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April 13, 2018

Arizona: Puppets of Koch Brothers Scheme to Block Voucher Referendum; by Diane Ravitch

By Susan Lee Schwartz

"Parents & educators in Arizona responded to a universal voucher plan enacted by the legislature by collecting over 100,000 signatures on behalf of a state referendum to block the law. Voucher advocates, funded by the Koch brothers dark money, went to court to try to derail the referendum, "in order to block voters from having the final say in November on whether we want to send hundreds of millions of dollars more to private schools at ...

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Considering massive dark money explosion | Democracy Chronicles ...740 -- 400 - 57k - jpg
Considering massive dark money explosion | Democracy Chronicles ...740 -- 400 - 57k - jpg
(Image by flickr.com)
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"Parents & educators in Arizona responded to a universal voucher plan enacted by the legislature by collecting over 100,000 signatures on behalf of a state referendum to block the law. Voucher advocates, funded by the Koch brothers dark money, went to court to try to derail the referendum, "in order to block voters from having the final say in November on whether we want to send hundreds of millions of dollars more to private schools at a time when public schools are woefully underfunded: the plan is to try to buy off the teachers in exchange for vouchers that will drain funding from their schools. “Here’s an alternative idea: Leave the voucher law intact and allowing Arizona voters to exercise their constitutional right – their right – to decide whether they want a two-tier system of schools: public schools for the have-nots and private schools for the hav



Submitters Website: http://www.speakingasateacher.com

Submitters Bio:

I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side Middle School, which opened in 1990. My students placed amongst the highest reading and (eventually, when the ELA tests were instituted) writing scores in NYC. This attracted Harvard, looking for teachers who could be matched to "The Eight Principles of Learning", the thesis by Harvard's Lauren Resnick, that powered the Standards project, funded by Pew.


In 1998, based on the assessment of my teacher-practice by the Learning & Research Development Center, at the University of Pittsburgh, which studied my teacher-practice after I was chosen to participate in THE Standards project , I was awarded the NYSEC (New York State English Council)) "Educator of Excellence of Award," a much coveted and PRESTIGIOUS award. I have been included five times, in "Who's Who Among American Educators". Now that I am "googleable" as former students tell me, I get scores of letters from former students describing the enormous impact that I had on their life.


Currently I am a freelance travel writer and photographer, but I also write widely, about real education reform in order to change the national conversation to where it needs to be -- ABOUT LEARNING, and what makes genuine learning possible, or impossible, rather on the bogus subject of poor teachers and teacher standards. Learning how to learn--critical thinking--not rote memorization-- is the object of the PRACTICE OF PEDAGORY for which teacher who wish to PRACTICE THIS PROFESSION get a degree and a license.

I write because people with loud voices and personal agendas have destroyed the practice of pedagogy, and silenced the voice of the only ones who can set the record straight, the grunt on the line -- the teacher-practitioner--a genuine professional trained to know exactly what is needed to facilitate learning in each particular classroom.

I speak as a teacher and write because:


* those who have the national stage, are pushing tests, and pointing to bad teaching, as the reasons schools fail, but that is pointing in the wrong direction and thus a genuine solution and real reform eludes the people of this country..


* the national conversation has been usurped by businessmen and pundits with no understanding of the emergent learner, or the actual classroom practices that enable creative and critical thought. (Everyone who went to school believes they know what is needed "to teach".)


* What is REALLY NECESSARY for children to LEARN in school, is pre-school literacy, parent involvement in shaping attitudes and monitoring home activities, and classrooms where the teacher-practitioner sets the agenda based on curriculum objectives and the knowledge of pedagogy, rather than AN AGENDA SET BY some administrator who never taught, and who promotes the scripts and tests that enrich privateers who thrive on failing schools.


I speak as a teacher and write because:

* corrupt administrators, use a process that targets senior teacher-practitioners, despite exceptional dedication and huge success in their career, for harassment and egregious, criminal deprivation of due process.


* there is a hidden and scandalous deprivation of due process -- allowed and empowered by unions which do not fulfill their obligation and contract for immediate investigation and fair, promt, grievance procedures, thus permitting a "waiting game" which prevents due process.


* the national assumption expressed in the media is that the unions protect teachers BUT the truth is the unions have looked away from the breaking of tenure, and THUS, as they are the legal arm that protects teachers, teachers have lost their civil rights, and have no genuine access to the courts.

I speak as a teacher and write because:


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