Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thinkers Thursday 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:

Thinkers Thursday on Diane Ravitch's blog
A site to discuss better education for all

I am writing this post for the journalists who cover education. Please fact-check every word that DeVos says. She literally doesn’t know what she is talking about. This is the New York Times’ report on Betsy DeVos ‘ press conference at 

In 2013, long before Trump decided to run for president, he signed a lease with the federal government to renovate a beautiful and historic building called the Old Post Office near the White House and convert it to a luxury hotel. The lease 

Slate: For-Profit Alternative Schools Accused of Abusive Treatment
If you ran a for-profit corporation that provides facilities for kids with disciplinary and academic issues, what would you call your chain of alternative high schools? Utopia High? No. Great Scholars High? No. How about Camelot? Bingo! A magical place of hope and possibility. In an age of alternative facts, open deceit, and fake news, why not? This investigative article was conducted by the Teac
CBS Tracks Gulen Charter Schools
CBS News ran a story about the mysterious Gulen charter chain and the reclusive cleric behind it. Former Turkish teachers at the large chain claimed they were required to kick back as much as 40% of their salary. The story is complicated, and few people outside the education world ever heard about it. Turkey has accused the Gulen movement of fomenting a coup. Since the failed coup, the Turkish go
Note to DeVos: A School is not a Taxi or an Uber
At the Brookings celebration of school choice, Secretary DeVos said that people should choose a school like choosing Uber or some other alternative to the traditional public school. She is clueless about the role of public education in a community and in a democracy. Picking your mode transportation is a consumer good that you pay for; public education is both a public good and a right. https://w
Mercedes Schneider: A Real Public School is not a Franchise
Mercedes Schneider had the stomach to watch Betsy DeVos and Grover Whitehurst talk about their favorite subject –School Choice–at Brookings today. She noticed their careless use of business language to talk about schools, at one point referring to them as “franchises.” As I said, Mercedes has a strong stomach, a
Betsy DeVos Suck-Up Watch
The website Chalkbeat posted an article about the sunny side of Secretary DeVos. She likes really good programs! Like Florida’s tax credit programs for vouchers! (Which sucks tax dollars away from public schools) Like Milwaukee’s school choice programs


Trump and Russia: The Plot Thickens
A friend sent me this article but I decided not to post it because I didn’t know how to fact-check its sensational allegations. It contains some serious allegations about relations between Trump and the Russian mob. This is way outside my field of expertise but I was nonetheless shocked by the implications. Then today USA Today ran a fr
Network for Public Education Action Fund Endorses Steve Zimmer for Re-Election to LAUSD Board
The billionaires are circling the Los Angeles public schools again, trying to gain control of the school board so they can shift half the students into privately managed charter schools that are free to pick the students they want and kick out the ones they don’t want. They have targeted Steve Zimmer, the current president of the Los Angeles Unified School District, as a barrier to their insidiou
A Call for the American Psychological Association and Other Professionals: Speak Up!
Many readers are asking the same question: Why isn’t the American Psychological Association speaking out about the misuse of standardized testing? Where are the professors who teach about testing? Why are they silent when children as young as 8 are subjected to hours of testing? Why are they silent when children in middle school are compelled to sit through tests that last longer than college adm
Brookings Sullies Its Reputation By Aligning with DeVos Agenda for Privatization
The Brookings Institution used to be referred to as a liberal think tank. In reality, it was a nonpartisan think tank that hired former high-level officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations and produced valuable studies and reports. As I was ending my time in the first Bush administration in late 1992, the president of Brookings came to my office at the US Department of Educati
Peter Greene: What Two Decades of Testing Have Produced Peter Greene asks a crucial questio n: What have we gained–or lost–because of our society’s obsession with standardized testing for at least the last two decades? When did it start? Before No Child Left Behind was signed into law in January 2002, but not with the same intensity or the high-stakes that took hold since 2002, when th
Leonie Haimson Is Collecting Comments on the New York ELA
The state Common Core tests that children in grades 3-8 in New York are supposed to take are shrouded in secrecy. Last year, a teacher posted a couple of items to show how confusing and tricky they were, and the testing company went on a tear, threatening legal action against the teacher and against the blogger who posted the questions. They went to Twitter and had tweets referring to the post de
An 8-Year-Old Child Writes Betsy DeVos: “I Love My Public School” A second-grade student wrote to Betsy DeVos to tell her that she loves her public school. She pleaded with DeVos, “Please leave are [sic] public schools alone do not tear it down ever.” Willa is a second grader. She is the daughter of a journalist, who posted W
Ralph Ratto: Today I Am Ashamed to Be a Teacher
Ralph Ratto is an elementary school teacher in New York and a frequent blogger. He describes yesterday as “one of the darkest days in education. ” Testing started yesterday. Now that the tests are untied, some children will struggle for six hours a day for six days to satisfy some adult idea that they need to be compared. Their ordeal has nothing to do with education. “Our children will struggle

Good News: Charter School Growth Is Slowing
Citing an article in Education Week, The National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College notes that charter school growth is slowing. “Charter school growth is slowing down, reported Education Week. 

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