Saturday, May 6, 2017

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







Ohio: Do You Want to See a Politician Blasting Charter Fraud? Watch Here
Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy forwarded links to Dennis Kucinich’s town hall meetings, where he blasted charter school fraud. Watch and enjoy! Is he running for governor? Let’s hope so. https://youtu.be/bbgnZ9LorEk https://youtu.be/UHHaKdAuGJg
A Dialogue Between Two Scholars: Critical Pedagogy Meets Libertarianism
You might enjoy this discussion between two retired scholars who entered the dialogue believing they were divided by great differences. Eventually they concluded that there was more that unites them than divides them. But the 

The Great Retreat Now Begins: Choice is No Longer About “Saving Poor Children from Failing Schools”

Do you remember back in the old days when the privatization movement began that choice was going to “save poor children from failing schools”? Well, that slogan is now obsolete. Now the advocates say that the purpose of choice is 


Los Angeles: Karen Wolfe Unravels the Unified Enrollment Scam

Karen Wolfe is a parent activist in Los Angeles who fights for public schools against the behemoth that is the California Charter Schools Association and even against the Los Angeles Unified School District. She recently discovered that the school district was considering spending $24 million to install a Unified Enrollment system. She became curious and began digging. After all, Los Angeles was
Tennessee: The Much Hyped “Achievement School District” in Trouble Again

Tennessee created the so-called “Achievement School District” in 2012, to take over schools in the lowest 5% of the state, based on test scores, and hand them over to charter operators. The head of the ASD at the time, Chris Barbic, who had run the YES Prep charter chain in Houston, promised that these low-performing schools would be in the top 20% within five years. The five-year mark is approac
A Teacher in Newark Writes: “Chaos by Design” Is Not Good for Students or Teachers

Ryan Heisinger is teaching in Newark. He is in his fourth year. He loves teaching. He wants to spend his career as a teacher. But he and everyone else in Newark has been subjected to constant disruption, on purpose . For me, this year is mainly speeding by because of how much I’ve enjoyed it. This school year has reinvigorated me, further convinced me that I want to spend my career around kids. B

YESTERDAY

More About That Alabama Charter Law

Earlier I posted Larry Lee’s post about the overwhelming defeat of a charter bill in Alabama. I asked him for more details on charters in the state because I knew that Alabama already passed a charter law. Why was this bill defeated? This was the response I received: “What did the bill propose? “The bill proposed several changes to the original law passed in 2015 – a law that was touted as one of
Teachers at Sacramento Charter Chain Founded by Kevin Johnson and Michelle Rhee Want to Unionize

Nationally, more than 90% of charter schools are non-union. That is the main reason that the Walton Family Foundation (of non-union Walmart) subsidizes so many of them. So, it is newsworthy when charter teachers ask to join a union. But in this case, it is newsworthy for other reasons. The Los Angeles Times reports that a majority of teachers at the St. Hope charter chain in Sacramento have signe
Audrey Amrein-Beardsley Reviews the Court Decision Slamming VAM in Houston

Audrey Amrein-Beardsley of Arizona State University is one of the nation’s most prominent scholars of teacher evaluation. She is especially critical of VAM (value-added measurement); she has studied TVAAS, EVAAS, and other similar metrics and found them deeply flawed. She has testified frequently in court cases as an expert witness. In this post, she analyzes the court decision that blocks the us
New York City: Principal Under Investigation, Suspected of Being a Communist

Shades of McCarthyism. The principal of a small high school in Brooklyn is under investigation after someone tipped off the Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations that she might be a Communist. “It was early March when a representative from the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations sat down with Jill Bloomberg, the longtime principal of Park
Dallas: Vote for Lori Kilpatrick for School Board!

Saturday is the election for school board in Dallas. Dallas is a rich city that has many impoverished students and English language learners in its public schools. It needs a school board committed to these children. If you live in Dallas in District 2, I urge you to vote for Lori Kirkpatrick. She is the mother of a child in second grade in DISD. She believes in public education. She believes in
Alabama: Charter Bill Crashes and Burns

Alabama has a solid Republican majority in its legislature. Yet, Larry Lee reports , an effort to expand the number of charters in the state was overwhelmingly defeated. Alabama has a lot of small towns and rural districts, represented by Republicans. They know the public school is part of the fabric of their community. They don’t want charters, though they are fine with opening them in Birmingha
South Carolina: School Calls Police to Intimidate Parent Who Wanted His Son to Opt Out

A few days ago, I posted a letter that James Kirylo and his wife wrote to school officials in South Carolina to explain why they were opting their children out of testing. Kirylo is a professor of education; the letter laid out the reasons why standardized testing was wrong and provided a bibliography of research to support the parents’ decision. But it turns out that South Carolina does not resp
Why For-Profit Education So Often Fails

This is an interesting article by Jonathan A. Knee of the Columbia Business School about the perils of making a profit in the education sector. I note that he has a book coming out, fleshing out his case studies and arguments about for-profit investing in education. Knee describes the many visionaries who saw the possibilities of transforming education into a for-profit bonanza but lost their shi

MAY 04

George Will: Trump Has a Dangerous Disability

George Will is a conservative columnist with a deep reverence for history and tradition. He is probably the most serious and respected conservative intellectual in the nation. On Thursday, he wrote a column called “Trump Has a Serious Disability” that was widely read. It was trending on Twitter. “Trump does not know what it is to know something.” He writes: “It is urgent for Americans to think an
AFT Kills VAM in Houston! Major Victory for Common Sense!

Today, teachers in Houston won a major court victory against the discredited teacher evaluation method called VAM, or “value-added measurement.” The court battle was led by the AFT and the Houston Federation of Teachers. VAM was originally developed by an agricultural statistician, William Sanders, who believed that the rise or fall of student test scores can be attributed to the students’ teache
Teacher: Most Members of Congress Could Not Pass the Math Test My Fifth Graders Took

Ralph Ratto teaches fifth grade in New York. The state math tests are ending today. His students spent nine (9) hours being tested about math and reading. This is child abuse. Why should students spend more than an hour on a math test or a reading test? The tests, he says, are ridiculously hard for fifth graders. He thinks that most members of Congress could not pass the tests. He can’t post any
DeVos Will Visit Christian School Today

Politico Education reports that Betsy DeVos will visit a Christian school today. DEVOS TO VISIT PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN D.C. THIS MORNING: The Trump administration’s campaign to promote D.C.’s voucher program continues this morning as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits Cornerstone, a private school that says on its website it provides a “Christ-centered” education. President Donald Trump
Carol Burris: Three Problems with School Choice That Advocates Won’t Talk About

Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, wrote an analysis of the major problems with school choice that advocates refuse to address. She begins by writing that privatized school choice directly threatens public education: Privatized school choice is the public financing of private alternatives to public schools. Examples include charters run by corporate boards, priv
Jeannie Kaplan: Denver’s Corporate Reformers Try to Distance Themselves from DeVos

Jeannie Kaplan watches with amusement as the corporate reform-led Denver School Board tries to distance themselves from Betsy DeVos . She says, “They can run, but they can’t hide.” You see, Denver Board of Education and superintendent, once the drip of privatization as characterized particularly by choice and charters starts, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to stop. What starts as a drip
Oregon Drops SBAC, Chooses Inappropriate SAT for High School Exam

Education Week reports that Oregon is dropping the Smarter Balanced Assessment for high school students and will use the SAT instead. Oregon will continue to use SBAC for testing 3-8 and 11. The SAT is a college admissions test, and it is wildly inappropriate to use it as an accountability test. It is a test of reading, mathematics, and writing. It does not test the curriculum that students have
Can Schools Cure Poverty?

Jennifer Berkshire posted this interview with economist Harvey Kantor in response to a column in the New York Times by David Leonhardt suggesting that schools were the best way to address poverty. Leonhardt wrote that education 
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