Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

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

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

Betsy and Randi Visit Rural School in Ohio
Will Betsy DeVos have a better understanding of public schools after visiting one? Or is she measuring it as a potential charter school? DeVos, Weingarten lay down arms for first-ever joint school visit 

Math Professor: Why Our Freshmen Need Remediation
One of our regular readers, who is a member of a college mathematics faculty, sent this following comment about the state of math education today: “I teach at a small four year college in NY. We administer a mathematics placement test to all incoming freshmen. The test we use was created in house and covers basic skills from algebra, trigonometry, and pre calculus. Questions are asked in a straig
Colorado Senator Michael Bennett Struggles to Distance Himself from Betsy DeVos
Colorado Senator Michael Bennett was previously superintendent of schools in Denver. There he set off the school choice frenzy and led the parade to open charters. Now he finds himself trying to explain that he is different from Betsy DeVos. He is a Democrat, one of DFER’s champions. She is a Republican, Trump’s pick as Secretary of Education. He sold out public education. She wants to privatize
Joseph Batory: America is Great Again (But Not Really!)
Joseph Batory, a retired superintendent in Pennsylvania, told me that he has tried everything to distract him from the events taking place in the nation: Walking in the woods, cutting down news consumption, exercise, mood music. It hasn’t worked. So he has finally given in and admitted all the ways in which America is “great” again (note the air quotes, as in “wiretapped”): He writes: America Is
Albuquerque May Cut Middle School Sports to Save Money
The public schools of Albuquerque, New Mexico, plan to save money by eliminating middle school sports teams. Be it noted that Republican Governor Susanna Martinez has refused to raise taxes and has threatened to defund state universities. The one potential cut that gets parents’ attention is sports teams. New Mexico doesn’t want to pay for educating its children. “Parents reacted with dismay to 3
Author of Texas Bill to Promote Transparency in True Costs of Testing Speaks Out
Michael Messer is a parent activist in Texas. He wrote this comment in response to Sara Stevenson’s post about the true cost of testing in Texas. I am glad to see people writing about my bill. I am the original author of HB 1336 (aka, “Transparency in Testing”), and the person who Mrs. Stevenson saw speak at the Save Texas Schools rally. Representative Leach is the legislative sponsor. I am not a
Latest Charter Farce from Pennsylvania
From a correspondent in Pennsylvania: “The latest charter reform farce is on its way to the House floor in Pennsylvania before lunch. “Among all the poor elements, tied for the dumbest are: “1. Families with multiple children enrolled in a cyber-charter may now opt not to receive a second or third computer. I mean really, what wouldthey do with them. They don’t really devote any time to learning.


California: Eli Broad and Betsy DeVos Agree that Charter Schools Trump Local Control
On the day before the vote on Betsy DeVos’s nomination, billionaire Eli Broad announced that he opposed her nomination to be Secretary of Education. It was a joke. He knew that his statement was meaningless and that she would be confirmed, but he was pretending to be a Democrat. The reality is that Broad and DeVos are on the same page when it comes to privatization. He is trying to grab control o
Politico: Will US Supreme Court Clear the Way for Vouchers for Religious Schools?
News for those who stayed home on Election Day 2016 or voted third party because Hillary was “just as bad as Trump.” The first casualty of Trump’s election might be the state bans on vouchers for religious schools. Politico re ports today: SUPREME COURT COULD CLEAR ROADBLOCKS TO SCHOOL VOUCHERS: The Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to hear a case that could have huge implications for school vouc
Rick Perlstein: Historians Failed to Understand American Conservatism
Rick Perlstein is a historian who has written about American conservatism. He says, “we got it wrong.” In this very interesting and provocative article, he reflects on why American historians failed to understand the persistence of the radical fringe right or anticipate its rise from the fringe to the mainstream of American politics. Since most historians are liberal, they tended to believe that
Edward F. Berger: Is Screen Addiction Damaging Our Children’s Brains?
Edward F. Berger, retired educator now living in Arizona and fighting the good fight against the forces of reaction, writes here about screen addiction. Having reviewed the research, he questions whether addition to screens damages frontal lobe development. Actually, the link will take you to his podcast , which is gaining international recognition.
A Note to Senator Lindsey Graham About Hypocrisy
Dear Senator Graham, I hope someone on your staff sees this. If not, I hope that readers in South Carolina send it to you. This is an important message from one of your constituents. She writes: I had an opportunity to listen to Senator Lindsey Graham talk about how he lifted himself up and became the Senator from SC he is today. He said both his parents died before he began college. But he faile
Gene V. Glass: Scams and Lies in Arizona
Gene V. Glass, one of our nation’s most eminent education researchers, writes here about the Big Lie embedded in Arizona’s voucher program. The program began as vouchers for students with special needs (althou
Kelvin Smythe: When Pooh and Christopher Robin Went Searching for a 21st Century Education
Kelvin Smythe is an educator and blogger in New Zealand who left the education system when the ideas of the New Right took over. He has since been a critic and an activist. A friend Down Under sent me one of his recent writings, in which Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet and Christopher Robin go searching for a 21st Century Education. But first a bit about Smythe. He wrote this about his views: Kelvin S

Sara Stevenson: What Do State Tests Really Cost?
Sara Stevenson, librarian at the O. Henry Middle School in Austin, says that Texans should calculate the true cost of state testing. It is not just the purchase price of the tests. It is also the cost of the time of teachers and others, like 

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