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I cannot hear an argument over guns where before long, one or two of the people end their defense by pulling out the same platitudes that surfaced just after December 14, 2012…. Apparently, there is nothing new anymore. The same arguments have now gone on for over 100 days, and we are into their fourth month….
There is nothing new to argue over… The proposals are in legislators hands.
But during the argument, there was wisdom on both sides. And to be honest,there was foolishness on both sides.
A. In regards to making every gun purchase require a background check, the NRA failed across the board to defend why doing such is a bad idea. In the end logic was not on their side. As long as one convicted murderer awaiting sentencing can walk into a gun show and buy a weapon and kill, our regulations are too loose. The NRA lost this one. Now their only argument in use is this: if you vote for it we will destroy you… A threat, not an argument. Such a retort may benefit their short term needs, but in the long run it must fail because it runs against society’s interests. Sooner or later, mandatory background checks have to happen.
So Background checks are to be a sure thing.
B. Next, banning assault rifles. The NRA has some facts here. Assault rifles are not used in very many crimes… In fact the only crimes they are used for are mass murders. Like Newtown. Like Aurora. Like Tucson. Almost all mass murders were committed by assault rifles.
This begs the question: do we or don’t we want to ban assault rifles for mass murderers? Most mass murderers are not previous criminals. They are good boys who flip and go bad. Allowing every one to own a weapon that is only used for mass murder when one flips, is our option. Although sketchy, there is evidence that during the previous ban of assault weapons, the number of mass murders went down. Furthermore, the biggest callers for a ban on assault weapons are our men in blue, those we hire to protect us from crime. On the front lines they understand that their survivability probability, goes up if the person shooting them has a one shot rifle or pistol, and not a 4000 rounds per minute weapon. (Google it) . And this is the point. Shouldn’t we side with our police over those wacko’s who own considerable weaponry, and one day, just get pissed off?
Few people are killed by assault weapons. True. But those that are, are our children, aunts and uncles and loved ones who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. ” Hey, who wants to see a movie?”
C. Which brings us to clips. The argument against large capacity clips as in the 100 rounds in Aurora, is that when a psycho killer has to reload if anyone is left, they can bring him down. A girl would be alive in Tucson today if the reload had occurred at bullet 15, instead of 30… Again, the NRA states that these are trifling murders compared to the national death rate. The opposition says, sorry NRA. We don’t kill pigeons in boxes. To us, every life is precious. We’d like to keep our daughters alive too , thank you. Most Americans would rather have someone’s daughter as their lifelong partner, than become betrothed to an assault rifle. Living people are just better to be around than guns and our priorities should reflect that.
Banning large clips, will not affect the national death rate that much. But it will change the death toll each time a member of the NRA goes whacko, and starts his life-long dream of his own personal random killing spree….
When you have something that is deadly and dangerous, yet serves no helpful or productive purpose….. you get rid of it. Done deal! There is no reason to have these clips around and getting rid of them (at least in the future as the mass amounts recently bought get used), should dry up the possibility that 100 shots will get fired into people before the gunman can be tackled. Tackle him at 15 and save lives. People aren’t pigeons you know?
Again the NRA has not come up with a good enough reason these should continue. The NRA’s ammunition has been reduced to their threat of retaliation, and that threat has now lost all of it’s logical underpinnings. It is nothing more than the threat of a bully to a chump. Don’t vote for this good piece of legislation or we will ruin you; there is no good argument otherwise…. That may be the reason Delaware’s extremely weak-kneed, cowardly, chicken-hearted republicans will vote for the continuation of future mass killings. There certainly is no logical explanation for the illogical backing the chicken- hearted Republican party gives to the NRA.
D. Finally the notion of safe school zones. After much argument back and forth, I have yet to see how designating an area to be a safe school zone will work, unless it is protected by people bearing arms. If one chooses to designate any area as a safe zone, yet does NOT have armed people like TSA agents forcing everyone to remove their shoes, empty their pockets, and ban all cell phones in order for one to enter, you are asking for trouble.
The smart method would be to tax the wealthy as much as is necessary so that every school district can afford to hire enough congenial policemen covering the property of every school during school hours. After all, the wealthy are rich. Why should anyone’s children have to suffer only so the rich can get richer? The wealthy don’t need more money. The notion of making a few words on a piece of paper to punish someone harder after the effect, of what a proper level of taxation should have prevented, is wasteful and makes one wonder whether that person even considering it, exists in the ionosphere. Republicans like Greg Lavelle are always quick to write up a new paper law to take care of real problems, that could be easily fixed on the ground if only the wealthy were simply required to pay their fair share….
That said, nothing new on this topic ever gets argued. Gun blogs hardly raise an eyebrow anymore….
So it is time to pass the bills that are good….
A. Background checks
B. Banning Assault Weapons
C. Banning High Capacity Clips
And not pass the school law.
Eli Broad — the CPA-trained-billionaire-businessman-turned-public-education-reformer — informed Diane Ravitch, a distinguished education expert, about what needs to be done to education in America. . According to Ravitch, “We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools.”
According to Slate quoting Vanity Fair, Eli Broad boasted back in 2006 that he “plans to virtually take over the Delaware school system in 2007, pending approval from that state’s legislature.” He backed the winning slate of candidates for the local board of education in 1999 and helped hire the superintendent.
Eli Broad trains Superintendents. Christina School District has been the unfortunate beneficiary of his largess. Joe Wise, followed by Lillian Lowery, followed by Marcia Lyles, all are from Eli’s School of Superintendencies….Dr. Joe Wise was selected as a Broad Fellow by Eli Broad Institute for School Boards (2005), was appointed to the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy as a Fellow (2003), and serves on the Broad Academy’s adjunct faculty and advisory committee. Although Broad Superintendents come in highly qualified, they often leave disgracefully. Joe Wise, may have been one of the first. Recently, across this nation many Broad Superintendents have been let go. All trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy: Maria Goodloe-Johnson (class of 2003) of the Seattle school district, LaVonne Sheffield (class of 2002) of the Rockford, Illinois school district, and Jean-Claude Brizard (class of 2008) of the Rochester New York school district. Brizard resigned to take the job as CEO of Chicago schools, but his superintendency in Rochester had been mired in controversy. Another Broad-trained Superintendent recently announced his resignation: Tom Brady (class of 2004) of Providence, Rhode Island, as well as these others from before: Arnold “Woody” Carter (class or 2002), formerly of the Capistrano Unified School District; Thandiwee Peebles,( class of 2002), formerly of the Minneapolis Public School District; and John Q. Porter (class of 2006), formerly of the Oklahoma City Public School District.
Ms. Lillian Lowery (class of 2004), Wise's replacement after supposedly cleaning up Joe Wise's disaster, was put in charge of all Delaware's schools, and now, is in charge of Maryland's. Broad's influence has touched every Delaware Student… and is about to touch all those of Maryland.
Our current head of the Department of Education, Mark Murphy, hails from a group NLNS funded by Eli Broad
If this was a good thing, it would be good.
So, what is the Broad influence?
Here is one take. It is one of the three influencers of education. Along with the Gates Foundation and the Walton's, it exerts a powerful influence, good or bad. It calls itself a venture philanthropy, as in venture capitalist. Meaning it invests in philanthropy expecting to yield a return on its investment. As an example, it can fund a study that says computers will help inner city kids learn, then sell those recommended computers to that school district.
Here is how it infiltrates a school district. Christina School District to be exact…
The Broad Foundation plants one of its elements in a school district, it is then highly likely they will plant another one along with it, so their influence is maximized.
For instance, an element might be:
- The presence of a Broad-trained superintendent
- The placement of Broad Residents into important central office positions
- An "invitation" to participate in a program spawned by the Foundation (such as CRSS's Reform Governance in Action program)
- Offering to provide the district with a free "Performance Management Diagnostic and Planning" experience
The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy “investing in a disruptive force.” To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption in communities across the nation is not a big deal.
The Broad Foundation has spent nearly $400 million on its mission of “transforming urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.”
That sounds nice. So let us look closer….
The signature effort of the Broad Foundation is its investment in its training programs…The Broad Superintendents Academy runs a training program held during six weekends over ten months, after which graduates are placed in large districts as superintendents. Those accepted into the program (“Broad Fellows”) are not required to have a background in-education; many come instead from careers in the military, business, or government. Tuition and travel expenses for participants are paid for by the Broad Center, which also sometimes covers a share of the graduates’ salaries when they are appointed into district leadership positions. The foundation’s website boasts that 43 percent of all large urban superintendent openings were filled by Broad Academy graduates in 2009.
The Broad Superintendents Academy’s weekend training course provides an “alternative” certification process which has come to supplant or override the typical regulations in many states that require that individuals have years of experience as a teacher and principal before being installed as a school district superintendents….
The Broad Residency in Urban Education is a two-year program, during which individuals with MBAs, JDs, etc. in the early stages of their careers are placed in high-level managerial positions in school districts, charter management organizations, or state and federal departments of education. The Broad Center subsidizes approximately 33 percent of each Resident’s salary.
The Broad Foundation founded the New York City Leadership Academy, which trains individuals to serve as principals in the city public schools, several of whose graduates have been accused of financial misconduct, as well as arbitrary and dictatorial treatment of teachers, students and parents. This was recently featured by Delaware’s WDDE reporting on Reshid Walker who is training in Cape Henelopen under the Delaware Leadership Project. DLP is an alternate certification program that this year is preparing six candidates to work as principals or assistant principals at public schools serving high-risk students in Delaware. Alternate Certification means it sidesteps requirements that a principal has to have stepped foot inside a school before. Through four days a week of on-the-job training, and no certification from an accredited college or university, he will soon be in command of your child’s education.
The Broad Institute for School Boards provides three training programs for elected school board members and non-Broad-trained superintendents conducted in partnership with the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS). The Institute trains new board members at a one-week summer residential setting…The Broad Foundation underwrites 80 percent of all program costs through a grant to CRSS.
The Broad Foundation also supports a broad range of pro-charter school advocacy groups, as well as alternative training programs for non-educators who want to work as teachers and principals (Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools). In addition, the foundation offers free diagnostic “audits” to school districts, along with recommendations aligned with its policy preferences. It produces a number of guides and toolkits for school districts, including a “School Closure Guide,” based on the experiences of Broad-trained administrators involved in closing schools in Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade County, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Seattle…..
Closing public schools to open opportunities for charters seems to be it’s prime directive. Although not officially enshrined as such, it does seem to be the consistent pattern of each of its graduates.
The foundation provided start-up funding for Parent Revolution (formerly the Los Angeles Parent Union), the group which developed the “Parent Trigger” legislation, designed to encourage the conversion of public schools to charter schools. Broad has also has given large amounts of money to Education Reform Now, a pro-charter school advocacy organization…
Eli Broad has said he “expects to be a major contributor” to Students First, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s organization that advocates for the expansion of charters, vouchers, and an end to seniority protections for teachers. The pro-Rhee biography, The Bee Eater, was subsidized by the Broad Foundation as is mentioned on the book jacket.
Of course, there are campaign contributions (you will need to type in Broad, Eli) to facilitate the corporatizing of education… A quick look certifies that his coverage is a who’s who across party lines in Congress. Obviously there will be support for Charters streaming down from the top lines of government.
Ok, so how does all of this affect Delaware’s public school’s families?….
One of the tenets of his philosophy taught to his graduates, is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.
A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students, and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests. A long laundry list of Broad Supertendants run out of town can be found here, near the bottom. But you can get an idea of what to expect, from just this one: Robert Bobb (class of 2005), the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, recently sent layoff notices to every one of the district’s 5,466 salaried employees, including all its teachers, and said that nearly a third of the district’s schools would be closed or turned over to private charter operators. At a recent town hall which Bobb had called so he could go over his plan, angry students, parents, and teachers drove him from the meeting. He was escorted out by his six bodyguards….
Disruption and chaos indeed…..
Delaware is fortunate to have a large parenting network of watch dogs who communicate well with legislators. Whereas the Christina District has had a rough go with Broad graduates, the rest of the state has so far been unscathed…..
Without the oversight being provided by parents and teachers watchdog organizations, the fate of Delaware’s students might be that of Philadelphia, Chicago, or Detroit.
if you are a parent or know one, you probably feel this way as well. Parents Across America considers Broad’s influence to be inherently undemocratic, as it disenfranchises parents and other stakeholders in an effort to privatize our public schools and imposes corporate-style policies without our consent. We strongly oppose allowing our nation’s education policy to be driven by billionaires who have no education expertise, who do not send their own children to public schools, and whose particular biases and policy preferences are damaging our children’s ability to receive a quality education.
In fact, this entire philosophy of forcing change upon children, strikes every parent as coming from those types of people we all run across, … who hate children…. “Someone smack that kid who’s crying.”
Amen And Amen.
Whatever your opinion may be of charters, there’s no question that the District has failed to explain its inconsistent approach of allowing charter expansion without regard to expense or academic quality while insisting on draconian and widespread sacrifice among District schools. This despite the fact that many of the District schools targeted for closure outperform some of the charters that the SRC renewed and expanded last spring.
Is this a “Damn The Public” boondoggle in the making? Are we running roughshod over evidence, children, teachers, structures, reality, in order to promote Charter Schools?
When something like this usually happens, it is the result of someone being on the take.
The Charters countered with this…. “The closings are inevitable for a district that must manage within the framework of a harsh fiscal reality. Given this scenario, the good news is that not only are charters educating children at a fraction of the cost, but they in turn are able to channel more money to children remaining at district schools.”
Philadelphia charters have more than 40,000 students on waiting lists. It is tragic that only a very small percentage of families ultimately “win” a seat. It is especially disheartening to turn away thousands of children and families seeking a quality education.
Recently I documented a comparison between 2005 and now, and illustrated that now there were only 950 fewer students (both public and charter) in Philadelphia less than the public school’s seating capacity, and that half as many graduates today were as college prepared as were those back when public school supplied over 88% of Philadelphia’s educational needs.
If using the criteria of judging education by how well it educates students, the Charter experiment has failed in Philadelphia.
Could we have saved one student? Two? Maybe a whole class? Maybe all 16,807 could have had some educational benefit from this total, which I should point out, we only have of the fiscal state funding so far…..
Here exactly is why Charter Schools fail…
They spend that total on just barely offering the barest minimum of educational opportunities….
Doubling the above total and spending it within the Christiana school district would provided all current 16,807 students, EVERY SINGLE ONE, with an additional $152.00 per child to spend upon their education…..
This is money spent on extra’s. On those things that make students learn. On salaries, On supplies. The basics are already cared for… so this incremental amount goes straight to augmenting each student’s ability to learn…..
When you pursue a charter school philosophy, you are stealing $152,00 from every single child from elementary up to twelfth grade, and squandering it upon items like…. A-1 Sanatation, ADT Security Systems, and half a million dollars to 4048 Associates…..
How do those expenses help our children learn, especially when those expense are being paid for over the Christiana District already? By pursuing the misguided policy of funding Charter Schools, we are paying for two trash bills, two electric bills, one extra lease payment to private individuals, two electronic security services…..
And with every new Charter School opened, given only a 17% chance of survival, meaning a failure rate on the investment of 83% of our wasted tax dollars, more and more is bled from that fund that actually does what it is supposed to do…. teach our kids and make them want to learn.
Charter Schools can go private. That is fine. But public money is not well spent to help out one’s buddies owning 4048 Associates……
You asked for this. Please cut and paste at will.
President of the United States.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr President:
There is something you need to know. I would be happy to tell you in person or get a group of educators to discuss the problems we are having with pursuing your education policy. It is a situation where communication is key.
I want to be clear. We have the same goals. It is just that the methods being prescribed are steering us away from those mutual goals, instead of towards them.
Honestly. This is a case of middle management gone awry. This is a case I feel, where the top and the bottom are on the same page, but those in the middle, are not to be trusted.
As member of a school board, one that is struggling to do it’s best to bring a district from behind, who has achieved progress in a way sort of like you have on the economy where we both started so late and so far behind, that we are being accosted as failures though if one actually took time to account for our progress, as well as yours, we’ve both done a pretty good job… I think for your legacy, you need to hear from us….
We are in Delaware’s Race to the Top. Those of us here and in Tennessee are having the same problem.
The specific problem, is that you and those in the top echelon are not getting the truth. You may actually think we are making progress. As the person most accountable, I think you would want to hear that perhaps the glowing reports you are getting, are not entirely true. This is something obviously which cannot be passed up through the chains of commands, because it involves them.
Truth in reporting is the issue. The truth is that what we are being fed, is not working at the interface where student meets teacher. In fact, the pressure all are being put under to fulfill these arbitrary deadlines, inane quotas, and poorly thought out trackers, actually is taking away from the time we spend with students. I repeat it is a negative influence on the results expected….
We originally approached this with an open mind. We wanted to reform our schools too. But, somewhere up the ladder, things went bad.
The prime issue is that we are being force to follow a system poorly designed. When we bring concerns to the table, they are dismissed and we are treated as inconsequential, and dismissed, accused of being the source of trouble. Instead, we were simply trying to establish an environment of mutual respect, where problems can be discussed and probed, and workable solutions can be found, and tested before implementation. It’s as if someone designed the cooks line of a restaurant and put all the necessary tools on the other end from where they were needed. It seems to make sense to talk to those who actually will be expected to provide results during the planning stages, instead of wondering to use the example above, why all the food always took so long… It can be prevented if we can be part of the planning process.
Our concern is our students.
We sincerely would like to discuss ideas that can keep the good parts of these programs moving forward, and utilize all the tools that we, as highly trained professionals, can apply to this worthy cause.
As every leader should know, the truth will not stay buried. It always surfaces, even if it is after the implosion has occurred, even if it is found by specialists sifting through the wreckage to find the cause. Simply put, we would like someone to listen to us on the bottom: the teachers, administrators, parents, students, and particularly a school board…..
It could positively affect the entire campaign.
All of the below……
Supposedly on Newark High School’s Junior Varsity, is a future threat to High Schools across the conference….
Playing linebacker next year, he has already given 10 concussions, broken 5 opponents bones, and had one kid tell the coach, he was the reason that kid wasn’t staying on the team anymore…..
I heard this with raised eyebrow, and wondering if these values are truly the ones we want our kids to work for,…. decided to pass it on.