October 10, 2013


Why the ‘GREAT Teachers and Principals Act’ is not great. During the last few years, The New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF), a major private funder of K-12 charter schools, has been intensely involved in creating and promoting a bill (the GREAT Act) in the U.S. Congress. This bill, if passed, would lead to the establishment of teacher and principal preparation programs that would not be subject to the same level of accountability as other state-approved programs. The bill is a part of a broader movement to disrupt the current system of college and university teacher education and replace it with deregulation, competition, and a market economy. Washington Post

Why I Stopped Writing Recommendation Letters for Teach for America….But in exchange for this social capital, our students have to take part in essentially privatizing public schools. The simple fact is that students who apply to TFA are not trained to be teachers. So by refusing to write TFA letters of recommendation, we’re merely telling our students that we can’t recommend them for a job they’re not qualified for. An increasing amount of research shows that TFA recruits perform at best no better, and often worse, than their trained and certified counterparts. What’s more, they tend to leave after just a few years in the classroom. Slate Magazine

ID: Otter on liquor privatization: ‘Not as long as I’m governor’…. Otter talked about how Idaho liquor stores have profited from cross-border sales since Washington’s move, because of price differences as that state saw liquor prices rise. “Some of these other states … are dealing themselves a bad hand because they try hard to be progressive,” Otter said. “Not as long as I’m governor – that ain’t gonna change.” His comment drew a quick burst of applause and laughter from the group, which represents bar operators. The Spokesman Review

ID: Edit: Prison Privatization Odor Lingers. Now that the Idaho Board of Correction need no longer look after Corrections Corp. of America, perhaps it can begin taking better care of you. More than three months ago, that board – and by extension, Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter – yanked CCA’s $29 million contract to manage the violence-plagued Idaho Correctional Center outside Boise. But while correction board Chairwoman Robin Sandy was willing to consider a new bid from CCA and its competitors, she forbade the Idaho Department of Correction from submitting its own proposal to run the state-owned prison. The Spokesman Review

IL: City may privatize free mammogram program. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considering privatization of a city program providing free mammograms to uninsured women after the Public Health Department allegedly mismanaged the effort badly enough that the state yanked its funding. Chicago Tribune

OK: Rep. Brown: Privatization could destroy healthy state pension plan. Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, said his colleagues would rather give credits away to natural gas and oil companies than fund the state’s liabilities, like retirement. “It’s our responsibility to pay our part of these retirement systems,” said Brown. “But since the state is the holder of the policies, we’ve pushed it back and underfunded it.”…. “To say the sky is falling without privatization [and we don’t have the funds for retirement] is ridiculous,” said Brown. “If we leave the current system alone and allow it to travel the path it’s already on, in 22 years it will be paid out, and that’s the worst-case scenario. To scare everyone [into thinking the funds are dwindling immediately] is ludicrous.” Brown said during the upcoming session, Oklahomans will see a heavy push by legislators to privatize the system, resulting in much higher fees to be paid by employees. Tahlequah Daily Press