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Union vs Emanuel
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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11172
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boggsy--the capture of the GOP by the nut cases is actually a very sad story. Too many from the far right will attribute the election to Romney being a weak candidate, rather than to having to live with a party that represents only a small portion of the political spectrum--and that disparages all the rest. So I think it is 50:50 that they will say a true conservative would have done better, and insist on a true believer like Ryan. While they have impressive discipline, their inability to read the changing demographics, and consider the implications of their hatred of Hispanics and the poor, means that the far right will have a harder time in the general elections each four year cycle going forward.

The moderate Republican Party had a sensible message about fiscal responsibility (without actually practicing it) and respect for business--without pandering to the neanderthals like the Koch's. But most of the moderate Republicans I know in California don't recognize the party any more.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 6626
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The right's favorite Union busting tough guy Scott Walker tosses out a little tweet supporting a different Union:

After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs
@GovWalker via HootSuite
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Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3598

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Were any conservatives out there about to tell us that the GOP clearly represents real conservative ideas and practices them in 2012?
Or have you been abandoned like me and my friends?
Not asking if YOU support conservative ideas for real.
Asking if Trump, Palin,Gingrich, Bachman are the leaders who you are proud to follow?
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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11172
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today's Oakland Tribune had a story about the possible decertification of the AIM charter school in Oakland because of conflicts of interest. This school, run by a controversial principal, had some apparently astonishing gains in test scores, and became the darling of libertarians with praise such as this:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently claimed: "Districts around the country have literally been cutting for five, six, seven years in a row. And, many of them, you know, are through, you know, fat, through flesh and into bone ... ."

Really? They cut spending five to seven consecutive years?

Give me a break!

Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, writes that out of 14,000 school districts in the United States, just seven have cut their budgets seven years in a row. How about five years in a row? Just 87. That's a fraction of 1 percent in each case.

Duncan may be pandering to his constituency, or he may actually be fooled by how school districts (and other government agencies) talk about budget cuts. When normal people hear about a budget cut, we assume the amount of money to be spent is less than the previous year's allocation. But that's not what bureaucrats mean.

"They are not comparing current year spending to the previous year's spending," Coulson writes. "What they're doing is comparing the approved current year budget to the budget that they initially dreamed about having."

So if a district got more money than last year but less than it asked for, the administrators consider it a cut. "Back in the real world, a K-12 public education costs four times as much as it did in 1970, adjusting for inflation: $150,000 versus the $38,000 it cost four decades ago (in constant 2009 dollars)," Coulson says.

Taxpayers need to understand this sort thing just to protect themselves from greedy government officials and teachers unions.

It was on the basis of this fear and ignorance that President Obama got Congress to pass a "stimulus" bill this summer that included $10 billion for school districts. The money is needed desperately to save teachers from layoffs, the bill's advocates said. We must do it for the children!

When you look at the facts, the scam is clear.

"Over the past 40 years," Coulson writes, "public school employment has risen 10 times faster than enrollment. There are 9 percent more students today, but nearly twice as many public school employees."

But isn't it just common sense that schools would be better if they had more money? As a wise man said, it's not what we don't know that gets us into trouble; it's what we know that isn't so.

Consider the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif. It was once a failing school, but now it's one of the best in California. Ben Chavis turned it around without any additional money. His book, "Crazy Like a Fox," tells how.

Chavis' experience exposes the school establishment's lies for what they are. Nearly all of Chavis' students are considered economically disadvantaged (98 percent qualify for free lunches), yet they have the fourth-highest test scores of any school in the state.

"In Oakland this year, on the AP (advanced placement) exam, we had 100 percent of all the blacks and Mexicans in the city of Oakland who passed AP calculus," Chavis said. "There are four high schools, and we're the only ones who had anyone pass AP calc."

Yet Chavis accomplishes this without the "certified" teachers so revered by the educational establishment. His classes are as big as, and sometimes bigger than, public school classes, but only a quarter of his teachers are certified by the state.

Money, he insists, is not the answer. "My buildings are shacks compared to their schools, but my schools are clean, and we'll kick all their asses."

He scoffs at the establishment's solutions to the education problem, such as teacher evaluations.

"I don't do no teacher evaluations. All I do is go into a class, and if the kids ain't working, your ass is fired. (Most principals) sit for hours and say, 'Is he meeting this goal, is he meeting' -- I just go to class, and if the kids are not working ..."

It's time we threw out the "experts" and exposed the schools to real competition by people with common sense.
in the Patriot Post.

Now I don't know if Chavez is a miracle worker or a crook. I do know that sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to find the truth.
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Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some on the forum that don't understand that Randy Newman was being ironic when he said "It's money that matters." They think that testing and economic rewards will upgrade the quality of teaching. Or perhaps...

Ex-Texas school official sent to prison
Associated Press

Updated 10:26 p.m., Friday, October 5, 2012

El Paso, Texas -- A federal judge sentenced the former superintendent of El Paso Independent School District to more than three years in prison Friday for his participation in a conspiracy to improve the district's high-stakes tests scores by removing low-performing students from classrooms.

Lorenzo Garcia's scheme to prevent hundreds of sophomores from taking the accountability tests fooled authorities into believing that academic standards had improved in his West Texas district - resulting in a boost in federal funds and personal bonuses totaling at least $56,000.

Garcia pleaded guilty to two fraud counts in June; one in the testing scandal and another in which he misled the school board so that his lover would receive a $450,000 no-bid contract to produce school materials.

On Friday, the judge sentenced him to 3 1/2 years in prison on each fraud count, to be served at the same time. Garcia also was fined $56,500 - the exact amount of money he took as a bonus from the district for its success on test scores.

"As superintendent, I am responsible for everything that went on in my district," Garcia said before the sentence was read to him by federal judge David Briones.

Court documents indicate at least six other people helped Garcia organize the testing scheme. An FBI investigation continues.

Garcia, who was hired in 2006, implemented a plan with several other administrators that allowed for the pre-testing of 10th-graders to identify those who were likely to fail the standardized tests. He had one employee photograph students crossing the border so they could be forced out on the grounds that they were living in Mexico rather than within the school district. The whole idea, said former state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, was to make those students "disappear" so they would not be counted among the students who were tested.

Read more:

Of course this approach is official Republican policy, when all of the research shows that making the curriculum tougher is the best way to improve student achievement. Could it have anything to do with businessmen wanting to get the contracts for producing school materials? Is anyone surprised that this happened in Texas?
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