Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Something to Smile About Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

Something to Smile About Diane Ravitch's blog 
A site to discuss better education for all

New York City: Charter School for “Social Justice” Fires 3/4 of Staff for Wanting to Join a Union

This is both sad and funny. The “Charter High School For Law and Social Justice” fired 11 of its 15 teachers because they wanted to join the teachers’ union. Doesn’t social justice mean that you listen to the voices of those who feel in need 

SomeDam Poet Explains the Logic of the Supreme Court State-Church Decision

SomeDam Poet writes about the Supreme Court decision requiring the state of Missouri to pay for the resurfacing of the playground of the Trinity Lutheran Church: At first, SDP was puzzled by the decision and asked, “Is playing on the playground part of the Lutheran religion? “Is that why refusing the Lutheran school public money for the playground resurfacing constitutes abridgement of free exerc

Portland, Oregon: Corporate Reformers Launch Vicious Attack on School Board Member

Portland, Oregon, is in big trouble. Despite massive spending by the fake reform Stand on Children–err, Stand for Children–the corporate reformers lost in the school board election. Now, as local activist Deb Mayer reports , they are trying 

Texas: House Republicans Say “Hell, No,” to Vouchers, Again

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called a special session of the Legislature to deal with school finance and once again to push vouchers. Once more, he will try to bribe legislators to endorse vouchers if they want more funding. No vouchers, 

Ohio: State Auditor Reprimands ECOT for Using Public Money to Lobby Against Penalty of $60 Million

ECOT is the largest virtual charter school in Ohio and among the lowest-performing schools in the state. It has thrived over the years because its founder, William Lager, has given generously to elected officials. The New York Times reported last year that ECOT had the largest graduating class in the nation, but also the lowest high school graduation rate in the nation. The Electronic Classroom o
Lesson from Virginia: Real Democrats Support Public Schools

Rachel Levy, a mother and public school activist in Virginia, explains here the lesson of the recent Democratic campaign for governor: Real Democrats support public schools. Dr. Ralph Northam, Lt. Governor, was a strong supporter of public schools. He won the support of the Virginia Educat
Wow! Editorial Writer at New York Daily News Moves Her Child from a Charter School to a NYC Public School: Guess Why?

Alyssa Katz, an editorial writer for the New York Daily News, is switching her child from a charter school to a New York City public school. The teacher turnover at the charter school was constant and disruptive for her daughter, she writes. But that’s not all. She does not name the school, but it is likely a well-regarded school that she and her husband chose with care. She writes: Some extracur


Linda Weber Needs Your Help: She Is Running for Congress

Linda Weber is a staunch friend of public education. She is running for Congress in New Jersey, seeking a seat now held by a Republican. She needs our help. Linda has raised $25,000 in the past two weeks. She must raise $8,500 by June 30! I sent a contribution, I hope you will too. You may not know Linda, but if you read this blog with regularity, you know her husband Mark Weber. Mark blogs as Je
Confession by a Teacher: “I’m Responsible for Betsy DeVos: Are You?”

Jennifer Berkshire features an essay by a teacher who realizes that she was responsible for the appointment of Betsy DeVos. Why? She didn’t pay attention. Read her story. This is what she learned after a career of setbacks: “Neoliberalism is an attractive ideology precisely because it meshes so nicely with our existing cultural norms and myths. We all want to be successful, and neoliberalism’s em
Michigan: State Takeover Effort Collapses, Schools Will Return to Detroit Public School District

Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority is closing down, and the low-performing schools put into the state-controlled district will be returned to the Detroit public schools. The EAA was a disaster from the beginning. Its leaders had total control, and they used it to run experiments on the children, using technology. They ran up the bills and produced no academic improvements. The first leade
Stuart Egan: North Carolina Legislature Attacks Teachers’ Benefits Again

Which state legislature is working hardest to destroy public education and reduce the status of the teaching profession? Unless you can make a better case, the winner is North Carolina. The state legislature was swept by Rightwing extremists in 2010, and they promptly gerrymandered the state to protect their supermajority. Even when the public elected a Democratic governor in 2016, the legislatur
“Democracy”: The Problem with Ranking High Schools by AP Coursetaking

A reader who takes the sobriquet “Democracy” adds this comment about Jay Mathews’ high school rankings, as critiqued by Carol Burris: I can appreciate Carol Burris’s critique of Jay Mathews Challenge Index. But her criticism falls way short. Advanced Placement is NOT what Mathews – or Burris – thinks it is. And Burris is wrong; Mathews should NOT make two Challenge Index lists; he should make non
Massachusetts: State Commissioner Mitchell Chester Dies

State Commissioner Mitchell Chester died unexpectedly at the age of 65 . He was battling cancer. Although I disagreed with his reliance on corporate reform policies, I regret his untimely passing. R.I.P.
NPR on New Voucher Studies: With Enough Time, Students in Voucher Schools Catch Up with Public Schools

Cory Turner and Anya Kamenetz of NPR look at two new voucher studies : one from Indiana, the other from Louisiana. The common thread is that voucher students lose ground academically in the first couple of years. Then, in the third or fourth year, they make up their losses and catch up with their public school peers. The Indiana study, not yet peer-reviewed, found: “The researchers studied studen
Conservative Scholars Disappointed by “Narrow” Supreme Court Ruling

While supporters of public education were appalled by the Supreme Court decision awarding public funding to religious institutions, conservatives were disappointed that the decision did not go far enough to clear away any barriers to vouchers. Martin West, a professor at Harvard, expressed his chagrin in this article in Education Next. West was mentored at Harvard by choice advocate Paul Peterson
Peter Greene: The Supreme Court Knocks a Big Hole in the Wall That Separates Church and State

Peter Greene reviews yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court , which said that the state must make public funding available to religious institutions so as not to discriminate against them. The case involved the Trinity Lutheran 

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