I am an educator whose free time is consumed by wrangling four unruly children and pretending to be a political blogger.

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  • The Origins of Labor Day | PBS NewsHour | Sept. 2, 2001 | PBS on 2013-09-02
    • In 1898, Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, called it "the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed...that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it."
  • Beyond Better Wages, Benefits, and Conditions on 2013-09-02
    • Even Albert Shanker understood this: In 1989 he told The   New York Times, ‘’I want to create more effective and more   humane schools, and to do that you need a new kind of union   and new approaches to bargaining,” he said. “You don’t sell a   union abstractly. You sell it by building an organization that   people want.”
  • How Labor Day was hijacked: 5 reminders of the day’s real purpose - Salon.com on 2013-09-02
    • Yes, despite the withering rhetorical and public policy assault on unions, polls show that organized labor retains high approval ratings among Americans and that most citizens do not support the highest-profile efforts to undermine and demonize the labor movement. That public opinion suggests if more people are simply reminded of what Labor Day is really all about, there’s a decent chance we can restore its real significance. Here are just a few of those reminders:
  • Evidence Says That Students Do Better In Schools With Strong Teachers' Unions - on 2013-09-02
    • However, despite claims from some quarters that unions are a large part of the problem with American public education, there is ample evidence that teachers’ unions are a vital piece of the education puzzle, and that students benefit from their existence.
  • Achievements of Labor Unions - The Folks Who Brought You the Weekend | made in usa challenge on 2013-09-02
    • Over the last 170 years, labor unions have done a whole lot more than just establishing the weekend. We’ve effectively served as the first line of defense against the corporations and politicians that seek to exploit working class families. We’ve fought tirelessly for better treatment for workers from all walks of life. And we’ve won some major victories along the way on issues that affect working families every day.
  • History of the Holidays: Labor Day - YouTube on 2013-09-02
  • What Have American Unions Ever Done For Us? - YouTube on 2013-09-02
  • Status and Stress - NYTimes.com on 2013-07-28
    • But an analysis by Elizabeth H. Bradley, an economist at the Yale School of Public Health, suggests that how you spend money matters. The higher the spending on social services relative to health care, she’s found, the greater the longevity dividends.

       

      Some now argue that addressing health disparities and their causes is not just a moral imperative, but an economic one. It will save money in the long run. The University of Chicago economist James Heckman estimates that investing in poor children yields a yearly return of 7 to 10 percent thereafter to society.

  • Obama's Vacations? Of Any President, Bush Racked Up the Most | Politic365 on 2013-04-03
    • Calls to several Presidential libraries reveal that President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, was on vacation more — 1,020 days — than any U.S. President since Herbert Hoover and possibly more than any other President in history.
  • City Teacher Data Reports Are Released – SchoolBook on 2012-02-25
    • The teachers’ union president, Michael Mulgrew, said that teachers and parents “deserve more than judgments based on bad tests, incorrect data and flawed methodology.” The union has warned that the result will be sweeping, with good teachers steering clear of grades that have standardized tests, parents’ attempts to switch their children to other classrooms, low morale among teachers and worse.
    • The release of the individual rankings has even been controversial among the scientists who designed them. Douglas N. Harris, an economist at the University of Wisconsin, where the city’s rankings were developed, said the reports could be useful if combined with other information about teacher performance. But because value-added research is so new, he said, “we know very little about it.” Releasing the data to the public at this point, Dr. Harris added, “strikes me as at best unwise, at worst, absurd.”

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