Oakland Strike: Teachers and District at Odds About Privatization

The Oakland Public School Teachers Union members (3.000 strong with strong support from parents and children) believes their students should have access to school nurses, counselors, school psychologists, librarians and other specialists. Class sizes are just too big and hinder the ability of our educators to give students the attention they deserve.

Diane Ravitch's blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement by Keith Brown

President, Oakland Education Association,

on

Status of Contract Talks

 

I do not believe that it is helpful to bargain contracts through the media. Up until now I have refrained from discussing details to give the negotiating team on both sides room to bargain. However, after seeing a series of misleading reports come out of the administration today, I think it’s time to set the record straight.

 

The district says they have moved closer to OEA’s position on salary. Implied in their statement is that significant movement has happened since the strike began. This is untrue. The fact is they have yet to make an offer that will keep experienced teachers in Oakland.

 

The administration would lead you to believe this is only about salary. The state trustee has now joined this disinformation campaign.

 

Let me be clear, the union…

View original post 333 more words

A Prescient Warning that Was Ignored

Diane Ravitch's blog

Professor TOm Pedroni of Wayne State University wrote the following letter after learning that Barbara Byrd-Bennett had been selected as the new Chicago superintendent. He and sent it to the Chicago newspapers. None would publish it.

“October 14, 2012

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

“BARBARA BYRD-BENNETT FAILED OUR KIDS IN DETROIT

“Many of us in Detroit are shocked by Mayor Emanuel’s appointment of Byrd-Bennett to head CPS. Her abysmal record as Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor of Detroit Public Schools should alarm Chicago parents and educators.

“Byrd-Bennett created an academic plan for DPS that promised skyrocketing performance gains. To say the least, these gains never materialized. Her plan centered on the obstinate assertion that closing failing schools and offering parents a “marketplace of choices” would cause test scores to jump. Predictably, test scores actually declined or stagnated in DPS while they increased statewide. This has exacerbated Michigan’s statewide achievement gap.

“While…

View original post 110 more words

Seattle Alert: Watch Out for Gates Takeover!

Bill Gates is at it again—subverting democracy in Seattle to take over or destroy their public schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

It has to annoy Bill Gates that he has not yet been able to buy the schools of Seattle, where he lives. But the stars are aligning for him. He is pushing behind the scenes for a mayoral takeover–which is a sure path to charters and corporate reform. Nothing like killing off democratic control of public education to clear the way for corporate reform.

Next on the docket is a rushed process to make the interim superintendent, Larry Nyland, the permanent superintendent. He seems like a pliable sort, and he is surrounded by Broadies left over from an earlier superintendent who was Broad-trained.

The school board announced hearings just a few days ago, while everyone was thinking about Thanksgiving, that the future of Nyland will be decided Wednesday. Forget about the national search the board promised.

Citizens should turn out, ask questions, and insist that the public schools belong to…

View original post 12 more words

Schneider Offers Advice to NYC’s Teachers’ Union: Operation Boomerang!

The war against the working man and the labor unions that helped build the Middle Class in the United States. Do the super wealthy want a return to the age of the Robber Barons when most Americans lived in poverty and were mostly low paid slaves to their wealthy masters.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider has closely analyzed the union-busting techniques of the so-called Center for Union Facts and its leader Richard Berman. Here she digs out the details of Berman’s long-planned strategy to damage unions with negative advertising. Now Berman is plastering New York City with billboards and radio ads to lower the public’s opinion of the United Federation of Teachers. A poll a year ago showed that New Yorkers trusted the union and the teachers more than they trusted Mayor Bloomberg to protect the interests of children.

She suggests a counter-attack, which she calls Operation Berman Boomerang.

View original post

Vanity Presses in Sheep’s Clothing

Writing Is Hard Work

I’ve self-published a few books (some more successful than others) and even though I may not have a best seller out there I’m pretty happy selling a few hundred books or so, building a following, and if it takes me years to build toward that best seller, then so be it.

If I don’t become a best seller, then I’m not really that put out either.

Once in a while I will receive an e-mail from a “publisher” or an “agent” saying that they would love to publish something that I write in the future, always mentioning their publishing house and always touting the awesomeness of my work.

Be careful here.

A naive novelist might get all giddy and nearly have a back spasm at a letter such as that, but let me be the first to warn you: they may be a vanity press masquerading as a publisher.

Remember…

View original post 362 more words

7 Tips for Amazon Keywords and Best Selling Books

I read this post and will read it again and maybe again. Highly
recommended.

How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks

Amazon Keywords for Books and Authors 3Best selling books are more likely to happen when authors use smart Amazon keywords. When used wisely, keywords help strangers from all over the world find your books. Most authors are missing out because the whole metadata thing can be confusing. Think of it like this:

  • At bookstores, readers browse in sections where covers, titles and blurbs help them decide to inspect further.
  • Online, readers type phrases into the search bar where the most relevant books show up in the results (or the books Amazon thinks are most relevant).

Obvious question: how to choose the best ones so the search engine at Amazon leads browsers to your book? Here are 7 tips to help select the best words and phrases plus a tutorial video at YouTube at the bottom of this post.

(there’s a video course)

1. Make a list of words customers might use in the search bar…

View original post 1,013 more words

Good News Twice in One Day

The Soulful Veteran's Blog

Early this morning—before I went out to work on the patio-fence with more than one gate project that I’m building from scratch—I checked my e-mail and discovered that my suspense-thriller, Running with the Enemy, had been awarded an Honorable Mention in General Fiction at the 2103 New York Book Festival.

A good way to start the day.

Fast forward several hours—I finished working on the project about 3:00 pm, took a shower, and then logged-on to check my e-mail only to discover that Running with the Enemy had been named Runner Up (2nd Place) in General Fiction at the 2013 Beach Book Festival.

A good way to end the day.

In twelve days on June 22, the 2013 New York Book Festival will be held at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan—just steps from the Empire State Building.

When Running…

View original post 574 more words