Friday, April 7, 2017

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

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

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

Norm Scott: An Update on the Parent Protest at CPE 1 in NYC
Parents can make a huge difference. No one can criticize them as looking out only for “adult interests,” that obnoxious term that Michelle Rhee popularized. The parent protest continues at CPE 1. Here is an update by retired teacher 

Support Sarah Chambers, Special-Ed Advocate
I am not a big believer in the power of petitions, but sometimes they are a stimulus to more significant and visible activism. So for that reason I urge you to sign the petition on behalf of Sarah Chanbers. Her cause was brought to my 

A Suggestion To Make You Happy (if You Live Near New York City)
Watching the news on any given day is an exercise in masochism. We have to know what is going on, but it is usually not good. Therefore I conclude that we must take long walks, listen to music, see plays, go to museums, do whatever we 

New York Opt Out Movement is Alive and Well and Thriving!
The New York Opt Out movement started in Bellmore, on Long Island. The parent leader there, Jeanette Deutermann, opposed the misuse and abuse of standardized tests, as well as Common Core. Every year, state officials predict 

Leonie Haimson: A Report on the Tumultuous Meeting at Central Park East 1 in East Harlem
As reported earlier today, scores of parents are conducting a sit-in protest at CentralPark East 1, demanding the ouster of the principal. Leonie Haimson attended the meeting of the school’s leadership team last night and reports here on what she learned. The complaints against the principal were

FrankenVoucher Stalks the Children of Texas but Is Beaten by the House of Representatives!
One of the great groups in Texas fighting against the far-right is “Raise Your Hand, Texas.” I am not in 100% agreement with them, since they consider charter schools to be part of public education, failing to recognize that the 

Arizona: Legislators Welcome Profiteers to Scam Taxpayer Money to Subsidize Private Schools for the Affluent
Carol Burris spent time in Arizona to find out what happens with the state’s school choices. What she discovered was unbridled profiteering on the taxpayers’ dime. She wrote in the Arizona Capitol Times that Arizona taxpayers are being hoaxed by the education industry. It is time for Arizonans to take a hard look at who really benefits from school choice. While some families may want tax-payer fu
NYC: Parents Holding Sit-In to Demand Removal of Principal
Central Park East 1 elementary school was founded by Deborah Meier many years ago. It is an iconic progressive public school in East Harlem that has attracted a diverse student enrollment. Debbie wrote to tell me that the school is interible trouble now. Its current principal is opposed to the original philosophy of the school. Parents are demanding her removal: “***Breaking Update: Following a m
Van Schoales: Colorado’s Teacher Evaluation Mess
Van Schoales is part of the corporate reformer group that has controlled public education in Colorado for most of the past decade. When I visited Denver in 2010 to talk about my recently published book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” Van was running Education Reform Now on behalf of Democrats for Education Reform, the hed
Maryland: General Assembly Overrides Governor’s Veto, Protecting Public Schools from DeVos Agenda
Yesterday the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill meant to protect public schools against the privatization agenda of Betsy DeVos. Maryland has a rightwing Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, who has appointed a pro-privatization state board of education. But Maryland also has a legislature controlled by Democrats. They hold a veto-proof majority. The l
Here are the Tools You Need to Fight the DeVos Agenda!
The Network for Public Education has created a toolkit to help you fight back against the DeVostation of our public schools. Here are the one-pagers you need to answer questions about charters, vouchers, and privatization. Here is an interactive map that shows where every state has gone with the DeVos agenda. Here is the information you need to get involved, tell your friends, share with your nei


Mike Klonsky: School-Killer Rahm Plans to Close More Schools in the African-American Community
If ever there is an award for the mayor who did the most to disrupt and destroy public education, it will go to Rahm Emanuel. His own children attend the highly resourced University of Chicago Lab School, but he spitefully closes public schools that he controls. Mike Klonsky points out that the mass school closings have not saved money and have not improved student outcomes. They are part of Mayo
GOOD NEWS! Connecticut Drops Test-Based Teacher Evaluation!
Jonathan Pelto reports that Connecticut will no longer use scores on SBAC or SAT to evaluate teachers. Since this approach has failed everywhere, this is a great development. Every state should drop this failed methodology that was promoted by the Gates Foundation and Arne Duncan but
GOOD NEWS! Texas Says NO to Vouchers!
The Texas House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to prevent the authorization or funding of vouchers. “Members of the Texas House of Representatives officially registered their disgust with a school choice program that would funnel state funds to private schools Thursday by voting to ban the practice in the state’s next two-year budget. “Lawmakers in the midst of what promises to be an hou
Washington Post: The Usual Turmoil in the White House
I read the Washington Post every day. It is an excellent source of news about the events in the nation’s capital. One thing is clear. Trump is surrounded by leakers in his closest circle. There is great internal strife and leaking is a way of putting the shiv in your rival’s back. One story implies that a very senior official inside Trump’s circle is leaking. My guess: Jared Kushner. Maybe someon
Kansas: Student Journalists Investigate New Principal with Dubious Diplomas, She Resigns
The students are our future. And the students give me hope. When I hear “reformers” like DeVos and Gates and Klein and Rhee claim that our schools are “failure factories,” that they are “obsolete,” that they are a “deadend,” and that our students are woefully undereducated, I will think of the students at this typical high school in Kansas. They unmasked a fraud. They engaged in critical thinking
Illinois: 17 School Districts Sue the State of Illinois, Governor Rauner, and State Board for Fair Funding
Seventeen Illinois school districts have banded together to sue Governor Bruce Rauner, the State of Illinois, and the Illinois State Board of Education for failing to fund public education adequately in accord with the state constitution. The state expects all students to meet its learning standards but not provide the funding to support what is expected. This is not equality of educational oppor
Russ Walsh: Defending Public Education from Trump’s Tyranny
Russ Walsh has written an important post, which is a call to arms for all of us who care about public education and don’t want it to be turned into a free-market consumer good. Last week on his show, Real Time, Bill Maher introduced the Yale professor and author, Timothy Snyder, whose new book is entitled, On Tyranny. The book outlines 20 lessons we can learn from the rise of fascism and communis
Los Angeles Times: Trump’s War on Journalism
This is the fourth and last editorial published by the Los Angeles Times about Trump. It contains links to the preceding three. These are strange times we live in. We have a president who lies and doubles-down on his lies and is incapable of apologizing; a president who refuses to divest or even disclose his worldwide financial holdings, which may be affected by decisions he makes; a man who trus
Peter Greene: Scott Walker Attacks Teachers and Public Schools Again
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker thought he could run for president based on his hardline hatred for public school teachers and public schools. He was rushing to enact Betsy DeVos’s agenda even before she became Secretary of Education. And his agenda is even more expansive because he wants to drive teachers out of public schools. It is hard to believe that Wisconsin was once a progressive state wi
DeVos is Visiting Pitbull’s Charter School Today, Which Was Investigated by Her Own Department Last Year
Jennifer Berkshire writes that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos i s visiting the Florida charter called SLAM started by misogynist rapper Pitbull. It is part of the controversial for-profit charter chain Academica, which was investigated last year by the UlS. Department of Education. Berkshire interviews Preston Green about The problems of cronyism, conflicts of interest, and corruption that ac

How the Wealthy Scam the Government by Donating to Tax Credit Schemes
Carl Davis writes in “The American Prospect” that tax credits for private scholarships have become a scheme for money-laundering to benefit the wealthy. “Some states, in their zeal to subsidize private schools, have created an egregious tax scam that allows wealthy taxpayers to profit by donating to private school scholarship funds in return for lucrative tax credits. “Many states have constituti

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