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New York is exploding.  Not only with the mayors race which is centering now on the Bloomsberg educational policies, but the debacle of test scores across the state, those same ones that failed 70% of all kids in New York State, have driven passions up to a feverish pitch.

If you thought Rodel has always been on the right track, you need to see what is happening in New York State.

For those who don’t still know, the idea behind school reform is that you implode the public educational system, destroying it so badly, that private schools or charters, can move into the vacuum and educate children for a profit…. That is the underlying premise behind educational reform.  If a school is doing well, you say it isn’t, you force it to do test after test until it really isn’t doing well, and then you close it.

Philadelphia, Chicago, and DC all shut down tremendous numbers of public schools this year.   They intend to give the empty buildings to their friends for free, and allow them to open schools on those premises.  Their friends stand to make a lot of money.

Charter schools thrive on choice.  Every parent wants to choose the best for their child, and charter schools sell that well.    “Our student are good “they say, “for if they get low scores we kick them out.  That is why our scores are so high…”

And it is true.  If one looks at Delaware’s highest scoring school, it is a Charter. but it is a Charter with hardly any blacks, and hardly any children on free lunch… So duh… it’s scores are higher.  The problem in such a comparison, is that public schools, with the same amounts of rich white kids sprinkled with a few Asians, do better than charter schools of the same mixture.  Public schools have more resources; public schools teach better.  Likewise upon looking at the low end, where almost all the students are on free lunch, public school low income students, score significantly higher than do their counterparts in Charter Schools.  Again, more resources.

But charters still argue with choice.  If your school is failing they say, why should your kid be forced to remain in a failing school? That argument is very deceptive and certainly rings true upon first hearing…. Why would we keep a genius in a bad school, when a great one opened up a block away?

The answer to that question is simply not every child is a genius.  As there is a ying to a yang and a Laurel to a Hardy, their is a Sith Lord to the aura of choice… (Dark Side; get it?) 🙂

That is that 40% of kids in Charter Schools get kicked back to public because they are bringing down the test scores.

So… 40% is the same as 2 our of 5, or 4 out of 10….  Choice is ruining the lives of 2 out of every 5 kids, … They got pulled out, and pushed back; losing a whole year because their parents “choiced” them into a school that taught by test scores…

So offering choice, ruins the lives of 2 out of 5 students.  That is two who are ruined to three who make it.  Now if there is nothing wrong with the public school to begin with, we just created a negative situation out of one where none occurred.

2 people our of 5 would have learned had that Charter not opened.  Actually all 5 would have learned.  But now, 2 people out of five are remedial, simply because the Charter School wants to lie about their high test scores…

So when someone pulls a Diller and starts screaming that children need a choice…. let them explode and while their insides are dripping off the ceiling, … say “by your figures, two out of 5 students will  be forced to transfer out to keep your schools test scores up. Where is their choice? Those people don’t have a choice.  They can chose to go into a charter school, and you’ll get to keep the money, but they can’t choose whether or not they get to stay.

Better to have all students succeed in a good public school, than force 2 our of 5 to become the Lost Society…

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The cannon fire could be heard from Brandywine Hundred. It was louder in Concord. It was deafening in Chadd’s Ford. The Battle of the Brandywine was in full swing, and the result was a defeat of the American Forces leaving Philadelphia wide open to the British invasion.

Sadly for us this marks the end of Delaware’s direct involvement in the Revolutionary War. After this battle, the war in the North became a sitting game, and Cornwallis felt compelled to shift to the South to try and gain some momentum. He misread the South’s resilience, and the war of course ended when he got boxed at Yorktown.

As for Delaware, the British had previously marched up from Glasgow through Newark then up Kirkwood Highway and camped at Marshalltown. One can still see the embankments they threw up. The Americans realized that they had only a narrow route north before did the British. Had the British chosen to fight through the night, the war would have been over with Washington’s defeat. He was trapped by water on three sides. General Howe was a person adverse to exertion, and chose to investigate the following morning. When the British awoke, they saw the Americans had disappeared in the night, leaving their camp fires burning to fool the British watchmen.

The British marched north to Kennett Square, probably along what is now Route 82… On the morning of 9/11 the British marched towards Philadelphia. Washington assumed the lazy Howe would march the easiest route and set up defenses in Chadd’s Ford covering the road to Baltimore, which is Route 1 today. What Washington miscalculated is that the British had better intelligence than he. Here is how.

Washington was employing those in Philadelphia to give him advice. Howe was approaching on the outside, and chose those locals to tell him the layout. The difference in intelligence was a simple as one looking out, and one looking in. Perhaps you may remember the meme last decade of showing a city as the makeup of their entire World? For instance one of Rehoboth, would show Rehoboth and Dewey and Ocean City in Great detail, and Washington and Baltimore as tiny patches on the last edge of the map? Well that myopia actually affects our judgment. As one approaches the unknown, one is apt to know only his one way. But to use that same analogy backwards, as one approaches the known, from the area of the unknown, one is far more perceptive of all other options leading towards that goal or destination.

So it was with Howe, who found out there were two ford to the north, both overlooked by Washington, and the access to the battle field was relative easily. Howe committed 5000 of his 18,000 troups to attacking Washington’s front lines, and sent 13,000 north to cross both the west and east branches of the Brandywine, then head south. imagine the surprise of the American army who had been confident that they were holding their own, to find they’d been fighting a measly 5000 men in the fog, and now had 13,000 marching behind them on their right side….

We retreated. Some said it was a disciplined retreat, and Lafayette is given a lot of credit for that. He was wounded this day in history by the way, yet he established a rallying point, communicated it to all the troops, and an orderly retreat was managed. But the surprise to our right cost us dearly. We lost 11 of our 14 artillery guns. The British listed 587 as killed, missing or wounded, but no records of the Americans lost is known.. General Nathaniel Greene is later quoted as guessing 1200 to 1400 Continentals were lost… Commander Howe wrote to the British Foreign Secretary that 300 dead, 600 wounded, 400 prisoners were the total of America’s casualties.

One cannot imagine how dark things seemed for the prospects of an American nation after this day.

  • Americans had been tricked and easily routed.
  • They’d lost 79% of their artillary, having only 3 cannons left.
  • The Continental Congress fled in the night to Lancaster for one day, then to York.
  • Military supplies were moved to Reading.
  • Philadelphia, the cradle of democracy, was wide open to the British Army.
  • It was 52 years before the founding of Yeungling’s brewery, so none was available to drown one’s sorrows.

They suffered fully sober.  If we can remember the tragedy of our 9/11, try to imagine something ten times worse. There was no hope, period.

A makeshift hospital was scrambled together in Wilmington Delaware, and 350 causalities were sent.

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.”

A student who leaves Philly schools for charters takes $10,170, leaving $5,879 with the district.

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.

Sometimes I think I live life asleep at the wheel. I go through motions I’ve set up to make my life easier so I don’t have to think about it…

I just have to remember to set the alarm clock in the morning and then, habit takes over and next thing I know, I’m jumping into the covers at bedtime thinking back over what I did that day…

Mostly it flew by while on automatic and I can’t remember.

But occasionally something interrupts that chain of events, and I have to take a second to use neurons that were happy to be on automatic.

Nancy just posted something that did that to me.

It was the subtitle as I skimmed down the page, that said….. “Why isn’t Philadelphia closing 40 schools national news?” …. and it was at that point it hit me. WHAT, PHILADELPHIA IS CLOSING 40 SCHOOLS?

Now if you’ve been to Philadelphia, you’ve no doubt driven on 95, that elevated road that rides overtop the streets of the city, and you no doubt as you’re reading this, imagining the view you see of the entire city spread out beneath you…

So if you imagine 40 schools just vanishing from that vista, and all those kids being stuffed into neighboring schools… you might just get that OMG moment I had…

Why.

Why are we doing this?

Why are we closing schools?

Why are we destroying, instead of building education?

It’s not because we don’t have the money. We have unlimited money.. Why are we destroying our kids future?

With literally trillions of dollars at our disposal… there is plenty of money to keep a few schools open.. To keep all schools open.. To hire new teachers.. To refurbish all schools. Trillions of dollars just wasted… and we’re closing 40 schools in Philadelphia?

What’s wrong with you people…

It should make your blood boil. We have corporate America posting $1.7 trillion dollar surpluses every 56 days…. and we are closing 40 schools for 40,000 students and stuffing them anywhere we can.

Outragous!

Here is one trillon.

1,000,000,000,000 and here is the budget shortfall that caused this closing. 1,000,000,000…

So with what money is left over after 56 days, which means it is just the extra money after all expenses have been paid, just one thousandth of that fifty-six day amount, would stop the the budget shorfall across the entire state of Pennsylvania, our neighbor to the north…

So tax them.
Tax them.
Tax them just a little bit more…
What else are they going to do with all that money? Bet it on very risky derivitives in the Eurpoean financial markets?

Yep.

It is time to get mad. Keep in mind, we’re not talking about raising taxes on people. We are talking about just raising taxes on corporations who are already making way too much money.

Did you know that never before in America, have corporate profits been as high as they were in the first quarter this year? Higher than even 2006, just before the collapse, when everyone was patting themselves on the back… look how good we are..!!!

Get it!

When you have corporate profits higher than they have ever been, and you are closing 40 schools in Philadelphia alone that have been in existence for hundreds of years of economic growth and prosperity, something is seriously wrong.

OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE NOT TAXING ENOUGH!!!]

Duh, wake up Delaware. Wake up America… You are being taken to the cleaners, There is no bad economy. It is the best it has ever been.

YOU ARE NOT TAXING ENOUGH!!!

But, but, but, but… unemployment is high. People don’t have jobs. People are losing their homes… People have used up their 401K’s. Times are really bad. Mitt Romney says so.

EXACTLY, AND SO FOR THIS VERY POIGNANT REASON: YOU ARE NOT TAXING ENOUGH!!!

But, but, but, but…. if we raise corporate taxes they will have less money and fire more people, making the economy worse.

DUH, DID THEY FIRE PEOPLE IN THE 50’S, THE 60’S, THE 70’S, THE 80’S, THE 90’S, THE ZERO’S, WHEN THEY MADE FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, LESS THAN THEY DO NOW?

No.

THEY PAID HIGHER TAXES THEN, AND THE ECONOMY ROARED. BECAUSE MONEY THAT WAS NOT GOING DIRECTLY INTO EXPANSION, WENT TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT EXPANDED AND CREATED ALL THOSE WONDERFUL JOBS YOUR PARENTS HAD.

Oh, so because their taxes were higher, and they’d lose money to the government anyways if they made super high profits, they spent some of it back into their business, by expanding it and by paying their workers more?

YES, I THINK YOU ARE GETTING THE IDEA.

And, they looked more for the longterm benefits of their cash, instead of trying to squeeze out every penny they could for the quarter?

YES,

And they built extensions, hired people to do research, and paid more in charitable contributions?

YES, AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT DID FOR THE ECONOMY?

Why, it would make it grow, of course.. and if from the looks of things, the more you taxed, the more incentive they would have to keep their own money by putting it back into their capital and people development than fork it over to investors?

YES, YOU ARE STARTING TO UNDERSTAND MACROECONOMICS 101..

Why yes, it makes so much sense now. Right now, under these too low tax rates, corporations have no incentive to invest, because if they used that money to build, it is making no return at least for that year. But they could buy a derivative and as all that new money comes into the market looking for something to buy, that derivative should increase in value, making them more than they would have made if they’d put people to work building something or hiring new people to make a new product… So how much did you say they are making?

IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF LAST YEAR, THAT WAS APRIL, MAY, JUNE 2011, WHICH IS JUST 65 WORKING DAYS, $1,7 TRILLION. ENOUGH TO PAY MORE THAN 10% OF OUR FEDERAL DEFICIT.

Wow, this is making me angry. So the reason our economy is broken is because we haven’t been taxing enough?

PRETTY MUCH

Well, what can be done?

EITHER THE MARKETS WILL COLLAPSE (EUROPE IS ABOUT TOO) AND WE ALL START OVER FROM SCRATCH AGAIN, (MEANING WE HAVE NOTHING AND THE BILLIONAIRES HAVE NOTHING) OR WE CAN TAX THAT PROFIT UNTIL THE DEBT IS GONE.

Taxing is the simpler option. I’m really starting to get angry at these non-tax people.. especially when they are closing 40 schools in one frame of my vision and all that money is just sitting getting squandered by big corporations….

YEAH, DOESN’T THAT MAKE YOUR BLOOD BOIL?

Oh my, it sure does. I want to punch the next person who complains about too high taxes. I’d like to put them on the ground. 40 schools? and all that money wasted? How dare they!

YES, WOULDN’T IT BE NICE TO WALK DOWN THAT LINE OF ALL 10 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES WHO SAID THEY WOULDN’T ACCEPT TAXES INCREASES EVEN IF THERE WERE 10 CUTS TO 1 INCREASE, AND PUNCH EACH ONE IN THE MOUTH WITH YOUR FIST.

I’m beginning to feel I could do that. And my rich neighbor, who’s always blah, blah, blah, blahing about taxes, taxes, taxes, boy I’d like to show him my fist too.. And that Cantor guy, who’s on my television, or that fat southerner Mitch McConnell, or that orange skinned man Boehner, gosh, it would feel good punching them all in the mouth…

ITS STARTING TO GET TO YOU, HUH?

Oh, yes, and anyone, anyone who dares comes to me and says “we gotta cut taxes, corporations won’t hire until we cut taxes” is definitely getting punched as hard as I can, right in the face…

“That’s for closing 40 schools, you motherfucker, I’ll say to them as I’ll walk away…. How dare they.”

So, I didn’t read any of this in the papers.. How did you hear about it.

SOMEONE TOLD ME ABOUT IT ON MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT. THE MEDIA IS NOT TOUCHING IT.

Occupy Philly and Occupy LA got swept up… cleared out….

Philly Livestream.….

LA Livestream.…..

You have your radicals, and conservatives…

Radicals who want to cut taxes,and take drastic measures, bold untried steps, to strip government of its power, it’s authority,….

And then you have conservatives, who just want things to go back to the way they were before the Bush Tax cuts, … when everything worked. when everyone did better than the year before, when we all actually believed that if we just worked hard, applied ourself, we could retire with something saved up and enjoy our golden years…

In this regard, Republicans like McConnell, Boehmer, Cantor, and Ryan are radicals…. Democrats including Obama, Biden, Coons, are conservative….. We just want to go back where we were ten years ago… Is that so bad?