Today's news -- August 11, 2017

 

 

 

 

How charter schools buy political support *

In Florida, the Miami Herald calls state ethics laws a “joke” for “failing to protect Floridians from legislators who profit from the charter-school industry in private life and have been actively involved in pushing — and successfully passing — legislation to fund for-profit private schools at the expense of public education.” The Herald names names. Representative Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah) serves on the Education Committee and the K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee and lobbies to loosen restrictions on charter schools. He is also the chief operating officer of the Doral College charter, part of the for-profit Academica charter school network, that pays him a salary of over $100,000 a year. Richard Corcoran (R-Land O’Lakes) is speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. His wife is the founder of a charter school in Pasco County. Representative Michael Bileca (R-Miami) chairs the Florida House Education Committee. Bileca is executive director of a foundation that funds charter schools and a founder of one of its recipients. Diaz, Corcoran, and Bileca were leaders in a legislative effort to take millions of tax dollars away from public schools and reallocating money to fund the expansion of the charter-school industry. Stephen Dyer, a former Ohio state legislator, describes Ohio’s charter schools as a “national embarrassment.” Ohio’s $1 billion-a-year publicly financed charter industry has been plagued by years of financial scandal and poor performance. But in 2015 when an oversight bill was about to be passed the state’s legislative branch, it was withdrawn from consideration by House speaker Cliff Rosenberger (Republican-Clarksville). Rosenberger is a major recipient of charter school campaign donations. In Arizona charter schools routinely receive exemptions from state oversight requirements, despite a history of misusing tax dollars. They also receive over 25 percent of state education funds, although they only enroll 15 percent of Arizona’s school age students. The right-wing Republican governor of Arizona was accused by the even further right-wing elected superintendent of Arizona schools of establishing a “shadow faction of charter school operators” committed to “moving funds from traditional public schools to charter schools.” The reasons for the lack of accountability and the disproportionate state funding are examined in a report by Arizonians for Charter School Accountability. Among other things, they found that Benjamin Franklin, a for-profit charter school, is owned by Arizona State Representative Eddie Farnsworth (R). In 2016, the charter school spent $155,106 more on facilities than on classroom instruction. It leases its schools from LBE Investments, a for-profit real estate company also owned by Farnsworth. Arizona has a state board that grants charter status to “qualifying applicants” and is supposed to “oversee charter schools.” The President of the board is a political lobbyist who defines her role as promoting school “choice” and “sponsoring charter schools,” not regulating them. The Board Vice-President is founder of a charter high school. Other members include the operator of a charter school, a charter school teacher, a lawyer for charter schools, a building company CEO who also serves on the Board of Directors for the local Teach for America chapter, and the CEO of a charter school network.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-charter-schools-buy-political-support_us_598c3149e4b08a4c247f287d

 

How charter firms bend the facts
https://garyrubinstein.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/the-alum-lie-spreads/

https://dianeravitch.net/2017/08/10/gary-rubinstein-the-alum-lie-spreads-about-college-completion-rates-for-charter-students/

 

Charter schools don’t tackle racism (Randi Weingarten mentioned)
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2017/08/09/letter-charters-fight-racism/104454432/

 

When privatization means segregation on vouchers *

In recent weeks, the issue of private school vouchers has taken center stage in debates over the future of education. Policy proposals to use public funds for private school tuition vouchers have a long history, dating back to a seminal 1955 essay by Milton Friedman. Over the last 25 years, small voucher programs have been established in several states, including Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as in Washington, D.C. But the voucher issue took on a new urgency after the election of Donald Trump, given his campaign promise to establish a $20 billion national voucher program. When Trump unveiled his first proposed budget earlier this year, he partnered his program with massive cuts to existing federal education programs, taken largely from funding streams that support the education of students living in poverty. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of education, is a long-time partisan of vouchers and has been cheerleader in chief for Trump’s education budget cuts and proposed voucher program. Public education advocates have taken on the Trump-DeVos push for vouchers. The liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) issued two important research briefs, Vouchers Are Not A Viable Solution For Wide Swaths of America and The Racist Origins of Private School Vouchers. In her keynote speech to the American Federation of Teachers’ recent biannual education conference and in her Huffington Post column, AFT President Randi Weingarten addressed the “past and present” of school vouchers, condemning such programs as “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” Both CAP and Weingarten highlighted events around one of the five school desegregation cases that were rolled into the Supreme Court’s historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County. With the backing of Virginia’s powerful segregationist senator Harry Byrd, the white elite of Prince Edward County defied the Brown decision by closing the entire public school system and diverting public education funds into vouchers to be used at a segregated private academy that only white students could attend. As the battles over the implementation of Brown played out, African-American students were denied access to education for five years in a row. Prince Edward County thus stands as an exemplar of the post-Brown segregationist defiance of school integration and the pivotal role of school vouchers in that effort. An honest appraisal of the events in Prince Edward County poses a major challenge for voucher advocates. This history is thoroughly documented, both in historian Richard Kluger’s authoritative study of Brown and its aftermath and in two excellent scholarly books on the specific events in Prince Edward County, by Christopher Bonastia and Jill Ogline Titus respectively. There is simply no denying the historical connection between the birth of private school voucher policies and segregationist defiance to Brown. But Prince Edward County is only the beginning of the story.

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/private-school-vouchers-racist-history-milton-friedman-betsy-devos

http://prospect.org/article/under-trump-liberals-rediscover-school-segregation (Randi Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen García quoted)

School choice program raises questions about accountability http://hosted2.ap.org/FLINV/554c6fcc8ee0461f8eb123c2f36ec552/Article_2017-08-11-US--Tax%20Credit%20School%20Vouchers/id-d61f6404a4c948398908a4a7fdc616e3

 

More Florida school districts vote to sue state over education law

http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/more-florida-school-districts-vote-sue-state-over-education-law#stream/0

 

Santa Rosa school board sides with superintendent over teacher contract

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/education/2017/08/10/santa-rosa-school-board-denies-teacher-raises-dating-back-2016/556928001/

http://weartv.com/news/local/santa-rosa-school-board-sides-with-superintendent-over-teacher-contract

https://news.gulfbreezenews.com/articles/hearing-to-decide-teacher-raises-is-thursday-night-same-as-school-open-houses/

 

A community-driven school nears opening day in Orange

http://www.wmfe.org/a-community-driven-school-nears-opening-day-in-parramore/76563

 

Where do achievement gaps come from?

http://www.shankerinstitute.org/blog/where-do-achievement-gaps-come

 

A new kind of classroom: no grades, no failing, no hurry

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/nyregion/mastery-based-learning-no-grades.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170811&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Arizona school voucher expansion put on hold as opponents challenge new law

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/08/10/arizona-school-voucher-expansion-put-on-hold-as-opponents-challenge-new-law/?utm_term=.1e9786c40800

 

Health premiums to rise 3.7 percent for Georgia teachers, workers

http://www.myajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/health-premiums-rise-percent-for-georgia-teachers-workers/4vHqiPx4wXn7EuRZxCmoFL/?ecmp=newspaper_email&

 

DeVos says she didn't decry racism enough

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article166252087.html

 

DeVos closes civil rights complaints at faster clip than predecessor

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/devos-closes-civil-rights-complaints-at-faster-clip-than-predecessors-241483

 

Florida’s broken system for selecting utility watchdogs

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/editorials/fl-op-editorial-florida-public-service-commission-20170810-story.html

 

Utah Uber driver dominates ideas for state Constitution

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/10/utah-uber-driver-dominates-ideas-florida-constitution/555416001/

 

As Hurricane Andrew memories fade, state weakens building codes

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/08/10/hurricane-andrew-florida-building-codes-weakened/490364001/

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/as-hurricane-andrew-anniversary-approaches-will-floridas-building-codes/2333351

 

The Trump Justice Department joins the GOP crusade to shrink the vote

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-trump-justice-department-joins-the-gop-crusade-to-shrink-the-vote/2017/08/10/8846e2ce-7d55-11e7-a669-b400c5c7e1cc_story.html?utm_term=.53ff7e844e39

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/opinion/voter-suppression-trump-commission-ohio.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170811&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Move people to where the jobs are? It’s not so easy, Mr. President.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/10/move-people-to-where-the-jobs-are-its-not-so-easy-president-trump/

 

Labor Department wants to reward financial advisers at the expense of consumers

https://thinkprogress.org/labor-department-delay-rule-protect-investors-a9307807b6d4/amp/

 

With bank subpoenas, Mueller turns up the heat on Manafort

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-10/with-bank-subpoenas-mueller-is-said-to-turn-up-heat-on-manafort

 

Trump says he was surprised by FBI raid of Manafort’s home

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/10/trump-says-he-was-surprised-by-fbi-raid-of-manaforts-home-which-sent-a-very-strong-signal/?utm_term=.ceee676a8e0e

 

Manafort switching legal team as feds crank up heat on him

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/hold-manafort-switching-legal-team-as-feds-crank-up-heat-on-him-hold-241507

 

Congressional investigators want to question Trump's secretary in Russia probe

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-longtime-secretary-scrutinized-russia-investigators/story?id=49146540

 

Trump says he has not considered firing Mueller, contradicting himself

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/us/politics/trump-mueller-considering-fired.html?emc=edit_th_20170811&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Kushner fined for late financial report

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article166560102.html?ncid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__081117

 

Trump thanks Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats, infuriating State Department

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/world/europe/putin-trump-embassy-russia.html?emc=edit_cn_20170811&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/10/trump-says-he-is-very-thankful-to-putin-for-expelling-u-s-diplomats-from-russia/

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/trump-thanks-vladimir-putin-diplomats-241498

 

Study: Trump’s actions are responsible for rising health care premiums

https://thinkprogress.org/study-trumps-actions-are-directly-responsible-for-rising-health-care-premiums-7346811a2003/

 

Bipartisan health policy coalition urges Congress to strengthen the ACA

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/bipartisan-health-policy-coalition-urges-congress-to-support-the-aca/2017/08/09/59ab7ec8-7c80-11e7-a669-b400c5c7e1cc_story.html?utm_term=.d4c8b43c533d

 

Trump is courting disaster by abandoning Latino Obamacare enrollees

https://thinkprogress.org/abandoning-latino-obamacare-outreach-poor-policy-planning-ee89ab779d4b/

 

At town halls, Republicans have faced another round of anger over health care

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/at-raucous-town-halls-republicans-have-faced-another-round-of-anger-over-health-care/2017/08/10/9d82cbbe-7de9-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?utm_term=.12043e01eebd

 

Trump escalates criticism of McConnell as majority leader

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/us/politics/president-trump-escalates-criticism-of-mitch-mcconnell-as-majority-leader.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170810&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Trump’s Twitter fury at McConnell risks alienating a key ally

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/us/politics/mcconnell-trump-health-care-senate.html?src=twr

 

Behind the Trump-McConnell feud

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/trump-mcconnell-gop-feud-241508

 

Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-steps-up-attacks-on-mcconnell-for-failure-on-health-care-reform/2017/08/10/a3d49d1e-7dbf-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.c01daa265bbc

 

Trump plans to declare opioid epidemic a national emergency

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/us/politics/opioid-trump-emergency.html?emc=edit_th_20170811&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-declares-opioid-crisis-is-a-national-emergency-pledges-more-money-and-attention/2017/08/10/5aaaae32-7dfe-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?utm_term=.b43c879fa251

 

Trump’s effort to blame Obama for the opioid epidemic

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/08/11/trumps-effort-to-blame-obama-for-the-opioid-epidemic/?utm_term=.80fcec367570

 

Programs that fight teenage pregnancy are at risk of being cut

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/health/teen-pregnancy-prevention-trump-budget-cuts.html?emc=edit_th_20170811&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Trump’s new immigration plan would make Americans poorer

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/11/16125578/raise-act-economic-impact

 

White House vs. Democrats in tense standoff over judge picks

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/11/senate-judges-democrats-trump-241448

 

Penalties against polluters down 60 percent under Trump

https://thinkprogress.org/penalties-against-polluters-down-60-percent-under-trump-ea0bd62b4435/

 

Trump’s attack on science isn’t going very well

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/trumps-attack-on-science-isnt-going-very-well/2017/08/10/096a0e1e-7d2c-11e7-a669-b400c5c7e1cc_story.html

 

Trump says transgender ban is a “great favor” for the military

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/us/politics/trump-transgender-military.html?emc=edit_cn_20170811&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

 

Trump’s military ban could hurt more than just transgender troops

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumps-military-ban-could-hurt-more-than-just-transgender-troops/?ex_cid=538twitter

 

Trump pick Clovis stoked birther conspiracy, called Holder a “racist black”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/politics/kfile-sam-clovis-on-the-radio/index.html

 

Trump escalates rhetoric on threat from North Korea

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-escalates-rhetoric-on-threat-from-north-korea/2017/08/10/ff49e018-7ded-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?utm_term=.bb8bc7282bbc

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/world/asia/north-korea-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20170811&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Trump says military is “locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/world/asia/trump-north-korea-locked-and-loaded.html?emc=edit_na_20170811&nl=breaking-news&nlid=3179832&ref=headline

 

Wrestling With North Korea, Trump finds perilous options

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/world/asia/north-korea-military-options-trump.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170810&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Does Trump believe nuclear war is inevitable?

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/donald-trump-nuclear-war-weapons-inevitable/

 

Tap down Trump rhetoric on North Korea

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-tap-down-trump-rhetoric-on-north-korea/2333366

 

McCain releases strategy for Afghanistan, preempting and rebuking Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/powerpost/mccain-releases-strategy-for-afghanistan-preempting-and-rebuking-trump/2017/08/10/ff704f0a-7dfc-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html

 

Wall Street’s “fear gauge” skyrockets as tensions rise with North Korea

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/business/dealbook/stock-market-volatility-north-korea.html?_r=0&referer=https://t.co/XU5sxpwJGN?amp=1

 

Gorka publicly shuns Tillerson’s effort to scale back North Korea red line

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/10/more-drama-in-trumpland-gorka-publicly-shuns-tillersons-effort-to-scale-back-north-korea-red-line/?utm_term=.cbb1456a5aa5

 

Gorka, the West Wing's phony foreign-policy guru

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/sebastian-gorka-the-west-wings-phony-foreign-policy-guru-w496912

 

Here’s the memo that blew up the NSC 

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/10/heres-the-memo-that-blew-up-the-nsc/

 

Pent-up Trump lets it rip on vacation

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/us/politics/trump-news-conferences.html?src=twr&_r=1

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/trump-vacation-press-241509

 

“When you … think you’re controlling him, things like this happen”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/when-you-put-this-guy-in-a-cage-and-think-youre-controlling-him-things-like-this-happen/2017/08/10/9c3e4fa8-7dee-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?utm_term=.f8cf5167d5cf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-president-totally-lacks-the-ability-to-deal-with-north-korea/2017/08/10/1d51c2e2-7e07-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.896ff4559bc4

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trumps-toothless-threats-endanger-us-all/2017/08/10/86785d04-7de3-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.5fd84795856d

 

Trump has been making ominous threats his whole life

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-been-making-ominous-threats-his-whole-life/2017/08/10/68e69646-7e0d-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.060c33412fa6

 

Breitbart's war on McMaster bites Bannon

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/11/breitbart-war-on-mcmaster-bites-bannon-241517

 

Trump D.C. hotel turns $2 million profit in four months

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-dc-hotel-turns-2-million-profit-in-four-months/2017/08/10/23bd97f0-7e02-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_campaign=pubexchange&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_term=.2c0a47ad440b

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/11/democrats-think-theyve-found-a-way-to-pin-down-how-much-money-trump-could-be-making-off-his-presidency/?utm_term=.eec46cd22fe7

 

Report: Secret Service spent $13,500 on golf cart rentals for Trump trip

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/report-secret-service-spent-13500-golf-cart-rentals?utm_content=bufferfdb5f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Republicans are increasingly antagonistic toward experts. Here’s why that matters.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/08/11/republicans-are-increasingly-antagonistic-toward-experts-heres-why-that-matters/?utm_term=.7da09cdf5e6b

 

Indiana: GOP limits early voting in Democratic areas, expands it in Republican ones
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/08/10/silencing-vote-data-shows-unequal-barrier-indiana-polls/435450001/

 

2016 confirmed as planet's hottest year

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/10/2016-broke-global-temperature-records-again-241486

 

New studies and new catastrophes give climate change deniers a lot to deny

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fred-grimm/article166587642.html

 

 

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