AFT President: Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump Are Dismantling Public Education

devos-trump
Donald Trump in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2017 (L); Betsy DeVos in Washington, DC, on Jan. 17, 2017.  Olivier Douliery—Getty Images (L); Bill Clark—Getty Images
Donald Trump may say teachers are important, but he spent his first 100 days undermining the schools most educators work in —America’s public schools.

One of President Trump’s first acts was to appoint the most anti-public education person ever to lead the Department of Education. Betsy DeVos has called public schools a “dead end” and bankrolled a private school voucher measure in Michigan that the public defeated by a two-to-one ratio. When that failed, she spent millions electing legislators who then did her bidding slashing public school budgets and spreading unaccountable for-profit charters across the state. The result? Nearly half of Michigan’s charter schools rank in the bottom of U.S. schools, and Michigan dropped from 28th to 41st in reading and from 27th to 42nd in math compared with other states.

Now DeVos is spreading this agenda across the country with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s blessing. They’ve proposed a budget that takes a meat cleaver to public education and programs that work for kids and families. After-school and summer programs — gone. Funding for community schools that provide social, emotional, health and academic programs to kids — gone. Investments to keep class sizes low and provide teachers with the training and support they need to improve their craft — gone. Their budget cuts financial aid for low-income college students grappling with student debt at the same time the Trump administration is making it easier for private loan servicers to prey on students and families.

The Trump/DeVos budget funnels more than $1 billion to new voucher and market strategies even though study after study concludes those strategies have hurt kids. Recent studies of voucher programs in Ohio and Washington, D.C., show students in these programs did worse than those in traditional public schools. Further, private voucher schools take money away from neighborhood public schools, lack the same accountability that public schools have, fail to protect kids from discrimination, and increase segregation.

It’s dangerous in education when the facts don’t matter to people. But it doesn’t stop there. Schools must be safe and welcoming places for all children, and that’s a belief shared both by parents who send their kids to voucher schools and those who send their kids to public schools. But Trump and DeVos have acted to undermine the rights of kids who look or feel different, and to cut funding for school health and safety programs.

What Trump and DeVos are doing stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan consensus we reached in 2015 when Congress passed a new education law that shifted the focus from testing back to teaching, pushed decision-making back to states and communities, and continued to invest funds in the schools that need it the most. It offered an opportunity to focus on what we know works best for kids and schools—promoting children’s well-being, engaging in powerful learning, building teacher capacity, and fostering cultures of collaboration.

The Trump/DeVos agenda not only jeopardizes that work, their view that education is a commodity as opposed to a public good threatens the foundation of our democracy and our responsibility to provide opportunity to all of America’s young people.

Americans have a deep connection to and belief in public education. I see it every day as I crisscross the nation talking to parents, teachers, students and community members about what they want for their public schools. And it transcends politics. It’s one of the reasons we saw such a massive grass-roots response to the DeVos nomination from every part of the country.

A recent poll by Harvard and Politico showed that while parents want good public school choices to meet the individual needs of their kids, they do not want those choices pit against one another or used to drain money from other public schools. In other words, the DeVos/Trump agenda is wildly out of step with what Americans want for their kids.

It’s what I saw when I took DeVos to visit public schools in Van Wert, Ohio, last month. This is an area that voted more than 70 percent for Trump, but people there love and invest in their public schools — from a strong early childhood program, to robust robotics and other strategies that engage kids in powerful learning, to a community school that helps the kids most at risk of dropping out stay on a path to graduation. It’s what I saw at the Community Health Academy of the Heights in New York City where the school provides a full-service community health clinic, in-school social workers, a food pantry, parent resource center, and other services for parents and kids. And it’s what I saw this week at Rock Island Elementary School in Broward County, Fla., where kids participate in robotics programs after school, where there is a library in every classroom and a guided reading room where kids can build their literacy skills. The great things happening in these schools are all funded by federal dollars and threatened by the Trump/DeVos budget.

Many of those who voted for Trump did so because they believed he would keep his promise to stand up for working people and create jobs. They didn’t vote to dismantle public education and with it the promise and potential it offers their children. Now, the person who ran on jobs and the economy seems intent on crushing one of the most important institutions we have to meet the demands of a changing economy, enable opportunity and propel our nation forward. That’s one of the biggest takeaways from Trump’s first 100 days.

[“Source-time”]

8 paid iPhone apps on sale for free today

Best Free iPhone Apps

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s every Apple fan’s favorite time of the day: free app time! We’ve got eight solid paid iPhone and iPad apps on tap for you on Wednesday, and they’re all on sale for free. Of course, if eight apps aren’t enough you can always check out yesterday’s post, where you’ll find a few more apps that are still free downloads.

These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged.

Preset

Normally $3.99.

Create your own reusable photo filters by mixing, matching 27 adjustments from our library.

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“It’s the best way to perfect your photos.” — Mac Sources

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Easy to use gestures allow users to swap, delete and temporarily disable filters in their layer chain.

Use Preset’s easy to learn interface to create the perfect combination of filters that you can save and reuse.

Users can also pinch on the image they are editing to zoom. They can double tap to go back to original scale.

27 Available Adjustments:
Basic: Brightness, Exposure, Gamma, Saturation, Vibrance, Contrast, Highlight, Shadows, Vignette, Sharpen & Unsharp Mask
Color: Monochrome, Duotone, White Point, Hue, Posterize
Vintage: Sepia, Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer, Instant
B & W: Mono, Tonal, Noir, Minimum Component & Maximum Component
Watermark: #MadeWithPreset

And we are constantly adding new advanced, adjustments.

Share your Photos to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any app on user’s device that has a share extension.

The app supports full use on iPad in full screen, side-by-side or slide over mode.

Apply your presets inside the Photo App by using our extension. They can apply a preset then save it to their device.

Preset is available on any device that supports iOS 9 or 10. That includes iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

Download Preset

Zip—Zap

Normally $1.99.

Touch to contract.
Release to let go.
Bring the clumsy mechanical beings home.

· · ·
over 100 levels
no ads
no in-app-purchases

»brilliantly designed« – gamezebo
»a lot of heart« – pocketgamer
»clever« – toucharcade
»excellent« – macstories
»absolute joy to play« – platformalist

Download Zip—Zap

Sound EQ palette

Normally $1.99.

Shape the music sound on your feeling!

“Sound EQ palette” is a new sense music player app that gives you the feeling of being at a music performance. It will shape the sound to match a particular style, your feelings and your acoustic environment and more.

Equipped with the high quality Audio Enhancer with a parametric equalizer that allows the adjustment of various sounds. Without any complicated settings such as a conventional equalizer, you can select an adjusted sound effect with just a tap on the 2D-pad “EQ palette”.

Enjoy more aggressive sounds of your favorite to suit music genres from 144 patterns of sound equalizing palette, as you choose your favorite one from the painting color palette.

In the latest Ver 2.1, Shuffle function has been added as a new feature.

TOON,LLC is a sound company that seeks the comfort of sound environment based on our acoustic proprietary technology, and will provide tools for audio professional, sound technology, home theater installer, and anyone who loves audio.

Features:
+ High quality Audio enhancer engine with a parametric equalizer in floating point processing.
+ Equipped with the sound parametric equalizing palette which can be chosen from 144 patterns in 16 genres. Its genre name is a representative example of sound-tuning, sound effects can be expected in other genres.:

– 16 genres : Heavy Metal, Rock, Vocal, Jazz, Guitar, Piano, Bass,
Clean, Sparkle, Massive, Attack, Warm, Tight, Profound, Soft, Analog.

– Examples of sound tuning: 9 types in each genres on “EQ palette”
+ Guitar :
– Guitar-1 : Sharp
– Guitar-2 : Full of life
– Guitar-3 : Reverberate
– Guitar-4 : Glossy
– Guitar-5 : Well-Modulated
– Guitar-6 : Clear
– Guitar-7 : Definite
– Guitar-8 : Obedient
– Guitar-9 : Flamboyant
+ Vocal :
– Vocal-1 : Clear female
– Vocal-2 : Thick female
– Vocal-3 : Soft female
– Vocal-4 : Definite male
– Vocal-5 : Clear male
– Vocal-6 : Mighty male
– Vocal-7 : Quiet vocal
– Vocal-8 : Flamboyant vocal
– Vocal-9 : Reverberate vocal
+ Massive :
– Massive-1 : Reverberate
– Massive-2 : Mighty
– Massive-3 : Rich Snare
– Massive-4 : Rich Acoustic guitar
– Massive-5 : Rich Electric guitar
– Massive-6 : Deep
– Massive-7 : Thick Snare
– Massive-8 : Powerful Kick
– Massive-9 : Full of life
+ Please refer to our support page for more information on each genre.

+ Sophisticated UI, easy touch interface for shaping your sound.
+ Play music directly from your iTunes/iPod Music library.
+ Shuffle function.
+ Music selection is very similar to the standard music app.

Recommended Models:
iOS9.2 or later is installed, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s plus and iPhone SE required.

Note:
“Sound EQ palette” can not play DRM protected music. Currently, all music in iTunes has become a DRM-free.

Download Sound EQ palette

Pic Navi

Normally $2.99.

Pic Navi is an easy-to-use photo location viewer and editor. Browse pictures normally, and when you find a photo that you want to know where you took it, you can open a map that gives you driving, walking, cycling and transportation direction from your current location. You can adjust the photo location just by dragging a pin on a map. When you have a photo without GPS information, you can add it by typing an address. You can also remove GPS information when you want to make sure your privacy is protected.

Pic Navi can edit date and time of the photo. When you save photos you get from someone else, they are saved with the date and time they are saved, not when they were actually taken. You can modify it with Pic Navi, so for example, your photos and the photos you get from your friends can stick together. With Timezone Support, Pic Navi shows you the local time of the photo location, instead of your current timezone. Travel pictures with the accurate timestamp make revive your memory more vividly.

Use Pic Navi when you want to share a photo with its timestamp, like an old school camera. You can customize its size, format, font and color to your liking. You can also hide the timestamp by setting the font size to zero.

Features
– Direction from your current location to the location of the photo using a map app of your choice.
– Add, edit or remove location
– Customizable timestamp.
– Edit date and time.
– Timezone Support
– Albums in alphabetical order, plus search function
– Share one or more pictures with timestamps inscribed.

Download Pic Navi

Relaxia

Normally $0.99.

Over a million users and counting.

Relaxia is the ultimate app for relaxation and sleep, it is a great way to escape your daily stress and get a moment of inner peace and relaxation.

Relaxia provides various themes inspired from Nature to encourage tranquil and peaceful thoughts, and you will learn to go deeper into relaxing your body, spirit and mind

•Rain and Thunder
•Seaside, Beach sounds
•Underwater: Whales and Dolphins
•Fireplace
•Forest and Water streams

Relaxia has all the features you need in a stunning design and much more…

•Separate volume controls
•Play different sounds simultaneously
•Sleep timer

Download Relaxia

CubicToDo

Normally $0.99.

With CubicToDo, you will be able to manage the ToDo in the sense, such as fiddling with three-dimensional cube.

Have fun!

Function
-You can return to the previous page by swiping left.
-You can easily add and pull down lists and items.
-You can edit the list and press and hold the item.

Recommended for applications such
-Project management and work
-Inventory list of travel
-Restaurant list that I want to go
-Shopping list
-List of books you want to read and want to watch movies
-List of things you want to do before you die
-Quotations list
-Grocery Shopping list
-Wish list
-Check list
-It is recommended to people to feel that it is a bit difficult with Clear and Toodledo, OmniFocus, task +, Any.Do To-do list, the Wunderlist.

Download CubicToDo

SpeedyKey Keyboard

Normally $1.99.

Write faster, move the cursor, insert pre-written signatures and messages with reminders attached to them and much more with the new and groundbreaking SpeedyKey Keyboard.

Groundbreaking features:
• Pre-written Replies. Never forget to write or call someone back with pre-written SpeedyReplies with reminders – perfect when you don’t have the time to type a message. Just select your pre-written message, and a reminder will pop-up later. SpeedyReplies are also perfect for inserting text, like your signature, address, email etc.
• Move the Cursor. Press the space-bar and drag the cursor where you want it.
• Smart suggestions and auto-correct.
• Write numbers and signs like “@”, “?”, or “,” faster.
• Delete a word with a single gesture.
• Paste gesture.
• Gorgeous themes.
• Smileys.
• Hide the suggestion panel for more space.
• Speedy-Letters: if the selected language has some special letters, then you can quickly access them with one click. This makes it much faster to write in these languages.
• Speedy-Menu to quickly change the keyboard settings or language.

The following languages are available – more will soon follow:

• Danish
• English UK
• English US
• Faroese
• Icelandic
• Norwegian
• Spanish
• Swedish

Download SpeedyKey Keyboard

Call a Taxi PRO

Normally $0.99.

⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛ This app means you can instantly find a taxi – whenever you need it. Wherever you are in the world! ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

In 2 clicks you’ll be talking to the closest (and therefore cheapest) taxi company to your current location.

Never get stuck for transport in a strange city or late at night again. Buy it for your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend now! Even better – buy it for yourself.

Call a Taxi is one of those great iPhone apps. A must-have friend in your pocket, ready for when you need it.

[“Source-bgr”]

Annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit gets underway this week

Members of Bravo!, Vail’s Art in Public Places, the Vail Valley Art Guild and the town of Avon will head up to Breckenridge Thursday for the sixth annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit. Organizers are expecting more than 350 artists, creative businesspeople, nonprofit officials and city leaders for a gathering of individuals looking to better capitalize on their local arts and culture scenes.

The two-day summit will feature a variety of workshops, exhibits, performances, networking opportunities and keynote speakers, including Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Joining Chu on the lineup are Daniel Windham, director of arts at Wallace, and market research expert Bob Harlow, who will present information from various studies he’s undertaken and draw from his book, “The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences.”

Additionally, another presentation will feature Vince Kadlubek, co-founder and CEO of Meow Wolf, an arts collective behind the award-winning art experience “House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has generated a remarkable economic impact while supporting local growth and emerging talent.

“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet.”Christy CostelloProgram manager, Colorado Creative Industries

Also at the summit, there will be the 2017 Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards luncheon honoring community leaders who use art to impact social and civic change, with the awards crafted by local artist Martin Deegan.

The summit is all part of an effort to help creative entrepreneurs, communities and arts organizations expand their knowledge and reach, said Christy Costello, program manager at Colorado Creative Industries, who added that the summit always draws a wide audience, including some eccentrics.

For example, art cars — or fully functioning, elaborately decorated automobiles — seem to make it every year, Costello said, adding that one year at the Colorado arts summit she even saw a mini temple set ablaze — somewhat like the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet,” she said, explaining that generally the summit draws three main audiences — artists and creative business people, individuals representing arts organizations, and civic leaders who want to use the arts to better develop their communities.

Last year, the summit was in Carbondale, another Colorado mountain town about 20 miles south of Glenwood Springs, and Costello said they are especially eager to be heading to Breckenridge this year.

“Yeah, we’re really excited for everyone to see what they’ve done there,” she said of the town that recently earned a top national ranking in the annual Arts Vibrancy Index for small communities under 100,000 in population.

According to Colorado Creative Industries, the state also ranks in the top five states nationally for its high concentration of artists.

Colorado Creative Industries operates under the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Registration for the summit is $165. For more information, go to ColoradoCreativeIndustries.org/summit.

[“Source-vaildaily”]

Microsoft’s new education push plays to its strengths, the cheap and familiar

 

Microsoft never mentioned Chromebook by name, but it’s clear that Google’s browser-based hardware offering was at the front of everyone’s mind at today’s education event in New York City. The company has managed to control much of the market internally, but the Chromebook has swiftly eroded marketshare here in the States.

Microsoft’s solution is playing into the company’s strengths of low cost hardware running familiar software. That’s precisely what Windows 10 S is all about. Unlike recentl education plays from the company that centered around the Surface, Microsoft has returned to its roots, focusing on what made it a hit during the rise of netbooks: the low barrier of entry.

The company’s focus on Surface in education was a rejection of that appeal. Microsoft clearly learned from the rise of the iPad in education that the best solution was a premium one, hoping the highest end experience would be a lasting one that students would take with them as they graduated and entered the real world.

That focus allowed Google to sneak in. Much maligned at launch, Chromebooks have ultimately proven a hit in education due in no small part to their extremely low barrier of entry, coupled with software features focused at the IT departments that make many of the purchasing decisions for schools and districts.

When the company announced Intune for Education paired with hardware systems starting at $189 back in January, it was clear that the company had learned its from its missteps. The percentage of schools that can afford a truly premium one-to-one hardware solution is limited to small private schools and the like. And those school often opt for the iPad for its premium hardware/software solution.

 

For everyone else, cost is paramount. Windows 10 S is an acknowledgement of this fact. Due out this summer on a slew of systems from hardware partners like Dell and HP, the streamlined OS plays into this, and by delivering a familiar software experience, it may well maintain some of the market abroad, as it delivers familiar productivity solutions like Office, coupled with new additions like mixed reality and 3D content creation.

And, of course, the company will be able to maintain a fuller offline experience than many Chromebooks, which are still largely browser based. With more complete offline functionality, these devices can help the company stay ahead in other parts of the world where school WiFi is a luxury, rather than a given.

Sure, Surface will continue to be part of the company’s solution in education. The company even used today’s event to announce a new device in that space. But if that system has success in education, it will be of the higher variety – high school, perhaps, but even more likely college.

If the company is really going to retain and regain classroom desk space, it’s going to do so with the simple, the familiar and the affordable.

 
[“source-ndtv”]