Cheating scandal: Feds say teachers hired stand-in to take their certification tests

It was a brazen and surprisingly long-lived scheme, authorities said, to help aspiring public school teachers cheat on the tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.

For 15 years, teachers in three Southern states paid Clarence Mumford Sr. — himself a longtime educator — to send someone else to take the tests in their place, authorities said. Each time, Mumford received a fee of between $1,500 and $3,000 to send one of his test ringers with fake identification to the Praxis exam. In return, his customers got a passing grade and began their careers as cheaters, according to federal prosecutors in Memphis.

Authorities say the scheme affected hundreds — if not thousands — of public school students who ended up being taught by unqualified instructors.

Mumford faces more than 60 fraud and conspiracy charges that claim he created fake driver’s licenses with the information of a teacher or an aspiring teacher and attached the photograph of a test-taker. Prospective teachers are accused of giving Mumford their Social Security numbers for him to make the fake identities.

Read more here.

Unions use Images of What???

I’m surprised they don’t include images of dead bodies.

No doubt firefighters perform heroic acts everyday – including that awful day in Oklahoma City when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

But to use images from that attack to oppose a law that would affect union collective bargaining procedures?

NewsOK:

A state senator today blasted a firefighter union television advertisement as “horrific and tasteless” for using images of the Oklahoma City bombing to make a case against his bill.

The advertisement by the International Association of Firefighters began airing today.

It asks residents to oppose Senate Bill 826, which changes how public safety labor unions and cities handle contract disputes.

Several images of firefighters are used in the commercial, including a short clip of the remnants of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after it was bombed April 19, 1995.

When the image of the bombed Murrah Building is shown in the commercial, a narrator says: “We’re there when you need us. Now we need you. Tell politicians to do what’s right: Oppose SB 826 and support Oklahoma’s firefighters.”

“The AFL-CIO and the IAFF should be ashamed of this horrific and tasteless commercial,” said Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City. “The victims and heroes of April 19th are not political pawns to be exploited whenever the Legislature seeks to reform a union negotiating process.”

Holt is a trustee for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, and wants the commercial off the air.

Wis. Police Defy Orders: Is It Anarchy?

An occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol by protesters fighting efforts to strip public workers of union bargaining rights carried on Sunday after police decided not to forcibly remove demonstrators and end a nearly two-week-long sit-in.

The state agency that oversees the Capitol asked the throngs of demonstrators who have camped out inside the building since Feb. 15 to leave by 4 p.m., saying the building was in dire need of a cleaning.

But in the hours before the deadline came and after it passed, it was clear most protesters did not intend to leave voluntarily and police had no immediate intention of forcing them to go.

Late Sunday night, Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said no demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law.

“People here have acted lawfully and responsibly,” Tubbs said. “There’s no reason to consider arrests.”

Tubbs said demonstrators who have occupied all three floors of the Capitol will have to relocate to the ground floor. He added that anyone who leaves the building will not be allowed back in, although police will allow union officials to bring food into the building for the protesters.

Demonstrators began camping out inside the normally immaculate Capitol two weeks ago in an effort to fight legislation proposed by Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, Scott Walker, that would strip most of the state’s public employees of the right to collectively bargain.

Labor leaders and Democratic lawmakers say the bill is intended to undermine the unions and weaken a key base of Democratic Party voters.

Read more here.

Collective Bargaining is Not a Right!

While citizens of Libya are being robbed of their “human rights” by being murdered by a ruthless dictator, our own labor unions and their allies in America are crying for their “human rights.” Take this Muslim Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison. In an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell he says that he is proud of his progressive caucus in the House because they are fighting for workers’ rights … after all, “Workers rights are human rights.”

I’m sorry, but taking away a union’s ability to collectively bargain hardly seems to be stripping Americans of their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. There is no human right to collective bargaining with your employer. It could be argued that you have a natural right to bargain individually with an employer .. but no right to team up with others for that purpose unless it is done by mutual agreement. And there’s the key.

It’s an agreement … a contract … and all of the parties have to be a part of it. You don’t have a human right to force mob rule on anyone. These thoughts, however, are a bit advanced for the typical liberal mind.

Nationwide Union Protests Fail!

Bill Jacobson reports that outside of the big rally in Madison, WI, the Moveon.Org sponsored labor protests across the country fell far short of expectations:

Promoters, such as David Dayen at Firedoglake, were predicting a million-person turnout nationwide. But reports as of 7:00 E.S.T. today make clear that other than in Madison, Wisconsin, the crowds were sparse.

The turnout in Madison was sizable, with estimates ranging over from 50-70,000, which included protesters bused in from other states. (Dayen is trying to pump the crowd estimate to over 100,000.) But elsewhere, the crowds numbered only in the hundreds or low thousands.

In Washington, D.C., only about 500 people showed up (go to link for good photos of crazy signs). (Note, WaPo says 1000.)

In Columbus, OH, where you would expect a big crowd given a similar controversy, only “several thousand” people protested.

Other head counts, based on news reports, include: Boston (1000), Portsmouth, N.H. (few hundred), Augusta, ME (small crowd), New York City (“several thousand”), Chicago (1000), Miami (100), Austin (several hundred), Chicago (1000); Lansing, MI (2000), Nashville (hundreds), Los Angeles (2000), Richmond, VA (300), Denver (1000); Frankfurt, KY (several hundred), Jefferson City, MO (several hundred), Harrisburg, PA (several hundred).

While I don’t have a complete count, based on these numbers from some major cities and labor states, total protesters nationwide (excluding Madison) likely totaled under 100,000 combined.

If only two people and a dog show up at a left wing protest, it gets front page coverage in the media so it’s not surprising that these sparsely attended events would get doting press by the national outlets.

What’s significant, as Jacobson points out, is that few outside of the labor movement participated. There is no wellspring of support for labor on these issues among the general public which should further isolate the protesters and fleebaggers in Wisconsin, Indiana, and anywhere else they try this “run and hide” tactic.

Paychecks to be withheld from absent Dem senators

At least they won’t profit from their misguided flight from democracy and reality. Fox 6:

Wisconsin’s 14 Democratic senators are being threatened with recalls and having their paychecks withheld because they’ve been hiding out of state since Thursday. But they say those threats won’t deter them in their opposition to the anti-union bill that prompted their flight.

The senators have been gone for five days. As long as they’re away there aren’t enough senators left to take action on a bill by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that would strip unionized public employees of most of their bargaining rights.

The pressure is ramping up for the Democrats to return. A Utah-based group has filed paperwork to recall some of them, and the Senate passed a measure withholding paychecks from absent lawmakers.

This will do far more to bring the legislators back to the statehouse than anything else. The recall effort probably won’t go anywhere but forcing them to pick up their paychecks on the senate floor is a stroke of genius. All the Republicans need is one senator to make a quorum and pass the bill.

This madness will end with a whimper, not a bang.

Obama: I will ‘paint the nation purple with SEIU’

Christie calls O’Keefe’s video of a teachers’ union conference ‘enlightening’ and ‘enraging’

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday lauded conservative activist James O’Keefe’s video, that showed teachers railing on the governor and bragging about the benefits of tenure at a teachers’ union conference, for demonstrating what he has been saying about New Jersey teachers’ unions for a long time.

“This is what I’ve been talking about,” Christie said. “This is another exhibit as to what I’ve been talking about. The arrogance, the greed, the self-interest, the lack of introspection, the lack of standards. And it hurts the great teachers just as much as it hurts the kids.”