Sunday, March 26, 2017

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

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

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

The Fight to Block the Keystone Pipeliine is not Over
This article reviews the many legal and political challenges that still face the Keystone Pipeline. He said it 

Poll: Betsy DeVos is the Most Unpopular Member of Trump’s Unpopular Cabinet
Usually a new presidency has a honeymoon period, a time of good feeling and high poll numbers. As they battle for their policies and legislation, their poll numbers change, for better or worse. Newsweek reports that Trump and his 

Peter Greene: Food Is Overrated
As the previous post noted, the Trump administration wants to eliminate the after school program, because it doesn’t raise test scores. Budget director Mick Mulvaney said the same thing about feeding children: it doesn’t raise their test 

The Daily Signal Salutes Defunding of After-School Programs
The Daily Signal is published by the uber-conservative Heritage Foundation. I am on their mailing list. In yesterday’s report, it congratulated Trump for proposing to eliminate federal funding for after-school programs because they harm children. They hailed the defunding of 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Based on a study published 10 years ago that found that participants in the progra
Jeff Bryant: The Big Lie Behind Trump’s Budget Proposals for Education
Jeff Bryant spells out the Big Lie embedded in Trump’s budget proposal for education. He plans to cut programs that directly aid poor kids while bolstering charters and vouchers, pretending they are equivalent. They are not. Yet much of the mainstream media has fallen for the Trump-DeVos bait-and-switch. “Public school supporters are angry at President Trump’s budget proposal, which plans to cut
New York Opt Out Leaders Prepare for Renewal of Common Core Test Boycotts
The epicenter of New York’s historic test refusal movement is gearing up for a repeat performance when testing begins on Monday. The state is hoping that the introduction of computer-based testing will mollify parents but it shouldn’t. Numerous studies have shown that students get lower scores on computer-based tests than on tests that require pencils. Some children–especially in younger grades–a


God Bless Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe!
As reported earlier today, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation that would have allowed privately managed charters to be authorized without the approval of the local school board. This legislation would have invited into Virginia all the scandals, frauds, scams, and profiteering that have marred the charter industry in other states. The state’s major newspaper, the Richmond Times-
Todd Gitlin on Trump’s Rhetoric: Has He Been Reading Avant-Garde Poetry?
Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University. In this post, which appear s on Bill Moyers’ website, Gitlin analyzes Donald Trump’s unusual use of grammar, syntax, and logic, as illustrated in the recent interview in TIME magazine. Gitlin’s lucid inquiry leads him to ask: “Is Donald Trump the heir of generations of avant-garde poetry?” One can only imagine the diss
Allen Weeks: Our Texas Schools Are Broken, It’s Time for a Change
Allen Weeks writes in the Austin American-Statesman tha t Texas schools are broken. Th ey are desperately underfunded by a legislature that cut $5.4 billion from the state school budget in 2011. When the economy improved, instead of restoring the money they took from the schools, they cut business taxes. Now, the leadership thinks they can substitute vouchers and choice for the damage done by bud
Steven Singer on the Joy of Opting Out of Standardized Testing
Steven Singer notes that standardized testing season is upon us. While he is at school administering useless standardized tests, his daughter will be home, inventing, playing, using her imagination. “In school I have to proctor the federally mandated standardized tests. But I’ve opted my own daughter out. She doesn’t take them. “So at home, I get to see all the imaginative projects she’s created
Tennessee Court Case: Does a Student Have the Right to a Teacher, or Will a Computer Suffice?
Nashville student, Toni Jones, is suing the state of Tennessee, because she thinks she should be taught by a human teacher, not a computer. The state says those decisions are not left to students. “Do the rights of Tennessee students to a public education extend into the right to have a teacher, and if so, does a computer program count? “Those questions were posed to a state appeals court Tuesday
Virginia: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Legislation to Expand Charters and Gut Local Control
Congratulations, Governor McAuliffe of Virginia for protecting the children and public schools of Virginia from predatory privatizers. For standing up to Trump, DeVos, and the corporate reform movement inside the Democratic Party, I add you to the honor roll of this blog. Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation intended to remove the authorization of charter schools from local school boards.

MAR 24

My Conversation with Mike Klonsky on DeVos the Reformer
This was a fun conversation with my friend Mike Klonsky on the challenges of righting back in this new era of privatization as the goal of federal policy.
A Year of Tillerson Emails Lost! Sad! So sad!
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a secondary email with an alias “Wayne Tracker.” He used it to communicate with Exxon board meters about sensitive matters like climate change. A year of emails has disappeared! “Exxon Mobil Corp. may have lost as much as a year’s worth of emails that former Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson used to discuss climate change risks and other sensitive issues
Mercedes Schneider on Hanna Skandera, Felled by the Common Core
Mercedes Schneider comments here o n the Senate GOP decision not to move forward with Hanna Skandera as Assistant Secretary of Education for Elementary and Secondary Education because of her Common Core love. Skandera is a protege of Jeb Bush. She was deputy commissioner of education in Florida. Since she took the job in New Mexico, despite lacking the statutory requirement of real education expe
GOP Nixes Hanna Skandera for Top Job Because of Her Fervent Support for Common Core
Politico reported this morning that Hanna Skandera, the Commissioner of Education in New Mexico, cannot be confirmed because of her advocacy for Common Core. Skandera is a protege of Jeb Bush. Although she has never been a teacher or a principal, she does have some practical experience in education, unlike DeVos. Skandera is also a proponent of high-stakes testing and VAM. Best not to give her th
Peter Greene: Florida, the Land of Stupid
Peter Greene reports here on a sad tale of education policy in Florida, where stupidity grows faster than citrus fruit. As you may recall, Florida is one of the states with a third grader retention law, declaring that third graders cannot move on unless they pass the Big Standardized Test for reading. This is a dumb law, without a lick of evidence to support it, and several licks to suggest that
Wisconsin Community Schools Threatened by Voucher Expansion
Governor Scott Walker has been a champion of vouchers and charters. He has pushed hard to expand vouchers for religious schools. Some districts will not even lose students but will have to raise taxes to pay for voucher students. “When Superintendent Sue Kaphingst moved to Ch
Nicholas Tampio: State Testing Starts March 28, Don’t Let Them Bully You: Opt Out
Nicholas Tampio is a professor of political science in New York, and a parent of children in public schools. He warns that the State Education Department has a campaign to stop opt out from testing, based on bullying and intimidation. He writes: “All across New York, superintendents and principals have sent versions of the following statements to parents whose children are in grades 3-8 and are s
DeVos Wants More Vouchers in DC, Despite Lack of Results
The Republicans are set to expand the D.C. Voucher program, even though no evaluation has shown better test scores for D.C. voucher students and a high attrition rate. Students who get a voucher will check their constitutional rights at the door. The voucher schools may exclude students with disabilities and LGBT students. DeVos doesn’t care. Republicans have already started moving HR 1387, the S
John Merrow: Who Is Running the Show at the U.S. Department of Education?
John Merrow hears that the Department of Education in a state of confusion . “From one perspective, these are the worst of times for American public education. In his inaugural address, President Trump told the nation that we 
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