DO NOT ALLOW A THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY RUN A CANDIDATE FOR YOU.....
We have watched as public universities have been made into 'innovation centers' and now we are watching as legislation ending student loans and tracking the middle/lower class into cheapened online classes is moving forward......SEE WHERE THE PHRASE MOVING FORWARD TAKES US!!!!
Universities are the hotbed of any democracy and that is why the 1% have hit them first. The underserved are the weakest politically and their politicians are co-opted and working against them. Here in Baltimore we have nothing but bad policy for the working class and poor in a City Hall full of representatives with districts largely working class and poor!!! THESE POLS ARE THROWING THEIR CONSTITUENTS UNDER THE BUS AS REGARDS EDUCATION AMONG ALL THINGS.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
Baltimore is a captured political environment but we are growing community networks that are separate from those put into place by O'Malley, Rawlings-Blake, and Johns Hopkins. MOVE AWAY FROM THE FARM TEAM AND BECOME THE CHANGE YOU WANT.....
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!!
SEE WHY BALTIMORE'S BOND DEAL WILL COME BACK TO HURT THE PEOPLE WITH WALL STREET GAINS!
School districts pay dearly for bonds
Trey Bundy and Shane Shifflett, California Watch Updated 11:49 pm, Thursday, January 31, 2013
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/School-districts-pay-dearly-for-bonds-4237868.php#ixzz2PV4vawVm
The Napa Valley Unified School District had a quandary: The district needed a new high school in American Canyon, but taxpayers appeared unwilling to take the financial hit required to build it.
So in 2009, the district took out an unusual loan: $22 million with no payments due for 21 years. By 2049, when the debt is paid, it will have cost taxpayers $154 million - seven times the amount borrowed.
School board member Jose Hurtado said he stands by the deal. But if it were a mortgage, he acknowledged, "we would run."
Napa is one of at least 1,350 school districts and government agencies across the nation that have turned to a controversial form of borrowing called capital appreciation bonds to finance major projects, a California Watch analysis shows. Relying on these bonds has allowed districts to borrow billions of dollars while postponing payments, in some cases for decades.
This form of borrowing has created billions of dollars in debt for taxpayers and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for financial advisers and underwriters. Voters are usually unaware of the bonds' high interest. At least one state, Michigan, has banned their use.
In California, where rules governing the loans are among the loosest, more than 400 school districts and other agencies have racked up greater capital appreciation bond debt in the past six years than agencies in any other state.
They have borrowed $9 billion that will cost taxpayers $36 billion to repay over the next 40 years, according to data compiled by California Treasurer Bill Lockyer. He called it "debt for the next generation."
"The average tenure of a school superintendent is about 3 1/2 years, so they aren't going to be around, in most instances, to worry about paying that off," Lockyer said. "Nor will the voters, probably, that enacted it in the first place."
Good for advisers The capital appreciation bond business in California has been lucrative for dozens of private financial advisers, banks and credit rating firms that have charged government entities nearly $400 million for financial services since 2007, state data show.
The bonds are unusual in public finance because they postpone debt far into the future. Typical school bonds require borrowers to begin making payments within six months and cost two to three times the principal amount to repay. But with deferred payments, districts have ended up paying as much as 23 times the amount borrowed.
The decision to issue these bonds instead of traditional bonds typically is made by district officials after voters have approved bond measures, and the public usually has no knowledge of how much they will cost to repay.
Earlier this month, Lockyer and Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction, called for a statewide moratorium on capital appreciation bonds.
Widespread use Since 2007, school districts and government agencies in at least 27 states and Puerto Rico have financed projects with capital appreciation bonds.
In Texas, 590 districts and other government entities have issued these bonds over the past six years - more than any other state, according to a database maintained by the federal Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. California was second, with 404, followed by Ohio, with 202.
Bay Area districts that have issued these bonds include:
-- The Hayward Unified School District, which issued $21 million in bonds that will cost $131 million to repay - 6.2 times the principal.
-- The Bellevue Union Elementary School District in Santa Rosa, which issued a bond worth more than $378,000 that will cost $4 million - 10.75 times the amount borrowed.
-- The West Contra Costa Unified School District, which sold $2.5 million in bonds that will cost $34 million - 13.5 times the principal.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/School-districts-pay-dearly-for-bonds-4237868.php#ixzz2PV4qCNi4
THE ELITE UNIVERSITIES HAVE DECLARED AMERICAN POLITICS DEAD AND SO THEY DO NOT SEE THE REASON TO HAVE POLITICAL SCIENCE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS.
IT IS UNIVERSITY POLITICS THAT FUEL DEMOCRACY AND JUSTICE.....THIS ATTACK ON UNIVERSITIES AND CORPORATE CONTROL IS AN ATTACK ON POLITICAL FREEDOM!!!
AAUP Condemns Plan to Ban Political Science Funding Inside Higher Ed
April 5, 2013 - 4:29am The American Association of University Professors has issued a statement condemning the recent Senate vote to bar the National Science Foundation from supporting most work in political science. The statement said that "efforts by politicians to restrict research support for certain disciplines" are "misguided" and that they threaten "the integrity of the rigorous scientific review process used by federal agencies to fund research that advances knowledge."
Who thinks the goal isn't eliminating all educators from the picture except licensed lecturers chosen by the Kleptocracy? Think Chinese autocratic messaging. Universities are the foundation of freedom and activism since classical times so it is very important for Third Way corporate democrats and the 1% to completely capture the university experience.
Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times EdX, a nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will release automated software that uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers.
By JOHN MARKOFF Published: April 4, 2013 New York Times
And then, instead of being done with that exam, imagine that the system would immediately let you rewrite the test to try to improve your grade.
EdX, the nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer courses on the Internet, has just introduced such a system and will make its automated software available free on the Web to any institution that wants to use it. The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks.
The new service will bring the educational consortium into a growing conflict over the role of automation in education. Although automated grading systems for multiple-choice and true-false tests are now widespread, the use of artificial intelligence technology to grade essay answers has not yet received widespread endorsement by educators and has many critics.
Anant Agarwal, an electrical engineer who is president of EdX, predicted that the instant-grading software would be a useful pedagogical tool, enabling students to take tests and write essays over and over and improve the quality of their answers. He said the technology would offer distinct advantages over the traditional classroom system, where students often wait days or weeks for grades.
“There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback,” Dr. Agarwal said. “Students are telling us they learn much better with instant feedback.”
But skeptics say the automated system is no match for live teachers. One longtime critic, Les Perelman, has drawn national attention several times for putting together nonsense essays that have fooled software grading programs into giving high marks. He has also been highly critical of studies that purport to show that the software compares well to human graders.
“My first and greatest objection to the research is that they did not have any valid statistical test comparing the software directly to human graders,” said Mr. Perelman, a retired director of writing and a current researcher at M.I.T.
He is among a group of educators who last month began circulating a petition opposing automated assessment software. The group, which calls itself Professionals Against Machine Scoring of Student Essays in High-Stakes Assessment, has collected nearly 2,000 signatures, including some from luminaries like Noam Chomsky.
“Let’s face the realities of automatic essay scoring,” the group’s statement reads in part. “Computers cannot ‘read.’ They cannot measure the essentials of effective written communication: accuracy, reasoning, adequacy of evidence, good sense, ethical stance, convincing argument, meaningful organization, clarity, and veracity, among others.”
But EdX expects its software to be adopted widely by schools and universities. EdX offers free online classes from Harvard, M.I.T. and the University of California, Berkeley; this fall, it will add classes from Wellesley, Georgetown and the University of Texas. In all, 12 universities participate in EdX, which offers certificates for course completion and has said that it plans to continue to expand next year, including adding international schools.
The EdX assessment tool requires human teachers, or graders, to first grade 100 essays or essay questions. The system then uses a variety of machine-learning techniques to train itself to be able to grade any number of essays or answers automatically and almost instantaneously.
The software will assign a grade depending on the scoring system created by the teacher, whether it is a letter grade or numerical rank. It will also provide general feedback, like telling a student whether an answer was on topic or not.
Dr. Agarwal said he believed that the software was nearing the capability of human grading.
“This is machine learning and there is a long way to go, but it’s good enough and the upside is huge,” he said. “We found that the quality of the grading is similar to the variation you find from instructor to instructor.”
EdX is not the first to use automated assessment technology, which dates to early mainframe computers in the 1960s. There is now a range of companies offering commercial programs to grade written test answers, and four states — Louisiana, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia — are using some form of the technology in secondary schools. A fifth, Indiana, has experimented with it. In some cases the software is used as a “second reader,” to check the reliability of the human graders.
A SHOUT OUT FOR THIS BANKRUPTCY APPROACH TO STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS!!!!
Third Way corporate democrats are pushing the Student Loan Forgiveness Act which benefits the wealthy and banks......progressives are pushing the student loan bankruptcy which works best for the middle/lower class!!!!!
http://www.votetocracy.com/house_bills/hr532-...Bill to Restore Bankruptcy Protections to Private Student Loans Advances in House
Federal legislation that would restore bankruptcy protections to private student loans cleared a first hurdle today, passing 6 to 3 in a vote by a panel of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The bill, which has been offered in several previous congressional sessions, still faces long odds, however. Many Republicans oppose the measure, warning that it would drive up interest rates and further shrink the market for private loans, and the congressional legislative session is winding down. Only four weeks remain before the House’s target date to adjourn. __________________________________________________
The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2013
“Creates a 10-10 standard for student loan repayment, in which an individual would be required to make 10 years of payments at 10% of their discretionary income, after which, their remaining debt would be forgiven
Permanently caps the interest rate for all federal student loans at 3.4%, ultimately eliminating the need to enact temporary measures every year to prevent rates from doubling
Allow those eligible to convert their private loan debt into federal direct loans
Suspends interest rates while borrowers are un-employed
Rewards graduates for entering into public service”
Discretionary income, in this case, appears to be defined as any annual income exceeding 150 percent of the poverty line for an individual or family. "While current borrowers would be eligible for full forgiveness under the plan, future borrowers would be subject to a $45,520 cap on forgiveness (based on the average overall cost of a four-year degree at a public university). The aim is to incentivize students to be mindful of educational costs and for colleges and universities to control tuition increases."
WHY THE STUDENT LOAN FAIRNESS ACT IS JUST A BANK BAILOUT THAT WILL HURT FUTURE MIDDLE/LOWER CLASS STUDENTS:
First, it will move all private loan debt to the Federal government (taxpayers) even the fraud-ridden for-profit schools: ...see why the right to discharge student debt in bankruptcy was changed!!!!
Loonin said that about 70 percent of the people she works with at the NCLC, most of who are already in default, attended for-profit colleges.
"There's rampant fraud in that sector, and deception," she said. "A lot of people are being deceived into signing up, deceived as to resources, equipment, faculties, and deceived about the prospects at the back end. The for-profit issue is really a consumer fraud issue."
Second, this bill is designed to implement policy that affects future students in that it directs universities to lower costs....which sounds good, but the intent is to use this directive to move public universities and community colleges to online classes and degrees. So, to get a Federal student loan you will have to attend a lower quality college/online degree program. The purpose is to remove access to quality education for most students!
Raise your hand if you knew education funding would not happen in a recession!!! So, when education reformers spend billions of dollars on restructuring all kinds of administrative policy and remove all kinds of staff all for education quality and then cut resources, teacher's pay, and hand off funding to corporate donors......aren't you a little skeptical about their real goals? RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!
US states cut higher education spending by nearly a third
By World Socialist WebSite (about the author) (Page 1 of 1 pages)
General News 4/1/2013 at 01:25:33 Become a Fan
Since the recession began, state governments have cut funding to public higher education by 28 percent. This is the finding of a recent study published by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). What emerges is a devastating picture of the situation facing youth seeking an education, as over three quarters of undergraduate students in the US attend public colleges and universities.
Titled "Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come," the CBPP report describes the deep cuts in state spending and student aid and the resulting increases in tuition, cuts in jobs and infrastructure, and curtailment of services at the affected colleges and universities.
Nationwide, states are spending $2,353 or 28 percent less per student on higher education in fiscal year 2013 when compared to 2008, just before the recession triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Individually, 48 states are spending less per student than in 2008, with most making severe cuts.
The amount of spending cut varies from state to state; in some areas it has been particularly drastic. Arizona and New Hampshire have cut spending per student by more than half, and nine other states have cut it more than one third; 36 states have cut funding by more than 20 percent. States and localities provide 53 percent of the funding for instruction at public colleges and universities in America.
In response to the cutbacks, schools have themselves cut spending, as well as raised tuition, resulting in education that is both more expensive and worse in quality. Individually, every single state has increased tuition at four-year public institutions faster than the rate of inflation since 2008.
Nationwide, tuition has risen by 27 percent or $1,850 per student, adjusted for inflation, since the 2007-2008 school year. In some states the tuition rise has been especially steep, with California and Arizona leading the pack with increases exceeding 70 percent.
Increases in federal assistance, such as an increase in the availability of Pell Grants and an expansion of some higher education tax credits, have fallen short of covering the decreases from the state end, adding up to about three quarters of the shortfall nationwide. And because these increases were applied basically equally among all states, the states with the worst state funding decreases, like Arizona and New Hampshire, are falling particularly short. The funding shortfall was further exacerbated due to the recent expiration of federal emergency funds at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.
<a href="http://ox-d.lanistaconcepts.com/w/1.0/rc?cs=51030f68dd793&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE" ><img src="http://ox-d.lanistaconcepts.com/w/1.0/ai?auid=332813&cs=51030f68dd793&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE" border="0" alt=""></a> In addition to increasing tuition, schools have responded by cutting spending through the elimination of faculty positions, discontinuation of many course offerings, the closing of facilities like computer labs, reduction of library services, and even the closing of entire campuses. In Arizona alone, more than 2,100 university positions were eliminated; eight "extension-campuses," which facilitate distance learning, were closed; and 182 schools, programs and departments were consolidated or eliminated.
The majority of state money used to fund higher education comes from tax revenue, which, adjusted for inflation, is down nationwide by 6 percent compared to 2008. At the same time, an increasing number of young people are attending public universities, partly as a result of the "baby boom echo," which resulted in a surge in people presently aged 18-24 years. Compared to the beginning of the recession, 1.3 million or 12.4 percent more full-time students were enrolled in public higher education in the 2011-2012 school year.
These cuts are all the more damaging to students and their families as they come at a time when the working class is still reeling from the officially ended recession. Additionally, $85 billion in sequester cuts signed into law by President Obama last week will affect programs providing housing assistance, early childhood education, nutrition assistance and unemployment insurance, among many others.
Compared to 2008, median household income is still down 8 percent. Unemployment remains high, officially at 7.7 percent, which is still a falsely rosy measurement as it does not include the underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work. Real estate values are still depressed as well.
All of this puts families of those seeking higher education in dire financial straits, and dissuades young people from attending college at all. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce projects that by 2018, 62 percent of jobs in America will require some form of college education, which is up from 59 percent in 2007 and 28 percent in 1973. It also projects that by that time, the country's higher education system will produce 3 million fewer graduates than the labor market will demand.
The cuts to higher education are of a piece with broad attacks on public education by state governments, and especially the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" program. Under this policy, schools in poor districts are held to the same testing standards as those in affluent areas.
Under this policy, if students fall short of mandated standardized test scores, teachers may be fired and replaced with inexperienced and lower-paid new-hires. So-called "failing schools" may then be closed or turned over to charter companies, which run the schools for a profit, funneling public funds into the pockets of private shareholders. Some public school districts, including in Michigan's capitol, Lansing, are eliminating art, music and physical education classes, which do not factor into the standardized tests.
The author also recommends: Wall Street turns profit on student loan debt [11 March 2013]
Here we have yet another billionaire buying the Bill Gates education reform that no one wants and again they are targeting the urban schools because the poor have no political power to protect them. Once these school privatizers take these urban schools to charters and Teach for America they will use these school systems to spring board to all public schools. IF MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA THINK THIS WILL ONLY TAKE POOR SCHOOLS .....THINK AGAIN.
REMEMBER, THIRD WAY ONLY PROTECTS THE 10%.
Mark Zuckerberg's money lays path for change in Newark schools
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images Most of Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million donation has been spent on brokering a new teachers contract that creates performance-based pay and opening new schools.
Joanne Rutherford’s first graders at Peshine Avenue Elementary School in Newark, N.J., start class by drawing constellations. The classroom is equipped with a smartboard and a fancy projector, but those weren't bought with the $100 million donated to the city's public schools in 2010 by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. In fact, you won't find any of Zuckerberg's largess in Mrs. Rutherford's classroom. At least, not obviously.
“In some ways it’s less tangible," explains Newark Public Schools Superintendent Cari Anderson, "but in many ways, it’s a lot more systemic and a lot longer lasting.” Anderson says Zuckerberg’s money isn’t buying things, it’s changing how things are done.
“Most significant from our standpoint," she says, "has been the support that he and other philanthropists gave to achieve a breakthrough labor contract with the Newark Teacher’s Union.”
Yes, a labor contract. Some $50 million helped broker an agreement with the union to accept a new teacher evaluation system and pay based on performance.
Kim McLain, who heads the Foundation for Newark’s Future -- the group in charge of doling out Zuckerberg’s money -- says this wasn't dictated by Zuckerberg, but it fits with the vision behind the donation.
“One of the things that we firmly believe in is that in order to have a really good educational system, it starts with the teacher in the classroom,” she says.
Zuckerberg’s gift has also been used to help open several new schools, including charter schools, and to create a centralized system for tracking student progress.
This doesn’t mean that everyone in Newark is toasting the founder of Facebook.
“It’s an agenda about which I have serious doubts,” says Paul Tractenberg, founder of the Institute on Education Law and Policy at Rutgers. He disagrees with the new approach, arguing that it will “weaken collective bargaining, weaken job security of teachers, [and] hold teachers accountable based largely on standardized test scores of their students.”
Superintendent Anderson says Newark’s underperforming schools need bold ideas and a break from the past.
“Private philanthropy can be a critical catalyst to remove systemic barriers that the system can’t remove," she says, because "the system is the problem sometimes.”
What will the changes mean for the first graders in Mrs. Rutherford’s class? It will be some time before these reforms can be judged on student preparedness and graduation. Like most investments, the returns aren’t instant.
Click here to see how the Foundation for Newark's Future has divied up Zuckerberg's $100 million donation so far.
This should make everyone sick as these teachers.....no doubt wrong for what they did....are being treated like criminals while corporate criminals terrorizing our economy are pushing this education agenda!!!!!
WHO IS CRIMINAL? WHEN A SOCIETY DISTORTS THIS.....IT IS AUTOCRATIC!!!
Web Only// Features » April 3, 2013
The Need to Cheat Atlanta Public Schools might be guilty of cheating, but the real scandal is standardized testing.
BY Bill Ayers Teaching toward a simple standardized measure and relentlessly applying state-administered (but privately developed and quite profitable) tests to determine the “outcomes” both incentivizes cheating and is a worthless proxy for learning.
The road to the massive cheating scandal in Atlanta runs right through the White House.
The former superintendent, Dr. Beverly L. Hall, and her 34 obedient subordinates now face criminal charges, but the central role played by a group of un-indicted and largely unacknowledged co-conspirators, her powerful enablers, is barely noted.
Beyond her “strong relationship with the business elite” who reportedly made her “untouchable” in Atlanta, she was a national super-star for more than a decade because her work embodied the shared educational policies of the Bush and Obama administrations. In the testing frenzy that characterized both No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top Dr. Hall was a winner, consistently praised over many years by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for raising test scores, hosted at the White House in 2009 as superintendent of the year, and appointed in 2010 by President Obama to the National Board for Education Sciences. When the Atlanta scandal broke in 2011 Secretary Duncan rushed to assure the public that it was “very isolated” and “an easy one to fix.”
That’s not true. According to a recently released study by the independent monitoring group FairTest, cheating is “widespread” and fully documented in 37 states and Washington D.C.
The deeper problem is reducing education to a single narrow metric that claims to recognize an educated person through a test score. Teaching toward a simple standardized measure and relentlessly applying state-administered (but privately developed and quite profitable) tests to determine the “outcomes” both incentivizes cheating and is a worthless proxy for learning.
I recently interviewed leaders at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools—the school Arne Duncan attended for 12 years and the school where the Obamas, the Duncans, and the Emanuels sent their children—and asked what role test scores played in teacher evaluations there. The answer was none. I pressed the point and was told that in their view test scores have no value in helping to understand or identify good teaching. None.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR Bill Ayers is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Fugitive Days (Beacon) and co-author, with Bernardine Dohrn, of Race Course: Against White Supremacy (Third World Press).
More information about Bill Ayers