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Black Agenda Radio – 06.05.17

This is Black Agenda Radio, a weekly hour of African American political thought and action The American Civil Liberties Union says the sheriff’s department in Madison County, Mississippi, has turned the jurisdiction into a “Constitution-free zone” for Black people, who are systematically targeted for illegal stops, searches and arrests. ACLU staff attorney Joshua Tom says the Madison County Sheriff enforces …

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SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK – Clinton, Trump and the Triumph of Global Capitalism

Roger Ebert once said that a film is as good as its villain. Does this mean that the forthcoming U.S. elections will be good since the “bad guy” (Donald Trump) is almost an ideal villain? Yes, but in a very problematic sense. For the liberal majority, the 2016 elections represent a clear-cut choice: Trump is ridiculous, excessive and vulgar. He …

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Black Agenda Radio – 05.30.16

Welcome to Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, with my co-host, Nellie Bailey and this is a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein took her cause to the annual Left Forum conference, in New York City. Stein and her party still have to contend with Democrats who claim third parties are spoilers that only help the Republicans.

– Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford appeared on the same panel with Dr. Stein. The event was titled “Can Bernie Sanders Build Left and Black Power?” Ford said Sanders is a Franklin Roosevelt New Deal-type politician who thinks the bankers are necessary to society. So, Sanders doesn’t really want to hurt the bankers too much. Most importantly, said Ford, Sanders is a Democrat.

– Charter school companies are now operating so-called “virtual schools” that have no classrooms or buildings, but only exist on the Internet. However, the charter operators are paid public money for each student, just like conventional public schools. David Cohen is executive director of the advocacy group, In The Public Interest. He says an outfit called California Virtual Academies graduates less than half of its students, and is accused of inflating its online attendance to collect thousands of dollars from the state. According to the San Jose Mercury newspaper, the Virtual Academies count students as “present” if they log on for as little as one minute during the school day. David Cohen says the online charter is run by a for-profit company called K-12 Inc.

– Most people think that the developing world is short of money, and that cash flows from the rich countries of Western Europe and the United States. But the opposite is true. According to James Henry, an expert on global banking, the rich countries are extracting fantastic amounts of cash from the developing world, including from Russia and China. Henry says the flow of money to the rich countries amounts to about $12 trillion a year.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Rachel M. Cohen – School Closures: A Blunt Instrument

n 2013, citing a $1.4 billion deficit, Philadelphia’s state-run school commission voted to close 23 schools—nearly 10 percent of the city’s stock. The decision came after a three-hour meeting at district headquarters, where 500 community members protested outside and 19 were arrested for trying to block district officials from casting their votes. Amid the fiscal pressure from state budget cuts, …

Jennifer Berkshire – How Parents May Be Signing Their Children’s Rights Away by Enrolling Them in Charter Schools

Here’s a question for you: If you dramatically scale up schools in which students have fewer rights than students who attend traditional public schools, with what do you end up? If you answered “more students with fewer rights,” congratulations — you have won the opportunity to learn more on this important, yet little discussed topic. Dr. Preston Green [3] is a professor …

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George Joseph – Why Has Charter School Violence Spiked at Double the Rate of Public Schools?

A few weeks after The New York Times released a controversial video of a Success Academy Charter School teacher lashing out at a student, New York City’s deep-pocketed charter school advocates are looking to shift the public narrative on who is committing violence in city schools . Over the last few weeks, Families for Excellent Schools, a charter school lobbying and advocacy group with close ties to Success Academy, has placed TV ads, held a press …

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Kate Stringer – We Can’t Solve Climate Change Without Teaching It—Why More Classes Are Heading Outside

Standing waist-deep in Connecticut’s West River, Nyasia Mercer’s mind is far from the cold, murky water lapping against her rubber waders. The high-schooler is thinking of people. The ones who swim here. Fish here. The ones who unwittingly dump liquid waste into nearby sewers. And how few of them know what swirls through their neighborhood waterway. “It’s sad,” Mercer said. …

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When It Comes to Public Schooling, US Gets a Failing Grade

When it comes to supporting public education and investing in opportunities for students in K-12 schools, most of the U.S. gets a failing grade. The Network for Public Education (NPE), a reform group co-founded by education advocate Diane Ravitch, on Tuesday issued its annual “state report card,” analyzing states on six criteria: resistance to privatization, the professionalization of teaching, school …

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Valerie Strauss – A primer on the damaging movement to privatize public schools

When, about 30 years ago, corporate interests began their highly organized, well-funded effort to privatize public education, you wouldn’t have read or heard about it. They didn’t want to trigger the debate that such a radical change in an important institution warranted. If, like most pundits and politicians, you’ve supported that campaign, it’s likely you’ve been snookered. Here’s a quick …

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Report Shows How Charter Schools Are in Business of ‘Privatization and Profiteering’

The explosion of charter schools in the U.S. is allowing individuals, corporations, and organizations to use public funds to secure their own financial gain and private profit—often at the expense of the common interest they claim to serve, a new policy brief from the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder finds. Released Thursday by Rutgers Professor Bruce …