How do you tell your daughter her friends suck.

           I have a 9 year old and a 11 year old daughter. Everything up until this year was easy, no dramas, no fights and basically a group that got along. They go to a Charter School that goes from Kindergarten to 8th grade. There are 50 kids in each grade except Kindergarten, which has 40 kids. Most of these kids have been together since Kindergarten and more have been together since 1st grade.

My oldest is in 6th grade and got a couple of new girls this year. My daughter has been friends with the same group of kids since 1st grade. Most of the girls got along, of course there were occaisonal issues, but nothing big. Her best friend left for another school at the end of last year. She continued to hang out with the other girls. As this school year went on the group got smaller and smaller. One of the new girls got in with the group and within a week they started splitting apart.

My daughter remained with the new girl and her other friend. Everyday a different girl would have a problem with my daughter’s 2 friends. We were only getting information from one side, so we were kind of biased in our opinion. Others kids parents were freaking out on my daughters 2 friends. As the school year went on this continued to happen. My daughter was friends with these 2 girls but started hanging out with different girls. Even the attitude of the 2 girls changed.

It took the whole school year but they finally hurt my kid. My wife was warning my daughter that it would happen and it did. They screwed her good for a kid that they hate. This was the first time my daughter has ever yelled at one of her friends in anger. She wanted to hit her in the mouth. This is a girl she has been friends with since she was 5. My daughter ripped into the girl. The girl called my wife crying and my wife asked if she did what upset my daughter and she said she did. Then why are you crying she asked her.

The next day the girl asked my daughter if she was ok, but wouldnt talk to her. Since then my daughter has branched out and started talking with other kids. Quite a few girls asked if she was ok and said that the girl did the same thing to them. Girls that my daughter didn’t talk to because of her loyalty to her friend. It turns out my daughter gets along with all of them. We told her to branch out, make some new friends and move on.

As a parent you hate to see your kid hurt. But to say don’t hang out with that kid will only make her wantb that friend more. We always try to protect our kids but we can only do so much. I am proud of my daughter, I know she us hurting inside, but she just kept moving on. It takes a person with strong character to do that. She will find her way, now I just have to stay out of hers.

Governor Scott Walker trying to slip ALEC education legislation into budget.

                    Governor Scott Walker is attempting to radically overhaul Wisconsin’s education system using several pieces of ALEC’s model legislation. He is attempting to do it through the budget process, meaning this privatization agenda could be enacted with minimal input from the public. These budget provisions will tax the taxpayers for private and religious school.

On the campaign trail in 2010, Walker pledged to strip policy and pork projects from the state budget. At least 46 non-budgetary items have been slipped into the 2013-2015 budget proposal. Included in these 46 are ALEC connected proposals limiting school board oversight for charter schools, expanding voucher programs and creating New teaching licenses for individuals with no educational background. The expanded voucher programs are the fiscal problem.

Well funded advocates of privatizing the nations public education system have been promoting the Parent Trigger. Parent Trigger Laws are a mechanism that allows parents to transform underperforming public schools. The Parent Trigger was first promoted by a small charter school operator in California. It was taken up and launched inti hyper-drive by 2 controversial right wing organizations, ALEC and the Heartland Institute.

ALEC brings together major American corporations and Republican lawmakers to craft and vote on model bills behind closed doors. Some of these bills are Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, union busting legislation, Arizona style anti-immigration legislation and voter suppression laws. ALEC’s agenda has become so extreme over 40 corporations have severed ties with them. The Heartland Institute lost a lot of corporate sponsors after it launched a billboard comparing those who believe in Climate Change to the Unabomber.

In 1990 Milwaukee was thev first city in the country to implement a school voucher program. It was proposed by then Governor Tommy Thompson (ALEC member) and it was quickly embraced by ALEC. It was originally promoted as a program for Milwaukee’s low income students. But Walker expanded it to families of higher incomes and his 2013-2015 budget proposal threatens to expand it further. By 2014-2015 Wisconsin taxpayers will have spentvan estimated $1.8 billion on private and religious schools. School privatization interests have spent at least $10 million on political funding. Scott Walker alone recieved $2.35 million in contributions and outside support from pro-privatization groups. Critics have said that Republicans have hijacked the program. As soon as a door opens for lower income kids, they are trampled by the wealthy.

Governor Bobby Jindal tried to use the budget process to subsidize private and religious schools. But the measure was deemed unconstitutional by the Louisiana State Supreme Court. If only because the Constitution states that education money can only go towards public education. Hopefully Wisconsin has that sort of clause in it, maybe it can slow the Privatization of public schools.

The Republican party strongly supports privatizing public education. But then again they sneakily try to privatize anything they can. They have attempted to privatize the USPS and prisons just for example. Democrats and President Obama are trying to fix and streamline public education. They want to getvrid of No Child Left Behind, a horrible program that does nothing for our kids. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for private and religious schools. Paying for religious schools violates the 1st Amendment but creatingva state religion. But of course the Constitution only applies when it works for Republicans.

Are parents getting bullied into privatizing Public Schools?

              Adelanto, California has become ground zero for the fight between billionaires and poor, vulnerable parents and children. The Victory Daily Press, a right wing news paper, gleefully announced on its front page that a local school, Desert Trails Elementary, had just made history as the first school in the nation to be privatised under California’s new parent trigger law.  The paper described the takeover as promising a fresh start for the failing elementary school and claimed widespread support from parents. This is an area where the median income is about $12,000 per year and about 15% of the adult population is incarcerated.

              Tie L.A. Weekly described the takeover as a historic moment for the education reform movement in the nation. The New York Times compared it to the movie Won’t Back Down. The movie promotes the parent trigger law as a panacea for America’s publiceducation woes. It empowrresthe parents to fight back against self interestefpublic school teachers and Republican described Union thugs.

              In April 2011 the Indiana legislature approved House Bill 1003, a measure that broadly funds religious and other private schools. The multi-billion dollar program sets up a new school voucher scheme, expands a tax credit program and offers tax deductions for the cost of private education and home schooling. This was clearly a means to force tax payers to subsidize religious and private education. More money for the wealthy at the cost of our children. Private and religious schools do not have any oversight, so not have to meet the test qualifications of a public school. To top that off parents already pay to put their children in these schools, why do they need tax payer money as well. It is just to take more from public schools to ensure their failure.

                 This ‘s not about education reform. Thus is part of a national drive to radically privatize education. Mitt Romney pushed this during his presidential run. There are many other big dollar foundations and sectarian interest groups demanding tax payer dollars for parochial and other private schools. If they are funded by taxpayers and government they cannot teach religion and are no longer private schools. The long term goal seems to be to shut down the public school system or to damage it so its affects on American life is minimal.

       Religious leaders and Republicans are saying that public schools are secular, no Christian or Anti-American. Which is unequivocally untrue. Our public school system accepts children of all faiths and denies none. Nor do they force religious beliefs on anyone. No child is turned away regardless of religion, race, sex,  sexual orientation, family background, disability or economic status. Our schools are governed by publicly elected school boards, whose members represent diverse communities and are directly answerable to the public.

          This is an attempt by Republicans, to force feed children their beliefs, religious and other. Which is a violation of the 1st Amendment. But of course only the 2nd Amendment means anything to these hypocrites. Privatization us not good fir public interest, just look at the Kids for Cash case in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The juvenile system in Luzerne County wad privatised. 2 judges were eventually sent to prison for receiving over $2 million to place children into these private facilities. The juveniles were not allowed legal representation, werenot allowed to speak, received 9 months for getting caught smoking narijauna for a first time offense and spent longer sentences then were originally sentenced. Both judges were found guilty and are currently incarcerated. This shows that private entities will do whatever it takes to make a profit.

             Democrats of course support public education, but as spineless as they are trey let conservatives get away with this junk. This us the closest thing people have as protection. Many poor do nit have the money to take this to court or are undereducated. These are the people Republicans take advantage of, they are a bunch of bullies.

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Education reform.

                Education reform should be one of the top issues being discussed by our lawmakers. For a nation that spends $800 billion per year, 6 times higher than the next closest spender, we rank below Canada in almost every important category. Much of the blame for this goes to the socio-economic status of the districts.

                A kid grower up in a poor or urban area are less likely to succeed in school. The poor kid already starts with a disadvantage, his socio-economic status. Poor kids generally do not eat as well and many come from single parent households. A hungry or malnourished child is not going to learn as quickly because of being hungry, it also erodes a childs ability to pay attention. Kids from these social class or poorer districts have already been put behind the 8 ball.

            Standardized testing, while a good early to evaluate students progress shoud not determine the money a school gets. Poor districts are already providing below average education and test scores, is taking more money away going to improve the situation. The wealthier a district on average the higher the test scores and the more money they would receive. While poorer districts are cutting classes, be it Spanish, Music or Art, wealthier districts are getting more money to use for whatever needs.

              The solutions to this problem may not be easy and will most likely be harder to swallow. Privatizing schools is the Republican idea. It won’t work, look at other privatization models. Democrats like charter schools and putting more money into it, instead of making a smart investment. Here are a few ideas.

           Every school gets the sane amount per child, regardless of district or scores. Every teacher is evaluated and has to stand in front of a board to justify either failing children or success. This way we can find what works and what doesn’t. Public Charter School, they are like a public school, but there is not a teachers union and the curriculum differs. Bear Creek Community Charter School is a fantastic example, it is located in Bear Creek, Pa. We need to hold teachers, administrators, parents and children responsible to move forward.

             We can spend the same amount and get a better education
We can compete globally if we are willing to change our way of thinking. Some all important tweeks and we have a completely different and viable public education system.

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