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Democratic schism opens on fixing schools
Sacramento Bee ^ | 12/24/10 | Laurel Rosenhall

Posted on 12/24/2010 8:09:33 PM PST by SmithL

Across the nation Democrats have begun to split over education, with a growing chorus arguing the party must move away from its traditional allegiance with teachers unions in order to improve chronically low-performing schools.

In California, the divide likely will be magnified in the year ahead as a new political action committee lays ground here with a goal of backing Democrats who support education policies that unions generally oppose.

Gloria Romero, the former state senator from Los Angeles who lost her bid this year to become the state superintendent of schools, is heading the new California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, a PAC that operates in 10 states. In New York, the group supported candidates who pushed for expansion of charter schools, whose teachers are typically not unionized. In Colorado, it backed those who wanted to rewrite teacher tenure laws.

Romero said trouble in the schools – 21 percent of California students drop out of high school, and the rate is even higher among Latinos and African Americans – is no longer an "elephant in the room."

"It's a donkey in the room," Romero said. "It's Democrats who have been tightly aligned with education's special interests year after year, decade after decade, and we haven't progressed. So we have to examine our conscience, our party, and really forge a new path forward."

It's not the first time Romero has fought the teachers unions. Union leaders backed Tom Torlakson, who won the race for state superintendent, while her funding came from EdVoice – a Sacramento firm that advocates for charter schools – and its network of wealthy entrepreneurs.

David Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association, said Romero's new role doesn't amount to much of a political threat.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: publiceducation; rats; teachersunions; unionthugs

1 posted on 12/24/2010 8:09:37 PM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL

If they’re wrong about one thing, maybe they’re wrong about EVERYTHING? Hummm?

2 posted on 12/24/2010 8:19:55 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

I say it a little differently. If they are Wong about this issue, how can they be right about anything else? Its the “children” for goodness sakes. :-)

3 posted on 12/24/2010 8:32:06 PM PST by indianrightwinger
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To: SmithL; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; rabscuttle385; mkjessup; ...

Yet as long as a Republican (worse yet a RINO) is in charge in these liberal districts they will claim all their problems are due to not enough spending and taxes, but with Republicans out of the way they run out of excuses.

Watch Jerry Brown forced to give CA unions and others the BAD news.

4 posted on 12/24/2010 8:33:11 PM PST by sickoflibs ("It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: sickoflibs

“Watch Jerry Brown forced to give CA unions and others the BAD news.”

I agree - my dream is to have the Republican House tell the states to live within their means, and then have states like New York, and especially California, forced to have their DEMOCRAT leaders get the populace to learn austerity. That will be fun - providing that the House holds their end.

5 posted on 12/24/2010 8:44:10 PM PST by BobL
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To: BobL

Maybe they can take some lessons from Gov. Christie and learn to stand on their HIND LEGS-!

6 posted on 12/24/2010 8:52:04 PM PST by imjimbo (The constitution SHOULD be our "gun permit")
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To: SmithL

Fix Schools?

Step 1: Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education

7 posted on 12/24/2010 8:56:52 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.)
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To: SmithL

The way to fix schools is to turn them back over to locals and get the government out of the school business, plus dump the frickin’ Unions.

8 posted on 12/24/2010 9:02:17 PM PST by calex59
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To: sickoflibs
"but with Republicans out of the way they run out of excuses."

And it will be war in Sacramento with endless lame ads over the radio and TV from the teachers unions. They would gladly spend $200mil to defeat any and all anti-teachers-union action by the legislature.

Still, they are losing a sizable portion of their base on this issue which will allow the GOP to exploit.

Too bad there's no GOP in CA anymore. They sold their soul to Meg Whitman and the illegal lobby. Left little but devastation in their wake. That's why the dims can afford an open split.

9 posted on 12/24/2010 9:11:37 PM PST by Mariner (USS Tarawa, VQ3, USS Benjamin Stoddert, NAVCAMS WestPac, 7th Fleet, Navcommsta Puget Sound)
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To: SmithL

Excellent, divide and conquer.

10 posted on 12/24/2010 9:19:38 PM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Texas Fossil

Step 2: Eliminate the unions.

11 posted on 12/24/2010 9:41:28 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: hsalaw

Eliminate Teachers Unions? NEA (really sucks)? others ??

Texas is right to work state.

I see no value to the employee from belonging to a union, unless the company deserves to go out of business. I have known such companies to exist and they normally do just that, go out of business (unless government supported).

12 posted on 12/24/2010 9:48:16 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.)
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To: SmithL
"It's Democrats who have been tightly aligned with education's special interests year after year, decade after decade, and we haven't progressed. So we have to examine our conscience, our party, and really forge a new path forward."

I'm shocked! Shocked to see these words... Who is surprised the unions torpedoed her?

13 posted on 12/24/2010 11:33:17 PM PST by newzjunkey (Opting for an abortion is like hiring a hit man.)
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To: Mariner
They would gladly spend $200mil to defeat any and all anti-teachers-union action by the legislature.

Of course they would! Unions spent $100mil to crush Arnold's early reform attempts. It could be a great spectator sport to see how Brown handles the union monster he helped create.

14 posted on 12/24/2010 11:37:03 PM PST by newzjunkey (Opting for an abortion is like hiring a hit man.)
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To: SmithL

Single payer will never work. Until

1) Parents pay directly from their own pockets for their kids education, and

2) Fathers raise their children.

Education will just be a pipe dream.

15 posted on 12/24/2010 11:38:05 PM PST by ALPAPilot
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To: SmithL

“It’s a donkey in the room, thats racists but coming from a latina I guess not.

16 posted on 12/25/2010 4:41:02 AM PST by ronnie raygun (V)
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To: SmithL

One of the most compelling conservative books I have had the fortune to read is “Crazy Like A Fox” One Principal’s Triumph in the Inner City, by Dr. Ben Chavis and Carey Blakely. Ironically it was not written as a “conservative” book but conservative principles naturally erupted throughout this memoir of a brave educator that spun trash into gold. I found myself cheering as this politically incorrect America Indian pioneer took over the American Indian Charter Public School in Oakland, California, that was failing in every measurable aspect, a cesspool of illiteracy, and single-handedly brought it to the fifth ranked public school in the state – based on standardized tests! In that process Ben Chavis slashed and burned every stupid liberal idea, from unions to multiculturalism and their decades long ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ – all to the abject horror of the Oakland liberal educational establishment. He was attacked by many leftist-liberal educators but he would turn their criticism into an attack on how they have failed minority education for generations. I am astonished this book has not received more play from the conservative media elements, it is a spectacular read. (Laura Ingraham and John Stossel did cover it.)

For those of you with the belief that public school education has deteriorated to the point of disaster – and especially inner city schools, and the dominant political party has had a great role to play in its downfall then this book is for you.

If you thought it was a monumental case of hypocrisy for Barack Obama to send his children to the prestigious Sidwell Friends school while he destroyed the voucher program in DC, which then prevented poor black children from attending the same school – then this book is for you.

If you are tired of being lectured by Democrats on racism, while they and their union paymasters have for generations kept minority children in a world destined to fail, and never once admitted their grotesque mismanagement or complete negligence about the disastrous consequences – this story is for you – because Ben Chavis has a special message for these “pimps” as he calls them.

If you are tired of liberals telling the world that not enough is being spent on education and that taxes need to be raised to fix this problem – while they purposely thwart any attempt of accountability for teachers, and fight with tooth and claw the ability to fire incompetent teachers, standardize testing and No Child Left Behind - then this book is for you. Chavis bemoans the money being wasted by a system that is designed to spend and designed to fail. He is a proponent of No Child Left Behind and dedicated the book to it, because he is not afraid of standardized testing and wants to be held accountable – he is the anti-liberal education establishment. Are you listening NJ teachers? I would think Governor Christie would be dispensing this book at meetings.

Ben Chavis is an American Indian educator and self made wealthy businessman, has struck a rock in the desert with his teacher’s ruler and unleashed an untapped river of pure water. He took over the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland California, which had a 35% absentee rate, alcohol and marijuana problems, kids having sex on a mattress behind a tool shed, and moronic Oakland teachers spending hours making beads and banging drums to keep the students culturally attuned to their Indian heritage. Chavis, a veritable Hercules, cleaned the Augean Stables of this rot and fired almost everyone working at the school. He painted, scrubbed and revitalized the school building but more importantly he wire brushed the corroded minds around him. He brought absenteeism to 2%, he tracked down mothers in bars at ten in the morning demanding their children come to school, he made math and English a top priority devoting 90 minutes to each subject, he banished all multicultural nonsense from the curriculum, he ended the minority “victimization” mentality and he taught free market capitalism as a color blind road to prosperity. Test scores sky rocketed!

His growing up as a “darkie”, as he calls himself, on an Indian reservation in utter poverty has given him a special insight into the education of minority children. His upbringing had pain, poverty but an incredible wisdom which he has brought to the fore. He studied the Bible and the book is replete with religious symbolism and values. He put a cross on the building and cannily told inquisitors it was the “Four Directions” of the American Indian, while he told his minority students the school was the house of the Lord and to respect it. Chavis made this middle school more like the one class country school house. He gave the students one teacher for all their subjects, and stopped the wasteful and useless rotation of classrooms - bringing stability and lasting relationships to those who lacked it in their lives. He would reward student accomplishments with dollar bills for tasks that he assigned. He pulled up the pants, wiped off the make up and if he had to, shaved the heads of unruly students. He brought rule and order to a world that had been nothing more than a campaign prop for liberal politicians to enhance their own careers while generations of illiterate children were pushed through the system – to become immediate unproductive liabilities of the state.

Ben Chavis gets it – and in this book he indicts the Democratic Party, even though it is his political party. Education, he says was ceded to them and they have destroyed it with their unions, uncaring attitudes, unaccountability and the wasting of billions of dollars. Ben Chavis walks it likes he talks it because he made it rain in the desert, and Governor Schwarzenegger came twice to visit. His results are astounding for an inner city school – but the recognition doesn’t seem enough and it makes one wonder that he has too many political enemies? (Recently, he called Charles Barron, black radical politician in NY, a pimp and offered to take the argument outside.)

In Ben Chavis’ words: “My approach to race and culture at AIPCS is nothing like the victimization and babying of minorities preached in teacher credential programs and implemented in public schools. I prefer hiring smart, uncredentialed teachers because many credential programs brainwash educators to teach in a way that is soft, ineffectual, and focused on non-academic topics, such as self-esteem and multiculturalism.” p102

“President Barack Obama has indicated he will push for an additional $80 million to train public school teachers. In California, teachers must complete a five year higher education program to qualify for a teaching credential. Then, once they are employed by public schools, millions of dollars are spent on teacher training for these college graduates. If you’ve spent five years in higher education and you still can’t teach, how is more money going to help you? Could it be we need to restructure the colleges of education instead of wasting more money?” P103

On a dispute over strict dress codes with a liberal teacher, he does not suffer fools gladly: “I don’t care what you think, and I’m tired of you guys helping the students undermine the rules. Some of you are letting them wear their shirts out. Mr. Bates, these kids can be anarchists like you if they go to a stick-it-to-the-Man college like you did, but they’re not going to be anarchists here. How are these kids ever going to get into your private college? You know, I’ve gone all over the state looking at secondary schools, and not a single one of them that uses a liberal philosophy with ghetto students is worth a damn. All this liberalism has screwed over minorities. You think they’re poor and underprivileged and they can’t cut it, so you give them an easy way out. It’s people like you who have f_____ed over my people and I am sick of it.”......”You know, I’m a Democrat, too, and sometimes when I look in the mirror I can’t stand what I see because we haven’t done anything for minorities in public education. All this left wing liberalism has destroyed generations of minorities.” P164

The education establishment has attacked him, they despise him, because he has grabbed them by the scruff of the neck and wiped their faces in the excrement that they have spewed in the halls of inner city schools for decades – and they can’t take the stench of their own filth. (Some of the attacks are purely racist – saying he is bringing in Chinese kids, and the assertions are not true.) Since when has a labor union been able to contribute to the intellectual development of another human being – the whole concept is ridiculous. It also assumes that teachers are fungible, one is as good as another – which why so few are fired in their cushioned, unrealistic world.

Maybe they should make this required reading at all teachers’ colleges. Chavis is spreading his message but not quick enough. His accomplishments are all the more fantastic when one realizes that 74% of his student body uses English as a second language in the home. When political arguments go on and on and solve nothing – here is someone with damn answers, damn glorious answers, and he has proved it beyond a shadow of doubt. Stop spending money, get rid of unions, find the right teachers, good daily structure, family, accountability, high expectations, cleanliness, detention, no to racist affirmative action, emphasize the academic, teach capitalism, and if you act like a fool you will be treated like one.

17 posted on 12/25/2010 5:58:37 AM PST by Titus-Maximus (Light from Light)
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To: ronnie raygun
It’s a donkey in the room

More like a jackass.

18 posted on 12/25/2010 6:49:22 AM PST by reg45
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To: sickoflibs; SmithL; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; DoughtyOne; rabscuttle385; mkjessup

” Watch Jerry Brown forced to give CA unions and others the BAD news.”

That’ll be a howl.....

Gov. Moonbeam rides again!

19 posted on 12/26/2010 2:35:42 PM PST by stephenjohnbanker
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Have to tell you SJB, that if he does confront the unions and explain it like it is, he will have done something Schwarzenegger, Davis, and Wilson didn’t have the backbone to do.

Didn’t vote for the guy, but there is a possibility that he might do some things that I very much appreciate. Of course that’s in addition to the crapola we’ve expected and will also see.

20 posted on 12/27/2010 12:52:18 PM PST by DoughtyOne (All hail Obama, Lord of the Skid-mark, constantly soiling himself and our nation.)
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