Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hump Day on Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Hump Day on Diane Ravitch's blog

John Oliver Explains Trumpcare
John Oliver breaks all my blog rules about cussing, but I forgive him because he explains things so clearly. In this episode, he explains the Republican effort to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare. It is a complicated subject, but he makes it comprehensible while being very funny.
Kentucky: Charter Bill Passed by Senate Education Committee, Heading for Full Senate Vote
HB520, the bill that will authorize privately managed charter schools in Kentucky, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and now will go to the full Senate for a vote. The Senate is in Republican hands. The Governor is a Republican. The politicians in Kentucky seem poised to invite out-of-state corporations to come into Kentucky and take charge of public money and taxpayer dollars. The g
Trump Selects Another Goldman Sachs Banker for His Economic Team
Donald Trump demonized Goldman Sachs during the Presidential campaign and blasted Hillary Clinton for having the nerve to speak to them for high fees. But now he is stocking his economic team with men (yes, men) from…where else?…Goldman Sachs! There should be a lot of room for advancement at that firm, what with all the top people leaving to join the Trump administration. Their appointment reassu
How Fringe Media Has Become Mainstream, Thanks to Trump
This is an alarming 3-minute video about the extremist fringes that are polluting the media with lies and conspiracy theories. It is part of a series produced by The Atlantic. There have always been fringe talk show hosts and publications. The problem is that the president of the United States cites “facts” taken from 

Charter School Leaders Meet with Betsy DeVos to Celebrate Her Agenda for America
Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform posted a photograph in which leaders of charter schools met with their new champion: Secretary Betsy DeVos. She was joined by charter leaders from D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and California. The Ohio charter leader didn’t make it because of the snow. There were also leaders from the for-profit sector, including the virtual charter sector. Betsy De
Fox News: Trump Voters Will Have Huge Cost Increase Under Trumpcare
Fox News reports that Trump voters will face large increases in the cost of medical coverage under the plan proposed by Trump and the GOP. Raising a political problem as much as a financial one, newly released budget estimates show elderly Americans could be hit hard by premium hikes under Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal bill — affecting a key constituency for President Trump. The Congressional Bud
Paul Hill: Why DeVos Is Unlikely to Succeed in Promoting Vouchers with Federal Funds
Paul Hill is founder of the Center for Reinventing Public Education and a professor at the University of Washington. When I was on the other side of education debates, I served with Paul on the Koret Task Force at the Hoover Institution. He is one of the nicest people I know but we now disagree about the value of choice as a means of “reinventing” public schools. Paul is the creator of the idea o

Nevada: Why is This Failing Virtual Charter School Never Closed?
Angie Sullivan teaches first- and second-grade students in a Title 1 school in Carson County, Nevada. She sends her email reports to legislators and journalists. She is the conscience of Nevada. She writes: Attached is a report I 

An Interview with Kenneth Zeichner on the Pop-Up Graduate School of Education Called Relay
The blog “Seattle Education” interviews Professor Kenneth Zeichner about the “Relay Graduate School of Education ,” which exists solely to dispense credentials of dubious value to charter school personnel. The message “#rejectrelay.” “Ken Zeichner is the Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and a Fellow at the N
Scholars Ask: Are Charter Schools the New Enron?
Scholars Preston C. Green III, Bruce D. Baker, and Joseph Oluwole investigate whether the charter industry is repeating the errors of Enron. Their peer-reviewed article appears in the Indiana Law Journal. Here is the abstract: “In 2001, Enron rocked the financial world by declaring bankruptcy due to the effects of an accounting scandal. Special purpose entities (SPEs) were instrumental to Enron’s
Mercedes Schneider: A Closer Look at the Unimpressive Academic Record of Florida Voucher Schools
Recently Trump and DeVos gushed over the Florida tax credit voucher program and featured a graduate of one student who graduated from a voucher school. This inspired Mercedes Schneider to look at the academic record of Florida’s voucher schools. It is not impressive. Voucher schools are supposed to save students from failing schools. But most of the state’s voucher students do not come from F-rat
Mercedes Schneider Reviews the Tax Filings of Florida’s “Step Up for Students” Voucher Program
Mercedes Schneider is a careful analyst of tax filings. Although Trump doesn’t have to make his tax returns public, thus revealing any potential conflicts of interest, the law requires charitable organizations to release their financial filings (called their 990 form) with the Internal Revenue Service. In this post, Schneider reviews the finances of Step Up for Students, which receives donations


The Great Blizzard of 2017 That Wasn’t
Last night, I waited in great anticipation for the start of the great blizzard of 2017. I enjoy big weather events, especially if I am physically safe. I like to watch thunderstorms. I was excited to wait for the howling winds and rapidly falling snow we were promised. I read this article , which made me laugh out loud (for the first page or so). It is about losing things, misplacing your keys, y
Chinese Investors Buy Kushner Building for $4 Billion, with $400 Million for Kushner Family
The business interests of the Trump family pose many possibilities for conflicts of interest. Jared Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter. Jared Kushner is a trusted advisor to the president. A politically connected Chinese firm just bought a New York City property from Jared Kushner’s family on favorable terms. “A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Don
Hawaii: Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson Arrive to Give Advice about Education
I have been bombarded by Hawaiians who are concerned that Michelle Rhee and her husband, the former Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson, have arrived to advise state officials about education reform. Several sent this article. I recall that Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were invited five years ago to lecture at the University of Hawaii on the subject of ethics in education. I am hoping to visit Hawaii for t
Two Trump Allies Set Up Lobbying Firm to Protect Clients Against Tweet Attacks
The New York Times reports that two former Trump advisors have set up a lobbying firm to protect their clients against nasty tweets that can send their stock price into decline. Attention: corporate America. For a fee, Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s pugilistic former campaign manager, and Barry Bennett, a former Trump senior adviser, will protect you from “tweet risk” — what happens to the
Peter Greene: Why Your Child Should Opt Out of Testing
It is that time of year again: Time to take the meaningless standardized tests. Peter Green e here gives eight reasons why students should opt out of tests. Here are six of his eight reasons. Read the piece to learn about the other two. They may be the most important: 1) No Benefits for Children or Parents Your child is not allowed to discuss specifics of the test with anyone, so there will be no
Rolling Stone: Betsy DeVos, the Christian Right, and the Plan to Evangelize America’s Public Schools
Janet Reitman, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and author of “Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion,” investigated the like-minded evangelical world of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in this article. The appointment of DeVos is a big win, she says, in the religious right’s crusade to capture control of American culture. “Her appointment as education secretary
Wendy Lecker: Betsy DeVos Pushing Charter Schools as the “Gateway Drug” to Privatization
Wendy Lecker is a civil rights attorney who writes often for Connecticut newspapers. I did not see this column when it first appeared, but think it is worth reading now. Locker was first to use the term “gateway drug” to describe charters, meaning that they are the seemingly benign but insidious first step towards privatization of public schools. She writes: Betsy DeVos’ nomination brings to the
Kentucky: Stand Up for Your Public Schools!
The lower house of the Kentucky legislature passed a bill authorizing charters. The bill has moved to the Senate. It is moving quickly. Kentucky is one of the few states that does not yet have privately managed charter schools. Parents of children in public schools have started a group called “SaveOurSchoolsKy.” To support their cause, I wrote this opinion piece, which was published in the Louisv

Mike Klonsky: Earth to New York Times: Rahm Did NOT Fix the Chicago Public Schools
Mike Klonsky, veteran activist in Chicago, was surprised to read in the New York Times that the public schools of Chicago were the fastest improving urban schools in the nation and that their improvement was due to Mayor Rahm 
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