Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mother of Girl Berated in Video Assails Success Academy’s Response

Mother of Girl Berated in Video Assails Success Academy’s Response

A thoughtful exploration of a teacher's outburst, a school's (corporate-style damage control response) a mother's dilemma, and the limits of charters.

Monday, February 15, 2016

West Lake story: An underground fire, radioactive waste, and the legacies of nuclear militarization, from Congo to Mallinkrodt to West Lake

West Lake story: An underground fire, radioactive waste, and governmental failure

Robert Alvarez - Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

On July 16, 1973, 28 years to the day after the first nuclear weapon was exploded at Alamogordo, New Mexico, a line of dump trucks containing the detritus from the uranium used to make plutonium for the test bomb showed up at the West Lake landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri. Assuming the trucks were loaded with clean fill, the landfill superintendent waved them through without charging a dumping fee. A truck driver said later that he and others used the black stuff in their home gardens. By October several thousand shipments were illegally dumped at the landfill in north St…. READ the article here.

Dismantling Democracy, the Missouri Board of Education (DESE) and the state takeover. Extension of SAB control will be discussed tomorrow.

DESE agenda for tomorrow, February 16, 2016: http://dese.mo.gov/state-board-education/agendas-minutes/february-2016-agenda

The State Takeover has yielded practically nothing in the way of broad-based improvement.  It has largely paved the way for more charters, private real-estate deals with public property, and the further squeezing of teachers - both those currently working and those retirees who are watching their pension funds be squandered away in high management fees to hedge funds and the like.  The corporate class furthers its assault on the public, and on democracy, by these kinds of mechanisms (state takeover).  Instead of bringing more parents into SLPS and engaging them in the system, the process has further marginalized parents.  Below, Susan Turk outlines the current moment.

Read on below for how to contact the State Board.

St. Louis Schools Watch
By Susan Turk
February 13, 2016

DESE Recommending 3 More years of SAB
On the agenda for the February 16, 2016 MO state Board of Education meeting is the following recommendation.
“After thorough review of the district’s governance, leadership and student performance, the Department has determined that it is necessary for the transitional district to continue to accomplish the statutory mandate. Pursuant to Section 162.1100 (12), the Department recommends the Transitional School District of St. Louis be authorized to continue operations through June 30, 2019. “
That means 3 more years of SAB governance of the SLPS.  There had been speculation that the DESE would recommend a transitional hybrid board that would circumvent the siting elected board of education and gradually replace it over a 5 year period with a new elected board.  The DESE apparently rejected the idea of a hybrid in favor of retaining the SAB.  After 8 years during which there has been no discernable improvement in academic achievement in the district the DESE persists in justifying the unjustifiable.
When the recommended renewing the SAB for another term in 2014, then DESE Commissioner Nicastro was asked by state board members how the St. Louis community felt of continuing the SAB.  She reported there was no evidence of opposition in the community to their renewal.
Please, do not give them that excuse this time.  They meet Tuesday.  Please use the following contact information to inform DESE Commissioner Vandeven and the state board members that 8 years is enough.  Ask them to reject this recommendation and return the elected board of education to authority over the SLPS. And please share this information with your PTOs, friends and relatives.  The state board should hear from thousands of us by email or phone before Tuesday morning. Make sure your voice is heard!


State Board

These are personal email addresses which were good July 2015
or joe.driskill@leonardwoodinstitute.org
vicshar@swbell.net   for Dr. Lenz

none for Maynard Wallace

also try

Joe Driskill
Charlie Shields
Russell C. Still
John A. Martin

O. Victor Lenz, Ph.D.
Michael Jones