Isabel Rose and Her Daughter Sadie

Earlier today, I posted the letter that Isabel Rose wrote to Ivanka Trump about her transgender daughter. It is a powerful and moving letter. It has gone viral. It has been reprinted in many places and today appeared in Harper’s Bazaar with photographs of Isabel, Sadie, her husband Jeff, and her other daughter Lily.

What a wonderful testament to a family’s love!

from sarah

Glen Ford: DeVos, Trump, Booker, Obama: Enemies of Public Education

I am reposting this because I forgot to put in the link. Please listen. It is a lecture so you can listen while driving. I knew the late Michael Joyce of the Bradley Foundation, a very rightwing foundation, and I can confirm that he knowingly manipulated black leaders in Wisconsin to get vouchers passed.

Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report, is a fierce critic of corporate education reform. He is equally hard on Democrats and Republicans who have sold out their schools to satisfy rightwing foundations and Wall Street.

In this post, he lacerates DeVos, Trump, Booker, and Obama
as enemies of public schools, who sold out their community schools to satisfy their funders or (in DeVos’s case) personal ideology.

Here is an excerpt:

“Sometimes, when ruling class competitors collide, the villainy of both factions is made manifest. Donald Trump did the nation’s public schools a great service by nominating Betsy DeVos, the awesomely loathsome billionaire Amway heiress, for secretary of Education. In turning over that rock, Trump exposed the raw corruption and venality at the core of the charter school privatization juggernaut. Only an historic tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence saved DeVos from rejection by the U.S. Senate. Two Republicans abandoned their party’s nominee, joining a solid bloc of Democrats, including New Jersey’s Cory Booker, a school privatizer that crawled out of the same ideological sewer as DeVos and has long been her comrade and ally. Booker defected from his soul mate in fear that the DeVos stench might taint his own presidential ambitions.

“The New York Times editorial board, a champion of charters, bemoaned that DeVos’ “appointment squanders an opportunity to advance public education research, experimentation and standards, to objectively compare traditional public school, charter school and voucher models in search of better options for public school students” – a devious way of saying that the Senate hearings exposed the slimy underbelly of the charter privatization project and the billionaires of both parties that have guided and sustained it.”

from sarah

Good News: A Group of Progressive Thinkers Has Joined a “Shadow Cabinet” to Debunk Trump Errors

A group of former government officials, scholars, and activists have joined together to act as an informal “Shadow Cabinet,” for the express purpose of exposing and debunking Trump’s errors, mistaken policies, and alternative facts.

I am pleased to share with you that I was invited to be the Shadow Secretary of Education.

Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School is the Shadow Attorney General.

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Laor, is the Shadow Secretary of Labor.

Laura D. Tyson, former head of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, will be the cabinet member for treasury and trade.

To learn about the other members, follow @ShadowingTrump on Twitter.

Shadow Attorney General Tribe tweeted this morning: “Trump’s silence on Kansas or any other white supremacist attack speaks louder than his tweets.”

For more, follow @ShadowingTrump

from sarah

Staff at Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Question Her Support for DeVos and Trump

Politico wrote about a letter that the staff at Success Academy charter schools wrote to their peerless leader Eva Moskowitz, complaining about her open support for Trump and DeVos, although she publicly claimed to have voted for Clinton.

Unfortunately the article does not contain a link to the letter. If you have a copy, send it to me by email or post it here.

Moskowitz says she can’t speak out on political issues, such as the roundup of undocumented persons (which might include some of her students and their parents), but as the article points out, Moskowitz is never shy to speak out on political issues that involve self-aggrandizement.

A group of Success faculty members recently wrote Moskowitz a letter outlining their concerns about her ties to DeVos and Trump, and her silence on Trump policies that impact Success students, particularly the executive order on immigration and new deportation guidelines.

Moskowitz responded in a lengthy letter this week, writing, “I … need to consider whether it is appropriate for me to use my position as the leader of a collection of public schools paid for with government funds to advocate politically.”

A copy of the letter was obtained by POLITICO New York.

It’s an entirely new argument from Moskowitz, who has emerged as one of the most politically potent forces in national education reform over the last several years.

At home, she has been one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s most vociferous critics, and has convened dozens of rallies and press conferences over the past three years to attack his stance on charters. Moskowitz has shut dozens of her schools for the rallies, busing thousands of children to Albany to rally for charter causes, and has asked parents to take the day off from work to attend the events. One rally, in March 2014, cost the network at least $734,000, according to a POLITICO New York analysis. She has deep ties to local lawmakers and helped influence the passage of a sweeping pro-charter bill through the New York State Legislature in 2013.

Moskowitz has testified in favor of charter schools during congressional hearings and is a regular attendee at Sun Valley, an annual private conference of the world’s top CEOs and financiers. A former city councilwoman, she has long considered running for mayor.

As the article points out, Moskowitz has been a vocal defender of DeVos and criticized those who challenged her qualifications. These were political statements.

Apparently, defending her students against Trump’s executive orders is too “political” for Moskowitz, but defending Trump and DeVos plans to hand out more money for charters is not political.

from sarah

Nine and Half Years in Prison for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Mortgage Fraud Blog.

Alla Samchuk, 45, Roseville, California, was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme and obstruction of justice. A federal jury returned a verdict in August 2016 finding her guilty of six counts of bank fraud, six counts of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count […]

The post Nine and Half Years in Prison for Mortgage Fraud Scheme appeared first on Mortgage Fraud Blog.

from sarah

Mercedes Schneider: Betsy DeVos Will Use D.C. Power to Force Vouchers Down Your Throat

Here is a paradox. Congress wrote a new law called “Every Student Succeeds Act,” late in 2015, loaded with limits on the power of the Secretary of Education. Both parties were fed up with Arne Duncan’s overweening reach into every school in the nation, going far beyond what Congress intended. Perhaps they knew that all the boasting about his great successes was empty, as a recent evaluation proved.

But along comes Betsy DeVos, never having ever attended or worked in a public school, and knowing nothing of federal policy or federal programs, who has decided to impose her personal ideology on the schools of America. She knows nothing of evidence, and when it flatly contradicts her ideology, she ignores it. This is the definition of a closed mind.

DeVos wants vouchers. The research says that vouchers haven’t improved student test scores.

Mercedes Schneider says we will learn the details later, stuff like the cost. DeVos claims that every child will be able to attend the same quality school as the most affluent but she knows that no voucher will be large enough to put every student (any student) into an elite private school, that such schools don’t have empty seats, nor do they want the kids with disabilities and a host of other issues. She is peddling empty promises. Does she know it? Does she believe what she is saying?

What we do know is that DeVos’s personal desire to bust up public schools and use federal funds for vouchers has been tried for 25 years without any evidence of success. Indeed, there is a growing body of research showing that children who use vouchers may actually lose ground compared to students in public schools. If vouchers were the solution, as she insists, we would be looking now to Milwaukee and Cleveland as the lodestars of American education. Sadly, they are not. Milwaukee has had vouchers since 1990, Cleveland since 1995. Researchers pore through data looking for the promised gains. They can’t find them.

Why is Congress allowing Trump and DeVos to foist their failed ideas on public schools? If NASA were run like the U.S. Department of Education, every space mission would explode on launch.

When will they learn? Schools need well-prepared, certified educators who are able to do their work as professionals, unencumbered by the petty whims and interventions of politicians. Students need healthcare, food security, and the basic essentials of life. Students and teachers need reasonable class sizes and adequate resources. What they don’t need is disruption and the demonstrably failed policies of a rightwing religious extremist.

Tim Slekar, the dean at Edgewood College in Wisconsin, summarizes the research consensus about the effect of vouchers: Vouchers suck.

from sarah

John Hope Bryant Quote Of The Day



“You cannot subcontract your own democracy. You must claim this for yourself, and work at sustaining it everyday. This is the ongoing work, that defines your life. Fight for HOPE.”

– John Hope Bryant | Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc.

The post John Hope Bryant Quote Of The Day appeared first on

from sarah