Who’s Who In Politics

Black, White, male, female, Democrat or Republican, it is becoming increasingly evident that corporate influences have invaded the hearts and minds of our politicians through collusive legislative decision making.

Clinton, Bush, Obama, we are told, all played a part in the destruction of public education. Comparisons are made between the education policies of Trump and Cuomo yet Americans are still reluctant to break away from their political party affiliations for fear of something they cannot fathom, the responsibility of being a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

We, the people, have for so long relegated our responsibilities for self governance that our complacency has resulted in our enslavement to a system of government that works for the economy of the wealthy, not for the people by whom they were elected.

Social programs that we are told benefit the poor only serve to maintain poverty. The “middle class”, we are told, must be grown in order to secure the blessings of liberty when in fact, in America, we fought to gain our independence from classism in the belief that “all men are created equal”.

We cannot fault the politicians for taking advantage of the ignorance our system of education has promoted for over a century, they were taught in that same system. A system of education that promotes the standardization that appalled us during the Hitler regime. A system of education that places economics above humanity. A system that classifies our disabilities and ignores our abilities.

We are no longer a democracy, a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through the representation of those we elect, we are an aristocracy, governed by the elitist who pay to have their will be done.

Until we change our system of education to one that is truly free and public, one that is developmentally appropriate and concentrated on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children, who’s who in politics won’t matter, the result will be the same.

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Education Is The Great Equilizer Not Money

Research has proven that there are negative effects to being raised in poverty. Research has also proven that there are negative effects to being raised in affluence.

By concentrating on financial poverty as being a major deterrent in the education of children we are ignoring the fact that this country was born and raised in poverty by those who came here to escape the impoverished conditions of their native lands.

We concentrate so much on the financial poverty of Americans that we have eradicated the spirit of hope and the work ethic that is necessary to overcome financial poverty. We have created a poverty of strength of character and work ethic that is more detrimental to our children than financial poverty has ever been.

Financial poverty was the catalyst that caused the slaves and indentured servants to rise up out of their condition and fight for a better world for themselves and their children.

It was the realization that their old world was unfair and unjust that caused the leaders of our new country to craft the language of our government so as to make financial prowess inconsequential in the sight of the human rights we all possess.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson.

It was the intent of public education to give the people the knowledge necessary to govern themselves. We must educate our children to lead not greed.

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The Lines Are Clear – No Need To Read Between Them

This message was sent from Governor Cuomo’s Office:

“Every New York student deserves access to a quality education — period.

Yet right now too many of our young people are denied the college education they need to get ahead in today’s economy because of their family’s income.

Governor Cuomo has a bold plan to change that: The Excelsior Scholarship.
The new initiative will provide tuition free college at state and city universities and community colleges to students from middle class families making less than $125,000. These students deserve the chance to pursue their dreams of a higher education without the crushing lifetime burden of debt.”

It is clear from this communique that Governor Cuomo is solely interested in supporting the needs of the voting “middle class” without attending to the needs of the “lower class.”

In an article for the Huffington Post by Rebecca Klein titled, This Is How Much Money Advocates Say New York State Owes Public Schools, she states, “. . . the state created a new school-funding formula, increasing money to disadvantaged districts. The governor at the time, Eliot Spitzer, pledged billions in additional funds over the next few years . . .

. . . after Spitzer resigned and the economic crisis hit, state aid was scaled back.

. . . advocacy groups have been saying the state is shirking its obligation to local schools. According to the new website, the groups figure the state owes New York public schools $4.3 billion, including $1.9 billion to New York City.

. . . Jamaica Miles, a parent from Schenectady who advocates more school funding, said her two kids’ schools are shortchanged by lack of money. Her children attend schools in Schenectady City School District, where classrooms are crowded and students have to share textbooks. A quick search on the new website, WhatIsMySchoolOwed.com, calculates that Schenectady High School is owed more than $14 million.”

Governor Cuomo has no problem supporting the college tuition costs of “middle class” families but refuses to adequately fund elementary and secondary public schools in high poverty areas of the state.

Not every New York student has access to a quality education, only those who can afford it do.

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The Truth In Plain English

The Federal Register:

Applications for New Awards; Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program

Purpose of Program: The DHSI Program provides grants to assist Hispanic Serving Institutions to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. DHSI Program grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, faculty quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and help large numbers of Hispanic students and low-income individuals complete postsecondary degrees.

Background: Hispanic students are enrolling in postsecondary institutions at higher rates than ever before; however, we continue to lose a substantial number of Hispanic students prior to degree completion. Additionally, while Hispanic students have very high enrollments at 2-year institutions, the transfer rate to 4-year institutions, as well as the rate of certificate and associate degree completion, continues to be low.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $107,795,000 for awards for the DHSI program for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an estimated $11,500,000 for this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$750,000.
Maximum Awards:
Individual Development Grants: $550,000.
Cooperative Arrangement Grants: $750,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 20.

In her research paper, Why Latino American Community College Students Drop Out After One Semester, Rosa Delia Smith of Walden University found “. . . many obstacles—the demand of family responsibilities, lack of English fluency, poor preparation in secondary schools, a less welcoming institutional culture, and the need for financial assistance—are faced by Latino college students when attempting to complete a college degree.”

Academic offerings, program quality, faculty quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities have nothing to do with the failure of Hispanic students to complete their college education.

The federal government has set aside nearly $108 million dollars for Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions instead of addressing the fact that Hispanic students are being underserved in secondary education. Instead of using that $108 million dollars to properly prepare Hispanic students for entering college and completing their degree programs, educational dollars are spent serving the colleges that will receive these students knowing they were not adequately prepared in high school.

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Our Time Is Now

Civil: Relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, courteous and polite.

Civilized: A stage of social, cultural, and moral development considered to be more advanced, polite and well-mannered.

Civilization: The stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced, the process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social development and organization, the society, culture, and way of life of a particular area.

In Brittney Cooper’s twelve and a half minute TED Talk: The racial politics of time, she brings to the audience a perspective of time that generally goes unnoticed. She tells her listener’s that it was one hundred years between the end of the Civil War and the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

It has been fifty years from the passing of the Civil Rights Act until now.

It is because we are failing to properly educate our children that we are not civil, we do no live in a civilized country, and our civilization is in a state of regression.

For the past fifty years education has sought to produce workers for an uncivilized system of economics that reduces humanity to a dollar value neglecting the concerns of ordinary people, exchanging courteous and polite behaviors for rude and disrespectful attitudes.

Our children are no longer polite and well-mannered as our moral development has devolved into a state of narcissism while our way of life has become disorganized and socially egregious.

Public education was to equip children with the skills necessary to live together in their community and make changes to society to the benefit of everyone in our society.

That is not what our current system of education has accomplished.

We live in an uncivilized society that equates the things a person owns with the power a person commands. Righteousness, respect, integrity are no longer valued in a society that lies, cheats, and steals to gain more money to buy more things to maintain the illusion of power.

It is time to civilize education so that we may become a civilized nation.

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Education Is A Human Right Not A Privilege

On February 16, 2016 the Tavis Smiley show hosted former Assistant Secretary of Education and current president of The Network For Public Education Diane Ravitch.

Below are quotes from the Tavis Smiley interview with Diane Ravitch.

Diane Ravitch:

“Standardized testing is the way of the privileged to maintain their privilege.”

“I want to be part of a new vision of education where we look at every child and say, “You have potential that we don’t even recognize and we’re gonna help you find that potential.”

“We’re not helping children by labeling them.”

Tavis Smiley, “Why in this country is education not a human right?” He noted that Jessie Jackson advocated for, “a Constitutional amendment that would guarantee every child in this country access to an equal high quality education.”

Diane Ravitch:

“It should be.”

“Education is the most important investment we can make in the future of this society. . . We’re a multicultural society, we have to educate all children we can’t just educate the privileged children.”

“The investment in brain power, the investment in thinking skills, critical thinking skills, that has to be spread across the spectrum to all children.”

“Every child deserves to have a high quality school within reach of them. They shouldn’t have to say well we’re going to close your neighborhood school, there’s a good school an hour away but you don’t have transportation to get there. That’s no choice at all.”

One of the leading and most notable advocates for education states categorically that education is a right that must be Constitutionally guaranteed.

She states that our children, all of our children, must receive an excellent education in their own neighborhoods, not bused to suburban schools.

She believes that every child has potential, gifts and talents, that go unrecognized in our current system of education.

Diane Ravitch believes in a system of education that trusts teachers to discover, develop, and direct the gifts and talents of our children towards becoming knowledgeable, respectful, responsible citizens who know and understand that education is not a commodity but a necessity, a public responsibility.

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Spend To Educate Not Remediate

The Federal Register:

Application for New Awards; National Professional Development Program

Purpose of Program: The National Professional Development program, authorized by section 3131(c)(1)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, awards grants on a competitive basis, for a period of not more than five years, to institutions of higher education or public or private entities with relevant experience and capacity, in consortia with State educational agencies or local educational agencies.

The purpose of these grants is to provide professional development activities that will improve classroom instruction for English learners and assist educational personnel working with such children to meet high professional standards, including standards for certification and licensure as teachers who work in language instruction educational programs or serve ELs.

Estimated Available Funds: The Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017, would provide, on an annualized basis, $735,998,203, of which we intend to use an estimated $20,000,000 for this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $350,000-550,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $450,000.
Maximum Award: $550,000 per year.
Estimated Number of Awards: 44.

Applications for New Awards; Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Purpose of Program: The McNair Program awards discretionary grants to institutions of higher education for projects designed to provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $900,000,000 for the Federal TRIO Programs for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an estimated $40,000,000 for McNair awards.

Estimated Range of Awards: $226,600 to $378,783.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $243,589.

Our federal government is asking us to approve the spending of $60 million dollars to teach teachers how to teach and prepare disadvantaged college students for doctoral college courses.

When we provide every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, respectful, actively engaged citizens of these United States, it will not be necessary to spend educational tax dollars on professional development for individuals who have already received their college education or on preparing individuals to receive their doctoral degrees.

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