Saturday, March 16, 2013

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG Diane Ravitch's blog 3-16-13 #SOSCHAT



Diane Ravitch's blog

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


Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

Book Banning in Chicago

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
Since I wrote a book a decade ago called “The Language Police,” I can’t pretend to be shocked that a book was pulled, removed, or censored by the Chicago Public Schools. Jersey Jazxman sums up the controversy here. It is no consolation, perhaps, to know that school boards–state and local–have been censoring books for many [...]

The First Newsletter from Network for Public Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 hours ago
The first newsletter from the Network for Public Education is out! We aim to to knit together the hundreds of district and state organizations that are supporting their community schools. Please read and get involved! Diane

Bill Gates “Loans” $10 Million to Central Falls, RI

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 hours ago
This is an odd story Bill Gates is “loaning” $10 million to Central Falls, Rhode Island, to expand and repair “high-performing” public and charter schools. If you recall, Central Falls is the tiny district where the district superintendent announced her intention to fire the entire staff of the high school. The state superintendent said it [...]

Who Is the Most Incoherent Ex-Governor in America?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 hours ago
Jersey Jazzman knows. Read here.

Paul Thomas: Ravitch Right, Tucker Wrong

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 15 hours ago
Paul Thomas rejects Marc Tucker’s critique of my view on the Common Core. I agree with Paul. So there.

New Florida Law=$$ for For-Profit Charters

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 15 hours ago
Coach Bob Sikes reports: “Floridians have not witnessed such an avalanche of legislation intended to shift tax payer dollars which once went to public schools to the education for profit industry.” Charter industry supporters said they wanted to “ease the financial burden on charter schools.” State funding will be very generous to for-profit charter corporations. [...]

Louisiana Teacher: “I Quit!”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 19 hours ago
Abby Breaux, a 25-year veteran teacher in Louisiana, wrote an open letter to the state board of education to explain why she was quitting. It is a powerful letter that demonstrates the complete disconnect between the people on the state board who make the rules and the teachers in the classroom who must live with [...]

Marc Tucker Says I Am Wrong About Common Core

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 20 hours ago
Marc Tucker says I am wrong for saying I cannot support the Common Core. Unlike me, he says they need no field testing, no trial. He doesn’t worry–as I do–that they are developmentally inappropriate for the early grades. He doesn’t worry–as I do–that the rigor-rigor-rigor that is so widely hailed might widen the achievement gap [...]

A Teacher Asks: What Is the Goal of Common Core?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 22 hours ago
A comment from a teacher. She writes: I work with gifted students in an affluent district and I’m quite concerned with Common Core. Diane’s article points out some very serious flaws in how this is being foisted on states and thus, schools, teachers and the children in them. The students I work with will likely [...]

Why This Reader Loves Bruce Baker

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 22 hours ago
Brian Ford writes to express his admiration for Bruce Baker’s work. Baker is at Rutgers in New Jersey. He has published many valuable statistical analyses of school finance, charter schools, and the teaching profession. He is especially good at debunking inflated claims. Brian Ford writes: I always liked Bruce Baker, but now he is a [...]

Yes, It Is OK to Teach Literature in English Class!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 23 hours ago
Kay McSpadden, a high school English teacher in York, S.C., was told by school officials that English classes would have to stop teaching literature due to the new Common Core standards. She knows that isn’t true, and David Coleman (“the architect of the Common Core standards”) has said it isn’t true. But the word reaching [...]

Florida Teacher: A Fruitless Pursuit of My VAM Rating

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Please read the link in this comment. Kafkateach has been trying, again and again, to find out what her VAM score for 2011-2012 was. No one will tell her. No one knows. It is being calculated. It is being recalculated. If it takes two years to find out what your evaluation score is, what value [...]

What Is the Evidence for Common Core?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
When No Child Left Behind was passed, the law contained dozens of references to evidence-based policy or practice. But NCLB itself was not based on evidence. It was based on a political campaign claim about a “miracle” in Texas. The miracle was spin and hype. It didn’t happen. After ten years of NCLB, the nation [...]

Teacher: Kopp Can’t Connect the Dots

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
A teacher in California heard Tavis Smiley and Cornel West interview Wendy Kopp, Jonathan Kozol, and me–in separate interviews–and this was her reaction. She wrote a post called “TFA can’t connect the dots.” Here is a link to the interview with Kopp. A link to the interview with me. A link to the interview with [...]

How Many Reformers Does It Take to Fix a School?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
John J. Vial has written a hilarious spoof of school reform. You will enjoy reading it

Providence Student Union to Adults: Take the Test

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Members of the Providence Student Union persuaded at least 50 adults to take the high school graduation test this Saturday. One who took it early was State Senator Gayle Goldin. She fears she didn’t do very well. This is a stellar example of creative student protest. No one was injured. They are making their point [...]

Big Data and Your Child

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Here is a good account of the plans that Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch have for your child’s personal information. Hey, the data will generate a $20 billion industry. Not for you, of course. Leave a comment, if you are do inclined.

Father Sends Email to State: DO NOT RELEASE MY CHILD’S DATA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Louisiana has agreed to turn over the confidential personal data of all its students to a corporation created by the Gates Foundation and Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation (it is called inBloom). Many parents are furious and want to know what they can do. This father sent an email to the State Department of Education directing [...]

What Emergency Managers Do

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Pontiac, Michigan, has had three emergency managers since 2009. They have gotten rid of most public services, either by outsourcing or privatizing them. A powerful quote in this NY Times story: “An emergency manager is like a man coming into your house,” said Donald Watkins, a city councilman. “He takes your checkbook, he takes your [...]

Why Did the Teachers Strike in Chicago?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
For more than a week in September, the nation was astonished to see thousands of Chicago teachers on strike. The media treated it as an old fashioned dispute over wages and hours, which it was not. Many of us who follow education issues knew that the teachers were striking against nearly 20 years of nonstop [...]

Martel: How the Reform Agenda Got Hijacked by the 1%

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Erich Martel, an award-winning social studies teacher who retired after teaching for many years in the D.C. Public schools, here explains how unrealistic expectations set up the schools for failure and a hostile takeover. In doing so, he quotes my words back to me: Martel writes: How the Bipartisan Education Reform Party (forget right-wing vs [...]

The Myth of Principal Empowerment in NYC

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Marc Epstein is an experienced history teacher in NYC who holds a Ph.D. In Japanese history. When the Department of Education closed his historic high school (Jamaica High School), Marc joined the ranks of teachers who are assigned to different schools weekly. He has written many articles for Huffington Post and New York City dailies. [...]

“A Teacher in Charterland”: True and Sad

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
EduShyster here shares a video of a teacher who thought she had found her dream job teaching performing arts in a charter school in Massachusetts. But then she learned what mattered most: testing.

NAISON: Why I Am Speaking at Occupy the DOE

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
There will be a demonstration at the U.S. Department of Education from April 4-7. One of the speakers will be Mark Naison, who teaches African-American studies at Fordham University. Here he explains why he will be there: I am coming to Washington because our public education system is being systematically dismantled by people whose power [...]

Parents Debate How to Opt Out

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
This is part of an email conversation that I received. It is an exchange between two parents: The first one writes: “Hello Everyone! “Well…it is that time of year again…TCAP testing. I really hate this time of year. “As I have done for the past TEN years for all of my children, I opted my [...]

Are Conservatives Spending Scarce Tax Dollars Wisely?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Paul Thomas chastises conservative leaders in South Carolina for doing the same thing over and over for thirty years and expecting to get different results. Thirty years of testing, accountability, and choice have been expensive and have not solved the state’s education problems. The testing corporations have benefitted, but not students. Meanwhile the root cause [...]

Pennsylvania Parents: This Is Our Vision for Great Public Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Yinzercation, a terrific blog in Pennsylvania, describes a concerted effort by citizens to define great public schools. What would you change? This is their vision: “What is your vision for great public education? If you could wave your magic wand today and create the perfect public school in your neighborhood, what would it look like? [...]

Vouchers in Chile: Greater Inequality

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
I am on my way to Baton Rouge for a mini-debate with Chas Roemer, the president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. I read some of Mr. Roemer’s ideas on the Internet, and he is a big enthusiast for vouchers, charters, and every kind of privatization, as well as lowering standards for [...]

Colorado Students Plan Anti-Testing Protest Today

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Students are the main targets and main victims of bad education policy. Across the country, they are taking the lead in defending their right to learn. Today, students in Colorado will lead their own protest: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WHAT : Students standing up for our education WHEN : March 14th, 2013 from 11am [...]

Who Is Behind the Corporate Smear Machine?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
I posted earlier about a web attack on the integrity of the distinguished scholar Gene Glass. Dr. Glass had the nerve to write a critical review of virtual charter schools, based on research and evidence. Observant readers discovered who created the domain name of the attack website. First, Sherman Dorn tracked down the domain owner. [...]

Another Day, Another Phony Claim of Charter “Success”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
The Washington Post has a story today reporting that the “median” charter school in D.C. outperforms the “median” public school. This claim is based on a study that shows a difference in proficiency rates between the two sectors. There are two ways, at least, to read this story: One is that the leadership of the D.C. [...]

How to Join the Network for Public Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Several readers have contacted me asking how they can join the Network for Public Education. Some read about it but don’t know how to find the website. Here it is: http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org If you belong to a grassroots organization, please become one of our allies. We will connect you to other grassroots organizations fighting against high-stakes testing, [...]

What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Privacy Rights

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Sheila Kaplan is one of the leading authorities on privacy rights of children. She was invited to testify on the issue in Missouri, but was unable to appear due to the weather. She shares here her testimony with readers of this blog. Here is a key point that she makes: “Given this new landscape of [...]

The Failed Charter Schools of Florida

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
This morning,I posted about a bogus claim (“study”) released by the Florida Department of Education, asserting that the state’s 518 charter schools “outperform” public schools. This was intended presumably to support former Governor Jeb Bush’s claims about a “Florida miracle.” Except that no study conducted by independent researchers has reached the same conclusion. Many of [...]

The Corporate Reform Smear Machine Attacks Gene Glass

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Dr. Gene Glass is a distinguished scholar with a long career in educational research and statistics. He recently co-authored a critical review of virtual charter schools, published by the National Education Policy Center. In response, an operative from Jeb Bush’s so-called “Foundation for Educational Excellence” created a website with Dr. Glass’s name, ridiculing him and [...]

R.I. Students Give the Test to Adults: Can They Pass?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
I just received this press release. This is a great action by the Providence Student Union. Governor Chafee, take the test! State Superintendent Deborah Gist, take the test! MEDIA ADVISORY March 13, 2013 CONTACT: Aaron Regunberg | Aaron@ProvidenceStudentUnion.org | 847-809-6039 (cell) STUDENTS INVITE LEADERS, POLICY MAKERS TO “TAKE THE TEST” – WOULD THEY GRADUATE UNDER [...]

The Day the Teachers Said No

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
If you want to understand why the entire teaching staff of Garfield High School is boycotting the MAP test, watch this excellent video. The only way to stop the destruction now descending on American education is to stand together–like the Garfield teachers–and say no. No to pointless testing. No to the misuse of testing. No [...]

Charter Hype and Spin from Florida DOE

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
One of the saddest consequences of the merger of education with partisan politics is that we now no longer can trust pronouncements from many of our state and local departments of education. Instead of accurate data, we are apt to get spin, hype, distortion, and outright lies, all in the service of someone’s political agenda. [...]

Why California Tightened Oversight of New Teachers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
In a recent post, I referred to a decision by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to set higher standards for those who teach the state’s neediest students, especially English-language learners. Some readers thought this decision was unfair to Teach for America recruits, who get only five weeks of training before assignment to difficult jobs. [...]

A Site for Stupid Test Questions

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Now that so many of our policymakers consider standardized testing the ultimate measure and goal of education, it is a good time to step back and remember how error-prone these instruments are. Fortunately there is a new website that is collecting truly stupid test questions. In my seven years on the NAEP board, I saw [...]

Heilig: A TFA Rebellion Brewing?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Julian Vasquez Heilig, a scholar of education at the University of Texas, has noticed an interesting phenomenon: A growing number of TFA alumni are contradicting the company line. They know how hard the work is. They discover they are miracle-workers and they are not going to close the achievement gap. They don’t like being used [...]

I Will Speak in Baton Rouge This Thursday

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
I am speaking in Baton Rouge on Thursday. The first event will be hosted by Leaders with Vision at Drusilla’s restaurant. My talk will be followed by comments by Charles Roemer, president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Then, I will speak at a teacher Town Hall. Admission is free and open [...]

School Leaders in Philadelphia Play Favorites–Against Public Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
We read about the insulting contract offer to Philadelphia teachers: cut their pay and benefits, lengthen their work day, eliminate seniority, water fountains, supplies, teachers’ lounges, parking areas. No more bonuses for advanced degrees or national board certification. Did they leave anything out? The school leaders must have laughed their heads off dreaming up whatever [...]

Brian Ford Says: Repeat After Me

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Brian Ford, teacher and author, writes: Repeat after me: THE GREAT MISTAKE AND OVERRIDING DANGER TO PUBLIC EDUCATION IS THAT THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS WILL BE LINKD TO HIGH STAKES STANDARDIZED TESTS, TEACHER EVALUATIONS AND SCHOOL CLOSINGS I know it is not catchy, but say it twice more: THE GREAT MISTAKE AND OVERRIDING DANGER TO [...]

What If Tom Sawyer Battled the Bronte Sisters? UPDATE!!!! link fixed!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
EduShyster is very excited about Joel Klein’s new product. It is not only software but a real tablet! And yes, there is even some App where Tom Sawyer battles the Brontes. The question is whether any of the students have ever read Tom Sawyer or anything written by the Brontes, or were they too busy [...]

Will College Adjuncts Qualify for Food Stamps?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
I recently posted a news story from Grand Rapids, about teachers who say their pay qualifies them for food stamps. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune writes that college adjuncts are not likely to qualify for health care. At their current low wages, they already qualify for food stamps. The New York Times wrote recently [...]

Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Stan Karp of New Jersey, who taught for 30 years, here explains the long-term impact of charter schools on public education. He understands that the original idea of charters was progressive: they were supposed to be teacher-run schools that reached out to the neediest students. But now they have become a means of privatizing the [...]

Why Charter Schools Failed in Louisiana

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Mike Deshotels wrote an amazing post about the shortcomings and failures of charters in Louisiana. I asked him for his permission to repost it in full and he graciously granted it. Mike blogs at http://louisianaeducator.blogspot.com/. Mike, an experienced educator, taught high school science in Louisiana. NOLA.com, Blackboard Wars Reveal Charter Shortcomings Recent reports in NOLA.com [...]

NASSP: The Danger of Misguided Evaluations

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
It is rare to see a high-ranking leader of a major association speak hard truths to power. For her courage and candor, Joann Bartoletti joins the honor roll as a champion of public education. In the March 2013 issue of NASSP’s “News Leader,” Bartoletti, the executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, [...]

Anthony Cody and I Talk About the Network @TheChalkface

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson are fearless education activists who operate on many fronts to support public education. They write, they blog, they make videos, they spoof the loony ideas called “reform.” On March 11, Anthony Cody and I were interviewed @TheChalkface about the new Network for Public Education. We described how we hope to [...]

Student Leader Is Running for Board of Education! Please Help!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Stephanie Rivera is a wonderful student activist in New Jersey. She is a junior at Rutgers and is preparing to be a career educator. Stephanie is running for the New Brunswick, NJ, school board! For the past 20 years, every member of the New Brunswick school board was appointed by the same mayor (you can [...]

California Tightens Rules for Teacher Interns

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
In a move clearly intended to require greater supervision of Teach for America teachers, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing tightened the rules about the training and supervision of interns. At hearings, civil rights groups argued that it was unfair to put poorly trained interns in charge of students with high-needs, especially English-language learners and [...]

UNO Charters in Chicago Will Allow Unions

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
The UNO charter chain has been in the news lately and not for good reason. Its number two official resigned amid accusations that he steered contracts worth millions to relatives–his own plus relatives of lobbyists who managed to help UNO get a $98 million state appropriation for three new buildings. Now UNO is in the [...]

Philly Will Close 23 Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
The ax of privatization swings again, this time in Philadelphia, where 23 schools will close. More are on the chopping block. Charter schools will continue to open, despite ongoing investigations and poor performance, as the city and state retreat from its responsibility for public education.

Occupy the DOE: The Full Details

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Here is the full schedule and details for the organized protest against corporate education reform and high-stakes testing on April 4-7 in Washington, D.C. I will speak on Thursday afternoon. There is a stellar lineup of speakers and events. Please come to Washington if you can.

Why Not Vouchers for Special Education Students?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
One of the model laws promoted by ALEC creates vouchers for students with disabilities. ALEC is the far-right group that brings together big corporations and very conservative state legislators to figure out strategies to advance privatization and protect corporate interests. ALEC does not like public education, does not like regulation, does not like unions, and [...]

Retiring Principal: Stop the Madness!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Months ago, I hailed Don Sternberg, the principal of Wantagh Elementary School in Long Island, New York, as a hero of public education. He spoke out loud and clear against the misuse of standardized tests to evaluate students, teachers, principals, and schools. Please read the letter below, in which he educates the parents of his [...]

The Big Lie About New Orleans, Exposed

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Mercedes Schneider here examines how the New Orleans Recovery School District has been falsely portrayed as a “miracle.” It is an important national story, which the privatization movement has endlessly retold in hopes of persuading the American public that the problem with public schools is that they are democratically controlled. They want us to believe, [...]

What a Professional Teacher Preparation Program Looks Like

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
One of the worst sins of Teach for America is that it has convinced politicians and corporate leaders that teachers need little or no professional preparation. Unlike doctors, lawyers, social workers, architects, engineers, or any other profession, teachers are allegedly well prepared to teach simply by holding a college degree and getting five weeks of [...]

News from New Hampshire: Erase Church-State Line

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
New Hampshire has become a new battleground over church-state issues. Conservatives want to divert public funding to support of religious schools. Defenders of public education are taking action. A group called Advancing New Hampshire Public Education is a valuable resource of information and research about this stealth attack on public education. Some of those behind [...]

A Teacher Questions the Common Core Standards

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
A teacher writes about the pluses and minuses of the Common Core: There are a lot of good reasons to adopt the Common Core Standards. They really do provide an excellent framework for what would would love to see our students doing: thinking, writing, finding evidence in text, justifying arguments, and persevering in problem solving. [...]

Melissa Harris-Perry Rips Mayor Bloomberg

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry tore into New York City Mayor Bloomberg for his latest tactic: blaming teen pregnancy for causing poverty. Harris-Perry knows that poverty is caused by the economic structure of society, by a society that allows one man–like Michael Bloomberg or Bill Gates or Eli Broad–to accumulate many billions of dollars while millions [...]

What Is the End-Game for “Reformers”?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Marc Epstein is an experienced history teacher in New York City whose school–Jamaica High School–was closed as part of the Bloomberg reform plans. Marc holds a Ph.D. In Japanese history, but he is now part of the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool, a large number of teachers whoever schools were closed. The teachers now roam [...]

Time for TFA to Stop the Spin

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Gary Rubinstein noticed a burst of TFA tweets making dramatic claims. They said that a new study found that students of TFA teachers gained one year more than teachers with same experience, and that middle students gained a half year more from TFA teachers than from other new teachers. Gary read the study and found [...]

What Kind of Education Do “Reformers” Want for Their Kids?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Krazy TA asks a relevant question: Do reformers put their own children in no-excuses schools? He writes: The charterites/privatizers have toned it down a bit, but remember the electrifying mantra “we want to give poor kids the same education that rich kids get”? [chant in alternating patterns with "poverty is not destiny."] All right then. [...]

EduShyster Discovers Eduttantes: UPDATE! Link ADDED!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
What is an “eduttante”? Here is EduShyster’s definition: “Eduttante: /ˌedjuˈtänt/ A shill or paid spokesperson advocating strict no-excuses charters for the urban communities in which he or she does not live. Related terms: educolonialist, whiteousness.” The eduttante raves about the virtues of a strict, military-style school for “other people’s children.” He or she would never [...]

Texas Will Cut Back on Testing Requirements

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
This is big news. State Senator Dan Patrick, the chair of the Senate Education Committee in Texas, wants to reduce the number of tests needed to graduate from the current 15 to “only” four or five. At present, students in Texas must pass 15 tests to graduate. Yes, you read that right: 15. That is [...]

Douglas County, CO: Destructive School Board

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
A teacher in Douglas County, Colorado, reports that the school board and superintendent are determined to wreck the public school system for which they are responsible. The teacher writes: I can’t begin to tell you how your sharing the information about the LA school district victory for kids is boosting the morale of fighters for [...]

Michelle Rhee’s Dishonorable Attack on the Garfield Teachers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
In this brilliant essay, John Prosser dissects Michelle Rhee’s attack on the teachers of Garfield High School in Seattle. The teachers decided unanimously to boycott the MAP test for their students. On March 6, Rhee wrote (or someone in her organization wrote) an opinion piece in a Seattle newspaper making false claims about the teachers [...]

Corporate Reform in Idaho

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
A reader in Boise sends the following comment about the trial of Khan Academy videos, funded by the Albertson Foundation: From the article linked in Diane’s post: “The statewide pilot received $1.5 million for training, technology, technical assistance and assessment from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.” The Albertson Foundation has given over $500 million [...]

Another Bold Jindal Reform: Cut Special Education Funding

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
The wonders of education reform never end in Louisiana. Reformers Bobby Jindal and John White want to take money dedicated to public schools and give it to religious schools that teach creationism. That’s reform. Even though a judge said this plan was unconstitutional, that doesn’t stop them. You know, the fierce urgency of now, sending [...]

The Best Picture of the Day

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Please see this picture. It shows what is truly sick about U.S. education today. It proves again that a photograph is worth 10,000 words.

Kevin Huffman’s Zombie Policies

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
The Tennessee Education Association sent out this bulletin today. State Commissioner Kevin Huffman, whose only classroom experience was two years in Teach for America, has plans to adopt every evidence-free, demoralizing tactic in the corporate reform playbook. Huffman is a purveyor of zombie policies. Nothing he advocates has any evidence behind it. “Pay for performance” [...]

How Bad Is New Jersey’s New Teacher Evaluation System?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Jersey Jazzman studied the teacher evaluation system devised by State Commissioner Chris Cerf and concludes it is an unmitigated disaster. Like it or not, teachers will be forced to teach to the tests. Teachers will be fired because of the test, using a system whose designer said it should not be used for this purpose. [...]

How to “Invest” in Los Angeles Schools: Buy the School Board

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
In this perceptive essay, California teacher David B. Cohen has some interesting observations about Mayor Villaraigosa and Superintendent John Deasey. The mayor has no regrets about asking billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch to pour vast sums of money into the school board race. He says that “we” (himself and the billionaires) have to stop [...]

School Closings in Chicago: Call in the Lawyers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Chicago’s Superintendent Barbara Byrd-Bennett knows better, but she is following orders. Just following orders. The “independent panel” that she convened advised her to go full steam ahead. Who will be hurt? African-American children, African-American families and communities. Barbara, don’t do it. Barbara, tell Rahm no. Barbara, you know this is wrong. Serve the children, not [...]

Does Democracy Matter?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
In school, when we study history and civics, we learn about the principles of democracy. We learn about government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” We learn about how important it is for citizens to be informed and to participate in decision-making because the government is their servant, not their master, and [...]

Corporate Greed in Florida

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Now here is an interesting debate topic: Who really controls the Florida legislature? Jeb Bush or ALEC? Or are they the same people with different organizational ties? Read here to learn about ALEC’s role in Florida. Recently, ALEC was about to pass a resolution condemning the Common Core standards, but Jeb intervened to stop it. [...]

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