Skip to main content

A kindergarten class.
Here's a totally disgusting contrast, highlighted by Sam Pizzigati:
In 2013, the trade journal Alpha revealed, the hedge fund industry’s top 25 earners collected $21.15 billion, a whopping 50 percent over their total the year before. [...]

But the real enormity of America’s annual hedge fund jackpots only comes into focus when we contrast these windfalls with the rewards that go to ordinary Americans. Kindergarten teachers, for instance.

The 157,800 teachers of America’s little people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us, together make about $8.34 billion a year. Hedge fund America’s top four earners alone last year grabbed $10.4 billion.

What makes this especially disgusting is that all that money means hedge funders can buy a bigger say in American education than kindergarten (or third grade, or high school math) teachers:
Hedge fund billionaires are indeed investing colossal millions in charters, educational entities — often tied closely to for-profits — that take in public tax dollars but operate independently of local school board oversight.

Hedge fund manager cash has gone both to individual charter schools directly and into political war chests to support candidates who want to see charter networks expanded. Thanks to this cash, charters have become a major fact of American educational life, with a “market share” that rivals traditional public schools in many big cities.

Continue reading for more of the week's education and labor news.

A fair day's wage

  • The death toll from an explosion in a Turkish mine is nearing 300, and images of an aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan kicking a protester is not calming the outrage. Neither is Erdogan's claim that such explosions "are ordinary things," a claim he backed by citing much, much earlier events. Additionally:
    Just two weeks ago, the opposition Republican People’s party (CHP) tabled a motion in parliament calling on authorities to investigate work-related accidents in Soma’s mines.

    The motion cited three separate fires over a three-month stretch in 2012, as well as another accident in October last year, which left a total of two dead and 48 injured. It was defeated with votes from Mr. Erdogan’s ruling AKP.

  • In the interesting unions you probably didn't know existed category, the Arena Football Players Union has affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
  • Four ways you can seek back pay for an unpaid internship.
  • Less than one percent of New York's workplaces were inspected by OSHA last year.

Education

  • The Rhode Island Senate passed a moratorium on using a standardized test as a high school graduation test, but the state House doesn't look likely to follow suit.
  • Low-wage workers in Los Angeles schools are pressing for a $15 minimum wage and improved services for students.
  • Leonie Haimson busts six charter school myths.
  • Brooklyn teachers protested a test meant only to evaluate teachers, not students, with a May Day boycott:
    After their press conference, the teachers proceeded into the building, where, according to Emily Giles, who teaches ninth- and 10th-grade science at IHSPH, they taught class as they would have any other day. Although 50 percent of the students had already been opted out of taking the test by their parents, Giles says administrators still attempted to give the test to a small handful—with little success.
  • Education activist Barbara Madeloni was elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association in an upset last weekend. This is the latest in a series of teachers union election wins by insurgent, outsider candidates. (Disclosure: My father was involved in Madeloni's campaign.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site