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MTA vs. Personalized Learning: “We Can Fight it.”

The Massachusetts Teachers Association overwhelmingly takes a stand against the for-profit attempt by autocratic-led corporations from taking over community-based, democratic, transparent, non-profit, traditional public education. This is a war between the corporate autocrats that worship at the altar of avarice and support secrecy in all things, and the U.S. Constitutional Republic and its democracy that safeguards the rest of the American people from the tyranny greed and power.

Save Maine Schools

This May, the Massachusetts Teacher Association (MTA) broke from national union leadership by taking a bold stance against “personalized learning” initiatives.

In an email to members, president of the MTA, Barbara Mandeloni, announced the union’s opposition to a public-private partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and LearnLaunch, whose mission is to “catalyze personalized learning enabled by technology in K-12 public education.” The partnership, known best by its acronym, MAPLE, was established with seed money from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, whose influence in New England is hard to overestimate.

The unprecedented move also calls for the creation of a web page to to combat the harmful effects of unvalidated ed tech products on students and to “defend teachers’ professional judgment and standards against interference by business interests.” It also issues a call for the MTA to update its 2016 report,Threat to…

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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Maurice Cunningham: Dark Money Combines to Privatize Public Schools: PLEASE READ THIS!

Dark money comes from the dark side of the soul and is a malignant stage-four cancer for a democracy.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This may be the most important post you read today.

Maurice Cunningham, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, began investigating the millions of dollars pouring into the state during the referendum on charter schools last fall. He wondered why so many billionaires from other states wanted to expand the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. He continued his investigation after the election and has lifted the curtain on groups like Families for Excellent Schools, Stand for Children, and Educators4Excellence, and Leadership for Educational Excellence (a group connected to TFA).

He began researching the intersection between philanthropy and dark money.

My descent into darkness led me to decipher the hidden funding of Families for Excellent Schools, a New York based organization that poured over $17 million in dark money into the Great Schools Massachusetts ballot committee for 2016’s Question 2 on charter schools. That brought me to…

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Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

In Her Element: US Ed Sec Betsy DeVos to be ALEC Guest Speaker

ALEC wants to be America’s autocratic shadow government. ALEC does not respect democracy.

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On June 06, 2017, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced that US secretary of education Betsy DeVos will an ALEC featured speaker at its Denver conference in July 2017:

  Betsy DeVos

ALEC is pleased to announce that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be joining us for our 44th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

“Secretary DeVos has been a stalwart champion of educational choice in the states, elevating the outcry over the status quo to the highest levels of government,” said Inez Stepman, Education and Workforce Development Task Force Director.

DeVos is serving as the 11th United States Secretary of Education. She was confirmed by the Senate on February 7, 2017. Secretary DeVos has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents.

DeVos served as an in-school mentor for at-risk children in the Grand Rapids, Michigan Public Schools for…

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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The 96 Billionaires Who Decided to Buy Local School Board Elections

Diane Ravitch's blog

In this latest episode of the “Have You Heard” podcast, Jennifer Berkshire and education historian Jack Schneider interview Michigan professor Rebecca Jacobsen about the role of big money in school board elections. Jacobsen has studied this relatively new phenomenon and identified 96 super-rich individuals who have decided that buying local school boards is fun. Others would call it the corruption of democracy.

Here is an excerpt:

For Big Money Donors, School Boards Are the New ‘Must Buy’ Accessory

“Billionaires now buying local influence to push controversial school “reforms.”

“The recent school board election in Los Angeles drew close to $17 million in donations, much of it in the form of untraceable “dark money” from a familiar cast of enormously wealthy donors. In the latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast, co-hosts Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider talk to researcher Rebecca Jacobsen about what—and who—is behind this trend, and…

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Posted by on June 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

National Education Association Seems to Endorse Replacing Teachers With Computers

National Education Association Seems to Endorse Replacing Teachers With Computers

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When all the teachers are gone, will America’s iPads pay union dues?

It’s a question educators across the country are beginning to ask after yet another move by our national unions that seems to undercut the profession they’re supposed to be supporting.

The National Education Association (NEA), the largest labor union in the U.S., published a shortsighted puff piece on its Website that seemingly applauds doing away with human beings working as teachers.

In their place would be computers, iPads, Web applications and a host of “devices” that at best would need human beings to serve as merely lightly trained facilitators while children are placed in front of endless screens.

The article is called, “As More Schools Look to Personalized Learning, Teaching May Be About to Change,” by Tim Walker.

Teacher-blogger Emily Talmage lead the charge with a counter article on her site called “Anatomy of…

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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

What Could Be More Democratic Than Pushing Vouchers for a Billionaire US Ed Sec?

To Besty DeVos, democracy is when she is the only one who gets what she wants all the time.

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US ed sec Betsy DeVos has one principal goal for American public education: Slice up its public funding and dispense it in the form of vouchers that can (and will) take that funding out of the public purview and into private school coffers.

DeVos’ voucher push has created a dynamic in which many pro-charter advocates feel that their slice of public money is threatened as it would enable their *choice* students to exit in favor of private schools.

Charter schools often refer to themselves as “public schools”; however, charter schools are often not held accountable to the public for the spending of that public money. Thus, charter schools are schools that receive public money, not public schools (i.e., operated by publicly-elected school boards).

Charter schools further enjoy the reality of not having to educate all students in a country in which states have compulsory education laws. The public schools are…

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Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The Network for Public Education: Our View on Charter Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

NPE Statement on Charter Schools

https://wp.me/p3bR9v-2st

The Network for Public Education believes that public education is the pillar of our democracy. We believe in the common school envisioned by Horace Mann. A common school is a public institution, which nurtures and teaches all who live within its boundaries, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexual preference or learning ability. All may enroll–regardless of when they seek to enter the school or where they were educated before.

We believe that taxpayers bear the responsibility for funding those schools and that funding should be ample and equitable to address the needs of the served community. We also believe that taxpayers have the right to examine how schools use tax dollars to educate children.

Most importantly, we believe that such schools should be accountable to the community they serve, and that community residents have the right and responsibility to elect those who govern the…

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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Uncategorized