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Category Archives: Teaching

“Spare Parts” Reveals how Destructive the Common Core Agenda Is

I enjoy seeing films when they first come out, and this weekend was no different. On Friday, I walked the three miles to the local theater to see “American Sniper”, and today, Saturday, I went to see “Spare Parts”—both films are based on true stories.

“Spare Parts” is a must see film for every grandparent, uncle, aunt, cousin, parent, teacher and child in America. It’s based on a true story of success against all odds.

I taught (1975-2005) in public schools similar to the high school depicted in this film—a school with mostly minority children who live in poverty.

Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona has received worldwide acclaim for its Robotics team, which first earned notoriety by beating MIT and other universities in an underwater robotics competition in 2004, a story that has been chronicled on ABC’s Nightline and in The Reader’s Digest—and now in film.

Once you take a closer look at the Carl Hayden High School depicted in the film, it doesn’t take much to imagine what might have happened if NCLB, Race to the Top, Common Core and VAM had been in place in 2004—the teachers and administrators who supported the high school students who beat MIT might have lost their jobs, the high school closed, and the students sent to rigid corporate Charter schools probably owned by the Walton family where teachers are forced to teach to a script written by corporate hacks who know nothing about teaching children.

Wired.com reported, “Fredi Lajvardi and Allan Cameron have 54 years of public school teaching experience between them. They are the celebrated creators of a student robotics program at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, where roughly 80 percent of the student population lives below the poverty line. … Lajvardi and Cameron are deeply concerned about the state of American secondary education. Teachers, they say, are stymied by bureaucracy and confounded by rigid curricula optimized to produce better test results, not better students.”

Imagine an America where there had never been the fraud of a flawed study called A Nation at Risk in 1983, the insane and impossible demands of G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, in addition to Obama’s worse Race to the Top goals in 2009 with its Bill Gates supported Common Core agenda (in 2010) to rank and fire teachers based on the results of student test scores and to close public schools with low performing students who mostly live in poverty.

Imagine an America without the segregation and fraud of for-profit corporate Charter schools that are stealing taxes meant to fund public schools.

Imagine an America without Teach for America that was designed to break teachers’ unions by churning out recruits who are no different than someone drafted to serve in the military for a two-year stint and then most of those recruits are gone.

Imagine an America where teacher training programs were improved to match what teachers receive in Finland and other countries with high preforming public schools.

Imagine teachers getting follow up support after they start teaching—especially in low performing schools where most of the children live in poverty.

Imagine an America where all public schools in the United States are fully funded and properly maintained.

Imagine an America with a public school, national early childhood education program similar to what works in France.

Imagine the possibilities!

_______________________

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

Runner Up in Biography/Autobiogrpahy
2015 Florida Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography
2014 Southern California Book Festival
2014 New England Book Festival
2014 London Book Festival

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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Suspensions and Expulsions in the US Public Schools—what does that 3.3 million really mean?

THIRD UPDATE
(Scroll down for the Second and First updates followed by the actual post that started a Twitter storm)

This afternoon, I received an e-mail informing me that because of my racist tendencies I was being removed as a member of the TBATS. I can only assume that this is because I think poverty and single parent homes are more of a factor in the behavior of students who are suspended from school than racism.

Therefore, this update includes a new chart with more information. Using the information in this chart, we will attempt to compare the ratio of White children living in poverty and single parent homes to see if the suspensions of Blacks, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islander students was equal or close to the ratio of White students who were suspended.

Third Update and Exanded Chart

  • Using 22.3% of total white students living in poverty and 5.1% of total white students who were suspended as the base, then 49.5% of Black students living in poverty is 2.2 times the number of White students. This equals 11.22% of 8.4 million. If racism was a factor in the additional 3.58% of Black student who were suspended, then 300,720 Black students might have been suspended due to racist tendencies leaving 74.9% of the total students suspended due to factors that might have been related to growing up in poverty and/or single parent homes.
  • Using 25% of total White students living in single family homes and 5.1% of students who were suspended as the base, then 58.57% of Black students living in single parent homes is 2.34 times the number of White students or 11.9% instead of 14.8% of black students suspended offering evidence that racism might have been a factor in 2.9% of the suspensions of Black students. If true, then 240,400 Black students might have been suspended due to racist tendencies leaving 83.3% of the total students suspended that might have been related to growing up in poverty and/or single parent homes.
  • The ratio of Hispanic students who live in poverty is 2.15 times the number of White students and that ratio is equal to 10.97% instead of the 5.8% who were suspended offering no evidence that racism was a factor in the suspension of Hispanic students.
  • The ratio of Hispanic students who live in single family homes is 1.7 times the number of White students and this ratio is equal to 8.64% instead of the 5.8% of Hispanic students who were suspended offering no evidence that racism was a factor in the suspensions of Hispanic students.
  • The ratio of Asian/Pacific Islander students who live in poverty is 0.73 times the White students who live in poverty and this ratio is equal to 3.72% instead of the 2.2% of total Asian/Pacific Islander students who were suspended offering no evidence that racism was a factor in the suspensions of Asian/Pacific Islander students.
  • The ratio of Asian/Pacific Islander students who live in single parent homes was 0.4 times the White students and this ratio was equal to 2.42% instead of the 2.2% who were suspended offering no evidence that racism was a factor in the suspensions of Asian/Pacific Islander students.

In conclusion, poverty and growing up in single family homes is a much larger factor in the number of student suspensions than racism, and a transparent, public school, national, early childhood education program starting as early as age two might have a large impact that will eventually reduce poverty and increase literacy and life-long learning skills in children who grow up in poverty and/or single parent homes. Racism is another issue and other methods will be necessary to deal with this challenge. I don’t think early childhood education will have much of an impact in reducing racism.

SECOND UPDATE

Because I asked this question in my post there was an explosion on Twitter taking me to task for not focusing on racism and not admitting that it was a problem.

In the original post I wrote, “When 6.1% of the total students are suspended from public schools—or less as you will see—is that cause for a national crises and is it evidence of alleged racism?” … Later in the post, I also said, “Some critics have even alleged that the ratio of Black children being suspended is a sign of racism. I disagree, but you will have to make up your own mind after you look at all the numbers and in this post there are a lot of numbers to wrap your critical thinking around.”

Here is my response to one of the reactions that arrived as an e-mail. Too bad they couldn’t have left a comment here so we could have talked it over and explored the issue here where others could follow along.

My reply, I can see that racism is a topic you are passionate about.  I think you even prove my point with your examples.  We can’t stop racism, but we can help children who live in poverty and/or who grow up in single parent homes by implementing a public school managed national early childhood education program so those children grow up with the tools that will help them escape poverty and combat racism without anger and a sense of helplessness.

That’s why I refuse to allow the focus of my post to be hijacked by people obsessed with racism. …

What do you propose we do to stop racism—-send out mobs of vigilantes to hang anyone we suspect of racist tendencies?

I think the strongest weapon we can give victims of racism is literacy and an education and a good start, our best chance, would be a transparent publicly managed national early childhood education program that is not managed by corporations, because the evidence is strong that corporate Charters are racist because they encourage segregation and mostly refuse to work with the children who suffer the most from racism—at-risk children who grow up in poverty and/or single parent homes.

We can stay angry at racists, or we can eventually defeat racism by doing something about childhood poverty by intervening in the development of children as young as age two.  They did it in France more than thirty years ago and poverty has dropped more than 50% since.

FIRST UPDATE

It came to my attention this morning (1-7-2015) that this post was severely criticized and attacked by some of the members of a site (TBATS) that recommended the post to their members—TBATS has deleted the recommendation and apologized to those who complained. The reason for this is because one paragraph in this post quoted information for one post at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

I want to make it clear that the numbers used in the chart did not come from the Heritage Foundation. They came from other sources, and I made the mistake of listing those sources further down in the post—and for that confusion, I apologize but for nothing else. I think this post was unfairly criticized. I have now moved those links, and they may be found right below the chart.

The only information quoted from the Heritage Foundation was the quote in that one paragraph about “children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; and drop out of high school.” Nowhere in that quote was race mentioned.

However, because of the criticism of my post based on that one quote in one paragraph from the Heritage Foundation—a foundation that has been linked to ALEX and support from the Koch brothers and Bill Gates—that had nothing to do with the data in the chart, I decided to go directly to the U.S. Census.gov to verify some of the data that I used in the chart and made two revisions where—if you visit the actual Census data—you will discover that the total number of Black or African American family households was (in Table 1) 8,726,419, and that 836,460 single family households were are led by a male, while  4,085,938 were led by female householders for a total of 4,922,398 or 56.4% of the total number of Black and African American households in 2011. I have corrected the chart to show 56.4% instead of the 67% quoted from a 2013 source—that was not the Heritage Foundation. In addition, about 43.6% of Black or African American family households were led by married couples.

I then turned directly to the U.S. Census for info about poverty by race and found this data from 2013. In 2013, 38% (4.158 million) of Black or African-American children under 18 years lived in families below poverty. I used the data for Black Alone on page 53, Table B-2. The previous number that was quoted in my chart from another 2013 source was much lower.

I have also included in this update the orignal source the Heritage Foundation quoted from in their post from a scholarly study out of Western Michigan University in December 2011: Academic Achievement of Children in Single Parent Homes: A Critical Review

Here is the actual pull quote from the conclusion of the study that the Heritage Foundation quoted in their piece:

“A large body of research has documented the disadvantages of children raised in single-parent homes relative to children raised in two-parent homes. Lower high school graduation rates, lower GPAs, and greater risk for drug abuse are only some of the negative outcomes associated with growing up in a single-parent home. … This paper has been a review and critique of research from the past few decades regarding single parenthood. While the economic and social costs of single parenthood have been well documented, the strengths of single parents and their children have been largely overlooked.”

I think we might be able to learn something from this—that just because information comes from a conservative source doesn’t mean that information is wrong. Just like we sometimes have to follow the money, we also have to go to the original source.

THE ORIGINAL POST STARTS NEXT

In 2006, the U.S. public schools suspended students 3.3 million times. Note that I did not say 3.3 million students, because that might be misleading as you will see if you keep reading.

There is currently a group in the United States demanding that teachers and schools be restricted when it comes to suspending children from classrooms and schools. It would be interesting to know who is funding this issue and pushing it. Is it Arne Duncan who is the Secretary of the federal Department of Education or is it Bill Gates who is funding the push for Common Core standardized testing with $5 – $7 billion—test results that will be used to rank and fire teachers in addition to close public schools and turn our children over to corporations to teach even if parents don’t want that?

Corporate education reformers love throwing around numbers like 3.3 million, because that will make the public schools look really bad, and big numbers tossed out like that look so impressive to people who are easy to fool.

I decided to dig deeper to understand what that number really means.

In this post, we will explore what is behind the suspension and expulsion rates in the United States, because the public schools have been criticized for suspending too many students. Some critics have even alleged that the ratio of Black children being suspended is a sign of racism. I disagree, but you will have to make up your own mind after you look at all the numbers and in this post there are a lot of numbers to wrap your critical thinking around. The followinSome critics have even alleged that the ratio of Black children being suspended is a sign of racism.g chart provides a powerful and revealing comparison and I’m interested in your conclusions from this data.

January 7 Updated Chart for Suspensions and Expulsions in the US Public Schools by Race

Heritage.org says “Seventy-one percent of poor families with children are headed by single parents, mostly single mothers. Compared to children raised in an intact family, children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; and drop out of high school.” The Heritage Foundation reports that in the United States, marriage drops the probability of child poverty by 82 percent.

In 2006, there were 53.8 million children in the k – 12 public schools, and there were 3.3 million suspensions representing 6.1% of the total number of students. That means almost 94% (or more) of the children did not earn a suspension. Census.gov

When 6.1% of the total students are suspended from public schools—or less as you will see—is that cause for a national crises and is it evidence of alleged racism?

There were 98,793 public schools in the United States in 2006-07. National Center for Education Statistics.gov

If we average that 3.3 million suspensions per school, it means each school suspended an average of about 33.4 students during the 2006 school year, and a school year has about 180 instructional days—I suspect the ratio is higher for schools with higher levels of childhood poverty and there is a reason for that, and it isn’t unique to the United States as you will see if you keep reading.

If we take that per-school average of 33.4 suspensions, it equals one student is suspended on average every 5.4 days for each school—but was it always a different student or were there repeat offenders as I strongly suspect based on my 30 years of experience as a public school teacher.

When I say repeat, I mean the same student being suspended more than once during one school year, and some of those chronic offenders eventually end up with an expulsion hearing.

For instance, at the high school where I taught from 1989 to 2005 there was a 70% childhood poverty rate at the time (it’s higher today) based on free and/or reduced lunch, and 92% of the students were non-white. The teacher—we called him Mr. D—who ran the in-house suspension system—a separate classroom on campus where students were required to do worksheets (the students were not allowed to just sit and visit. If they didn’t do the academic worksheets, they’d end up returning the next day for another period suspension), said that about 5% of the students at the high school earned 95% of the average 20,000 annual referrals that teachers wrote. At the time, Nogales High School had a student population of about 2,600. Five percent equals 130 students who earned 95% of the 20,000 referrals written by teachers each year. That works out to 146 referrals for each one of those 130 students, and yes, we had students who earned referrals from more than one of their teachers on a daily basis. Some students would earn six referrals a day—one for each class—day after day and if the teacher didn’t write the referral and send the student to Mr. D in the in-house suspension center for a class suspension, that student would often disrupt the learning environment for the rest of the students in the class—stealing learning time from every child.

The teacher couldn’t teach and the other students couldn’t learn.

What if the 3.3 million suspensions in 2006 were not from 3.3 million individual children because many might have been repeat offenders. It would be nice to know how many students were suspended more than once but I couldn’t find that information. For instance, what if only 500-thousand students or less earned those 3.3 million suspensions? If correct, that would mean less than 1% of the total public school students were actually suspended from school—some multiple times.

But what if the 3.3 million suspended students were counted as individuals and not multiple offenders. Then there’s another way to look at this large but insignificant number.

There were about 7.2 million teachers in the United States in 2009. Almost 3 million taught at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder included those teaching at the post secondary, secondary, preschool, kindergarten levels, special education and other teachers or instructors.

Taking the total number of teachers into account, if we divided the 3.3 million suspended students up evenly among the 7.2 million teachers, that equals 0.45 or less than half a student for each teacher for an entire school year. And even if we only counted the regular k – 12 teachers it would break about even—one suspended student each school year for each teacher. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011, Table 615 <https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

And if all we do is count just the 3.7 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) elementary and secondary school teachers engaged in classroom instruction in fall 2012, then for every teacher there was 0.89% of a student suspended from a school for breaking rules and/or disrupting the educational environment so other students couldn’t learn. nces.ed.gov Do you know of any child who is only 0.89% of a child? Where did the missing 0.11% go—did that part of the suspended student stay in the classroom to cooperate and learn?

What about the 112k who were expelled from all of the public schools in 2006?

If we average that 112k, it becomes about 1.1 students for each school in the United States. Is that excessive requiring an act of Congress to control, and what happens to the Common Core standardized test scores that are being used to rank and fire teachers in only the public schools when teachers are forced to keep disruptive students in the classroom who literally rob learning time from all of our children—the 94% that don’t earn suspensions?

What about suspensions and expulsions in the other OECD nations, or is this something that Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and the other corporate education reformers don’t want America to know—because some OECD countries have higher rates of suspension and expulsion than the United States does?

The corporate reformers can avoid this information in their allegations of the US public schools, but they can’t hide it. The Stanford Graduate School of Education reported in January 2013 that Poor ranking on international tests misleading about U.S. performance and said, “There is an achievement gap between more and less disadvantaged students in every country; surprisingly, that gap is smaller in the United States than in similar post-industrial countries, and not much larger than in the very highest scoring countries. Achievement of U.S. disadvantaged students has been rising rapidly over time, while achievement of disadvantaged students in countries to which the United States is frequently unfavorably compared – Canada, Finland and Korea, for example – has been falling rapidly.”

In addition, while fewer than 3 percent of students in 13 countries—including Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom—reported ever repeating a grade, more than 25 percent of students repeated at least once in France, Spain, Brazil, and a dozen others studied. The United States reported more than one in 10 students (10 percent) repeating a grade, higher than the OECD average, while the top-performing countries, Finland and Korea, do not allow grade retention. … The OECD found that both high rates of grade retention and transfer happened in countries in which a child’s socioeconomic status was more likely to predict that child’s academic performance. Education Week.org

What happens to teachers if the Department of Education and/or the U.S. Congress caves in to pressure from special interest groups—possibly funded by Bill Gates or the Walton family—and drafts legislation that takes away a teacher or school’s power to suspend or remove a student through expulsion—especially when teachers are being ranked and then fired based on the Common Core standardized test results of a teacher’s students?

If being ranked and fired by those test scores becomes a reality for every public school teacher, then every instructional and/or learning minute will become vitally important and forcing teachers to keep children who cause problems and disrupt the learning environment will cripple a teacher’s ability to teach.

Maybe that’s what President Obama, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and the Walton family want to happen so they can turn our children over the corporations to brainwash.

In conclusion, if you are one of the critics of public education who thinks 3.3 million (6.1%) children suspended from the public schools in one school year is too many, then instead of passing laws restricting the public schools’ ability—because these laws will not impact the corporate Charter schools that also are not required to teach to the Common Core—to decide who gets suspended, consider looking at what causes those children to disrupt the classroom—for instance, poverty and single parents families, and do something about that instead of making a teacher’s job to teach more difficult by forcing them to keep those at-risk and difficult to teach children in the classroom. And if you think the corporate reform movement has the answer, think again.

Joseph Williams, a veteran journalist and former White House correspondent for Politico, reported, “Charter schools also lead their traditional counterparts in a more disturbing trend: the number of students who are suspended or expelled each year … charter schools are far more likely to suspend students for infractions such as dress code violations and insubordination toward teachers.”

In fact, if there are suspension restrictions imposed on the public schools, those same restrictions will not be imposed on the corporate Charters just like the Common Core agenda to rank and fire teachers is not found in private-sector Charters—proving that this latest manufactured crisis in public education is another ploy by the corporate reformers to destroy the public schools.

_____________________________________

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

Runner Up in Biography/Autobiography
2014 Florida Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Honorable Mentions in Biography/Autobiography
2014 Southern California Book Festival
2014 London Book Festival

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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Mao had his Little Red Book and Bill Gates has Common Core

For the second time in world history, the public schools of a country are under attack by powerful men. The first time a country waged war on its public schools was when Mao launched China’s Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976).

How successful was Mao in destroying more than 2,000 years of public school tradition in
China? The answer may shock you. By the time Mao died in 1976, the literacy rate in China had plunged to 20%, and the poverty rate was 85%.

In the United States the biggest crime of the corporate education reformers is chasing profits and not dealing with the challenges of poverty. In fact, corporate education reform supported by billionaire oligarchs—for instance, Bill Gates, the Walton family, Eli Broad, and the Koch brothers—are doing nothing to deal with poverty. Instead they claim that if they get wealthier that will somehow magically solve poverty. When, at any time in history, has the wealthy solved poverty by getting richer?

In a Chicago Sun Times Op-Ed piece, Laura Washington writes about Ted Manuel, an African American who lives in Hyde Park: Manuel said, ‘Although we have one or more churches on every other block, what effect are the preachers having? Why is there no partnering of schools with corporations, where glimpses of future possibilities can inspire the kids?  I know of no such connections, if they exist.’”

To answer Ted Manual’s questions, the reason that corporate education reformers are doing nothing about poverty is because dealing with the causes of poverty is not profitable.

And how can the public schools do anything? Funds for public schools have been cut drastically while other funds have been diverted to the Common Core test taking culture supported and driven by Bill Gates—the wealthiest man in the world. Mao had his Little Red Book, and Bill Gates has his Common Core.

Who will profit the most from Bill Gates war on the public schools? UK’s Pearson—a company that will make money every time an American child takes one of their tests, and they want to test children from pre-school to high school graduation—hours of tests annually.

What about China? Starting in the late 1970’s under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership, who do you think China learned from as they started to rebuild their public schools after Mao’s Cultural Revolution?

If you answered the United States and Europe, you would have been right. China sent teams to the United States to learn from America’s public schools—and this all happened before A Nation at Risk, NCLB, Race to the Top and Common Core—and according to the last two international PISA tests, China’s 15-year-olds in Shanghai are ranked #1 in the world thanks to what China learned in the United States before the corporate war on public education.

In fact, China is moving away from a test-based public education system and toward what the United States is abandoning thanks to Bill Gates and the $5 – $7 billion he is spending in his crusade to destroy what works and replace it with a market-based education system that several Stanford studies have already proved is a failure.

Education Week.com reported in 2010 that Schools in China and U.S. Move in Opposite Directions. Schools in China are slowly trying to break away from their emphasis on memorization (and testing) toward adopting strategies that stress creativity. Until now, schools believed that the former was the best way to score high on the gao kao (the college entrance exam taken the last year of high school). But recognizing that the approach is counterproductive in the new global economy, China is attempting to change.

Meanwhile, Education Week.com  says, “In the U.S., a different trend is underway. Convinced that high-stakes tests are the best way to measure educational quality and assure our economic hegemony, (corporate) reformers are running roughshod over those who believe otherwise.”

France dealt with poverty more than thirty years ago when they introduced a national early childhood education program starting as young as age two, a program that is transparent and part of the French public education system. France, unlike the United States, puts its education dollars in one pot and then shares that money equally among all of its public schools. But in the U.S. funding is not equitable. School districts in wealthy communities spend heavily on their public schools while schools in communities infected with poverty spend much less.

Thirty years after France implemented its national early childhood education program in the public schools—not run by the private sector—poverty has been cut drastically. In 1970, 15% of France’s population lived in poverty. By 2001, only 6.1% lived in poverty. In 1970, about 86% of the population of France was literate, but by 2003, the literacy rate improved to 99%. – Our World in Data.org

China had to wait for Mao to die before its war on public education ended. Will the United States have to wait for the oligarchs to all die before the corporate war on public education ends?

Don’t forget, Mao had his Little Red Book, and Bill Gates has his Common Core.

_______________________

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

Runner Up in Memoir
2014 Florida Book Festival

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography
2014 Southern California Book Festival
and at the 2014 London Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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The broken tooth, the coming crown, the 2014 Florida Book Festival and Writers Digest

I broke a tooth over the weekend and visited the dentist this afternoon spending a few hours in THE chair. I hate those shots that numb your jaw making it feel swollen like a puffy blimp. In a few days I will return for the fitting of the crown.

But when I returned home with that numb jaw, there was a surprise—a double dose of what I think was good news.

“”2014 Florida Book Festial and Comment by Writers Digest Judge“Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose” didn’t earn any awards from Writer’s Digest, but the judge’s comments were appreciated. :o)

_______________________
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-a-classroom-expose-200x300
His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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My Amazon Review of “The Educator and the Oligarch” by Anthony Cody

You might notice that my last post about Anthony Cody’s book is not the same as the review I’m posting on Amazon, and that’s because Amazon might not approve what I said in my Blog review of “The Educator and the Oligarch”. They might not approve of this watered down version either, but what the heck—nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I firmly believe that the best way to judge a person is by what they do—not what they say—and Bill Gates seldom does what he says when it comes to improving public education in the United States.

When I say that in front of our daughter—and I’ve done it several times—who graduated from Stanford in June, she looks at me in disgust, because she thinks Bill Gates is a great man, a humanitarian and philanthropist, who is trying to make the world a better place—at least that’s what Bill Gates wants her to think. It also helps to know that Bill Gates gave the commencement address for our daughter’s Stanford graduating class in 2014.

Our daughter is right about one thing, Bill Gates is a great man, and that’s why he is CORRUPT. If you doubt what I just said, then argue with Lord Acton—not me. Lord John Acton (1834-1902) said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men (like Bill Gates) are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority.”

Bill Gates is not the man he wants people like our daughter to think he is, and Anthony Cody in “The Educator and the Oligarch” proves repeatedly in almost every chapter that what Bill Gates says he wants to do to improve public education in the United States isn’t what he’s doing. Instead, Gates is spending billions to influence (through bribes that are called grants) state and national leaders to do what he wants.

For instance, in Chapter 2, Anthony Cody mentions that in 2011, NBC held the Teacher Town Hall program, and Bill Gates was introduced as the top funder of education in the world … spending half a billion dollars to devise a way to figure out what makes a great teacher, what makes them most effective, and Melinda Gates acknowledged that good teaching cannot be reduced to a test score—but that’s exactly what her husband is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do: to judge teachers by test scores.

Then in Chapter 3, Cody quotes an Op-Ed piece that Bill Gates wrote for the New York Times: Gates said, “Student test scores alone aren’t a sensitive enough measure to gauge effective teaching, nor are they diagnostic enough to identify areas of improvement.”

But regardless of what Melinda and Bill Gates say, the Gates Foundation has spent and is still spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the federal and state governments to use the results of the Common Core student standardized tests  to judge and then rank and yank (fire) teachers with an ultimate goal to close public schools and replace them with corporate Charter schools—that several Stanford studies funded by the Gates Foundation have already proven are mostly worse or the same as the public schools they are replacing.

To achieve these goals, Bill Gates is spending $5 – $7 billion dollars, and when he ran into opposition from democratically elected school boards, what did Bill Gates do—he started spending hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid of the democratically elected school boards that run public school districts and replace them with the corporate CEOs of charter schools who will do what Bill Gates wants.

Cody’s book has 27 chapters and they are loaded with more examples than the few I have shared in this review.

How do you help someone by firing them? Why isn’t Bill Gates funding training programs that will eventually show teachers methods that work—that Bill Gates doesn’t select—that will help teachers become better at their job?

Just for a moment, imagine what investing $5 – $7 billion in early childhood education and improving teacher training and follow up support after a new teacher is in the classroom would have achieved—-instead of destroying lives by firing teachers and subjecting children to hours of testing that serves no purpose except labeling children as FAILURES.

I bought a paperback copy of The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California. This review is my honest opinion.

_______________________

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

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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Badass Teachers Association versus Corporate War on Public Education

Marla Kilfoyle is the General Manager of an education activist group called The Badass Teachers Association.

The Badass Teachers Association has broken new ground because they are the first of their kind. They started as a Facebook group of teachers angry with federal education policy. In a year and a half, they grew into a strong and powerful national presence both on and off social media. BadassTA is now 53,000 strong on Facebook, 15,000 strong on twitter, and has a strong presence in fighting the privatization of our public school system around the nation.

BadassTA uses social media to expose the false narrative of the wealthy oligarchs, for instance, the Koch Brothers and Eli Broad. BadassTA trended on twitter for 2 days straight with their #Evaluatethat campaign, and they were recently featured in Time Magazine for their rebuttal to the Time cover showing teachers as rotten apples.

The Badass Teachers Association was created to give voice to every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality through education.

Badass teachers refuse to accept assessments, tests and evaluations created and imposed by corporate driven entities (funded mainly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) that have contempt for authentic teaching and learning. They refuse to accept the fact that non educators are allowed to make education policies that hurt our children, communities, and public schools. Badass teachers insist on equality, social justice, and equity in education and society. They will be meeting in Washington DC this summer, July 23-26 for their BAT Congress where they plan to lobby the U.S. Congress for children and public education. They are truth tellers and are united in their cause.

NOTE FROM BLOG HOST

The corporate funded and driven public education—FAKE—reform movement in the United States does not respect teachers, pay them what they deserve or intend to train them properly. All anyone has to do is look at Teach for America (TFA) to see what I mean. A TFA recruit has five weeks of summer training and little or no classroom experience with little or no follow up support when they take over a classroom, often from a highly trained and experienced teacher who was paid more and lost their job. More than two-thirds of TFA recruits leave teaching in 2 – 4 years and never return to education as a teacher. Of the one-third that remain, all but 3% transfer to higher preforming schools in wealthier communities that do not teach high numbers of challenging to teach at-risk children who live in poverty. TFA is an element of the corporate public education fake reform movement that was designed to break the teachers’ unions.

If you need more convincing, I suggest you examine closely the Bill Gates funded and driven Common Core Standardized Testing agenda that will rank and yank teachers—in addition to closing public schools and turning our children over to corporate Charters that often lie and deceive through corporate funded propaganda to lure children away from public schools—Did you know that several Stanford studies have reported that about 75% of private sector Charter schools perform worse or the same as the public schools they replaced, and a Stanford professor, who supports market based reforms, says this reform movement does not work in education?

Instead of ranking teachers, firing them and closing public schools, the United States must offer proper training and support for teachers who want and/or need help. Ask yourself this question: Once the public schools are gone, will we ever get them back from profit-hungry corporations and billionaire oligarchs like the labor union hating Walmart Walton family and Koch brothers? Do you want democratically elected school boards in public schools to be in charge of your child’s education or a billionaire/CEO, for instance Bill Gates, who sends his children to the same expensive private school he attended as a child, a school that doesn’t give endless Common Core standardized tests?


Anthony Cody, author of The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation

_______________________

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

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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Listening to Anthony Cody talk about The Educator and the Oligarch

The Oligarch is Bill Gates. The Educator is Anthony Cody, who has gone toe-to-toe with the Gates Foundation in private conversations and publicly for several years. Cody’s book, The Educator and the Oligarch, covers what he has learned while in the trenches battling a billionaire and his vast, entrenched organization, and the book is worth reading.

Do I NEED to repeat that?

At 2:30, Saturday (12-6) afternoon, I left home to walk the two miles to the nearest BART station.

At 4:05, I walked into the Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California to hear Anthony Cody, who started talking soon after I sat down, and by then it was standing room only.

Cody has been in the fight to save democratic public education much longer than I have, and his knowledge of the issue is deeper. Back in the mid 1980’s, I started suspecting that there might be a plot to destroy the public schools—it was just a feeling I had due to the crazy and insane things that teachers were being forced to do that made no sense.

Thinking I was cooking up a conspiracy theory, I went into denial mode and continued teaching and dodging bullets from those imagined ghosts until I retired in 2005 after thirty years in the classroom. Then in November 2013, my wife came home and told me she’d heard Diane Ravtich on NPR talking about her book “Reign of Error,” and I read the book and discovered my suspicions had been true all along—but like cancer this plot has branched out and taken on a malignant life of its own and it’s spreading into every element of public education in the United States in addition to corrupting our democratic government—thanks in large part to Bill Gates.

Listening to Cody late this afternoon, I learned how Bill Gates always gets what he wants—he buys everyone and everything he can, and he has dedicated between $5 to $7 billion dollars to destroy America’s democratic public education system and rebuild it into what HE thinks it should be.

I didn’t raise my hand until the end of Cody’s talk, and after several others had asked questions and shared their thinking. It was obvious that there was a lot of passion in the room among parents and teachers.

Then I had my say—not knowing that I was going to be attacked, not by Cody, but by another person in the audience. I said that we had to stop measuring children and focus on the children who needed the most help: children from dysfunctional homes and who lived in poverty. I mentioned that France had launched a national early childhood education program managed by its own public schools in the 1970’s, and thirty years later, the French poverty rate had dropped more than 50%.

When I finished talking—one loud person—grabbed the crowd’s attention and attacked me for blaming dysfunctional parents for at risk children who were difficult to teach. She said that it wasn’t the parent’s fault their children were not succeeding. I didn’t respond to her attack maybe because I’m severely dyslexic and it takes me time to think before I open my mouth. It’s so much easier to write, revise, edit and wait a few days and then revise some more. I had no desire to get into a heated shouting match with this stranger.

When the event ended and the crowd moved from the event area into the bookstore, several people came up to me and offered support. They all agreed that I had never blamed dysfunctional parents for the problems in classrooms caused by at-risk and difficult to teach children.

I replied that dysfunctional parents can’t be blamed when their children are not learning in school, because my parents were dysfunctional—who both dropped out of high school when they were fourteen—because I was born to poverty; because when I was six or seven, my mother was told I would never learn to read, but she taught me anyway after failing to teach my older brother 12 years earlier. My brother died at age 64 illiterate and he left behind several of his own adult children who are still illiterate. My father was a gambler and an alcoholic. If he wasn’t drinking, he was a wonderful, gentle man. My brother spent about 15 years of his life in prison. He was also an alcoholic, a sometime drug user, and a heavy smoker. Like our parents, he also never had the tools to raise children who easily learned in school.

If my family wasn’t dysfunctional, I don’t know what is.

If you ask someone to fix your car who doesn’t know how to use the tools, do we blame that person for not fixing the car? Dysfunctional parents—like my parents—did not have the parenting tools to raise children that were ready to learn, and I wasn’t ready to learn until I was in my early twenties after serving several years in the U.S. Marines and fighting in Vietnam.

It was dark out when I left the bookstore and started the long ride home on BART, and it was a long ride. The BART train was delayed several times sitting at stations because of some problem down the line. What should have been a 25-minute ride stretched to about one-and-a-half hours, and this turned out to be a good thing, because the wait provided time for me to read to Chapter 4 in Cody’s book, and discover just how involved Bill Gates is in HIS own goal to destroy our democratic public schools, and replace those schools with what HE wants.  For instance, if Gates was cutting open our bodies and reaching inside to do surgery to save our lives HIS way, he’d have our blood all the way to his shoulders, smeared on his face and drenching his clothing down to his shoes as he pulled out one organ after another and threw them over his shoulder to the filthy floor.

Bill Gates has bought—bribed would be more appropriate—the media, nonprofits, and institutions for education, state governments, the Department of Education, and the White House. At the moment, Bill Gates is the unelected emperor of the United States, and if he achieves HIS goals with our schools, our democracy and our freedom will be gone too.

It’s getting late. If this needs editing, I’ll fix it tomorrow. Right now, I want to publish this post, brush my teeth and relax by watching the last of the 3rd season of The Tudors . I think I see a lot of similarities between Emperor Bill Gates and England’s King Henry 8, but Bill Gates isn’t beheading wives. He is beheading teachers, children—and our democracy.

_______________________

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-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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Discover what the media doesn’t report about the U.S. public schools

Warning! If you have high blood pressure or anger issues, don’t read this!

There is a vast difference between teaching and learning. A Teacher can teach a great lesson and the students who participate and pay attention will learn, while the students who don’t pay attention and participate don’t learn.

Do we shoot the teacher because of those children who did not cooperate and did not pay attention?  And when we test 100% of the students to judge teachers and discover what they learned, there is no way to know what students cooperated with the teacher.

The reason why children who live in poverty do poorly in every country on the PISA, for instance, is because it is in this socioeconomic group where we find the most students who do not participate and cooperate with what a teacher struggles to teach them.

And this hold true in every country where the PISA tests 15-year old students. There is no exception. In fact, in January 2013, a study out of Stanford that broke down the PISA results by socioeconomic level proves this FACT. The same study was validated by the Economic Policy Institute. Here are a few key points from that study that emphasize this FACT that is being totally ignored by the corporate supported fake education reformers and the media they own and/or control, as they chase tax dollars and don’t give a fart about what children learn.

  • Because in every country, students at the bottom of the social class distribution perform worse than students higher in that distribution, U.S. average performance appears to be relatively low partly because we have so many more test takers from the bottom of the social class distribution.
  • A sampling error in the U.S. administration of the most recent international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score.
  • If U.S. adolescents had a social class distribution that was similar to the distribution in countries to which the United States is frequently compared, average reading scores in the United States would be higher than average reading scores in the similar post-industrial countries we examined (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), and average math scores in the United States would be about the same as average math scores in similar post-industrial countries.
  • This re-estimate would also improve the U.S. place in the international ranking of all OECD countries, bringing the U.S. average score to sixth in reading and 13th in math. Conventional ranking reports based on PISA, which make no adjustments for social class composition or for sampling errors, and which rank countries irrespective of whether score differences are large enough to be meaningful, report that the U.S. average score is 14th in reading and 25th in math.
  • Disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform better (and in most cases, substantially better) than comparable students in similar post-industrial countries in reading. In math, disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform about the same as comparable students in similar post-industrial countries.
  • U.S. students from disadvantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the three similar post-industrial countries than advantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers. But U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada than disadvantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers.
  • On average, and for almost every social class group, U.S. students do relatively better in reading than in math, compared to students in both the top-scoring and the similar post-industrial countries.

This revealing study out of Stanford has been out there for almost two years, but Arne Duncan and his master, Bill Gates—and the rest of the pack of vampires leading the charge to destroy the democratically run public schools haven’t hesitated in their relentless assault to dismantle the public schools and replace them with corporate Charters that several other Stanford studies reported are mostly worse or equal to the public schools they are replacing, and these Stanford studies were funded by the Gates foundation, so Bill Gates can’t be ignorant of the facts. Gates has to know what he is doing is perpetrating and supporting a fraud against the Citizens of the United States, and that is a federal crime that comes with a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $10-million dollar fine.

Who is guilty without a doubt of this fraud? For sure, Bill Gates and Arne Duncan are aware that they are contributing to this fraud. Maybe Obama is just another ignorant fool, because it might be difficult to prove he’s read or heard of the results of the Stanford studies and even the Sandia report of 1990 that proved, without a doubt, that President Reagan’s A Nation at Risk was also misleading and where this fraud started.

Here’s a summary of what the Sandia Report discovered about A Nation at Risk, a fraud that has been supported by every President starting with Reagan.

“A Nation at Risk” (1983) – What the report claimed

  • American students are never first and frequently last academically compared to students in other industrialized nations.
  • American student achievement declined dramatically after Russia launched Sputnik, and hit bottom in the early 1980s.
  • SAT scores fell markedly between 1960 and 1980.
  • Student achievement levels in science were declining steadily.
  • Business and the military were spending millions on remedial education for new hires and recruits.

The Sandia Report (1990) – What was actually happening

  • Between 1975 and 1988, average SAT scores went up or held steady for every student subgroup.
  • Between 1977 and 1988, math proficiency among seventeen-year-olds improved slightly for whites, notably for minorities.
  • Between 1971 and 1988, reading skills among all student subgroups held steady or improved.
  • Between 1977 and 1988, in science, the number of seventeen-year-olds at or above basic competency levels stayed the same or improved slightly.
  • Between 1970 and 1988, the number of twenty-two-year-old Americans with bachelor degrees increased every year; the United States led all developed nations in 1988.

If this makes you angry, then Tweet it repeatidly, and share it with all of your social networking connections. Here’s a Tweet you are free to copy and paste.

 Discover what the media doesn’t report about the U.S. public schools

_______________________

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-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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What are you going to lose, New York, if you let Governor Cuomo have his way with the Public Schools, and who will gain?

What’s interesting about Cuomo’s use of the word monopoly, when he recently described the public schools in New York State, is that it will be the for-profit, corporate Charter schools he supports that will become the real monopoly when there are no public schools left to compete with.

In fact, Cuomo may help elevate a corporate Charter school CEO in New York City to be one of the top-ten highest paid CEO’s in the United States.

A monopoly, by definition, is an industry that controls everything about the products it produces and sells—there is no competition. In comparison, there are 697 public school districts in New York State and each one is run by a democratically elected school board that answers to the public, and public school districts must be transparent about everything that that they do or else.

How about the corporate Charters that Governor Cuomo has been paid to love?

According to NYSED.gov, “As of the 2014-15 school year, New York has 248 operating charter schools serving approximately 92,132 students.”

And here’s a list of the Charter schools in New York State. If you look at the list carefully, you will discover that several of these Charter schools belong to growth corporations. For instance: Achievement First (9); Icahn (7); KIPP (6); New Visions (8), and Success Academy (24).

These Charters are private-sector corporations managed by CEO’s, regardless of the title they give themselves. Most, if not all of these CEO’s, pay themselves very well from the taxes that flow their way, and they run organizations that are all but opaque—meaning, it is difficult to discover what they are actually doing with the tax payers money they get, and the truth about student outcomes is often distorted and misleading—and they don’t have to answer to the voters or the public about anything they do.

If you want a perfect example of how one of these corporate, profit-driven CEO’s operates, look no further than Eva Moskowitz (a former media celebrity and  non-educator), who pays herself more than a half-million dollars annually (more than the President of the United States who represents 316 million Americans, and the Chancellor of New York City’s public schools that teache1.1-million students), and Moskowitz uses hundreds of thousands of tax dollars that once went to teaching children in the public schools to run a well-oiled PR campaign to recruit more students and shut down more public schools, while the public schools are, by law, not allowed to use tax money for the same purpose.

Moskowitz runs the corporate, for profit Success Academy Charters, and her site says that private-sector corporation now operates 32 schools serving 9,000 students.

And Moskowtiz pays herself more than $500-thousand annually to serve 9,000 students while the Chancellor of New York City’s public schools annual salary is $212,614.

If we break that down by student, Moskowitz pays herself almost $56 for each student she recruits/serves.  I find it interesting that she uses the word “serves” instead of “teaches”, don’t you?  Who is she going to serve these children to—the vultures on Wall Street, who profit off her Charters?

What does it cost the tax payers to pay the salary of the Chancellor of the New York City public schools?

The answer: $5.17 a student, while Moskowitz payers herself more than 1,083-percent more per student.

How much will Moskowtiz earn if her so-called Success Academies (which are actually failures when you strip away the lies and look at the real numbers that she does all she can to hide) taught all of New York City’s children?

Moskowitz’s salary, with help from Governor Cuomo, who wants to fire public school teachers and close public schools, could eventually swell to more than $61-million annually.

When that day comes, if Cuomo has his way, Moskowitz will join the ranks of the 100 Highest Paid CEOs in the United States. In fact, she will rank #8 on that list and the tax payers of New York City will be paying the bill for her salary while the education of their children will be drastically curtailed and shortchanged, and the tax payers won’t be able to do anything about it, because there will be no democratically elected public school boards and no transparent public schools left.

  • To learn more about Eva Moskowitz and her relentless and ruthless goal to take over teaching all 1.1 million children in New York City, I suggest you read what Mercedes Schneider has to say on her Blog.

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/cuomo-reelection-an-obvious-moskowitz-opportunity/

_______________________

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-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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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Substitute teachers in the United States are often paid poorly and treated like trash

If you want to discover what America’s leaders at the state and federal level really think about our public schools and the education of our children, look no further than substitute teachers.

“Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé”, my memoir, was reviewed on Sincerely Stacie.com as a part of a book blog tour, and Stacie’s review caused me to think about substitute teachers. In fact, I had trouble sleeping the night that review appeared, because of memories that surfaced when I was a full-time, substitute teacher from 1976 – 1978.

What I found especially interesting was that Stacie was a substitute teacher and a mother of three, because dedicated substitute teachers are  valuable to full-time teachers—so rare, that full-time teachers often book the best, dedicated, experienced substitute teachers as far in advance as possible hoping that another teacher won’t steal them away first.

But, most of the time, for me, there was no way to know who the substitute teacher would be, and a few times, even when I had succeeded in booking a substitute teacher that I knew was good at her job, the district might redirect them at the last minute—without my knowledge—to another classroom or school and send my students to the library without a substitute, and my students would miss another day of instruction.

In this era of high-stakes testing with rank and yank results for teachers, every day lost in the classroom might cost a full-time-teacher her job.

What you learn from this post might shock you—and even make you angry—but the qualifications to become a K to 12 substitute teacher in California have not changed for decades. They are the same now as they were during my thirty years in the classroom (1975-2005).

I copied the following information from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Website:

I DON’T HAVE MY BACHELOR’S DEGREE YET. CAN I SUBSTITUTE TEACH?

Yes. The Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers may be issued based on the completion of 90 semester units of course work from a regionally-accredited California college or university, verification of current enrollment in a regionally-accredited California college or university, and having satisfied the basic skills requirement [PDF].

For anyone who isn’t aware of the minimum number of units necessary for a bachelor’s degree, it’s usually 4-to 5-years of college and graduation requires a minimum of 120 units. Many majors and degrees have requirements that extend beyond the minimum number of units.

What this reveals is that many substitutes may not even be a senior in college or a college graduate.  And if you look at substitute pay on a state-by-state basis, you might be even more shocked.

For instance, in Alabama, the state reimburses local school districts $35 a day for a substitute teacher and that teacher only needs a high school diploma and a negative TB skin test.

If you click on this nea.org link, you may see how much each state—for those that list the daily pay—is willing to pay a substitute. I think what substitute teachers are paid is a crime. They should be paid much more—at least $100 a day with benefits.

In Iowa, where Stacie works as a substitute teacher, substitutes have the same licensing requirements as full time teachers—high standards compared to Alabama or California, but the average salary for a substitute teacher in Iowa is $23,905, while starting pay for a full time teacher is $39,200—and the average age of a substitute teacher in Iowa is 50. TeacherSalary.net

When I was still teaching, there was a shortage of substitute teachers in California and often, full time teachers were called on to be substitutes during their planning periods.


I think it’s safe to say that this substitute teacher was a high school graduate from Alabama.

For instance, I was called a few times during the 27-years I worked as a full-time teacher, and once the district was so desperate that after they fired one, new and young, first-year teacher for teaching his students how to cheat on tests, the district staffed his five periods with five, full-time teachers by asking us to give up our planning period. I was one of those five teachers for the rest of the second semester.  The district paid me an extra $45 a day for giving up my planning period and teaching that one-extra class. For the rest of that year, instead of teaching five classes, I taught six. The district could have saved money if they had hired a substitute to finish that year, because the average hourly top pay for a substitute in California runs between $11 to $17. In Iowa, the top hourly pay is $10 to $15, but starts at $7.

If you have already read the “Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession” by Dana Goldstein, you might remember that she doesn’t mention substitute teachers in her book, which is sad, because substitute teachers are important to full time teachers, who don’t want their students to miss one day of instruction. Most teachers, who are out of their classroom for a day or more, don’t want baby sitters. They want skilled teachers—who teach just like they would. I know, because I did and the teachers I worked with did.

I now know there is one job in the United States that is more Embattled than a full-time teacher and that is the job of a dedicated, full-time, professional substitute teacher, who gets up early every day waiting for that phone call that will send them to a different classroom, subject and different challenge.

How do I know this?  Well, my first year in education was as a full-time, paid intern in a residency program with a master teacher in her fifth grade classroom. My second and third years, I worked as a full-time substitute teacher waiting for that 5-to-6 a.m. phone call, and I taught in seven different school districts in Southern California. I never knew what district would call first and what grade, subject, or school I would be sent to.

In conclusion, think of the differences between—for instance, me or a dedicated, full-time, experienced substitute teacher like Stacie versus a young K-12 substitute teacher with only a high school degree or even 90 or more college units but no BA degree and little or no experience or training as a classroom teacher.

The only teachers who might have a little bit more experience over that high school graduate or 90-unit, wet-behind-the-ears substitute teacher, who might not even be 21, would be a Teach For American (TFA) recruit with a BA/BS degree and 5 weeks of training in a summer workshop without any experience teaching children in the classroom before they started their first, full-time teaching assignment. This might explain why only a third of TFA recruits stay in education as teachers and 85% of those TFA recruits who stay in teaching, after two years, transfer into more affluent schools and away from schools with high rates of poverty leaving less than 3-percent of the original TFA recruits where they were needed most—with the at-risk children.

In fact, I think TFA recruits might be a better source for substitute teachers in some states—but not Iowa where the substitutes must meet the same qualifications as a full time teacher—than that high school graduate in Alabama or the 90+ unit non-college graduate in California.

When I was a substitute teacher, I already had a BA degree in journalism and a teaching credential earned through a full-time residency program in my master teacher’s fifth grade classroom. When I walked in a classroom as a substitute—no matter where or what—I knew what had to be done. At the time, my California teaching credential was a life, multi-subject credential.

I think the time has come to bring this issue into the open. Dedicated, full-time substitute teachers deserve more support, respect, benefits and pay, because they are a vital link in a child’s education when the regular teacher is out sick or attending a district workshop or meeting.

If our elected representatives and the corporate-driven, fake, education reformers really cared about our children’s education more than profiting off tax dollars that were meant for the public schools, substitute teachers in every state would at least match the requirements found in Iowa, and be paid the same as a professional college graduate instead of poverty wages with no benefits.

_______________________

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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