Three over coffee.


It’s a three-day weekend. No school Monday for Veteran’s Day. The front yard is loaded with fallen leaves. The two trees have no more leaves on them. But I’ll rake ’em up later. Coffee first.

Morton West anti-war students are getting lots of support.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, an anti-war group from Northeastern Illinois University and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War attended the meeting. They praised the students for their actions and said they are protected by their 1st Amendment rights.Disabled Gulf War veteran Cesar Ruvalcaba, dressed in his military uniform, chose to lash out at military recruiters allowed to roam the halls of the school.”Shame on the administrators who think receiving military money from recruiters is more important than the education of their students,” he told the board. “I am 100 percent disabled, and I learned the hard way that education, not carrying a machine gun, is the key to success. It’s those people who are pro-war who would never drop everything and go fight for the red, white and blue. These kids should receive extra credit for speaking up, not expulsion.”

Lobbyist for the tobacco industry and opponent of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is now ready to take on teacher unions.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that at the Conservative Leadership Conference last month, Richard Berman announced a plan to roll out a multimarket media campaign attacking teachers unions as impediments to education reform. With enemies like this, who needs friends?

On strike since October 15, Seneca Valley teachers 15 speak using YouTube.



  • Elgin School District U46 teachers could strike if an agreement is not reached later this month, union officials said Thursday.
  • Jerseyville — Teachers from the Jersey Community School District voted Saturday to approve a contract after six months of negotiations.

    The teachers have been working without one since school began in late August. The previous contract was for five years.

  • While some area school districts have been quick to implement a new state law requiring a “brief period of silence” at the start of the school day, Evanston-Skokie School District 65 plans to act as if the law doesn’t exist.
  • The Chicago Public Schools plan for the first time to restrict military recruiters who visit schools, including limiting access to students and banning gifts.
  • The president of the Gavin District 37 School Board has been charged with official misconduct and felony theft for allegedly structuring a contract to avoid competitive bidding and stealing about $11,000 from the Lake County Fair Association where she worked, the state’s attorney’s office said Thursday.
  • Illinois students who have limited English-language skills will have to take the regular state achievement exams beginning next year, under a recent decision by federal officials.

Blame the teachers for Indy mayor’s defeat.


Kevin Carey of Ed Sector blames the teachers for Indianapolis’ voters turning the Democratic mayor out of office.

As I noted in an earlier post, Mayor Peterson was a big charter guy. If you believed the Ed Sector and DFER Big Thinkers, this is just what the Dems need to be to win elections. But, oops. Turns out, not so.

Rather than say they were sorry for their bogus strategy, Carey says it was the teachers’ fault.

NEA says: Override Bush’s expected ed funding veto.


An e-mail from the NEA today says:

The House and Senate have passed an education funding bill that provides significant increases for important programs like Title I, special education, Head Start, after-school programs, and Pell Grants. This bill reverses the trend of cuts and freezes to education funding in recent years and will help provide schools and students the resources necessary to succeed. But, President Bush has promised to veto this bill and is expected to do so next week. If the President’s veto is allowed to stand, billions of dollars will be lost from education programs.
A two-thirds vote is needed in the House and Senate to override a presidential veto, so every vote is critical. The House will vote first, as early as the middle of next week. If the House does not vote to override the veto, the bill will die without even moving to the Senate.
Contact your Members of Congress TODAY!!
Tell your representative to stand up for children and public education by voting to override the president’s veto of the education funding bill.

Palatine agreement.

It was a long and bitter negotiations, but the teachers and board in District 211 reached an agreement yesterday. No strike today.

The Daily Herald reported this morning:

After the vote, teachers union President John Braglia said the approval of the contract means teachers will be in school as normal today.

“I am pleased that this is settled, but I am not happy that we have had to endure what we have,” Braglia said.

13,000 students attend schools in District 211.

This Ravitch thing. Debbie Meier gets it.


Debbie Meier.

This past week I started off not really invested in the whole Diane Ravitch thing with Bloomberg.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought the Post article was a mugging and reflected the darkness of the times where government agencies. even NY’s DOE, keep files on dissidents.

And yet there was this nagging problem. Ravitch was not a spokesperson for me. I hate being in a position of defending people who…well…don’t speak for me.

But in the point-counter point blog on EdWeek, where Ravitch and Debbie Meier exchange thoughts weekly, Debbie reminded me of the real point:

If they even think of intimidating you, just imagine who else has a right to be fearful. We all have a stake in this—probably least of all you, Diane!

On the subject of Ohio charters, Rotherham is so busted.

rotherhamwatchjpg.jpgThere on the front page of this morning’s NY Times is Sam Dillon’s story on the muck and mire that characterizes charter schools in Ohio. The Ohio teacher’s union warned from the beginning that the state’s charter laws were so crummy that all kinds of junk schools would be allowed to fly.Dillon reports:

Attorney General Marc Dann is suing to close three failing charter schools and says he is investigating dozens of others. It is the first effort by any attorney general to close low-performing charter schools.Gov. Ted Strickland said he wanted to carry out his own crackdown.“Perhaps somewhere, charter schools have been implemented in a defensible manner, where they have provided quality,” he said. “But the way they’ve been implemented in Ohio has been shameful. I think charter schools have been harmful, very harmful, to Ohio students.” 

More from Dillon:

Behind the Ohio charter failures are systemic weaknesses that include loopholes in oversight, a law allowing 70 government and private agencies to authorize new charters, and financial incentives that encourage sponsors to let schools stay open. 

Now, one would expect that the wing-nuts like those at the Fordham Foundation would think that the present law is a fine way to do business and that all this talk from the Ohio AG and the governor is just a teacher union and Democratic Party plot. And they do not fail to live up to expectations:

“These suits are the latest in a long line of Democratic assaults on the charter school program in Ohio,” said Terry Ryan, a vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, which sponsors several Ohio charter schools. 

But, what of our Democratic friend Andy Rotherham? Hmmm. Let me see. If I Google “Eduwonk” and “Ohio Charters” I get a post from back on October 5th where Rotherham gets into an argument with the UFT’s Leo Casey over the very issue of Ohio charters.You can read it yourself and you’ll see that the essence of Rotherham’s attack on Casey is that Casey is painting Ohio charters with too broad a brush, and it was really the union’s fault that there wasn’t enough oversight.

…In Ohio, plenty of charter supporters were calling for improvements, too. Especially the better quality schools. Because, however, the teachers’ unions in Ohio were more interested in killing the charter law than fixing it, it was difficult to put together a coalition to at once improve the law and deal with problems like White Hat Management because it was tough to cobble together a pro-charter, pro-quality, and pro-accountability center from which to build politically. 

Let’s jump ahead to today’s Eduwonk. Now Rotherham is writing a different story.Now the “narrative,” as Rotherham would like to say, has changed from what is happening in Ohio is a union assault on charter schools to, well, there are poor performing regular public schools too and why isn’t anyone going after them and besides Ohio is “anomalous.”So busted.

Hollywood’s a union town.

I grew up in Hollywood. And Hollywood’s a union town. This video is of the writing crew from The Office. These guys aren’t as funny as we were when we were on strike a few years ago. But we’re teachers, so what would you expect?The Office star, Steve Carell won’t cross the picket lines:

Steve Carell informed NBC he is unable to report to work because he is suffering from “enlarged balls.”

Palatine strike deadline nears.

Working with a mediator, teachers and board members from Palatine/Schaumberg District 211 are working overtime to reach a deal. No luck yet and the strike deadline in tomorrow.

13,000 students are enrolled in the district.

Daily Herald reports:

Some teachers have complained about skyrocketing health insurance cost, which they said has more than doubled in recent years. They said that eats up any kind of raise they might have received.