March 11, 2014


FL: Officials get earful at town hall meeting over toll road plan. Angry residents made their voices heard at a town hall meeting Monday about a proposed toll road in south Pasco. The meeting didn’t start that way, though. Like previous meetings about the road, the first hour consisted of a slide presentation, a series of discussions touching on historical and anticipated growth patterns, and trends in housing, employment and transportation. Then something happened not seen at two previous meetings.

FL: Florida special election offer clues for 2014. Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly are vying to win a special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district, with polls showing a virtual dead heat. . . .A key line of attack has been Jolly’s lobbying work for a conservative organization that wants to privatize Social Security.  MSNBC

NY: Irate Charter School Parents Filing Lawsuits Against De Blasio. Lawsuits are being filed this week over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to move charter school students out of public school space. CBS Local

SD: South Dakota Governor Blasts Iowa Traffic Cameras. Governor Dennis Daugaard South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) is tired of having Sioux City shake down South Dakotans as they pass through Iowa. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Daugaard transportation policy advisor Matt Konenkamp blasted Iowa’s speed trap tactics and offered an amendment to legislation that would prevent photo enforcement companies like Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia and Arizona-based American Traffic Soluions from accessing the South Dakota driver’s license records they need to issue citations. The committee unanimously adopted the recommendation. The

AZ: Divisive Arizona school plan advances. The Arizona Legislature will soon decide whether to dramatically expand the state’s nation-leading efforts to give parents control over where to spend their child’s taxpayer-generated education funds. The state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program was, at the start of this school year, scheduled to disperse $10.2 million to 761 students. If expanded as proposed, the 3-year-old program could within the next five years apply to more than 28,000 students and strip more than $374 million a year from public and charter schools, based on the current average cost. The goal is to eventually expand the program to the state’s more than 1 million public and charter schoolchildren. Opponents of the bills say an expansion on that scale would be a deathblow to public schools.  azcentral

Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education – Diane Ravitch. A few years ago, when I was blogging at Education Week with Deborah Meier, a reader introduced the term FUD. I had never heard of it. It is a marketing technique used in business and politics to harm your competition. The term and its history can be found on Wikipedia. FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The reader said that those who were trying to create a market-based system to replace public education were using FUD to undermine public confidence in public education. They were selling the false narrative that our public schools are obsolete and failing.  Huffington Post