EON #4 – Feb 27-Mar 5, 2013

Sequester Cuts Confirm Republicans Are Party Of Deadbeat Dads

by Jeff Bryant

“… Some of the hardest hit by the budget cuts will be children … Deadbeat dads are famous for withholding financial support from children. So Republicans seem to fit the mold here … Republicans are going to deny this. Conservatives are going to claim the cuts aren’t that big of a deal – or are even actually a good thing. But Democrats need to call them out for their negligence and stop playing the role of the ‘ineffectual mom’ who fails to confront the harm being done to children.”

Why Are Walmart Billionaires Bankrolling Phony School ‘Reform’ In LA? (Bill Moyers)

Peter Dreier, a professor at Occidental College, observes, “Los Angeles has been ground zero in an intense debate about how to improve our nation’s education system. What’s less known is who is shaping that debate. Many of the biggest contributors to the so-called ‘school choice’ movement – code words for privatizing our public education system – are billionaires who don’t live in Southern California, but have gained significant influence in local school politics.”

 The Dark Side Of Choosing School Choice (Teaching Speaks Volumes)

A teacher and parent in North Carolina reflects on school choice and concludes, “If we were we in an ideal world, where schools were really funded  … I might be a stronger proponent of a choice model … All our schools should be special … [but] we’ve created a system cloaked in the party line of empowering students and parents, where the reality has school systems and educators fighting over the last scraps like dogs over the last lean bone.”

Teachers Say They Are Unprepared for Common Core (Education Week)

“Even as the Common Core State Standards are being put into practice across most of the country, nearly half of teachers feel unprepared to teach them, especially to disadvantaged students … more than two-thirds said their schools were not well prepared … and only two in 10 said their states were … Nearly three in 10 have not had any training at all. Of the 70 percent who have… three in 10 have had only one day or less … 31% reported having had two to three days … Teachers showed grave concerns about the children’s prospects for mastering the standards.”

The Non-Reformy Lessons Of KIPP (School Finance 101)

“We’ve heard lots of talk about no excusesness and its (supposed) costless (revenue neutral) effectiveness and potential to replace entire urban school systems … The reality is that what underlies the KIPP model, and that of many other ‘high flying’ no excuses charter organizations, are a mix of substantial resources, leveraged in higher salaries, additional time … reasonable class sizes, coupled with a dose of old-fashioned sit-down-and-shut up classroom/behavior management and a truckload of standardized testing. Nothin’ too sexy there. Nothin’ that reformy. Nothin’ particularly creative.”

Student Loan Delinquencies May Top 30 Percent (Huffington Post)

“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released data on Thursday showing skyrocketing levels of student debt over the past decade … Excluding student loan borrowers who delay repaying debts through so-called forbearance and deferral plans, the New York Fed’s data shows that nearly one in three people with student loans are now more than 90 days behind on payments — a significant jump from 2004. Experts said the data is further evidence that recent college graduates are facing a punishing world of high unemployment and increasing student loan balances.”

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