Monthly Archives: May 2016

Why “21st Century Learning” is No More Than Status Quo


The proponents of 21st Century Learning (aka digital learning, aka competency-based education, aka personalized learning) claim that those of us who stand up for public education are little more than fossils clinging to the status quo. Further, through slick bait-and-switch advertising techniques the proponents of “innovation” disguise the facts that they are profiteering and privatizing education; using clever language to cast anyone NOT on board with their agenda, as being stuck in the past. Worse yet, we (anyone opposed to their 21st C framework) apparently want to trap kids in existing “divides” of race, culture, economics and geography, divides which they, the benevolent technologies of 21st century policy makers, will remediate.

Yeah. Sure.

So here’s something to consider. 21st century reformers are NOT new. They are NOT cutting-edge. They are nothing they propose to be. In a world dominated by digital services and programs…

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Democratic establishment uses false charges of sexism to silence Clinton critics

WikiLeaks Exposes Text from Secretly Negotiated TISA Trade Deal

Rise Up Times

The classified annex to the draft “core text” of the Trade in Services Agreement is part of what is being secretly negotiated by the U.S., EU and 22 countries.

WikiLeaks releases latest documents from TISA negotiations.

WikiLeaks releases latest documents from TISA negotiations. | Photo: Reuters May 25, 2016

 The website WikiLeaks released on Wednesday classified documents from the Trade in Services Agreement, or TISA, which is a huge trade agreement being negotiated in secret by the United States, the European Union and 22 other countries.

The documents include a previously unknown annex to the TISA core chapter on “State Owned Enterprises,” which imposes unprecedented restrictions on SOEs and will force majority owned SOEs to operate like private sector businesses.

What Drives Governments to Keep TISA, TPP and TTIP Secret?

The leaked documents show how stipulations outlined in the TISA documents advanced the “deregulation” of big corporations entering overseas markets.

Media for the people!  Bringing you the best of the alternative…

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Monopoly or competition: which is worse?

Michael Roberts Blog

In a recent article, Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World bank, Nobel prize winner in economics and now adviser to the British Labour Party, reckons that we are in a new era of monopoly and this is a the key cause of extreme inequality of income and wealth, inefficiency and low productivity growth and general stagnation in the major economies.

Stiglitz argues that the classical and neoclassical schools of economics assumed ‘competitive markets’ where all companies were on a ‘level playing field’.  This meant that owners of capital received profits that matched their contribution to an increase in output, their ‘marginal product’.

This rosy view is dismissed by Stiglitz.  In reality, who gets what in society is dependent on ‘power’.  Large companies can dictate prices in markets to small companies and can dictate wages to labour where they have no collective power (trade unions).  This ‘monopoly’ (over…

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Almost no one can afford to retire

Sarah Kendzior

For the Chronicle of Higher Education, I wrote about the retirement crisis in academia, but it applies to US workers generally:

America’s contingent faculty are not alone in their predicament. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, 92% of working households in the US do not meet conservative retirement savings targets for their age and income. 45% of working households have no retirement savings at all. The average amount a working household with retirement savings has is $3000. For households with members closest to retirement, the average amount is $12,000.

In short, adjuncts are part of a broader crisis that has decimated the middle class since the 2008 financial collapse. According to the Federal Reserve, 57% of Americans said they’d used some or all of their savings in the Great Recession. The Great Recession led to an economic restructuring in which part-time and contingent labor – “the gig…

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Report alleges Beyoncé’s “celebrate every woman” clothing line is made by women in sweatshops

Noam Chomsky: American Power Under Challenge and The Costs of Violence| Masters of Mankind (Parts 1, 2)

Rise Up Times

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Challenges of 2016 and
What Principles Rule the World?

American Power Under Challenge
Masters of Mankind (Part 1)

By Noam Chomsky   Tom Dispatch  May 8, 2016

Read Tom Engelhart’s introduction here.

[This piece, the first of two parts, is excerpted from Noam Chomsky’s new book, Who Rules the World?(Metropolitan Books). ]

When we ask “Who rules the world?” we commonly adopt the standard convention that the actors in world affairs are states, primarily the great powers, and we consider their decisions and the relations among them. That is not wrong. But we would do well to keep in mind that this level of abstraction can also be highly misleading.

States of course have complex internal structures, and the choices and decisions of the political leadership are heavily influenced by internal concentrations of power, while the general population is often marginalized. That…

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