Don't petition the White House, Use Change.org

Don’t petition the White House, Use Change.org

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly wanting to secede from the United States. Texas leads the way with more than 100,000 people asking the White House to address the issue. This is the same state governed by Rick Perry who drummed up his base of supporters with calls for seceding prior to his Republican bid for President. The irony seemed lost on him. Governor Perry is obviously not a viable option to lead the cause. He hardly put up a fight against a weak group seeking his party’s nomination. I also question...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s move toward progressive values. It appears that Democrats will pick up a couple seats in the lower chamber but the real change happened on the senatorial level. Voters said no way to Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after they attempted to scapegoat women and downplay the trauma of rape and sexual abuse. Furthermore, women won in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Wisconsin for their first terms. All four of them will be more progressive legislators than their predecessors. In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin will be the...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen. Mourdock joined a club made exclusively of Republicans but a club that seems to be growing as the November election nears. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made a reprehensible comment about exceptions for the life of the mother following his debate. “There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.” Complete crap as this woman explains. Of course who can forget Missouri...

Corporate Educators Butting in on Local School Battle

Jun 18, 2012 Aaron Krager 2 Comments

Outside groups, such as Stand for Children, Education Reform Now and New Schools for Chicago, are placing a big bet on the impending contract negotiations between Chicago Public Schools Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union. All three organizations serve as advocacy groups that tend to push for charter schools, merit pay, and stronger testing.

With such innocent sounding names, who can be against them? They want new schools, are looking out for the kids and reform always sounds like a positive thing. But that’s not what why they are beginning to push their influence in Chicago. Both New Schools and Stand for Children held ceremonies for parents that participated in their training program. More than 130 parents are now in the communities advocating for these two organizations. Stand for Children held their sessions at two charter schools run by Academy for Urban School Leadership. CPS Board Chair David Vitale is the former leader of AUSL. The current COO of CPS, Tim Cawley also worked for AUSL prior to joining CPS.

These organizations claim to hold an attitude of students first but the board members public actions deem otherwise. CEO of Exelon Corporation, John Rowe serves as Chairman of New Schools for Chicago. As the CEO of the energy company, Rowe has advocated for lower and lower tax rates despite record profits. The decreased tax revenue has hurt public schools and underfunded other public run programs. Rowe is not alone on the board either.

These are corporate CEO’s, money managers, and venture capitalists. Are we really supposed to believe they have the best interests of community children at heart when they have done little to nothing to prove it when they run billion dollar corporations?

Education Reform Now sent Chicago parents a robo-call to denounce the strike authorization vote taken by the teachers union.

In the “robo-call,” a woman identifying herself as a Local School Council member says that, “Teachers deserve a raise. But it bothers me that the union is taking a strike vote before an independent arbitrator offers a compromise.”

Matthew Blake of Progress Illinois writes more:

CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll says that the district has not coordinated with any outside group in getting their message out to parents.

While that might be the case, the message from CPS and Education Reform Now is identical on the strike authorization vote, they argue that CTU violated the spirit of last year’s landmark state education law by holding the strike authorization while an independent fact finder reviews both sides’ proposals.

In a letter to CPS parents (PDF) dated June 6, CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard writes that the two sides “are in the middle of a contract negotiation process that was established in the recent Illinois Education Reform Legislation and designed specifically to foster negotiation and avoid a strike.”

“Teachers must be allowed to see the final independent compromise proposal before making the decision to authorize a strike,” Brizard added.

An identical message sent only to CPS parents? PURE Parents wonders if CPS shared the phone numbers with the corporate education advocacy organization. It would not be unthinkable as CPS provided grant money to a Pastor that then ended up paying people to appear as protesters in favor of CPS’ agenda.

The connections are there but just a bit off to make a direct accusation. It won’t just be the weather that heats up this summer. Look for more to unfold.

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