to place half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District into for-profit, corporate charter schools over the next eight years—a plan at least one critic says would “do away with democratically controlled, publicly accountable education in LA.”

The Los Angeles Times obtained a very public “confidential” 44-page proposal, “The Great Public Schools Now Initiative,” drafted by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates.  “Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to create the largest, highest-performing charter sector in the nation,” the executive summary reads. “Such an exemplar would serve as a model for all large cities to follow.”

The document outlines the following three objectives that would serve to overthrow the current public system. Common Dreams.org

I wonder if Broad thinks his autocratic, boot-camp, opaque, for-profit, corporate Charters will solve the following two challenges for Los Angeles and the nation.

If Broad plans to copy New Orleans corporate Charter school model, how many children will end up booted out of his corporate Charters and end up on the streets when there are no public schools left that can take them in?

And what will happen to the gang culture, violence and crime in Los Angeles because of Broad doing that? Children who aren’t in school are on the streets—the street to prison pipeline.

I taught for thirty years in a public school district located in Los Angeles County in an area dominated by street gangs with a very high poverty rate—nothing short of the U.S. Marines moving in and declaring martial law will change this culture of poverty, drugs, crime and violence.  The only chance these kids have are the public schools that offer havens of safety in a community of violence. Once kids lose those democratic, transparent, non-profit public school havens, the gang culture WILL spiral out of control.

Los Angeles has been nicknamed the Gang Capital of America, with an estimated 120,000 gang members as of 2007. According to a May 2001 Drug Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center, Los Angeles was home to 1,350 gangs.

To police this area, the LAPD has less than 10 thousand officers. They are heavily outnumbered and heavily outgunned, and to solve this, Broad plans to use the Bill Gates rank-and-fire teachers test culture in his autocratic corporate Charters to get rid of difficult to teach children.

Maybe to solve this challenge, Eli Broad is planning to take over the LAPD too. What are his goals—to own the schools, own the newspapers, and eventually own the police?

Los Angeles Is The Poorest Big City

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area had 17.6 percent of people living under the poverty line. – laist.com

“Who elected Eli Broad, a man who has said publicly that he knows nothing about education, to redesign the public schools that belong to the people, not to him?” —Diane Ravitch

More on the Eli Broad attempted hostile takeover of democratic public education in Los Angeles may be found at K-12 News Network’s The Wire and The Huffington Post.

_______________________

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

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David vs Goliath: Threatened Grade School Principal Stands up to Chicago’s Corrupt Political Machine

> UPDATES <

Former Chicago Public Schools chief to plead guilty to bribery scheme – Chicago Tribune – October 8, 2015

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-barbara-byrd-bennett-chicago-public-schools-charged-met-20151008-story.html

Mayor Emanuel must answer for SUPES contact scandal – Chicago Tribune – June 1, 2015

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-barbara-byrd-bennett-supes-rahm-emanuel-edit-0602-20150601-story.html

New light shed on City Hall’s ties to CPS scandal – Chicago  Tribune – May 7, 2015

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-school-contract-investigation-swanson-20150507-story.html

> THE ORIGINAL POST ABOUT THE GRADE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN CHICAGO STARTS HERE <

“Principal known as Emanuel critic reprimanded by mayor’s school board.” – Chicago Tribune, August 29, 2015

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-troy-laraviere-principal-warning-vote-met-0828-20150827-story.html

We Dont Need Heroes Troy L

Troy LaRaviere’s Blog: A place to discuss a better school system for all Chicagoans

http://troylaraviere.net/

Troy LaRaviere: My Statement on CPS’ “Warning Resolution”
CONTEXT AND BACKGROUND
I’ve been asked for my thoughts in response to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education issuing a “warning resolution” against me for opposing their backward education policy and corrupt fiscal management of our school district. Before responding, I have to write a few words about who I am. …

http://troylaraviere.net/2015/08/28/my-statement-on-cps-warning-resolution/

_______________________

HEY, LET’S BLAME IT ON THE TEACHER AS USUAL

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

 99 Cent Graphic for Promomtion OCT 2015

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How to Recognize a Corporate Education Reformer in 5 Easy Steps

How to Recognize a Corporate Education Reformer in 5 Easy Steps
  1. RheeForm promises are too good to be true

Without the use of evidence or facts, RheeFormers will promise miraculous results—the RheeForm term was coined to dishonor Michelle Rhee, the witch-queen of the corporate reform movement.

Michee Rhee the Queen Witch

For instance, Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson boasted they would achieve 78 goals to improve the Washington D.C. public schools, but they only achieved 1.5 or 2.8% of the total of the first 54 goals assessed—that is a failure rate of 97.2% that the corporate media never reported on the cover of Time Magazine and/or the front page of every major newspaper in the United States.

Did ANY of Michelle Rhee’s promises actually work in DC?—click the link and read the story.

What happened to these two Fraudsters? Kaya Henderson still has a job running DC’s public schools, and Michelle Rhee is a multi-millionaire whose every word is still breathlessly repeated as gospel truth by most of the corporate media.

  1. Beware of fancy titles linked to any RheeFormer

RheeFormers will name their corporate charter schools and/or organizations with words that promise success, mom, apple pie and the flag. These titles help fool parents and children who think that whatever alchemy the RheeFormers use, it means their children will end up in college, never go into debt and land a great job leading to wealth and happiness for life.

For instance, a chain of New York Charter schools called “Success Academy” with Eva Moskowitz as their highly paid CEO, who is a serious a candidate for Michelle Rhee’s witch-queen crown.

“We were hoping for academic rigor. Instead we found a school that was overly strict, cold, and insensitive to the overall needs of the young children entrusted in their care. My son wet his pants for the first time since he was three years old because the school did not let him go to the bathroom when he asked. The school was incapable of recognizing that he had also developed anxiety around going down the hall to the bathroom.” – Business Insider

“I spent a lot of time on the phone with the author, Daniel Bergner. When he asked why I was critical of Moskowitz, I said that what she does to get high test scores is not a model for public education or even for other charters. The high scores of her students is due to intensive test prep and attrition. She gets her initial group of students by holding a lottery, which in itself is a selection process because the least functional families don’t apply. She enrolls small proportions of students with disabilities and English language learners as compared to the neighborhood public school. And as time goes by, many students leave.” – Alternet.org

  1. RheeFormers blame public school teachers and the democratic teachers’ unions for failures that do not exist and/or is not their fault.

RheeFormers will convince any gullible fool who will listen that it is the fault of the public schools and teachers’ unions that your child isn’t doing well in school and doesn’t read.  They will never mention that the real culprit is the child’s environment that has little or nothing to do with the public school or its teachers.  To a RheeFormer, everything is the public school teachers fault unless they are a TFA recruit.

If the public education system in the United States is broken as the RheeFormers keep claiming in their relentless media propaganda, then why is U.S. ranked #5 as one of The Most Educated Countries in the World. There are 196 countries in the world. That means the United States is in the top 2.55%. How much closer to number one does the United States have to be?

The 1966 Coleman Report: Coleman himself later argued that the most important research findings of the study were twofold. First, it showed that variations in school quality (as indexed by the usual measures such as per pupil expenditure, size of school library, and so on) showed little association with levels of educational attainment, when students of comparable social backgrounds were compared across schools. (Differences in students’ family backgrounds, by comparison, showed a substantial association with achievement.) Second, a student’s educational attainment was not only related to his or her own family background, but also (less strongly) to the backgrounds of the other students in the school.

  1. RheeFormers will boast that corporate Charters are and will be better than democratic public schools.

However, several studies have revealed that corporate Charters are about the same as the public schools they are replacing, and other studies and investigations across the country agree. When these studies look closer, they find that the corporate charters are attempting to stack the deck in their favor by getting rid of the most difficult children to teach—something public schools can’t do.

A piece in The Washington Post reveals, “The primary findings of the CREDO report show that charter school students’ test performance is basically the same as the performance of students enrolled in traditional public schools.”

Then why is the corporate education reform movement working so hard to demonize public school teachers, their unions and get rid of the democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools and replace them with opaque, for-profit corporate Charter schools run by mangers and CEOs?

The UGLY Answers:

Report: Millions of dollars in fraud, waste found in charter school sector

Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

“A new report released today reveals that fraudulent charter operators in 15 states are responsible for losing, misusing or wasting over $100 million in taxpayer money.”

Tales of Fraud, Mismanagement, and Mis-Education

“There is so much news from place to place about the financial and management scandals in particular charter schools and charter management organizations that it is hard to keep track. Schools are taking public money—and too frequently finding a way to make a profit—while failing to serve the children they enroll or neglecting to enroll particular groups of children with special needs.”

  1. The leaders of the RheeForm movement do not put their children in the same schools they are reforming, robbing or getting rid of.

What Kind of Education Do “Reformers” Want for Their Kids?

Education Reformers Send Their Kids to Private School

Public school reformer Michelle Rhee sends child to private school: Should we care?

In the case of Rhee, some find her choice to send one of her children to a private school hypocritical because, as Ravitch explains it in her blog post, Rhee “advocates that other people’s children should have large classes, inexperienced teachers, merit pay, evaluations based on test scores, and nonstop testing” and she’s sending her daughter to a school with “small classes, lovely facilities, a rich curriculum, and experienced teachers.”

Arne Duncan’s children to attend private school in Chicago

Where Arne Duncan Sends His Kids to School

Conclusion: Moyers & Company reports that the “reformers” say they want excellent education for all; they want great teachers; they want to “close the achievement gap”; they want innovation and effectiveness; they want the best of everything for everyone. They pursue these universally admired goals by privatizing education, lowering the qualifications for future teachers, replacing teachers with technology, increasing class sizes, endorsing for- profit organizations to manage schools, using carrots and sticks to motivate teachers and elevating standardized test scores as the ultimate measure of education quality. …

The “reform” movement is really a “corporate reform” movement, funded to a large degree by major foundations, Wall Street hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and the US Department of Education. The movement is determined to cut costs and maximize competition among schools and among teachers. …

The reformers are Republicans and Democrats. They include not only far- right Republican governors but some Democratic governors as well. They include President Barack Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan, as well as Democratic mayors in such cities as Newark, Chicago and Los Angeles. Elected officials of both parties have signed on to an agenda that threatens the future of public education. …

The corporate reform movement has a well- honed message: We are the reformers. We have solutions. The public schools are failing. The public schools are in decline. The public schools don’t work. The public schools are obsolete and broken. We want to innovate. We know how to fix schools. We know how to close the achievement gap. We are leading the civil rights movement of our era. We want a great teacher in every classroom. Class size doesn’t matter.

_______________________

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

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s 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).

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Randi Weingarten is an Ignorant Fraud, and she doesn’t know it

When I was a public school teacher I never belonged to the AFT, one of the two largest teachers’ unions in the United States. I paid union dues to REA/CTA/NEA—the other, larger teachers’ union.

So when I received one of AFT’s regular e-mails signed by Randi Weingarten, the AFT president, that said, “I remember my heart pounding as I walked into Clara Barton High School my first day as a teacher. Will I be able to do it? Do I have what it takes to connect and teach and make a difference in the lives of these kids?”

As I read her e-mail welcoming teachers back to a new school year, I thought where are her words of support for the teachers, parents and children who are fighting to save our democratic, transparent, nonprofit public schools from the fraudulent, greedy corporate vultures—supported by a neo-liberal President of the United States—who are circling the carcass of public education.

Nowhere in that e-mail did Weingarten mention the war being waged on public education and how the Common Core Crap and high stakes standardized testing are being deliberately used by hucksters and charlatans to destroy the lives of teachers, and crush parents and children.

I didn’t expect anyone to read my reply but I replied anyway, “This does not make you a veteran teacher, I wrote. “Try teaching at least ten years or more to earn that title.”

Why did I say Weingarten wasn’t a veteran teacher?

“From 1991 until 1997 Randi Weingarten taught at Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The classes she taught included Law, Ethical Issues in Medicine, AP Political Science, and US History and Government. Her political science students competed in the We the People civics competition, winning the state championship in 1993-94 and 1994–95 and placing fourth in the national championship in 1994-95. In 1995, Weingarten was elected Assistant Secretary of the UFT. She continued teaching per diem from 1995 to 1997.”

Go back and click on the link for Clara Barton High School to discover an elite school and not one that teaches impoverished, at-risk children—children who are difficult to teach—like the ones I taught for thirty years.

Randi Weingarten might have been a full time classroom teacher for four years and a per diem teacher for another two years ( I wonder how many of those per diem days she worked), but her resume doesn’t reveal that she taught the most at-risk children like I did for thirty years. I don’t think she understands the challenges that teachers face who teach classrooms filled with the most difficult children to reach who live in poverty in dangerous communities where street crime is the norm to them.

That’s why Randi Weingarten will have to publicly stands up to the corporate education reform movement and condemn Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, the Walton family, Eli Broad, a flock of Hedge Fund vultures, the Common Core Crap and the results of high stakes student tests being used to judge teachers, fire them and close public schools, and then maybe she will earn some respect from this retired teacher who spent 30 years in the classroom teaching in schools where the childhood poverty rate was more than 70%, and violent adolescent street gangs were an ever present danger. I know from firsthand experience what it’s like to work with both highly motivated students who learned even if their teachers were brain dead, and teaching children to learn, who are at risk—the gulf between these two extremes is vast and what teachers experience working with at risk children is not the same as what Weingarten’s resume reveals from her limited teaching experience.

_______________________

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

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s 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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