January 15, 2015


How to Survive and Prevail in This Era of Greed and Privatization. Do any of the billionaires pushing this market-based ideology ever stop to wonder why none of the top-performing school systems in the world have the kind of school choice that they are promoting for the U.S.? Has it occurred to them that the nations they admire–those with the highest test scores–have strong public school systems with well-prepared teachers, but no vouchers and no charters? DianeRavitch,net

How Campbell Brown Became the Most Controversial Woman in school reform. . . . .Over the past few years, she’s transformed herself from a TV journalist to a hero reformer for the teacher-tenure-busting crowd, a spinoff of the charter-school-and-make-education-a-business crowd. New York Magazine

VA: New regs eyed for Va. public-private transportation projects. McAuliffe and Delegate S. Chris Jones proposed legislation Tuesday that they say would increase transparency and reduce risks for the state on public-private partnership deals…. Last year, McAuliffe shut down predecessor Bob McDonnell’s bid to build a $1.4 billion toll road along U.S. 460 before any work had begun. The state paid $300 million on the project before any dirt was moved or any environmental permits were obtained. WAVY-TV

WI: Superintendent: Proposed bill could privatize half of Milwaukee Public Schools. . . “It would dismantle the traditional public schools system as we know it,” MPS superintendent Darienne Driver told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. In a hearing room crowded with educators, lawmakers fired questions and criticism at Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond Du Lac) for two hours. He is the author of the School Accountability Bill. Rep. Christine Sinicki asked, “does this open the door whatsoever to for-profit or private companies coming in?” “I suppose it does,” Thiesfeldt responded. TMJ4

LA: State Senator Wants Audit Of Contract To Privatize Terrell Psychiatric Hospital. An East Texas state Senator has asked for an audit of a tentative contract that granted a private Tennessee company operating power of a psychiatric hospital in Terrell. As The Texas Tribune reports, Sen. Robert Nichols, R–Jacksonville, formally raised the question after the Texas Health and Human Services Commission suspended a $110 million contract after it was found that a staffer awarded the deal without a formal bidding process. D Healthcare Daily

IN: Big bonuses expected for Toll Road employees. The Toll Road operator is in the process of filing for bankruptcy, but it may soon be giving 16% of its employees $747,750 in retention bonuses. As part of a ‘Valued Employee Program,’ 38 employees may receive bonuses if they stay with the company for the next ten months. If approved on Thursday one employee will be scheduled to receive $94,588. That is the single largest bonus, the smallest is $7,600, and the average is $19,678. WSBT-TV