Friday, April 21, 2017

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

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

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

Stuart Egan: Betsy DeVos IS the Status Quo
Stuart Egan, a high school teacher in North Carolina, notes that Betsy DeVos relies on two rhetorical strategies: 1. Pleasant (and meaningless) platitudes; 2. A decided opposition to “the status quo.” She, who insisted at her Senate hearing 

WSJ: Congress Is Going After Your Pension, Not Theirs
Today in the Wall Street Journal, a story that is enraging. The people with the best pension in the world want to slash yours! “The lucky participants in one of the best retirement plans around are coming after yours with a meat cleaver. “In 

Tomorrow is Earth Day! There Will Also Be Many “March for Science” Events
April 22 is an annual event to celebrate the Earth and to take steps to improve the environment for all who share the same planet. Tomorrow there will also be a March for Science in many locales, notably in Washington, D.C. and in New 

Dr. Betty Rosa, Chancellor of New York Board of Regents, Responds to Robert Pondiscio of Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Dr. Betty Rosa, Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, responded to a critical article by Robert Pondiscio of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute in this post on the TBF website. Pondiscio expressed disappointmen

Gary Rubinstein: The Oops Factor at Bill Gates’ Favorite School in Colorado
The trouble with hailing a school as a model is that you can’t predict what might happen next year. This has never stopped Bill Gates! In 2012, he visited the Eagle Valley High School in Colorado. In 2013, he celebrated the school in his annual letter as one that was successfully adopting his ideas. But…Gary Rubinstein reviewed Eagle Valley High School’s latest state report, and it is no longer a
Jeff Bryant: Betsy DeVos Doesn’t Care About Civil Rights
The U.S. Department of Education has been a major force in protecting the civil rights of students and promoting desegregation. But, writes Jeff Bryant, these issues do not seem to be part of Betsy DeVos’s agenda . Nor are they a high priority for Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department. He writes: “So far, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has sent numerous signs she is assembling a staff
Betsy and Randi Visit a Rural School District in Ohio
Betsy DeVos and Randi Weingarten visited the public schools of rural Van Wert, Ohio. Randi wanted Betsy to see how important federal dollars are to a good public school. Betsy went along and got a promise from Randi to tour a school of choice with her. Education Week says the “rifts” between them remain. Yeah, a rift the size of the Grand Canyon is not likely to close no matter how many schools t


The Indivisibles Now Have Nearly 6,000 Groups Organized to Defeat the Rightwing Agenda
The Indivisibles started out as a guide for people who wanted to oppose the Trump agenda. It was specific advice offered by former Congressional staff members. Among other things, it urged people to attend town hall meetings with their elected officials. Thousands of people responded and we have already seen how members of the public are demanding action from their representatives to protect thei
Texas: AR-15 Assault Weapon Will Be Raffle Prize for School Charity
The New Caney school district in Texas is holding a raffle to raise money for Project Graduation. One of the prizes is an AR-15 assault rifle. This is the same weapon that has been used in numerous massacres, including the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the Orlando nightclub massacre. The owner of the gun said he would do a background check before releasing the we
Have You Heard? Truth in Edvertising
Jennifer Berkshire and historian Jack Schneider discuss a new phenomenon: schools that advertise for students. They identify one charter that spends $1,000 per student to recruit new ones. This is the new world of school choice and the free market, where schools compete for customers and your tax dollars are spent for advertising and marketing, not for teacher pay or supplies. http://haveyouheard
Chester Finn Jr. Calls for an End to Teacher Tenure
In this post , Chester (Checker) Finn Jr. questions the need for teacher tenure. Getting rid of tenure, he says, will save money, as it has in higher education, where money is lavished on administrators’ salaries and facilities, but not faculty (except for the Big Names). He thinks that teacher tenure is a relatively recent invention, copying tenure in higher education. Actually, this is not true
James Kirylo: Our Obsession with Standardized Testing is Inhumane
Mercedes Schneider posted a guest column by James Kirylo on our leaders’ sick obsession with testing and its harmful consequences for students. Testing has become a grueling rite of spring, he writes. “Whereas in 1950 those who completed high school took only approximately three standardized tests through their entire K-12 experience, and whereas in 1991 those who completed their K-12 experience
Steven Singer: DeVos Hires Critic of Civil Rights to Not Protect Civil Rights
Each day brings more evidence that the Trump administration intends to roll back the social and political gains of the past 50 years (Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society) and perhaps even FDR’s New Deal. Betsy DeVos hired lawyer and rightwing activist Candace Jackson as acting assistant secretary in charge of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. When DeVos finds a permanent as

Mitchell Robinson: The Danger of Silencing Teachers
Mitchell Robinson, professor of music education at Michigan State, writes a very sad story here about a dedicated teacher who was threatened with firing if she refused to name names. “Rachel [a pseudonym] is one of those teachers who has 
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