The Minneapolis School Board closed down Cityview, one of its public schools whose test scores were too low, it replaced Cityview with a charter school, Minneapolis School of Science. The charter school has told the families of 40 children with special needs–children with Down Syndrome and autism–that they are not wanted at the school. Clearly the schools is bouncing these children to improve their test scores.Charter school officials explicitly say it was just too hard for them to teach the special needs students:
MSS school board members say they were reluctant to agree to mainstream the students. “We almost chose not to come to this building because of it,” said board member Gene Scapanski. The charter’s goal is for 90 percent of its academically struggling, mostly low-income and non-white students to earn proficient scores on state tests within three years. “To bring children to that level of growth and then to have in addition that other challenge, it seemed like more than we could handle. We didn’t know if we could be successful.”Picking and choosing which kids they can be successful educating is a choice traditional public schools don't get. They have to try to do their best by every child. So if this charter school succeeds, it does so by refusing to even try to educate special needs students that the public school it replaced did educate. And those kids, for whom stability is especially important, are now forced to relocate on short notice.
A fair day's wage
- Texas A&M is outsourcing more than 1,600 jobs to a private contractor. The workers are being forced to resign from the university and reapply for their same jobs with the contractor; they're told they'll get comparable pay and benefits, but you don't have to be a hardened cynic to question the long-term truth of that.
- More unemployment stories.
- The decline and rescue of the American auto industry as seen from the shop floor:
Republicans, who paraded “Joe the Plumber” on the campaign trail, demonstrated that they despise labor in general and organized labor in particular. They accused UAW members of making too much money and bargaining successfully for health care and pensions. They referred to retiree benefits as “entitlements.” As if we didn’t earn those benefits. As if the nature of our work—production, as opposed to paper shuffling—rendered us ineligible for deferred compensation. As if people who actually produce a good or service don’t deserve such basic amenities as health care. As if dignity in retirement was reserved for those who never got grease under their fingernails. As if a wage that allowed you to pay the bills on time and send your children to college offended the capitalist creed. As if legally binding contracts with workers were toilet paper. As if the right to bargain collectively was illegal.
- Let's keep listening to Hyatt workers on why they're calling for a boycott of the hotel chain. Cathy Youngblood says:
“I would love to have a meeting with (Hyatt family heir, board member and Chicago philanthropist) Penny Pritzker, but then I’m a woman of color and I’m lower wage, maybe she thinks I don’t have enough education,” says Youngblood. “They’re a billionaire company, they have a different mindset. I think it’s ignorant. They should know by now there is worker dissatisfaction within the Hyatt family. They could get on a plane and come in here and say ‘Ok ladies, what’s going on?’ But instead they just talk about all their awards and accolades and diversity, and don’t want to hear the real story.”Fitted sheets are one of the things she and other housekeepers say would make their jobs less physically taxing. But Hyatt won't even do a thing as simple as that.
State and local legislation