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Archive for March, 2015

Why I Will Fight the NYS Budget

March 30, 2015 Leave a comment

 

It is appropriate that news of New York State’s contentious budget negotiations should be announced on Palm Sunday night.

According to the Bible, Jesus got angry enough to flip tables exactly once.

On the Monday after Palm Sunday.

Today.

New York is faced with a budget proposal that throws public school students and teachers under the bus.

Don’t be fooled by the reports of $1.4 (Cuomo) or $1.6 billion (Assembly) in school aide increases. What’s a lousy $200-million among billionaires, anyway?

Parents have been ignored.

Cuomo shows us once again that he can weasel his way past the will of the people.

 

Despite overwhelming opposition to Cuomo’s education reform agenda, he has convinced the other Two Amigos that the State Assembly and Senate can ignore the wishes of hundreds of thousands of families.

What would Jesus do to politicians who value money over children?

The same thing he did to the money changers 2000 years ago.

Flip some tables and wreak some havoc.

 

Cuomo, Pearson might be watching us. But people of conscience all over New York are prepared to do what it takes to protect our children.

This fight is not over. You aren’t going to win.

Any assemblyperson or state senator who votes to approve this budget needs to remember that voters in November will not look kindly on anyone who caters to our Governor’s misguided education policies!

  

Stand up to Governor Narcissist! Say NO! to more money in the moment while harming kids for generations!

Rich parents don’t send kids to schools which require teachers to be evaluated on test scores.

Neither should the kids of our neediest families!

Shame on you, Three Amigos, for bribing us with money.

All New York State students deserve a great education. That’s what New York public schools provide, despite underfunding!

www.howmuchnysrobbed.nyc

  

Bring it on. We will remember in November!

Categories: Uncategorized

Pilate and Herod

March 29, 2015 Leave a comment

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign (Luke 23:6-8, NRSV).

Categories: herod, jesus, luke, Pilate

Luke 4:13

March 27, 2015 Leave a comment

When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time (NRSV).

Categories: devil, jesus, time

Mark 14:72

March 26, 2015 Leave a comment

And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him,“Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept (ESV).

Categories: jesus, mark, peter, time

Mark 13:21

March 25, 2015 Leave a comment

[I]f anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘Look! There he is!’—do not believe it.

Categories: mark, time

Mark 1:15

March 24, 2015 Leave a comment

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

Categories: john the baptist, mark, time

Matthew 26:41

March 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Categories: jesus, matthew, time

Matthew 16:2-4

March 20, 2015 Leave a comment

“When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then [Jesus] left them and went away (NRSV).

Categories: jesus, matthew, time

Matthew 2:6-8

March 19, 2015 Leave a comment

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage” (NRSV).

Categories: herod, time

Why Our Family Chose to Opt Out / Refuse NYS ELA and Math Testing

March 18, 2015 1 comment

A good friend questioned the wisdom of opting kids out of the Common Core exams and explained that her child has benefited greatly from the instruction he has received as a result of Common Core lessons.

This is my extended reply to this reasonable question.

I know Bill McCallum, one of the lead writers of the mathematics Common Core standards. He is a nice guy, very smart, and motivated to do the right things. So I am not against the Common Core Learning Standards.

But I hate the tests, the whole testing system. I hate #peepingpearson. I hate the lies being spread by people who know better to undercut our nation’s public school system.

*****

Until this past Saturday, our family had decided that we would allow our 6th grade son to take Pearson’s New York Common Core exams next month.

Despite the fact that last year, about 70% of NYS students in grades 3-8 failed the tests. By design.

Despite the fact that this year, New York’s governor is electing to use the results of these tests to initiate termination proceedings for teachers whose students demonstrate insufficient growth. To intimidate.

Despite the fact that just a couple of weeks ago, thousands of students from Eva Moskowitz’s charter school chain skipped school to demand more money and space for their schools at the expense of public schools. To profit.

Despite the fact that earlier today, Cuomo appointed an uncertified Teach for America graduate as part of our state’s Department of Education. To bully.

It was when Bob Braun, a 49-year veteran reporter broke this story: http://www.bobbraunsledger.com/breaking-pearson-nj-spying-on-social-media-of-students-taking-parcc-tests/

The thought that our child could be punished as the result of international, corporate spying online, was the final straw.

And this is not hyperbole.

Pearson, a private multinational corporation, was caught directing a US government entity, the New Jersey Department of Education, to punish specific students for complaining about the PARCC exam anonymously.

This is a twisting of power. Private, foreign companies should not be directing US government agencies on how to punish minors who have no legal right or responsibility to make a contract with Pearson.

This has happened without any public accountability or transparency.

It is only because of a leak that we have become aware of this Orwellian situation.

Just like it was only because of a leak that we learned of Pearson’s ridiculous 8th grade ELA pineapple question.

The claim that US schools are failing is also not true.

We rank at the top of the world, even above Hong Kong and Finland, on the PISA after controlling for poverty.

Fix poverty. Fix American education.

So, yeah. Our family is directing our middle schooler to refuse the Common Core tests.

Because Pearson is out of control.

Because politicians are lying about our schools failing, and intelligent adults are believing these lies.

Because 1984 is happening right now.

My family refuses to allow our children to be used as pawns in a global game of power and money and influence.

I’ve got data and links and books and resources and personal research. Message me at andrew.david.mitchell@gmail.com or on Facebook for additional details.

Don’t be a lemming. Educate yourself and make an informed decision!

Categories: Common Core, Opt Out
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