Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

February 10, 2016

Committee Vote Today on Amendment to Cut Public Schools $14.2 Million by Chris Kulow

Filed under: Public Education — millerlf @ 10:42 am

The Assembly Education Committee will vote this afternoon (Feb. 10) on a new amendment (Assembly Amendment 3) to AB 751 that, according to a memo by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), will have a detrimental fiscal effect on school districts impacted by the Racine and statewide voucher programs.  The LFB estimates the loss in revenue limit authority under the amendment (as compared to current law) to be $14.2 million spread across the 142 affected districts.  This loss would be duplicated each year with each new class of voucher participants.

Once again, the bottom line on Assembly Amendment 3: if your district has resident students in the statewide or Racine voucher programs, under this amendment, you will lose revenue limit authority and you will likely have to pay for your aid lost to vouchers by reducing educational opportunities for the children that remain in your district.  We strongly oppose these efforts and urge you to keep the pressure on state lawmakers. See WASB’s memo to lawmakers.

Please take a few minutes to contact your assembly Representative as well as your state Senator.  For your convenience in doing so, we have provided links to the Assembly Directory and to Find My Legislators (top right there is an address field to look up your lawmakers).

***PLEASE contact members of the Education Committee today before the vote at 1:30 pm. This is especially crucial if your school district is in or near their Assembly districts.***

January 20, 2016


Filed under: Corporate Domination,Elections — millerlf @ 10:56 am

Join Gerry Broderick, Jonathan Brostoff and Larry Miller in support of
Chris Larson for County Executive

at the Art Bar (722 E. Burleigh St.)

On Wednesday January 27th from 6-9 PM.

Help us mobilize and raise funds for a progressive Milwaukee County.

January 7, 2016

An alarming new study says charter schools are America’s new subprime mortgages

Filed under: Charter Schools — millerlf @ 9:13 am

Abby Jackson Business Insider 1/6/16

See the full study at: Charters as New Subprime

The charter-school industry — consisting of schools that are funded partly by tax dollars but run independently — may be heading toward a bubble similar to that of the subprime-mortgage crisis, according to a study published by four education researchers.

The study, “Are charter schools the new subprime loans?” warns of several factors that appear to be edging the charter industry toward a bubble premeditated by the same factors that encouraged banks to start offering risky mortgage loans.

With charters, school authorizers play the role of the banks, as they have the power to decide whether to issue a new charter school. There are a multiple types of authorizers, including state education agencies and independent charter school boards. Most authorizers are local education agencies.

“Supporters of charter schools are using their popularity in black, urban communities to push for states to remove their charter cap restrictions and to allow multiple authorizers,” one of the study’s authors, Preston C. Green III, told The Washington Post, where we first read about the study. “At the same time, private investors are lobbying states to change their rules to encourage charter school growth. The result is what we describe as a policy ‘bubble,’ where the combination of multiple authorizers and a lack of oversight can end up creating an abundance of poor-performing schools in particular communities.”

The study’s authors point to a change in business practices as the catalyst of the bubble in the subprime industry and possible bubble in the case of charter schools.

With the mortgage crisis, loan origination changed from an originate-to-hold model to an originate-to-distribute model. The OTD model allowed banks to sell mortgages into the secondary market, where they were bundled up and sold by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Michael Buckner/Getty ImagesStudents at KIPP Bridge Charter School in San Francisco.

In both the mortgage crisis and the charter industry, these business-model changes essentially transfer the risk to a third party whose incentives don’t necessarily align with those of the originator.

The study also highlights a similarity its authors call the “Principal-Agent Problem.” In the mortgage crisis, mortgage servicers emerged as a result of the OTD model. Servicers handled administrative tasks that originators used to carry out, such as collecting fees from late payments or foreclosures.

Again, the incentives of the servicers and the originators diverged, as the servicers were compensated to foreclose loans rather than to find alternatives.

Charter schools have this same misalignment when it comes to management by third-party organizations, the study says. Many charter-school boards hire private education-management organizations to run the day-to-day administrative tasks of the school.

The study says that while charter-school boards have the responsibility to follow the laws mandated of public schools, the incentive of these outside organizations is to increase revenue or cut expenses. And that misalignment creates an environment that may discriminate against students the organizations see as “too expensive,” such as those with disabilities, according to the study.

The authors of the study acknowledge the necessity of alternatives to failing public schools, but they urge lawmakers to put safeguards in place to ensure a bubble doesn’t develop and affect the very communities they aim to help.


December 18, 2015

Students at Chicago’s Urban Prep Shout “16 Shots!” During Rahm Emanuel Visit

Filed under: Chicago — millerlf @ 8:09 am

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – There was a very dramatic moment Wednesday morning during what was supposed to be a routine event for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

During the launch of a new program called “Chicago’s My Brother’s Keeper Cabinet,” which is aimed at helping teens in need, students at Urban Prep began chanting “16 shots!”

The chant was in reference to the number of shots fired by a Chicago Police officer when Laquan McDonald was gunned The chant broke out twice during the event, but Mayor Emanuel had no visible reaction to it. The Mayor’s Office released the following statement regarding the incident Wednesday afternoon:
The Mayor recognizes that Chicagoans are understandably frustrated. He has called for systemic reform to bring safety to every community and rebuild trust where it has been lost. As part of that process he will continue to engage with residents, police, and community leaders to address their specific concerns.

December 11, 2015

Planned Parenthood Terrorist: Should All White Guys Who Love Guns Be Rounded Up?

Filed under: Fascism — millerlf @ 8:29 am

Why hasn’t the media run stories on the background of the Planned Parenthood terrorist? Where did he get radicalized? What does the inside of his house look like? What groups and individuals has he associated with – why aren’t they on watch lists? This is a critical teachable moment: After the Oklahoma federal building bombing, after Columbine and Newtown and Charleston and so many others, no one suggested rounding up all the white guys who love guns.(Facebook posting by Ellen Bravo)
Organization in religious tolerance campaign:

Donald Trump: Crypto-Fascist, Neo-Fascist= Fascist

Filed under: Fascism — millerlf @ 8:27 am

Dictionary definition of a Demagogue: A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.

Donald Trump is using familiar demagoguery to appeal to a sector of the American population. They are white. They cut across class: rich, poor and middle class. They are angry and they blame Mexican immigrants, Muslims and a Black President for their rage. They have grown out of the “tea-party” movement. And they are open to fascist steps by leaders willing to take them there.

This makes Donald Trump dangerous.

White supremacists (fascist) groups and leaders have lined up behind Trump.
See StormFront website on call for fascism:
See David Duke on Trump immigrant policies:

Fascism comes in many forms. But central to its advancement is diverting people’s anger and fears into blaming the “other.” For Hitler it was the Jews. For Trump its immigrants, first focusing on Mexicans and now focusing on Muslims.

The world is in chaos; government failure, joblessness, loss of income, inequality, demands of communities of color, global warming. Trump’s response is to offer simple solutions: lock the borders and deport millions.



StormFront, U.S. Nazi group, Endorses Trump

Filed under: Fascism — millerlf @ 8:07 am

Fascist and White Supremacist website advocates for Trump. The following is from their website:


Anyone who is in-tune with the average American knows that, if any nation will declare that it’s “Reich Time,” it’s America for a multitude of reasons.

>Americans view their nation similarly to the way that Germans used to view their nation. They saw Germany as “above everything in the world.” Hell, that proclamation is literally the title of the German national anthem: Deutschland über Alles.

>Americans tend to be xenophobic whether most want to openly admit it or not. The massive hordes of third world immigrants only increases this sentiment.

>The Left is increasingly losing control of the SJWs. This wouldn’t be a problem if people outside of SJWs actually liked SJW. As more millennials graduate college, more SJWs will enter the ranks of the Left. As they grow in numbers, more people will turn away from the Left and into the embrace of this “charismatic figure” that Chomsky talks about.

>If America decided to go full-on Reich mode domestically, literally nobody could stop us. The American military, when unleashed, is the most lethal killing machine in human history. Our military wasn’t cucked by a World War. You can be sure that this “charismatic figure” would use our military to its full potential if the American people were ever threatened.

December 6, 2015

James Causey: In wake of teen’s murder, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel must go

Filed under: BlackLivesMatter — millerlf @ 4:45 pm

James Causey MJS 12/6/15

In Causey’s opinion piece he compares his call for the removal of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to Milwaukee and the Dontre Hamilton killing. He states, “Many called for the heads of Manney(the police shooter), Police Chief Edward Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett. In the case of Flynn and Barrett, it didn’t happen. Maybe it should have.”

Rahm Emanuel has to go. The Chicago mayor must resign immediately to restore trust in a city still reeling from the public execution of a teenager by a police officer more than a year ago.

Emanuel demanded the resignation of Chicago Police Superintended Garry McCarthy because he said police officers are only effective when they have the trust of those they serve.

But what about Emanuel? Who can trust him? Was he silent because this incident occurred during an election cycle? He should do the next right thing. He should resign.

It should not have taken 400 days — and a court order — to get video footage of the shooting of Laquan McDonald released. What was going on? A coverup?

Chicago minorities had little confidence in their police department and the city’s leaders even before they watched the video of Laquan, 17, shot 16 times in the middle of the street by an officer who claims the teen lunged at him with a knife.

Chicago has had more than 400 homicides this year, earning it the nickname “Chiraq,” and its leaders are clueless on how to end the violent deaths of blacks. That’s reason enough to question top leadership.

The video shows Laquan walking away from officer Jason Van Dyke in the middle of the street during the October, 2014 incident. Van Dyke had his weapon pointed at the teen — who was carrying a knife — when he opened fire from about 15 feet away. He appeared to continue to shoot the teen while the boy lay dying in the middle of the street. Laquan did not appear to lunge at Van Dyke.

The former officer is charged with murder. Van Dyke was released from jail hours after posting 10% of his $1.5 million bond.

Citizens are upset over the video, and they should be. But they are mostly upset at how they could be kept in the dark for more than a year. There is little doubt that even a cursory review of the video would establish sufficient probable cause for Van Dyke’s immediate arrest. Where was Emanuel in this?

I’ll tell you where: MIA

A group of retired black Chicago police officers on Wednesday called for a federal probe of the department because they claimed that the alleged misconduct “had been going on for years.” The only difference now? It was caught on camera.

Minority citizens have known this for years. The fact that it is now being validated by retired officers doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact, it’s disappointing that they chose not to speak up when the crimes were happening.
Did they trade their conscience for their careers? It appears, sadly, that they did.
There are striking similarities between the shooting death of Laquan and that of Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park. Hamilton, 31, was shot 14 times in broad daylight in April, 2014, by officer Christopher Manney. Many called for the heads of Manney, Police Chief Edward Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett. In the case of Flynn and Barrett, it didn’t happen. Maybe it should have.

Flynn fired Manney for violating police department

rules, and the Fire and Police Commission upheld that decision although Manney receives duty-disability retirement. That doesn’t sit right with me.

Last month, Flynn asked for a formal review of his department by the U.S. Department of Justice. He believes this will show the department is trying to be transparent and wants to improve. Federal and local leaders who have gone through the review process said it has helped to reduce the use of force within police departments. So fine, do a review.

But what the public mostly wants is respect. They want to know that when they call the police the cops will be there to help them, not harm them. Flynn’s request will not fix the distrust that exists between police and the black community in my town. Some people will never trust police, and some police will never trust some of the people they are sworn to serve. That’s just an ugly reality. But they need to coexist.

Nate Hamilton, the older brother of Dontre said some officers will never respect certain people because of their income, status or color. He said things may have turned out differently in Milwaukee had there been a video.
“This incident happened in broad daylight, downtown. There were more than 60 eyewitnesses, and no one captured it on their cellphones,” Hamilton said.

A final point on the death of the Chicago teen: There clearly is a “no snitching” culture in the police force in that city — a blue wall of silence. There were a number of officers on the scene at the time of the shooting and yet they said nothing.

Van Dyke, who had a history of complaints before he gunned down the teen, turned himself in to authorities a few hours before the video of him gunning down Laquan was made public.

Emanuel needs to go. The citizens of Chicago should demand it.

James E. Causey is a Journal Sentinel columnist and blogger. Email Facebook: Twitter: jecausey

Alarming Provisions of NCLB Re-authorization

Filed under: NCLB — millerlf @ 4:44 pm

The disturbing provisions about teacher preparation in No Child Left Behind rewrite

By Valerie Strauss December 5 Washington Post Blog

There has been loud applause in the education world for the new Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind that has passed the House and is expected to become federal law soon. It has been hailed as a fix-it to the broken NCLB law, and it does indeed moderate some of NCLB’s biggest problems. But, perhaps because the legislation was only made public a few days before the House voted, there has been little time to look at the details in the bill.

In this post, Kenneth Zeichner, a professor of teacher education at the University of Washington at Seattle, does just that in regard to how the bill approaches teacher preparation programs — and he reveals some deep concerns. For example:

* Provisions in the legislation for the establishment of teacher preparation academies are written to primarily support non-traditional, non-university programs such as those funded by venture philanthropists.

* The legislation “oversteps the authority of the federal government” in several ways, including by declaring that the completion of a program in an academy run by an organization other than a university results in a certificate of completion that may be recognized by states as “at least the equivalent of a master’s degree in education for the purpose of hiring, retention, compensation, and promotion in the state.” The federal government absolutely has no business in suggesting what should and what should not count as the equivalent of a master’s degree in individual states.

* The legislation seeks to mandate “definitions of the content of teacher education programs and methods of program approval that are state responsibilities.” As a result, it lowers “standards for teacher education programs that prepare teachers for high-poverty schools … by exempting teacher preparation academies from what are referred to as ‘unnecessary restrictions on the methods of the academy.’ ”
Here’s the piece by Zeichner, who is a member of the National Academy of Education and professor emeritus in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and who has done extensive research on teaching and teacher education.

By Kenneth Zeichner

The fundamental tenets of the Every Student Succeeds Act – the successor to No Child Left Behind – are now well known. It lessens the latter’s focus on standardized test scores and shifts much policy-making power from the U.S. Education Department back to the states. But many educators may be surprised to learn what it includes about teacher preparation. There are provisions in the bill for the establishment of teacher preparation academies – and they are written to primarily support non-traditional, non-university programs.

In October 2013, I criticized a bill called the GREAT Teachers and Principals Act, known as the GREAT Act. It was initiated in March 2011 in conversations between leaders of the New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF); Norm Atkins, founder of the Relay Graduate School of Education; Tim Knowles of the University of Chicago; and several members of Congress.


The purpose of this bill was to provide public funds for promoting the growth of entrepreneurial teacher education programs such as the ones seeded by New Schools Venture Fund (for example, Relay, MATCH Teacher Residency and Urban Teachers) that are mostly run by non-profits. At the time, the CEO of NSVF was Ted Mitchell, who is now the U.S. under secretary of education.


Is Alan Borsuk doing a victory lap for the MPS loss of enrollment?

Filed under: Borsuk,Privatization — millerlf @ 4:42 pm

Borsuk has written, argued and worked for the privatization of public education. Read how he frames the loss of enrollment in MPS. See his MJS “commentary” at:

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