Taking a page out of the Bernie Sanders playbook, Governor Andrew Cuomo, with Bernie Sanders standing by his side, proposed free university tuition in New York state for residents making less than $125,000 a year. New York on the east coast and California on the west are taking the lead in preserving and advancing progressive values in the Trump era which will probably see conservative values extolled at the Federal level. But Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and others will do all they can to block Republican efforts to shred the safety net for poor and middle Americans. Meanwhile, state and local governments in progressive states will do all they can to advance the cause of values that benefit average Americans. [Read more…]
By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams
In a scathing memo sent Monday to Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined a growing chorus of opposition to the nominee, probing her past support for “privatizing and defunding K-12 education” as well as her “paper-thin record on higher education and student debt.”
“There is no precedent for an Education Department secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education,” Warren wrote (pdf) to DeVos ahead of the billionaire’s Wednesday confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, on which the senator sits. [Read more…]
By Ernie McCray
I had moments not too long ago when I thought that I just might not be around in 2017 – based on the complete lack of energy I was enduring day after day, with my belly under siege by some bacteria that just didn’t want to leave.
But I’m still here on the scene, happy as a lark, slowly getting back to my routines. Wanting to write something regarding my making it to 2017, I checked a writing prompt website and chose number 17 of the choices, as a symbol for 2017, and it read: “In 400 words create your ideal place.”
That put me in a nice place because the prompt could have been something like “Write a 150 word profile on somebody named ‘Margaret Mallory’” or write about “something wrapped” which would have called on more creativity than I wanted to own. I just wanted to kick the new year off in a nice tone. [Read more…]
Thanks to fake news and hyper partisanship, many of us can no longer distinguish facts from opinions — or lies.
By Jill Richardson / OtherWords
“Post-Truth.” The Oxford English Dictionary named this its word of the year for 2016.
This was a year when campaign lies — most, though not all, coming out of the Donald’s mouth — were so numerous that fact checking became nearly impossible.
Yes, each individual statement could be fact checked. But there were so many rapid-fire falsehoods that it was impossible to debunk them one by one on TV without devoting entire shows to just that. [Read more…]
President-elect Trump described his choice for Secretary of Education in a Nov. 23 tweet as a “passionate education advocate,” who will “break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.” Tweeting her reply, Betsy DeVos vowed to work with Trump “on his vision to make American education great again.”
Will tweets follow, identifying those years of greatness, together with the plan to return to them? Don’t hold your breath.
Over the last half century eight presidents (four Democrats, four Republicans) recognized the shortcomings of American education. [Read more…]
By Nat Krieger
The story being read out loud in the room is illustrated with black, gray, and white sketches. It is about a man who visits the land of his birth. He brings his wife and son. The man is shown greeting a grandmother who he knew as a younger person before. Before.
Does that picture really explain before to a ninth grader with almost no English who has arrived in San Diego from a refugee camp in Thailand three weeks before? We need a bridge and Paw, a junior at Hoover High provides one. [Read more…]
By Deidre Fulton / Common Dreams
“I am dangerous not to America but to the people soon to be in charge of it.”
So says one of roughly 200 college professors recently named to a conservative website’s “Professor Watchlist”—a round-up of academics accused of “discriminat[ing] against conservative students and advanc[ing] leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The list is based on “pre-existing news stories,” though readers are encouraged to “submit a tip” if they become aware of “professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.”
The list, which first appeared on November 21, is a project of right-wing non-profit Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a group whose stated mission “is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.”
According to a blog post written by the organization’s founder and executive director Charlie Kirk: “Throughout the next 120 days, Turning Point USA will be running ads to make sure students, faculty, and administrators see that these professors made the Professor Watchlist…We believe these people need to be exposed.” [Read more…]
Welcome to the San Diego Free Press’ newest column! We don’t make a habit of publishing press releases and, because we are all-volunteer run, we simply don’t have the resources to cover every event or topic of interest. What’s in our Mailbag? is a consolidation of information we’ve been sent from organizations or individuals we think is important to share.
Police Presence in School Has Negative Effect on Students
Vote No on Measure B, a letter to the editor from the League of Women Voters
Legislative Hearing on Progress of Law Allowing Community Colleges to Offer B.A. Degrees
Rick Shea versus Walmart and Company
By Dr. Gregg Robinson, President, San Diego County Board of Education,
Dr. Jim Miller, Vice President, American Federation of Teachers Guild, Local 1931
Somebody is trying to buy control of San Diego’s education system and few in the local media seem to have noticed until Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune finally covered it. The Voice of San Diego has been quiet on this front, perhaps because, as the SDUT article reports, its co-founder Buzz Woolley is part of the action. He and his fellow corporate education reformers have San Diego in their crosshairs and are spending big money to drive their agenda.
As Jeff Bryant recently reported at OurFuture.org, there is a huge amount of money behind this new corporate effort to “disrupt” public education:
As education historian Diane Ravitch explains on her personal blog, “Public education in California is under siege by people and organizations who want to privatize the schools, remove them from democratic control, and hand them over to the charter industry.” [Read more…]
Measure I started out as a seemingly non-controversial deal to maintain the status quo with two venerable San Diego institutions.
Now it has split the community between those who want to maintain the current location of the City’s oldest high school and those who say it should no longer occupy dedicated parkland.
The City Council placed Measure I on the ballot along with a package of reforms to the charter. It changes the language found in Section 55 of the foundational document governing the City’s use of dedicated parkland to allow a simple majority public vote to allow the existing use of that site to continue. [Read more…]
When Proposition 227 Passed in 1998, Only Homosexuality Was Less Tolerated Than Bilingualism by Middle-Class Americans
California’s Proposition 58, being marketed as the LEARN Initiative, represents yet another step towards righting the wrongs growing out of a wave of anti-multicultural sentiment during the 1990s.
The nativist wing on the Republican Party eventually led that organization into irrelevance in California, and a generation of Latino political activists is now an ascendant force in state politics.
By allowing local public schools to decide on how best to teach English learners, this measure effectively undoes the statewide immersion-is-best mandate of the English Language in Public Schools Statute, also known as Proposition 227. [Read more…]
Back in 2012 voters approved Proposition 30, which combined a one-fourth cent sales tax increase and a surcharge on incomes taxes for individuals earning more than $250,000 annually. The money raised went to fund education and healthcare agencies, both of which were severely impacted by budget cuts during the great recession.
The provisions of this measure expire at the end of 2018. Proposition 55 asks voters to extend the 1-3% increase on high-income earners through 2030. The sales tax increase would be allowed to sunset at the end of 2016.
The measure will keep money flowing to K-12 schools, community colleges, and (if the Gov. says ok) healthcare for low-income Californians, along with adding to the state’s rainy day fund. Even with the current level of funding, California still ranks near the bottom of the nation in per-pupil spending, class-size average and per-student ratio in nurses, librarians, and counselors. [Read more…]