Crossposted with permission
Matthew Thunney: Seattle Examiner:
A Seattle teacher revolt against standardized tests has finally achieved national attention. The Seattle teachers’ revolt has actually been going on for a while now, but reached a wider audience in a report by Yahoo! from Sunday (March 3). At the heart of the story is the growing movement to protest these standardized tests, spurred on by teachers that began a boycott back in January.
These standardized tests have become a very prominent part of the public education system over the last 10 years and it has led to many teachers simply “teaching to the test.” As stated in the report, one of the big problems of this testing system is that is has shown a lot of achievement gaps. Those gaps appear along racial and economic lines, raising serious questions about how well the tests are actually preparing students.
As reported back in early February, this Seattle teacher revolt has divided teachers and administrators. Teachers at Garfield high schools boycotted the tests until Seattle Superintendent Jose Banda forced school principals and assistant principals to issue the tests to the students. The thoughts expressed at the time were that the teachers needed to follow district policy.
As for how the teachers felt about the test, Garfield history teacher Jesse Hagopian stated that the decision by Banda was, “a callous disregard for the will of the educational community that makes up Garfield.” Many of the teachers simply felt (and probably still feel) that the test wasn’t providing value to the students.
This Seattle teacher revolt is now receiving national media attention and it might just shine light on the situation that teachers had been hoping to receive.
,Seattle Liberal ExaminerFebruary 19, 2013
So now the Seattle metropolitan area, teeming with ardent liberals while limping along with a vocal minority of mostly fair-weather sports fans, boasts three competing sports talk radio stations and zero major network progressive talk venues.Apparently the execs…
Apparently the execs at CBS, owners of the AM 1090 bandwidth in Seattle, were terribly disappointed that the audience-beloved Progressive Talk format wasn’t churning out enough revenue. So, out with the informative, in with the entertaining: welcome to the new AM 1090, “The Fan”!
As the Northwest Progressive Institute sees it, in a recent post on its blog “The Advocate,” CBS is “making an extremely risky bet. By converting AM 1090, they lose the station’s current loyal audience and all the goodwill they have tried to cultivate over the years through ‘Precinct 1090’ and annual town hall forums.”Are there enough rabid sports fanatics in the Emerald City to support three major radio stations and out-shout all the liberal-minded, college-educated, upscale and middle class students, workers, and denizens of Starbucks, patrons of the Seattle Symphony, art galleries, jazz clubs and alternative theater and cinema who yearn to hear educated opinions and learn about the issues of the day that actually affect their real lives?
Unless the Seahawks win a Super Bowl, the Mariners make a World Series run, and the Sonics return home…the outlook for “The Fan” is dim. Odds are CBS ain’t gonna win this bet.
But there are ways for Seattle-ites to hasten the return of Progressive Talk to the mainstream airwaves and means to enjoy liberal voices until that glorious day. Namely…
Reposted with prior permissions.
Final GOP election tally: $400 million wasted, 0 jobs created
The new Republican version of the Constitution? Despite prostituting itself to corporations and Super PACs, the GOP failed to buy Election 2012.
Because of the arcane and secretive ways in which donations in the good old bought-and-paid-for USA are collected, reported, and spent, it’s almost impossible to say how much money was really squandered on the 2012 general election. But it seems that $700 million would be a good guess.That’s right, seven hundred million dollars frittered away trying to convince the voting public how to—or, more accurately, how not to—vote when November 6 rolled into the cash register.
The Republicans raised and spent most of that total, fattening up Super PACs with nifty names like “American Crossroads,” “Freedomworks for America,” and “Red, White and Blue.” Ironically patriotic designations for a party bent on destroying the rights of American workers and shipping jobs overseas.
The Republicans are always harping about the mythical “Job Creators,” who are allegedly rich folk who would gleefully employ us all if only they were left alone, free from the encumbrances of fair taxation and regulation. Of course, this magical thinking completely ignores the fact that America’s super-rich and the corporations they own are currently reaping record profits across the economic board while the vast majority of our citizens are either underpaid or unemployed.
So much for the Job Creators.
So, assuming that, as best estimates would indicate, the conservative Super PACs who fueled the failed GOP agenda in Election 2012 wasted about $400 million trying to get Willard Romney and a whole host of Tea Party mad hatters elected.
What might $400 million have bought, if these megalomaniacs really cared about America? Well, roughly…
- 15 bridges, or
- 30 schools, or
- 1,000 homes, or
- 2,000 electric cars, or
- 20,000 wind turbines, or
- 2,000,000 pairs of shoes
True enough, the $300-odd million the Democrats likewise spent could have almost doubled that shopping list. But those contributions primarily supported candidates who actually promote civil rights and liberties instead of curtailing them; candidates who are working to increase America’s home-grown businesses instead of investing in Asia and South America.
You think maybe it’s time we remove the influence of big $$$ from politics? Corporations are NOT people, my friend. And only We the People—individual voting citizens—should determine who represents us in the halls of government.