Today's news -- December 11, 2017





Union busting in HB 25 * (interview with Joanne McCall; starts at 15:30 mark of the December 8 show)


Our school systems deserve better than this *

Very often, people who express doubts about the value of public charter schools are criticized for being unsympathetic to minority and poor students that these schools allegedly are designed to help. (That the charter movement is awash in fraud and deceit, to say nothing of educational and disciplinary policies that wouldn’t be out of place in Tom Brown’s School Days, is another issue entirely.) The Associated Press went out and discovered that, for one reason or another, if you’re nostalgic for the days of racially segregated education, charter schools can deliver the goods there, too. National enrollment data shows that charters are vastly over-represented among schools where minorities study in the most extreme racial isolation. As of school year 2014-2015, more than 1,000 of the nation’s 6,747 charter schools had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent, and the number has been rising steadily. The problem: Those levels of segregation correspond with low achievement levels at schools of all kinds. In the AP analysis of student achievement in the 42 states that have enacted charter school laws, along with the District of Columbia, the performance of students in charter schools varies widely. But schools that enroll 99 percent minorities — both charters and traditional public schools — on average have fewer students reaching state standards for proficiency in reading and math. “Desegregation works. Nothing else does,” said Daniel Shulman, a Minnesota civil rights attorney. “There is no amount of money you can put into a segregated school that is going to make it equal.” The sanctimony underlying the sales pitch for charter schools can undermine even the most well-intentioned supporters. There’s nothing quite like some gazillionnaire parachuting into an underfunded public school system and telling the teachers who’ve been buying pencils out of their own pockets that, mostly, they’re layabouts who get summers off. Too often, poor and minority students get used as moral bludgeons on behalf of profiteers on the order of, well, the people for whom the current Secretary of Education has been fronting for her entire public career. The Obama administration and some states created programs to promote racial and ethnic diversity in charters, but they have been applied unevenly, said Erica Frankenberg, an education professor at Penn State. School choice, she said, leads to stratification unless it is designed in a way to prevent it. Public education, embattled though it is, and as disrespected by this administration as it ever has been by any administration, remains one of the most fundamental American ideas that Americans ever had. Looked at honestly, and over the span of centuries, it may be among the most lasting contributions this country has made to civilization. It deserves better than what it’s getting. It deserves honesty.


Hillsborough board to teachers on pay negotiations: “The ball is in your court” (Cheryl Silva quoted)


Sarasota school district, union disagree on contract terms (Pat Gardner and Barry Dubin quoted)


Districts seeking waivers of students from Puerto Rico


Inside the voucher schools that teach Hubbard, but say they’re not Scientologist


When “too good to be true” is not true


Schools often fail to provide education on dating violence; students pay the price


Delaware: Charter leader sentenced to federal prison for embezzlement


New Orleans: Researchers find that charter schools dropped pre-K because of cost


State legislators continue to battle with state colleges over local control


UCF food pantry sees big jump in need from students


Hot mic leads to retaliation complaint against president, three FAMU trustees


FCC’s Internet rules could raise college costs and hinder exchange of ideas


Former co-worker sues Latvala accuser for defamation


Accusations against Latvala cloud the coming legislative session


Negron: Sexual misconduct inquiry not slowing down process


Moonlighting of legislative aides may pose conflicts


Legislature assault on home rule must end


Parallel efforts under way to restore civil rights to ex-offenders,18789?utm_content=bufferba00c&utm_medium=social&


Negron: Senate likely to consider tax amendment


Democrats seek vote on expanding Medicaid in state


Hurricane Irma: Three months later


It was hard to find cheap housing in the Keys before Irma. Now, there’s “nothing”


Struggling citrus growers face tough decisions


Official toll in Puerto Rico: 62.  Actual deaths may be 1,052.


Lives at risk inside a senior complex in Puerto Rico with no power


Puerto Rico evacuees still arriving in Orlando to build a new life


One war, two races: Bias reigns in state’s war on drugs


A longer wait: Some now try nearly three years to get disability insurance


Sunshine State lags on solar power, doubles down on natural gas


After seven years of job growth, room for more, or danger ahead?


Sure, wages are growing. But they should be growing faster.


A new poor people’s campaign wants to change how society defines morality


The economy is on a sugar high, and tax cuts won’t help


The GOP tax plan is just a prelude to attacking entitlements


How Trump will target the federal safety net


Tax plans may give your co-worker a better deal than you


GOP’s taxing question: Will middle-class folks notice their cut?


8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if GOP scraps the medical deduction


Under new tax plan, the cost of aging could rise


As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class


Precision sacrificed for speed as GOP rushes ahead on taxes


The four companies that lobbied most on tax overhaul — and what they got for it


Kansas' ravaged economy a cautionary tale as Trump plans huge tax cuts for rich


Collins and the duping of centrists


Trump’s casual tax comments scald his Hill allies, again


18 crucial days: What did the president know and when did he know it?


FBI warned Hope Hicks about emails from Russian operatives


Manafort pal still profiting from mostly silent pro-Trump group


For Trump adviser in Russia probe, rapid rise and dramatic fall in his ancestral land


Democratic senators delay McFarland ambassador nomination


Democrats ask Treasury for docs on financial dealings with Russia


As Russia probes progress, one name is missing: Bannon's


The Trump-Russia probe is about to get uglier


The mounting attacks on Mueller are misguided and dangerous


The attacks on Mueller push us closer to the precipice


The Mueller investigation is in mortal danger


How Republicans are immunizing their voters against whatever Mueller uncovers


The GOP’s all-out assault on justice


Open season for feds closes today. It’s not too late for health plans.


Millions gained coverage since Obamacare, but premiums soar


Trump’s deportation tough talk hurts law-abiding immigrants


Trump travel ban and his tweets argued at federal appeals court


Liberal activists to Democrats: Protect young immigrants or shut down government


New Jersey couple deported to Mexico after 30 years in U.S., leaving family behind


Supreme Court says administration for now need not turn over more documents


Supreme Court will take up a second gerrymandering case this term


Republicans step up defense of “not qualified” judicial nominees


Rules requiring airlines to disclose fees killed by Trump's DOT


The end of prisons visits: Jails replace face-to-face contact with video calls


Justice investigating fetal tissue transfers by Planned Parenthood and others


Net Neutrality’s holes in Europe may offer peek at future in U.S.


With 2020 Census looming, worries about fairness and accuracy


EPA lists 21 toxic Superfund sites that need “immediate and intense” cleanup


Under Trump, EPA has slowed down actions against polluters, curbed enforcement


Zinke is Trump's attack dog on the environment


Zinke orders helicopter to get him to horseback ride with Pence on time


Uranium firm lobbied Trump to scale back Bears Ears National Monument


Bears Ears is here to stay


How Arctic drilling, stymied for decades, made surprise return in tax Bill


The looting of America’s public lands


Trump takes credit for killing hundreds of regulations that were already dead


Yellen didn’t set out to be a feminist hero


Trump administration wants to move government offices out of Washington


Inside Trump’s hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation


Trump's TV obsession


Ex-Fox News anchor claims Trump tried to kiss her


Haley says women who accuse Trump of misconduct “should be heard”


In Franken's wake, three senators call on Trump to resign


Trump, rejecting calls to stay away, speaks at civil rights museum


More activists, officials boycott civil rights event because of Trump


Forgetting his efforts to limit voter access, Trump lauds voting rights heroes


Trump political surrogate calls Lewis “irrelevant,” cheers Trump museum speech


Why Trump’s Mississippi Civil Rights Museum visit is so controversial


Nearly 9 in 10 blacks think Trump respects people of color less than whites


It will take more than a visit to a museum for Trump to win over black voters


Trump is set to release his health records. Why not his taxes?


Fox News is practically begging Trump to fire Mueller


Another study bombs Clinton-Trump campaign coverage


Trump attacks “vicious, fake news CNN” after correction to WikiLeaks email story


Trump wants Washington Post reporter fired over misleading tweet


As Trump assaults democracy, Obama warns it could follow path of Nazi Germany


Stop the manipulation of democracy online


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