Monday, October 31, 2016

I'm black and I'm afraid of black men By Issac Bailey

I've braced myself in the presence of unknown black men, felt myself ready for a potential attack even as all they threw my way was a head bob and a "What's up, brother?"

That's why I attended the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., in 1995. I needed to immerse myself in a sea of black men gathered for a cause of uplift so that I could alleviate dark thoughts I'd secretly harbored about men who wear dark skin -- because I've been afraid of black men.
Because I'm a man who has feared black men, despite the gaggle of black brothers and cousins and black father and stepfather who lived in the same house I did and loved me -- despite the dark skin I've worn since birth.
That's why I know that the skin color of the police officer who killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte in a still-disputed shooting is largely irrelevant, just as it is in most such incidents, no matter what media critics such as Howard Kurtz think.
"Since the anger in North Carolina's largest city is driven by outrage over a high-profile series of deaths of black men in confrontations with white officers, this would seem to be a highly relevant part of the story," Kurtz wrote.
 know Kurtz is mistaken because I've battled an irrational fear of black men that has, misleadingly, been only attributed to white or other non-black people: Scott was in fact killed by a black officer in Charlotte last week. And a couple of days of violent protests in Milwaukee followed the August shooting of a black man by a black cop in that city.

My own score on the Implicit Association test (a test developed by researchers to test for unconscious racial bias) showed that I found it slightly easier to associate negative things with dark skin -- like nearly 90% of white people and almost half of black people.
This is a key aspect of our ongoing national discussion about race that is too frequently ignored.
But it is because I'm aware of my own fear that I know that even "good" cops can kill unarmed black men and millions of non-deplorable people can find ways to rationalize every such shooting. Because the kind of bias that is most pernicious is the subconscious kind. It can seduce us into believing that as long as we think the right thing or try to do the right thing or be the right kind of person, our actions would never be negatively influenced by racist stereotypes.
I'm not a racist. I love people who wear dark skin like I do. I'm married to a black woman who chopped off her long dreadlocks for a short natural hair look, and am the father of a 14-year-old black son and a 12-year-old black daughter. I've studied the ugly history of race in this country to teach others. I've unflinchingly stood against bigotry and bias and racism in all their forms.
And, still, I've struggled with this self-knowledge.
That's why I know it isn't something you can pray away or think away or effectively corral without deliberative, purposeful action that must become second nature.
Anything less means that this type of bias won't be defeated and will continue playing an important role in ugly confrontations between black people and police, no matter how perfectly the black man complies with commands or how closely the cop follows strict training guidelines.

Our country was founded in part on the belief that dark skin denoted inferiority and danger, a message with roots that are now centuries deep. Without systemic reforms designed to specifically combat implicit bias we will continue running in these circles, forever lamenting our fate.
Airbnb, though it is far from the finish line, is beginning to take such steps to fight the bias among some hosts that participate in the home-sharing service. The company is restructuring the way reservations are made and requests accepted. Orchestras combated gender bias in a similar way by switching to blind auditions.


To read more, click on the following link: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/opinions/im-black-and-struggle-with-implicit-bias-bailey/

NAACP demands federal probe after noose allegedly put on black student

JACKSON, Miss. -- The president of the Mississippi NAACP is demanding a federal hate crime investigation after the parents of a black high school student said as many as four white students put a noose around their son’s neck at school.
“No child should be walking down the hall or in a locker room and be accosted with a noose around their neck,” president Derrick Johnson said Monday during a news conference in Wiggins. “This is 2016, not 1916. This is America. This is a place where children should go to school and feel safe in their environment.”

Johnson said the incident happened Oct. 13 near a locker room at Stone High School in Wiggins.
The group said in a statement that officials have mishandled the situation. The NAACP said no one has been charged with a crime, and the black student’s parents have not told of any punishment for the other students involved.
“They failed to protect this student throughout this ordeal,” the NAACP said. “Allowing students to commit blatant hate crimes without severe consequences, sends a message to students that their safety and well-being are not valuable enough to be protected.”
CBS Biloxi affiliate WLOX reports that, according to the Stone High Student Handbook, the superintendent has the authority to expel any students who commits an act of violence on campus.
The NAACP claims school officials told the victim’s mother they could not tell her about disciplinary actions because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Mississippi has struggled with a history of racial division. It is the last state that still incorporates the Confederate battle emblem on its state flag. In 2014, two out-of-state students at the University of Mississippi placed a noose on the campus’ statue of James Meredith, the black student who integrated Ole Miss in 1962. Both pleaded guilty to using a threat of force to intimidate African-American students and employees. Neither attends the school anymore.
Names and ages of the students involved in the Stone County incident weren’t immediately released. The Stone County NAACP president, Robert James, said the black student is a football player.
According to a statement from the black student’s family, he returned to practice after the incident, Ayana Kinnel, spokeswoman for the civil rights group, said. 
The Stone County Sheriff’s Department provides officers at local schools and typically is the first to respond to incidents. Sheriff Mike Farmer didn’t immediately respond to a phone message and an email. Wiggins Police Chief Matt Barnett said his agency wasn’t notified.
Stone County High School Principal Adam Stone referred comment to Superintendent Inita Owen. She and school board attorney Sean Courtney didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.
State Department of Education spokeswoman Patrice Guilfoyle said the state usually lets local districts handle student discipline.


Why US inmates launched a nationwide strike By Max Blau and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

Last month, on the 45th anniversary of the infamous Attica Prison uprising, tens of thousands of US inmates launched a nationwide protest that continues today, according to advocates who helped organize the effort.
The inmates' grievances are as varied as the states they came from: Pennies for labor in South Carolina, racial discrimination in California, excessive force in Michigan. However, they share an overarching goal: End legalized slavery inside American correctional facilities.
Jails and prisons don't have to be luxurious -- or comfortable, for that matter -- but the US Supreme Court has said they're not supposed to be dangerous or dehumanizing. Yet the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, while banning slavery, allows prisoners to work for little to no pay, in what inmate advocates say crosses the limits of human decency, amounting to modern-day servitude.
"I used to think, 'Nah, that ain't America, that's China and Cuba,' " South Carolina inmate Harold Sasa told CNN from a contraband phone. "It's a system that's neither benefiting us nor the citizens outside."
Even the American Correctional Association, the country's largest trade organization for prisons and jails, this year passed a resolution urging the repeal of the amendment's "exclusion clause," which allows for such labor. It has also called on prison work programs to "aspire" to offer wages based on inmate productivity. But many corrections officials say there's nothing punitive about withholding wages from inmates. Often, the funds are used to offset operating costs or pay off inmates' court-ordered restitution while providing them with job training.
Since September 9, the Incarcerated Workers' Organizing Committee, a prisoner rights advocacy group, estimates as many as 50,000 inmates have taken part in coordinated strikes planned through social media on cell phones and snail mail across nearly two-dozen states. That number is impossible to independently verify. Some individual inmates are still protesting, IWOC said.

To read more, click on the following link:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/30/us/us-prisoner-strike/index.html

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Please support my students!

https://www.gofundme.com/2mg66myc

This money will be used for technology in the classroom.  It is not for me personally.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Americans are as skeptical of Black Lives Matter as they were of the civil rights movement Updated by Victoria M. Massie

Three years after the Black Lives Matter movement began, not everyone understands the movement’s mission. And as evidenced during the Republican National Convention, some people, like Donald Trump, are invested in exploiting those misunderstandings for political points.
But the fire Trump is igniting is fueled by a country that has historically resisted black social justice movements.
According to the American National Election Studies, 57 percent of Americans in 1964 said most of black people’s actions during the civil rights movement in the most recent year were violent. Sixty-three percent of Americans believed the civil rights movement was moving "too fast." And a majority of Americans (58 percent) believed that black people’s actions for the movement hurt their own cause.
Sound familiar?
And just a reminder: Two of the key actions by civil rights activists in 1963 were the March on Washington, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech; and "Bloody Sunday," when Alabama state troopers brutally beat peaceful protesters attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery for their right to vote.
But Americans today share similar attitudes toward the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Two Hundred Workout

This workout consists of 8 sets of each exercise twenty reps each movement. 

1.    Jump Rope
2.    Push-ups
3.    Standing Squats
4.    Bicep curls
5.    Tricep dips
6.    Scissor kicks (abs)
7.    Flat Plank

The idea for this workout it to complete each exercise without any rest in between each set.


Teen's "White Boy Privilege" slam poetry goes viral By Karen Yuan and Lucy Price, CNN

A young boy takes the stage. In a shaky voice, he says, "My name is Royce. My poem is titled, 'White Boy Privilege.'"
The video of the 14-year-old student's slam poem at his school has gone viral in the midst of heated national discussions regarding race and privilege.
Performed at a slam poetry competition in May at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Royce Mann's winning poem offers a reflection on the privilege he feels he has been automatically awarded as a result of his being white and male.
His piece begins with a lamentation: "Dear women, I'm sorry. Dear black people, I'm sorry. Dear Asian-Americans, dear Native Americans, dear immigrants who came here seeking a better life, I'm sorry. Dear everyone who isn't a middle or upper-class white boy, I'm sorry. I have started life on the top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung."
As Royce continues, he acknowledges the barriers that those of other genders, races and classes must confront that he is fortunate enough to avoid: "Because of my race, I can eat at a fancy restaurant without the wait staff expecting me to steal the silverware. Thanks to my parents' salary I go to a school that brings my dreams closer instead of pushing them away."
Royce concedes that, if given the choice, he would not choose to trade places with anyone else because "to be privileged is awesome."
As he reads his poem, his voice grows louder and more impassioned. "It is embarrassing that we still live in a world in which we judge another person's character by the size of their paycheck, the color of their skin, or the type of chromosomes they have."

Race, class, gender

"It is embarrassing that we tell our kids that it is not their personality, but instead those same chromosomes that get to dictate what color clothes they wear and how short they must cut their hair. But most of all, it is embarrassing that we deny this. That we claim to live in an equal country, an equal world."
His poem has captured the attention of many who applauded him for being "woke," or conscious of the ways in which racism, sexism and classism affect society. Among those is "Empire" star Taraji P Henson, who tweeted, "#TheTRUTH GOD BLESS THIS LITTLE BRAVE ANGEL!!!"
In an interview with HLN, Royce and his mother, Sheri Mann Stewart, explained that he was staying focused on getting his message spread.
Royce said that he knew about white and male privilege for most of his life, but never knew how prevalent it was in society until he attended a class called "Race, Class and Gender" that opened his eyes.

But he refused praise, claiming, "I'm not the hero of this movement or anything. There are definitely a lot of people who've done a lot more than me. I'm just trying to do my part."

To read more, click on the following link:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/13/us/teen-slam-poet-white-privilege-hln/index.html

Tips for Talking About Police Violence, Race, and Racism in the Classroom By Liana Heitin July 12, 201

Two recent, recorded police killings of black men and the killings of five police officers in Dallas have left many adults without words, especially not the words necessary to explain the violence and underlying racial issues to children.
Most public schools are out on summer vacation, but that hasn't slowed the calls for educators to prepare to discuss the events of the last week with students when school resumes in the fall. This is true on an especially intimate level for staff at the Montessori school where Philando Castile worked as a cafeteria supervisor before he was shot by a police officer at a traffic stop last week.
"Anna Garnaas, a teacher at the St. Paul, Minn., elementary school where Castile worked, is already anticipating what she will hear from her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students when they return to class in the fall," the Washington Post reports.
" 'I think that's when we'll see them crying and wondering and asking questions, the first day of school in September,' she said. 'Where's our buddy? Where's the guy who takes care of us and makes sure we have our most fundamental needs met?' "
This weekend, the New York Times published a sad compilation of the ways that young relatives of those killed in high-profile police shootings have been traumatized by the experience.
" The list of young people burdened by these tumultuous times includes Tamir Rice 's teenage sister, who lost 50 pounds after watching the police shoot him in 2014; the daughter of Oscar Grant III, killed by a transit officer while lying down on a California train platform in 2009, who as a 5-year-old would ask playmates to duck when she saw the police; and the 9-year-old nephew of Sandra Bland, who began sleeping in his mother's room after Ms. Bland's death last year in a jail cell.
'They are aware of what's going in the world, of how you can leave your house and you can very well end up in a body bag,' said a sister of Ms. Bland's, Shante Needham, whose four children continue to struggle with the death of their aunt. 'They watch the news. They see all the stuff going on on Facebook. And it's sad that kids even have to think like that, that if I get stopped by the police, I may not make it home.' "
Research explains why student trauma should concern schools: Trauma can leave children in a perpetual state of fight or flight, interfering with normal brain development, executive functioning, and engagement in classroom activities. And, short of addressing trauma, discussing current events in the classroom provides a real learning opportunity and a chance for students to develop social awareness and empathy about their peers' experiences.
As it looks likely that protests and news coverage of recent events may continue well through the summer months, even children who haven't been directly affected by recent events may have questions, concerns, or fears when they return to school.
Fortunately, there are resources teachers can use to frame discussions and to help anticipate what their students, particularly students of color, may be experiencing. Many of these resources were compiled after previous events, such as the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which prompted dramatic demonstrations and slowed the start of school. Some have been updated since. Here is a sampling.
First, check out this TED Talk by commentator Jay Smooth, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race."
·        Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (which has clear positions in these discussions), compiled these resources on teaching about race, racism, and police violence.
·        #FergusonSyllabus, crowd-sourced on Twitter at the time of the Brown shooting, includes suggested reading for teachers and students about issues that are relevant to recent events.
·        In the same vein, here's a Teaching Now post about addressing race in the classroom after Ferguson.
·        Character.org has a roundup of activities and articles for teaching about race.
·        Here's a tip sheet from Making Caring Common at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
·        Maybe some students would benefit more from some space for unstructured reflection. In that case, check out these tips from the Harvard Graduate School of Education on discussing traumatic events with children.

To read more, click on the following link


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Education funding outpaced by prison spending in Pa. and N.J BY PHILLYVOICE STAFF

Pennsylvania and New Jersey each are spending less on higher education than they are on prisons, according to a study published by the U.S. Department of Education.
This is emblematic of a trend in most states across the country, federal researchers say, and not just when comparing the money appropriated for prisons to money budgeted for public state colleges.
Statistics show that during the last 30 years, state and local government expenditures for corrections has skyrocketed three times as fast as money spent on elementary and secondary education.
This increase in corrections spending has been driven by — among other factors — an increase in the number of people incarcerated in prisons and jails. The United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population but more than 20 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.
A person with less education is more likely to end up in prison. Researchers note that two-thirds of state prison inmates in the U.S. did not graduate from high school, and they estimate that a 10-percent increase in high school graduation rates could lead to a 9 percent decline in the country's arrest rate.
Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania allot more money for primary education than prisons and jails but the increase in spending for corrections in these states outpaces the growth rate for schools.
In Pennsylvania, primary education spending grew by 74 percent from 1979-1980 through 2012-2013 while prison spending grew 320 percent. During the same time period, New Jersey's education spending increased 134 percent and its corrections expenses rose 282 percent.
Nationwide, funding for primary education has risen 107 percent while funding for state and local prisons has more than tripled, growing 324 percent.
All totaled, 24 states had per capita spending rates more than 100 percentage points higher than the per-student rate of primary education spending. Pennsylvania was among those states.
Read the U.S. Department of Education's complete study here.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

State of Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/board/ssframeworks.pdf

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teachers Union, Hedge Funds War Over Pension Billions by Brody Mullins

Daniel Loeb, Paul Singer and dozens of other hedge-fund managers have poured millions of dollars into promoting charter schools in New York City and into groups that want to revamp pension plans for government workers, including teachers.
The leader of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, sees some of the proposals, in particular the pension issue, as an attack on teachers. She also has influence over more than $1 trillion in public-teacher pension plans, many of which traditionally invest in hedge funds.
It is a recipe for a battle for the ages.
Ms. Weingarten started by targeting hedge-fund managers she deemed a threat to teachers and urged unions to yank money from their funds. Then she moved to Wall Street as a whole.
Her union federation is funding a lobbying campaign to eliminate the “carried-interest” tax rate on investment income earned by many money managers. It is trying to defeat legislation that would increase the charitable deduction in New York state for donations to private schools. And it has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing 25 Wall Street firms of violating antitrust law and manipulating Treasury bond prices.
Some pension funds have withdrawn money from hedge-fund managers criticized by the teachers union. And some hedge-fund managers stopped making donations to advocacy groups targeted by Ms. Weingarten.
Hedge funds, reluctant to buckle to the pressure, say Ms. Weingarten is doing a disservice to the teachers she represents, because funds should aim solely to earn the highest possible return on their assets. The personal beliefs or donations of hedge-fund managers, they argue, shouldn’t be a factor in that decision. At least one manager, Mr. Loeb of Third Point LLC, has increased his donations to a charter-school group, citing Ms. Weingarten.
Sander Read, chief executive officer of Lyons Wealth Management, which hasn’t been targeted, likened what Ms. Weingarten is doing to “hiring a dentist because of their political beliefs. You may see eye to eye on politics, but you may not have great, straight teeth.” None of the hedge funds targeted by the teachers unions would discuss the matter publicly, a sign of how sensitive the battle has become.
Ms. Weingarten said in an interview: “Why would you put your money with someone who wants to destroy you?”
The battles are rooted in a political fight over how to improve public education. Republicans have long sought major changes, such as creating new competition for public schools, including charter schools. Democrats largely have supported solutions backed by the unions, particularly increased spending for existing schools.

About a decade ago, some liberals joined conservatives in pushing to expand charter schools. Those efforts received financial support from hedge-fund managers including Mr. Loeb, Mr. Singer of Elliott Management Corp. and Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp., who together kicked in millions of dollars.
To read more click on the following link:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/teachers-union-hedge-funds-war-over-pension-billions/ar-AAhJD38?li=AA4Zjn&ocid=spartandhp

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.  

 
https://www.cir-usa.org/cases/friedrichs-v-california-teachers-association-et-al/

 

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

State of Connecticut publishes teacher evalutions

What has happened to teacher privacy?  I don't see any other profession being scrutinized as heavily as American educators!  I am sure there are plenty of malpractice lawsuits going on with hospitals and health care professionals,Where is that data?  How about the profession of law?  There are plenty of African American and Latino citizens that have been subjected to the wrong side of justice.  Where is that data?  


http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/First-Statewide-Teacher-Evaluation-Documents-Released-367426871.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_CTBrand

America’s Ruling Class vs. All Nicholas Short

Sitting back and observing the current civil war happening within the Republican party should come as no surprise to anyone who resides outside the beltway of Washington, D.C. Pundits, thinkers, writers, and radio hosts who I once admired, have now lost credibility as they have bestowed upon themselves the bastion of what is and isn’t “true conservatism”. Yet, while the civil war wages within the party, the party itself does a disservice to this nation for fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time as the war for the heart of this country wages on.
To myself, this has always been the main issue in regards to the Republicans. For far too long they’ve fought for the soul of conservatism as they’d like it to be, but not for the soul of the nation as it truly is. I highly doubt that the very pundits, thinkers, writers, and hosts whom I’ve come to follow are malevolent in their intent for overlooking this point but I have come to realize that they’ve overlooked it completely. I find it flat out astounding that they fail to recognize the zeitgeist of the times as America has reached a point in which the majority of the voters not only couldn’t give a damn about what is and isn’t conservatism, but have no idea what the word even means. Why? Because year after year, representative after representative, and election after election the elites within the Republican establishment repeatedly betray their constituency as they immediately capitulate on their promises.

Each time a Republican, supporting conservative principles, promising to fight once elected into office, gets elected and then turns on those very principles, it damages the cause of conservatism. The main issue that is always overlooked, sometimes innocently but more often deliberately, by those in power within the Republican party is this; As they wage a civil war between themselves and their base, the nation itself is confronted with a larger civil war between two America’s. David Kupelian in his book The Snapping of the American Mind: Healing a Nation Broken by a Lawless Government and Godless Cultureexplains these two America’s succinctly. Kupelian writes that, “on one side we have those who basically still reverence god, common sense, reason, morality, natural law, and the laws of economics and of human nature — in general, the proven principles of Western civilization. On the other side are people who are confused, intimidated, or brainwashed — or else so covetous of power that they’ve abandoned all principle for the sake of power.” The war for America is being waged by those in the former against those in the latter.
To read more, click on the following link:

I'm A State Employee — I'm Not The Problem bt LISA MARIE BIGELOW

It's as predictable as autumn leaves falling. Connecticut's facing budget problems — again — and a bunch of politicians, editorial writers and antigovernment activists are pointing the finger of blame at state employees and their unions, calling for yet another round of economic concessions.
Making state employees the scapegoat is a convenient narrative, but a false one.
Twenty-eight years ago, I decided to pursue a career in public higher education. I am a product of Connecticut's public higher education system and walking testimony to the value of affordable and accessible public higher education for Connecticut residents.
When I was looking at colleges in high school, my test scores were high enough to allow me to choose from among many private and out-of-state schools, but I chose my hometown school, Central Connecticut State University, where I received undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration. It's a decision I've never regretted.
I now have the privilege of working at the same public university from which I graduated. My chosen career has been in the field of international education, where I help students realize their dreams of studying abroad and then show them how to best highlight their global knowledge, skills and attitude on their resumes when looking for work.

I work at CCSU to enrich the lives of our students, not to increase a shareholder's return on investment or to create a lucrative tax dodge.
I am proudly joined by many other dedicated and hardworking public servants who spend their days ensuring that Connecticut's sons and daughters succeed in life. Some 11,000 students pass through our doors every year; it's our job to provide the educational programming and services that help them learn, grow and contribute to the state economy.
I have sacrificed time and again through multiple budget crises that were used to bludgeon middle-class state employees into making steep economic concessions from which the corporate elite and Connecticut's wealthiest residents have been immune.
Let me put this sacrifice in personal perspective. I've taken three wage freezes. I am paying more for my health insurance and on top of that contributing an additional 3 percent of my salary into a retiree trust fund.
My unionized colleagues and I have not done this happily, but we have done it willingly to be part of a broader solution to protect the valuable services our students need and deserve.
That leads me to ask: Why are state employees always being targeted for what amounts to a special tax increase in the form of wage and benefit givebacks? Why is shared sacrifice fine for middle-class workers in the public sector but not for big business and our wealthiest citizens?


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Cha-Ching! Wealthy Charter School backers give big to Malloy – Malloy gives big to charter schools John Pelto

Call it the new American Way.  The billionaires, millionaires and corporate elite who fund charter schools give generously to Democratic and Republican politicians and the politicians return the favor by shifting public funds into the coffers of the privately owned, but publicly funded charter schools.
Here in Connecticut the system was clearly on display last week when Governor Dannel Malloy and his sidekick, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, rolled out their new “austerity budget” for 2016-2017.
In classic fashion, their plan slashes a full array of vital services while giving the wealthy yet another tax break.  Their plan makes absolutely no effort, whatsoever, to require Connecticut’s richest resident to pay their fair share in taxes.
But their budget certainly targets the middle class and all of Connecticut’s working families, along with those who rely on state services to lead more fulfilling lives.
Failing to even identify where 40 percent of the budget cuts would actually come from, Malloy proposed a spending plan that would provide $720 million less than what would be necessary simply to maintain the current level of state services.
Malloy targeted some of his deepest cuts to programs that help children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, those with mental illness, Connecticut’s public schools, the state’s public colleges and universities, and municipal aid.
Of course, the Governor promised – yet again – that he would not raise taxes … overlooking the fact that his budget would force cities and towns across Connecticut to raise property taxes.
But while everyone else loses under Malloy’s budget, charter schools win!
In the midst of their budget slashing frenzy, Malloy and Wyman are actually increasing the amount of taxpayer funds going to Connecticut’s privately owned charter schools.


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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bang® POTENT BRAIN AND BODY FUEL



NEW PRODUCT REVIEW !!

For those of you who use energy drinks, this is the only supplement that should be on your list.  I have used a variety of supplements in this particular case, energy drinks and I must say this is the best thus far.  I have used Rockstar, Amped and Monster just to name a few.  The bottom line is that this drink has no harmful ingredients sugar being the most important ingredient to mention.  This drink is pure energy and I mean energy that is clean.  There is no after effects of any kind whatsoever. There is no tingling or hyperactivity from the drink as well.  In fact, I don't even need to use my pre-workout supplement anymore.  A full can isn't even necessary.  I use one half of the can at a time and that is enough.  The idea isn't to abuse the supplement either.  I only use it on training days when I really need it.  I bought a case and I still have plenty left over and it has been a full month.  I think that if you are using energy drinks, this one has to be at the top of the list.  Glutamine and Creatine are two important ingredients that is present in the drink.  

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I absolutely love the product.  I only use it on days that I train. I only use half of  the can.  I get two workouts from one can of bang.  I am careful not to overload on any product.  I know how much of a stimulant that is necessary for the workouts.  If you are using this product, use carefully.  I do not recommend using a whole can at once.  I say this especially for the athletes who stack pre-workout drinks with other supplements.  So far, I have no issues with the product.  I will keep using it.
Yours in training. T






The black unemployment rate has been cut in half under President Obama from 16.8% in 2010 to 8.3% now. #JobsReport


Shanker Institute panel takes on K-12 tenure

The bristly topic of teacher tenure ignited a spirited exchange during the most recent session of the Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series, a monthly panel discussion jointly sponsored by the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. "Teacher Tenure: An Outmoded 'Job For Life' or Essential Right to Due Process?" was the topic on the table when some of education's major thought leaders gathered Jan. 12 at AFT headquarters for the discussion, which was streamed to a national audience.
Joining AFT President Randi Weingarten on the panel and weighing in with sharp, provocative and often contrasting views of tenure were Jane Hannaway of Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy; Richard Kahlenberg, senior fellow at the Century Foundation; and Marc Tucker, president and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy. The wide-ranging discussion touched on several important aspects of the tenure debate—from the historical pressures that gave rise to teacher tenure and their intersection with national labor laws to what some panelists argued was the need for a discussion of tenure within a broader, more appropriate context of support and improvement.
Predating America's major labor laws, teacher tenure emerged in the Progressive Era as a way to buffer schools from patronage hiring practices, a shield for academic freedom in the classroom, and a defense against race and sex discrimination. The concept today often "elicits such outrage and anger," Kahlenberg observed, because of a general misunderstanding of what tenure is and what it is not. Put simply, tenure "is not a lifetime guaranteed job but provides teachers who have demonstrated competence after a probationary period with due-process rights before being fired."
Among the topics addressed by panelists: Tenure as a recruiting incentive, how the tenure debate is shaped by public perception of teaching and by socioeconomic forces in public education, the connection between sound management practices and tenure, and the ways that supports such as peer review and career ladders factor into the discussion.


Supreme Court seems sure to rule against unions Richard Wolf,

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court left little doubt Monday where it stands on forcing teachers and government workers to contribute to public employee unions against their will: It's ready to strike the requirement down.
The court's more conservative justices sharply criticized the current system in which public employees in 23 states and the District of Columbia must pay for the cost of collective bargaining, even if they disagree with their unions' demands. The problem, those justices said, is that virtually everything the unions do affects public policy and tax dollars.
"Everything that is collectively bargained with the government is within the political sphere, almost by definition," said Justice Antonin Scalia, seen as the lone conservative who might side with the unions because of past statements.
When lawyers for California and its teachers union cited more mundane collective bargaining issues such as mileage rates and public safety, Chief Justice John Roberts objected. "It's all money," Roberts said. "The amount of money that's going to be allocated to public education as opposed to public housing, welfare benefits, that's always a public policy issue."
Their comments and others from justices who previously have criticized the practice of compelling union fees made it clear that the court is likely to strike down its nearly 40-year-old precedent allowing unions to impose such requirements on non-members. That would make it harder for unions representing teachers, police and firefighters, and other government workers to maintain their power by affecting their pocketbooks.
The ruling, expected by late June, will come in the middle of an election year in which unions are overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party. It could elevate bread-and-butter issues such as the minimum wage and income inequality on the political agenda, which has been dominated lately by the threats of international terrorism, illegal immigration and guns. And it could energize the Democrats' union base, as Supreme Court defeats often do.
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