Saturday, July 22, 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

Why Is DeVos Hiding from the Press?

James Warren wonders why Betsy DeVos is steering clear of the media . Typically, the Secretary of Education speaks to the annual meeting of the Education Writers Association. But she declined. She had something better to 

Utah: Should Charters Be Allowed to Seize Private Property by Eminent Domain

We have seen how privately managed charter schools are exempt from transparency and accountability, thanks to the big bucks that pave their way. But Utah is considering a new low for preferential treatment of charters. Utah legislators are discussing whether charters should have the power of eminent domain, to seize private properties for their own use. Two conservative principles are at odds on
Arizona: The State Where Anything Goes for Charter Schools

The Phoenix New Times has an long, in-depth article about one of the state’s nearly 600 charter schools. It is possibly the weirdest and proud of it. Nepotism abounds because it is not against the law for charters (only for public schools). The founder of the school has a free hand to do whatever he wants. State laws don’t matter much at Metro Arts Institute. It begins: “The photograph is hard to
Trump’s Tweets This Morning: His Hillary Obsession

Politico posted Trump’s tweets. Here you see what he is fixated on. The big obsession is Hillary. I think she keeps a very low profile because at any moment, he could direct the Justice Department to open an investigation of her emails (again) and “lock her up.” The only way to stand up to this guy is if you have nothing to lose. “WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — at 6:33 a.m.: “A new INTELLIGENCE
New Orleans: Students Punished for Being Poor

Astana Bigard, parent activist in New Orleans, reports that poor children are regularly suspended and expelled from charter schools because they can’t afford to pay for a uniform. “When a New Orleans charter school made headlines recently for kicking out two homeless students because they didn’t have the right uniforms, people were shocked. They shouldn’t have been. Suspending poor students for “


The New Republic: We Are Veering Closer to a Constitutional Crisis

Brian Beutler, an editor at The New Republic, warns that we are approaching “an authoritarian crisis.” I call it a constitutional crisis because there is nothing in our Constitution that deals with the actions of a Trump. What if the president and his immediate family have colluded with a foreign power to influence the preside
Los Angeles: Court Rules that Rafe Esquith May Sue LAUSD for Discriminating Against Him

Rafe Esquith, a teacher of fifth-grade students at the Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles who gained national attention for his Hobart Shakespeareans, won the right to sue the Los Angeles Unified School District for firing him in 2015. Esquith was accused of sexual improprieties, which he denied. A state appellate court panel Thursday upheld a trial judge’s ruling that a former Los Angeles U
Billionaire Elon Musk Knows What Schools Need to Do–and They Are Already Doing It

Elon Musk, tech billionaire, says he has the solution for schools: teach children to ask why. Engage them in constructing things to learn how they work. Is this news? No.
How to Follow the Creeping Privatization of Public Services

There is an organization that tracks the privatization of public services–in cities, states, nationally and internationally. It is called “ In the Public Interest.” I urge you to sign up for its online newsletter and reports. You can stay informed about efforts to transfer public assets into private hands and to turn public services into profit-making businesses. The latest weekly newsletter link
New York City: Most Teachers Evaluated Using Test Scores of Students They Don’t Teach

This practice of evaluating teachers by the scores of students they never taught in subjects they don’t teach is absurd. In New York City, more than half of all teachers are judged based on work they didn’t do. Teachers in Florida went to court to challenge it, the state court judge said it was unfair but not unconstitutional. That judgement was as nonsensical as the evaluation method. “Just over
Rachel M. Cohen: Is VAM Dying? A Review of the Evidence

It is called VAM. Value-added-measurement, or value-added-modeling. It means measuring the effectiveness of teachers by the rise or fall of the test scores of their students. Rachel M. Cohen, writing in The American Prospect, documents the slow but steady retreat from evaluating teachers by the test scores of their students. Only a few years ago, VAM was lauded by Secretary of a Education Arne Du
Randi Weingarten: The Fight Before Us Against DeVos and Privatization

Randi Weingarten gave a major address to the AFT Teach Conference yesterday, in which she explained why she took Betsy DeVos to Van Wert, Ohio, and she called out the forces of destruction now targeting public schools in America. It is time, she says, to resist. To resist privatization by charters and vouchers; to resist the attacks on the teaching profession; to fight racial segregation; to resi
School Choice: Grounded in Racism, Reinvented by the Radical Right

Rick Hess makes a valiant but unsuccessful effort to provide a new origin story to the idea of school choice, attributing it to Thomas Paine and John Stuart Mill. That’s quite a stretch, because Thomas Paine lived before there were any public schools in the United States, and Mill, of course, never had any contact with the American idea of free, universal, democratic public schooling. In my exper

Jennifer Berkshire: The Public Rejects DeVos-ALEC Agenda

Jennifer Berkshire asks a crucial question: Just how far right can Betsy DeVos go before the public rises up to quash her extremist agenda? Never in modern history has there been a more unpopular, more polarizing Cabinet member. She 
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