Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bernie Sanders is the future of the Democratic Party By Dean Obeidallah

Attention Democratic leaders, and especially DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: The key to the Democratic Party winning is Bernie Sanders. And I don't mean just preventing the nightmare of Donald J. Trump serving as our nation's commander in chief. Sanders is also the key to Democrats retaking the U.S. Congress as well as governorships and state legislatures.
Why? Simple. Sanders has attracted a legion of voters under 30, a category that now represents 17% of the total electorate, up from 14% in 2012. Sanders won 71% of these younger voters in the Democratic contests through early May, which is even higher than the 59% Barack Obama won in 2008.
And polls show Sanders has consistently won first-time voters. For example in the New Hampshire primary, Sanders was supported by 78% of first-time voters.
Sanders is getting young people to become part of the election process for the first time in their lives. I have heard this firsthand when I have given talks at colleges over the past few months. But what I also learned was that these young people are not Democrats. Rather they are Sanders' supporters drawn to his populist, inclusive message.
And these people are increasingly getting angry with Democratic leaders, which is a huge problem for the future of the party. We saw a sign of that Tuesday night at Sanders' packed rally in California. The biggest boos of the night were reserved for Trump. But the second loudest boos came when Sanders mentioned he had a message for the "leadership of the Democratic Party."
Sanders then laid out a very clear choice for these Democratic Party honchos, telling them they're now faced with a "very profound and important decision." They could "do the right thing and open its doors to welcome to the party people prepared to fight for real economic and social change."
Or as Sanders noted, the Democratic leaders could choose the "sad and tragic option" of defending "the status quo and remain dependent on big money campaign contributions." If they choose that path, Sanders warned that the Democratic Party would see "limited participation and limited energy."
Now that doesn't mean every Sanders supporter will sit out the November election if Sanders' message isn't embraced. Some Sanders supporters -- such as myself -- will still proudly and passionately support Hillary Clinton if she's the nominee. But unlike Sanders' younger supporters, I've been a Democrat for years.
Alarmingly it seems that the schism between Wasserman Schultz and the Sanders' camp is escalating. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Wassermann Schultz was on CNN scolding Sanders over what she viewed as his lackluster response to some of his supporters becoming violent at the Nevada Democratic convention over the weekend. (Sanders did condemn the violence in a statement.)
Then on Wednesday, Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver let it all out, declaring on TV what many Sanders' supporters have long felt about Wasserman Schultz: "It's been pretty clear almost from the get-go that she has been working against Bernie Sanders." Weaver blamed the DNC chair for the initial scheduling of Democratic debates in times with low TV viewership as well as revoking their campaign's access to the party's voter database.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Prevention and Intervention of Workplace Bullying in Schools Prepared by Catherine P. Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. and Kate Figiel, Ed.M., Johns Hopkins University

Go to the link and download the report.

Did a War on Teachers Lead to New Shortages? By Guest Blogger Feb. 5, 2016

Thanks for having me, Rick; long-time listener, first-time caller. I'm going to sound off this week about school choice and teacher quality. To kick things off today I've asked my friend and collaborator Katharine Strunk from the University of Southern California to help me think through some pressing questions on teacher-related reforms and teacher shortages. So, off we go:
After years of struggling with budget cuts, public school districts are finally emerging from recession-induced constraints on expenditures. Until very recently, news headlines from across the country bemoaned school districts being forced to resort to extensive teacher layoffs. But now we hear the happy news that districts are hiring again and we need teachers. WE NEED TEACHERS, except now there are none to be had! Suddenly, it seems we are in the midst of a massive teacher shortage. (See here to read the sounding of the alarm by The New York Times.) How can this be?
How can this be? This is a good question, and one that has a lot of folks speculating about potential causes. Today we want to think about just a few of them, and we want to start with the one getting the most press: Teachers are unhappy, they're leaving the classroom, and it's all because of all the reforms we've layered on public schools and teachers in the last decade or so. In fact, google the words "war on teachers," and the search results display news items, blog posts, speeches and other commentary on the high-profile policy reforms to the teaching profession taking place across the country. The line of thinking tying these changes to teacher shortages goes like this: the shortages "are resulting amid school reform initiatives that have evaluated teachers by standardized test scores, and/or reduced collective bargaining rights, and/or forced teachers to administer a mountain of standardized tests to students and teach to the test, and/or suffered inadequate funding."

Despite the fact that many reforms have only recently occurred, and continue to develop alongside other major changes to the education landscape—the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), for example—stories abound of their impact on teachers and teaching. Many come from teachers themselves, some of whom have aired what amount to public resignation letters explaining why they no longer can work in public schools. 
To read more, click on the following link:

Monday, February 8, 2016

This website listed below  has the information to contact the justices and urge them not to vote against us in the Friedrich court case.
Here is a brief synopsis:
The case is a real threat to workers, so we have two choices.  We can agonize or we can organize. .  The entire body of professionals which incorporate all unions must be involved in the process.  This really is an issue that affects everyone.  This is not just a union issue.  What is at stake is the right to collectively bargain with employers.  There are so many people who work in so many industries across this country that will be impacted by this decision.  I hope people realize this.  The decision will turn states into right to work states without any redress if this is allowed to take place.


Call these people!  Write these people!  Do what is necessary.  Todney