Saturday, December 15, 2012


LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG Diane Ravitch's blog 12-8-12 #SOSCHAT



Diane Ravitch's blog

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG 
DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG


Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

Reflections from Readers, 22

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 11 minutes ago
From a principal: In a school year I typically have about 6-8 of my elementary students who spend time in mental health treatment facilities. These children are 9-12 years old. One left my school in an ambulance this week. We do our best with these disturbed children, but I feel like it’s a bandaid on [...]

Today We Mourn

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 hours ago
I had half a dozen interesting posts ready to go out today, but I decided it was inappropriate to return to business as usual after the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. I postponed them. So you won’t be getting another post today. This is a time to mourn, to reflect, to be still. [...]

Thoughts After Sandy Hook

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 13 hours ago
I couldn’t bear watching the news anymore. I went to see “Lincoln” at the neighborhood multiplex. Sat through about six previews of coming attractions. Every one of them featured guns and violence. One was about 1930s gangs. Lots of shooting and killing. I kept wondering why Hollywood glamorizes violence. Why are guns such a symbol [...]

School Shooting in Connecticut

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 21 hours ago
I am in shock. Just heard the news of a mass murder of elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut. CNN says “close to 20″ were killed. News reports on AOL says it is 27, including at least 18 children and the principal. They say the killer wore a bullet-proof vest and brought guns to the [...]

DC Teachers: Any advice for Omaha?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 23 hours ago
Carey Wright, who was chief academic officer in DC under Michelle Rhee, has applied for the job of superintendent in Omaha. Educators and parents wonder if she will import Rhee’s aggressive tactics to their district. She had a great PowerPoint but went out of her way to make two points: one, she is not Rhee. [...]

Why Republicans Will Not Use the V Word

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Why do Republicans like Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal fear to use the V word? Why do they say “opportunity scholarship” when they really mean Voucher? As with most everything else (as Gail Collins said in her latest book), the answer may be found in Texas. Texas, as we all know, is a red red [...]

RI Teacher: “I Quit”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
This second-grade teacher explained on a YouTube video why he quit. High-stakes testing and regimentation broke his spirit and that of his students. Watch it and send it to your friends and to parents. Help this go viral.

Does StudentsFirst Support Collective Bargaining? UPDATE!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
StudentsFirst likes to keep everyone guessing about its true purposes. It wants “great” teachers but doesn’t think teachers should have any due process rights. It either supports collective bargaining or is neutral on collective bargaining or is against collective bargaining. It claims to be a liberal group that “puts students first” but gives campaign funds [...]

Researcher Asks: When Does Reform Need Reform?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Julian Vasquez Heilig has done a round-up, Texas-style, of research on Teach for America. Given that the focus of his research is equity, his round-up makes for interesting reading.

Exclusive! Pasi Sahlberg on TIMSS and PIRLS

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
At my request, Pasi Sahlberg has written comments on the latest international test scores. Sahlberg is a prominent Finnish educator and author of the award-winning book “Finnish Lessons.” Sahlberg writes: International testing mania This week educators around the world got a new opportunity to benchmark their students’ performance to their international competitors when The International [...]

Privatization Accelerates in Memphis

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Memphis is set to lose more charter schools to privatization. With Kevin Huffman, former PR director for TFA, now Commissioner of Education, backed by a rightwing majority in the legislature, public schools are being handed off to charter chains. EduShyster supplies the details. The reform business is booming in Tennessee, especially in poor Memphis.

A Bizarre Article Planted by StudentsFirst

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
I usually ignore editorials and opinion articles about education in the tabloids of New York City because 99% say the same things: public schools are bad, public school teachers are awful or criminal or should be fired, and charter schools are all great. (By contrast, both the New York Post and the New York Daily [...]

A Fab New Program: America for America

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Friends and readers, many years ago I worked for a small magazine. Once in a while, we would receive a submission from a completely unknown writer. We said “it came over the transom.” Now to understand the expression, you have to know what a transom is. It’s the movable glass panel on a hinge over [...]

The Outrageous Attacks on Susan Rice

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
I don’t usually comment on matters outside education, but I had to say something about the bullying of Susan Rice. I don’t think I ever met Susan, but I knew her mother fairly well when I worked at the Brookings Institution, so I followed Susan’s remarkable career. Susan Rice graduated from Stanford University, where she [...]

Randi Weingarten’s Excellent Proposal for the Teaching Profession

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, understands that teachers must be better prepared in the future. At present, the standards for entry into teaching are a hodgepodge, are set by every state and district at varying levels, and many new teachers arrive with an online degree or with only a few weeks [...]

Secret Agreement Revealed Between New Jersey and Broad Foundation

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
The New Jersey Star-Ledger published news of a secret agreement that was leaked to the paper. The state of New Jersey entered into an agreement with the Broad Foundation to meet the foundation’s demands; the money awarded to the state is available only so long as Governor Chris Christie remains in office. This suggests that [...]

When Brookings Honored a Governor Who Supports Vouchers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gained a valuable national platform at the Brookings Institution in Washington, where he explained that vouchers were the path to excellent education for all. Of course, he didn’t use the V word. Like all Republicans pushing a stealth agenda, he calls them “opportunity scholarships.” Here is a video of his presentation, [...]

A Brilliant and Disturbing Analysis of the Future of Teacher Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Bruce Baker of Rutgers has taken it on himself to dissect the claims and plans of the “reformers” about teacher education. The reformers hate traditional ed schools, even those connected to major flagship universities. They blame them for accepting bottom third students and then training them poorly. Baker looks at the issues and examines the “cures” [...]

Vouchers in Chile: Lessons Learned

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Now that many Republican dominated states like Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin are enacting vouchers, it is a good time to look at the experience of vouchers in Chile. The Pinochet military dictatorship became infatuated with free-market ideas and imposed vouchers in the early 1980s. To learn about the Chilean experience with vouchers, I turned [...]

Advice to David Coleman: Revise the Common Core Standards

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Dear David, I know you must be pleased that the Common Core standards have been adopted in 46 states. And now as president of the College Board, you will be able to align the content of the SAT with the Common Core. But David, the Common Core is becoming a laughing stock at the same [...]

The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time: UPDATE with LINK!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
EduShyster here explicates the civil rights issue of our time. She learned that the Feds were investigating the public schools of Fall River, Massachusetts, for their high suspension rate. But, oh my, she discovered a group of schools with even higher suspension rates than Fall River. Worse, these schools are highly segregated. So suspension is [...]

Teacher: When I Dared to Ignore the Standards

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
A teacher writes: “I went to the Thinking in the Deep End blog, as you suggested, and returned to your site resisting the urge to cry. As a recent arrival to the teaching field — as a creative writer/poet and journalist who did so at the ripe age of 48, that is — I am [...]

What is Governor Tom Corbett’s Record on Education?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
As Pennsylvania gears up for the next gubernatorial election, Governor Corbett’s spokesperson says the governor is proud of his education record. He claims that he has raised state spending on education to its highest levels. Not so fast. This Pennsylvania blogger says that Corbett cut nearly $1 billion from the public school budget last year, [...]

Who Was Behind Michigan “Right to Work” Law

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
This past week, Michigan became the 24th state to pass a Right to Work (for Less) bill. Wherever did the legislation originate? The Center for Media and Democracy knows: it was copied almost verbatim from ALEC model legislation to quash unions. ALEC, if you did not know, is a secretive organization with 2,000 or so [...]

Teacher Ratings: Charters say “No, Thanks!”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Students for Education Reform and StudentsFirst have brought pressure on the New York City teachers’ union to agree to a deal with the state to rate teachers by their students’ test scores. But what these groups have overlooked is that the overwhelming majority of charter schools have said no. Few have turned in their teacher [...]

Michael Winerip Slips In an Education Column

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
I used to wait with great anticipation every Sunday night to read Michael Winerip’s education column. They were always informative and on the cutting edge of important issues. But a few months ago, for no discernible reason, the newspaper of record canceled his invaluable column and gave him the assignment of writing about “Boomers.” I [...]

Tony Bennett Lands on his Feet in Florida

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Tony Bennett, the defeated state superintendent from Indiana, has landed the job as state commissioner in Florida. Bennett is the hero to the rightwing “reform” sector, a champion of privatization, vouchers, charters, online for-profit schools, and the Common Core. His last action in Indiana was to lower standards for new trackers and principals, so that [...]

Pennsylvania Should Veto Every Virtual Proposal

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Pennsylvania has 16 online charter schools for K-12. They all get terrible results. Some are for profit, some are nonprofit. The state auditor issued a scathing report earlier this year finding that they overcharge the state by many millions of dollars. Rhonda Brownstein of the Education Law Center urges the state education board to reject [...]

When Silence is Not Golden

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
EduShyster gets amazing tips. This is a description of the typical day of a child in a new “no-excuses” school. She answers questions with a programmed response. She walks in silence. She does exactly what she is told. The teacher speaks in scripted language. The child obeys. What did this child do to deserve this [...]

Will John Dewey High School Survive?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Gail Robinson writes about education in New York City. This post is about the fate of John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, about which I posted earlier. In this article, published in June, she detailed the dreams and anticipated demise of John Dewey High School. Once it was seen as the cutting edge of progressive [...]

Yong Zhao on TIMSS Results

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
The release of the latest international test scores has set off a new round of wailing and gnashing of teeth about America’s schools. Yong Zhao has a completely different take on the scores and what they mean. It is a long post but well worth reading.

A Scholar Joins the Honor Roll

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Bruce Baker of Rutgers joins the honor roll, not as a champion of public education, but as a champion of honesty, accuracy and integrity. Scholars must go where the evidence takes them, not where it is popular or politically expedient, Today, Baker is outraged that the Néw York state education department continues to press for [...]

The Good News on TIMSS Tests

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
GF Brandenburg has a great post on the latest TIMSS test. It puts paid to the customary hand-wringing (did you hear that, Wall Street Journal?) about the international test scores. No crisis. The real question, aside from the horse race, is whether the scores mean anything at all. The US came in last when the [...]

Hats Off to TFA!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Teach for America is an amazing organization. It has a board of directors with some of the most powerful corporate leaders in the nation. In its twenty two years, it has sent about 33,000 young college graduates to teach for a while in the nation’s neediest schools. This year, about 10,000 corps members started teaching. [...]

Brilliant! Opposite Day in Ohio with StudentsFirst

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
This may be the best blog post of the year. Read it. It is priceless! Welcome to Opposite Day in Ohio! Veteran educator Maureen Reedy explains what “education reform” meant on Opposite Day. This is the day when StudentsFirst came to the Ohio Legislature to tout the virtues of charter schools, even though public schools [...]

Jindal: Vouchers Will Provide Excellence for All

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal used his platform at the Brookings Institution to argue that vouchers are the best way to provide excellence for all children. Joy Resmovits of the Huffington Post wrote an excellent description of his presentation, noting that a court in Louisiana had just called the funding of vouchers unconstitutional. Jindal assured her [...]

Sandra Stotsky: The Leading Critic of Common Core

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
I just posted an article written by David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, explaining that the Common Core standards are not antagonistic to literature and fiction, and that they promote a higher quality of both fiction and nonfiction. Within minutes, I received a post from Sandra Stotsky, expressing her vehement opposition to the Common Core standards. [...]

David Coleman Clarifies Role of Fiction in Common Core Standards

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
In response to a loud outcry about the place of fiction in the English classes, David Coleman and Susan Pimentel have written a description of the requirements for reading in the standards. Susan Pimentel was co-writer with David Coleman of the English language arts standards in the Common Core State Standards. Coleman and Pimentel insist [...]

Karen Lewis: Where Corporate Reform Is Going

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
A Comment from Karen Lewis about the simultaneous deluge of “reforms,” none of which is grounded in research or experience: “Any decent researcher knows that when you change more than one variable in an experiment, you have to do some pretty heavy lifting in order to determine which one had more effect than another. So [...]

Teacher: Please Hear Me, Mayor Bloomberg

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
In his weekly radio interview, Mayor Bloomberg said that wants to hold teachers’ feet to the fire. He wants them evaluated by the scores of their students and he wants their ratings published. He is furious that the union has been unwilling to agree to a pact. He says he will cut the budget if [...]

Randi Weingarten: VAM Is Junk Science

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
The United Teachers of Los Angeles reached an evaluation agreement that minimizes the use of test scores. Perhaps they were burned by the inappropriate public release of teacher ratings devised by the Los Angeles Times. I don’t understand how their evaluation system will work, but this is the key takeaway: AFT President Randi Weingarten called [...]

What’s With Edweek?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Over the past year, I have gotten several invitations to events by Education Week. All were promoting technology in the classroom and were sponsored by technology companies hawking their wares. I found this upsetting, even offensive. How can a newspaper report on companies while collaborating to sell their products? Why not just let these corporations [...]

Outlook for Common Core: Turmoil Ahead

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Researchers usually find that students flourish where there is stability in the school, with an experienced staff, clear expectations, small classes, and a rich curriculum. In Kentucky, first state to implement and test the Common Core, student scores fell and achievement gaps widened. This teacher in Connecticut foresees rough weather ahead as the state and [...]

Why Is Big Brother Watching You?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
When I worked in the federal Department of Education twenty years ago, I recall getting blizzards of postcards and letters from individuals and groups that were worried that the government was collecting too much information about them or their children. I pointed out repeatedly that the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which was in my [...]

How to Become a Teacher in Need of Improvement

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
A teacher explains how she went from effective to “in need of improvement”: “I too have been highly effective for the 13 years I have been in the classroom, until last year, that is. I am now a teacher in need of improvement, not due to my teaching or my rapport with my students, but [...]

Joshua Starr: “Stop the Insanity”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Joshua Starr is the superintendent of Montgomery County’s public school system, the 17th largest district in the nation. He says that the “country needs a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and needs to ‘stop the insanity’ of evaluating teachers according to student test scores because it is based on ‘bad science.’He also said that the [...]

The Financial Benefits of the Crisis in Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Jeff Bryant writes here of the uses of a crisis. When everything is terrible, terrible, and getting worse, the public can be convinced to go along with any crazy idea, even to hand their children over to for-profit entrepreneurs. The next crisis, he predicts, will occur when the results of Common Core testing come in, [...]

CTU: A Scary Bedtime Story About Greedy Fatcats Who Want to Destroy Public Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
In this video, a father tells a scary story to his little girl as he tucks her in at night. It is about the greedy Fatcats who are trying to close Chicago’s public schools and take them private. This is a creative use of social media to educate the public.

What’s the Deal with Students for Education Reform?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Students for Education Reform thinks teachers should promptly agree to be evaluated by student test scores. They like standardized tests and want them to be the determinant of their teachers’ careers. They even held a demonstration at New York City’s City Hall to say so. But not so fast. Bruce Baker has studied and critiqued [...]

Why Do Hedge Fund Managers Adore Charters?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Many people have asked the question. Some are idealistic. Some think they know how to reform schools. Some think that all schools should be like KIPP. Some think that the free market cures everything. But others see profits. Julian Vasquez Heilig explains it here. Juan Gonzalez came to the same answer over two years ago. In [...]

The Big Five: A Better Way Forward for Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Andrew Hargreaves has some ideas about how education can improve and stop demoralizing those who work in schools. First, he looks for the good that Race to the Top may have accomplished. Then he looks at other nations’ experience and finds that those who are most successful are not doing anything that looks like Race [...]

Student Surveillance

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Remember the student who refused to wear a tracking tag? Here is more. Who else wears these devices? Prisoners.

Wisconsin Study: Report Cards Favor Advantaged, Publics Outperform Charters

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
A new study by Wisconsin Forward Institute finds that the state report cards reflect the economic advantage and disadvantage of students. Schools that serve the poorest students get lowest grades. Schools that serve the most advantaged students get highest grades. The study also concluded that students in Wisconsin’s public schools out-perform students in Wisconsin charter [...]

Texas State Board Member: Too Much Testing!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Thomas Ratliff was elected to the Texas State Board of Education in 2010. A Republican, he has emerged as one of the most eloquent and powerful voices for public education in the state. In this article, explains; Testing in Texas is out of control. But wait: here is Sandy Kress, architect of the reviled NCLB, [...]

NPR: School District Owes $1 Billion on $100 Million Loan

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Something is terribly wrong when banks and other financial institutions make obscene profits by making loans to build schools. Can’t government figure out a way to pay to build schools without enriching investors and bankrupting school districts? How do other nations do it?

When Sabrina Stevens Crashed the ALEC Meeting

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Sabrina Stevens wanted to tell the ALEC education task force what she thought of their plans to privatize American education and destroy unions. At first, she planned to protest. Instead, she walked right in, sat quietly, fumed, and then spoke out.

Is It Possible to Drink Cereal Crumbs? UPDATE! Link added!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Veteran teacher Arthur Goldstein of New York City analyzes the age-old question: Is it possible to drink cereal crumbs? He offers a video demonstration and asks us to consider the meaning of this experiment: If it is possible, what are the implications for American education? If it is not, will anyone know? And who will [...]

Mayor Bloomberg: Beware of Junk Science!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
New York City’s Department of Education (meaning, Mayor Bloomberg) and the United Federation of Teachers are wrangling about the formula for rating and ranking teachers and how much of it should be determined by test scores. The mayor still wants to publish the names of teachers along with their ratings so that parents will know [...]

What Would Charters Mean for Mississippi?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
The superintendent of a small district in Arkansas has advice for Mississippi leaders who are impressed with the charter idea. She says, yes, she admires charters. Yes, they can work very well. But wait. The charters demand parental involvement and good behavior. They can kick out the kids who don’t comply, and those kids return [...]

Florida Superintendent: VAM Is Garbage In, Garbage Out

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Dan Boyd, the superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools in Florida, explains what a mess the Florida value-added assessment program is. Sixty-seven counties are each using their own formulas to rate teachers. In his own county, 75% of the teachers are not teaching subjects or grades that are tested, so they are evaluated based on [...]

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
With each new expansion of charters, the public is assured that “charters are public schools,” and “competition will be good for everyone,” and “everyone should have choice.” But as this article explains, there is another agenda at work. The author, a former executive director of the Georgia Republican Party, explains the agenda. The current public [...]

Stephen Krashen: Our PISA Scores are Just Right

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Stephen Krashen is an expert on linguistics and literacy. He read Arthur Levine’s scathing criticism of US test scores on the PISA exam and decided to do his own analysis. He decided Levine was far too negative. Krashen decided that: “the US does quite well, controlling for SES. And maybe American scores are ‘just right.’” [...]

Pa. Auditor: State Wasting Millions on Cybercharters

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Pennsylvania’s State Auditor Jack Wagner has been a fiscal watchdog who serves the public interest. He has repeatedly warned that the state’s multiplying cybercharters are claiming far more money than they need for the online instruction they offer. Earlier this year, Wagner warned that the state was wasting $365 million a year on cybercharters and [...]

Don’t Make Mother Crusader Mad!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
When the CREDO national study of charters was released in 2009, it made huge headlines because it found that only 17% of charters were higher-performing than traditional public schools. The other 83% were either no different or lower performing. Critics of charters often cite this study because CREDO has impeccable pro-charter credentials. Its leader Margaret [...]

Preparing Our Youth for the Military-Industrial Complex and Global Competition

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
On November 28, at a meeting of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice discussed the report of a task force they chaired and the report they produced for the Council on Foreign Relations. The central claim of the report was that American public education is so dreadful that it [...]

When Grover Whitehurst Testified Against Class Size Reduction

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Most of the school boards in Texas are suing the state because of outrageous budget cuts (over $5 billion in the last legislative session), which caused increased class size. The state called as its witness Grover Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, to testify that class size doesn’t matter. Whitehurst was in charge of the U.S. [...]

Mayor Bloomberg: Time to Hold Teachers’ Feet to Fire

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided that rating teachers by their test scores and publishing their names in the paper is the last hill he will stand on in his struggle to establish a legacy. He says it is time to hold teachers’ feet to the fire. He would rather cut the budget than let teachers [...]

Vermont Superintendent Orders Staff to Innovate: UPDATE!!!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
The superintendent of schools in Franklin County, Vermont, “blasted” the faculty and administration of the high school for resisting innovation. He demanded a faster pace of change because the school is not making progress towards the NCLB goal of 100% proficiency, The school’s proficiency rates are about the same as the state average. Can’t help [...]

EduShyster: The Solution to Our National Security Crisis

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Here it is, folks. When your nation is in the midst of a grave–no, make that “a very grave” national security crisis, what can you do? Do it the American way: Go shopping. Buy lots of shiny new technology and soon all those threats to our future will disappear. Just be sure to buy from [...]

When Education Leaders Curse in Public: UPDATE! IT IS WORSE!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Rachel Levy asks whether it is appropriate for education leaders to curse or use sexual analogies in public. Apparently, David Coleman, the newly installed president of the College Board, used a certain four-letter word at a recent Brookings conference on testing. This was not the first time this particular barnyard epithet has escaped Mr. Coleman’s [...]

$5 Million Grant Will Expand Two Charter Schools in Hartford

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
The Gates Foundation awarded $5 million to Hartford, Connecticut, schools, most of which will go to two charter school companies. One has never enrolled an English language learner. The other has small numbers of ELLs and students with disabilities; it was co-founded by the state’s Commissioner of Education. The governor, mayor and state commissioner appeared [...]

Why Is Pennsylvania Mad for Cybercharters?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Pennsylvania is on its way to becoming the Wild West for Cybercharters, where anything goes, so long as it’s online. The state already has 16 Cybercharters. Now it is considering another 8 of them. The only states with more students enrolled in virtual charters are Ohio and Arizona. This likely expansion will occur despite repeated [...]

David Coleman, Please Speak Up!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
An article appeared in a British newspaper claiming that such books as “Catcher in the Rye” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be dropped from the curriculum because of the Common Core standards. Says the Daily Telegraph: “Suggested non-fiction texts include Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Invasive [...]

Setting Schools Up to Fail

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
A teacher in California writes: I am just about finished with your book The Death and Life of the Great American School System, and as a public high school teacher of 22 years, I would like to thank you for your eloquent defense of public education. My wife is also a public school teacher, and [...]

A Radical Right-Wing Idea: The A La Carte School

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Stephanie Simon of Reuters continues to be the most industrious investigative education journalist in the nation. Here she reveals the outline of the free-market model of school, where students learn what they want, where they want, when they want, and pay for it with taxpayer dollars. She calls it “a la carte” schooling. It eliminates [...]

My Conversation with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
I had a great, great time talking to Tavis Smiley and Cornel West! It was like old home week. I think you will enjoy listening.

Michigan Senate and House Pass “Right to Work” Bill

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
The right to work legislation was approved by the Michigan State Senate. Union protesters ringed the State Capitol building but were ignored (well, not exactly ignored, some got pepper sprayed). Governor Rick Snyder pledged to sign it and said that it would bring the state together. It surely clears the way for employers to hire hourly [...]


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