Saturday, June 29, 2013

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG Diane Ravitch's blog 6-29-13 #thankateacher #EDCHAT #P2

Diane Ravitch's blog


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Diana Senechal Has Fun with the Danielson Rubric

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 14 minutes ago
Satire alert! Diana Senechal tries her hand at satirizing the Danielson rubric, which seems to have taken the nation’s schools by storm. Join her as she ventures into the Low Inference Room.

The Academic Credentials Problem: Vallas and Deasy

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 hour ago
A reader from Los Angeles raises questions about Dr. Deasy’s credentials and his backers. I cannot verify all his claims but could verify this and thisand this: The reader writes: “In Los Angeles, “Dr.” (a term L.A. teachers sneer at) John Deasy got his PhD from the University of Louisville after six months attendance and […]

Jon Pelto: A Historic Victory Over the Education-Industrial Reformers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 hour ago
In this post, Jonathan Pelto assembles a timeline of the stunning court decision to remove Paul Vallas as superintendent of schools of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He includes Vallas’ tenure as superintendent of schools in Chicago, where he was hailed for “saving” the schools and in Philadelphia, where he installed the nation’s most sweeping privatization plan (to […]

Oklahoma Educators: Throw Out the 2013 Tests

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
Oklahoma education leaders proposed that the state should invalidate the state tests because of computer breakdowns. “The Oklahoma Education Association stated in a release on their website that CTB/McGraw-Hill was “grossly deficient in its ability to meet the needs of Oklahoma schools and students.” This was after schools reported numerous issues with standardized tests this […]

Gary Rubinstein: Another Miracle School Bites the Dust

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 hours ago
The New York Daily News found another of those “miracle” schools that, on examination, isn’t. Gary Rubinstein is a master debunker of miracle schools, and his antennae went up when he read about a charter school in the South Bronx where almost every student graduates. The Daily News wrote: “Of the 66 12th graders at […]

Jon Pelto on the Arrogance of Power

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 11 hours ago
More than anyone else other than the plaintiffs, Jonathan Pelto has been a persistent critic of Paul Vallas, Stefan Pryor, and their indifference to “legalities,” I.e. the law. Pelto’s blog has the full story.

Latest on Vallas’ Ouster

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 11 hours ago
From Linda Hall, Connecticut resident: The latest from the CT Mirror: In April, the state board approved an independent study created for Vallas by the University of Connecticut as a valid program. But the judge said Friday that the short, independent study he completed in May at UConn was merely a simultation. “There is no […]

The Inside Story on Vallas’ Ouster

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 13 hours ago
Here is an excellent account of the reasons that a judge in Connecticut ruled that Paul Vallas was not uplifted to serve as superintendent of the Bridgeport public schools. Each of the districts where he previously served is in turmoil or crisis, including Chicago, Philadelphia, and the Recovery School District in Louisiana, which is the […]

Jon Pelto: Copy of Court Decision Ousting Paul Vallas

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 14 hours ago
Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis rendered a decision today ousting Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas from his job because he lacked the legal qualifications under state law. Jon Pelto has the decision on his blog here.

Breaking News: Connecticut Judge Rules Vallas Unqualified

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 16 hours ago
This is a startling turn of events. A group of citizens in Bridgeport sued to oust Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas because he lacked the credentials specified in state law to be a superintendent. Vallas has been superintendent of schools in Chicago, Philadelphia, and the Recovery School District in New Orleans. The mayor of Bridgeport and […]

Jersey Jazzman: The Joel Klein Theory of Accountability

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 17 hours ago
An earlier post reported on the Lisa Fleisher story about the complete lack of any accountability for top school officials in New York City. At the same time that the Department of Education was creating elaborate metrics to evaluate teachers, principals, and schools, no one at headquarters was evaluated. As Fleisher showed, there had been […]

Wendy Lecker on the CREDO Report and the Hidden Costs of Charters

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 18 hours ago
Wendy Lecker is a civil rights attorney who is Senior Attorney at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity of the Education Law Center, which fights for resources for the neediest students. In this post, she asks important questions about the new CREDO national study of charter schools. Although the media claimed that the study showed either […]

Maureen Reedy: Great News for Brooklyn’s Chess Champions!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 20 hours ago
Ohio master teacher Maureen Reedy has great news for the championship chess team at I.S. 318 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She writes: Great news! The national championship chess team of I.S. 318, a public school with a high poverty rate in NYC, will live on! Please consider a contribution to combine with the $20,000 being raised […]

Tennessee Parents and Teachers Use Social Media to Lambaste Kevin Huffman

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 22 hours ago
This from a reader in Tennessee. Be sure to open the links and see the hilarious cartoons: “This week, two separate Fire Kevin Huffman FB pages went up: 1. (Check out the cupcake cartoon posted today. 2. Also, a new petition started by some West Tennessee moms (called the Momma Bears) is up […]

EduShyster Discovers Hogwarts University for Education Reform

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Just when you thought that you had heard it all, that “education reform” couldn’t get any zanier, EduShyster discovers that 50CAN is offering a Hogwarts University of Reform. You won’t believe the faculty–many of whom unfortunately are deceased–and it won’t surprise you to learn that there is only one major. Laugh along with EduShyster, but […]

Parent: A Sad Graduation Day at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, CA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Parent Chrissy Guzman-Alvarado is a parent at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, California. This is the school–the only school in California–where the billionaire-funded “Parent Revolution” has been able to wheedle enough parents to sign petitions to close the school and hand it over to a charter school. When some parents who had put their […]

NCTQ: Set to Solve the Problems of Syria and Obesity Next

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Now that the National Council on Teacher Quality has ranked nearly 2,000 teacher education programs without actually visiting them or meeting their faculty, bigger challenges are ahead. ————————————————————————————— NCTQ to Tackle Syria and Obesity Next By Isaac Prilleltensky, Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami, Florida The National […]

Faculty and Students at U. of Minnesota Oppose TFA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Faculty and graduate students of education denounced a plan by the University of Minnesota by the university to create a partnership with Teach for America. To put it mildly, the statement they issued was blistering. They said, in part, “Teach for America contributes to creating more exploitative and precarious working conditions for teachers, often displacing […]

John White Defends $1.2 Million for TFA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
John White is an alumnus of Teach for America. He wants more money to hire more TFA for the state’s lowest performing schools. Despite the poor performance of the state Recovery School District, which has been staffed with large numbers of TFA for almost 25 years, White wants more of the same. White got into […]

Rahm Picks a New School Board Member

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Now that billionaire Penny Pritzker has been confirmed as Secretary of Commerce, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has selected her replacement. Is it an educator? No. Is it someone who has a deep understanding of the needs of Chicago’s children and families? How about an investment banker?

The Latest NAEP Report: Don’t Believe What You Read about It

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Today the federal government released the NAEP 2012 “Trends in Academic Progress.” This is known as the Long-Term Trend report. These tests seldom change in content. They are given every four years to national–not state–samples of students at ages 9-13-17. The reports say that achievement is stagnant, but it is not true. What is truly […]

A Correction: NC Rep. Pittman Explains Why Certification is Not Necessary

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Yesterday I posted a story from North Carolina about tweaks to the charter bill SB 337. This is a correction sent to me by the reporter. Originally the bill said that those who teach in charter schools did not need any certification. At present, 75 percent of charter teachers in grades K-5 must be certified […]

Who Should Save the Philadelphia High School Orchestra?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
A reader explains why the Philadelphia All-City High School Orchestra is being closed and who should rescue it: “Actually, philanthropy wouldn’t help. The orchestra is endangered because classroom instrumental music instruction has been eliminated from the budget (hence, no musicians to play in it). The cut was among those made to close a $300 million […]

Another Day, Another Teacher-Bashing by the NY Daily News

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Blogger Arthur Goldstein lacerates the New York Daily News for its latest assault on teachers. One teacher was accused of having attended meetings of an organization called NAMBLA (the North American Man-Boy Love Association). Was it true? Who knows? Did he do anything illegal? No investigation. Goldstein, who recently received the coveted Skinny Award for […]

Burris: John King’s Absurd Educator Evaluation Plan

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Carol Corbett Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Center, Long Island, New York, runs a good school. She wants to protect her staff and her students from ill-advised state interference. She wants to keep morale high. She has led the principals’ rebellion against the state evaluation plan. In this post, she reviews […]

Uh-Oh. New Orleans “Miracle” Crumbles

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Robert Mann, a professor of communications at Louisiana State University, recognizes that the point of charters and vouchers is to withdraw into gated communities. He writes: “Private schools have long flourished in America for reasons legitimate (religious and scholastic), and some not so legitimate (race). But now many parents and taxpayers – manipulated by politicians […]

EduShyster Visits Tennessee, Land of Bold Innovations

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
EduShyster has a hilarious post about Kevin Huffman’s plan to “crush” the achievement gap in Tennessee: Pay teachers less. It starts with a photo of a young woman standing by the side of the road holding a sign that says, “Will Teach 4 Food.” No extra pay for experience. No extra pay for degrees. Best […]

Why Doesn’t the Los Angeles World Affairs Council Want to Hear My Views?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
This is a strange but true story. As you know, I have a new book coming out in mid-September, and I plan to visit several cities on the west coast. A reader of the blog reached out to see if the Los Angeles World Affairs Council would host me to speak at a luncheon. I […]

Crazy Crawfish: Data Frauds in Louisiana

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
If you read this post, you will never again believe any claim coming out of Louisiana. Crazy Crawfish (aka Jason France) used to work in the data division of the state department of education. He knows their tricks.

EduShyster: Why We Need Missionaries to Spread Excellence

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
EduShyster has gotten to the root cause of all our education problems, most especially those in the inner cities of the action. The answer, she has discovered, is missionaries. Yes, there are too many teachers from the local communities. They lack the youth, the vigor, energy, and the sheer excellence of missionaries. As she explains: […]

Michele McNeil Fact-Checks Duncan

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Michele McNeil analyzed Secretary Duncan’s remarks yesterday to the nation’s newspaper editors. She politely said they were not accurate. Neil McClusky of CATO took the critique a step further. Duncan needs to pretend that the federal government had nothing to do with the sudden adoption of these unknown standards. It just happened. He claimed the […]

Lisa Fleisher of WSJ: Evaluations for Thee, But Not for Me

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Lisa Fleisher of the Wall Street Journal reminds us what investigative reporting looks like. In New York City, we nearly forgot, especially since Michael Winerip of the New York Times was taken off the education beat. Fleisher filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out whether top officials at the New York City […]

Reader: New CREDO Study Celebrates “Survivorship Bias”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
A reader, Enrique Diaz-Alvarez, offered the following critique of the new national study of charter schools by CREDO. The “improvement” seems to be a result of closing low-performing charter schools. Is this like kicking out the low-performing students and declaring that your test scores are great? He writes: Diane, you *must* read the scenario analysis […]

Paul Thomas: Arne Duncan Can’t Handle the Evidence

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Paul Thomas of Furman University (one of the four institutions that the National Council on Teacher Quality awarded four of its dubious stars) here gives Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a lesson in evidence. Duncan ridiculed the critics of Common Core in a speech yesterday to the American Society of News Editors. Thomas now gives him […]

Teacher Candidate: The NCTQ Report Doesn’t Meet Basic Research Standards

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
This teacher-to-be read the report of the National Council on Teacher Quality on teacher preparation and was disappointed to realize that its research methodology was so flawed. Here is her insightful comment: As a current teacher candidate in an initial certification program I was very, very concerned with the NCTQ’s report. My institution was among […]

How Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature Are Gutting Public Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
A statement from the Forward Institute in Wisconsin: Statement from Forward Institute regarding passage of the Executive Budget (AB40) The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a budget which will do long-term damage to education in Wisconsin. In expanding the private voucher program statewide, failing to keep up with inflation in funding public schools, failing to […]

Why Does Ohio Give More Money to Lowest-Performing Charters?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Innovation Ohio, which keeps a close watch on the education budget and policy issues, reports that the state increased the budgets for charter schools operated by men who are generous donors to Republican elected officials. The point: “Republican mega-donors David Brennan (White Hat Management) and William Lager (ECOT) saw major increases in their funding. Meanwhile, […]

The Story Behind the Common Core Is Different from Duncan’s Version

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Arne Duncan has been vigorously defending the Common Core standards and vigorously insisting that they were created by the governors and the states. Of course, he must do this because it is illegal for the U.S. Department of Education to interfere in curriculum and instruction in the nation’s schools. But his version of how the […]

Why Is Wisconsin Destroying Its Public Schools?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
A comment from a reader: Dear Readers, I have been in public education for more than 30 years. I am a recognized leader and have received many awards for excellence and advocacy for children. Wisconsin right now is the “wild west” of educational practice. I am deeply committed to excellence in practice. I will […]

NC Teaching Fellows Program Killed, TFA Thrives

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
A reader in North Carolina writes about the legislature’s decision to kill the NC Teaching Fellows program while spending millions more to hire TFA recruits with five weeks of training: “My daughter is in the last cohort of the NC Teaching Fellows. I am really scared for her and her associates. I told her to […]

Teacher: Why Is New York Manipulating Passing Mark?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Chris Webster, a high school English teacher in New York, wrote an outraged letter to State Commissioner John King. Why is the state manipulating the passing mark? Are they making the scores lower to make public education look bad? Here is Chris’ letter: Dear Commissioner King: You often tell the story of a teacher who […]

North Carolina Cuts Public Schools, Invests Millions in TFA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
North Carolina has been cutting the budget of public schools, but there is always plenty for Teach for America in states with a rightwing legislature and governor. The state is increasing class sizes and eliminating the NC Teaching Fellows program, among many other cuts. A reader sends this comment: “In North Carolina, the state has […]

Arne Duncan Defends Common Core, Ridicules Critics

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Arne Duncan spoke to the American Society of News Editors yesterday, where he strongly defendedthe Common Core and caricatured its critics as extremists and fringe groups from the far-right. An article about his speech on the Huffington Post says: Duncan will give a full-throated defense of the Core in his ASNE speech. The Obama administration […]

Why Education “Reform” Is Bad Business

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
In this guest post on EduShyster’s blog, Susan Altman asks whether education reform is based on antiquated, obsolete ideas about business. Altman is pursuing a master’s degree in International and Comparative Education and Business Management at Oxford University. Yes, indeed, she says, the reformers look on schooling as a product, not a service. As a […]

Louisiana: Why Business Supports the Common Core

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
The business leaders of Louisiana are strong supporters of the Common Core. They believe it will prepare students to be competitors in the global marketplace. They expect it will strengthen their knowledge of STEM subjects. They believe it will have a dramatic power to transform every part of the education system. They see it as […]

David Greene: Repeal Race to the Top

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
David C. Greene says it is time to restore common sense and sanity to education. Remember common sense and sanity? He writes the following on his blog ( Support State Bills to repeal acceptance of Race to The Top in your state. I am almost 64 years old. I have spent all but 4 of […]

Philly Student Orchestra Plays Last Concert?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Watch this video of the Philadelphia All-City High School Orchestra. Because of the budget cuts, this might be their last performance. The governor, the legislature, the business leaders, the foundations of Pennsylvania should hang their heads in shame. Will this be the year the music died in Philadelphia?

North Carolina Legislature Puts a Few Limits on Charters

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
North Carolina’s SB 337 has been revised to add just a few limits to charter autonomy. There will not be a separate charter-friendly board to authorize charters; that responsibility will remain with the state board, which will likely be tilted towards charters anyway. The original bill would have allowed all charter teachers to be uncertified. […]

Wisconsin Invests in Super-Rich TFA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
The Wisconsin legislature allocated $1million to pay Teach for America to send 70 we teachers to Wisconsin schools. It gets tiresome to say this again and again: Teach for America is a wealthy organization that sends ill-trained recruits to teach in under-resourced districts. These poorly trained young people, with no experience as teachers and no […]

How Pre-K Has Changed for the Worse

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
A teacher comments: Arne Duncan cannot be taken at his word. I sometimes teach things in Pre-K that I taught in K against what I know is right. My administrators want to see graphs, charts, accountable talk and levels of depth of knowledge. When I hear the K teachers giving lessons on nouns and pronouns, […]

What My Mother Knows and Sanders Doesn’t

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Angela Danovi’s mother taught in the Memphis public schools for 29 years. She just retired. Angela knows how many lives her mother changed, how many daily acts of kindness shaped her students. And she knows that William Sanders, the statistician who invented value-added modeling or VAM, has never been able to create a measure that […]

Oh, Those Overpaid Teachers in Tennessee!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
A reader posted this comment: I am a teacher in TN. I have 6 years of experience and a masters degree, and I don’t make even 40k a year. Our district already has a performance incentive program – the top level of merit pay, which I did earn last year, was $2,000 – about […]

Anyone Can Teach, Right?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Dennis Hong has written an essay that is spreading like wildfire across the Internet. It is called “The Hardest Job Everyone Thinks They Can Do.” He used to be a molecular biologist. When he told his friends about his frustration with a failed experiment, no one told him how to do it right. Then he […]

Colorado Virtual Academy Severs Association with K12 Inc.

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
The Colorado Virtual Academy, one of K12 Inc.’s biggest schools, has severed its association with the publicly traded corporation. They may continue to use its curriculum but not its management services, starting in 2014. “The Colorado school has been criticized for its low graduation rates (22 percent in 2011-12, according to state education statistics) and […]

New Charter Study Shows Improvement, Raises Questions

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
CREDO, the organization at Stanford University that analyzes charter performance, released the results of its latest national study. Its earlier report (2009) showed disappointing results for charter schools, with only 17% outperforming traditional public schools. This was especially disappointing for the Walton Family Foundation, one of the main backers of CREDO. The new study shows […]

Conservative Groups Launch New Campaign to Cripple Teachers Unions

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Conservative groups are hoping to cripple teachers’ unions by urging members to “opt out.” According to the Wall Street Journal blog, “A coalition of 60 groups in 35 states has begun a national campaign to tell workers they have the right to opt out of a labor union, and are providing instructions on how and […]

A Child’s Letter about Rahm’s School Closings

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Veronica Vasquez found a letter that her 12-year-old daughter Paula wrote. Paula is a student in a Chicago public school that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is closing. ““I have one question to ask,” it begins, in Paula’s girlish printing. “Do you have any idea what your doing to us … our school … even to me? […]

Anthony Cody: Bill Gates and the Invasion of the Profiteers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Anthony Cody draws a contrast between Lakeside Academy, where Bill Gates and his children were (and are) students, and the current model of education “reform,” which is driven by entrepreneurs and profit-seekers. Lakeside Academy values the relationships between teachers and children. Greatschools like Lakeside, Cody writes, “emphasize experiential learning, empathy, and above all, relationships between […]

Bruce Baker: Why So Much Ignorance about School Funding?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Bruce Baker has a fabulous new post in which he roasts the vapid comments by pundits and others who are utterly ignorant about school funding. It starts like this and gets better and better: “On a daily basis, I continue to be befuddled by the ignorant bluster, intellectual laziness and mathematical and financial ineptitude of […]

Warning to New Teachers in Houston: You Are Disposable

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Want to know how well “reform” is working in Houston? Read this. I wish Superintendent Terry Grier would read it too. I would love to get a comment from him in response to this letter. This letter is about a teacher awakening to the grim political reality of what is deceptively called “education reform.” Her […]

Rudy Crew Leaving Oregon, Returning to NYC

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
This is a surprise. Rudy Crew, former chancellor of the New York City public schools, former superintendent of the Miami Dade schools, currently chief education officer of the state of Oregon, will return to New York City to assume the presidency of Medger Evers College in Brooklyn, which is part of the City University of […]

Scottish Schools Go Their Own Way, Away from Testing

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
The public schools of Scotland have decided to take a different path, one that rejects the Anglo-American obsession with testing and standards. “In the same week that Britain’s education minister, Michael Gove, announced yet another measure to make the national exams taken by high school students in England more rigorous, their counterparts in Scotland were […]

Haimson: “No Accountability at the Top and I Can Prove It”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Leonie Haimson filed a Freedom of Information Act request for fairly simple information: she asked for the accountability reports on the top officials at the NYC Department of Education. The bad news: there are none. No one at the top is held accountable. Their performance doesn’t matter. It is not measured. They have no growth […]

Aaron Pallas: The Trouble with the NCTQ Ratings of Ed Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Aaron Pallas is a sociologist at Teachers College, Columbia University, who is one of our nation’s best scholars of education. He is quick to spot Bunkum. He said this about the report on teacher preparation programs by NCTQ: “To be sure, few of us relish being put under the microscope. But it’s another matter entirely […]

Minnesota Governor Vetoes Funding for TFA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
In a rare setback for Teach for America, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed an appropriation to fund more TFA recruits in the state. Minnesota has a small number of TFA corps members, but the governor questioned why the state should underwrite the wealthy organization to supply ill-trained teachers who don’t plan to stay on the job.

Jindal Signs “Reverse Parent Trigger” Bill

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation allowing parents in the state-run Recovery School District to vote to return their low-performing school to local control. “The measure by Baton Rouge Rep. Ted James lets parents petition the state-run RSD to return a school to local control if that school has earned a “D” or “F’” grade from […]

Brian Sims: How to Fix Pennsylvania’s Budget Crisis (LINK FIXED)

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Imagine this: an elected official in Pennsylvania who says that budget cuts are not only wrong but completely unnecessary. Brian Sims is a member of the House of Representatives who knows that Governor Corbett’s $1 billion cut to public education was wrong. In this post, he explains that the state could raise the needed funds […]

Karen Lewis Connects the Dots

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, told the Chicago City Club that the city’s elites were failing the city’s children and public schools. She blamed school closings on public officials, “rich white people,” and banks that decided to disinvest in black communities. She singled out Bank of America as an institution that had […]

Florida Teacher: Please Tell Me About Groups Fighting Back

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
From a reader: “As a public school teacher in Miami, FL I would like to reach out to you and express my similar hope in developing a long-term coalition and eventual movement of teachers, parents and community to fight back against the pro-corporate anti-public education policies being pushed in FL. If someone knows of any […]

School Budgets Cut, Corporate Taxes Cut

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
I recall a few years ago when I learned from Forbes’ columnist Erik Kain that Governor Snyder of Michigan was slashing school spending at the same time that he was cutting state corporate taxes. This turns out to have been a popular tactic in many states. Governors and legislators have decided to get more jobs […]

The Reformy-to-English Dictionary You Have Been Waiting For

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Valerie Strauss published a terrific column by a Chicago public school parent, Karen McKeegan Fraid. Fraid has written a wonderful translation of some of the reformers’ favorite phrases, which they repeat ad infinitum. It begins thus: “Assessment (noun): A test made by a corporation and protected from peer review and public scrutiny by intellectual property […]

The Secret Of Achievement First’s Success

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
In Connecticut, the charter chain Achievement First is a financial and political powerhouse. State Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor was one of its founders. But there is a worm in the apple. Achievement First leads the state in suspensions. Half its students are suspended or expelled at some point during the year. Legal Aid in […]

Richard Allington on the NCTQ Report

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Richard Allington is a well-known scholar of reading. These are his comments on the NCTQ report in teacher preparation institutions. (He left this comment on the blog, so there is no other source.) “Imagine a person reviews the restaurants in your city by examining the menus they found on-line. Never tasted the food or ever […]

Mini-Lesson: How Common Core Warps Choice Time in Kindergarten

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Renee Dinnerstein is an early childhood educator with many years of experience. In this post, she shows how the overly prescriptive approach encouraged by the Common Core can ruin the concept of Choice Time in kindergarten. She writes: “Choice Time is not a time to give children tasks. It should be an opportunity for children […]

New BTA Takes Off, 10,000 Strong

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
The new, utterly distinguished Badass Teachers Association is roaring to life. It has a website, a Twitter account, a blog site, and 10,000 members. These are teachers who say a loud No to corporate reform that seeks to turn us all into data points, aggregate us, disaggregate us, buy and sell our schools, and put […]

Ed Berger: A Test for the Reformers

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
We know that reformers love tests, The love it when kids take tests, the more the better. They love it when teachers get bonuses or get fired because of test scores. So Ed Berger, a retired teacher in Arizona, decided it is time to write a test especially for the reformers. Most if his blog […]

Babysitting with a Newborn

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
A few days ago, I was baby sitting with my youngest grandson. He is not yet a month old. As I held him in my arms, I watched his sleeping face intently. It is, of course, beautiful. He was swaddled, as is the fashion nowadays (not in my day). As he slept, I saw his […]

How Fare the Pritzkers? Very Well Indeed.

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
I recently attended the commencement ceremonies at Queens College in New York City, one of the nation’s finest public institutions. At the ceremony specifically for graduates of the education program, the dean opened his remarks by citing an African proverb, “How fare the children?” The answer should be “The children are well.” In a good […]

Is the Tide Turning Against Corporate Reform in Los Angeles?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Something unusual happened at the most recent Los Angeles school board meeting. Even before newly elected Monica Ratliff was sworn in, the pro-privatization majority was in retreat. Here is a fascinating account of the background and context: So glad you are reporting this. I only wish that Zimmer had gone ever further on the class […]

How Bloomberg Used His Fortune to Win Silence and Support

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
This is an extraordinary article, not only because of what it reveals, but because it appears in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, which has been a reliable cheerleader for our billionaire mayor. Investigative reporter Tom Robbins details how Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his billions to silence critics and to win the support of or intimidate […]

Will Kevin Huffman Cut His Own Pay?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
When Kevin Huffman was sworn in as state commissioner in Tennessee, he was offered a salary of $200,000 a year, 11% more than his predecessor. Granted that he believes experience and degrees are worthless, wouldn’t an elemental sense of fairness compel him to cut his own salary, having cut salaries of teachers across the state? […]

Student: Why Is There Money for Testing But Not For Music?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
I received the following email: Hi, Dr. Ravitch: I am a film teacher at a Buffalo Public School ( and one of my students made a video on her own time about the draconian cuts that the Buffalo Public Schools is making with its instrumental music program. This is a direct effect of the per […]

Hey, Commissioner Huffman: Read This

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
A teacher in Tennessee reacts to the state board’s decision to reduce her future pay for investing in an advanced degree: After teaching in East TN for 20 years as a special educator, I decided to get my Ph.D. because I wanted to learn more about teaching reading. I am in the final stages of […]

Kevin Huffman Shows His Contempt for Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
State Commissioner Kevin Huffman persuaded the Tennessee State board of Education that teachers should not be paid more for advanced degrees. The state board agreed that less education is better than more. Tennessee doesn’t want teachers to be too educated. They might ask too many questions. Dumb is good in Tennessee.

This Teacher Chose to Be Arrested

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Do you want to know what it really means to put students first? It doesn’t mean making millions of dollars to promote privatization. It doesn’t mean speaking to corporate titans. It doesn’t mean fighting to strip teachers of all rights and privileges. This is what it means. It means joining the Moral Monday protests in […]

Today is the Day! 5 Million Page Views on This Blog

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
Today, the blog recorded 5 million page views! The blog started April 24, 2012. That’s about 14 months ago. Wow. As you know, the blog has no advertisements, no funding, and no staff. Just me. I plan to keep it that way. Thank you for making the blog a place where everyone who cares about […]

How Kevin Huffman Will Cut Teacher Salaries

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 week ago
In his relentless effort to raise teacher quality in Tennessee, Kevin Huffman will cut the salaries of most new teachers. The ax will fall most heavily on teachers who get an advanced degree. You see, the way to improve teacher quality is to remove any incentive for additional education. If it can’t raise test scores, […]