stephanie jones

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Senator Tom Harkin submits a draft to overhaul NCLB – very different from Duncan’s approach

In Education Policy, NCLB on October 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm

From the NY Times:

A senior Senate Democrat released a draft of a sprawling revision of the No Child Left Behind education law on Tuesday that would dismantle the provisions of the law that used standardized test scores in reading and math to label tens of thousands of public schools as failing.

Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg News

Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, at the White House in February.

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The 865-page bill, filed by Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who heads the Senate education committee, became the first comprehensive piece of legislation overhauling the law to reach either Congressional chamber since President George W. Bush signed it in 2002.

Mr. Harkin made his draft bill public 18 days after President Obama announced that he would use executive authority to waive the most onerous provisions of the law, because he had all but given up hope that Congress could fix the law’s flaws any time soon.

Like Mr. Obama’s waiver proposal, the Harkin bill would return to states some powers taken over by Washington under the Bush-era law, including the leeway to devise their own systems for holding schools accountable for student progress.

“We are moving into a partnership mode with states, rather than telling states you’ve got to do this and this and this,” Senator Harkin said in a call with reporters. The bill is a product of more than 10 months of negotiations with his committee’s ranking Republican, Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Mr. Harkin said.

Mr. Harkin’s bill would keep the law’s requirements that states test students in reading and math every year in grades three through eight, and once in high school, and make the scores public.

But for about 9 of every 10 American schools, it would scrap the law’s federal system of accountability, under which schools must raise the proportion of students showing proficiency on the tests each year. That system has driven classroom teaching across the nation for a decade.

States would still face federal oversight for the worst-performing 5 percent of schools, as well as for the 5 percent of schools in each state with the widest achievement gap between minority and white students. Districts in charge of those schools could lose federal financing under the Harkin plan if they failed to raise their student achievement.

“Harkin’s bill would return control to the state departments of education and the local school districts, and they’re the ones that got us into the mess that No Child was designed to fix,” said Grover J. Whitehurst, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who headed the Department of Education’s research wing under President Bush. “Districts and states have not been effective in delivering quality education to children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, so why should we think they’ll be effective this time around?”

Several advocacy groups for minority students and the disabled also criticized Mr. Harkin’s bill, and on similar grounds. By eliminating the law’s central accountability provisions, the bill would represent “a significant step backward,” returning the nation to the years before No Child’s passage, when many states did a slipshod job of promoting student achievement, they said.

Under the Harkin bill, “states would not have to set measurable achievement and progress targets or even graduation rate goals,” six groups including the Education Trust, theChildren’s Defense Fund and the National Council of La Raza, said in a letter to Mr. Harkin on Tuesday. “Congress, parents and taxpayers would have no meaningful mechanism by which to hold schools, districts, or states accountable for improving student outcomes.”

Asked about that criticism, Mr. Harkin said that to round up backing for his bill from Republicans in his committee, he had been forced to make compromises.

“I’d like to have federal targets, but that’s one of the compromises,” he said. “I refuse to allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

The chances of Mr. Harkin’s bill becoming law are murky, even if it were to gain Senate passage and evolve considerably as a result of Republican amendments. He said that he intends to open the bill up for amendments in his committee next week, and to get it to the Senate floor for consideration before Thanksgiving.

In the House, Representative John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who heads the House education committee, is seeking to rewrite parts of the No Child law in a piecemeal process. One of Mr. Kline’s bills, promoting the growth of charter schools, passed the House on Sept. 13, but four others, including one dealing with teacher evaluations, face an uncertain future. The House leadership has appeared unwilling to move toward a full rewriting of the law, which could give Mr. Obama a domestic policy triumph going into an election year.

“If we get a good, bipartisan bill to the floor, that will be instructive to the House in terms of rewriting this legislation,” Mr. Harkin said.

A version of this article appeared in print on October 12, 2011, on page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: Bill Would Overhaul No Child Left Behind.
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End NCLB – don’t try to fix it.

In Education Policy, NCLB, social action, Standing up for Kids on October 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm

The reauthorization of the ESEA is under way, but most of us know this thing called No Child Left Behind is not worth trying to “reform” – it has destroyed children, teachers, administrators, schools, districts, and the integrity of an entire profession and U.S. enterprise (public education) as it openly required that corporations (e.g. testing corporations) take over control of curriculum and assessment in every public school in America. Diane Ravitch writes below about why it should be ended:

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 06:32 AM PDT
Dear Deborah,
Have you been following the evolving story of the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind? I have, and it is disheartening. Instead of ditching this disastrous law, senators are trying to apply patches.
Most people now recognize that NCLB is a train wreck. Its mandates have imposed on American public education an unhealthy obsession with standardized testing.
  • It has incentivized cheating, as we have seen in the well-publicized cheating scandals in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.
  • It has encouraged states to game the system, as we saw in New York state, where the state tests were made easier and more predictable so as to bolster the number of children who reached “proficiency.”
  • It has narrowed the curriculum; many districts and schools have reduced or eliminated time for the arts, physical education, and other non-tested subjects.
  • It has caused states to squander billions of dollars on testing and test preparation, while teachers are laid off and essential services slashed. Now we will squander millions more on test security to detect cheating.

Because of NCLB, more than 80 percent of our nation’s public schools will be labeled “failures” this year. By 2014, on the NCLB timetable of destruction, close to 100 percent of public schools will have “failed” in their efforts to reach the unreachable goal of 100 percent proficiency in reading and math. Has there ever been a national legislative body anywhere else in the world that has passed legislation that labeled almost every one of its schools a failure? I don’t think so.

Despite the manifest failure of NCLB, the Obama administration proposes not to scrap it, but to offer waivers if states agree to accept the mandates selected by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The secretary has a great fondness for teacher evaluation, having decided (in concert with the Gates Foundation) that the key to better education is to tie teachers’ jobs and tenure to their students’ test scores. This, of course, will raise the stakes attached to testing. Mr. Duncan has already used the billions in Race to the Top to bribe states to impose his unproven policies on their schools.
Happily, the latest version of the NCLB reauthorization does not include the teacher evaluation provisions that Mr. Duncan wants. That’s good, but not good enough, because many states are already well down that path, not only the 11 that “won” the Race to the Top, but others that wanted to make themselves eligible. Tennessee was one of the “winners.” NPR did a story about Tennessee’s teacher evaluation program, which explained why the program is so thoroughly disliked by that state’s teachers; see this article, as well.
When, if ever, will policymakers realize that they should find ways to support teachers, not to demoralize them? I just don’t see how it is impossible to “improve” schools without the active engagement of the people who do the daily work of schooling. There is just so much top-down beating-up that can go on before teachers and principals rise up in protest, especially when so many at the top are not educators.
Lawmakers in D.C. and in the state capitals are not competent to decide how to reform schools and how to evaluate teachers. In what other profession would this kind of interference be tolerated?
The federal government does not know how to reform schools. Period. Congress doesn’t, and the U.S. Department of Education doesn’t.
The fundamental role of the federal government should be to advance equality of educational opportunity. That’s a tall order. Congress should revive the commitments made in 1965, when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed: To use federal resources on behalf of the neediest students; to protect the civil rights of students; to conduct research about education; to report on the condition and progress of American education.
So long as Congress tries to breathe life into the moribund NCLB legislation, its members are wasting their time.
Diane

Body Matters in Teacher Education – a Podcast

In critical literacy, discourse, teacher education on October 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

This is a podcast of a research talk I gave at the College of Education, The University of Georgia last week. It offers a small slice of a three-year study I’ve been conducting in teacher education and creating “culturally-relevant” spaces for teacher education students. Three findings from the study seem really relevant to teacher ed and have the potential for making contributions to the field:

1 – “Bodies” in teacher education classrooms are often already ‘good’ at the practices and implicit rules in educational spaces/academic institutions, but not often well positioned to be successful in “spaces” that reward different practices and have different implicit rules. In other words, they understand and orient themselves to the “nomos” (Pierre Bourdieu) of academic spaces, and have difficulty understanding people/students who don’t already have this institutional disposition. If we are to help future teachers better understand the most marginalized groups of students and families – those who often don’t acquire or want to acquire the academic institution disposition/practices, then we have to get those future teachers outside the physical spaces of academic institutions and into spaces (or “fields” – Bourdieu) where completely different practices are necessary, rewarded, and challenging to “new” folks in the field. Riding the city bus, doing community ethnography through participant observation in local recreation and leisure, social service agencies, natural and human resources, etc. are all ways to help expand new teachers’ perspectives of “learning” and orient them toward drawing on community resources and family practices to build meaningful curriculum. Bodies, in other words, cannot be docile in teacher education classrooms where they are “taught” to engage the community and marginalized students’ lives –  they have to experience new spaces in physical, social, psychological, embodied ways.

2 – Many young women across three years of the study (over 100 participants) expressed issues around their bodies (body image, pressures to look a certain way, pressures to eat/exercise in certain ways). While much “teacher education” is now focused on digging into the complex issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, language, etc. to make school a more relevant space for all students, few spaces deal with how all of these “issues” are related to bodies and how bodies are felt, perceived, and performed. Starting with the young women’s concerns around bodies and engaging them with a critically-focused body curriculum (critically analyzing advertisements, watching videos such as “Killing Us Softly,” reading articles about youth dieting, comparing these issues to the “obesity epidemic” hysteria, and analyzing their own bodily experiences on and off college campuses) can lead to engaged discussions and inquiries into the raced body, classed body, gendered body, sexed body, etc. In other words – if bodies are central to the perceptivity project in education (how we perceive others and in turn respond to them), then starting with teacher education bodies could be generative.

**This is the finding that is the focus of the podcast.

3. Tending to one’s own body in analytical ways and working to position oneself more powerfully in language and bodily interactions can help one assemble more confidence in acting as an advocate on behalf of oneself and others. In other words – if we want to help cultivate confident, critical, advocates/activists for future teachers who will stand up for children and families who are persistently marginalized and left behind, we need to work with them in assembling the analytic practices and confidence to do so. Starting with bodies can help us do that.

Papers coming out soon! Several in press and under review, so I’ll post when they’re ready.

Does jotting down a checkmark every 2 minutes all day long every single day for the school year constitute teaching/learning?

In Education Policy, high-stakes tests, kindergarten, NCLB, politics, Standing up for Kids, teacher education, Teaching Work on October 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

This is a terrific piece written by a kindergarten teacher in Michigan, a state that did not receive Race to the Top funds but is implementing all the “assessments” RttT districts would.

I would surely be fired if I was required to do all these things with children. This is, as the teacher-author writes, lunacy.

 

And here’s a response from Deborah Meier:

 

Posted: 20 Oct 2011 07:25 AM PDT
Dear Diane,
I loved Nancy Creech’s piece from Valerie Strauss’s Washington Post blog last summer. Thanks, Diane, for sending it along. It’s a vital reminder as the nation faces a new federal Race to the Top demand: Start testing at age 3. Or else.
Creech’s detailed minute-by-minute counting of what it means to pursue the latest early-childhood “Reform Agenda” is mind-boggling! Thanks, Nancy, for writing it. I’ve done something similar to show the absurdity of most homework policies. Designing, assigning, reading, thinking about, and responding to 20 to 30 students’ homework accounts for a staggering amount of teacher time—if it’s taken seriously and conscientiously. Not to mention that one cannot observe how homework is actually “getting done,” nor who is doing it!
For these reasons we decided, at Central Park East and Mission Hill, on a different approach—certainly for 3- to 7-year-olds. We made an agreement with our children’s families: You don’t tell us what to do during the hours a child is with us, and we won’t tell you what to do during the hours the children are with you. But we can both make suggestions! We promise to take your advice seriously, and we hope you will accept ours in the same spirit. Taking children’s parents seriously as their child’s first teacher requires collaboration not mandates.
Nancy Creech quotes a distinguished educator who says that teaching what one already “knows” is a waste of time. I disagree. We’re constantly re-learning; it’s how things that we have “learned” get consolidated, and sometimes revised. It’s why I found teaching 4- and 5-year-olds so intellectually fascinating—because I was rethinking facts and concepts I thought I “knew,” but had barely scratched the surface of, or had—in fact—misunderstood. My (frequently retold) story about 5-year-old Darryl convincing his peers that rocks were actually alive neatly captures this idea for me. In looking at the concept of living vs. nonliving he naively he picked up on “the wrong” clues. My scientist neighbor noted that he was therefore actually “on the cutting edge of modern science.”
In fact, of course, as with a lot of instruction, just re-teaching something may only entrench the confusion rather than expand understanding. Watching children “in action,” one learns the most about what they “know” (and don’t know). It’s in organizing the environment so that children are driven by curiosity to make sense of the world that they learn to drive themselves. It’s in organizing the environment and then carefully observing each of those 20 children’s response to it and to each other that we learn the vital stuff—the stuff to “teach.”
If we carefully observe children at play we realize how enlightening their ignorance is if viewed respectfully and nonjudgmentally. They grow dumb (silent) when we fail to acknowledge it because it’s our job to correct mistakes.
Jean Piaget had a big influence for a time on American educators. But mostly by giving labels to stages of development. I found, especially after reading Eleanor Duckworth’s The Having of Wonderful Ideas, something more fascinating. She reminded me that we, as adults, all get stuck at an early stage with respect to ideas that either don’t interest us much or where simplistic theories serve our purposes well enough. My amazement, over and over, at the light rays that came directly to me—and only me—across the lake is perfectly natural and obvious and only rarely requires realizing that it’s an “illusion.” That the ray of light is also coming straight across the water to you—standing 100 feet to my right—is absurd. Who cares? But, once you do ….
Teachers have never figured out how to teach more than 10 new words a week—some of which are soon forgotten, but meanwhile children between birth and adolescence actually are learning more than 10 words a day. Some more and some less, but no normal child doesn’t do better teaching themselves, so to speak, than their teachers do. To turn the education of 3- to 7-year-olds into planned, deliberate, step-by-step “instruction” is to retard their intellectual growth.
The whole idea of prepping for standardized tests as a model of teaching/learning goes against not only what is most amazing about human learning, but especially the part that engages us in the work essential to our modern world. To accept, as young children do, the fact of uncertainty, and to tolerate this state of mind, grows increasingly rare as we “grow up.” Asked constantly to choose: a,b,c, or d—Which is the one right answer?—is bound to retard growth even further.
I’m stuck on the form of accountability that says “throw the rascals out.” Democracy in its many forms is the answer to accountability, if practiced close to where we all live, work, and think about the world.
Best,
Deborah
P.S. I have spent some time observing Zucotti Park, and watching it with my kindergarten teacher eyes and ears helps me see how they have hit upon some very novel but powerful educational tools. Spending time there was fascinating. More on that next week—maybe.

Dear “What to become if you suck at school,”

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I can see phrases used for searches that eventually land people on this blog…I’m often surprised by the searches and I find so many of them fascinating.

This one, “What do become if you suck at school” just can’t be ignored.

So – if you’re out there – here goes:

I have no idea how old you are or how much school you must/will still complete – this part of my response assumes you are in school somewhere right now. If you have anyone at all you can reach out to in school (a teacher, counselor, advisor, administrator, coach, professor, etc.), reach out to that person and tell her or him that you have this question about what to become. Tell her/him you think you suck at school, and ask her/him what things can be put in place to help you to be more successful while you are there. Maybe you can become involved in elective courses, different activities, special co-op work activities, service-learning, or something else that will be more interesting to you – and perhaps you will also become more “successful” because what you’re doing will seem more meaningful.

If you have no one at all you can turn to in school, perhaps thinking differently about school might help. For example, while everyone acts like school is the one thing that is the most important part of your life right now, you have a full life awaiting you outside of school. Focus on “becoming” the things you already like to do and be: Do you like video games? Working on cars? Building things? Growing things from seeds? Do you like something so much that you don’t even realize you “like” it because it’s such a part of your life? Like cooking food, fixing broken appliances, making art? Dancing, running, making clothes? Helping people? Working with youngsters? Making videos? What else might your interests be?

Chances are you might be experiencing “school” as some boring, drill-and-kill experience focused on following directions and test-taking that doesn’t allow you to pursue your passions and interests – or to even figure out what those might be. I promise this is not a good representation of what “learning” means when you decide that you are actually interested in learning something and you really go for it. What are you already kinda good at? Would you like to work on that and learn more about it? Then get going on it yourself – and that might mean on your own time outside of school.

Once you get some ideas, start knocking on some doors that seem related to your interests. Go to community agencies (YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, foodbanks, all kinds of places!), art stores, dance studios, computer stores, design businesses, running shoe store, construction business, animal shelter, or any place you imagine might need a “service” you can offer – even for free at first! Get to know people and let them know you. Show them you are interested and motivated – even if it’s a volunteer position – and ask for their advice about developing your skill/craft and yourself.

If you suck at school, it’s also likely that the way school is working just sucks. It’s not supposed to be that way, but sometimes it is. Take your learning and interests and passions into your own hands, and find others to help you.

Become the person who loves her/himself and what he/she can offer to the world. That means not beating yourself up because you think you suck. You have wonderful, amazing things to do – and you might not be able to depend on school to help you get there.

Occupy EDU – The Education version of Occupy Wall Street

In communities, creativity, democracy, economics and economies, Education Policy, high-stakes tests, NCLB, Neoliberalism and Education, social class on October 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Excellent piece here about how Wall Street and trends in corporate America impact public schools, teachers, children, and the institution of public education.

Take a read!

Can Non-Authoritarian Education find a space in Occupy Wall Street?

In institutions, justice, NCLB, Neoliberalism and Education, social action, social class on October 17, 2011 at 12:53 am

Thanks to Teri for sending this along!

With this amazing grassroots movement emerging against corporate power, corporate greed, and economic inequality – where might education find its space within it? If, for example, people in the U.S. are sick and tired of the corporate model of running a society, then people are likely also sick of the corporate model running schools. If that’s the case…what kinds of schools would be responsive to the needs and desires of the people?

Perhaps a non-authoritarian model where children/youth work individually and collectively toward socially responsible ends?

This might be the perfect time to insert educational goals in OWS!

 

 

Teaching “Occupy Wall Street” and Being Class-Sensitive Pedagogues

In class-sensitive teaching, communities, creativity, critical literacy, economics and economies, social class on October 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm

An important way to be class-sensitive in our teaching is to pay attention to current events around issues of social class and poverty and bring them into the classroom.

If you haven’t already started teaching about the movement of Occupy Wall Street – the protest against economic inequality that started in New York City a month ago and has spread across the world – this is an exciting time to be doing so.
This is also a terrific time to reconsider how things such as “Stock Market” and “Monopoly” games are taught and why they have become such a staple in schools over the past thirty years promoting investment in Wall Street and a focus on “profits” without necessarily considering the consequences of high profits on people, community, and natural resources.
Like all things, there are no simple answers to the issues being illuminated in OWS, but they create amazing material for conversation and continued research in schools and classrooms.
Teaching OWS can integrate reading, writing, history, economics, geography, math, citizens’ rights, politics and the influence of money in political races, community rules, etc. and could be used at any grade level with varying levels of sophistication. (For example, early elementary classrooms might roleplay a “General Assembly” from OWS in their classroom to see its benefits and disadvantages in making decisions for the whole group, or PK and Kindergarteners might like to see how OWS is using the “human microphone” and try it during their outdoor activities).
A wikipedia entry for OWS is live and being revised constantly and offers some fun facts about the movement up to this point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street
Happy Teaching!

Occupy Wall Street Continues – Some Comments on Economic Inequality

In democracy, economics and economies, politics, social class, social policy on October 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Occupy Wall Street (now with its own wikipedia entry that is pretty informative) continues and catches fire across the country and the globe. Working people are sick of being trampled on – and privileged people with a conscience are sick of seeing the most economically and socially vulnerable get squashed under unethical policies and practices.

 

The average CEO in America makes about 200 times more than the average workers in their companies.

Some say, “they’ve earned it – they’ve worked hard.”

I say those people must never have worked low-wage jobs and have no idea how “hard” workers work – many much harder than the often isolated, pampered, and (even if stressed out) incredibly privileged highly-paid CEOs.

It wasn’t always like this – in the 1970s, for example, the “gap” in pay between workers and CEOs was much smaller, and guess what? The rate of what economists and others call “social mobility” – that is, the rate at which real people were able to move into more secure and stable economic lives – was much much greater then than it is today in 2011.

In fact, the U.S. has almost zero social mobility today. That means that (most likely) the social class of a child’s parents will also be the social class of the child as an adult. No upward movement is expected.

While CEO salaries are higher than ever and have skyrocketed in the past 30 years to unimaginable rates, real wages for workers have stagnated and even fallen. That means the average male wage worker in the 1970’s is essentially making less money today than he made back in the good ol’ days. (My mom tells me this all the time – that she lived a much higher quality of life because of her wages in the 70s than she can today. She’s a working-class gal who worked in many different working-class jobs my entire life. She is a living economic barometer and is making less today than she did in the 70s).

How did this happen?

A simplified answer might go something like this:

1. “Trickle Down Economics” (Reagan, Thatcher, etc.) came into play. That is, keep as much money as possible in the pockets of the wealthy and they will support the economy through their spending and create more jobs – it will “trickle down” to the poor suckers at the bottom. These economic decisions essentially created Class Warfare in the 70s (apparently some folks weren’t so happy about the “social mobility” happening with more equitable treatment and pay that resulted from the Civil Rights movement). It was Class Warfare – get the money back into the hands of the nation’s richest and let them decide what to do with the economy and the fate of the common folks. The nation’s wealthiest 1% were fighting against everyone one else – and they won.

2. The emphasis on stock prices on Wall Street exploded. Fewer companies offered “pension plans” and more companies offered middle-class folks the “wonderful opportunity” to take some of the money that would have gone into a pension plan and make their “own investment decisions in the stock market.” Brilliant, right? Now the top 1% wouldn’t be the only Americans concerned about stock market prices, but millions of middle-class folks (who don’t usually know enough about the stock market to be making these kinds of decisions, and who don’t usually have enough money to be playing such high-stakes gambling games with what they do have) will want higher stock prices too.

3. Higher stock prices mean higher profits for corporations which means lower costs which means fewer and lower paid workers. (And higher salaries for CEOs who prove they can make this happen).

4. And, higher stock prices mean higher profits for corporations which means locating more and more unexplored “markets” which means for-profit corporations moving aggressively into foreign markets and often crush local small businesses that are more sustainable, treat their workers better, and care more about the local community.

5. And, higher stock prices mean an eventual “saturation” of all possible markets where there is no more possible “growth” outside so the profits have to be buttressed by inside cuts. Again, fewer and lower wage jobs (and higher salaries for CEOs who prove they can do this).

6. So then average joes (on the losing end of Class Warfare) find themselves stressing out over their stock investments just as they lose their own jobs because corporations are doing what they can do increase their profits.

7. NAFTA and other free trade agreements have exacerbated the process listed above.

8. Working wages are then at best stagnant, at worst lower or non-existent.

9. The top 1% not only increases their salaries exponentially, but benefits exponentially from increased stock prices in their companies and in companies they invest their personal retirement in.

10. When repeated over and over again – you see where this has landed us and where it might go from here if something isn’t done.

11. During this whole time (70s until now) this increase in expecting individuals to take care of themselves (re: moving from collective pensions to individual investment options with 401k, etc.) and a focus on “autonomy” and “privatization,” has also decimated policies and practices put in place for the common good: state welfare for low income families, public education that can support social mobility, foodstamp programs, and many other programs that serve as safety nets for the most vulnerable. If the mantra in the Civil Rights Movement was one of collectivity and “we are in this together,” the mantra today is, “everyone for him or herself.” And it only benefits the top 1% of our country.

 

Occupy Wall Street…

In economics and economies, justice, politics, poverty on October 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

20 days and counting…

It’s about time we start talking about “economic equality” in this country. Want to call it class warfare? Fine. 99 to 1 ain’t bad odds.

Great article and video from Democracy Now!

 

and more…talks from union leaders at the march.

 

I’d recommend clicking on all the videos posted on Democracy Now.

Including this one – criticizing CNN reporter for diminishing the protest and using sarcasm to infantilize protestors. Nice one, CNN, as if thousands of people across the country engaging in “occupy wall street” isn’t enough to say that massive amounts of people are sick of the greed, sick of the poverty, sick of the joblessness, and sick of the top 1% of our population living extreme-luxury lives on the backs of working people. Who cares if the “bank bailout” actually made money for taxpayers? This isn’t about abstract taxpayers – this is about people who can’t provide for themselves in the world’s wealthiest nation. As Naomi Klein says, “we have a crisis of distribution”  –  and yes, CNN, it is a crisis regardless of the way you might use trickery to fool individual protestors into feeling ignorant. This is exactly part of the ongoing problem – a long history of the winners in hyper/neoliberal capitalism convincing the majority of the population they are ignorant and should have no say in distribution.

Go protestors!

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