Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Reign of Error DeVos Style Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

Reign of Error DeVos Style Diane Ravitch's blog 
A site to discuss better education for all

Sue M. Legg Sends an Even Better Post about Erik Fresen and His Likelihood of Going to to Jail

Well, this is a new one for me. After I posted Sue Legg’s piece about Erik Fresen, Sue contacted me and told me she had mistakenly sent me her notes, not the finished post. So, here is the finished post. I must admit. It reads better. And 

Betsy DeVos Met by Boos and Students Turning Their Backs at Bethune-Cookman University Commencement

Betsy DeVos gave the commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University in Florida and received an unfriendly reception from the graduates. Many booed and were chastised by the University President. Many stood with their backs to the speaker. It was probably not the best venue for a billionaire who works for the Trump administration, which has appealed to white males and the alt-right, no friends

Peter Dreier Predicts that Trump’s “Tuesday Afternoon Massacre” Could Lead to Impeachment or Resignation

Peter Dreier is a professor of political science at Occidental College in California. He is also an astute observer of contemporary politics. In this post at Salon, Dreier reviews the “Tuesday afternoon massacre” and compares it to Nixon’s 

Sue M. Legg: Will Erik Fresen Go to Jail? Is Charter Corruption in Florida Out of Control?

Sue M. Legg, education director of the Florida League of Women Voters, wrote the following post about the current situation in Florida, which is reaching a critical point. The legislature just passed a bill that showers favors and funding 

New York City: “My Neighbors Warned Me About the Neighborhood School. We Chose It Anyway.”

This is a very interesting account by Mia Simring, a rabbi in New York City, about her family decision to choose a school for their daughter. She was warned not to send her to the public school across the street. She visited the school and to her surprise, was very impressed by the small classes and the emphasis on the arts. She visited other schools, including some that were highly selective. Sh
Peter Greene Takes a Deep Dive into the Mind of Betsy DeVos and Finds…Nothing

Peter Greene reviews the speech that Betsy DeVos gave to the annual meeting of the Global Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs at Arizona State University. She interminably bashes and belittles the public schools as obsolete, failing, etc. She has, as he puts it charitably, a one-track mind. She visited wonderful public schools in Van Wert, Ohio, and saw children and teachers who were engag
Wendy Lecker: The War on Public Schools and the Public Good

Like Jan Resseger, Wendy Lecker paid tribute to the political philosopher Benjamin Barber. She acknowledged his work on behalf of democracy and the public good , which is currently under attack by a bipartisan coalition of corporate reformers. She writes: Political theorist Benjamin Barber, who died April 24, wrote about the importance of education as a public good. “Education not only speaks to
Jan Resseger: A Tribute to Benjamin Barber, Philosopher of Democracy and the Common Good

Benjamin Barber was a political philosopher whose passion was the strengthening of civil society and democratic institutions. He died April 24. Jan Resseger wrote a beautiful tribute to him , on the importance of public education and the danger of privatization. Her citations from his works are eloquent and powerful. Jan doesn’t mention that Barber criticized me in his 1992 book, which she quotes


The Firing of James Comey: What’s Next?

The Trump administration’s decision to fire FBI Director Comey shows what a perilous condition our country is in. It took Trump nearly three weeks to fire Michael Flynn after learning that he lied about his contacts with Russian officials. Comey was fired in a day, without being notified in advance. He learned about it while giving a speech in Los Angeles. The excuse for firing him was that he wa
Hundreds Show Up to Protest Paul Ryan’s Visit to Success Academy Charter School in New York City

Although advance notice was minimal, and most people had no idea that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was visiting Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Charter School in Harlem, hundreds of protesters showed up. Ryan briefly stopped in the Mickey Mantle public school (P.S. 811) that is co-located with Success Academy. The public school is devoted to students with special needs. Eva tried to push out PS
Paul Lauter: Why Do Dentists Need to be Licensed?

In response to the ALEC-inspired legislation to allow uncertified, unlicensed people to teach, Paul Lauter–Emeritus Distinguished Professor of English at Trinity College–poses a simple question: I think we should propose doing away with dental licenses. After all, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a piece of string and a door knob. Why not? Why do doctors need to be licensed? Why do lawyer
South Carolina: A New Group to Support Rural Schools

In the South, rural schools tend to be neglected, impoverished, and forgotten. A group of educators have created a new organization to advocate on behalf of rural schools. It is called the South Carolina Organization of Rural Schools. If you live in the state, reach out and learn more or get involved.
A Poem in Favor of Humanity: A Teacher Sees Students

I urge you to read this poem. I urge you to share it with your students if you are a teacher. As machines and digital devices come to dominate our lives, let us not forget our humanity. It is humanity that keeps us human, not a data point.
Frank Adamson: Is Education a Choice or a Right?

Frank Adamson of Stanford University wrote a marvelous article that lays out the issues with enormous clarity and insight. To read the references and links, open the article. The United Nations has identified “free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education” by 2030 as a goal for sustainable development. This goal reaffirms the right to education guaranteed by countries in multiple U
How a Climate Change Denier Changed His Mind: A Story Familiar to Me

Jerry Taylor used to be paid to dispute people who said that the climate was changing. He was a skeptic. He did battle on television with those who believed in climate change. But he changed his mind. When I read this interview with Jerry Taylor in The Intercept, I was very struck by the amazing similarity to my own change of view. I was once certain that common standards and tests were necessary
EXPOSE: Hedge Clippers Expose Billionaires’ Attempt to Buy Control of Los Angeles Public Schools

Hedge Clippers, a group of political activists who work to reveal the unprincipled use of hedge fund money to influence politics and education, have posted the names of the billionaires (and millionaires) who have sunk large sums into the Los Angeles school board race in hopes of electing their favorites, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez. Many of their financial backers are major Republic
Michael Hynes: This is What Education Should Be Today

Michael Hynes is the superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District on Long Island in New York. He has a progressive vision of what schools should be, and he is implementing it in the schools of his district, with the support of the elected board. Take a few minutes and watch his TED talk, where he explains how to transform our schools and make them schools of thoughtfulness, learning, a
Busted Pencils: THEY DID IT!

Tim Slekar followed up his earlier post with an announcement that the war against the teaching profession in Wisconsin has reached a new low. He declared a victory for the far-right ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council, which writes most of the “model laws” to privatize schools and eliminate the teaching profession). Well today “they” did it. “They” opened the door to deprofesssionalizatio
Busted Pencils: Teacher Licenses Are Under Attack!

Tim Slekar, dean of education at Edgewood College in Milwaukee, warns of the strategy that corporate reformers are using to undermine and destroy the teaching profession. They say there is a shortage. They ignore the fact that the “shortage” is caused by the exodus of experienced teachers due to policies that create intolerable working conditions. They then say that the “solution” to the manufact
Truth-Out: The Driving Force Behind Privatization Is Greed

This article in Truth-Out was written in 2014, but it remains timely. It shows the driving force behind privatization: Greed. It contains only one error: it suggests that this is a Red State phenomenon. But there are Democratic governors who have taken large sums from the financial industry and turned into champions of school choice, such as New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy
New York City Alert for Paul Ryan!

Jack Covey reports: There’s even a FACEBOOK ALERT (with time and place) and a smorgasboard of progressive groups listed: ALERT: Paul Ryan will be at Success Academy in Harlem on Tuesday, May 9th (TOMORROW!). Fresh off of voting to take away health care from millions of Americans, Paul Ryan is coming to NYC tomorrow! Because Paul has done so much fo
Why Republicans Blocked Vouchers in Texas

Gary VanDeaver is a conservative member of the House of Representatives in Texas. On most of the hot-button social issues, he is a hardline conservative. But Representative VanDeaver of New Boston, Texas, opposes vouchers. He is well 

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