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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, with Special guest, Ben Limoine, on Nat'l School Choice Week, and the New Orleans Miracle

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Jan 24, 2012:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  Special Guest Ben Limoine of Fleurish Productions and Producer of the film documenting the transformation of New Orleans schools after Katrina in the film called The Experiment.

This week is National School Choice Week, and we'll talk with Ben about what that means and about his film, The Experiment and what is so special about New Orleans schools today, post Hurricane Katrina?  The movie is available right now on Starz, and Netflix for on demand viewing! 

Related Links:
Editorial: Superintendent Deasy, LAUSD board member Galatzan to attend town hall - LA Daily News
Gov. Jerry Brown said in this week's State of the State address that K-12 education will lose nearly $5 billion next year if voters don't approve his tax measures in November. And in response to the budget pressures, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has called for putting $270-a-year parcel tax on the ballot.  
Whistle-blowing teachers to open a charter school - Los Angeles Times  
They lost their jobs during a cheating scandal at Crescendo schools. Former union chief and charter foe A.J. Duffy will lead them.
Whitney Tilson's School Reform Blog: At his charter school, ex-UTLA head would target tenure  

The longtime anti-charter crusader wants to make it harder for teachers to earn tenure protections and wants to lengthen that process.
He even wants to require teachers to demonstrate that they remain effective in the classroom if they want to keep their tenure protections.
And if a tenured teacher becomes ineffective, he wants to streamline dismissals.
The process now in place can stretch out for several years, even with substantial evidence of gross misconduct.
Some union leaders, notably Duffy, have defended this "due process" as a necessary protection against administrative abuses.
"I would make it 10 days if I could," Duffy now says of the length of the dismissal process.
And what does Duffy's [predecessor]... think of his [A.J. Duffy's] new direction? Not much -- LOL! 

Former UTLA President John Perez said he wished Duffy well but said he could not endorse Duffy's new direction. Charter school operators, he said, are laying the groundwork for using public-school funds at private schools through so-called vouchers. They're also opening the door for corporations "who want to destroy public education by getting their hands on the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend on public education in this country," Perez said. 
Golden Missed Opportunity by Larry Sand - City Journal
School choice is on the move everywhere—except California.

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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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