Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sign petition to support fair cost of living adjustment for retired teachers

No raise in almost ten years for retirees?  How would you feel?

Demand a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the Saint Louis City Education Retirees. 


MRTA is initiating and promoting a petition campaign in Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County asking for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the Saint Louis City Education Retirees. 

The Saint Louis City retirees have not received a COLA since 2006 and have lost 25% of their buying power. It is getting difficult for them to make ends meet. This is an issue of respect for their years of public service and of fairness as most education retirees in Missouri have an automatic COLA written in Missouri Statutes. 

 Our goal is 5,000 signatures or more by December 1, 2015. Our purpose is to compel our elected officials of the General Assembly to use their influence or to introduce legislation to remedy this injustice. 

We also want to compel the Saint Louis State Appointed School Board, and the Board of Trustees of the PSRS of Saint Louis City to remedy this injustice. Signatures are best. Supporters may sign the petition online: http://missouriretiredteachers.org/st-louis-city-education-retirees-petition-for-respect-and-fairness/ 

 THE WORLD IS RUN BY THOSE WHO SHOW UP!!! It is up to you. MRTA's strength comes from membership. Thank you for being a member. IF NOT, join MRTA today by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Must See Movie: "This Changes Everything" Fri Nov 13 6:30 PM U City Library

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

As part of New Economy Week, join MORE in watching "This Changes Everything" at the UCity Public Library. A short discussion will follow to both recognize St. Louis as a frontline community in our current climate and economic crisises and introduce the PowerBehindThePolice.comframework as an approach to local collective action. 

Free admission. Refreshments provided. 

For more information about the week visit

Monday, November 2, 2015

Corporate CEOs give selves pat on the back for disenfranchising people of St. Louis

I think accreditation has always been a political instrument that reflects only in a very oblique way the quality of what might be happening in SLPS.   Accreditation was taken away for a political reason (to appoint the SAB).  Provisional accreditation was returned for a political reason (to stop the flood of transfer demands and lawsuits that would have followed Turner v. Clayton).  The possibility of accreditation returning is equally political (to justify the dismantling of democratic process and the corporate and mayor-led takeover of the district to promote charters, real estate development deals and other private interests).

We can never really know what accreditation means until there is much more transparency in these processes of evaluation and decision-making.  And, since the takeover was meant as much to shut out the public as anything else, we cannot expect much transparency going forward.

Here's a new note, coming from Susan Turk, regarding the editorial written by Civic Progress and the Regional Business Chamber, St. Louis' two leading capitalist self-interest groups (whose kids definitely do not attend SLPS):

St. Louis Schools Watch

Civic Progress’s Ambition

By Susan Turk

November 2, 2015—St. Louis--The following letter to the editor appeared in the Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 Post-Dispatch.

SLPS making progress thanks to superintendent, Special Administrative Board
"We were pleased to read the St. Louis Public Schools' announcement that they have earned enough points to qualify for full accreditation. The progress SLPS has made shows that when a community comes together, we make progress that matters. And, having strong schools is a critical part of our region’s capacity to attract companies that invest in St. Louis.We applaud Superintendent Kelvin Adams, the Special Administrative Board and the entire SLPS team for their achievement. Superintendent Adams has proven what he has been quietly saying since he joined the SLPS in 2008 — that positive change is possible if adults stay focused on the needs of students. His team, working with parents, students, teachers and a wide range of other stakeholders, has addressed the district's most difficult challenges using a data-driven model to develop plans and track progress.Without the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education creating the Special Administrative Board, this accomplishment would not have been possible. Stability, commitment and leadership by Rick Sullivan, Richard Gaines and Melanie Adams are valuable beyond measure. Appointed in 2007, these leaders are unwavering in their determination to improve outcomes for all SLPS students. The region owes them a debt of gratitude for helping the district qualify for full accreditation for the first time in 15 years.  DESE needs to support this effort by leaving the SAB in place.As Superintendent Adams always says, full accreditation is not the goal — it's a milestone in a much longer journey. The work of Adams, his team and the SAB is a model for transforming a failing urban district into one that embodies best practices for high student achievement."
George Paz  •  St. Louis CountyCEO, Express Scripts
Anthony R. Tersigni  •  ClaytonCEO, Ascension

Its authors are Civic Progress President George Paz and Regional Business Council Chairman Anthony Tersigni. Their gauntlet has been cast down.  We now know what their plans for future governance of the SLPS.  No democracy. We know the mayor’s plan.  Limited democracy.
What is your plan?
Please write letters to the editor of the Post and let them know.  Letters can be submitted to letters@post-dispatch.com.
And please sign the petition to return the elected board of education to power at http://wordpress.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=febf37d8c53a262d3cca40d04&id=7a7325e7fb&e=3fe73d6d79
Susan Turk

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Are We Winning? | Jacobin: Testing and the Corporate Education Agenda

Are We Winning? | Jacobin

The Obama administration’s new rhetoric on testing shows the tide may be turning against corporate education reformers.