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The testing boycott is official! Today, teachers at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy and Thomas Drummond Elementary School are refusing to distribute the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT), even though Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has said they could lose their state certification if they boycott the test.
Why would dedicated teachers--from Seattle to Chicago---add the stress of disciplinary action against them to an already stressful job and refuse to distribute bubble tests to kids? I asked that questions to one of the leaders of the Saucedo boycott, Sarah Chambers.
CreativeResistance.org, a project of PopularResistance.org, launched this week. If you love art, music and poetry and appreciate the work of activist artists; if you grapple with the challenges of societal injustice and environmental destruction and you respond with creativity and imagination, this site has been created for you. The images, music and poetry on CreativeResistance.org are art with a message and a point of view. The human bent toward storytelling, metaphor and illustration is given voice as paint and papier-mâché, guitar and song. Activist art answers back to the oppression and abuse we want to bring to an end.
This is our commons, this realm of creative thought and action, and CreativeResistance.org is a town square. It's a place where grassroots activists and established artists alike display their work. You'll see pictures of giant puppets, videos of music and theater, colorful protest signs and skillfully executed visual art, all with links to artists' websites and action campaigns. A map helps you find art groups near you, and a news page reports on activist artists and their projects.
Despite the fact that we assume the Cold War is long over, both contemporary propaganda as well as US actions belie that "fact," as evidenced by current US anti-communist propaganda on two current issues - the activities of the NSA, and the events in Ukraine.
The power of propaganda has been on my mind a lot as of late, driven by the continuing revelations and discussion regarding the activities of the NSA and US coverage and "reporting" on the events in the Ukraine. Both share many commonalities.
One of the world’s foremost authorities on restoration agriculture, Mark Shepard is happy that its popularity is growing but worries that its systemic nature is being misunderstood or "much degraded." Restoration agriculture calls for the re-imagination of agriculture in which perennial systems replace annual plantings and harvests that expire in one season and leave nothing behind except scorched earth, toxic runoff and carbon emissions. What is necessary is a "systematic redesign of how we get our staple food crops," Shepard says. "Agriculture absolutely must be ecological agriculture or else it will not persist."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center joined with U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to submit joint comments (PDF) today in an IRS rulemaking advocating new regulations to stop section 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups from engaging in campaign spending in violation of statutory limits on the activities in which they can permissibly engage.
WASHINGTON, DC – Private securities lawsuits are a necessary tool in preventing fraud and protecting investors, according to a new report released today by Public Citizen’s Chamber Watch program. The report disproves misleading arguments made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund on March 5.
Washington, DC – The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) today welcomed new data that highlights the devastating impact of domestic violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report, Intimate Partner Violence in the United States 2010, based on data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which documents the alarming prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.
It’s official: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Republicans in the Oklahoma Legislature don’t care about the working poor or their children, and in fact, are trying to declare a “state of emergency” in order to assure that those in poverty stay that way.
Senate Bill 1023, written by Tulsa Senator Dan Newberry and co-sponsored by Fairview Rep. Joe Hickman, who recently replaced T.W. Shannon as Speaker of the House, would make it illegal for any “municipality or other subdivision of this state” to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma, where poverty is at a 10-year high.
Omar is a 7-year-old boy from Gaza. His family managed to obtain the necessary permits that allowed him to cross thecheckpoint to Jerusalem, through the West Bank, in order to undergo surgery. He was accompanied by his father. On the way back, the boy and his father were stopped at the Qalanidyacheckpoint, separating occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The father needed another permit from the Israeli military to take his son, whose wounds were still fresh hours after the surgery, back to the strip. But the soldiers were in no obliging mood.
In advance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Brennan Center published a fact sheet detailing the Roberts Court’s shift, in a series of decisions since 2007, toward favoring big money interests at the expense of average American voters.
“Since 2007, the Roberts Court has used five key campaign finance cases to significantly weaken campaign finance laws, handing over more control of our government to moneyed special interests," said Lawrence Norden, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program. "As a result, our elections are more expensive than ever, with billionaires sponsoring candidates like racehorses. The wrong decision in McCutcheon would inundate with cash a political system already flush with it, further marginalize average voters, and elevate those who can afford to buy political access.”