What to believe? Greedy teachers, a successful budget director, a warped news account, threat of a shutdown

Teacher pensions are bankrupting a state, the $30,000 per month budget consultant successfully saved the state, the legislature and governor still have no spending plan, the governor praised the consultant’s brilliant success, the consultant suddenly quits in triumph, the state faces a shut down by the governor for lack of budget funding – all in the same article in the Tribune.

Donna Arduin

This is not, unfortunately, a TV soap opera.

This what happens when corporate media propaganda disguises itself as news, as honest journalism.

This causes cognitive dissonance which causes stress and can lead to destructive behavior and damage to an individual’s mental health. On a mass delusional level, this can destroy a country’s ability to tell the difference between image and reality.

From the Chicago Tribune:
“(Illinois) Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “superstar” (Donna Arduin) $30,000-a-month budget consultant is leaving the administration as a stalemated state government continues without a spending plan…

Donna Arduin, who joined the Rauner team in early February, helped the rookie Republican governor put out his first budget proposal, which relied on $2 billion worth of savings from state worker pension cuts that never materialized and that critics said would be unconstitutional…

‘She helped engineer the elimination of an inherited $1.5 billion budget deficit without a tax increase and produced an on-time budget proposal for the governor to present barely more than one month after taking office,’ (Gov. Rauner’s budget chief Tim) Nuding said.”

(Try reading that aloud three times in a row without having your head explode.)

Arduin has worked for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michigan Gov. John Engler, New York Gov. George Pataki and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. And we all know what condition those state economies are in. Successes? No way!

Gov. Bruce Rauner has cut programs for state education programs, for children with autism and for other essential public services impacting seniors and disabled children. He continues to threaten to shut down the state government for lack of a spending bill. This catastrophe may occur very soon.

And the legislatively created crisis (pillage) of teacher pension funds is to blame? How bizarre is that scapegoating?

Cognitive dissonance. Mass delusions. Millions of Illinois residents are suffering.



Posted in betrayal, corruption, government, legislative pillage, lies, pensions, propaganda, public education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OMG: Florida Rep. Bill Posey sends hurricane preparedness email with useless, outdated link.

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R) of Florida’s Space Coast, as an imminent hurricane approaches, immediately sent an email to his constituents with a long outdated link that gives no storm watch information. It is useless.  (http://www.noaa.gov/stormwatch/)

Posey hurricane warning

It is so outdated that the link within the link that redirects Floridians to watch the storm’s progress is also dead. (“This link not available.) (http://www.noaawatch.gov/)

Posey emergency site links

Posey is a long time incumbent in a Republican district that assures his re-election for as long as the present district keeps its configuration. Posey supports privatization, public-private partnerships for schools and other public services, that profit greatly from any crisis. His appeal to Tea Party supporters basically states that government cannot be trusted. With Posey in charge, this is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Old. Outdated. Useless.

As I and millions of Floridians sit and await the hurricane, Posey and his ilk are responsible for keeping us safe.

God Help America. The legalized corruption called government in Florida certainly is not helping us.



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Pearson to become the gate-keeper for student teachers in Illinois.

Ken Previti:

A foreign owned corporation (Pearson) that takes our education tax money overseas and does not pay American taxes will decide who teaches what in Illinois. Our Republican and Democrat politicians have gone mad as they dismantle public education and America.

Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:


Sandra Deines (center).

-By Sandra Deines. Sandra is a member of the Skokie Organization of Retired Educators IEA Retired and a retired Park Ridge high school teacher.

Starting this fall Pearson will be in the business of deciding who becomes a teacher in the state of Illinois. 

The Illinois State Board of Education has adopted a rule that designates Pearson’s “edTPA” as the means by which student teachers will be evaluated and granted certification. 

As the fall semester begins, all student teachers in the state will be required to pay an extra $300 (on top of the tuition they are already paying) and arrange for videotaping so that they can submit a lengthy narrative that covers the planning, execution and evaluation of a series of lessons with one of their classes as well as a ten-minute video of themselves carrying out their lesson with a class.

Student teachers are required to get…

View original 193 more words

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“If I were King in America” attends a private/public NH Education Summit that refuses attendance to a pre-approved teacher

John Kasich, the “moderate” candidate for president, hates teachers so much that he attended an Education Summit in New Hampshire that refused attendance to a pre-approved teacher who had a valid ticket. Private organization pretending to be pro-education do things like this.

Edushyster Jennifer Berkshire reports via twitter.

The Ohio governor (R), who wishes to be King, wouldn’t even allow teachers to speak to each other or be allowed a room to speak in.If I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges, where they sit together and worry about, ‘Woe is us.'”

John Kasich

It is also important to realize that Donald Trump is a distractor to make the other republican candidates, such as Kasich and Bush, appear moderate. Of course the latest North Carolina poll shows that Trump is running neck-to-neck against Deez Nuts. (No joke, though I wish it wasn’t.)

“The new PPP poll revealed independent candidate Deez Nuts is polling at 9 percent in the Tar Heel state. Running as an independent from Wallingford, Iowa; population 197, Deez Nuts has gone viral and has a large fan base.”

The scapegoating of career teachers continues with a degree of hate mongering that is mind boggling. There is nothing funny about this.

Teachers, parents and all who hope to see America’s children advance and succeed must educate people to this hate mongering and insane scapegoating that pretends that massive numbers of rotten teachers are destroying America even as corporations dismantle schools for their own private profit. Untaxed profits from American tax dollars. Profits shipped to foreign tax havens which are not even addressed by these corporate-paid politicos.

This has to end, or America as a world leader will end.


Posted in betrayal, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, government, greed, legislative pillage, lies, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Save Schools: Fire the savage editor who stooges for corporate education reform.

The days of the Tribune as an actual daily newspaper are over. The Trib is a mega-corporate propaganda machine that kills trees to print hatred, and it imitates an actual American newspaper as defined by respected schools of journalism.

The Trib supports the privatization of public education in order to enrich the corporate education reform investors in the rich-boys’ private club, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. The Trib supports spending millions of dollars on useless, corporate education reform’s high stakes tests. Those rich boys are also drooling over managing and looting teacher pensions and other public employee pension funds for their own private profit.The Trib blames the victims who are teachers and other public employees.

Destruction for profit is vulture capitalism.

Crisis capitalism. If there is no crisis, create one. Corporate controlled media outlets such as the Tribune shriek destruction as they claim salvation.


What can we do about it?

First, let’s distinguish between nostalgia and good-riddance.

I remember years ago when I designed, printed and sold bookplates (Those small adhesive backed “from the library of” labels.) with designs of the Tribune, the Art Institute, Marshall Fields, etc. directly to the stores and offices of those institutions. After I delivered packages of these to the Tribune and the Oak Street Bookstore in the Drake Hotel, I walked along old Navy Pier talking with fishermen. I ate at Rocky’s Fish House at the base of the pier. I sat along the concrete pier edge, dangled my legs over the lake water, and ate freshly caught fried fish served on waxed paper and brown paper towels.

I have great nostalgia for some things that used-to-be.

For other things, I feel a sense of good-riddance.

Polio was eradicated. Good riddance.


Just the other day, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Member Kristin McQueary wrote. “I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops. That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy. Heartbreak.”

Pleas for destruction while claiming salvation.

The bodies of 1,833 innocent dead human beings in New Orleans – black and white, young and old – floated in polluted salt water during intense heat as carrion birds hovered overhead. This is Kristin’s idea for her city, Chicago. What a profitable opportunity! Think of all the education taxes that could privately profit the rich boys – if only the “in” people could eliminate the little people and public schools and anything not profitable for the rich boys who pay Kristin. This was savage talk that was meant to make her bosses like her.

Now, let’s see. What to do?

Demand that Tribune Editor Kristin McQueary be fired. Why? She used her position as an editor of a major news service to voice her desire to see your parents and children die in the streets and be pecked over by carrion birds. No matter how her fellow editors try to spin it, this is savagery.

Then, break one old bad habit.

Make the Tribune News Service a good-riddance by not paying for it to spread its venomous propaganda. Stop reading it. Don’t buy it on paper or online. Good riddance.

The fully expressed wishes of yet another sociopathic editorial servant to immense wealth and power are not freedom of speech. She is an out of control hate monger. How can we insist she be fired? Let’s not buy the newspaper. Boycott other Tribune News Services such as WGN news and continue to watch their sports and weather.

Tribune propaganda is not news. It needs to end. Good riddance.

By the way, read more details by Diane Ravitch, Mike Klonsky, and Adolph Reed.

Separate nostalgia (photos below) from good-riddance (The Tribune).

 Navy Pier fishingRocky's Fish House, Navy Pier, Chicago


Posted in betrayal, charters - vouchers, civic duty, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, greed, legislative pillage, lies, pensions, privatization, propaganda, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

from a loyal teachers union member – Dear NEA Retired: HOW DARE YOU!

Today, August 17, I received the new Summer 2015 issue of neaTODAY: for NEA-Retired Members with the following cover article:

NO PLANS TO RETIRE! ~ 87-year-old school counselor’s high-touch, personal approach boosts student success.


87 - never retire NEA
NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and the NEA Board continue to take funding, in spite of openly promising otherwise, from Bill Gates and other billionaire funders of Common Core State Standards. They accept that money for an NEA Foundation. Therefore they approve of CCSS which comes with attached high stakes tests. The high stakes tests are used as hire-fire decision makers for teacher evaluations. Value Added Modeling (VAM and the other alphabet soup mix of unproven teacher evaluation models) allows teachers to be fired without just cause before they become too old, too ill or too expensive by reaching retirement age. The cover story lauding a person who has no plans to retire sends a “happy” message that is redolent of Gomer Pyle as a US Marine. However, Gomer was a mere television amusement which was never meant to be even close to reality. The NEA article is meant to be what it states.
I intend no personal slight or insult to the lauded counselor, Lillian Orlich, who is certainly a fine person and a fine counselor.
Where are VAM points for a “school counselor’s high-touch, personal approach boosts student success.” Are we really meant to believe that a “high-touch, personal approach” boosts student success? Where is this on any teacher evaluation list?

In my little county of Brevard, Florida over 350 career teachers have left teaching. The same in happening across America which is facing an accredited teacher shortage.
I am a loyal NEA member and have been for over four decades. I served NEA in Illinois on our local faculty association board for years prior to my retirement. I attended this year’s NEA-RA in Orlando not as an elected delegate but to chauffeur a friend and delegate one day, to have dinner and supportive conversations with Illinois delegates another day, and to attend a BAT event on a third day. I shook hands and talked with the Illinois Education Association President. Even though I need not defend my loyalty, I want to make it very clear that this is NOT an anti-union harangue.
My pension in Illinois has been and is under attack by legislative and gubernatorial thieves who have intentionally underfunded (pillaged) teacher pension funds for decades. This is happening in state after state across the country. The earned compensation (pensions) of active teachers has become a scapegoating scandal as it remains a form of actual wage theft. The theft of income for retirees hangs over our heads as a daily threat of betrayal, abandonment and poverty.
“No plans to retire.” Pay union dues. Pay pension costs. Always remain healthy and active. Never retire. Then, die.
NEA and AFT should be fighting to safeguard pensions for active and retired teachers.

NEA and AFT should be fighting to end CCSS, high stakes tests, and teacher evaluations based on them.
My personal message to our present union leaders, as a loyal believer in teacher unions, is this: How dare you send this message to us!
If it was unintentional, those who wrote and approved this are incompetent. If this was intentional, they are betrayers of union members. Fire them.
Most important of all, send everyone who received this insult an apology. It’s the humane thing to do for those of us who chose or were forced into retirement by circumstance or health.


Posted in betrayal, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, fairness, legislative pillage, pensions, propaganda, public education, testing, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Back-to-School Reading for Parents: How and why to legally/illegally refuse/opt-out from mandated high stakes tests

A deflated football, Megyn Kelly’s period, Benghazi, and that thing on the top of Donald Trump’s head – distractors all.

As our children continue to be tormented by meaningless, mandated high stakes tests that subvert education tax funds to private corporations as profits, we are being distracted. Let’s get real.

How can parents put a stop to this institutionalized abuse that labels our children for life? Why should our children feel like losers because of invalid tests?


United Opt Out Handbook 1

Yes, parents must defend our children from this institutional abuse.

Yes, it will take some courage on the part of each parent – at first.

Since 20% of the children of one state, New York, have refused testing and/or opted-out for their children, the paid politicos are stymied. Other states and communities are also successfully stopping this abuse.

Read AN ACTIVIST HANDBOOK FOR THE EDUCATION REVOLUTION: United Opt Out’s Test of Courage. (Visit Amazon or Information Age Publishing.) Also, visit the United Opt Out National site or Facebook page for state-by-state sample letters and suggestions.

Save our children from undue stress and abuse.


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The Hunger Games, Race to the Top, ECAA Bells & Whistles

Peggy Robertson and the leaders of United Opt Out National realize the political gambit, a minor exchange of a small compensation to gain full advantage, intended to make compromise appear reasonable while pushing forward the ultimate goal of dismantling public education for all.

Stephen Krashen - Hunger Games

Will public education for all be dismantled for the private profit of corporate education reform via the paid politicos in the U.S. Department of Education and Congress? Is compromise reasonable and possible?
Peggy Robertson addresses these questions.

“This revolution has the potential to tear down the test and punish system. It has the potential to demand and get equitable funding for fully resourced schools…

Compromise could potentially kill this revolution.  The energy and time it takes to negotiate a compromise deprives activists of the time and energy needed to push forward a revolution.
Compromise also does something to the soul I think. It changes it. It creates a false sense of peace and success and it’s very seductive – if I allowed it in, I could sit back and say, well – we did get that.
And for that we should be grateful.

I’m not grateful.  I’m not grateful that folks pushed hard to get ECAA through with a few bells and whistles that are supposed to make me jump for joy.

Those who compromise may have good intentions.  However, I fear some do not – there is much money, ego, and status to be gained by supporting ECAA.”
Peggy Robertson

These mere excerpts are not enough to give full voice to Peggy Robertson and United Opt Out National’s concerns. Please read her full “I’m Not Grateful for Compromise” article from her Peg with Pen blog.

Please share her article widely.


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Are you and your family being threatened by a governor who wants to cut funding?

Gov. Bruce Rauner,

Your attacks on my hard-earned teacher pension personally threaten me and my wife.

You are also unwittingly (?) threatening a degree of social unrest that frightens even your fellow conservative billionaires and yourself. The article in today’s Salon Magazine about fears of social unrest quotes billionaires Kenneth Langone, Johann Rupert, Peter Georgescu, Paul Tudor and others.

Even though I presently live in Florida, I have immediate family members and dear friends who live in Illinois.

Wake up before you hurt yourself and all the people around you.

Ken Previti

My long-time friend and education activist, Kate Singletary, has a simple and straightforward way to let individual billionaires, governors and billionaire governors know that this must end soon for the sake of all involved. Hand write a personal letter and snail-mail it. Personal letters humanize you and the message better than emails or petitions do. Here is her message via Glen Brown’s blog and the addresses for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. (Since he has nine personal mansions, it seems best to write him at his governor’s state mansion and office.)

Rauner sake

What is this about? What does this have to do with you in your state? What can be done to help your family and yourself?

Billionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner threatened to shut-down the the state government in Illinois even before he was elected. His threats and intimidation have now reached the hostage taking phase if he doesn’t get his financial way. Similar to foreign and domestic terrorists, he openly plans to destroy needed services for crippled children, seriously ill senior citizens, sufferers from PTSD and mental illnesses, etc. He continues to pretend that the created pension crisis involving the scapegoated victims (teachers and other public employees) of legislative pillage is his reason for his planned draconian public service cuts and government shut-down.

This self-destructive behavior pattern is being carried out in state after state. It is not some crazy conspiracy theory. It is openly being carried out in the wealthiest country in the word, and it is backed by immense corporate wealth and the individual billionaires who control it.

Wherever you live, please humanize yourself with a personal letter to one or more of the unwitting (?) governors who threaten you, your family and themselves.


Posted in betrayal, civic duty, corporate education reform, corruption, government, greed, legislative pillage, lies, pensions, propaganda, public education, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who supports public schools for all? Who opposes high stakes testing and corporate education reform?

Which candidate and party to vote for? Who supports public schools for all? Who opposes high stakes testing and corporate education reform? Who supports raising the minimum wage? Who supports food stamps for the working poor and their children? Who voted against sane regulations for the banking industry such as the Dodd-Frank Act

Democrat (D) and/or Republican (R)?

“Wish I could have been there. Would have loved to have asked him (Patrick Murphy, ex-Republican US Representative and present Democratic US Senate candidate) about why he voted recently with Republicans to cut food stamps by $90 a month for poor people, to pass CISPA, to set up the House Benghazi panel, or to gut minimum coverage requirements for the ACA, or reduce restrictions on for-profit universities. Or, well, all the other awesome Republican bills that have come forward and earned his strong support. He’s come a long way since maxing out donations to Mitt Romney in 2008 and other GOP candidates and then joining the Democratic Party right before the 2012 qualifying period. It’s great to have him with us, really it is. Maybe he’ll be Florida’s next Senator?”
(Sarcasm intended.)
– Joe Pishgar, former Democratic candidate for Brevard County, FL Commissioner

Crist and Murphy

In Florida, we have just experienced the insanity of running our last Republican Governor Charlie Crist as the Democratic candidate for governor. Crist was the protege of ex-Governor Jeb Bush (R). Crist, of course, lost.

“Kudos to Florida Democratic Senatorial Candidate Patrick Murphy (recent-R) for raising a ton of money this last quarter, mostly from the banking industry – go get ’em, Pat! In completely unrelated news, we just hit the six month anniversary of Patrick Murphy’s vote to dismantle the Dodd-Frank financial regulations on banking institutions and derivatives markets. Neat!”
(Sarcasm intended.)
– Joe Pishgar


What makes this shift in party labeling insane? This form of double-think is unhealthy for all involved who realize the corrupting financial truth behind it all.

Why would anyone pretend that a thing is not the thing? Why would anyone do things that deny reality? Why would people do something that is against their own personal well-being?

Doing this this causes cognitive dissonance and delusional behavior that in turn create mental and emotional distress.

This delusional behavior has today caused mass delusional behavior which is dangerous for each individual’s mental health and society’s collective sanity.

Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

Because of this, people engage in a process called dissonance reduction to bring their cognitions and actions in line with one another. This creation of uniformity allows for a lessening of psychological tension and distress.

 A key tenet of cognitive dissonance theory is that those who have heavily invested in a position may, when confronted with disconfirming evidence, go to greater lengths to justify their position.

Dissonance is felt when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one’s belief, the dissonance can result in restoring consonance through misperception, rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others.”

Try not to be persuaded by others to ignore reality and pretend that a candidate has the qualities that the candidate does not actually possess. In today’s world, this may not be as easy as it seems. If a political party chooses to run a candidate who has financial backing but opposing party platform views, it is a form of self corruption. If neither of two candidates possesses necessary qualities, seek or create people who have those qualities in the next election or the next.

Don’t create cognitive dissonance in your own mind or the minds of your friends by pretending reality is something it is not.

If neither candidate supports public schools for all or opposes high stakes testing and corporate education reform, admit it. Admit all truths, good and bad, about every candidate.

Your mental well being is at stake. Our society’s well being is at stake.


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