Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

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ALERT: Federal Voucher Bill Will Suck Money Out of Public Schools and Create Profits for Donors

The American Association of School Administrators c ommissioned a report about the pending legislation in Congress that would diminish funding for public schools and create generous profits for donors to voucher plans. This is a raid on 

Minnesota: Governor Dayton, Please Veto the Voucher Legislation!

The Minnesota legislature passed legislation to create “education savings accounts” (vouchers) and attached it to the state budget. Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has said he will veto any legislation that divert public money to 

Illinois: An Urgent Message from Chicago Teachers

The Chicago Teachers Union called on public-spirited citizens across the state to urge the State Senate to vote for legislation on behalf of Chicago’s students, teachers, and public schools. The end of the session in Springfield draws nigh. 


How to Protect Your Child’s Privacy

Leonie Haimson and Rachael Stickland of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy created a toolkit for parents to defend against the invasion of children’s privacy by commercial and governmental interests. The toolkit was devised in collaboration with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Haimson and Stickland explain why they developed the free toolkit and why parents should use it. They
Cathy O’Neill: Don’t Grade Teachers with Bad Algorithms

Cathy O’Neill is a mathematician who wrote a wonderful book called “weapons of Math Destruction,” in which she showed how math and big data can be misused to reach very bad decisions. She recently wrote an article for Bkloomberg News in which she explained why VAM is a terrible way to evaluate teachers. She writes: “For more than a decade, a glitchy and unaccountable algorithm has been making lif
Laura Chapman: The Bradley Foundation’s “Enemies List”

Laura Chapman, our much loved reader and brilliant researcher, dug into the recently released files on the Bradley Foundation. An earlier post described the reach and riches of this very conservative foundation, which has underwritten the proliferation of vouchers. She writes: In August 2014, the board of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation asked for a list of “organizations that attack groups
Inside the Bradley Foundation: Documents Reveal Plan to Spread Right-Wing Ideology, State by State

Hackers broke into the computers of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and released a treasure trove documenting the aggressive efforts to spread right-wing ideology. I posted about these documents earlier, citing an article called “Weaponized Philanthropy” by Mary Bottari. There is so much material that there will be many articles and books about the political uses of an allegedly charitable
Good News: Supporters of Public Schools Elected to School Board in Ossining, New York

I know this may seem like small potatoes after the devastating loss in Los Angeles. But it is good news. Two strong supporters of public schools were elected to the school board in Ossining, New York. One is Lisa Rudley, a co-founder of New York State Allies for Public Education, and a leader of the successful Opt Out movement. Her running mate was Diana Lemon, a local civic leader. Both are pare
A Teacher in Florida Reacts to the LAUSD Election

The good guys lost. The guys with the backing of the billionaires won. The public schools of Los Angeles will shrink in numbers as the charter industry takes charge of the district. Although the charter candidates wrapped themselves in the banner of Obama and Duncan, their victory is indeed a victory for the Trump-DeVos agenda. A teacher in Florida reacted: I am sitting here at 6 am in So. Florid
Charter Supporters Win Control of Los Angeles School Board

The two pro-charter candidates swept to victory last night in Los Angeles. Nick Melvoin, the candidate of the charter industry, beat Steve Zimmer, 57-43%. Charter teacher Kelly Fitzpatrick-Nonez beat Imelda Padilla, 51-48%. It was the most expensive school board race in U.S. history. At least $14 million was spent, most of it by the charter forces to defeat Zimmer. Inthe two districts, only 75,00

YESTERDAY

Los Angeles: Early Returns Favor Privatizers

The results are just starting to be reported in the Los Angeles school board election. First to report are the absentee ballots, which put the corporate reformer Nick Melvoin into a 60-40 lead over Steve Zimmer. The turnout was very low. Imelda Padilla trails 52-48. You can watch the official returns here. They are updated every 40 minutes. http://cityclerk.lacity.org/election/results.html Eli Br
Sara Stevenson Writes to the Texas Legislature: Please Say No to Vouchers

Sara Stevenson is a librarian at the O. Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas. She sent the following letter to members of the Legislature: Dear senators and congressmen/women, Please don’t add private school vouchers (ESAs) onto HB 21. House Bill 21 gives school districts much needed fiscal relief. Here in Austin ISD, we had to give away $406 million of our tax dollars this year. Next year it wil
DeVos Meets with Home School Lobby

From Politico Education: EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOS MEETS WITH HOMESCHOOL ADVOCATES: DeVos spent roughly 45 minutes late Monday afternoon listening to the needs of homeschooling families during a meeting with officials from the Home School Legal Defense Association. William Estrada, director of federal relations with the group, tells Morning Education they sought to convey to DeVos that home
Rachel Levy: Why I Support Ralph Northam for Governor of Virginia

Rachel Levy is a blogger, a parent of children in Virginia public schools, and a public education activist, though not in that order. In this post , she explains why she is supporting Lt. Governor Ralph Northam in the Democratic run-off for Governor on June 13. Northam’s opponent Tom Periello is presenting himself as a progressive, and he has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Miami-Dade Teachers’ Salaries Are Lower than Ten Years Ago

A blogger called Kafkateach writes that teachers’ salaries are lower now than they were ten years ago , with any gains wiped out by inflation. “In 2007, a 15 year veteran would be making almost $47,000. In inflation adjusted dollars in 2017, that amount would be almost $56,000. Most 15 year teachers currently working in Miami Dade currently don’t break $45,000. And apparently, that’s exactly what
Peter Greene: Oklahoma Wants to Save Money by Deporting Kids Who Don’t Speak English

I know this seems hard to believe, but in recent years we have learned that some state legislators have hearts of stone. Peter Greene writes about Oklahoma’s bold and mean-spirited initiative: Turning non-English-speaking kids over to the authorities so they will be deported, thus saving the state the cost of educating them. He writes: There’s a lot to unpack in the news from Oklahoma’s GOP legis
New York: One Week from Today, Your Chance to Elect a Teacher to the State Assembly on Long Island: CHRISTINE PELLEGRINO!

New Yorkers who live on Long Island in District 9 should vote a week from today in a special election. Christine Pellegrino, a Democrat, is running against Tom Gargulio, a Conservative Party member from Babylon. Christine is the real deal. She is a mother, a teacher, a leader in the Opt Out Movement, and a member of the BATs. She was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention
Texas Southern University Cancels Senator Cornyn’s Commencement Speech Due to Student Opposition

Texas Southern University canceled Senator Jon Cornyn’s commencement speech, due to student opposition. Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University, Jerry Falwell’s university, where he knew he could expect a friendly reception. It appears that neither Trump nor DeVos will be giving many commencement addresses, except at small evangelical colleges. Students are not passive, and they


Steve Zimmer: The Case Against Myself

Los Angeles votes today on whether to re-elect Steve Zimmer to the board of education or to choose a man who is a puppet of billionaires who want to turn the schools over to unregulated private operators. Steve deserves to be re-
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