HISTORY IS BEING MADE at #NEARA15. Fred Klonsky from The Land of Lincoln…

Fred Klonsky at the #NEARA15 presented his bill approved by the IEA to all 10,000 delegates.

Fred Klonsky - racism and Confederate flag

HISTORY IS BEING MADE.

“The Illinois delegation voted support for my NBI 11. I will now offer it on the floor of the NEA RA.”

NBI 11:
The NEA RA directs the NEA to support, in ways it finds appropriate and effective, efforts to remove the Confederate flag and other symbols of the Confederacy from public schools and public spaces.

RATIONALE:

The use of the Confederate battle flag as a symbol has become widespread among racist and violent hate groups. The flag and similar Confederate symbols have no place at public schools or in public spaces.

Fred Klosky IEA - Confederate flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY IS BEING MADE by a delegate from Illinois, “The Land of Lincoln.”

UPDATE on July 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm

#NEARA15 just passed New Business Item 11 to remove all flags of the Confederacy from public schools! #eracism #progress #democracyatwork #hoursofdebate

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Posted in fairness, public education | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

I stand with Gus Morales and all of the political/corporate victims of the mass firings of excellent teachers at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts.

I, Ken Previti, stand with Gus Morales and all of the political/corporate victims of the mass firings of excellent teachers at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts.

IMG_20150117_181423898 n
I am a retired teacher from both Chicago and Lyons Township High School in the suburbs; I presently live full-time in Florida. I have extended family members teaching in schools in other states. The scapegoating, demonization and retribution being carried out against good teachers across America is a part of the dismantling of public education for private profit. So are the attacks against teacher pensions.
Immense profits from public education taxes are being shipped overseas, tax free, by testing companies such as Pearson and charter schools such as those owned by, according to Bloomberg News, “the charismatic Sunni imam Fethullah Gülen, leader of a politically powerful Turkish religious movement.” (In the face of horrific, religious prejudicial attacks against Muslims, a billionaire cleric using American tax education profits to attempt an overthrow of a government are minimized or ignored in corporate media.)

Our presidential candidates are either financed by or are invested directly and indirectly in the Education Industrial Complex that is corporate education reform. “Public-private partnerships” is the euphemism for tax money used to profit multinational corporations and their local affiliates. It’s a scam.
Certified, qualified teachers threaten the Education Industrial Complex for their teaching abilities rather than mindlessly following the “scripted text” recital for state/corporate tests. Certified, qualified teachers are paid too much for state/corporate script readers disguised as teachers. Full time script-reader-quasi-teachers are paid as little as $100 per day for a 180 day school year. $18,000 per year is below the poverty level; corporations want obedient cheap labor for higher personal profits – not capable teachers.
What about the children? What about the future strength and abilities of our country? Corporations exist for profit, not the altruistic good of a place they don’t even pay taxes to.
I stand for the middle class that career teachers belong to.
I met and spoke with Gus Morales. I am proud of that. Gus is a wonderful teacher and a fine human being. I am sure that his teaching colleagues are as well. For this, they are being scapegoated, demonized and fired as retribution.
As long as Gus and the other teachers are victimized, fired and berated by a governmental entity, we are all in deep trouble. Diane Ravitch and Tim Slekar emphasize this grim fact.

Perhaps we need a new motto.
I suggest GOD HELP AMERICA.

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I stand with Gus Morales all of the political/corporate victims of the mass firings of excellent teachers at Holyoke Public Schools in Massachusetts.

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I stand with Gus.

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Please do the same.

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Posted in betrayal, charters - vouchers, civic duty, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, fairness, government, greed, legislative pillage, lies, Network for Public Education - NPE, pensions, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Teachers: Who’s on your side? Where can you go for people dedicated to truth-telling for democracy?

There are times when a teacher needs to have the facts, simple or complex. For complex information, very often there are multiple facets that need to be examined from different points of view. Who can you turn to when faced with the overwhelming problems that surround you? Who has no personal power base or money to gain from the information? What group of people will offer you unbiased facts and their experienced perspectives for you to consider?

EdBlogNet

The EduBloggersNetwork, a group of over 200 individual bloggers with solid education backgrounds and unique perspectives from schools across the country, are respected for their varied experiences and focus. They do not march in lock-step nor are they paid by billionaires and their tax-free mega-wealthy foundations which are heavily invested (for profit) in corporate education reform.

During one of the online conversations that questioned each blogger’s reasoning for blogging in support of teachers against incredible pressures backed by billionaire investors, one blogger’s comment in particular touched the heart of the subject.

“I read many blogs on education and many of the articles that hit the alternative mainstream opinion media, such as Huffington Post and Salon. And yet when I talk to well-educated progressive public school parents in the Bay Area, I find myself explaining the corporate takeover of public schools from square one. People are fascinated, yet almost cannot stomach yet one more terrible thing going on in our world- and something so deeply personal for the parents. Each time I write a blog post I pretend to write to parents and teachers who are smart and want to know, but have very limited knowledge about the moneyed interests in public education. I believe we all have to keep writing as if to an audience who is hearing this for the first time, and connect, connect, connect with love- for teaching, for children, for honesty, for common sense, for humility and integrity.”
Maestra Malinche
https://teachingmalinche.wordpress.com/

You as a teacher face very specific problems that you must come to terms with regarding your career and your personal integrity. By reading information and strongly supported opinions from teachers such as Maestra and the others in the Education Bloggers Network, your needs can be met.

EduBloggers: Dedicated to truth-telling for democracy.

The Education Bloggers Network is an informal confederation of more than 200 education reporters, advocacy journalists, investigative bloggers, and commentators.  Members of the Education Bloggers Network are dedicated to providing parents, teachers, public education advocates and the public with the truth about public education in the United States and the efforts of the corporate education reform industry.

Many members of the Education Bloggers Network have their own blogs, some write news analysis and commentary pieces for local, regional and national newspapers and media outlets.  Still others use their Facebook or other social media platforms to write about public education issues.

Like the Committees of Correspondence leading up to America’s War for Independence, education bloggers work alone, in groups and has a broader force to educate, persuade and mobilize parents, teachers, education advocates and citizens to stand up and speak out about the critical issues facing public education today.

The Education Bloggers Network also works closely with the Network for Public Education, the nation’s leading public education advocacy group, founded my Diane Ravitch and other pro-public education leaders.  The NPE’s mission is to “protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools and the education of current and future generations of students.”

Blog – http://edubloggers.org/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EduBloggers/timeline

Twitter – @EdBlogNet

Go to the site for the names of the the individual bloggers. Prepare to be delightedly surprised. Prepare to meet education realities from multiple points of view. It is to your advantage to read what they have to say.

How effective are these bloggers? Copy-cat similarly named blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts abound. Paid trolls attempt to win the unaware away to their own groups ; they are profiteering vultures disguised as independent eagles. So, please, for your own sake, consult the actual sites and accounts of those who sincerely attempt to help you.

EduBloggersNetwork is on your side. Over 200 educators with blogs are on your side.

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Posted in civic duty, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, fairness, government, legislative pillage, Network for Public Education - NPE, privatization, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

TEACHER EVALUATIONS: WHERE IS THE RAGE?

Refuse to be a willing victim.

There is a point where teachers themselves must stop arguing about some finely worded minutia in their evaluations. The argument had been framed beforehand by people who want career educators fired in order to hire cheaper labor.
You were set-up to be the loser.

Refuse to be a willing victim.

How? Fight back.

Stop sniveling, whimpering and simpering. Put your evaluation reality in writing.

“How dare you evaluate my teaching ability based upon developmentally inappropriate standardized test scores while forcing me to teach to these expensive, invalid tests you have never seen.”

How dare you RR

This is just one example of what to attach as a rebuttal to your evaluation. Personalize your own.

The majority of people who pay taxes to support a school district need to know what is going on from the career teachers who are being abused with rigged evaluations.

Teachers, especially those of you who are losing your jobs now or soon, need to face the reality. You were publicly shamed and unfairly fired. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Fight back by starting a personal lawsuit, not a collective bargaining suit. Your career and salary are over. You personally are the victim of defamation of character, libel, slander, etc. You have suffered by being unjustly maligned, reviled, abused, vilified, and abused. You have been labeled a loser for all potential jobs in your future. Those people who repeated, verbally and in writing, that you deserved to lose your job need to be held accountable.

Sue their sorry butts off.

Who should you sue? Every individual who took part in your defamatory evaluation: the person who wrote it, the principal, every administrator who touched or filed it, the superintendent who signed on to it, and every individual board member who wrote or verbally repeated your name.

“But the school district might lose money. Some people might lose their jobs.” Yes. That is the point. Hit them all in the wallet. Nothing stops abuse better than taking money from abusers and those who stood by watching the abuse. The news media loves these stories. Yes, it won’t be easy. Yes, you deserve every dime you sue for. That is also part of your reality if you choose to not shamefacedly accept your now public-record label as a loser.

Publicly show how evaluations are rigged. You are losing your reputation and future income based in many cases upon classes or subjects you never taught and/or students you do not have in class. Imagine sitting in court and explaining this absurdity aloud.

Until enough teachers fight back in the face of their humiliating evaluations, rigged evaluations will continue and more excellent teachers will be fired. Take the money you deserve and save the teaching profession. Who knows? Perhaps more informed school boards will admire your true character and hire you to teach their children who would benefit by your example.

Refuse to be a willing victim.

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By the way, refuse to be a willing victim.

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Posted in betrayal, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, fairness, lies, propaganda, public education, testing, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Sociopath” was too small a word for a Feudal Lord

Incredibly, some people felt that “sociopath” was a mere prejudicial term to describe the billionaire (a-few-dollars-short-of-being-a-billionare) governor who is now attempting to purchase an entire new legislature of his own, thus combining personal money and power to tax supported money and power. Power he himself would control in one part of America. That would make Bruce Rauner a Feudal Lord.

rauner sociopath 1a

The governor of the State of Illinois would transform government to his own advantage and to the advantage of his billionaire buddies and corporate cohorts. Legally, but not morally.

This nightmare scenario is not “just another conspiracy theory.” It is a conspiracy of wealth and power to transform and control Illinois. Needless to say, since it is in process in one state, it will in all likelihood be attempted in other states.

The following are excerpts from the full superb article by Sacha Feinman in Think Progress.

“To have individuals first get elected and then govern with wealth is a new development in our system,” said Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and current president and general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center.
“In the past, there were people like the Rockefellers that used their fortune for campaigns, but, as far as I know, once they were elected, they acted as other officials did and worked within the system rather than using their wealth to create a new political base.”

In Rauner and his network, the United States may have the first-of-its-kind and ultimate incarnation of a major political coalition that wields the bulk of its might from the unencumbered spending permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision and subsequent ruling in SpeechNOW.org v FEC.

The wealth of Rauner and his network is being deployed through a variety of means. The most explicit is the governor’s campaign fund, which still retains about $20 million. Rauner contributed more than half of this himself — $10.5 million — after the November election, and it’s from this pool that the $400,000 in Republican legislative contributions originated. On top of this, a super PAC called “Turnaround Illinois” was recently formed by two of Rauner’s former campaign aides, with the goal of supporting “needed reforms”, and “to oppose those who stand in the way.”

Please remember that the private multimillionaire/multibillionaire club, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, has admitted in the past, through its then spokesman Ty Fahner, that both Moody’s and Fitch and Standard & Poor’s was contacted to change bond ratings which would produce immense profits for certain club members by draining tax dollars. In an earlier blog I quoted Fahner about influencing the bond rating organizations.

“The Civic Committee, not me, but me and some of the people that make up the Civic Committee… did meet with and call – in one case in person – and a couple of calls to Moody’s and Fitch and Standard & Poors, and say ‘How in the hell can you guys do this?’”

If Rauner, the sociopath, is successful, this is the end of “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Abraham Lincoln used this term in the Gettysburg Address as he eloquently described why Americans died to defend our country.

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Google: rauner sociopath

Google the following: rauner sociopath.

rauner sociopath 1

Even Google knows that Illinois billionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner is a sociopath – by definition. He continues to steal from autism programs in particular to pay for his choice of pro-Rauner folks. This is NOT an insult. What is a sociopath by definition?

noun, Psychiatry.
1. a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Rauner appointed Secretary of Education Beth Purvis as “his” Czar of Education to be paid a record high quarter of a million dollars a year. In the 2015 “Illinois Is Broke” state, where will this special level of salary come from?

Three weeks after Purvis’ contract was signed, the governor’s office announced that the Department of Human Services was strapped for cash, and sliced $26 million in services including for autism, epilepsy and burials for the indigent. The cuts, later known as “the Good Friday Massacre,” caused some programs to completely shut down.
“I had no idea that we’re paying the governor’s education staff out of the Department of Human Services budget,” state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago.
The Chicago Sun Times

This isn’t the first time that Rauner has singled out autism as undeserving.

Gov. Bruce Rauner reinstated his defeated opponent’s [Gov. Pat Quinn (D)] defiled program that allowed the nine largest corporations in Illinois to collect state income taxes from their employees and keep it for themselves” – and then he cut funding for the state’s Autism Program. Because Rauner is, by definition, a sociopath, he cut autism funding during National Autism Month and on World Autism Day.

For years Rauner made millions of dollars in fees by managing Illinois teacher pensions. Now, he claims that those funds should be reduced to pay for other stuff he wants to give it to; crony corporate billionaires, of course, want more tax incentive money from state coffers. He was furious when the Illinois Supreme Court declared the bill to cut pensions was unconstitutional. Of course Rauner does not believe in the legislative branch and thinks that the Illinois Supreme Court is worse than that.

This month, the governor took a swipe at Illinois Supreme Court justices considering a pension-restructuring bill, saying they’re part of a “corrupt” judicial system influenced by the same forces that created the financial mess.
Bloomberg News

Diane Ravitch had a conversation with Rauner while he was still running for governor. When she asked his about education for children with special needs and other specific situations, Rauner responded, “Not my problem.”

President Karen Lewis of the Chicago Teachers Union openly declared Rauner a sociopath.

Well, when Google repeatedly matches “rauner sociopath” for pages, then RAUNER SOCIOPATH, by definition is not a mere slur.

BRUCE RAUNER IS A SOCIOPATH.

Oh, by the way…
Thanks to Mike Klonsky on Mike Klonsky Twitter for his tweet about Googling “rauner sociopath.”

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Posted in betrayal, civic duty, corporate education reform, corruption, government, greed, legislative pillage, pensions, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

#Savehpbeach. Rahm’s Park board is full of privatizers and hedge fund managers.

Ken Previti:

What does this have to do with pensions for active and retired teachers? We all know “Illinois Is Broke” and “Chicago Is Broke” according to billionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D). The editorial boards of Tribune Services and WGN repeat the same message.
But we must become aware that what they say is NOT true; it’s not even close to true.
Thieves and liars who are too big to jail (for now) are behind the “Broke” propaganda.
Here is one dose of reality to all of those who repeat the word supply they parrot and echo.
“Also on the (appointed) Park District board is Don Edwards.
Don’t be surprised when I tell you that Edwards is a hedge fund manager.
He is the Managing Principal of Flexpoint Ford, LLC, a private equity investment firm with $1 billion under management focused on healthcare and financial services.
Before founding Flexpoint, Mr. Edwards was a Principal at GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm with more than $6 billion under management. During his eight-year tenure at GTCR, Mr. Edwards served as head of the firm’s healthcare investment effort.
You remember GTCR?
That’s Bruce Rauner’s private equity firm.
You also might recall GTCR and its healthcare investment efforts from when it came under investigation for fraud in connection with the deaths of patients in their nursing homes.
No surprise that the voice of corporations is well represented on Rahm’s Park District board.”
Please read all of Fred Klonsky’s superb blog.

Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:

10295989_10153908545227067_5959929692530983973_o

We went to the beach yesterday.

A couple of hundred other folks were there too.

It wasn’t really beach weather in Chicago.

In fact, it was cold, blustery and it had rained all morning.

There is still a sandy beach at our neighborhood’s Humboldt Park.

In past summers the beach would also have water. This summer the Park District Board has decided that our 40-year old beach is too expensive to maintain.

They call their decision a water conservation project and are removing the recreational facility from the park, claiming it will save a million dollars.

There is no other swimming facility for little kids in the area.

Nobody from the Park District board came to Humboldt Park  to explain to those gathered for the Beach Blanket Sit-in why it costs a millions bucks to fill the beach with water until Labor Day.

There has been water on that site since the park…

View original 488 more words

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Bad tests by any other name are bad tests. Enough is enough.

Several governors now find it to their political advantage to oppose Common Core State Standards, but they want to continue awarding the contracts for hundreds of millions of education tax dollars to their campaign donors who can manufacture new brand versions of the same state mandated testing swindle. Bad tests by any other name are bad tests.

CCSS rebranded

Chris Christie in New Jersey, Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin are busy peeling the old labels off of the extremely lucrative and totally unnecessary high stakes tests and materials (online programs, texts, teacher training, etc.) that were never necessary while today’s moms, dads, grandparents and great-grandparents were being educated. A few more past and present governors from other states (FL, AZ, NY, AK,) are also voicing support for rebranding high stakes tests for their own personal, political and financial benefits.

Scams are like that. If it’s new, supposedly high tech and expensive, it must be good? Nonsense.

Rebranding is what happened to chronic heartburn which is now called acid reflux. The drug store medication now costs more as the cause of the problem goes unchecked.

The only way to end this high stakes testing racket is to refuse the corporate education reform mandates which are supported by their corporate paid legislators. Opt out. Refuse.

Enough is enough.

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Posted in betrayal, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, government, legislative pillage, lies, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A billionaire walks into a bar…

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia publicly announced that NEA would not take money from Billionaire Bill Gates and his foundation. Then the NEA, with her consent, took money from Gates. She and NEA continue to take that money.

Why? Garcia stated that taking money from Gates is “complicated.”

drunk billionaire

This reminds me of a story

“There was an after-work, impromptu party in a bar for a young woman who had just received a promotion and a raise. As the party ended and people left after midnight, she sat at the bar alone and was about to call for a cab to take her home.

Then, a limousine pulled up, and a billionaire staggered into the bar.

He saw her radiant beauty and joy and stepped right up to her. He was more than a little drunk, the front of his tuxedo and cummerbund was spattered with stains from food crumbs, previous drinks and drool as his extreme comb-over slid from side to side.

He called to the bartender for a scotch on the rocks for himself and one for the little lady.

As he flopped onto the stool next to her, he said, “I’m a billionaire; watch this.” He slid his hand into his pocked, removed a couple of hundred dollar bills and threw them onto the flame of a candle burner and watched them flare up. As the bartender brought the drinks, the billionaire threw a few more hundred dollar bills at him. “Keep the change.”

He turned back and leered at the young woman, and then said, “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I want you. If you spend the rest of the night with me locked in passionate embrace at my penthouse, I will give you one million dollars, cash if you prefer, with no strings attached.”

She was shocked!

One million dollars for the few hours left of tonight. She considered his iguana breath, the one million dollars, the fact that no one would know, the one million dollars, his limo, his comb-over, the one million dollars, and…

“Well, OK. Let’s go,” she whispered to him.

He replied, “Better yet, here is a hundred dollars; we can sneak into the restroom for a quickie.”

“HOW DARE YOU! WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM?” she screamed.

He calmly slurred, “We have already established that; now we are merely haggling over the price.”

NOTE: If this story offends you, please do not confuse the messenger (me) with the message. As a retired NEA teacher and dues paying member, I am fully aware of how our union and our country are being corrupted by money from so-called philanthropists and their so-called philanthropic foundations. Of course unions need money, but there are limits to what unions should do for money.

The National Education Association should refuse money from Gates and other corrupters.

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Posted in betrayal, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, Network for Public Education - NPE, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Memorial Day: public schools, standardized tests, corporate profits and American values

On Memorial Day those who sacrificed their lives for our country are honored for their sacrifices and their shared belief in American values.

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WWII kids

We did not sacrifice our lives for corporate profiteers and politicians who declare non-college ready children as failures.

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WWII landing

We did not sacrifice our lives for corporate profits for schools that deny access to every one of our children’s children’s children.

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Vietnam soldier reading

I did not risk my life and watch my buddies die to have my children’s children labeled as failures because they are not college ready in third grade.

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WWII fliers

We did not risk and sacrifice our lives to assure corporate profits for standardized tests that are set up to fail 70% of our children’s children’s children.

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WWII dancing

We did not risk and sacrifice our lives to have our children’s children denied access to public schools run for privatized profits.

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Vietnam in fieldWe sacrificed our lives. Don’t you dare make profits from tests declaring our children’s children failures because they are not college ready by third grade or ant grade.

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WWII soldiers group

We didn’t consider any of us failures because we were not college ready by third grade.

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Vietnam soldiers

We didn’t sacrifice our lives to have our children’s children condemned as failures because they are not college ready in third grade or any grade.

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Please note: These are all my personal comments and thoughts as I contemplate the meaning of Memorial Day. I myself am not a veteran. My family members and friends were scarred, wounded and killed in Vietnam, Korea and World War II. Today, we honor the dead who made the ultimate sacrifice for American values. I believe today’s corporate education reform behavior toward our school-age children is insidious and against all that we hold dear.

Memorial Day is not meant for mattress sales, or drinking and driving. Nor is Memorial Day a day to meekly bow our heads to corporate profiteers who mock and defile the sacrifices made by our honored dead.

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Posted in betrayal, charters - vouchers, civic duty, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, fairness, government, greed, legislative pillage, privatization, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments