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Education Budget Cuts, Collective Bargaining, Curriculum

May 05, 2011

McMillin : “We Made Tough Choice to Bring Excellence Back to Classrooms”

Comment 1

Anyone with a working long-term memory knows where this agenda to Starve Public Schools Out Of Existence is coming from.

Good thing there's web search for the rest of us —

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fTAhc4QC4
  2. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/04/972949/-Blackwater-In-Law-DeVos-outlines-stealth-plot-against-Public-Education
  3. http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/5/3/12515/58655/Front_Page/Strategy_for_Privatizing_Public_Schools_Spelled_out_by_Dick_DeVos_in_2002_Heritage_Foundation_Speech

Comment 2

If you are on Facebook, there are several groups who are tracking the corporate feudalism agenda of the ALEC, DeVos, Koch, Heritage Foundation, Mackinac Center axis. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  1. http://www.facebook.com/KochBrothers
  2. http://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced
  3. http://www.facebook.com/democracy.watchdog.action.network
  4. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Bill-Cronon/163419837045434

May 23, 2011

School Leaders Hoping for Update, Feedback During Forum Tonight

May 24, 2011

Marleau, McMillin Update School Audience on State Budget Cuts

May 31, 2011

McMillin Mentioned in CNN Blog About School Funding

June 07, 2011

Rochester Teachers to Demonstrate After School Today

Teachers Across Rochester Protest State Budget Cuts

May 23, 2011 — School Leaders Hoping For Update

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Patch -- School Leaders Hoping For Update

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School Leaders Hoping For Update, Feedback During Forum Tonight (May 23, 2011)

• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight

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Note 1

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Three recent stories on the push to privatize schools:

Virg Bernero on the GOP Agenda for Education

• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7vhjTiqpX0

The United Gates of America

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/22/978218/-The-United-Gates-of-America

Rupert Murdoch, “Education Software Provider”

• http://www.businessinsider.com/rupert-murdoch-news-corp-education-2012-presidential-campaign-2011-5

Anyone with a working long-term memory knows where this agenda to “Starve Public Schools Out Of Existence” came from.

Good thing there's web search for the rest of us —

Richard DeVos Advocates “Stealth” Strategy Against Public Education

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fTAhc4QC4

Blackwater In-Law DeVos Outlines “Stealth” Plot Against Public Education

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/04/972949/-Blackwater-In-Law-DeVos-outlines-stealth-plot-against-Public-Education

Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech

• http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/5/3/12515/58655/Front_Page/Strategy_for_Privatizing_Public_Schools_Spelled_out_by_Dick_DeVos_in_2002_Heritage_Foundation_Speech

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_770258

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Mr. Ranger,

People of good sense are not fooled by the Educational Voucher Con any more than they are fooled by the Medical Voucher Con. That is why they reject these scams time and time again when they come to a vote, and that is why the Privatization Axis keeps getting sneakier, stealthier, and more deceptive year after year.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_812103

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The Facebook page, “Wear Red For Public Ed”, collects news and opinion about the state of public education across the national scene:

• http://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_813225

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Mr. Reno,

You wrote, “It will be interesting to see what happens in Pennsylvania.”

I simply supplied an additional source of information and opinion about what is happening with public education on the national scene.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_813597

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Note 5

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In a related story …

Wealthy Families, Corporate-Backed Foundations Behind Push for School Vouchers

• http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2011/05/10778/wealthy-families-corporate-backed-foundations-behind-push-school-vouchers

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_813905

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Note 6

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Joshua Raymond wrote:

“I am not wealthy nor corporate-backed. As I mentioned in my post above, I just want options for gifted children who aren't having their needs met in Rochester Community Schools. The options suggested by some RCS employees have often been tuition-based schools which many parents, including me, cannot afford. Please suggest some options and not just another link.”

Mr. Raymond,

It may well be that every child is gifted in something — it might be art, or athletics, or astrophysics, or any one of a thousand other things. All the true teachers I have ever known were the sorts of persons who loved nothing better than seeing those gifts come to light. What constrains the administration and faculty of RCS from doing justice to all those gifts?

Do you think it's a lack of dedication or desire on the part of the administration and faculty? I personally doubt that.

Do you think it's that much ballyhooed austerity? I think that anyone watching the dollars in the air and where they are going will have to admit that austerity in general is one of the biggest of the Big Lies that we have seen in many decades.

Where private dollars go is determined by private interests — some of the links I shared are informative on that score.

Where public dollars go ought to be determined by the Public Will. Is that what we see happening in the current state of things?

That is the question that we ought to be asking here.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_815185

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Mr. Raymond,

I am not acquainted with a Public Will or a Philosophy of Education on the contemporary scene that promotes such attitudes toward the actualization of any human potential. There is simply no percentage in it, either for the individual or for society. The fact that some people feel that way does not elevate the attitude to the level of Public Will. The constraints on tailoring education to diverse individuals come from other considerations than the best educational philosophy and practice.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_815459

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Note 8

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What can I say?

Keep bashing your teachers. Keep listening to con men. Keep cutting funds to public education and expecting to get high quality education as a result.

Welcome to Michissippi !

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_816212

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Note 9

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Here is a post from the Facebook page of the Ferris Faculty Association:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferris-Faculty-Association/146689847768

“We all know the struggles public schools face with declining per pupil funding. We have seen Governor Snyder's plan for the future. The following link is a fund raiser trailer for Greenhills, the school Snyder has his daughter enrolled in. They're fund raising because $20,000 per year per student is not enough to properly educate a child. This trailer shows what Snyder wants in a school for *his* children.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAfBHj9Lc8E

I'm guessing the Governor does not have a clue how to go about creating a high quality educational environment for all of Michigan's children, but the above information tells us that he does know where to get a few clues about the components of a quality education and how much it costs to achieve it. And one thing we know for sure is that he's not getting those clues from his bean-counter corporate buddies who are dictating their wish list of laws to the Legislature in Lansing.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_817410

http://shelby-utica.patch.com/articles/ucs-teachers-to-protest-education-cuts-today#comment_859798

http://ferndale.patch.com/articles/teachers-picket-state-cuts-at-woodward-and-nine-mile#comment_862203

http://shelby-utica.patch.com/articles/viewfinder-ucs-teachers-protest-education-cuts-today#comment_862208

http://birmingham.patch.com/articles/teachers-protest-at-schools-to-educate-parents-on-proposed-cuts#comment_862238

http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/articles/call-to-action-teachers-appeal-to-parents-as-statewide-cuts-to-education-loom#comment_862288

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/teachers-across-rochester-protest-state-budget-cuts#comment_862422

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Note 10

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Mr. Reno,

What I oppose is those who would destroy our longstanding system of universal free public education. That system of education is one of the foundations of a successful democracy, and I believe that a democratic form of government is essential to any society that hopes to survive and even, with grace and luck, thrive in a complex world. There have been other fits and starts toward democracy that failed for the lack of well distributed education and information among the people who would rule. I will do what I can to weigh against destroying that system of education.

I did not invent the fact that others are pushing for a different route, the route of total corporate privatization of the entire public sector, including public education as one subsidiary of their intended incorporation. The pushers of privatization have stated their goals. They have numbered vouchers among their methods. They have been weighing heavily and steadily for what they want with all their wealth and all the power they can muster. And they have been doing all that for a long time now.

The only thing that has changed this time around is that their tactics have become more deceptive, less open and less forthright.

I oppose that deception, and so should you.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_818343

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Note 11

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Mr. Reno,

You are using the word “monopoly” in a very curious fashion that I have only recently heard. I cannot tell if your intention is supposed to be ironic or not.

Yes, all forms of government might be said to maintain a “monopoly” over those functions and institutions that are considered essential to their public purview. Now and again we see stories in the news of people who chafe against Uncle Sam's monopoly on the printing of money, and there was indeed a time in our history before that irritating but apparently necessary regulation on commerce was imposed. Oh well, at least they left us our coupons.

Perhaps you honestly do not know what a true monopoly is, or what a private corporate monopoly of our nation's educational system would look like.

I pray that we do not find out.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_818571

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Note 12

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Well, it took a bit of work to drag the truth out into the open, but at least we have established the fact that some people really do still believe in vouchers.

That is a kind of progress …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_818919

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Note 13

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Mr. Meta-Reformer,

I confess that I sometimes get frustrated with the opinions that I read from a certain contingent on this blog. But then I stop and remind myself of all that I learned about biased samples in my years of statistical consulting. That tells me that the views expressed by these folks cannot possibly be representative of the community as a whole — or else there would be no teachers at all working in the local schools.

So buck up, there is hope yet …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_821675

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Note 14

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(Oops, hit the wrong button … Reposting the above)

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_821704

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So It Was You !

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_821730

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Note 15

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Cheesy?

Let the record show that Ms. T brought Wisconsin into this.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_821962

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Linda Darling-Hammond • “The Service of Democratic Education”
• http://www.thenation.com/article/160850/service-democratic-education

<quote>
Precisely 100 years ago, nationally distributed tests of arithmetic, handwriting and English were put into use. Their results were used to compare students, teachers and schools; to report to the public; and even to award merit pay — a short-lived innovation due to the many problems it caused.

In the view of these brilliant managerial engineers, professionally trained teachers were considered troublesome, because they had their own ideas about education and frequently didn’t go along meekly with the plan.

As one such teacher wrote in “The American Teacher” in 1912:

We have yielded to the arrogance of “big business men” and have accepted their criteria of efficiency at their own valuation, without question. We have consented to measure the results of educational efforts in terms of price and product — the terms that prevail in the factory and the department store. But education, since it deals in the first place with human organisms, and in the second place with individualities, is not analogous to a standardizable manufacturing process. Education must measure its efficiency not in terms of so many promotions per dollar of expenditure, nor even in terms of so many student-hours per dollar of salary; it must measure its efficiency in terms of increased humanism, increased power to do, increased capacity to appreciate.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_822342

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Mike,

I am (he computes) 62 years old. My first experience with educational reform was when I had to help my little brothers and sisters with “The New Math” while I was still being trained on “The Old Track”. So I got to see the clouds of chalk-dust from both sides at the very outset. My high school and undergrad years were filled with curricular reforms going under a parade of Acronyms and Isms that I don't even want to try and remember. I have lost count of all the Crusades and Movements and Programmes and Revolutions and Reformations that I have survived since then.

There are no simple answers. Some things can be quantified, some things cannot. Reality demands competence and creativity, exactness and humanity. I do not know how we are judged in the end, but we learn to be whole human beings by interacting with other whole human beings, and there is no escaping that in the meantime.

I have known enough teachers to know that none of them ever goes into teaching to make the Big Bucks or to have an easy life. They all, so far as I know, start out with some hint of a calling, a true love of teaching, and trying the best they can. If they get ground into the dust somewhere along the way, that is a human tragedy, both for them and their charges, but there are forces beyond any isolated person's control, and it would be a gain for society if we inquired into what those are.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_822745

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Diane Ravitch • “Waiting for a School Miracle”

• http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/opinion/01ravitch.html

“Be skeptical of stories of rapid educational transformation.”

<quote>
Educators know that 100 percent proficiency is impossible, given the enormous variation among students and the impact of family income on academic performance. Nevertheless, some politicians believe that the right combination of incentives and punishments will produce dramatic improvement. Anyone who objects to this utopian mandate, they maintain, is just making an excuse for low expectations and bad teachers.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_824060

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Just sharing a tidbit from my daily newsfeed, as I do run across a lot of random readings that I find slightly more interesting and always a lot more coherent than my own rambling thought process.

I dimly remember reading a little of what Ravitch was saying in the early 1990s, I think when she was doing her bit for Bush 1.0.  That was probably tangential to my reading in the literature on Critical Thinking, and I don't remember thinking too highly of her point of view in those days.  It's only recently that I have run across her latest Op-Ed pieces, and she strikes me as that rare breed of person who is capable of changing her theories in response to the data of experience.  I always find thinkers like that worth another thought.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_824284

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I think the word is in the public domain. That is actually the very word I always use to describe off-topic posts in the Wikipedia Review meta-discussion forum that I occasionally moderate. And believe you me, the people there are very tangential.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_824472

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Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”
http://www.educationreport.org/15050

<quote>
The Michigan Legislature should consider privatization in order to correct the state’s overspending crisis, a Center expert told the Lansing State Journal.

“There are all sorts of areas that the state should consider privatization,” Fiscal Policy Analyst James Hohman said. “You have to monitor everything to make sure you’re getting the value for the money. It’s not just a blanket privatization arrangement that will work for the state.”

Michigan’s public schools have found increasing success with privatization of noninstructional services over the last decade. Mike LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, recently wrote about privatization in the Michigan prison system.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_825421

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Lansing State Journal
“Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

<quote>
Once a buzzword in Michigan state government in the 1990s, privatization now is coming back in a big way.

Touting his goal of reinventing government, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed privatizing prison food and store services, dairy farm and plant nursery inspections and resident care in two veterans homes to bring state costs under control.

A far more sweeping measure would privatize the processing of Medicaid and day care aid applications in the state Department of Human Services, which union officials say would lead to layoffs of several hundred state workers. That measure, proposed by Republicans, has been passed by the Senate and now must be reconciled with the House budget.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_825489

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The Governor and his Privateers are starving the Public Sector in Michigan out of existence for a reason, so that private corporations can complete their hostile takeover of all public services. They stopped being content with tax abatements, bailouts, bribes, incentives, kickbacks, and worker concessions a long time ago — they want nothing less than the automatic funneling of tax dollars directly into their private corporate bankrolls without the annoying interference of all us pesky commoners.

Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”

• http://www.educationreport.org/15050

Lansing State Journal • “Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”

• http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_825943

http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/articles/local-teachers-to-join-in-statewide-school-protests#comment_860052

http://birmingham.patch.com/articles/school-board-considers-changing-board-policies-to-address-66-million-budget-deficit#comment_860788

http://shelby-utica.patch.com/articles/ucs-teachers-to-protest-education-cuts-today#comment_860882

http://grossepointe.patch.com/articles/grosse-pointe-teachers-inform-parents-of-snyders-plans#comment_863210

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Democracy Demands Universal Free Public Education

The purpose of universal free public education is to promote the general welfare. In order to do that governments must (1) insure equal opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, (2) provide all citizens with enough education that the Republic as a whole has the best chance of surviving and prospering, and (3) enable citizens to exercise their civic rights and responsibilities with the information, the knowledge, and the faculties of reason that it takes to do so with the best chance of success.

Education is not a private commodity. Education is not a personal luxury. Education is a necessity of life in a democracy — if we intend to secure that democracy for ourselves and our posterity.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_831233

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In a democracy the state is just people.
Just people will constitute a just state.

TGIF !

TUFSO ! (Thank Unions For Saturdays Off)

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_837529

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Being a realist I believe that ideas are controlled by reality. The way that reality controls ideas is complex and subtle, but the end result of the control process is just one of two things. Ideas that represent reality will live, ideas that do not will die.

Enough about disembodied ideas.

What educators really care about is the body of ideas that lives in the hearts and minds of a given people, in other words, the culture of a given society.

A culture that represents reality, a people who make reality their friend — that culture and people will live. A culture that fails to represent reality, a people who make reality their enemy — that culture and people will die.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_837832

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Re: “Democracy Demands Universal Free Public Education”

Mr. Raymond,

The word “Universal” here is shorthand for the idea that Free Public Education must be co-extensive with the class of people who are learning to function as citizens in a democratic society. When you really think about it, that may be an example of Lifelong Learning, but that doesn't conflict with the fact that some lessons are more basic than others. You'll get no argument from me about the value of diversity, at least, in the play of ideas that we contemplate. But the survival of a society or a species depends on realizing that reality will sort out the People and the Creatures who don't take fact-finding seriously.

And when it comes to choosing what ideas to bet our lives on, we have to “Consider The Source”.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_846126

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Ms. Junker,

Thanks for reminding us of what should be obvious.

The pushers of privatization are spending a whole lot of money on advertising, lobbying, and phoney grassroots campaigns to divert us from the obvious. They don't spend that money without expecting to leverage a whole lot of money in return, because that is what private interests do.

The pushers of privatization are spending a whole lot of money telling us that we are living in a time of austerity. We're not supposed to notice the excess cash they have to spend on telling us there is no money.

Another couple of things that ought to be obvious:

1. Private corporations and public services operate on fundamentally different principles.

2. Private corporations and public services are manged to serve radically different ends.

Private corporations, goods, and interests have their place in serving a democratic society, a society where every citizen has an equal voice in deciding the direction of the public will. But private corporations, goods, and interests can never be allowed to become the masters of a Free, Equal, and Democratic People.

That ought to be as obvious now as it was in 1776.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_859656

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Note 29

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Snyder and his “Run It Like A Chinese Computer Company” cronies like to make a lot of noise about “Accountability” and “Transparency”, but those are just Big Bizness Buzzwords that Big Bizness Buzzards like to foist on everyone but themselves.

The fact is that vouchers are a pipeline for draining public funds into private schools, and once the money goes there the public abandons almost all the accountability and transparency that it expects and demands to exercise over its public schools. There is not much the public can do but wait for some outrageous scandal to break before the courts will give them leave to beg pretty please where the money went.

That is what the word “Private” means.

Given the exorbitant means at their disposal, private corporations have been very successful at protecting what they claim to be their “Right to Privacy” and their “Trade Secrets”,  even from the most ordinary forms of public eyeballing.  Indeed, the late-blooming idiocy of “corporate personhood” is threatening to give private corporations vastly more rights to privacy than any of us mere mortals could afford to defend.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_862825

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Note 30

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Here's a good article on the ongoing program by ALEC, DeVos, Koch, et al. to destroy public education:

Jim Hightower • “Billionaires' Front Groups Attack Workers, Public Schools, and Young Voters”

• http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2680

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_872726

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Note 31

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This just in …

ALEC | Publicopoly

• http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=publicopoly

At least they are starting to be a little more blatant about *some* of their agenda …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_878716

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Note 32

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Thank You West Bloomfield Teachers For Stepping Up To Put Kids And Communities First !

We'll be sure to remember your Self-Sacrificing Public Spirit next year when the Sacrifice-Sharing State comes back again for more cuts and concessions in its annual round-up of Sacrificial Goats.

Well, some of us will …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_880569

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Note 33

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Here's a good update on some of the things that educators, parent activists, and others will be doing over the Summer to protect our system of democratic education from hostile takeover by corporations, ideologues, and other private interests.

Frustrated Educators Aim To Build Grassroots Movement

• http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/15/35activists_ep.h30.html

<quote>
Thousands of educators, parent activists, and others are expected to convene in the heat and humidity of Washington next month for a march protesting the current thrust of education policy in the United States, especially the strong emphasis on test-based accountability.

Organizers say the effort aims to galvanize and give voice to those who believe policymakers, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and state governors, have gone astray in their remedies for improving American schools.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_902617

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Note 34

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Oh Noes !!! More Homework !!!

Michael T. Martin • “Waiting For SuperFraud”
http://ksdcitizens.org/2010/12/22/waiting-for-superfraud/

<quote>
Public schools have to fail. There is no alternative. So give up trying to argue otherwise with facts and logic.

The mockumentary Waiting For Superman made this clear. Funded by millionaires, the movie told the story of some privatized schools in Harlem portrayed as saviors of children otherwise condemned to public schools. Privatized schools mostly funded by hedge fund millionaires on Wall Street. They spent two million dollars to promote the film nationally. Another major film titled “The Lottery” told a similar tale: children in Harlem desperate to escape public schools. Funded by more millionaires.

State Senator Bill Perkins, who represents the people of Harlem, tried to put profit restrictions on these privatized schools. So the millionaires spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to run an opponent against him in the November, 2010, election. The people of Harlem voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Perkins.

One of the supposed heroes in the mockumentary was Michele Rhee, the caustic head of Washington, D.C., schools. She subsequently was the focus of the November, 2010, mayor’s election in D.C., campaigning for the existing mayor who appointed her, promising to resign if he lost. The people of D.C. voted him and her out.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_903258

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Note 35

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Re: http://www.socialistalternative.org/publications/education/

Thanks for the reading. It's past my bedtime now, but I bookmarked it for tomorrow.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_903457

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Note 36

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Here's a few updates on the ALEC-MCPP Front that just came out:

The Michigan Citizen • “ACLU Probes EM Law’s Origins”

• http://michigancitizen.com/aclu-probes-em-laws-origins-p9713-1.htm

Daily Kos • “Exposing ALEC — June Update On ALEC Activities, Articles, And Links”

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/09/983573/-Exposing-ALECJune-Update-on-ALEC-Activities,-Articles-and-Links

Huff Post • “Parent ‘Trigger Law’ In New York Would Allow Parents To Fire Teachers, Principals”

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/14/parent-trigger-law_n_876863.html

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_904581

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Note 37

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The first step toward any real solution is — Recall Governor Rick Snyder.

• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Recall-Governor-Rick-Snyder/113418962065885
• http://www.firericksnyder.org/community/all-events-list
• http://www.firericksnyder.org/

Only then can our communities begin to repair the damage that he and his pet legislators have already done to our public education system and our democracy in Michigan.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_904732

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Note 38

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Mr. Reno,

You're welcome to the information.  Those links were partly in follow-up to questions about specific examples of ALEC's so-called “model legislation” — what various other people have been calling “boilerplate bills”, “cookie cutter laws”, “copycat acts”, “cut-&-paste legislation”, “ghost-written bills”, and even “Mad-Lib Laws”.

You may have noticed what happens if you attempt to read any of the specific titles on ALEC's Model Legislation Pages, for instance, the Education Page:

• http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Education

What you get, well, what I get, is this message:

❝ 
The page you have attempted to access is restricted to our members.
If you are an existing member, please log in to gain access to the protected areas of our site.
You are not currently logged in, please click here to do so.
❞

That naturally makes it very difficult for We the Peons to find out what kind of Hob-Nobbing our elected representatives are carrying on with the agents of this corporate ideology group.

Tanks, But No Thinks — maybe some people are copacetic with that, but lots and lots of us peasants think it's revolting.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_905195

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Note 39

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“The Chickens Are Revolting”

Another one of my all-time favorite movies …

• http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120630/

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight#comment_905412

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May 24, 2011 — Marleau, McMillin Update School Audience

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Patch -- Marleau, McMillin Update School Audience

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Marleau, McMillin Update School Audience on State Budget Cuts (May 24, 2011)

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools

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Note 1

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Here's a good article on the ongoing program by ALEC, DeVos, Koch, et al. to destroy public education:

Jim Hightower • “Billionaires' Front Groups Attack Workers, Public Schools, and Young Voters”

• http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2680

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools#comment_875001

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Note 2

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You can link a horse to whatever, but you can't make him think.

Thass okay, I'll keep trying …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools#comment_876817

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Note 3

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Thank You West Bloomfield Teachers For Stepping Up To Put Kids And Communities First !

We'll be sure to remember your Self-Sacrificing Public Spirit next year when the Sacrifice-Sharing State comes back again for more cuts and concessions in its annual round-up of Sacrificial Goats.

Well, some of us will …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools#comment_880548

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Note 4

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Thank You Walled Lake Teachers For Stepping Up To Put Kids And Communities First !

We'll be sure to remember your Self-Sacrificing Public Spirit next year when the Sacrifice-Sharing State comes back again for more cuts and concessions in its annual round-up of Sacrificial Goats.

Well, some of us will …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools#comment_880550

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Note 5

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ALEC's Restaurant

More information is coming to light about the move by ALEC, DeVos, Koch, the Mackinac Center, and related entities to co-opt our elected officials into serving their corporate ends, namely, to privatize not only public education, but all current public services, indeed, our very government itself.

Here is an article that came out today:

Amanda Terkel • “Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles In Wisconsin”
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/privatization-wisconsin_n_873871.html

<quote>
The American Legislative Exchange Council is one of the groups most actively advocating privatization nationwide. It has 2500 legislative members, which is about a third of all state lawmakers around the country. One of its most valuable functions is crafting model legislation that lawmakers can then use to propose real bills in their own states. In the past few years, ALEC-inspired legislation has been popping up with increased frequency around the country.

The group just launched “Publicopoly”, a Monopoly-like board game as part of an “initiative to provide solutions for a more effective, efficient government, and a thriving economy”. Visitors to Publicopoly are able to learn about privatizing seven sectors: government operations, education, transportation and infrastructure, public safety, environment, health, and telecommunications.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools#comment_915272

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Note 6

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There are now several sites where readers can begin getting up to speed on the “starve and supplant” tactics that the ALEC Axis is bringing to bear on several States at once. Here's 3 for starters:

Democracy Watchdog Action Network
• https://www.facebook.com/democracy.watchdog.action.network

Wear Red For Public Ed
• https://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Support Bill Cronon
• https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Bill-Cronon/163419837045434

Bill Cronon is a distinguished history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

Related tags at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/news/ALEC

• http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC

Current updates at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/09/983573/-Exposing-ALECJune-Update-on-ALEC-Activities,-Articles-and-Links

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/15/985433/-EXPOSING-ALEC2nd-Update-with-important-news-and-links

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools#comment_915291

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May 31, 2011 — McMillin Mentioned In CNN Blog

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Patch -- McMillin Mentioned in CNN Blog

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McMillin Mentioned in CNN Blog About School Funding
• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding

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Note 1

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There's irony and then there's double irony.

The second irony is that the Party of ALEC has the same plans for privatizing corrections as they have for privatizing education.

At least it will make the transition easier for those among the poor peon population who are unlucky enough to fall into either institution.

In related stories …

Snyder Seeks Massive Concessions From Prison Workers
• http://michiganmessenger.com/49044/snyder-seeks-massive-concessions-from-prison-workers

Two U.S. Judges Plead Guilty To Selling Children To Private Prisons
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4q7p3ME95E

Pennsylvania Judge Convicted in Alleged “Kids for Cash” Scheme
• http://abcnews.go.com/US/mark-ciavarella-pa-juvenile-court-judge-convicted-alleged/story?id=12965182

Related tags at the Daily Kos —
• http://www.dailykos.com/news/ALEC
• http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC
• http://www.dailykos.com/news/inmate%20labor
• http://www.dailykos.com/news/prison%20labor

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_818129

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Note 2

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“Scarce educational dollars” were made scarce by decisions in Lansing.

They were made scarce by the fact that the Governerd and the Republican-controlled Legislature decided to slush the available funds in other directions.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_818129

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Note 3

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The Governor and his Privateers are starving the Public Sector in Michigan out of existence for a reason, so that private corporations can complete their hostile takeover of all public services. They stopped being content with tax abatements, bailouts, bribes, incentives, kickbacks, and worker concessions a long time ago — they want nothing less than the automatic funneling of tax dollars directly into their private corporate bankrolls without the annoying interference of all you pesky peasants.

Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”
• http://www.educationreport.org/15050

Lansing State Journal • “Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”
• http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_825815

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Note 4

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Mr. Ray,

I'm not sure what you are saying, but I'll take a few guesses and maybe we can clarify the issue over a few exchanges.

I don't think people of good sense are saying that privately funded education at any level is a bad thing.  That would be kind of silly.  In reality, there are probably only a few cases of schools and universities that are funded purely from private sources or purely from tax dollars, especially if you look into scholarship foundation monies.

The basic principle is this — Public Funds, taxpayer dollars managed by Constitution-Fearing government entities, are accountable to the constituents of those governments, by whose general consent they maintain their sole legitimacy.  That is a very different sort of accounting system from the kind that we find in privately-owned corporations.  There are Federal and State constitutional constraints on how those funds can be spent, if they are spent legitimately.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_826434

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Note 5

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I have been following this and several related discussions on the Rochester Patch:

Marleau, McMillin Update School Audience on State Budget Cuts (May 24, 2011)
• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/marleau-mcmillin-and-mull-speak-about-funding-cuts-to-rochester-community-schools

School Leaders Hoping for Update, Feedback During Forum Tonight (May 23, 2011)
• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/school-leaders-hoping-for-updates-feedback-and-solutions-during-budget-forum-tonight

McMillin: 'We Made Tough Choice to Bring Excellence Back to Classrooms' (May 5, 2011)
• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-we-made-tough-choice-to-bring-excellence-back-to-classrooms

What I hear a lot in these discussions is that parents are focused on their own kids' education, which is a good thing. But con artists bent on destroying our system of universal free public education exploit that focus, turn it into a fixation on the false idea that taxes are something they pay for their kids only, and blind them to the fact that education is a public good that people with no school-age kids or even any kids at all pay to support. This is part of a long-running campaign by private corporations, their corporate-owned media, and their corporate-owned politicians to erase the very idea of the public good from the People's minds. And they have been spending all the Big Bucks they can muster to do it. Why? I'm guessing you can tell by the dollar signs in their eyes.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_847714

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Note 6

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Janet,

I don't see any conflict between the Public supporting the Public Good, which is why we have public-funded education in the first place, and the good of our local public schools.

I do see a conflict between a number of private interests that seek to destroy universal free public education and replace it with a kind of Toll Education, something parents will have to pay for child-by-child and minute-by-minute like their phone bills, with arm-&-a-leg roaming charges and no roll-over.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_847999

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Note 7

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On Private Truths —

Fight Brews Over Sarah Palin On Paul Revere Wikipedia Page
• http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/sarah-palin-fans-fight-over-paul-revere-wikipedia-page/2011/06/06/AGxtzHKH_blog.html#pagebreak

<quote>
Supporters of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin have taken to Wikipedia, where they have been trying all weekend to revise the page on Paul Revere to reflect her recent comments.
</quote>

Is it 1984 already?

Where the truth about Paul Revere depends on whether you went to a TEA Party School or Yer Average Party School, and what side has the most Astroturfers and Sockpuppets this week.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_849029

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Note 8

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Mr. Raymond,

I'm guessing that's a joke, since the proverbial People Of Good Sense do not blame teachers for *everything* that a child fails to learn, and I'm sure that no respectable school, public or private, would assume responsibility for the strange ideas that pass between some people's ears, not to mention across their lips into public spaces.

Like they say —

“People are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.”

Governments derive their right to levy taxes on the condition that those taxes support the Public Good.  People want their taxes to be limited, so the amount of Public Good that can be achieved is also limited, more and more lately to the barest essentials that it takes prospective citizens to perform their role as citizens.  The People's contribution to the Public Good can be greater if the People will it to be so.

There are times when it takes a rather large effort to communicate the Will of the People to the people who are charged to represent that will.

This looks like one of those times.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_850545

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Note 9

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Mr. Raymond,

Anyone who knows the history of our current funding model for education knows that it has nothing to do with any philosophy of education that teachers prefer to practice under, much less Government Mind Control. It arose from the natural desire of parents to exercise local control over the quality of education in their areas.

When I first came to Michigan in the 1960s, many of the less well off districts actually did quite well with their education funding because they had businesses and industries that still paid property taxes — as opposed to seeking tax abatements on the threat of moving to China or Mexico or wherever — and the general population always passed millages adequate to the task. There was in addition a lot more money coming from the Federal level. The purse strings have shifted a bit since then, but people still want the power that came with them. That appears to be creating some tensions.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_850797

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Note 10

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Mr. Agenda,

The problem is that the Party of ALEC, DeVos, Koch, and the Mackinac Center has deliberately designed this very type of Shlock & Awe Shucks Blitzkrieg for the use of hired guns like Rick Snyder (MI), Scott Walker (WI), John Kasich (OH), Rick Scott (FL), Paul LePage (ME), Tom Corbett (PA), Chris Christie (NJ), and their entire misbegotten Hole-in-the-Head gang. There is nothing about these drive-by shootings that requires the perpetrators to stick around after the damage is done, but it will take every bit of work decent citizens can muster to repair the ruins of our States after they are gone.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/mcmillin-mentioned-in-cnn-blog-about-school-funding#comment_858153

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Jun 07, 2011 — Rochester Teachers To Demonstrate

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Patch -- Rochester Teachers To Demonstrate

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Rochester Teachers To Demonstrate After School Today (June 7, 2011)

• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today

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Note 1

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In other news …

ACLU Calls for Department of Justice to Investigate Wisconsin’s Discriminatory School Voucher Program

• http://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/aclu-calls-department-justice-investigate-wisconsins-discriminatory-school-voucher

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_855105

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Note 2

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Academic freedom, collective bargaining, peer review, and tenure are crucial to the life and vitality of a profession where character, citizenship, critical thinking, ideas, inquiry, and reason are the essence of the teaching. The profession had to fight for those values before, and it will have to do so again.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_856938

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Note 3

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Mr./Ms. Legislature,

Here is the story from The Rochester Citizen that went with the clip you posted:

“Copy and Paste Legislator” Tries To Disavow Legislation He Sponsored

• http://therochestercitizen.com/copy-and-paste-legislator-tries-to-disavow-legislation-he-sponsored-p568-1.htm

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_858949

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Note 4

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Here's a good article on the ongoing program by ALEC, DeVos, Koch, et al. to destroy public education:

Jim Hightower • “Billionaires' Front Groups Attack Workers, Public Schools, and Young Voters”

• http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2680

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_872614

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Note 5

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Mr. Lennon,

The official ALEC website has sections that are public and sections that only registered members — corporate sponsors (who pay a lot) and legislators (who pay a token fee) — can read.  There are also lots of PDF brochures that anyone can download to get a hint of their agenda.

There are many sites on the open web and Facebook that are collecting and indexing the available data.  I'll go dig up the web links that I haven't used in a while, but here's a couple of handy Facebook pages that I have on the tip of my browser:

Democracy Watchdog Action Network

• http://www.facebook.com/democracy.watchdog.action.network

Support Bill Cronon

• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Bill-Cronon/163419837045434

Bill Cronon is a history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

There exists already a rather large and gangly mass of information to wade through by yourself, but the folks who manage or frequent those pages should be able to tell you what they know about any specific questions you might have.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_875250

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Note 6

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Re: Groundhog Day

One of my all-time favorite movies !

As I recall — if you'll excuse the expression — it was about a guy who didn't care about much of anything at all, except maybe himself, but after many, many, many tries he finally learned to care about others.

Speaking of teaching, there's a lesson in that …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_875399

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Note 7

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Mr. Reno,

That was an article from a local paper about our local representative.  But one of the main things that my teachers in systems taught me was to look at the big picture, the whole system, and to keep my eyes on the prize, the main objective of our collective endeavors.  So I make no apology for discussing the local situation in its broader context.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_876020

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Note 8

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Mr. Lennon,

Here is a link to a Facebook page that gives a list of Michigan Legislators and Elected Officials who are known to be past or present members of ALEC:

• http://www.facebook.com/notes/democracy-watchdog-action-network/michigan-elected-officialslegislators-known-alec-members-past-present/147992228604238

If read any of ALEC's own pages, you will see that they refer to their boilerplate bills as “templates”.  I think that speaks for itself.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_876049

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Note 9

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Mr./Ms. Unbelievable Acts of Our Legislature,

Thanks for posting that video clip of Representative McMillin's town hall meeting. I followed the links from YouTube back to the story from The Rochester Citizen that went with it, and here it is:

“Copy and Paste Legislator” Tries To Disavow Legislation He Sponsored

• http://therochestercitizen.com/copy-and-paste-legislator-tries-to-disavow-legislation-he-sponsored-p568-1.htm

The questions raised by several citizens at this town hall meeting, along with others that I have attended, seen clips of, or read reports of, are very pertinent to the community discussion on this and other threads, on this and other sites, even if we do not have all the answers to those questions yet. That is why we must keep looking for the answers.

Those are questions of who writes our laws, and who they copy their homework from, so to speak. Our representatives are elected to represent our concerns, our interests, our voice, our very will to the Legislature. That is their job, and we have the right to hold them accountable. In that representation each of us has an equal voice, an equal vote — we live by the rule of one citizen one vote, not one dollar one vote — and we have the right to demand respect for that rule.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_878603

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Note 10

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Thank You West Bloomfield Teachers For Stepping Up To Put Kids And Communities First !

We'll be sure to remember your Self-Sacrificing Public Spirit next year when the Sacrifice-Sharing State comes back again for more cuts and concessions in its annual round-up of Sacrificial Goats.

Well, some of us will …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_880485

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Note 11

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Thank You Walled Lake Teachers For Stepping Up To Put Kids And Communities First !

We'll be sure to remember your Self-Sacrificing Public Spirit next year when the Sacrifice-Sharing State comes back again for more cuts and concessions in its annual round-up of Sacrificial Goats.

Well, some of us will …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_880498

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Note 12

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Ms. T,

I get the feeling that you don't actually know many teachers and also that you don't actually know many people who happen to belong to unions.  Oh sure, some of your best friends probably fall into those categories, but I can vouch for the fact, if you'll excuse the expression, that your overall picture of such people is far too warped to be based on a wide experience.

I also get the feeling that you don't know much about the history of academic freedom and why things like peer review and tenure are essential factors in maintaining that.

Finally, I get the sense that you don't know much about the history of unions and the struggles for the rights of workers in general.

That's okay, everyone doesn't know much about something or other.  That's what we have education for, and, yes, it's a lifelong endeavor for everyone.

But it's finally cool outside, and my roses are dying, literally, for long overdue attention.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_883570

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Note 13

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“Public Education is a Monopoly”

“Public Education is Totalitarianism”

“Your Local Police Force is a Monopoly”

“Your Department of Corrections is a Monopoly”

“{{Insert Your Favorite Public Institution Here}} is a Monopoly”

“Asking your elected representative to account for his contact with lobbyists is McCarthyism”

We've been hearing those comedy routines so often lately from certain players that I'm beginning to suspect they all come straight out of the same script. They are, of course, the sheerest nonsense.

(Patchbot says my comment is too long.  I will break it here and continue below.)

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_885840

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Note 14

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Let's examine the last of those howlers on our stage.

We must respect the offices of our public servants. Those offices are the vehicles of sacred duties, and that is true whether or not the people holding those offices are fully cognizant of their real obligations or not. At any rate, the public office-holders work for us.  When the offices are those of our elected representatives, their job is to represent our concerns and our interests to the Legislature, not to act as PR agents for the interests of some corporation in Kansas or the wildest dreams of some crypto-lobby in Washington.

So don't be fooled by that McCarthyism dodge.

No one is calling some Hollywood producer on the carpet for the alleged “pinkness” of his last film.  That is what Joe McCarthy did — and that was not his right.

What we can do is call our employees to account for the quality of their job performances, including how and where they spend their time while supposedly working on our clock and payroll.  That is all anyone is doing here — and that is our right.

They call that “accountability”, “responsibility”, or “transparency”, and they say it's good thing.  I would have to agree, but only when it's a two-way street.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-teachers-to-demonstrate-after-school-today#comment_885846

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Jun 07, 2011 — Teachers Across Rochester Protest

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Patch -- Teachers Across Rochester Protest

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Teachers Across Rochester Protest State Budget Cuts (07 Jun 2011)

• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/teachers-across-rochester-protest-state-budget-cuts

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Note 1

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The Governor and his Privateers are starving the Public Sector in Michigan out of existence for a reason, so that private corporations can complete their hostile takeover of all public services. They stopped being content with tax abatements, bailouts, bribes, incentives, kickbacks, and worker concessions a long time ago — they want nothing less than the automatic funneling of tax dollars directly into their private corporate bankrolls without the annoying interference of all us pesky commoners.

Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”

• http://www.educationreport.org/15050

Lansing State Journal • “Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”

• http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/teachers-across-rochester-protest-state-budget-cuts#comment_858505

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Note 2

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Here is a post from the Facebook page of the Ferris Faculty Association:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferris-Faculty-Association/146689847768

“We all know the struggles public schools face with declining per pupil funding. We have seen Governor Snyder's plan for the future. The following link is a fund raiser trailer for Greenhills, the school Snyder has his daughter enrolled in. They're fund raising because $20,000 per year per student is not enough to properly educate a child. This trailer shows what Snyder wants in a school for *his* children.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAfBHj9Lc8E

I'm guessing the Governor does not have a clue how to go about creating a high quality educational environment for all of Michigan's children, but the above information tells us that he does know where to get a few clues about the components of a quality education and how much it costs to achieve it. And one thing we know for sure is that he's not getting those clues from his bean-counter corporate buddies who are dictating their wish list of laws to the Legislature in Lansing.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/teachers-across-rochester-protest-state-budget-cuts#comment_862422

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Note 3

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Mr. Reno,

I've been seeing a lot of re-runs this Summer, too, and not all of them on TV.

There is the never-ending deja vu of the retro-channel program to drain public schools of public funds and funnel them into private schools, which the obscenely well-financed pushers of vouchers for untold seasons now have declared as their explicit goal.

But I did add an epilogue to explain the point of my message, for anyone who missed it the first time around.

There is nothing personal about the information I shared. I would not have bothered to go looking for it, but simply passed on what another source posted on Facebook. The video itself was published to the web by the people who ran the fund drive. It simply serves as an object lesson on the realities of the situation.

The rest of what you say I just can't make any sense of.

Part of the time you seem to be repeating, wittingly or otherwise, one of the points I was making, to wit, or not, the simple truism that you get what you pay for, if you are lucky.

The rest of what you say appears to be based on the same fundamental misunderstandings that I see repeated so often in this medium, misconceptions about the essential difference between the private sector and the public sector and why it won't work for the private to assimilate the public.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/teachers-across-rochester-protest-state-budget-cuts#comment_864287

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Jun 13, 2011 — Union Concessions Not Enough To Save Jobs

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Patch -- Union Concessions Not Enough To Save Jobs

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Union Concessions Not Enough To Save 48 Teaching Jobs (June 13, 2011)

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs

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Comment 1

The Governor and his Privateers are starving the Public Sector in Michigan out of existence for a reason, so that private corporations can complete their hostile takeover of all public services. They stopped being content with tax abatements, bailouts, bribes, incentives, kickbacks, and worker concessions a long time ago — they want nothing less than the automatic funneling of tax dollars directly into their private corporate bankrolls without the annoying interference of all us pesky commoners.

Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”

• http://www.educationreport.org/15050

Lansing State Journal • “Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”

• http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_890808

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Comment 2

Here's a good update on some of the things that educators, parent activists, and others will be doing over the Summer to protect our system of democratic education from hostile takeover by corporations, ideologues, and other private interests.

Frustrated Educators Aim To Build Grassroots Movement

• http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/15/35activists_ep.h30.html

<quote>
Thousands of educators, parent activists, and others are expected to convene in the heat and humidity of Washington next month for a march protesting the current thrust of education policy in the United States, especially the strong emphasis on test-based accountability.

Organizers say the effort aims to galvanize and give voice to those who believe policymakers, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and state governors, have gone astray in their remedies for improving American schools.
</quote>

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_903384

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Comment 3

Lee,

You have just recited all the favorite advertizing slogans that a particular school of thought likes to spin about itself.

Actually, considering the circumstances, the promoters of that line of thinking would probably take offense at being called a “school of thought”, unless it could be a private for-profit school of thought. So maybe I should call it a “company of thought”, and give it a catchy name like “Private Enterprise Does Everything Better” (PEDEB.com). We can create a contest for the logo, later.

Like any good company of thought, PEDEB.com does a bang-up job at advertizing the virtues of its products and services. In that enterprise it has the able and willing services of the entire advertizing industry, an industry devoted to putting the virtues of its clients in the best possible light.

But if you believe everything that PEDEB.com is trying to sell you — well, I can get you a fantastic deal on a Bridge to Canada.

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_906057

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Comment 4

What we are seeing in this country is not really
Austerity or an Economic Downturn, but a
Vastly Unequal Distribution Of Wealth
(VUDOW Economics).

Anyone who looks around can see that there is an obscene amount of excess cash floating around, but it's all been sucked up to float the yachts of the One Per Centers while leaving the frog ponds of the peons low-down, dry, and dirty.

But if you need sadistics, here's the latest couple of items hot off my newsfeed —

Bloomberg.com • “High-Income, No-Tax Returns Jumped in 2008”

• http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-14/high-income-no-tax-returns-almost-doubled-in-2008-irs-says.html

<quote>
The number of people who reported incomes of at least $200,000 and paid no U.S. taxes jumped 79.5 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to an Internal Revenue Service study released today in Washington.
</quote>

The Feral Conservative • “Teachers and CEOs”

• http://open.salon.com/blog/the_feral_conservative/2011/03/12/teachers_and_ceos

<quote>
What about merit pay for teachers — just like the private sector?

Jeffery Immelt was CEO of General Electric and in a ten year period, Jeffery managed to drive the value of the stock so low that his shareholders (the equivalent of a teacher's students), suffered a 58% loss of their investment. What was Jeffery's merit pay for this ten year period? He took home a handsome $125 million dollars. Yeah, old Jeffery is really making sacrifices, just like the rest of us in these hard times.
</quote>

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_908860

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Comment 5

Lee,

If all the ads were true …

You have wrapped yourself in a fantasy bubble of wishful thinking, and I'll just have to leave you to it for now.

When you talk about things like the blessings of Right to Work laws, it is clear that you are reciting some jingle you read on a blog and that you have no real experience with what you are talking about.

I grew up in a State where unions were weak. My father worked in an industry where unions where non-existent. So we lived in a sector of the economy that had a top and a bottom but no middle class. When I came to Michigan on a scholarship 44 years ago, I got to see, for a space of time, what it was like for the kids who grew up in union families.

The universities understood back then that their phenomenal growth and strength was due in large part to the union families who were sending their kids to college for the very first time in their genealogies. But at least my childhood experiences in a non-union State prepared me for what I see Michigan becoming today, yet another State Gone South, as they say, with a middle class that is quickly evaporating.

Welcome to Michissippi !!!

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_908997

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Comment 6

Lee,

I have the greatest admiration for people who create businesses that produce goods, provide services, and create jobs with decent living wages. If a business can improve our quality of life without wrecking the world over the long haul to do it, then more power to it.

Some of my best and oldest friends have run small businesses, and what you say echoes their stories about the State of Michigan getting in their hair to the point where they pulled most of it out.

No one wants to keep people from engaging in productive enterprise. But productive enterprise depends on maintaining a common environment of public services that everyone can trust will be available on an equal opportunity basis. That means things like applied and basic scientific knowledge, civil and criminal justice, communication, education, public safety, transportation, and the like. Those are essential services. They cannot be maintained on a pay-for-play basis without turning America into a different kind of country than we espouse it to be. It may be one of the failings of human nature to want something for nothing, but no one who stops to think about the consequences of everyone trying to get away with that will want anything other than to pay a fair share.

There's the rub — What is fair? There are no easy ways to compute the answer. Heaven knows we have tried all sorts of different formulas over the years. But it's a question we can't avoid — so we have to keep trying to work it out.

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_918445

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Comment 7

Lee,

If you will stop channeling “The Rand, Reagan, Rick, Rush, and Ryan Road Show” for a while maybe we can have a real discussion. I've heard these very same lines about “The Government Monopoly” being repeated often enough lately that I can probably pinpoint exactly where they are coming from, to wit, or not, Michigan's own Madison Avenue doublethink tank and all round corporate ideology group for privatizing everything in sight, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, not to mention their fellow travelers in the massive complex of crypto-lobbies that are run by ALEC, the DeVos family, and the Koch brothers.

I know a lot of people are fond of repeating the slogans of PEDEB.com. There is indeed a very large and lucrative advertising industry dedicated to designing hooks that will stick in our brains and trip off our lips before we have a chance to chew on them or give them a second thought. But, like a lot of commercial jingles that rule the air these days, we need to pull our heads out and Consider the Source, we need to apply a healthy dose of critical thinking to the Bill of Goods they are trying to sell us. That means we have to do our own research and we need to think for ourselves. There is no patent medicine artificial substitute for that.

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_919503

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Comment 8

ALEC's Restaurant

More information is coming to light about the move by ALEC, DeVos, Koch, the Mackinac Center, and related entities to co-opt our elected officials into serving their corporate ends, namely, to privatize not only public education, but all current public services, indeed, our very government itself.

Here is an article that came out this week —

Amanda Terkel • “Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles In Wisconsin”
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/privatization-wisconsin_n_873871.html

<quote>
The American Legislative Exchange Council is one of the groups most actively advocating privatization nationwide. It has 2500 legislative members, which is about a third of all state lawmakers around the country. One of its most valuable functions is crafting model legislation that lawmakers can then use to propose real bills in their own states. In the past few years, ALEC-inspired legislation has been popping up with increased frequency around the country.

The group just launched “Publicopoly”, a Monopoly-like board game as part of an “initiative to provide solutions for a more effective, efficient government, and a thriving economy”. Visitors to Publicopoly are able to learn about privatizing seven sectors: government operations, education, transportation and infrastructure, public safety, environment, health, and telecommunications.
</quote>

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_919649

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Comment 9

There are now several sites where readers can begin getting up to speed on the “starve and supplant” tactics that the ALEC Axis is bringing to bear on several States at once. Here's 3 for starters:

Democracy Watchdog Action Network
• https://www.facebook.com/democracy.watchdog.action.network

Wear Red For Public Ed
• https://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Support Bill Cronon
• https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Bill-Cronon/163419837045434

Bill Cronon is a distinguished history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

Related tags at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/news/ALEC

• http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC

Current updates at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/09/983573/-Exposing-ALECJune-Update-on-ALEC-Activities,-Articles-and-Links

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/15/985433/-EXPOSING-ALEC2nd-Update-with-important-news-and-links

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_919675

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Comment 10

PEDEB.com always *says* Private Enterprise Does Everything Better. Of course it does. That's its main advertizing line and it sells that advertizing line better than it sells anything else. But is that really true? Are most advertising lines really true? I don't think so.

Maybe you should investigate how much PEDEB.com spends on advertising compared to what it spends on the fundamentals of actually producing goods and delivering services.

Maybe you should investigate how much PEDEB.com pays its CEO and its higher level executives compared to what it pays its other employees, its subcontractors, and its shareholders.

Maybe you should investigate how much PEDEB.com spends on hostile takeovers of businesses that it neither knows nor cares anything about maintaining on an even keel, but merely takes over for the sake of driving them into the ground and cashing in on the liquidation of their assets.

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_923253

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Comment 11

In other news …

Global Corporations Crush Small Businesses And Then Blame It On The Government
• http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12789

Small Firms Scrape By, But Big Businesses Continue Growing
• http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/print-edition/2011/06/17/big-businesses-continue-growing.html

<quote>
As the Portland Business Journal reports,

“Corporate profits may be at a record high, but businesses on Main Street are still scraping by,” said NFIB [National Federation of Independent Business] Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Washington is throwing misdirected policies at the problem, offering tax breaks for hiring and equipment investment, but acting surprised when they don't bear any fruit.”
</quote>

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_925831

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Comment 12

What can you do about it?

Recall —

• http://www.firericksnyder.org/
• http://www.firericksnyder.org/community/all-events-list
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Recall-Governor-Rick-Snyder/113418962065885

Repeal —

• http://repealpa4.org/
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Repeal-PA4-Emergency-Managers-Washtenaw-Area/137390633002568

• http://sites.google.com/site/rejectemergencymanagers/
• http://www.facebook.com/rejectemergencymanagers

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_973574

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Comment 13

Lee,

I can see you have a lot of reading to catch up on this Summer ...

First thing off, let's get you up to speed on the facts of life about the “Emergency Mangling” of Detroit Public Schools. Here's a couple of introductory articles from the Huffington Post —

Detroit Announces New Authority For Failing Schools (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/detroit-announces-new-authority_n_880757.html

Michigan Groups Sue Governor Snyder Over Emergency Manager Law (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/michigan-groups-sue-gov-s_n_882442.html

And here's a couple of reports on the Broad Foundation, that we find behind the scenes of so many current raids on public education and so prominently mentioned in the Governerd's plans, not just for Detroit, but for Michigan at large —

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad’s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

Yes, it will all be on the test …

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/union-concessions-not-enough-to-save-48-teaching-jobs#comment_974911

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Jun 14, 2011 — Sea Of Green Opposes Paraeducator Cuts

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Patch -- Sea Of Green Opposes Paraeducator Cuts

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In School Board Audience, Sea Of Green Opposes Paraeducator Cuts (June 14, 2011)

• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/in-school-board-audience-sea-of-green-opposes-paraeducator-cuts

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Note 1

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Mr. Rowen,

You are saying that the prospect of gaining or losing a financial incentive skews a person's beliefs and thus a person's decisions in the direction of self-interest and at the expense of public interests.

Hold that thought …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/in-school-board-audience-sea-of-green-opposes-paraeducator-cuts#comment_893629

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Note 2

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Version 1

Incidentally, the following Facebook page is a good resource for learning how communities across the nation are dealing with the ongoing degradation of their public education systems.

Wear Red For Public Ed

• https://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Many people across the country are beginning to realize that there is a coordinated campaign by many State governments and corporate interests to turn back the clock on American education to something more like the systems of private privilege we once had the good sense to revolt against.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/in-school-board-audience-sea-of-green-opposes-paraeducator-cuts#comment_895651

Version 2

Incidentally, the following Facebook page is a good resource for learning how communities across the nation are dealing with the ongoing degradation of their public education systems.

Wear Red For Public Ed

• https://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Many people across the country are beginning to realize that there is a coordinated campaign by GOP-TEA-dominated State governments and corporate interests to turn back the clock on American education to something more like the systems of private privilege we once had the good sense to revolt against.

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Note 3

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What we are seeing in this country is not really
Austerity or an Economic Downturn, but a
Vastly Unequal Distribution Of Wealth
(VUDOW Economics).

Anyone who looks around can see that there is an obscene amount of excess cash floating around, but it's all been sucked up to float the yachts of the One Per Centers while leaving the frog ponds of the peons low-down, dry, and dirty.

But if you need sadistics, here's the latest couple of items hot off my newsfeed —

Bloomberg.com • “High-Income, No-Tax Returns Jumped in 2008”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-14/high-income-no-tax-returns-almost-doubled-in-2008-irs-says.html

<quote>
The number of people who reported incomes of at least $200,000 and paid no U.S. taxes jumped 79.5 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to an Internal Revenue Service study released today in Washington.
</quote>

The Feral Conservative • “Teachers and CEOs”

http://open.salon.com/blog/the_feral_conservative/2011/03/12/teachers_and_ceos

<quote>
What about merit pay for teachers — just like the private sector?

Jeffery Immelt was CEO of General Electric and in a ten year period, Jeffery managed to drive the value of the stock so low that his shareholders (the equivalent of a teacher's students), suffered a 58% loss of their investment. What was Jeffery's merit pay for this ten year period? He took home a handsome $125 million dollars. Yeah, old Jeffery is really making sacrifices, just like the rest of us in these hard times.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/in-school-board-audience-sea-of-green-opposes-paraeducator-cuts#comment_896181

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Note 4

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Now, now, if you knew me better, you'd know I'm a natural born criticizer of just about everything, and I spent the last twentieth of the second millennium criticizing all things that smacked of the Establishment and the Status Quo. Every POTUS that comes down the pike will gradually turn into the very model of a modern major authority figure, so I could hardly absent my post of challenging the passing Presider with the required qui vive.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/in-school-board-audience-sea-of-green-opposes-paraeducator-cuts#comment_896837

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Jun 27, 2011 — Dearborn Schools Calling For Education Funding

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Patch -- Dearborn Schools Calling For Education Funding

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Rep. Darany, Dearborn Schools Still Calling for Education Funding Reforms (June 27, 2011)

• http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/rep-darany-dearborn-schools-still-calling-for-education-funding-reforms

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Comment 1

What can you do about it?

Recall —

• http://www.firericksnyder.org/
• http://www.firericksnyder.org/community/all-events-list
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Recall-Governor-Rick-Snyder/113418962065885

Repeal —

• http://repealpa4.org/
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Repeal-PA4-Emergency-Managers-Washtenaw-Area/137390633002568

• http://sites.google.com/site/rejectemergencymanagers/
• http://www.facebook.com/rejectemergencymanagers

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/rep-darany-dearborn-schools-still-calling-for-education-funding-reforms#comment_969900

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Comment 2

Looking to the future, the main thing we need to understand is this — What we see happening in Benton Harbor, Detroit, and Pontiac, not to mention States from Florida to Wisconsin, will be coming our way sooner or later if not already here.  It has nothing to do with black vs. white, left vs. right, liberal vs. libertarian, or any of those old-fangled diversions. It goes beyond education, public safety, public services, and even beyond the public sector workplace to the very ideas of community and the common good.

Getting up to speed on that will take looking into the corporate ideology groups that now and then fly under the banners of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Broad Foundation, the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MCPP), and the whole bulk of the iceberg that threatens our democratic ship of state.

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/rep-darany-dearborn-schools-still-calling-for-education-funding-reforms#comment_970172

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Comment 3

For the benefit of readers who haven't been following the “Emergency Mangling” of Detroit Public Schools all that closely, here's a couple of articles from the Huffington Post —

Detroit Announces New Authority For Failing Schools (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/detroit-announces-new-authority_n_880757.html

Michigan Groups Sue Governor Snyder Over Emergency Manager Law (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/michigan-groups-sue-gov-s_n_882442.html

And here's a couple of reports on the Broad Foundation, that we find behind the scenes of so many current raids on public education and so prominently mentioned in the Governerd's plans, not just for Detroit, but for Michigan at large —

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad’s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

Yes, it will all be on the test …

http://dearborn.patch.com/articles/rep-darany-dearborn-schools-still-calling-for-education-funding-reforms#comment_973696

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Jun 28, 2011 — Not A Proud Moment For Education, Board Says

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Patch -- Not A Proud Moment For Education, Board Says

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Not A Proud Moment For Education, Board Says Before Budget Approval (June 28, 2011)

• http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval

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Comment 1

What can you do about it?

Recall —

• http://www.firericksnyder.org/
• http://www.firericksnyder.org/community/all-events-list
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Recall-Governor-Rick-Snyder/113418962065885

Repeal —

• http://repealpa4.org/
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Repeal-PA4-Emergency-Managers-Washtenaw-Area/137390633002568

• http://sites.google.com/site/rejectemergencymanagers/
• http://www.facebook.com/rejectemergencymanagers

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_969895

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Comment 2

Looking to the future, the main thing we need to understand is this — What we see happening in Benton Harbor, Detroit, and Pontiac, not to mention States from Florida to Wisconsin, will be coming our way sooner or later if not already here.  It has nothing to do with black vs. white, left vs. right, liberal vs. libertarian, or any of those old-fangled diversions. It goes beyond education, public safety, public services, and even beyond the public sector workplace to the very ideas of community and the common good.

Getting up to speed on that will take looking into the corporate ideology groups that now and then fly under the banners of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Broad Foundation, the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MCPP), and the whole bulk of the iceberg that threatens our democratic ship of state.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_970082

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Comment 3 (Reply)

<quote>
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation 17.
• http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/meditation17.php
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_970338

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Comment 4

I realize that it serves particular ends to keep the fish biting each other. It keeps them from asking who built the barrel until the angler get ready to spear them.  But if your school ever taught you to think outside the think-tank, you will have learned Lesson Number One in critical thinking, which is to keep looking around at the context of discussion and question the assumptions that some would have you take for granted.

In that spirit, if you've been following what's going on with the takeover of the Detroit Public Schools by an ever more dictatorial series of Emergency Managers, and how the Broad Foundation and other reform schoolers are playing into that, you may have many questions about what that means for the future of education in Michigan, and, yes, eventually in our neck of the woods.

Here's a good article that will help Michiganders understand the brand of Billionaire Boys' Club financed PR campaign that we can expect to see spreading from Detroit to the rest of the State over the coming year — unless we put a stop to it —

Michael T. Martin • “Waiting For SuperFraud”

• http://ksdcitizens.org/2010/12/22/waiting-for-superfraud/

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_971513

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Comment 5 (Reply)

Que?

I think it's spelled “cue”, but I'll be happy to put a few items on the queue, anyway.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_972416

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Comment 6

For the benefit of readers who haven't been following the “Emergency Mangling” of Detroit Public Schools all that closely, here's a couple of articles from the Huffington Post —

Detroit Announces New Authority For Failing Schools (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/detroit-announces-new-authority_n_880757.html

Michigan Groups Sue Governor Snyder Over Emergency Manager Law (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/michigan-groups-sue-gov-s_n_882442.html

And here's a couple of reports on the Broad Foundation, that we find behind the scenes of so many current raids on public education and so prominently mentioned in the Governerd's plans, not just for Detroit, but for Michigan at large —

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad’s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

Yes, it will all be on the test …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_972808

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Comment 7

By popular request, here's a recent article on the way that the Walton Family is helping themselves to new investment opportunities by helping to convert public education into a martable, er, marketable private commodity.

Walton Family Foundation Gives $157 Million Toward Education Reform
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/walton-family-foundation-_n_886112.html

I apologize for the fact that the article reads a little bit like it was written by the Walton's PR Agency, but the comments from the readers are rather more clueful.

G'night, Jon Boy …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_977122

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Comment 8 (Reply)

John,

You are talking about things that academics and educators have been talking and writing about for a quarter century now, just since I personally started talking and writing about them.

The critical question is whether those systems will be designed and managed by people who comprehend the full depth and scope of what humane education is all about, or whether they will be controlled and marketed by cash cowpokes like Gates, Murdoch, and the Waltons.

P.S. Speaking of funky software, the new version of Patch is acting weird. I'll go ahead and post this again and see what happens.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_977669

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Comment 9 (Aside)

It looks like posting at the top level works okay, but the reply function is busted.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_977534

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Comment 10

By way of review — since we all know how important that is when it comes to learning, recall, and retention — here's a cumulative reading list on our brave new breed of “Venture Philanthropists”, to use the Broad Foundation's own name for their favorite game:

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_978482

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Comment 11

Business Insider • “Rupert Murdoch, Who Bought 90% Of An Education Software Provider, Launches Initiative ‘To Make Education A Top Issue In 2012 Presidential Campaign’”
• http://www.businessinsider.com/rupert-murdoch-news-corp-education-2012-presidential-campaign-2011-5

Daily Kos • “The United Gates Of America” (May 22, 2011)
• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/22/978218/-The-United-Gates-of-America

Daily Kos • “The Broad-Way — Fleecing America's Schools” (Jun 25, 2011)
• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/25/988664/-The-Broad-way:-Fleecing-Americas-Schools

Jim Hightower • “Billionaires' Front Groups Attack Workers, Public Schools, and Young Voters”
• http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2680

Huffington Post • “Walton Family Foundation Gives $157 Million Toward Education Reform”
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/walton-family-foundation-_n_886112.html

Mike Klonsky • “Debunking Jeb Bush's ‘Florida Formula’”
• http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com/2011/06/debunking-jeb-bushs-florida-formula.html

Rachel Levy • “Teach For America — From Service Group to Industry”
• http://allthingsedu.blogspot.com/2011/05/teach-for-america-from-service-group-to.html

Michael T. Martin • “Waiting For SuperFraud”
• http://ksdcitizens.org/2010/12/22/waiting-for-superfraud/

Mark Naison • “Teach for America and Me — A Failed Courtship”
• http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2011/06/dr-mark-naison-teach-for-america-and-me.html

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad’s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_978495

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Comment 12

The invasion of cash from so-called “philanthr­­opists” is known in the Biz as a “Loss Leader”. Big bucks are pumped into the system to make it look like the raid is a smashing success. If that strategy works as badly as it has elsewhere, a lot of data will get cooked and lot of Agenda-Dri­­ven Statistifi­cation (ADS) will get trumpeted all over the Corporate Air Waves to make it look like there was any improvemen­­t at all.

Never mind the small stuff, the truth won't matter. More big bucks will be pumped into rah-rah ads and corporate media “documenta­­ries” to cover up the facts. By the time the Public figures out what is really going down, the school system will be so far down the road to privatizat­­ion for corporate cash, command, and control that it will take the People all they can do to keep any shred of equal opportunit­­y education at all.

These people are not philanthro­­pists — “lovers of humanity” — they are investors. They don't give money away — they invest money for the sake of making more money, acting in tandem with their need to force their personal ideology on the rest of the world. If they destroy the American way of life in the process — that's just collateral damage.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_978501

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Comment 13 (Reply)

Mr. Reno,

Whether you find it convenient to acknowledge it or not, there is an ever increasing number of your fellow citizens, from all walks of life and spread throughout the sphere of otherwise diverse political opinions, who are becoming increasingly concerned about the future of public education in this country, and whether it will even have a future given the raids that are currently being mounted on all sides.

If you do not wish to inform yourself of those developments, you are of course free to do so, but that does not mean they are not occurring, and other people have a need and a right to stay informed about them.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_978997

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Comment 14 (Aside)

I'm still not seeing replies at all, but it looks like posting replies as regular comments will work until they get the bugs out of the system.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_979248

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Comment 15

Speaking as a survivor of the Sputnik era, the New Math, and more curriculum reforms in math and science than I can count since then, let me just share what tuppence of wisdom I have gained on the matter —

The most important factor in learning mathematics is having teachers who are all round solid human beings, who love mathematics and its teaching, and who have the time to find what sparks that same level of fascination in each individual student. Everything else is purely incidental.

Then again, it's pretty much the same with any subject.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_981095

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Comment 16

It is well past time we woke up to the fact that the wool being pulled over our eyes in the realm of public education extends to the entire sphere of public infrastructure and public services, all the things that the American People simply cannot afford to abdicate to the agents of private corporate profit, not to mention foreign national interests. Just by way of a hint, here's a recent article —

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_983138

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Comment 17

Dylan Ratigan • “America for Sale — Is Goldman Sachs Buying Your City?”
• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-ratigan/america-for-sale-is-goldm_b_877285.html

<quote>
In Chicago, it's the sale of parking meters to the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. In Indiana, it's the sale of the northern toll road to a Spanish and Australian joint venture. In Wisconsin it's public health and food programs, in California it's libraries. It's water treatment plants, schools, toll roads, airports, and power plants. It's Amtrak. There are revolving doors of corrupt politicians, big banks, and rating agencies. There are conflicts of interest. It's bipartisan.

And it's coming to a city near you — it may already be there. We're talking about the sale of public assets to private investors. You may have heard of one-off deals, but what we'll be exploring with the Huffington Post is the scale and scope of what is a national and organized campaign to shift the way we govern ourselves. In an era of increasingly stretched local and state budgets, privatization of public assets may be so tempting to local politicians that the trend seems unstoppable. Yet, public outrage has stopped and slowed a number of initiatives.
</quote>

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_983143

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Comment 18

Back on the topic of “Unproud Moments For Education” —

The Answer Sheet • “New Data Reveal The Real Problem In Education”

• http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/new-data-reveals-the-real-problem-in-education/2011/06/30/AGDuYZtH_blog.html

It's just like what one wag on Facebook said, “It's the poverty, stupid.”

I know, I know, “But what does that have to do with our dale of the hills?”

And the fact that anyone even has to ask that —

But never mind, sufficient unto the day are the unproud moments thereof.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_984558

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Comment 19 (Reply)

Mr. Reno,

I don't know what you think is going on here, but this is not a session of the Legislature, it is not a meeting of the School Board, it is not even a chat in the Faculty Lounge. No one asked you to dictate the agenda, no one elected you Chair, and no one appointed you Moderator. So please try to recall what I am provisionally willing to assume you learned at home or school about what it means to be an equal citizen, a peer among equals.

What I personally see here is a self-selected sample of citizens who are sharing information and opinions bearing on their concerns with the current state and the possible future of education in their neighborhoods. If those are honest and true concerns then they will necessarily involve the consideration of many matters connected with education that go far beyond the boundaries of those neighborhoods.

If your field of vision is so narrow that you cannot or will not see those eminently evident facts, then you are certainly entitled to live your life within those confines, but no one gave you the right to impose your blinkers on your peers.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_986150

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Comment 20 (Reply)

Mr. Reno,

The article at the top of the page is titled “Not a ‘Proud Moment’ for Education, Board Says Before Budget Approval”.

I have read the article several times. The moment is as poignant as the title says, and I sympathize with the frustrations of many that are expressed throughout the article. Maybe the Governor and the Republican dominated legislature are proud of themselves that they misappropriated education funds to corporate interests and left their constituents to fight it out among themselves for the remainder that was left. But how could we be proud of ourselves that we let this happen?

But your first post dismissed the moment of the occasion and set off on a tangent of your own. As for the rest of the thread, all and sundry conducted themselves in the usual manner, raising the topics that engage their several interests in more or less free association with the article or the last subject mentioned.

I can't imagine why it should be any other way. No resolutions will be passed here. No actions will be taken in anything but tangential relation to what is discussed here.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_986490

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Comment 21 (Reply)

Mr. Reno (cont.),

The teachers will keep trying to do the jobs they were hired to do until they are utterly prevented. Same for the other staff. The school board will keep trying to do the job they were elected to do with the resources they were given. As a general rule, school boards and teachers are more open to input from their clients than any other set of officeholders or professionals I have ever run across, but I can't see any way that folks with real jobs to do could implement the irresolutions of this our beloved but very motley crew. So I can't imagine that being our job.

All we can do here is try to educate ourselves about the current state of things, by sharing our scattered bits of information and opinion, and that may help us do our job as citizens a little better on the next high-stakes test of our civic performance.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_986503

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Comment 22 (Reply)

Ms. T,

It is something of a paradox to me that people appear to value education, and they appear to understand, if more tangentially, that a lot of what they desire for their own children, whether it be in the arts, athletics, sciences, or specialized services, depends on the education and the experience of the teachers in their schools — and yet they turn around and minimize the value of education and experience in those very teachers.

Any hack journalist or political pundit is regarded as more of an expert on what constitutes a genuine education and how to get it than any of the people who have actually taken the trouble to acquire the requisite education and dedicated their lives to applying that knowledge.

No one who is brought up on the value of critical thinking expects to be accorded unquestioned authority in any matter, even one where they have demonstrated expertise, but that does not diminish the relevance of their education, experience, and expertise to questions about the quality of education.  And yet some people appear to think the educator's education counts for nothing.

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1000505

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Comment 23 (Reply)

Mr. Reno,

I was trained as a systems thinker.  One thing that means is that I think in terms of whole systems.  Another thing that means is that I understand the value of feedback in relation to system objectives.  Let us hang onto those thoughts, they have many consequences.

There are people who will try to sell you on the idea that this or that industry or institution is fully capable of regulating itself, without critical feedback from the public whom that industry or institution is formed to serve.  I am not one of those people.

So the question is always — What forms of regulation promote the optimal functioning of the whole system?

Well, I have to take my car in for service, so this will have to be continued …

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1001199

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Comment 24

I am most gratified to see that my perspective-broadening influence on this Kaffeeklatsch Patch has led more and more of us Rochester Hillbillies and Hobbits to pay attention to what goes on in the wider world beyond the Shire. I myself spent a couple weeks last month tracking the revolting developments a little closer to home, to wit, the Emerging Corporate Raid on the Detroit Public Schools, and all the revelations about fraud, graft, and misappropriation of funds that occurred under the previous Emergency Magnifier. For those who had trouble telling one Robert Baron from another without a program, here's a bit of the blow by blow as it blew by.

Rick Snyder to announce sweeping DPS reforms Monday (June 19, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110619/NEWS01/110619015/Rick-Snyder-announce-sweeping-DPS-reforms-Monday

Governor Rick Snyder to announce sweeping DPS reforms today (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110620/NEWS06/106200359/Gov-Rick-Snyder-announce-sweeping-DPS-reforms-today

Sweeping reform plan empowers principals, teachers in low-performing Michigan schools (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110620/NEWS01/110620027/Sweeping-reform-plan-empowers-principals-teachers-low-performing-Michigan-schools

How new Michigan school district for low-performing schools would work (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110620/NEWS01/110620033/How-new-Michigan-school-district-low-performing-schools-would-work

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1009950

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Comment 25

Emergency Magnification (cont.)

Snyder had idea for changing DPS even before he was governor (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/NEWS01/106210388/Snyder-had-idea-changing-DPS-even-before-he-governor

DPS's scholarship promise is short on details and resources (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/NEWS06/106210390/DPS-s-scholarship-promise-short-details-resources

New start for Detroit's worst schools (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/NEWS01/106210383/New-start-Detroit-s-worst-schools

Editorial • Stronger medicine for sick schools (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/OPINION01/106210320/Editorial-Stronger-medicine-sick-schools

Eastern Michigan faculty side with teachers' unions, refuse to work in Detroit schools (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/106220413/Eastern-Michigan-faculty-side-teachers-unions-refuse-work-Detroit-schools

Art dealer's trial to begin in DPS corruption case (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/106220383/Art-dealer-s-trial-begin-DPS-corruption-case

Roy Roberts to cut non-teaching jobs, cancel supplier contracts in effort to transform DPS (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/110622024/Roy-Roberts-cut-non-teaching-jobs-cancel-supplier-contracts-effort-transform-DPS

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1009966

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Comment 26

Emergency Magnification (cont.)

Eastern Michigan faculty side with teachers' unions, says they weren't consulted about plan (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/106220413/Eastern-Michigan-faculty-side-teachers-unions-says-they-weren-t-consulted-about-plan

DPS spent $1.6M on travel, gave raises to consultants (June 24, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110624/NEWS01/106240431/DPS-spent-1-6M-consultants-travel

Under Bobb, consultants got raises, perks (June 24, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110624/NEWS01/106240443/Under-Bobb-consultants-got-raises-perks

Michigan Senate OKs teacher tenure changes (July 1, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110701/NEWS05/107010436/Michigan-Senate-OKs-teacher-tenure-changes

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1010007

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Comment 27

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Bob Sikes • “The Atlanta Cheating Scandal, the Broad Foundation, NCLB, and the Peril of Attaching Cash to Student Test Scores”

• http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/the-atlanta-cheating-scandal-the-broad-foundation-nclb-and-the-peril-of-attaching-cash-to-student-test-scores/

Ann Kane and M. Catharine Evans • “Who's Responsible for the Government Schools Cheating Scandals?”

• http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/whos_responsible_for_the_government_schools_cheating_sandals.html

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1012390

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Comment 28

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Bob Sikes • “Detroit Charter Schools Not Getting it Done Either”

• http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/detroit-charter-schools-not-getting-it-done-either/

Mark Gruenberg • “Probe shows union-busting Michelle Rhee wrote Michigan anti-teacher law”

• http://www.peoplesworld.org/probe-shows-union-busting-michelle-rhee-wrote-michigan-anti-teacher-law/

http://rochester.patch.com/articles/not-a-proud-moment-for-education-school-board-says-before-budget-approval#comment_1013227

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Jul 08, 2011 — Lansing Visit Offers Time To Reflect And Ponder

Comment 1 (Reply to Mike Reno)

Welcome to the Reno Casino, where SuperStar Teachers™ who prove themselves Ready 4 Prime Time™ will crush their competitors before cheering hordes of fans in the EduMart SuperBowl™, win Rheebok Shoe™ endorsements, and make a bundle in the Privately Owned States Of America™ Edumachination Industry™.

Comment 2 (Reply)

Mr. Reno, Ms. T,

If you knew many good teachers, and were actually capable of hearing what they have to say about the realities of teaching, they could tell you how many things are wrong with the things you keep saying. They would know a little — and some would know a lot — about the history of education, especially in the U.S. over the last hundred years, a little from their personal experience of school politics and teaching practice and a little more from their academic courses and professional reading.

But of course you don't know any good teachers who could teach you those things — they quit being good teachers just as soon as they tell you what you don't know. And that is precisely why the history of education in the U.S. over the last hundred years has taught those who are capable of learning from it the critical importance of academic freedom, peer review, seniority, and the tenure system.

Comment 3 (Reply)

Now, Mr. Reno, you know what he's saying. It is known in logic as “Argumentum ad Squirrelum”. The public begins to smell a Big Greedy Rat stealing their cheese — so our corporate owned politicians and corporate owned media yell “Squirrel !!!” at the top of their well-funded lungs and point their bony fingers at poor public service workers just getting by on peanuts.

Comment 4 (Reply)

To my way of thinking, communication is a two-way street. I'm just not seeing any evidence from his statements that Mr. Reno has absorbed anything more than cookies from his tenure on Sesame Street.

Comment 5 (Reply)

Re: “If they don't represent us, then who are they representing?”

Hint. Go Ask ALEC.

Comment 6 (Reply)

Mr. Reno,

Mr. Raymond wrote: “I understand the frustrations you are having with legislators not being responsive to their constituents. I've found the same problem in our own school district.”

Mr. Raymond was astute enough to recognize a similar dynamics operating at two levels of government — a top-down, 1-way street, my-way-or-the-highway form of dictation, intended to communicate a pre-fabricated agenda downward to the constituents, as opposed to communicating the concerns and interests of the constituents up the line to those elected to legislate and act. I think many people have been noticing the same pattern pretty much all over the place lately.

I do not think the similarities are purely coincidental.

Comment 7

This just in …

Timothy D. Slekar • “Cheating or Protecting? Depends”

Sorry, Ms. T, I couldn't find the Wobblie Spin on this, so this Little Libbie Ragtime will have to do for now.

Comment 8


John Kuhn • “Stop Labeling Teachers, Label The Lawmakers” • http://mineralwellsindex.com/opinion/x1281108295/Letters-to-the-Editor-April-10-2011/

Did you know that over the next five years, Texas lawmakers will send half a billion dollars to London, to line the pockets of Pearson’s stakeholders. That’s 15,000 teacher salaries, sacrificed at the altar of standardized testing. $500,000,000 for a test! I’m sure it’s a nice test, but it’s just a test. I’ve never seen a test change a kid’s life or dry a kid’s tear. Tests don’t show up at family funerals or junior high basketball games. They don’t chip in to buy a poor girl a prom dress. Only teachers do those things.

Them Darn Texican Commies …

Comment 9

I've been following these developments just long enough to observe that the same patterns of behavior are coming to light across the spectrum of charter and public “Reform Schools”, from Washington, DC, to Baltimore, MD, to Atlanta, GA. I think we can expect to see a lot more.

I think that a violence was committed on our educational system when the Bush Administration infected a core function of our democratic society with an alien market dynamics. What we are seeing today is a consequence of that violation.

But it's Fajita & Margarita Time — so Adios for now !!!

Comment 10

For those of you who just joined the program, it appears that the inmates of Stalag 13 did not take Colonel Klink's dictates very seriously.

Comment 11

Susan Ohanian maintains a useful site for following the controversies arising out of NCLB and RT³ —

Comment 12

The point of my little parody is that something has gone seriously wrong with the introduction of market dynamics into the usual routines of evaluation in education.

Education is a public resource, a core component of a democratic society, not a private commodity to be merchandised by private interest corporations.

It is obvious from their own position statements that a number of obscenely well-funded forces are striving to inject market psychology into people's hearts and minds for the express purpose of doing away with universal free public education. Other people may be drawn into the game from a lack of information about its ultimate purpose. As with any astroturf pyramid scheme, it is always hard to draw a hard and fast line between the shills and the marks, but I do not believe the great majority of people would be happy with the consequences if they could see where the con is headed.

Comment 13

Schools Matter • “Jonah Edelman Spills the Oligarchs' Blueprint for Crushing the Teaching Profession”

As Lisa Guisbond said, “this is an amazing video from the Aspen Ideas Festival in which Stand For Children’s Jonah Edelman explains how he, with the support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Arne Duncan’s senior advisor Jo Anderson (former Executive Director of the IEA) out foxed the CTU, the IFT and the IEA’s Ken Swanson and Audrey Soglin into agreeing to Senate Bill 7.”

We do know some of what goes on at the Aspen Ideas Festival besides getting a chance to smell and touch sewer rats like Rupert Murdoch. Here is a great example of massive ego mixed with manipulative glee that was posted and quickly pulled from the Aspen site, but not before Fred Klonsky captured a copy for the world to see and hear.

In this Machiavellian masterpiece, we see Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children infamy describe in great detail how great wads of hedge-fund and other corporate cash came to bear on the last legislative election in Illinois, how all the best lobbyists were bought up by Deform (including minority ones), how unions were outspent and how politicians followed the money, how teacher unions were lured to the table and how they were totally manhandled by the best lawyers and negotiators that money can buy, how union leaders became complicit, scared, weak, groveling.

Comment 14

Updated Info On ALEC —

Many of the Boilerplate Bills that are coming out of our Nation's Statehouses these days are being written as fill-in-the-blank form-laws by a crypto-lobby known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Several sites are now tracking the ALEC program of ghostwriting bills for the people we elect to represent our concerns and interests, and not the Will of ALEC.

Democracy Watchdog Action Network

Wear Red For Public Ed

Support Bill Cronon

Bill Cronon is a distinguished history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

Related Tags at the Daily Kos —

Current updates at the Daily Kos —

Comment 15

Finally, a refreshing bit of honesty —

ThinkProgress • “Pro-Voucher Tea Party Group Admits It Wants To ‘Shut Down Public Schools And Have Private Schools Only’”

Nov 05, 2012 — McMillin, VanRaaphorst : Candidate Questionnaire Form

Comment 1

Since I can't imagine many people will be changing their minds between today and tomorrow, I find my own mind turning toward the day after tomorrow and the challenges ahead for the future of Michigan and the Nation.

Whatever mix of executives, judges, and legislators we elect to each branch and level of government, they will all be charged to represent the People's Will in making one critical choice — the choice between democratic government and corporate government. That is a choice that affects every other — from education, the environment, equality of opportunity and protection under the law, to public safety, public service, and whether we even continue to have a meaningful public sector in the future.

As far as education goes, it is clear that all of us and all of our elected officials need to become better informed about the consequences of the paths we choose — the very viability of our democracy is at stake.

The necessary conversation is not a new one, but it seems necessary to renew it from time to time, and this is certainly one of those times. One of the places the needed conversation is occurring with rather more light than heat these days would have to be on the following site.

I recommend it to you all. If we don't become better educated about education, I fear we are doomed.