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A DREAMer speaks as immigrant group Make the Road protests StudentsFirst's celebration of an anti-immigrant legislator as education reformer of the year.
DREAMers protest StudentsFirst's anti-immigrant endorsement.
While Michelle Rhee has been in Tampa, accompanied by former Florida governor and presidential son and little brother Jeb Bush, to flog the "parent trigger"-themed movie Won't Back Down at the Republican National Convention, the New York outpost of her StudentsFirst organization has been facing protests from immigrant groups over the national StudentsFirst endorsement of Georgia state Sen. Chip Rogers as its "education reformer of the year."

StudentsFirst has circulated petitions supporting the DREAM Act, with people who signed the petitions being counted as StudentsFirst members. But the choice of Chip Rogers, among all the legislators around the country pushing corporate education policies, as the top "reformer" of the year shows just how false that interest is. In 2004, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that:

In the Georgia General Assembly, State Rep. Chip Rogers of Cherokee County has sponsored three anti-immigration bills, one of which would cut off all state services to illegal immigrants. "I don't think these folks are coming to America so they can make use of our social services, our schools and hospitals," Rogers says.

"They're coming for work. But we can't fail to recognize what it's doing to our health-care system, our prisons and our schools. One study showed that the state of Georgia spent $260 million to educate illegal immigrants last year."

Rogers acknowledges that "some people are beginning to target people for hatred," but he lays the blame largely on the immigrants themselves. "I truly believe that if it weren't for the high levels of illegal immigration, we wouldn't have the targeting, the prejudice, even if there were still high numbers of Hispanic people in Georgia.

Rogers continues to tout his anti-immigrant work on his website today. So the supposedly pro-DREAM Act, supposedly pro-student StudentsFirst's favorite legislator authored a law to keep DREAMers and other undocumented immigrant kids from going to school. That's just perfect. StudentsFirstNY's super compelling response was to try to paint the protesting DREAMers as puppets of teachers unions.

Closing the circle nicely, the Rhee-Bush event during the RNC was moderated by Campbell Brown, who recently wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed attacking teachers unions without disclosing that her husband, Dan Senor, is on the board of StudentsFirstNY. Florida defeated a parent trigger bill just this year, in a fight in which "Not a single major Florida parent organization supported the bill, including the PTA," with parents' groups opposed to the bill believing it "would lead to the takeover of public schools by for-profit charter management companies and other corporate interests," but with such emphasis from people like Rhee and Bush, it's likely to reappear on the agenda.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Operation Edumacation Freedom, Bushies on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Mostel26

    attack

    Closing the circle nicely, the Rhee-Bush event during the RNC was moderated by Campbell Brown, who recently wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed attacking teachers unions without disclosing that her husband, Dan Senor, is on the board of StudentsFirstNY

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:53:15 AM PDT

  •  One more area in which bipartisan reform efforts.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    are shorthand for anti-union, pro-corporate nonsense. The DREAM Act stuff is just a super convenient fig leaf because it both increases their membership list and does nothing to conflict with corporate interests.

  •  Birds of a Feather (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, Alice in Florida

    Looks like Michelle Rhee has finally found her flock.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:12:42 PM PDT

  •  Between the deficit/austerity fixation (5+ / 0-)

    and the reverence for people like Michelle Rhee who would basically gut the Democratic Party from the inside, I sometimes feel like I belong to a political party with a death wish.

    I don't know how you can, as a Democrat, miss the reality that an America where public education is stripped of its educate all comers mandate and re-forged by these corporation worshipping people is a a new front in creating the America where a few lucky duckies thrive and a whole hell of a lot of lottery losers get walked on by them. An America where there is, yet again, another front where the public, the middle class taxpayers, have to deal with the consequences of cleaning up their messes by paying through the nose.

    Anything that deals with a system that has its share of problems by making bigger problems, and adding in new fuck-up ideas like making a lottery a part of public policy to deal with their being not enough to go around, ever, is a bad idea.

    If I believed we would be better off with a few lucky duckies and a lot of losers who should just get over it and accept their lot in life... I'd be a Movement Conservative.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:13:52 PM PDT

    •  That lying on her resume Scumbucket Rhee (0+ / 0-)

      put me on her email list and it took 3 tries to get them to take me off it.

    •  This is one of the most frustrating things to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, Miggles

      about the whole education debate:

      I don't know how you can, as a Democrat, miss the reality that an America where public education is stripped of its educate all comers mandate and re-forged by these corporation worshipping people is a a new front in creating the America where a few lucky duckies thrive and a whole hell of a lot of lottery losers get walked on by them.
      But there are lots of people here on this site, as well as the one in the Oval Office, who believe this bilge, and are so delighted to have found an issue that the Republicans agree with them about! Doesn't seem to occur to them that if the scum-sucking R's agree with them, that means it's time to check their premises.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 07:06:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, Laura Clawson. (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks again. You certainly are hard at work on these outrages and I want you to know that I appreciate all you do.

  •  Nice job, Laura. (5+ / 0-)

    Any educator who tries to prevent kids from coming to school doesn't deserve an award.

  •  Cherokee County? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    I find it ironic that someone on stolen Cherokee land has the gall to complains of illegal immigrants.  

  •  Dickhead: (5+ / 0-)
    One study showed that the state of Georgia spent $260 million to educate illegal immigrants last year.
    And let me show you a pile of studies that shows how much it costs your state not to educate them—and the bonuses your state will realize, economically and socially, if you do.
    [A]n immigrant high school dropout—which characterizes nearly half of today's unauthorized people—received $89,000 more in services than he paid in taxes in his life. But an immigrant with at least some college—a quarter of today's unauthorized—gave $105,000 more than he got. WaPo

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:44:49 PM PDT

  •  Is he a bigot (0+ / 0-)

    For opposing illegal immigration? Or for the bill that attempts to cut off services? I'm only wondering if the very act of wanting to reduce illegal immigration means a person is an immigrant. Would the US be better served by having absolutely no limits on immigration? That's doesn't seem to be the pattern anywhere else in the world. Does it benefit to say the US should have an open door policy?

    http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/

    by DAISHI on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:55:59 PM PDT

  •  Starvation and disrespect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, Just Bob

    have brought down our public education system. Corporate cheerleaders and profiteers leave poor children behind. Schools are more like prisons than ever, except you get kicked out rather than thrown in the hole if you act out.

    Some of the most courageous people in our country are the educators who still stick up for ALL kids and their right to a quality education. On rare occasions, paper newspapers, almost all of which have jumped on the corporate bandwagon, publish letters from classroom teachers describing their commitment to their students under harsh conditions. These folks buy books, school supplies, and food for their students out of their own pockets; no expense accounts here. They are underpaid and unappreciated.

    I am so sick of the Michele Rhee/Teach for America/charter school/anti-teacher narrative in this country!

    "When you give back all your ill-gotten gains, you're a reformed crook. When you keep most of the loot and only give back a small part of it, you're a philanthropist." - Alfred E. Newman

    by Abstract668 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:56:26 PM PDT

  •  That explains (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob

    why I have such a visceral loathing for Dan Senor. I wasn't aware that in addition to loving wars so much, he was also one of the leaders of Ed Deform.

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:58:45 PM PDT

  •  For the NYers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, rosarugosa

    Close to 50 of our elected officials and candidates have pledged not to accept money from Children First.  My soon to be new congresswoman ( thank you Judge Roanne Mann), Nydia Velazquez, took it a step further and called for smaller class sized and stopping charter co- locations without rent.  

  •  the nightmare (0+ / 0-)

    of the bushes just keeps giving, kinda like the never ending halloween horror movies, didn't gwb 43 hurt america enough jeb, what, now its your turn.

    the kennedys were camelot the bushes are texas chainsaw massacre.

  •  The deception should be a dead give away (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, weinerschnauzer

    The model is very large corporations creating a large number of subsidiaries that are under funded, under equipped, and employing unqualified teachers. There is insufficient oversight and screening of these fly-by-night companies.

    The parent company does very well by accessing public funding. They pay generous salaries and bonuses to management.

    http://www.tampabay.com/...

    It was one of the most egregious cases of mismanagement in Florida charter school history: a public elementary school that enriched its administrators, impoverished its teachers, failed its students and collapsed in disgrace.

    Life Force Arts and Technology's closure this month, after two years of classes and spending more than $1.6 million in public education funds, signaled the end of a charter school that was roundly despised.

    It also proved a dramatic point about the state's $1 billion charter-school industry: that the freedom granted to charters can open the door to for-profit companies with little interest in following the rules or achieving student success.

    So where does this push for charter schools come from?

    http://www.republicreport.org/...

    On Saturday, Republic Report’s Zaid Jilani reported that the National Association of Charter School Authorizers was one of the many covert members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial front group that helps lobbyists ghostwrite state law. As Jilani noted, NACSA is funded in large part by taxpayer dollars:

    NACSA is financed in part by school districts and state departments of education. Here are just a few of NACSA’s members that fall into this category: Denver Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, Arkansas Department of Education, California Department of Education, and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    NACSA worked closely with ALEC to promote charter schools. As we’ve reported, ALEC legislation allows for-profit charter school companies to siphon tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. In many cases, the ALEC-authored legislation provides for unproven online school companies to administer the charter schools.

    http://www.schoolsmatter.info/...
    NACSA is the most visible and well-heeled of the corporate charter front groups posing as a professional organization dedicated to quality and oversight of charter schools.  What they were, and are, is the corporate cadillac of lobbying and pressure charter privateers laser-focused on removing any barrier at the national, state, or local level to expanding school privatization via charter school.  

    NACSA also gets millions from cash-starved states, who hand over part of their federal grant money to fund NACSA, where big chunks of the cash have been funneled to ALEC to buy legislation and access.

    This is the perfect example of federal dollars going to states, where it is then handed over to ALEC to buy public officials so that ALEC's patrons can lay waste to the public fund.  Of course, we should add that the federal dollars at the front end of this chain are targeted by those same plutocratic patrons who are the back end of that same chain.

    That is a prime example of private entities using our tax dollars against our own interest by raiding the public coffer.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 10:03:28 PM PDT

  •  What a surprise! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa

    More fascist astroturf.  I am a product of private schools, which is why I support compulsory public education.  I know that most of my peer's parents no longer cared whether the public schools did their job or not, they just wanted to get the taxes they'd paid to support the schools back as a tuition tax credit.

    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

    by rhonan on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 10:48:23 PM PDT

    •  I'm a product of parochial schools, but I was (0+ / 0-)

      taught there that everyone should be educated, that is the basis for improvement in our country. I mean that countries with more education, are more prosperous countries. I mean prosperity of goods, jobs, and health. Overall prosperity and a good standard of living.

      That is why I see an educator who is trying so hard to keep certain people out of public education as not a person who should get an education award.

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