Friday, June 23, 2017

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

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

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

This Is a Broadway Play You Should See

A few nights ago, I went to see a Broadway play that was scheduled to close on June 25. The play is “Indecent,” and it is wonderful. It was written bu a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel. It is about a play written for the Yiddish 

Randy Rainbow Questions Comey and Sessions

Time for a laugh!

Jeff Bryant Wins “Project Censored” Award for His Article on the Walmart Takeover of Public Education

Jeff Bryant has won one of the annual Project Censored awards for his brilliant article about the malign intrusion of Walmart into public education. We may differ about which person is “the worst in the World,” but if there were a 

Emily Talmage: The Fight Against the Invasion of the EdTech Entrepreneurs

Emily Talmage describes the fight against the edtech industry in New England. The resolutions passed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association are a landmark in teachers’ efforts to block privatization, data mining, and 

Who is “the Worst Person in the World?” Ken Bernstein Knows.

Who is the Worst Person in the World? Ken Bernstein knows, and he shares his reasons here. Right now, I would nominate the brutal dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, who brutalizes his own people and recently sent home the near-lifeless body of Otto Warmbier, a college student who had foolishly attempted to bring home a propaganda poster as a souvenir of his five-day trip to North Korea. Otto d
PBS: A Moving Program about the Saving Power of Higher Education

I have written a lot lately about the bad judgment of PBS in running a one-sided, partisan three-hour series attacking public education and advocating for running schools like businesses. I am happy to share with you a wonderful documentary about a higher education program that awards degrees to prisoners at the notorious Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York. The title is FIRST DEGREE. it enabl
New Jersey: Charter School Closing, Won’t Pay Teachers for last Two Months

The Merit Preparatory Charter School in Newark has been ordered to close down at the end of June due to low test scores. The school’s teachers are paid on a 12-month schedule for ten months of work. That means they are owed salary for July and August. At present, the school does not plan to pay what it owes the teachers. The teachers have turned to the Newark Teachers Union for help, even though
Carol Burris: The Broken Promises and Scams of the Charter Industry

Carol Burris notes in this article that the NAACP passed a resolution last year demanding a moratorium on new charters until charters cleaned up their actioms and policies. Instead of doing some self-examination and trying to right what was wrong, the charter apologists attacked the NAACP. Burris reviews some of the notable charter scams and corruption in the past year or so. Back in the 1990s, w
NYC: Little Public Support for Mayoral Control

This issue deserves a longer post by me, since my first book in 1974 was a history of the New York City public schools. Mayors have always had a large measure of control over the city’s public schools, but only under Mayor Bloomberg did the mayor take control of appointing the superintendent/chancellor and direct every aspect of the system. Bloomberg used his power without checks/balances to clos
New York City: No Deal Yet on Renewal of Mayoral Control

I was premature yesterday is reporting that a deal was near on renewing mayoral control. As of now, there is no deal. The State Senate, controlled by Republicans, wants more charters. The State Assembly, controlled by urban Democrats, does not. On June 30, mayoral control expires, and the previous board is revived, seven members, with only two appointed by the mayor. The Republicans in the Senate


New York: Legislature Close to a Deal on Renewing Mayoral Control

The legislature in New York is close to a final deal to permit mayoral control of the public schools for another year. When Michael Bloomberg became Mayor of New York City, one of his first goals was to take control of the school system. He claimed he could get better results because of his experience as a businessman. The Board of Educationconsisted of seven members, one appointed by each of fiv
New York Times’ Columnist Gail Collins Names Betsy DeVos the Winner of Her Contest!

Gail Collins used to be the editorial page editor of the New York Times. Now she writes a regular column for the Times, which is usually hilarious. Today, she names Betsy DeVos the winner of her informal reader poll as the Worst Member of Trump’s Cabinet. This was no easy contest. Remember, she was up against Jeff Sessions, who has total amnesia, and Scott Pruitt, the director of the Environmenta
Reed Hastings, Billionaire, Says that Elected School Boards Should be Eliminated

Reed Hastings, billionaire owner of Netflix, says that democracy is the problem at the root of American education. Elected school boards are the cause of too much turmoil. Appointed boards are far better and allow innovative charter schools to grow. At the annual meeting of the National Alliance for “Public” Charter Schools, Hastings pointed to elected school boards as dysfunctional and lauded th
Newly Elected LAUSD Member Says He is not Going to Promote Charter Expansion

Surely to the surprise of the California Charter School Association, Eli Broad, Reed Hastings and the other billionaires who funded his election campaign, Nick Melvoin told EdSource in California that his election was not about expanding the number of charter schools. No, what he is about is seeing public schools replicate the successes of charter schools. Melvoin was a TFA teacher for two years,
Lordy! Peter Greene Agrees with Checker Finn About a Few Things

Peter Greene is kind of busy, what with having two-week-old twins in the House, with crying, diapers, and all that entails. But not too busy to read that Checker Finn describes parts of Jeanne Allen’s pro-choice book as “idiocy .” See, Jeanne agrees with Betsy DeVos that the government should hand out taxpayer dollars to families to use however they want. Checker recognizes that this is a dumb id
Do Corporations Care about American Workers?

This is an excellent article about the nations’ major corporations and their abandonment of their fellow citizens. It was written by Gordon Later and Greg LeRoy and posted by the Economic Policy Institute. Gordon Later wrote the wonderful book “The One Percent Solution: How Corporations are Remaking America, One State at a Time, ” which I highly recommend, to understand how Dark Money has taken o
Jessica Tang Makes History in Boston

Congratulations, Jessica Tang, the newly elected leader of the Boston Teachers Union! What I admire about Jessica, in addition to all the firsts attached to her rise, is that she is determined to fight privatization. Despite the fact that Massachusetts is far and away the highest performing state on NAEP, the plutocrats have been trying to bust the public schools. She is a fighter. Between Tang a
DeVos Puts CEO of Student Loan Company in Charge of Policing Student Loans

Can anyone spell “conflict of interest”? Has anyone at the Department of Education ever heard the term? Betsy Devos just selected the CEO of a corporation collecting student loans to police the collection of student loans. 

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