Monday, March 13, 2017

Start the Week with Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

Start the Week with Diane

Congressional Budget Office: Trumpcare Means 14 Million Lose Insurance Next Year, 24 Million by 2026
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report on the likely effects of Trumpcare. It said it would save over $300 billion but 14 million Americans would have no health insurance next year. And by 2026, 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance. The GOP disagreed with the estimates. CBO report: 24 million fewer insured by 2026 under GOP health care bill
When Trump Tweeted “Wire Tapping,” He Didnt Mean Wire Tapping
Press Secretary Sean Picer explained that when Trump accused President Obama of wire tapping the phones in Trump Tower, he didn’t mean that the President was wire tapping the phones in Trump Tower. We have to learn that when Trump tweets something, it should not be taken literally. Or figuratively. Or metaphori
Kellyanne Suggests Tapping of Trump Campaign May Have Been Extensive
Kellyanne Conway told an interviewer that the surveillance of the Trump campaign may have been more extensive than simply tapping telephones. It may have occurred through television sets and even microwaves. Complaints like this are what you might expect to hear from losers, not winners

New Jersey Parent: Why Is the State Requiring Third Grade Students to Take the PARCC Test on a Computer?
I have earlier reported studies showing that students post higher scores when they take tests with pencil and paper, rather than on computers. Some children do not have keyboard skills, some get confused by scrolling up and down in search of the right text. Yet state officials demand that students take tests online. This is especially pernicious for the youngest children, who are least likely to
Leonie Haimson: Dropping the ESSA regulations is No Big Deal
Leonie Haimson explains here the significance–or lack thereof–of the Senate’s decision to kill former Secretary of Education John King’s highly prescriptive regulations to implement the 2015 federal law called Every Student Succeeds Act. There were some who reacted with joy to see the King regs killed. King was known for his love of high-stakes testing. Others worried whether the death of the reg
Sheila Kennedy: What Do We Mean By a “Social Safety Net”?
These days, in the Trumpian era, certain politicians are busy shredding the “social safety net” that sends “our” money to “those people,” who are undeserving. Sheila Kennedy, a law professor at Indiana University Purdue Indianapolis, says we should rethink what we mean by “social safety net” and who it benefits. She writes: A “social safety net,” properly conceived, is the web of institutions and
New Jersey: An Important Hearing on March 14 on a Charter Application
The New Jersey Appellate Court will hear an important case on March 14, in which the city of Hoboken’s public schools are challenging an expansion of a charter school called Hola Charter School. The ACLU and the Education Law Center have filed amicus briefs on behalf of the Hoboken Public School District. The expansion of the Hola Charter School will have a negative impact on the public schools,
Yale Historian: “Post-Truth” is Pre-Fascism
Alternet’s Steven Rosenfeld interviews Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who is a specialist in the study of fascism and totalitarianism. Professor Snyder finished a boon “ON TYRANNY: Twenty Lessons from the Twentith Century,” a week after the election. The subversion of Dem racy moves fast, Snyder warns: “Nazi Germany took about a year. Hungary took about two and a half years. Poland got rid of the
Congressman King of Iowa Stirs Controversy with Remark Supporting White Nationalism
In the age of Trump and Bannon, it is okay for racists to come out from under their rocks and speak their prejudices. Congressman Steve King of Iowa tweeted that civilization can’t be restored “with somebody else’s babies.” He was congratulating a far-right Dutch politician who had complained about the influx of Muslims into the Netherlands. Critics said that Mr. King echoed the principles of whi
Karen Francisco: Indiana and the Great Voucher Scam
Karen Francisco, editorial page editor of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in Indiana, reviews the state’s disastrous experiment with vouchers. In 2011, state lawmakers started the voucher program with the promise of helping low-income children get better schooling. As time has passed, the income level for eligibility has gone up, the costs have gone up, but the vouchers have never fulfilled their
David Hornbeck: Charter Schools Are Not Education Reform
David Hornbeck is a veteran education reformer, old-style, meaning he actually has experience running school districts and states. He was superintendent of the Philadelphia schools, state superintendent of Maryland and Kentucky, and led the implementation of KERA (the Kentucky Education Reform Act). In this post , Hornbeck writes that he once believed that charter schools were “reform,” but he no


Laura Chapman: HR 610 and Manufactured Chaos
The House Republicans have cooked up a bill to empower states with unencumbered control over federal funds. It is called HR 610. In DC, they refer to the principle of the bill as”block grants.” Otherwise known as send the money without strings so the states can do what they want. An earlier post by Denis Smith explained that federal funds without oversight leads to waste, fraud, and abuse. Laura
Pence Lies About ACA in Kentucky
We are becoming desensitized to lies told by our president and vice-president. Here is a whopper. Mike Pence went to Kentucky and said that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had failed in Kentucky. He was either misinformed or lied. Our nation’s leaders have access to accurate information, so I think it likely he lied. Because of ACA, the number of uninsured people in Kentucky dropped dramatica
Andrea Gabor: Joel Klein Spends an Evening with His Friends at TFA, Berating Public Schools
Andrea Gabor recently attended an invitation-only event in New York City to meet Joel Klein at Teach for America headquarters in lower Manhattan, where he reflected on his legacy. She writes: How did Klein feel about his legacy—what was he most proud of, what would he do differently—especially in light of the policies of his successor? This would be the second question of the evening posed to Kle
What Funding Cuts to the Arts and Humanities Can Buy for the Military
Trump has promised to add more than $50 billion to the military budget, which will be paid for by budget cuts. Among the federal agencies on the chopping block for total elimination are the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. These three small agencies underwrite programs like Ken Burns’ history of the Civil War,
Denis Smith: Block Grants Produce Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
Republicans love block grants. That is the purpose of HR 610, which would take a bunch of federal categorical programs with specific purposes and turn them over to states as block grants, to be used as they see fit. State control of federal funds, in short, with no strings attached. What could possibly go wrong? Denis Smith, who worked for the Ohio Department of Education for many years, explains
New York: Parents Sue Cuomo to Release “Frozen” Funds for Neediest Schools
The Education Law Center is suing Governor Cuomo on behalf of parents at some of New York state’s neediest schools, seeking the release of $37 million the state owes these schools. : PARENTS ASK NY APPEALS COURT TO RELEASE ILLEGALLY FROZEN SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT FUNDS Parents of students in three public schools are asking a New York appeals court to immediately release over $37 million in improvement
Sue Legg: The Origins of Florida’s Tax Credits for Constitutionally Banned Vouchers
Sue Legg, education director of the Florida League of Women Voters, wrote this history of the state’s tax credit program at my request. Thank you, Sue. Not all Choices are Good Choices Following Jeb Bush’s 1994 defeat in his run for governor, he dented his image. According to a Tampa Bay Times report, in a televised debate Bush responded ‘not much’ when asked what he would do for black voters. Fa
Send a Message to Betsy DeVos: Opt Out of Federally-Mandated Testing!
Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education set off a seismic reaction among parents, educators, and other concerned citizens across the nation. Never, in recent memory, has a Cabinet selection inspired so much opposition. The phone lines of Senators were jammed. People who never gave much thought to what happens in Washington suddenly got angry. Snippets of her Senate co

Arthur Camins: Isolation and Segregation Make Us Stupid
Arthur Camins, scientist and educator, describes how his schooling shaped his understanding of Justice and social responsibility. His article was originally published at the Huffington Post, but he also placed it in the Louisville Courier-
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