Saturday, March 4, 2017

It's Saturday What is 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:

DFER Launches Phony Phone Campaign in DC to Promote Common Core and High-Stakes Testing

The hedge-fund manager group called Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is conducting an aggressive telephone campaign in D.C. to promote the Common Core and high-stakes standardized testing. The rhetoric is deceptive, as usual.
Jeffrey Anderson writes in the Washington City Paper:
“In a one-party city with a civic focus on education, an advocacy group like Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) sounds as wholesome as Mom and apple pie. Everyone in D.C. is a Democrat, right? Who isn’t in favor of education reform?
“Aided by such safe assumptions, the New York-based PAC recently injected itself into a complicated school debate when it employed phone banking that connected D.C. residents with their respective school board members.
“Residents around the city received calls on behalf of DFER to tell them that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is proposing to “hold schools accountable not only for the academic achievement of students but also for the growth that students make on their achievement at whatever level they start out.”
“Sounds like a winner, right?
“The callers then offered to direct residents to their representative on the D.C. State Board of Education to “let them know you support this proposal.” They then asked, “May I put you through?”
“What the campaign does not tell citizens is that the proposal presents the school board with complex decisions in an ongoing policy debate that is central to a virtual culture war over public education reform in America.
“Nor does it disclose that Democrats for Education Reform is a PAC that raises money from corporations, foundations, and influential Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Portland, Oregon: Leader from KIPP-TFA Runs for Portland Public School Board
In a hotly contested race, a former principal of a KIPP charter school is running for a seat on the Portland, Oregon, school board. The website of the candidate, Jamila Singleton Munson, does not mention her role in the KIPP corporate chain or the fact that she was chief of staff for Teach for America. Apparently she is still employed by TFA. TFA has a branch–Leaders for Educational Equity–that e
Susan Ochshorn: When Angie Sullivan Took On an Alt-Right Critic of Early Childhood Education
Susan Ochshorn writes frequently about early childhood education: policy and practice. In this post, she reports on an epic battle in Nevada between teacher Angie Sullivan and an alt-right critic of early childhood education. I have often cited Angie’s work in Nevada. She teaches little kids in Clark County, and her students are poor and include many who don’t speak English. She fights for them l
Teacher: What Mike Pence Did to Schools and Teachers in Indiana
A retired teacher shared the story of Mike a Pence’s role in transforming the schools of Indiana: Our former governor, Mike Pence, absolutely loves vouchers.Under his “leadership” Indiana became a national leader in giving vouchers to students and families. In fact, we have the dubious reputation of being one of the fastest-growing voucher states. We have a ridiculous merit pay system where highl
Steven Singer: The Way to Win Trump’s Support for Public Education
Steven Singer has dreamed up a way to win Trump’s support for education: Declare a war on ignorance! If Trump can be persuaded that education is part of national defense, he reasons, it will be amply funded. “Here’s the plan: Trump wants to increase military spending by $54 billi


David Cole: Trump Is Violating the Constitution
David Cole writes in the New York Review of Books that Trump is “almost certainly” violating the United States Constitution every day that he refuses to divest from his international business empire. He writes (this is an excerpt): President Trump almost certainly began violating the Constitution the moment he took the oath of office. It’s true that conflict-of-interest statutes don’t cover the p
Merriam-Webster Corrects Kellyanne on the Definition of Feminism
Kellyanne Conway told the CPAC meeting of uber-conservatives that she was not a feminist because feminists are anti-male and support abortion. Merrimam-Webster took the unusual step of tweeting out the correct definition of feminism.
Most Expensive Test Prep Rally in History?
Eva Moskowitz has rented the Rockefeller Center Radio City Music Hall for her charter chain’s annual test-prep rally. The charter network’s dance team will perform, school officials will present awards to students for academic excellence and Moskowitz will deliver a keynote speech. Eva Moskowitz photo angers protesters outside her home Moskowitz and Success Academy grabbed headlines in 2016 when
Peter Dreier: Who Are the Plutocrats Trying to Oust Steve Zimmer?
Peter Dreier describes the full assault on Steve Zimmer by the plutocrats. They want control of the Los Angeles school district, and he is in their way. What is their goal? Privatization and profit. Some of America’s most powerful corporate plutocrats want to take over the Los Angeles school system and Steve Zimmer, a former teacher and feisty school board member, is in their way. So they’ve hire
The Los Angeles School Board Race Next Tuesday
It seems every school board race in Los Angeles is a struggle for the existence of public education. That is because Eli Broad and his billionaire friends pour millions of dollars into local school board races (and Eli is one of the few billionaires who actually lives in Los Angeles) to try to control it. Why do they want to control it? None of them has a child in the system. They despise public
Oklahoma: School Vouchers Dead for This Legislative Session
Vouchers died in the Oklahoma legislature, for now. The sponsor of voucher legislation pulled the bill , saying he didn’t want it to squeak through. Probably, he didn’t have the votes. No reference was made, apparently, to the research showing that vouchers don’t improve academic performance and often depress it. “A divisive school-choice proposal that would create state-funded education savings
Kansas Supreme Court Rules that School Spending Is Unconstitutionally Low
For the second time in the past year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state is not spending enough on public schools. Governor Sam Brownback has tried to prove that he could be the nation’s leading tax-cutter, but his tax cuts have generated large budget deficits. Now that he is under court order to raise education spending, his response is not to come up with new money but to offer schoo
Vicki Cobb: I Attended the Great Debate About Charter Schools at Intelligence Squared
On March 1, there was a heated debate around the proposition “Charter Schools Are Overrated,” hosted by Intelligence Squared. The room in New York City was packed. Two academics–Gary Miron of Western Michigan University and Julian 

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