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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Former CA State Senate Majority Leader and Current Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform will join us on Gadfly Radio next Tuesday night, to talk about You Have Choice

Next Tuesday night, Nov 15, 2011,  Gloria Romero, Former CA Senate Majority Leader and Current Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform, joins us to talk about You Have Choice.

Is Your Child in a Failing School? Find out!

Thanks to recently passed laws, California must now reveal the names of 1000 of its lowest performing schools! These 1000 schools, year after year, failed to show acceptable improvement. And year after year, the “edu-crats” who ran the schools refused to turn these schools around. Our children were simply left to fail. This is shameful. It is unacceptable that only 14% of our 4th grade Latino and African-American students can read at grade level, and only 10% of these 8th graders can do math at grade level.

In years past, parents had no rights to change these results: they were simply stuck behind five numbers: zip code. Until now, students were “zoned” for a school and told they had attend the school in their same zip code - even when it was failing! Parents were denied the right to give their children better opportunities by enrolling them in a higher performing school.

In this great nation, we have the freedom to shop in any shopping mall or eat at any restaurant. We can choose our doctors, lawyers, and even places of worship. But in education, children are assigned to schools based on their zip code - even when school officials KNOW that the school has been failing year after year.

Those days are over with the passage of California’s “Open Enrollment Law”. The state must now reveal the names of these 1000 failing schools. The school district must notify all parents of children enrolled in these schools that the school is on the Open Enrollment list, and tell parents they have a choice to stay enrolled or transfer to a better performing school.

This is the law now in California. You have rights. You have choice.

Click here to go to the site, which will help you use the Open Enrollment law

On the Facebook Page for You Have Choice,  above in the "notes" section you will find three documents: 1. How to find out if your child's school is on the Open Enrollment list. 2. How to find a better school for your child to attend. 3. How to transfer to a better school. Follow the directions for each document very carefully. Any comments or questions post on our Wall, and we will respond as quickly as possible. You Have Choice! Use it!

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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