Public Education “Reformers” Discredited by Yet Another Study

By: Tuesday June 4, 2013 8:30 am

The privatization of public education movement sometimes called “ed reform” has always had one fatal flaw – none of their claims are supported by the evidence. In modern American politics being completely nonfactual is only a minor handicap, especially if like the “ed reform” movement you have money behind your agenda. Just shout louder and bribe anyone who still has their hearing left.

 

Chicago Teachers Union Files Lawsuit to Stop School Closings

By: Friday May 31, 2013 9:27 am

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest attempt to privatize education in Chicago is running into considerable opposition. The Chicago Teachers Union, joining up with concerned parents, has filed a lawsuit to halt the school closings the privatizer heavy Board of Education ordered. The lawsuit alleges Chicago Public Schools are not following their own guidelines for school closings.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gar Alperovitz, What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution

By: Sunday May 12, 2013 1:59 pm

In What Then Must We Do?, political economy professor Gar Alperovitz slowly and deliberately nudges readers off the traditional course of political activism assumed to bring about progressive change – elections, legislative fights, protest actions, firing the twin engines of grassroots Democratic groups and organized labor – arguing that these methods have failed. He finds readers at that moment of despair, when the best efforts we’ve known to create the space for change have failed. Indeed, he doesn’t believe that these efforts can reverse what is now a decades-long march of structural economic, environmental and political decline. “Absent major national shocks,” he writes, “the capacity for fundamental political change is limited in the American context.”

Newark Students Walk Out to Protest Privatization Plans and Budget Cuts

By: Wednesday April 10, 2013 10:45 am

Though Governor Chris Christie refers to students protesting his privatization plans as drug mules, the students of Newark decided yesterday to stand up for their right to an education and walked out of class to protest the attack on their public school system.

Governor Chris Christie Announces Privatizing Scheme for Camden City Schools

By: Monday March 25, 2013 12:10 pm

Governor Chris Christie has announced a state takeover of the Camden school system to force privatization programs. The privatization program had been stymied by residents and their local representatives who did not want to lose their public school system. Now privatization advocates have been able to go around local authorities and have the Governor hand them power.

Chris Christie was formerly a registered lobbyist for education privatization firm Edison Schools Inc. His current education commissioner, Chris Cerf, was previously President of Edison Schools Inc. at the time of Christie’s employment.

Has the Decision Already Been Made to Sell Long Island Power Authority’s T & D System to National Grid?

By: Tuesday March 12, 2013 12:10 pm

I won’t swear to it, but on the drive back from Albany it did occur to me that the decision to sell LIPA’s T&D system to National Grid for somewhere south of the $4Billion price LIPA paid for it back in the 1990’s might have already been made, and all these non transparent studies are actually investigations that could instead be casting about looking for “facts” they can back into a pre-ordained conclusion. Instead of the facts leading to a conclusion, could there be a foregone conclusion in search of some facts to support it? Maybe that’s why these investigations are so secretive?

Late Night: Those Jackbooted Thugs

By: Thursday February 21, 2013 8:00 pm

As long as I’ve been alive, but certainly since my first political awareness, a loud minority of Americans, through their well-financed and politically influential mouthpieces, have relentlessly hammered home the demented idea that “government” was some malevolent, faceless, money-grabbing bureaucracy that existed only to trample our freedoms. Funny, I thought, I had always learned that our government was, uniquely for the time, one in which we, the people chose what form it would take.

In the Bid to Privatize PA’s Lottery, One Is the Loneliest Number

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 6:38 pm

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do …

Although I’m dating myself, some of you may recognize the Harry Nilsson song made famous by Three Dog Night. We recommend that Governor Tom Corbett download it to his iPod as he contemplates whether to accept a solitary bid from Camelot Global Services to take over the operation of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Whether privatizing state services or getting a new roof for your house, having a single lonely bidder is a red flag for a fleecing — for overpaying the contractor.

In its bid, Camelot promises 20 to 30 years of lottery profits that barely increase at the rate of inflation — even with the addition of new lottery games such as Keno and online gaming. The deal could produce big-time profits for Camelot with performance no better than the public system could produce. If the company maxes out its incentive-based compensation over the initial 20-year contract, it could receive $1.15 billion in today’s dollars; more when you count annual management fees.

A good deal for Camelot, but not for the Pennsylvania seniors who benefit from lottery proceeds

Hurricane Sandy’s Legacy Could Be Ramp-Up of Privatization Efforts

By: Friday November 2, 2012 12:42 pm

Rebuilding the East Coast after Superstorm Sandy will be an expensive proposition. A new estimate of the cost of the storm now reaches $50 billion, and just protecting New York City from future disasters through the use of a seawall and other barriers would tack on another $15 billion, though that money would be as well spent as any you can devise. (It would also make far more economic sense than a campaign to “fix the debt”).

But anyone who watches the underrated HBO series Treme understands that, in the aftermath of a life-changing event like a hurricane and flood, the shock doctrine starts to factor in.

Will Vouchers, Charters and Virtual Schools Turn Out the Friday Night Lights?

By: Sunday October 14, 2012 9:30 am

With a disgraceful and relentless disregard for America’s social fabric, Republicans around the country are doing what they can to destroy public education.

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