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Students, Parents and Teachers Call Out Cuomo for Hedge Fund Education Scheme


#1

Students, Parents and Teachers Call Out Cuomo for Hedge Fund Education Scheme

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Thousands of parents, teachers, and students from across the state flooded the streets of Manhattan on Saturday to call out Governor Andrew Cuomo for selling out the public school system.

"Wall Street got a bailout. Public schools were sold out," was the message as protesters blocked traffic outside Cuomo's 3rd. Avenue office building. The group is calling on the state government to fully fund public schools, limit high-stakes testing, support struggling schools, fairly evaluate teachers, and stop the expansion of charter schools.


#2

If the US undervalues public education it is because it is neither a nation nor a society but a company town.


#3

Dear Governor Cuomo and Representatives,
My children attended one of the “bad city schools”. They are productive citizens and one is a world traveler and a great American ambassador. If New York cannot oversee our much loved public schools how can they oversee private schools. My daughter taught in a city school and I believe was a great asset. She learned diversity and compassion. Private schools are not about seeking out and encouraging each individual student’s talents. Please no private school systems. Keep our educational funds in the public school system. No more funds for religious schools.


#5

We are currently bombing yet another third world country, massacring innocent men, women and children. Yet, what brings people into the streets (and not that many people either) is their petty concern for how bad their schools are?

Maybe if we weren't spending so much money on death and destruction, there might be some point in trying to improve our schools.

We are a lost society. We have no morality and no conscience.


#6

Go NY teachers! Blaze the trail and fight the good fight.


#7

We are in the dark ages. Why do we suffer dynasty families like this?


#9

It's really not a "petty concern," but I well understand your frustration. I often hear those in my family, religious Catholics all, express horror at abortion, yet obediently "pray for our troops" at mass on Sunday. I think the populace has been so brain-washed, practically from infancy, with the idea that soldiering is a noble calling, that they simply can't allow them- selves to think otherwise.


#10

Ah yes, once again a piece that conspicuously leaves out one of the organizations that has been at the forefront of, and among the fiercest in, championing public education.... who actually had a candidate in the last Gov race - as the Dems failed to nominate Teachout and the WFP backed Cuomo - Hawkins of the Green Party; if Teachout and the WFP had really been as pro-public education as they claim, they would have backed him as the obvious choice ..

Too bad CD's coverage of this stuff lacks depth - it does a fairly decent job in other areas, but when it comes to covering alt. politics, it gets an "F" ....

Now why is that?


#11

And that is a very good indicator that fascism is operating.


#12

Yes, indeed, Mairead, and on the subject of Fascism--and education--am I the only one not crazy in love with the idea of classes for tots? I keep reading that pre-school (or maybe pre-pre-pre-school) should be extended to all children, preferably as infants. Considering the regimentation aspects, this scares the hell out of me.


#13

I can think of 2 cases, Rosemary, where I could support it as things stand now: 1) parents so overburdened by work (multiple jobs at starvation wages) that they have no time for anything but tissue issues; and 2) parents who want to do right by their infant/toddler at that critical period, but don't know how and, of course, have no time or way to learn.

My sense is that we need to modify both the standard socialisation process and the world of work such that parents get support for providing that kind of rich, individualised early-childhood edu that now is the province only of the well-off.

Once that's in place, we could provide for both group and individual modalities, since it feels like there's something still to be said in favor of having professional involvement at least available to be tapped when desired. But that might be my bias flashing a fin.


#14

I do think in some cases--unusual situations where, maybe, a parent is ill or has left, such care should be offered. But I believe I'm older than you are (or, for that matter, older than most people who read CD) and I remember a time when it was considered ordinary and normal for couples to marry, both work outside the home for a time until they expected a child. The wife would then stop working, they would buy a house, and not until the youngest child was at least a pre-teen, might the wife go back to work. This is how my young married life went. Now I'm NOT talking about wealthy people or necessarily those with professional jobs. I'm talking about most of the couples I knew, who were ordinary people; many of the husbands worked in a trade. My point is that this wasn't an impossible dream for middle class--including lower middle class--Americans. The middle class has now been brought to its knees and it won't be long before it's prostrate. Our children, for the most part, will be serfs and their orientation into the mindset that requires will be start to be shaped in preschool. They'll be guided to either menial work or the military--after all, the one percent needs cannon fodder, doesn't it. Sorry, but I'm anything but optimistic.


#15

From your description of the customs, I suspect we're broadly the same age. I was born during the Battle of Britain (I'm 74 currently).

I completely agree that things have gone downhill sharply for the working class, and that the elites are indeed beavering away to re-establish serfdom (psychopaths do so love being the only ones with wealth and power). But I'm not so pessimistic -- I believe we can turn it around on them. I don't know whether there are enough of us with the commitment to do the necessary work, but if there are, then I'm sure we're at least in with a good chance!


#16

I wish I could believe the same, Mairead. I'm just afraid the old "divide and conquer" tactic is working for the powers that be. Half the population seems to be convinced that godlessness, Affirmative Action, and Barack Obama have led to the sinking of the Empire and the other half have anointed Elizabeth Warren as the one who will lead them into the light.. In the meantime, both parties and all candidates promote the military and sell themselves to the highest bidders. BTW, I've got four years on you, kiddo.


#17

Actually, the concept of charter schools began, largely, with the late AFT president Al Shanker and with Diane Ravitch, who has now become an outspoken opponent of charter schools and privatizing. Their original idea was to set up charters as independent laboratory schools, using tax funds to develop ideas that could then be transferred to the public school system. What neither of these idealists considered became obvious to profiteers who quickly saw charters as a means to transfer public school funds into their own pockets. At first, this profit margin came from lowering teacher benefits and wages. The. Then they discovered they could over bill for "improving" the existing, older school buildings they were given. The profiteers hit a ceiling when asked to prove their schools were doing better than public schools, which they were hard put to do, even after culling better students and rejecting special needs and ESL students. This is where the testing mania came in, under the aegis of Pearson and other companies. The beauty of the testing craze is that it is so low-cost, basically just producing tests and test prep books, and the extremely high price they could charge states like New York.

Shanker was also an early proponent of testing, through a now forgotten set of ideas known as "mastery learning." I developed some articles for Shanker on this, but since it was all non-profit, it went nowhere. Anothe reason why it had to go was its emphasis on teachers as partners in test development..

I had my differences with Al Shanker, but he was a socialist organizer while at U Illinois, and never lost his idealism. He honestly thought that the capitalist system could accommodate the kind of non-profit innovations he and Ravitch promoted. As a classic social democrat, he believed that the market system could generate profits that would then be directed to the common good. In my conversations with him in his later years, he sounded much like West German social democrats - and that included a blind support for US military dominance and an unrelenting anti-communism. Old time socialists, like his idol Norman Thomas, often followed this somewhat tortured ideology. (In fact, Shanker was instrumental in having a NYC public school on 34th Street named Norman Thomas High School - that failed too, and was closed last year.)

So, there were new ideas at one time in teacher unionism, but founded as they were on a blind faith in the free market system, they were soon distorted by those who see a chance for monetization in every human activity.


#19

didnt voters sell themselves out? who supported teachout in primaries? apparently teh working families and teachers' unions were all bought out to support cuomo bl!ndly and only NOW are upset b/c they made bargain with the dev!l.....whose fault is that? only NOW are we all supp to be 'upset' b/c some supposed leaders of certain core constituences keep roll!ng dice and picking lesser evil and it is very sad regardless of outcome or how much most are going to get fu89ecked by cuomo as he prepares to run for prez by 'standing up' to the ev!l 'unions'.


#20

because we are a low information voter nation with ancient tribal allegiances who keep falling for lesser evil instead of growing ba!!s and stop being s!aves to our hindbrain and brainwashing and gullibility by dem vs GOP duopoly both now owned by corporations and seem to LIKE being told what to do and how to think since very few now have any critical thinking abilities left in the US.