QUOTE OF THE DAY
“In response to the recent surge of energy on the left, the hedge-funded Democrats increasingly market their agenda items in the language of psuedo-populist reform, while blocking efforts—on housing, education funding, health care, tax policy, and bank regulation—aimed at directly remedying the state’s steepening inequalities of wealth, income, and opportunity.”
–Jennifer Berkshire on the woes of Democratic ed reformers, writing in the Baffler
DSO: Poverty-remediation efforts: affordable (and integrated) housing, enhanced (public) school funding, single-payer healthcare from pre-cradle to grave, progressive income taxes, a handy Postal bank (and for investment, a state bank in the image of that in North Dakota), not to mention a host of regulations for existing banks—so much could be done.
None of these measures forms part of the doctrine of free markets. But together they would go a long way towards buttressing a free country and citizenry.
It’s a great day for education articles and analyses—meaning that there’s an abundance of disturbing news about education, one of our four HEJE Overview signature areas of coverage. On today’s reading list: The Big Picture on the downsizing of education at the federal level; the Network for Public Education’s just-released study, “Charters and Consequences”; charter school teachers gear up to unionize; our schools’ diversity problem – and a novel solution; Scott Walker and the hollowing-out of public schools in Wisconsin; government schools are not the solution to educational inequality (the view from the other side: vouchers, yeah!). Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-21-17: Education”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“… [I]t’s important to provide publicly funded treatment and comprehensive services to both rural and urban communities. Practically speaking, many people in need of opioid treatment are able to access treatment only using public health insurance programs like the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and block grant programs.”
–“The Opioid Crisis Is at its Worst in Rural Areas: Can Telemedicine Help?”
Our regular HEJE Overview returns to Healthcare after a bit of a break. On the Rx list today: Why everybody will love single-payer (once it’s law); the new nominee to become Sec of HHS (hint: he’s from Eli Lilly); eliminating the individual mandate—in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (aka, tax cut bill); rising obesity among children and the health risks obesity entails, brought to a close by Big Hospital consolidations and closures in rural America (with the Mayo Clinic as chief exemplar), and finally, a cheaper (but not cheap enough to be affordable to many sufferers) approach to opioid addiction: telemedicine. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-20-17: Healthcare”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
From the Senate HELP committee’s hearings on the nomination of Mitchell Zais (of South Carolina) to become undersecretary of Education…
“Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked Zais about his support for vouchers and whether he was aware of recent research about the impact of vouchers on student achievement. Zais responded: “To the best of my knowledge, whenever we give parents an opportunity to choose a school that is the best fit for their children, there are improved outcomes.”
“To which Franken replied: ‘No, that is not true.’ He then cited a New York Times article from earlier this year about three studies of large voucher programs in Indiana, Louisiana and Ohio, which found vouchers negatively affected test results in reading and math. (Franken did not mention a major 2017 study on the nation’s only federally funded voucher program, in Washington, D.C., that showed similar results.) Zais said: ‘I was unaware of those studies that you cited.’”
–as reported by Valerie Strauss, The Answer Sheet, Washington Post
DSO: Should this really come as a surprise to anyone?
Today’s HEJE Overview returns to Education: teaching, as a profession, is inherently political; the Washington Monthly brouhaha between Thomas Toch (pro-reform) and John Merrow (who’s seen the light) about the Michelle Rhee reformist era in the DCPS; a Philadelphia university faculty member has been studying poverty among college students; a group of homeless persons, including schoolchildren, is evicted across the street from where the Zuckerbergs will build a private school for—you guessed it—poor students in East Palo Alto (not to be confused with Palo Alto). Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-16-17: Education”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“As illogical as it sounds, courts routinely suspend the drivers’ licenses of those who are too poor to pay their fines and fees on time, typically with no notice or opportunity to be heard. It’s illogical because, without a drivers’ license, people lose their jobs and income – making it even harder to pay what they owe. … These policies that punish the poor have created staggering racial disparities and fueled a mass incarceration crisis that has cost billions of dollars and failed to make anyone safer.”
–“An Arkansas Town Agrees to Criminal Justice Reform to Ensure That the Poor Are Not Jailed”
? There are some 3,140 counties and county-equivalents in the United States. Is this issue going to have to be re-fought 3,139 times?
In today’s survey of developments in (in)justice, we look at an interview with a man who successfully defended a death-row inmate in Texas (and got him exonerated), at the ongoing war on workers/unions (two links, one on the rather low-key Ricketts family, which shut down DNAInfo and Gothamist the second their reporters unionized, and a historical primer on Janus v. AFSCME), at a piece about why it might be preferable to sue polluters rather than attempt to legislate their infractions away, and finally, at a small city in Arkansas that’s agreed not to jail poor people for the crime of being poor. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-15-17: Justice”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“On November 4, 1952, Dr. Helen Kenyon addressed the Women’s Society of Riverside Church in New York City and opined that, ‘Eleven o’clock Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often paraphrased the quote.
Today, sadly, our public schools best reflect Dr. Kenyon’s and Dr. King’s sentiment as the most segregated place in America.”
Rushern Baker, County Executive of Prince George’s County, Md.
Today’s Education Overview looks at continuing—and increasing—racism and segregation in U.S. schools and at the corporate takeover of U.S. public schools (very grim but very must-read) through the charter and voucher movements, before concluding with the Secretary of Education and the unfounded rumors that she’s preparing to resign and a newly-formed group, the Education Civil Rights Alliance, which will be defending students’ civil rights. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-14-17: Education”
Destroying the environment, one (de-)regulation at a time
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“If we are serious about feeding the planet while fighting climate change, the world needs to urgently invest in a transition to food systems that hinge on small-scale producers, agroecology and local markets. These systems provide for moderate levels of meat and dairy, but they do so in a way that regenerates soils, provides livelihoods to rural and urban communities and makes crops and animals resilient to the vagaries of an unpredictable climate.”
–“Big Meat and Dairy’s Supersized Climate Footprint”
Following a link to a must-save timeline of all this administration’s environment-adverse actions, we review: fossil fuel emissions in 2017 (highest ever); the livestock industry as major contributor at every stage of production to climate change (2 articles); the cargo shipping industry (which burns the world’s dirtiest fuel); the Monsanto-dicamba debacle (2 articles), and conclude today’s Environmental Overview by excerpting from an interview with Robert Jay Lifton on how awareness that climate change is real, here, and now gives him hope. Hint: awareness can’t be stopped.
Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-13-17: Environment”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Texas Constitution, Article 7, Section 1: “A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
“That means a general diffusion of that knowledge through the public trust. Not some little church school over here that doesn’t know beans when the sack’s open about educating a child. Education is very technical. It’s hard to do. It takes competent, well-trained, well-educated people to do this work. This business of the state diverting tax money to what my daddy would have called jack-legged schools—it’s corrupt, it’s wasteful, it’s certainly not conservative, and it’s got to stop. This is why we call public education a moral value. People are made in the image of God. Not just some people—all people. And that means that we get to name God’s world. It’s a fundamental human right. That requires the best standards of knowledge that we have.”
–Rev. Charles Johnson of Pastors for Texas Children
It’s Sunday, and this Baptist minister understands the meaning of the words “public,” “trust,” “moral value,” and “fundamental human right.”
Today’s HEJE-Education considers whether charters have anything to offer rural America; the value of children as “products” to their future “consumers”; the Secretary of Education and her religious-political-economic Weltanschauung; the views of Reverend Charles Johnson, founder of Pastors for Texas Kids on public education, and the risks of charterization-privatization of Puerto Rico’s schools. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-12-17: Education”