Monday, January 30, 2012
"Pity the Billionaire": Thomas Frank on the "Unlikely Comeback of the Right" Ahead of Iowa Caucus
A couple of weeks old, but great interview on Democracy Now.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
“Silent” protestors with their mouths taped shut confronted Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and corporate education proponent Michelle Rhee as they entered a carefully promoted and controlled discussion about education issues at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St, in Sacramento on Wednesday, January 25.
Demonstrators held a news briefing with local media outlets. The Sacramento Bee did not cover the demonstration. This protests occurs as Wall Street corporations and foundations are funding not only the privatization of education. The protestors set up a ‘gauntlet” of protestors with their mouths taped shut –something Rhee admitted to doing to her noisy students when she was a teacher. She later said some of the students were hurt when they removed the tape.
The “Town Hall” organized by Rhee and Johnson gained positive press coverage on local news channels. They covered Rhee’s views and the advocacy group without describing her connections to right wing groups.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Alternet.org, January 24, 2012
by Dan Bacher
“Silent” protestors with their mouths taped shut – including those from Occupy Sacramento – will target Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and corporate education proponent Michelle Rhee as they hold a roundtable discussion about education issues at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St, in Sacramento on Wednesday, January 25.
Demonstrators will begin to gather at 5:15 p.m. and hold a news briefing. The demonstration occurs as Wall Street corporations and foundations are funding not only the privatization of education, but the privatization of the oceans through the Obama administration’s “catch shares” program and California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and the privatization of the state’s water resources through the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal.
The protestors are expected to set up a ‘gauntlet” of protestors with their mouths taped shut –
something Rhee admitted to doing to her noisy students when she was a teacher. She later said some of the students were hurt when they removed the tape.
“Rhee, disgraced former-chancellor of the Washington D.C. public schools and wife of Johnson, is the standard-bearer of corporate privateers, raising millions of dollars through her organization, StudentsFirst, from the likes of the Koch Bros and Rupert Murdoch to advance an agenda of union-busting, school vouchers and public school give-aways to private interests,” according to Kate Lenox, an organizer for the protest.
“The national headquarters of StudentsFirst happens to be located right here in Sacramento and will soon formally open its offices downtown on K Street above the Rite Aid store,” Lenox explained.
The Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education, Occupy and Sacramento teachers will participate in the protest. If you oppose the corporate privatization of education, please show up at this protest.
For more information, contact Kate Lenox, 916-201-0225, or Cres Vellucci, 916-996-9170.
“We need to say it's wrong, and if that doesn't work, engage in direct action, it's time to organize, demonstrate, and agitate…” ~ Diane Ravitch, in Sacramento 1/20/12
The Sacramento Bee has a promotion of Michelle Rhee this morning. Here are other viewpoints.
Diane Ravitch’s extraordinary visit to Sacramento on Friday, Jan. 20, left the 3000 people in attendance with a clear message of what those of us who care deeply about public education must do to stand up to and reject the privatization of our schools and the treatment of our children as commodities whose value is measured by “bubble tests.” Michelle Rhee, disgraced former-chancellor of the Washington D.C. public schools and wife of Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, is the standard-bearer of the privateers, raising millions of dollars through her organization, StudentsFirst, from the likes of the Koch Bros and Rupert Murdoch to advance an agenda of union-busting, school vouchers and public school give-aways to private interests. The national headquarters of StudentsFirst happens to be located right here in Sacramento. Lori Jablonski. Sacramento Teacher.
See prior posts on Ravitch.
Cosmo Garvin. Sacramento News and Review. Jan.19, 2012,
Bill Gates too is spreading the gospel of more testing and technology in the classroom. Even President Barack Obama is getting in on the school-reform act. He followed No Child Left Behind reforms with his own Race to the Top initiative, raising the stakes even higher for schools who lag on test scores.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Student debt has been a crippling force for a generation of recent graduates and those still in school. Year after year, students have seen the possibility of graduating without debt become less realistic as Congress continues to attack higher education by defunding programs like the Pell Grant by claiming “Debt” as the biggest problem for the Federal Government. For over a decade now, the burden has been passed on to students, which worsened the economic recession as young people struggled to find jobs and make payments on their loans, added to the housing bubble burst as young people were graduating with so much debt they couldn’t afford to take on mortgage payments and has played an instrumental role in the rise of credit card debt. While the government turns away from these college students and recent graduates, private lenders have rigged the student loans into a billion dollar industry – and now we’re demanding they pay their fair share to rebuilding the economy to make it one that works for all of us.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Saturday, January 21st
Home of the Campbells
2827 Catania Way, Sacramento 95826
Please join us for our first Progressive Alliance Organizing Meeting of the 2012 and help us plan our annual Progressive Forum at Sac State and other exciting progressive events in the New Year.
After 10 years of NCLB, we should have seen dramatic progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, but we have not. By now, we should be able to point to sharp reductions of the achievement gaps between children of different racial and ethnic groups and children from different income groups, but we cannot. As I said in a recent speech, many children continue to be left behind, and we know who those children are: They are the same children who were left behind 10 years ago.
In my travels over the past two years, I have seen the wreckage caused by NCLB. It has become the Death Star of American education. It is a law that inflicts damage on students, teachers, schools, and communities.
When I spoke at Stanford University, a teacher stood up in the question period and said: "I teach the lettuce-pickers' children in Salinas. They are closing our school because our scores are too low." She couldn't finish her question because she started crying.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
|Image via Wikipedia|
Brown- further commitment to austerity.
Jerry Brown gave his required State of the State address today, and committed himself to continuing budget cuts and austerity as an economic policy. The first problem is- austerity programs do not work !
The Governor continues his poorly informed, misguided austerity program which proposes to reduce the budgets through cut backs in services, reductions in public education, cuts to public employment, and reduction in public pensions.
Budget cutting to balance the budget will not get us out of this hole. Look at Ireland, Greece, or Spain or Michigan, Wisconsin, and Mississippi (each of these economies is smaller than California)? Budget cuts only start a downward spiral of pain. We can not simply cut our way out of the crisis, budget cuts and lay offs make the recession worse. We have witnessed this for the last two years.
The current budget crisis was caused by the real estate crisis, the sub prime loan crisis, and the national economic crisis. This crisis was created by finance capital and banking, mostly on Wall Street ,ie. Chase Banks, Bank of America, Washington Mutual, Country Wide, AIG, and others.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
|Leisa and the children at the |
Lamp for Haiti clinic in Cite Soleil.
So last night we raised a bit of Guiness at the Elephant Bar in relief. (“How can an elephant own a bar?” Luke wanted to know.) Then we toasted in the first night of the new school year. Tomorrow, after our second class, we catch a red-eye pointed toward Haiti.
We celebrate the almost $6,000 of support designated for Children’s Hope sponsored feeding programs in Haiti. (Thanks to Empty Bowls and the El Dorado Peace & Justice Community!) We celebrate the “Jam Cruise” shipping us 500 pairs of school shoes to Children’s Hope in Haiti. Thanks to “Positive Legacy” for taking on this project. (These shoes mean so much more than just shoes – school shoes can mean the chance at an education – a chance to change a life.) We celebrate our friend Marcorel who on one day’s notice agreed to drive twelve tortuous hours eating dust to pick up those shoes. We celebrate our Children’s Hope team members who regularly and quietly send the exact supplies and donations we need from as far away as Switzerland, and we dearly celebrate four year old Charlotte’s gathering her toys and asking her parents to send them to Haiti.
At the start of this new year, I raise my pen and pound my yellow pad in honor of those amazing folks who take on the twists and turns with grace and resolve. May they continue to have rich abundance – not of wealth – but of service and surprise.
We celebrate those like little Charlotte, who found ways to serve without money of their own, like the students at Sac State who sold wrist bands and bought new beds for Mabe Orphanage, like the woman who got her friends to commit to a small amount each month and ended up sending us several thousand condoms for distribution.
If you want to join the Children’s Hope team there are many ways to help out. If you'd like to make a monetary donation you can send a check to the address below or click on the "donate" button on our Haiti blog here: http://coalitionfordemocracyinhaiti.blogspot.com/
You can start a children’s vitamin drive at your soccer club or church. You can collect used graphing calculators for the future doctors in Haiti, cell phones for the women’s group leaders, or laptops for schools. You can get your fourth grade class to draw pictures of friendship and solidarity for the Sopudep School children in Port au Prince or for the disabled children up at Wings of Hope orphanage to put on their walls, as our friend Stacey did with her class recently. The need is great, the possibilities are endless, and every little bit helps.
We always find a next need. Right now, for example, we need to find $400 to pay for gas and a rented truck that can make the twelve hour trip on rutted roads for children’s shoes sake.
As Luke lugs in our worn-out duffle bags we wonder what Haiti has to teach us this time. On my last trip to Haiti in August, I stumbled onto folks who needed someone to distribute four cargo containers full of free medical supplies that had arrived in Haiti after their doctors had returned to the states (approximately $20,000 worth). I thought I was there to do work at the U.S. Embassy, instead I had the happy errand of meeting with Haitian women’s groups who facilitated the distribution of all these valuable supplies. What an experience it was for me to see these magnificent women pull together the security and networks necessary to get these supplies fairly spread to clinics and groups throughout the tent city. It was like magic. There were streams of women in place carrying bundles of diapers, cases of soap and bleach, boxes of first aid supplies and sanitary goods and more – mostly on their heads to a make-shift tent with a dirt floor. No bossing, no fighting, no theft. Just by the quiet order of women. Haiti has its lessons. Whatever it turns out to be this time, we’ll take it – ruts and bumps in the road and all.
You are part of the Children’s Hope team, even if you just share these journals with one friend. You never know where that may lead. Thousands of lives have been changed through this work. And after all, Marx once said, “the philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways…The point, however, is to change it.”
Peace, all ways and always, Leisa
Leisa Faulkner, Founder of Children’s Hope and Adjunct Professor of Sociology, University of the Pacific
Checks may be sent to:
Children’s Hope, 3025A Cambridge Road, Cameron Park, CA 95682