Search results for: "FEE Bush"

Feeling the backlash in a big way, Jeb Bush’s “Chiefs for Change” issued a call to end the “Toxic Rhetoric” about school choice, especially charters. 

Chiefs for Change are strong proponents of privatization. Here are the current members. Is your superintendent a “Chief for Change” who wants to divert money from public schools to the Betsy DeVos agenda of school choice?

They say:

Recent attempts to halt or severely limit school choice—including legislative debates over caps or moratoriums for charter schools—are misguided at best. Effective mechanisms of school choice—those that ensure quality, accountability, equitable access, and equitable funding—provide opportunities that our students need and deserve. 

Families with financial means in America have always been able to choose the school that is best for their child, by moving to a certain part of town or by sending their children to private schools. But most American families do not have that opportunity. The school in their neighborhood may fall short in meeting their child’s needs in any number of ways—but they’re stuck. 

Our nation’s history of redlining to separate both housing and schooling based on race and income, along with local zoning ordinances that restrict and confine affordable housing, alongside the recent wave of “school district secessions” by higher-income neighborhoods, have compounded the problem. Our nation’s children often live in neighborhoods just a short distance from each other but worlds apart in terms of school quality. This is unacceptable. Every child deserves school options where they will learn and thrive. 

That is why today we are calling on policymakers across the nation to end the destructive debates over public charter schools. Proposed caps and moratoriums allow policymakers to abdicate their responsibility to thoughtfully regulate new and innovative public school options: like banning cars rather than mandating seatbelts. They are a false solution to a solvable problem. 

The backlash against school choice, the demand to halt charter expansion, comes from an outraged public that supports their community public schools.

Only 6% of the students in the U.S. attend charter schools, most of which perform no better than or much worse than public schools. An even smaller number of students use vouchers, even when they are easily available, and the research increasingly converges on the conclusion that students who use vouchers are harmed by attending voucher schools.

The claim that poor kids should get “the same” access to elite private schools as rich kids is absurd. Rich parents pay $40,000-50,000 or more for schools like Lakeside in Seattle or Sidwell Friends in D.C. The typical voucher is worth about $5,000, maybe as much as $7,000, which gets poor kids into religious schools that lack certified teachers, not into Lakeside or Sidwell or their equivalent.

Perhaps Chiefs for Change should advocate for for housing vouchers worth $1 million or more so that poor families can afford to live in the best suburban neighborhoods where “families with financial means” live.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

What this press release really means is that the advocates of privatization know that the public is turning against them.

That’s good news.

The public wants to invest its tax dollars in strong, equitable public schools that meet the needs of all students, not in ineffective charters or vouchers that divert money from community public schools.

The Washington Post Editorial Board is made about charter schools. They were also over the moon for Michelle Rhee’s authoritarian rule of the D.C. schools, which launched a short career as an outspoken proponent of charters and vouchers. Rhee became closely allied with Jeb Bush, who was also Betsy DeVos’s friend and mentor.

This we should not be surprised to discover that the Washington Post published an editorial blasting Senator Sanders’s critique of charter schools, using almost the same language as the far-right choice ideologue Jeb Bush.

Isn’t it interesting that this Washington Post editorial has almost the same headline as an article from a right-wing think tank  (the Foundation for Economic Education)

There’s nothing progressive about strangling charter schools – The …

5 hours ago – Among the more promising efforts to deal with this urgent issue have been public charter schools, which give poor families the choice in their …

There’s Nothing Progressive about Bernie’s War on Charter Schools …

3 days ago – Doubling down on efforts to strengthen an inherently coercive system of mass schooling by diminishing education choice is a troubling retreat …


You may hear choice zealots boasting about Jeb Bush’s “Florida Model.” As Tom Ultican explains here, they are delusional or  just making stuff up (to put it politely). 

Ultican relies on Sue Legg’s excellent report and digs down to show that the motivation behind Jeb’s so-called A+ plan was profits and religion, not education.

Jeb Bush and his friends have made Florida into a low-performing mess that can’t attract or retain teachers. But it has become a magnet for profiteers, grifters, and fundamentalists.

Ultican writes:

When the A+ Program was adopted in 1999, Florida had consistently scored among the bottom third of US states on standardized testing. The following two data sets indicate no improvement and Florida now scoring in the bottom fourth…

Last year, 21 percent of Florida’s students were enrolled in private and charter schools. The Florida tax credit scholarships (FTCS) went to 1,700 private schools and were awarded to over 100,000 students. Most of those students are in religious schools. Splitting public funding between three systems – public, charter and private – has insured mediocrity in all three systems.

Privatization Politics and Profiteering

To understand Florida’s education reform, it is important to realize that its father, Jeb Bush, is the most doctrinal conservative in the Bush family. He fought for six years to keep feeding tubes inserted into Terri Schiavo, a woman in a persistently vegetative state. Jeb was the Governor who signed the nation’s first “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law. During his first unsuccessful run for governor in 1994, Bush ‘“declared himself a ‘head-banging conservative’; vowed to ‘club this government into submission’; and warned that ‘we are transforming our society to a collectivist policy.”’

This is a deeply researched and eye-popping post.

Read it to arm yourself against rightwing propaganda.

The Florida Model is an abject failure.

Phyllis Bush claims to be a retired teacher. But as she proves in this post, she never stopped teaching.

She is teaching us lessons about life and death. How to live, how to face death, how to laugh in the seemingly worst of circumstances, how to love, how to live life to the fullest, how to be an example for all of us.

All of us will die. The question is how. Phyllis shows us how: with courage, humor, and spirit.

Given the national news, this is not a happy time. We are veering close to a constitutional crisis, with a totally unqualified and unhinged man in the presidency. It is hard to be cheerful.

Yet Phyllis Bush reminds us about hope and love, even in the direst of circumstances.

Now I know why her email begins with QBG. I have always wondered. The BFD, I assume, is a reference to her best friend (and spice) Donna.

She is surrounded by love, and she shares the Christmas spirit with all who read her words.

Phyllis Bush, dear friend, founding member of the board of the Network for Public Education, leader of the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education, and great soul, has been writing a blog about her battle with cancer, wiphich she prefers to call “cancer schmanzer.” This is her latest update. I hope that as Phyllis thinks of her many wonderful memories, she enjoys remembering the sustained innovation she received at the last NPE Conference, when Carol Burris announced the establishment of the First Annual Phyllis Bush Award for Grassroots Activism. The entire room, activists from across the nation, jumped to their feet to honor this remarkable, cheerful, resolute, brilliant, and kind warrior.

Open the post to see Phyllis’ wonderful photos and an inspirational quote.

Some of you who follow this blog may wonder what has been happening in my life.
The reason that I have not written is because since I wrote my previous blog cancer schmantzer has delivered a bunch of not so pleasant gut punches that I am still trying to figure out. More pointedly, the month of November seemed like one long, kick in the pants. On November 1st, I ended up in the hospital with a bowel blockage, and then later in the month I spent another week in the hospital with another one. Apparently, a tumor has been causing the blockages.

My care team decided to resolve the issue conservatively because that seemed the
safest option. While being hooked up to PICC lines and IVs is not my idea of a good time,
if my docs thought that was my best option, then I was all in. Since I like to be pro-active,
I asked if they could move my next chemo appointment sooner to shrink the tumor
(if possible) rather than to wait for my next trip to the ER. Whether this will work or not is largely dependent on whether I can gain some of the weight that I lost while being hospitalized, and part is dependent on whether we can keep the tumor at bay.

Trying to sort out what all of this means has been mind-boggling at best. My docs are looking
at all of my options to find the best treatment. My palliative care team is talking me through options so that if those treatments don’t work, my end of life care will consist of my choices about what is acceptable and what isn’t. The week before Thanksgiving, Donna and I spoke with our rector, and he gave us a road map of what my next steps are. Thus, I have been spending a lot of time making end of life decisions, and I have enlisted my family and friends to help me do some of the research so that I can make the best decisions. While this has been emotionally draining and exhausting, the good news is that if I make a miraculous recovery, that would be great. If not, all of this will be done, and I won’t have left Donna and David with the burden of making these decisions.

PHOTO: With Donna at the NPE Conference in Indy in October

Photo: With David on Mothers’ Day

I have always been more than a little introspective, but this has caused me to be even more so. During a discussion with a friend, I remember telling her about the last time that I saw my mother before she died. As my mom and I sat and talked, I asked her if she had any regrets. Even though I knew that she had had her share of heartaches, she simply said this: “No, I have had a good life.”

Remembering her words, for a moment I lost my usual stoicism because I realized that, like her, I have had a good life. That does not mean that I have had a life without heartache and pain, but those things pale in comparison to all of the great stuff that has happened in my life. I have had the privilege of having an amazing family and amazing friends. I have had the privilege of standing up for what I believe. I have lived, loved, laughed, and followed my bliss. What more could I ask?

On my mom’s birthday several months after her death, I decided that David and I needed to commemorate this milestone day. I bought a pink and silver mylar balloon, and we wrote something pithy on it, and along with my friend Judith, we decided to launch the balloon with a few words and a prayer.

When we went out into the front yard, there were too many trees, so we decided that we would go over to the baseball field by the neighborhood middle school, say a few words, and then launch the balloon. So we did. Much to my dismay, as we launched the balloon, it rocketed into the air at warp speed, and then the balloon disappeared. Of course, I was disappointed at this EPIC FAIL!

As we were getting ready to leave the field, we looked up into the clouds overhead, and we saw the reflection of the sun on the balloon, which was blinking brightly like a beacon….and I knew that was my mom, in her own way, telling me everything would be okay….and I knew that it would be.

As I think about those whom I love, I want them to know that everything will be okay. I may not be present physically, but I will be nudging you to do better, to be better, to be kind, to be joyful, and to laugh at yourself and the world around you.

Despite all of the crap sandwiches we get served in this life, this is a wonderful world, and we need to be mindful of our part in making it so.

For those of you who are neither Cubs’ nor baseball fans, I am including this picture of rookie David Bote’s walk off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th during the playoffs. While a grand slam may not be in my playbook, I am hoping for the best but preparing for whatever lies ahead.

Whether it is taking a kid to the zoo or to Zesto for ice cream, whether it is writing a letter to your legislators, whether it is running for office, whether it is supporting your favorite charity, DO IT!

Monday morning quarterbacks are of little use to anyone.

Whatever you do, live your life to the fullest. Once again, do what matters to you.

Jeb Bush, the puppet-master of corporate reform, is convening his annual “summit” of people who support his love of charters and vouchers. The queen of school choice is the superstar of the event: Eva Moskowitz.

Peruse the agenda to see who supports Jeb Bush’s efforts to privatize public education.

The registration fee is $649, enough to keep out the riffraff.

Phyllis Bush reports on the latest turn of events in her battle with cancer.

She’s still winning but it’s not easy and sometimes, in Phyllis’s telling, it has comic moments.

Phyllis is a founder of the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education and a member of the board of the Network for Public Education.

As regular readers know, Phyllis Bush has kept a journal of her battle with cancer. Phyllis is a Resistance fighter in Indiana who founded the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education. She is also a member of the board of the Network for Public Education.

Here is her latest report from the front lines of her medical insurgency.

Phyllis Bush, our leading resistance fighter in Indiana, is battling cancer.

This is her latest update.

She’s a champion and an exemplar of courage.