Student Loan Forgiveness 2017- Don’t Panic (YET)

Last week, the Student Loan Ranger heard from a lot of panicked student loan borrowers who had read about a lawsuit that several borrowers and the American Bar Association filed against the Department of Education. These individuals had submitted employment verification certificates under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and were initially told that their employers, including the ABA, were considered eligible under the program.

Unfortunately, upon the Department of Education’s further review, their eligibility approval was rescinded, meaning that eligible payments they made while working for these employers would no longer count toward the 120 they needed to obtain forgiveness under the PSLF program.

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Short Synopsis of 58 page Court Opinion- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. Army Corps of Engineers #nodapl

Civil Action No. 16-1534 (JEB)

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in Indian or Environmental Law. I am a Lawyer/ Activist/ Educator with a sincere interest in the rights and struggle of Native American/ First Nation people. In our social movements, especially in the current fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, there are many serious issues. U.S. Treaty rights (such as the Treaty of Fort Laramie signed with the Sioux in 1868), Indigenous Rights, Human Rights, International Law, and land ethics are all important and relevant to this movement and the big issue of oil pipelines on or near tribal reservations.

I am writing this to outline the Judge’s rationale in his final 58-page decision regarding a court challenge to permits for the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. This is a “friendly” document to get clear on factual background and legal issues. We should understand how the law may (or may not) help us in future. Social media posts, conversations and rhetoric have spread about this lawsuit mentioning law that does not necessarily apply to this case.

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Enforced Assimilation- “English Only versus “Dirty Spanish”

Education for Autonomy Speaker Collective member, Irene Monica Sanchez, shares spectacular insight into the importance of preserving and celebrating our children’s second language.  Excerpt below…link to full article at end. Published on TeleSUR  September 7, 2016. 

The video of a school bus driver’s violent outburst against a Latino child shows that we are still the target of attempts to strip us of our humanity

I don’t understand Spanish. I’m not going to learn it. I live in America and it’s an English-speaking country … so if you want to speak to me, speak to me in English.”

-Mary Black, former school bus driver in Idaho, after pouring water on a Latino boy

Video recently surfaced of a school bus driver in Idaho, Mary Black, saying the above to Miguel Martinez, a young 8th-grade Latino boy riding the bus, She added in disgust “I wouldn’t want to touch you” as she proceeded to pour water on him. This is infuriating. As a second generation Xicana mother raising a young Brown boy of Mexican and Guatemalan descent who speaks two languages, because I have known for far too long how our Brown children have been told they are “dirty” for simply speaking and existing.


Federal Rights of English Language Learners- Are Teachers Following the Law?

The Obama administration released guidelines Wednesday that highlight the civil rights of students learning English as a second language, who under federal law are guaranteed targeted help and a high-quality public education.

There are about 5 million English-language learners in the United States, or about 9 percent of all public school students, and the number is increasing. So, too, are the number of civil rights complaints concerning English learners, according to the Education Department, while national test scores and other data show a persistent achievement gap between native English speakers and those learning English as a second language.

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The PARCC Test: Exposed

The author of this blog posting is a public school teacher who will remain anonymous.

I will not reveal my district or my role due to the intense legal ramifications for exercising my Constitutional First Amendment rights in a public forum. I was compelled to sign a security form that stated I would not be “Revealing or discussing passages or test items with anyone, including students and school staff, through verbal exchange, email, social media, or any other form of communication” as this would be considered a “Security Breach.” In response to this demand, I can only ask—whom are we protecting?



Teaching for Relevance: CENTRAL AMERICA

Teaching Central America

FREE RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS, COMMUNITY, PARENTS!!!  Anyone can form political education groups.  Check it out….

More than four million Central Americans reside in the United States today, yet the lack of resources in most schools on Central American heritage make the rich history and literature of the region invisible. Also missing from the curriculum is the direct connection between U.S. foreign policy and Central American immigration to the United States. People from Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras moved in large numbers to the United States during the 1960s-1990s, when U.S.-supported military dictatorships waged repressive wars against their populations.

Therefore, Teaching for Change has launched a campaign to encourage and support teaching about Central America. We have collected lessons, book lists, biographies of noted historical figures, and readings for free use by classroom teachers.


Oakland Elementary School Uses Tupac’s Poetry to Help Children Deal With PTSD