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Friday, September 22, 2017

Populist Victories Won In This Conservative Colorado Town

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

What’s been happening politically and culturally this year in Colorado’s second largest city is inspiring. Progressive/populist organizing to build grassroots movements to counter plutocratic rule and govern in the people’s interest now have a model of success in one of the least likely places.

Since the 1990s, Colorado Springs has been shaped by an inordinate number of right-wing institutions. Yet, the Springs also is home to a hardy band of progressives, including environmentalists, unionists, women’s champions, scrappy entrepreneurs, LGBTQ activists, students and teachers, a sizeable immigrant population, social justice church groups and some sensible libertarians.…

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Taking Charter Schools Private — With Public Funds

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

This story was co-published with Slate.

This past June, Florida’s top education agency delivered a failing grade to the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy in suburban Jacksonville for the second year in a row. It designated the charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade as the worst public school in Clay County, and one of the lowest performing in the state.

Two-thirds of the academy’s students failed the state exams last year, and only a third of them were making any academic progress at all. The school had had four principals in three years, and teacher turnover was high, too.…

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