Friday, May 20, 2016

NYC Fight Against Mayoral Continues Contiues Under DeBlasio Dictatorship

Assmeblyman Charles Barron Passion Call to Vote NO! For Mayoral Control


Monday, April 4, 2016

Black EDSTATS In The Age of Educational Genocide

Percentage of 8th Grade Black Boys in Large American Cities Reading at a Proficient Level
Above Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NOTE: 8th Grade Black Girls only do a little better.
...And here's one reason why: Most of our children's teachers are white and have low expectations for academic success of Black boys and girls. But, we also see that Black teachers have also internalized white supremacist assumptions about academic achievement... resulting in a slightly higher level (9%) of Black academic achievement in 2002. Fourteen years later, we see (above) that the situation either degenerated or- at best -remained horribly the same.
Thanx to Brother Phillip Jackson of Chicago's Black Star Project for originally posting this data.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

2PM JULY 8, 2016 Save Our Schools Rally at Lincoln Memorial


On July 30, 2011, many thousands of us gathered in Washington, DC for the historic Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action. We came from across the country to voice our grievances about the state of public education and to share our visions for the future. We stood in solidarity to denounce an unresponsive political process and its dehumanizing policies. We returned to our cities, communities, organizations and unions committed to the goal of building an equitable, democratic education system for our students, their communities, their schools and educators. We have not rested since in our collective struggle for humane public schools and policies across the nation.

            Today, we have a burgeoning coalition of grassroots groups, union organizations, and activists who will rally and march in support of education and social justice. We are marching for community-based, equitably-funded schools that are the heart of neighborhoods.

We stand and march for:

·         Full, equitable funding for all public schools
·         Safe, racially just schools and communities
·         Community leadership in public school policies
·         Professional, diverse educators for all students
·         Child-centered, culturally appropriate curriculum for all
·         No high-stakes standardized testing
The Save Our Schools Coalition for Action envisions a mass gathering of like-minded people – from all walks of life and with diverse causes – speaking and marching in solidarity once more. We envision bold actions and expressions of resistance for children and adults alike, which foster awareness and camaraderie in the movement. Join us in Washington D.C. on July 8-10th to celebrate democracy by living it. The general schedule for the event is:

·         July 8th: Rally & March (Lincoln Memorial)
·         July 9th: National & International Summit with family and kid-friendly events  (at Howard University)
·         July 10th: Coalition Congress – member organizations meet to plan next steps for the movement

This is an election year, and surely there can be no better time to show our government and our fellow citizens, “This is what democracy looks like!” We look forward to marching with you this summer in D.C.!
Save Our Schools Coalition Demands, Principles

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A MAJOR HISTORIC EVENT: More than 2,000 Boston public school students walk out of class to protest budget cuts

More than 2,000 Boston public school students walk out of class to protest budget cuts

Students marched through downtown Boston and converged on Boston Common.

Thousands of students protest on Boston Common.
Thousands of students protest on Boston Common.
Ryan Breslin/
Daphne Partridge spent Monday morning debating whether to walk out of her class at Boston Teachers Union School. The blond sixth grader worried she might be suspended for abruptly standing up and leaving, but, more than that, she worried about what would happen if she didn’t walk out.

As she stood cheering and shouting on the Common with more than 2,000 other students from across the school system, Partridge knew she’d made the right choice.
“At our school we’re worried about language programs being taken away, but now that we’re here we see the ways all the other schools are affected,” she said. “It’s crazy how many kids are here. But it makes me feel like I have a voice.” 

The students marched through downtown Boston after walking out of class to protest planned budget cuts, carrying signs and chanting, “What do we want? Education!,” as shoppers and onlookers walking down Newbury Street pulled out their cell phones to record the demonstration.

Students made their way in large throngs toward Boston Common, the State House, and Faneuil Hall, on foot and by bus, despite warnings from the school district that they would be marked absent if they left class.
“Pretty much every student in my class walked out. I don’t think there’s anyone left,” said Harry Saunders, a senior at Snowden International School. “But I’m surprised how many people are here.”

Protest organizers posted a letter on Twitter prior to the walkout stating that budget cuts next year will prohibit students from learning “at full capacity” and “make it impossible to get into the college of your dreams.” 

The city’s public schools are facing the deficit due to rising expenses and a decline in state and federal aid. The exact amount of the deficit, however, has yet to be determined. The initial budget shortfall was estimated at about $50 million, though the mayor’s office has said the total figure will be lower when the school committee votes on the final budget March 23.
This isn’t the first public protest regarding the budget cuts. During February vacation week, several hundred parents, teachers, and students held a rally in downtown Boston. Many parents also protested outside of Mayor Marty Walsh’s “State of the City” address in January. But this was the first student-organized demonstration. 

City Councilor Tito Jackson marched with the students, and encouraged them to walk inside the State House to voice their opinions.

“I’m so encouraged by the massive turnout and voices of our young people,” he said. “They should be holding lawmakers accountable. They should demand that they have enough teachers who will encourage them to stay in their classrooms. They shouldn’t lose their JV programs, which keep some kids involved and are a lifeline for them. And they shouldn’t lose funding to charter schools.”
Jackson abruptly broke away from the rally to go address two students who were fighting on the Common. After the tussle, the crowd diminished, but several hundred students marched to Faneuil Hall, where Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker held a press conference for a “Forbes Under 30” event.

Once the students realized Baker and Walsh were no longer inside, they slowly began to walk away. Some students went back to the State House, where they testified before the Joint Committee on Education regarding funding. 

About two dozen students remained in front of Faneuil Hall, including Nathan Metz-Lerman, a junior at Boston Latin Academy.

“We have to continue fighting,” he said into a megaphone. “We’re not just gonna let our education be destroyed. Who wants to do a chant?”

 The remaining students cheered.

“They say cut back, we say fight back,” he said. “Cut back.”

“Fight back,” the crowd answered.

Then, as more students dispersed to go home to do homework, Metz-Lerman led the crowd in one last cheer.

“I believe,” he yelled, then paused. “That we. Will win.”

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Corporatizing MisEducation: Charter Schools

Friday, February 26, 2016

How to Get Rich From Public Schools (Without Actually Educating)

"Someday people may wake up and demand more for their tax dollars and for their children. But until then…There’s gold in them thar schools!" (Photo: Bullion Vault/flickr/cc)
There’s gold in them thar schools!
Don’t believe me?
When you drive by an inner city school, it doesn’t exactly look like the Taj Mahal. Does it? Even relatively upscale suburban schools wouldn’t be mistaken for a house on MTV Cribs. And some of those fly-by night charter schools look more like prisons than Shangri-La.
But I’ve got it on good authority that there’s $1.3 trillion available for someone who knows how to take it.
That someone is Harold Levy, an expert on how to get rich through school privatization.
The former chancellor of the New York City School System has begun a second career managing an investment company.
“For-profit education is one of the largest U.S. investment markets, currently topping $1.3 trillion in value,” according to the Website for one of his master classes for rich investors.
Wooo-weee! That’s a lot of money!
To put it in context, that’s more than 10 times the amount the federal government spends on education per year. And it’s all yummy profit!
There's something in the air...
So how do you get your hands on some of those delicious taxpayer greenbacks?
You gotta’ invest.
No! I don’t mean increase education budgets for traditional public schools that can barely make ends meet! I mean invest in shiny new charter schools.
Here’s how it works.
Lend money to a for-profit company to build a new charter school. If you do it just right, you’re almost guaranteed to double or triple your money in seven years.
You’ll want to take advantage of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), which began in 2000 at the end of President Bill Clinton’s administration. This will give you a whooping 39 percent tax credit. But here’s the best part, since it’s money you’re lending, you also get interest on it! And if that weren’t enough, you can piggyback all kinds of additional federal tax credits on top of that – things like historic preservation or job creation or Brownfield’s credits.
That doesn’t sound legal, does it? But it is!
In case that has you feeling queasy, you can hide what you’re doing by funneling the whole thing through a large non-profit organization like the Gates Foundation. They’ll be more than happy to help. They’ve done it for so many before you anyway.
However, make sure you whisk this money through something called a Community Development Entity (CDE). The federal website explains this can be either a “domestic corporation or partnership.” And it must have “a primary mission of serving LICs [Low Income Communities].” (Snicker!)
Here’s the best part. A CDE isn’t required to release information about who its donors are or how much they’re spending. So on paper the CDE – not you – gives the money to the non-profit, which, in turn, loans the money to a charter management organization. It’s like money laundering. No one can tell where the funds came from and thus it’s easy to escape from federal regulations or any appearance of wrongdoing.
There is a catch, however. You’re probably going to need a substantial amount of capital to put forward – at least a million bucks or so. No bank’s going to waste its time with only a few hundred thou.
This method is perfect for those who are already wealthy and want to increase their wealth or hedge fund managers out to boost their clients’ portfolios.
But maybe you just aren’t into the whole hedge fund game. Maybe you’re not the banking and investing type.
You can still make oodles of cash off public schools through real estate.
Here’s what you do – buy up cheap inner city properties that can be renovated or repurposed for charter schools. Then when a school privatization firm wants to set up shop in an impoverished city like Philadelphia, Chicago or Detroit, it needs someone like you to open the door.
You’ll get to charge the charter corporation rent and – get this – that’s not price capped! You can charge whatever you want! As long as you’ve got a good spot and no one else is trying to beat you to it, charter corporations are willing to pay bookoo bucks to get their money-making enterprises rolling!
A good rule of thumb comes from privatization expert Charter Schools USA, which recommends rental costs not exceed 20 percent of a school’s budget. However, there are plenty of examples of charter schools paying 25, 30 even up to 43 percent of their money just on rental costs! Ca-Ching!
And if you really want to boost the bottom line, open a charter school, yourself! That way you can both rent out the real estate and pay for it!
Think about it. Who sets the rental price? You do. Who pays the rental price? You do. So you can pay yourself WHATEVER YOU WANT! And where does the money come from? The taxpayers!
Doesn’t sound legal does it? But it is!
According to the Miami Herald, which conducted an in-depth investigation into these practices, many of the highest rents are charged by landlords with ties to the management companies running the schools. Property records show at least 56 charter schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties sitting on land whose owners are tied to management companies.
Of course there are so many other ways to set things up like this with a charter school. Unlike most traditional public schools, charters contract with for-profit companies for everything from curriculum development to construction. So there are many opportunities for creative investors to figure out how to both set the price and pay it TO THEMSELVES!
Moreover, every state has different laws about charter schools so check for loopholes. You’ll find ‘em!
Just don’t forget to set up that CDE to hide your shady dealings from the public. After all, if taxpayers could easily see how you’re sucking up their hard-earned money that they thought was going to help school children (Tee-hee!) they wouldn’t be happy.
And if you’re reading this from somewhere outside of the USA, don’t despair. You, too, can make a ton of money off school privatization in the United States. It’s like the Statue of Liberty says – wealthy foreign nationals welcome! (Or something like that.)
Since the Immigration Act of 1990, investors have been allowed to purchase visas for their families by investing in U.S. corporations. Just stash some cash into a hotel, ski resort or charter school and – voilà! – Move directly to GO and collect way more than $200!
It’s called the EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors. For the low price of at least $1 million -or $500,000 to a rural or high unemployment neighborhood — you can get visas for the whole family.
Sounds like some crazy new loophole – right? It isn’t. It’s been around for decades. Every year, the federal government hands out 10,000 of these visas. So while Syrian refugee children drown seeking asylum, wealthy foreign nationals get an express ticket to the US of A.
You might be thinking, ‘That gets me into the country, but where do I cash in?’ Easy. You now have a stake in a U.S. charter school and have access to all the same easy money as native-born investors.
It’s an incredibly lucrative model even for those more interested in the Prophet than profit.
Just look at Gulen charter schools. It’s the largest single charter school network in the country. More than 150 schools in Texas, Ohio, Illinois and other cities are funded by Turkish investors following an Islamic nationalist named Fetullaf Gülen. These schools are part of a “worldwide religious, social and nationalistic movement in his name,” according to the New York Times.
Be warned. Many of these schools are under investigation for using U.S. taxpayer dollars meant to educate U.S. children in non-educational or otherwise shady ways. Some of this tax revenue has allegedly been spent on political and religious causes championed by the Prophet Gülen. Other funds have gone to controversial educational practices. For instance, instead of hiring local teachers, the chain is infamous for shipping in Turkish educators to the United States. As if it wouldn’t be cheaper to hire locals! And guess where the money comes from to pay for these Turkish teachers’ visas? That’s right – from the charter school’s funding!
Still. Even with a few setbacks, there’s never been a better time to invest in the privatization of public education. Sure there are financial, behavioral and educational scandals at charter schools throughout the country being discovered everyday. But fortune favors the brave!
Money is just hanging on the tree waiting to be plucked. It’s hard to walk into a charter school and not come out with pockets fit to bursting with cold, hard cash.
In fact, the only folks not making bank in this whole scheme are the teachers!
Don’t be one of them.
Teachers at charter schools – where unionizing is often prohibited – take home even less than those working at traditional public schools. And those traditional educators aren’t getting rich, either.
A new report by the Center for American Progress argues that U.S. teachers usually have bad starting pay and are unlikely to see major salary gains even after several years of teaching.
Growth in teacher salaries is especially bad when comparing the U.S. to other developed countries:
Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.48.08 AM
“The bottom line is that mid- and late-career teachers are not earning what they deserve, nor are they able to gain the salaries that support a middle-class existence,” the report concluded.
There appears to be a golden rule in education: the less you actually help students learn, the more money you get to take home.
Perhaps if public schools were kept out of private hands where profit is the overwhelming motivation for everything you do, things would be different. But thank goodness that isn’t happening!
Someday people may wake up and demand more for their tax dollars and for their children. But until then…There’s gold in them thar schools!
Don’t be a sap. Don’t be a teacher. Don’t help children. Invest in a fly-by-night charter school and get rich!
Steven Singer
Steven Singer is a husband, father, teacher, blogger and education advocate. He blogs at

Friday, January 22, 2016

VIDEO SERIES: Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed Explained In Detail

Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed Broken Down Point By Point

Prof. Jason J. Campbell gives us 10 videos that help us understand the central ideas of Paulo Freire's seminal work on how the oppressed learn about the world about them and their power to transform it on their terms and not on the terms of the oppressor.



Videos 4 thru 10 can be found at:

Monday, December 21, 2015

High Stakes Testing and the Black Community: Just Say No!

Standardized tests? Principal Jamaal Bowman says 'Know your rights'. 

President Obama recently spoke out against excessive standardized testing. The POTUS claimed that this issue, "takes the joy out of teaching and learning, both for them (teachers) and for the students". Long before Obama's declaration, Jamaal Bowman, Founding Principal of CASA (Cornerstone Academy for Social Action) in Bronx, NY, has been advocate for student and parent rights and the movement to opt out of standardized tests to promote more holistic approaches to assessment of student learning. Bowman speaks with YBE about the impact of standardized tests on Black and Brown students and offers his advice to their parents.