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Youth & Education

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Can Our Schools Run on Duncan?

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  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pushes Chicago’s ineffective reforms on America’s children.
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  • The theory that supports treating education as a marketplace is flawed, as is the practice. When faced with performance incentives, people typically end up gaming the system.
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  • It’s the Poverty, Stupid
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David Moberg, In These Times

On July 22, a boy plugs his ears while Secretary of Education Arne Duncan makes remarks at the 'Let's Read. Let's Move' summer enrichment series at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

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When President Barack Obama announced that his choice for Secretary of Education was Arne Duncan, chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, he extolled his basketball buddy as a pragmatic, successful school reformer. “He’s not beholden to any one ideology,” Obama said, adding that Duncan would speak with authority based on “the lessons he’s learned during his years changing our schools from the bottom up.”

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As a critic on the campaign trail of President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, Obama implicitly offered Duncan’s efforts in Chicago as an alternative model of how his administration would improve American schools, particularly the most troubled.

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It’s the Poverty, Stupid, Roger Bybee, In These Times

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  • With America’s public schools struggling to survive slashed budgets and unequal funding, school reform is back on the national agenda—but will the new model of market-based “reform” promote greater educational quality?
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  • The education reform debate is misdirected.
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Stop making gay adoption political

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The Child Welfare League of America, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association all endorse gay parenting.

Ken Manford and Jennifer Chrisler, Atlanta Journal-Constitution | GA

A week before the Republican gubernatorial primary, Karen Handel said gay parenting is not “in the best interest of the child.” When asked by an Atlanta TV reporter why she thought gay parents aren’t legitimate, Handel replied, “Because I don’t.” She went on to say she would outlaw gay adoptions.

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As gay parents, we strongly disagree with Handel on the legitimacy of gay parenting. We also resent the way gay adoption was turned into a political circus as each of the Republican candidates felt obligated to prove their anti-gay credentials with voters in the final weeks of the general primary.

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What If More Education Fails to Fix the Jobs Crisis?

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  • So we need more education to respond to a world with more technology. Smarter phones and smarter grids require smarter workers. It's a parallelism, it must be true!
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  • Less college? First, define your terms
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Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

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"Structural problems need structural solutions" PIMPCO chief executive Mohamed El-Erian tells Thomas Friedman in his New York Times column. And what better way to fix the structural damage in the our broken jobs engine than calling for a better educated work force? Friedman makes a familiar argument that technology

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... is destroying older, less skilled jobs that paid a decent wage at a faster pace than ever while spinning off more new skilled jobs that pay a decent wage but require more education than ever.

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Less college? First, define your terms, Jennifer Godinez and Matt Kane, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
A more educated workforce is a must, but schooling can take various forms.

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Revised: Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!

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  • Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented; however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.
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  • Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act
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Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI), in Change.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle
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"Yo Soy El Army: America's New Military Caste" from Producciones Cimarrón on Vimeo.

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The Dream Act is a proposed piece of legislation that on the surface looks like an educational bill for the legalization of undocumented youth, but is actually a recruitment tool to fill the ranks of the military with this same youth. The Dream Act says that if a young person graduates from a U.S. high school, then s/he can get on a path towards some type of legalization if: s/he completes at least 2 years of college towards a degree or does 2 years of military service. (In reality military contracts are 8 years.)

If you believe that the DREAM Act is flawed because the only two options are college or the military. If you want to see the military option removed from the DREAM Act, please sign our petition.

Let's analyze the reality. The overwhelming majority of undocumented people, approximately 70 %, are Latinos. Out of approximately 12 million undocumented people in the U.S., over 7 million are Mexican and over 1 million are Central American. The sad reality is that only about ¼ of Latino/as have ever attended college and only 11% of Latinos/as have a college degree. These are statistics for Latino/a population not considering immigration status. La Raza Educators has provided more specific statistics that suggests that only 1 out of 20 undocumented high school seniors attend college. Since two years of college is needed to fulfill the educational part of the Dream Act, it is likely that an overwhelming majority of undocumented youth will be pushed into the military in order to get a conditional green card. There is a long list of inequalities that make hard for immigrant youth to go to college. This bill does not address these inequalities or the educational needs of undocumented youth but it addresses the needs of the U.S. military, filling their ranks. The heavy militarization aspect of the Dream Act became clear when two important parts of the DREAM Act were removed. In an old version of the Dream Act, 910 hours of community service was one of the options to fulfill the requirement for “legalization”. This option was taken away, as was the right to pay in-state tuition. Because these two options are gone, more youth will see the military as their only option.

This is exactly what the government is interested in.  Senator Dick Durbin, sponsor of the DREAM Act, has said: “The DREAM Act would address a very serious recruitment crisis that faces our military. Under the DREAM Act, tens of thousands of well-qualified potential recruits would become eligible for military service for the first time.”  The military needs more recruits.  The politicians’ solution is to draft the undocumented. We cannot be willing to sacrifice the lives of so many youth for the benefit of so few. We should not support legislation that facilitates the recruitment of youth to go off to war.

Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented, however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.

In essence, the DREAM ACT will create a defacto military draft for our undocumented youth. We say defacto because although students are given a “choice”, the fact is that the deplorable and inadequate conditions of Latino schooling will make military enlistment the only “choice” for the overwhelming majority of our undocumented youth. At the present time, it is against the law to recruit undocumented youth into the US military, but with the passage of the DREAM ACT, the recruiters will then be legally able to recruit our youth.

If you believe that the DREAM Act is flawed because the only two options are college or the military. If you want to see the military option removed from the DREAM Act, please sign our petition.

Historically racism and discrimination at home and in the military have adversely affected Latino youth who enter the military. During the Vietnam War, Chicano and other Latino youth were sent to the frontlines in disproportionate numbers. While Chicanos and Latinos were only 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, they were 19 percent of the casualties, some 80,000 Latinos served during the Vietnam War. With this reality, we pose the question: where will those students end up? Dead on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan? Will they join the 6,000 troops currently occupying the U.S./Mexico border? As the US continues to invade and/or intervene in other countries, will our youth be forced to kill other poor people in places like Venezuela, Columbia, Iran and Cuba?

We in CAMI do not wish to antagonize or minimize the efforts of the honest Youth and others who advocate for the Dream Act on behalf of undocumented students. We wish to challenge all organizations that support the DREAM ACT to join us in the struggle for the legalization of all students and our entire community. We are all brothers and sisters in this struggle, but we must never negotiate the future of our youth in exchange for the legalization of a few of our students.

We believe that our students and community deserve full and immediate legalization without having to serve in the military.

If you believe that the DREAM Act is flawed because the only two options are college or the military. If you want to see the military option removed from the DREAM Act, please sign our petition.

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Related:

Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, The Progress Report, Think Progress
The DREAM Act was specifically cited in the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan<> to help the military "shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force."
Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!
US eyes more troops for Afghanistan

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