Fred LeBrun writes a column for the Albany Times-Union on politics. He is one of the most insightful journalists in the nation on the subject of education. The New York state budget was late this year because of disagreement over a tax break for real estate developers, whether to raise the minimum age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, and how much money to throw to charter schools. The S
Ira David Socol wrote a provocative post that ties together how we educate children on a daily basis with how we live in a democracy. At heart, he argues against the adult authority structure that imposes control over children. His argument echoes John Dewey, the progressive education movement, and the free-school reformers of the 1960s.
Mercedes Schneider explores a paper published by Carl Davis of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, in which he explains how tax credits for vouchers allow the rich to cut their taxes and make a profit. With such an alluring inducement by the states and the federal government, people of great means are able to reduce their taxes and undermine public schools at the same time. And, as the
Nancy E. Bailey, who teaches in Tennessee, posted a blog about the legislature’s habit of using poor Memphis as its experimental district, where disruption is the rule and failure is persistent. Jim Gifford, a high school English teacher in
In this illuminating podcast, Jennifer Berkshire (formerly known as EduShyster) and Jack Schneider (historian of education) explain how the tax credit programs work. They are proliferating as a way to adopt vouchers without using the V
The Bangor Daily News in Maine reports that Trump’s push for school choice in Maine would be a disaster for rural schools. This article helps to explain why rural legislators are not enthusiastic about school choice. It would destroy the schools they have and leave everyone worse off. Mt. Abram Regional High School, north of Farmington, is a small school, with only around 150 students. But the te
Joshua Starr, a former school superintendent who is now chief executive officer of Phi Delta Kappa, reports that the American public opposes vouchers. They like the idea of “charters,” but most don’t know what charters are, that they may be run by for-profit or run by national corporations. They like the generic idea but they are not asked what they know about it. Perhaps they have nmagnet school
The Washington Post reported that the government is spending about $1 million per month for Betsy DeVos’s security. How many people are assigned to protect her? The government already owns the vehicles. Assume the full amount is the cost of personnel. Assume that a security guard earns $48,000 per year. One month of his or her time is $4,000. How many security guards are protecting her? This is n
Arthur Goldstein has been teaching for more than 30 years in the New York City public schools. He has a terrific blog about teaching in New York City. Here, he describes how he will be rated as a teacher by an insane system. He begins here: NY City’s brilliant and infallible Engage system has mandated that I be rated on a test the overwhelming majority of my students will not be taking. As far as
Did Trump order the strike against a Syrian airbase to boost his sagging poll numbers? Did he do it to divert attention from the glacial investigation of his ties with Putin? Did he do it to show he is not colluding with Putin? Reports today say that Syria war planes bombed the same town again, taking offfrom the airfield that our missiles allegedly destroyed. Syria strikes: Site of chemical atta
A reader posted a comment yesterday asking why I had a problem with religious schools receiving public funding. Aren’t there good religious schools. I pointed out that most of the religious schools that are funded by vouchers are not very good schools. The very good religious schools don’t have many seats available. The ones that do have seats available and need the money tend to be a certain typ
I worked for Lamar Alexander when he was Secretary of Education. He had a car and driver. He did not have a security detail. The cost of Betsy DeVos’s security team is $1 million per month. She is protected by federal marshals, whose agency is reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Education. This outlay comes as DeVos and Trump seek a multi-billion dollar reduction in the budget of the Department.
Anna Allanbrook is principal of the Brooklyn New School in Brooklyn, New York. She explains here how her elementary school became “the Opt Out School.” Very few children in New York City opt out. Some are afraid they won’t get into a good middle school or a good high schools if they don’t have scores. Some are afraid the Immigration Police will come for them. Some are intimidated by administrator
Derek Black, law professor, writes that Arizona is a state that funds its schools poorly and inequitably. It is one of the lowest-spending states in the nation on education. Worse, the kids who need the most get the least. So, instead of fixing