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News, Articles, Resources on the film and the issues.


The heroes of Newtown | Baltimore Sun - Friday, December 21, 2012

“…we don’t trust that teachers are doing their best. Too often, we judge them harshly for not achieving the near-impossible: creating a model citizenry from the imperfect products that show up at their doorstep.

“Next time we discuss the state of education, let us also recall those images of teachers leading children out of harm’s way in Newtown or those half-dozen adults who died in the line of duty. Public educators deserve our respect, not just for what happened in Sandy Hook but for their extraordinary, daily devotion to the education, health and welfare of the next generation.”

The strength and courage of teachers and school staff — the kind of public employees so often scorned of late — are the revelation of Sandy Hook

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Montgomery Co schools chief calls for three-year moratorium on standardized testing - Thursday, December 20, 2012

From Valerie Strauss, in the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet”.

Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Starr said Monday that the country needs a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and needs to “stop the insanity” of evaluating teachers according to student test scores because it is based on “bad science.” He also said that the best education reform the country has had is actually health-care reform.

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Cliff Notes: The Education Policy Cliff of 2014 | Whiteboard Advisors - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

‘The Education Policy Cliff’

It is hard to see beyond the nonstop coverage of the fiscal cliff. The outcome is, after all, crucial for our school budgets and the nation’s economy. Sequestration would require the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to cut 8 to 10 percent of its budget, passing the cuts down to districts.The automatic tax hikes would compound the problem for those working in cash-strapped schools. This is serious stuff.

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Schools across US step up police presence in wake of Connecticut shooting | Free Speech Radio News - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MTEA President & Rethinking Schools editor Bob Peterson discusses schools & responses to the Connecticut tragedy.

… some are calling for longer-term solutions to the recent violence on school campuses, including stricter gun laws and more resources for mental health.

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NEA and AFT: Let’s Apply the Lessons of NCLB to the Common Core - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

‘Here we go again.’ From Anthony Cody in his “Living in Dialogue” blog at Ed Week Teacher, on the coming common core set up.

There is currently a lot of criticism being raised about the content of the Common Core, especially the emphasis on “informational text.” I think this is an important discussion, but for me, the bigger issue still lies with how our students will be tested under the new regime, and how those test scores will be used politically to advance privatization.

According to Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education, the Common Core will bring new tests that will be so much better that we will not mind the fact that our teachers are coerced into test preparation. I seriously doubt this.

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First we mourn, then we organize | Public Education: This is what democracy looks like - Monday, December 17, 2012

From MTEA President Bob Peterson

Educators across the nation will enter school with heavy hearts on Monday. Beneath flags at half-mast and between hugs of staff and students, teachers will navigate through difficult questions and raw fears as we remember and honor the victims of the Sandy Hook School tragedy.

First, we mourn.

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He “Barely Said a Word” - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Diane Ravitch shares reflections on the CT tragedy from a NY school supt.

David A. Gamberg, the superintendent of schools in Southold, New York, wrote these reflections.

Adam Lanza had high test scores, presumably the kind of student that would help a teacher be rated as “effective,” but so what? Something was missing. A heart? A soul?

Gamberg understands that the values of our society are warping our schools. He writes:

“…barely said a word, but earned high marks.”

These are the words of a classmate of Adam Lanza.

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A Culture That Condones The Killing Of Children And Teaches Children To Kill | Common Dreams - Sunday, December 16, 2012

It’s not just about gun control.

The Sandy Hook massacre isn’t just about the need for gun control laws, it is about a culture that condones the killing of children and teaches children that killing is okay.

It is about a country addicted to violence on television and movie screens.

It is about cuts in education spending.

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Three Common-Sense Gun Bills That Can’t Pass Congress | The Nation - Friday, December 14, 2012

Gun control bills that should have passed long ago.

Washington is so paralyzed on gun control it can’t seem to pass fundamentally sensible reforms.

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CTU Launches ‘Stand Up to the Fat Cats’ - Thursday, December 13, 2012

From CTUNet.com

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) today kicked off a public education campaign against the rise of school privatization schemes and the corporate assault on public education with the release of an animated, satirical short film, Stand Up to the Fat Cats. The video seeks to rally the public against corporate infiltration in public education and encourage them to join the fight to provide resources and support for neighborhood schools.

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Rethinkin’ Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation - Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rethinkin’ Lincoln from Bill Bigelow & ZEP.

In coming months and years, teachers’ jobs will be made harder by Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, in which Daniel Day-Lewis gives a brilliant performance as, well, Lincoln-the-abolitionist. The only problem is that Lincoln was not an abolitionist.

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Students First spends three hours in Opposite Day | Maureen Reedy on Plunderbund - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

‘Opposite Day’ for corporate reformers.

As a veteran 29-year elementary school teacher, I am giving the name of “Opposite Day” to what occurred last Wednesday morning in Room 313 at the Ohio Statehouse….

On November 5th, in the name of “Education Reform,” Michelle Rhee’s “dream team” of Students First spent three hours in “Opposite Day” mode, describing their corporate, profit-driven vision for “transforming our public schools” to the Ohio House Finance Committee and its audience members.

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Right To Work In Michigan: Labor’s Options For Repeal | Huffington Post - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Options for reversing the Republican coup in Michigan.

But labor leaders haven’t given up. They’ve been busily searching for other ways to repeal it, either through the ballot box or within the legislature.

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Why we filed with the Ethics Board: The public deserves to know what’s happening here - Monday, December 10, 2012

‘From the Broad Foundation to the Waltons and Gates Foundations – what we’re seeing across the country is an unprecedented level of private money shaping public policy under the guise of philanthropy.’

Yesterday, Parents United for Public Education, the Philadelphia Home and School Council and the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP filed a complaint with the City Ethics Board requesting an investigation into whether the Boston Consulting Group, private donors, and the William Penn Foundation acted as lobbyists and principals to influence policy in the School District of Philadelphia.

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The Silent Treatment: A Day in the Life of a Student in ‘No Excuses’ Land - Sunday, December 09, 2012

From EduShyster: keeping an eye on the corporate education agenda

Meet Carolina. This college-bound fifth grader is fortunate enough to attend a charter school where expectations are high and innovation and excellence abound. There’s just one wee catch. In order to realize her goal of opportunity and the promise of independence, Carolina must spend the next SEVEN YEARS in near silence.

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