Archives for the month of: February, 2018


According to Politico, Alberto Carvalho will be the new Chancellor of the New York City public schools. 

“Alberto Carvalho, who has led Miami’s public schools for the last decade, will be New York City’s next schools chancellor, Mayor Bill de Blasio will officially announce Thursday.

“Carvalho will replace Carmen Fariña, who has spent the last four years at the helm of America’s largest school system after de Blasio coaxed her out of retirement in late 2013. He will officially take over as chancellor sometime in the next month. The announcement was delayed because of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“De Blasio’s requirements for the role of America’s second-most-important educator were largely unspoken, but obvious: a longtime educator with experience running schools for vulnerable children, a Spanish-speaking person of color, and a New York City outsider who is also considered a rising star in the national education world.

“Carvalho checks every box.

“The current Miami-Dade schools chief is a Portuguese immigrant, and came to America illegally as a broke 17-year-old who had saved up $1,000 for the airfare from Lisbon to New York City. After leaving New York for Ft. Lauderdale and later Miami, he worked as a busboy and a day laborer. Carvalho was the first person in his family to finish high school. Fariña, the daughter of immigrants from Spain, was the first person in her’s to earn a college diploma.

“Carvalho started his 20-year career in Miami’s schools as a physics, chemistry and calculus teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High, where he earned the nickname “Mr. Armani” for his sartorial presence. He went on to be an assistant principal and deputy superintendent. Along with his current superintendent duties, he’s the principal of two Miami schools. He helped earn his reputation for being a savvy political operator while serving as a communications officer and a lobbyist for Miami-Dade’s schools.”

I signed on to FEDEX soon after the company came into existence in 1971. Maybe in 1975, about then.

FEDEX is one of the few corporate partners of the National Rifle Association that refuses to withdraw its sponsorship. It gives NRA members discounts.

I called FEDEX to complain and found I was talking to someone at a call center in Mexico who had no idea what I was talking about. After repeat phone calls, I got connected to a nice  young man in Virginia who told me about FEDEX support for good causes (“FEDEX Cares”). I told him the NRA is not a good cause. They promote legislation that allows mass murderers to get weapons of death. I said, I give you a week.

Today, after the Florida Senate House Appropriations Committee refused to ban assault weapons and decided to arm teachers (who don’t want guns in schools), I decided I had had enough.

I called FEDEX and after many diversions from one machine to another, I finally got a phone number for the department where you can cancel your account.

The number is 1-800-622-1147. You have to go through a few “press 1, press 2, press 3” things, but eventually you can ask for a “representative.”

I canceled my account. The representative didn’t say, “sorry to lose your business” or anything else. She just said, “It is canceled. Goodbye.”

A small act, but if 1,000,000 other customers did the same, FEDEX  might actually “CARE.”

Also, one of the Republican candidates for governor of Georgia is threatening to cancel a tax break for Delta Airlines, which did withdraw its alliance with the NRA. Delta, says the New York Times today, brings billions of dollars of revenue to Georgia, because Atlanta is its hub.

Delta, consider moving to Nashville or some other city that would be glad to have the revenue you bring in. If the legislature of Georgia is dumb enough to punish you for standing up to the NRA, move out!



A group of faculty members at the University of Redlands in California has posted an open letter calling on the state board of education and educators to support student walkouts in protest of gun violence in schools. Click on the link to fill out the letter and submit it.


Open Letter in Support of School Walkouts to Protest Gun Violence

This letter will be submitted by a group of faculty in the CEJ (Center for Educational Justice at the University of Redlands in the School of Education) to the California Department of Education in response to the recent call for several National School Walkouts. All university-based researchers (including faculty, researchers, and administrators) throughout California are invited to sign their names in support of this letter.Listed on the letter will be each signer’s Name, Title, and College/University/Affiliation.

To sign, please submit information in the form fields below the letter by March 9, 2018.

This letter was co-authored by the following faculty in the School of Education (SOE) in the Center for Educational Justice (CEJ) at the University of Redlands: Brian Charest, Ph.D., Mikela Bjork, Ph.D., and Nicol Howard, Ph.D.

Open Letter in Support of School Walkouts to Protest Gun Violence

Dear California State Board of Education President, Dr. Michael Krist, State Board Colleagues, and California School Principals, Teachers, and Administrators:

Last week, 17 students were shot and killed at a Florida high school by a former member of the school’s JROTC program. The shooter, who expressed white supremacist views online (footnotes listed parenthetically – 1), was trained to shoot lethal weapons by the Army on his high school campus (2). Teachers, students, parents, and allies have had enough. Students are standing up. Teachers and parents are supporting them.

As university and teacher educators (including faculty, researchers, and administrators), we strongly urge you to publicly support all principals, teachers, and students in our California schools and universities, who wish to participate in the upcoming National School Walkouts to protest gun violence (the first of which is scheduled for 17 minutes—one minute for each victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting on March 14).

Other walkouts are scheduled on March 24, and April 20, and additional walkouts may occur. We believe educators and students should have your support to participate in these actions. Current gun regulations do not reflect current research or knowledge on gun violence prevention, nor do they reflect public opinion on gun safety. (3)

Our schools, for better or for worse, reflect our priorities as a society and should be spaces where students and teachers discuss what those priorities should be. We believe that any discussion about solving the problem of gun violence must be a conversation about public safety and must also address root causes of this violence, such as the culture of violence in the US that equates masculinity with guns, (4) bullying in schools and on campuses, violence against women, the increase in militarism in schools that serve our most vulnerable youth (e.g, ROTC programs, military-run schools, junior police academies, etc.) (5) (6), state sanctioned violence through policing, and racism that blinds us to the effects of gun violence in poor communities of color. (7) (8)

We believe that the National School Walkouts are the first step toward a public conversation about these root causes, one that can help lead to the enactment of a public safety plan to reduce gun violence in the US. Such a plan would emerge from what we currently know about gun safety and gun violence prevention.(9) Such a plan would also align with the views of a majority of Americans (10) who believe in things like background checks for all gun buyers (93%), a ban on the sale of guns to anyone convicted of a violent crime (88%), and for waiting periods for all gun purchases (72%).

We urge you to take this moment to voice your support for public engagement in the gun safety debate and for students and teachers who seek to pressure lawmakers to enact effective gun safety legislation. Doing so would not only encourage teachers in California to teach about the power of civic engagement, but also provide an opportunity for students to see firsthand the importance of civic action in a democracy. Democracies require citizen participation, and it is through a combination of careful study and debate combined with civic action that citizens shape their world for the better.

We, the undersigned, believe in the need to address the root causes of gun violence and for new laws to promote public safety to end the epidemic of gun violence in the US; we support the right of principals, teachers, and students to participate in the National School Walkout.

#NationalSchoolWalkout #GunReformNow #StudentsStandUp #ArmMeWith




As of February 24, 2018, the following education scholars have signed in support of this open letter (Names are listed in alphabetical order):

Brian Charest, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Kevin Kumashiro, former Dean, University of San Francisco
Mikela Bjork, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Nicol Howard, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands

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I thought  you might want to see this. 


Warren Buffett said his company benefitted mightily from the GOP tax “reform.”

A $29 Billion plum.

””The $65 billion gain is nonetheless real – rest assured of that. But only $36 billion came from Berkshire’s operations. The remaining $29 billion was delivered to us in December when Congress rewrote the U.S. Tax Code.”

I wonder what the Koch brothers and DeVos family got?


Retired teacher of physics and math Tom Ultican gathered together a concise summary of the efforts to destroy and privatize public education.

“America’s public education system is being deliberately destroyed. If you graduated from high school in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s, it is such an unthinkable concept that it is difficult to even imagine. Not only is it possible, it is happening and a lot of damage has already occurred.

“Just this morning, I learned that a Republican legislator has proposed privatizing all the schools in Muncie, Indiana. Almost all the schools in New Orleans were privatized after hurricane Katrina. Half the schools in Washington DC and a quarter of the schools in Los Angeles are privatized. However, ninety percent of America’s K-12 students attend public schools. (Note: Charter schools are not public schools, they are schools run by private businesses that have government contracts.)”

The foundational lie of the Destroy Public Education Movement is that our public schools are failing. Add to the lie that unions block reform; that “bad teachers” abound in our schools; that great teachers need only five weeks of training; that money doesn’t matter; that choice solves all problems; that the best Wat to fix schools is to close them.

You know the drill.

Very Stupid.

When Congress was considering a ban assault rifles in 1994, three presidents signed a letter supporting the ban.

The bill passed and assault weapons were banned from 1994-2004, over the objections of the Pro-Death lobbyists in the NRA.

Ford, Carter, and Reagan said, among other things:

While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.


I met Ellen Lipton several years ago when I met with a large group of superintendents.

Ellen impressed me as smart and passionate. She understands the importance and value of public schools.

She’s running from Congress and I urge you to support her.

We need more leaders in Congress fighting for strong public schools. With Betsy DeVos’ war on public education, it’s critical that we elect dedicated champions willing to stand up and defend public education for all of us.

That’s why I am thrilled to support Ellen Lipton for Congress (MI-9). Elected three times as a state representative in Michigan, Ellen was fearless and effective in the fight against DeVos and Governor Rick Snyder’s right-wing privatization agenda. If she is elected, she won’t let us down.

Join Team Lipton now and let’s elect a committed education champion to Congress!

Ellen has a background as a patent lawyer, scientist, and public education advocate. She opposed Snyder’s failed “Educational Achievement Authority,” which put corporate profits ahead of Michigan’s students.

We must all stand together to help elect Ellen. She will be a champion for public schools in Congress.

Join us,


P.S. Want to make an even bigger impact? Chip in now to Ellen’s campaign!



Why do the people of Florida elect these people?

The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee approved two new voucher bills and a bill that would require teachers unions to seek recertification.

The Florida State Constitution explicitly bans the transfer of public funds to religious schools. In 2012, Jeb Bush sponsored a statewide referendum to delete that provision, and the people of Florida voted down his proposal.

why do the state legislators ignore the state constitution and the expressed will of the people, who said NO to vouchers?

Why do the state legislators hate public schools?

Vote them out!


It is hard to understand why anyone thinks that charter schools have. O fiscal impact on public schools. There is only one pot of money for education, and not many (or any) states are expanding that pot. The Trump administration wants to cut the federal education budget and divert more money to charters and vouchers.

This is a post about a new study by Duke University economist Helen Ladd and John Singleton that nails down the fiscal Harm that charter schools do to public schools.

Here is the summary.

Here is the study.

Here is the abstract:

”A significant criticism of the charter school movement is that funding for charter schools diverts money away from traditional public schools. As shown in prior work by Bifulco and Reback (2014) for two urban districts in New York, the magnitude of such adverse fiscal externalities depends in part on the nature of state and local funding policies. In this paper, we build on their approach to examine the fiscal effects of charter schools on both urban and non-urban school districts in North Carolina. We base our analysis on detailed balance sheet information for a sample of school districts that experienced significant charter entry since the statewide cap on charters was raised in 2011. This detailed budgetary information permits us to estimate a range of fiscal impacts using a variety of different assumptions. We find a large and negative fiscal impact from $500-$700 per pupil in our one urban school district and somewhat smaller, but still significant, fiscal externalities on the non-urban districts in our sample.”

Public schools that are underfunded must cut their budgets so that a small minority of students can attend charter schools. It makes no sense.