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Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Since George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (which was the business plan of McGraw-Hill, the McGraw’s being family friends with the Bush’s) was passed in 2002, testing in the United States has skyrocketed, because it’s profitable for the private publishing corporations. Before NCLB, under Bill Clinton’s Improving America’s Schools Act, the federal government  required students to take six tests total — a reading and math test in elementary, middle and high school. Under NCLB, in order to receive federal funding, schools are required to make students take 14 tests total — a reading and math test from grades 3-8 and once in high school, plus a science test in elementary, middle and high school. But some districts require even more tests.

Barack Obama’s $500 million competitive grant program Race to the Top, enacted in 2009, chiefly inspired school districts to give more tests. Amidst the recession, state budgets were hit hard, and government officials were willing to do whatever they could to receive money. Now, at least 25 states mandate one formal assessment test in kindergarten. Race to the Top’s 2011 Early Learning Challenge awarded schools that could prove their students’ “readiness” to begin school — meaning how well four-year-olds did on “entry assessments.”

In order to execute these policies that significantly expanded testing, school districts needed test providers. This, in turn, made some educational corporations very rich. Bob Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to prevent the misuse of standardized testing, said he is inclined to blame politicians, rather than corporations, for the testing boom.

He said, “In a capitalist society, if there’s a market, somebody will figure out how to serve it. But the corporations reinforce the stupidity of the bad policies of politicians.”

Pearson is the largest corporation serving this testing market. Pearson is the world’s largest education company and book publisher, bringing in more than $9 billion annually.

Check out the complete story below.

8 Things You Should Know About Corporations Like Pearson that Make Huge Profits from Standardized Tests–Alternet.org

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This holiday season, buy the perfect gift for that loved one who took a stand against America’s plutocracy: a large print of the Occupy encampment at Zuccotti Park. The poster is “printed on Premium Heavy Stock Paper which captures all of the vivid…

Click on Wal-Mart Monetizes the Occupy Movement for the complete story.

Wal-Mart Monetizes the Occupy Movement (via Moyers & Company)

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Big Money didn’t win all the time on Tuesday election. In fact, big money lost 15 times against progressive policies and candidates. For example, Bill de Blasio won the New York City’s mayor race “on a platform of reducing inequality and halting NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ program, he’ll also govern with a more progressive city council, as the 21 new members of the 51-seat body are expected to double the council’s progressive caucus after aggressive campaigning by labor groups and the Working Families Party.”

Check out the story below from Moyers and company.

Under the radar progressive wins of the 2013 election–Bill Moyers and Company

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New York City Council to vote on ending corporate personhood

click here for the rest of the storyThe New York City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a resolution asking Congress to pass an amendment overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

The Supreme Court ruled that corporations had the same First Amendment rights as U.S. citizens and that political spending was free speech. The ruling allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, so long as their actions were not directly coordinated with a candidate’s campaign.

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As many as 25,000 people marched in New York City Saturday from the offices of Koch Industries to the United Nations to protest a right-wing effort to roll back voting rights. Koch Industries sponsors organizations that work to rollback voting rights. Many supporters of the Democratic Party are poor, which may be why they are being targeted.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous helped organize the protest. He said, “We’re here today to stand for freedom in front of the U.N., more than 25,000 people from a range of civil rights and religious and labor organizations all outraged about the massive attack on the right to vote in this country. This year we’ve seen more than 30 states attack the right to vote. We’ve seen 268 electoral votes, of the 270 needed to become president, potentially impacted by these laws. Disproportionately in each case, it’s black people and brown people and students who are being impacted.”

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Thousands of protesters marched in New York and Washington on Saturday as part of a global day of “outrage” against corporate greed that has seen rowdy demonstrations in dozens of countries.

In New York, the protesters headed to Chase Bank in support of around 14,000 workers sacked by the lender in the wake of cutbacks made after a government bailout totaling $94.7 billion.

Students, families with strollers and trade unionists, minded by a large police presence, then walked towards Wall Street carrying placards, stating: “We are the 99 percent,” “We are the people” and “Mr Obama we need you support.”

The Occupy Wall Street movement, buoyed by a decision Friday to halt plans to kick them out of the New York park they have called home for a month, intended to stage two other demonstrations in the Big Apple.

One would mark the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and another gathering was to be held at Times Square at 5:00 pm (1700 GMT).

In the US capital, between 2,000-3,000 protesters assembled at the National Mall on the eve of the inauguration of a memorial to slain Nobel peace laureate Martin Luther King, Jr.

His son, Martin Luther King III, told the crowd: ” We have bailed out the auto industry, and we should have. We bailed out Wall Street. Now it’s time to bail out working Americans. That’s what this is about.

“I believe that if my father was alive, he would be right here with all of us involved in this demonstration today.”

The Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke at the event.

“Occupy Wall Street, occupy Washington, occupy Alabama! We’ve come to take our country back to the people,” he said.

Around 200 demonstrators in Washington had earlier marched to a branch of Bank of America where they had also planned to close accounts. However, they were not allowed inside and the bank was hastily closed.

Hollywood actor Sean Penn became the latest celebrity to offer his backing to Occupy Wall Street, a group of demonstrators who on September 17 took up residence in New York’s Zuccotti Park and began their ongoing campaign that has since seen related protests sweep the globe.

“I applaud the spirit of what is happening now on Wall Street,” Penn told interviewer Piers Morgan on CNN late Friday.

“This generation — and this does begin, I think significantly with the Arab Spring — is starting to tell the world that we cannot be controlled by fear any more and we will not be denied.”

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MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday condemned the “unprovoked police brutality” that occurred at the “Occupy Wall Street” protest over the weekend.

Video recordings showed female protesters being rounded up in an orange-colored mesh pen by police and subsequently sprayed with mace without any provocation, and other protesters being dragged across the street by police.

“The reason that man is being assaulted by the police is because of what he has in his hand,” O’Donnell said, while showing a video clip of a man with a video camera being tackled by police. “He’s holding a professional grade video camera. Since the Rodney King beating was caught on an amateur video camera, American police officers have known video cameras are their worst enemy. They will do anything they can to stop you from legally videotaping how they handle their responsibility to serve and protect you.”

“Everything those cops did this weekend to those protesters they’ve done to someone else when no video camera was rolling,” he later added.

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