Saturday, October 9, 2021

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

A site to discuss better education for all


Jan Resseger: The Disaster of Student-Based Budgeting
Jan Resseger hopes that Pedro Martinez, the new superintendent in Chicago, will eliminate the disastrous policy of “student-based budgeting.” The importance of the topic is not limited to Chicago. School officials in Los Angeles are considering a similar program. Everyone needs to learn the lessons that Jan describes. Schools in impoverished communities suffer most from this budgeting method and


FBI Will Investigate Violent Threats Against Educators and School Boards
James Harvey, leader of the National Superintendents Roundtable, reported that federal authorities will investigate violent threats made against school personnel and school boards in response to mask mandates. Stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere have demonstrated that some of the groups harassing educators and school boards about masking and “critical race theory” are funded by the Koch
New Hampshire: Rabid Protestors Attack Democracy
It’s happening across the nation: Angry anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers are undermining democracy, science, and civil society. They are disrupting school board meetings, town council meetings, any gathering where a loud minority can shout down elected officials. What’s happening in New Hampshire is emblematic of a frightening national trend. Garry Rayno of writes here about the collap
Texas: The District Needed Funding for More Schools. Instead, the Commissioner Opened More Charter Schools
Enrollments in the Cleveland Independent School District in Texas was growing rapidly. Voters passed bond issues, but it wasn’t enough. The superindent turned to the state for help. Sadly, Governor Gregg Abbott and his hand-picked State Commissioner Mike Morath are obsessed with charters, despite the fact that their academic results are below those of public schools. Here is the sad story of Abbo

OCT 07

How Laurene Powell Jobs Is Spending Her Billions
Becky Peterson writes in Business Insider about the philanthropic ventures of Apple founder Steve Jobs’s widow, Laurene Powell Jobs. While Powell is apparently trying to brand the Emerson Collective as a progressive foundation, its education ideas are firmly rooted in the failed ideas of the NCLB-Race to the Top paradigm. We learn in the article that Ms. Jobs relies on Arne Duncan and his former
Nancy MacLean: “School Choice” Was Created to Protect Segregation
Duke historian Nancy MacLean, author of the superb Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, wrote recently in The Washington Post about the sinister origins of school choice . Its true purpose was to protect segregation and abolish public schools. (For my view, see this article in The New York Review of Books.) MacLean writes: The year 2021 has proved

OCT 06

Jeremy Mohler: Don’t Make Fun of Anti-Maskers: Try to Educate Them
Jeremy Mohler of the nonpartisan, anti-privatization organization called “In the Public Interest,” opposes ridiculing anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. He thinks that those who support science should try to dispel their suspicion of government. Do we want to turn vital public services—like police, firefighters, the military, national parks, beaches, highways, protection of the air and water, and man
Nora de la Cour: For-Profit Remote Learning is a Disaster
Nora de la Cour is a high school teacher and writer. T his article about the sham of for-profit remote instruction appeared in Jacobin. Study after study has demonstrated the poor results of virtual instruction, but the research does not deter the greedy entrepreneurs who see the profit in virtual charter schools. You may recall the recent press release from the National Alliance for Charter Scho

OCT 05

Ohio: Republicans Intensify Theft of Public School Funding
PRESS CONFERENCE ON UNIVERSAL VOUCHER BILL: 11:00 A.M., WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6 We have been warning the public school community and other Ohioans that the goal of voucher advocates has nothing to do with “rescuing poor kids from low performing school districts”; it is to give each kid a voucher. Fund the kid, not the system. Tune into the press conference to hear a universal voucher pitch first han
International Case Studies: Public Education Works!
A new international organization has released five case studies of low- and middle-income nations, demonstrating that PUBLIC EDUCATION WORKS. I received this mailing: We are delighted to launch a new important piece of research on public education , titled “ Public education works: lessons from five case-studies in low- and middle- income countries” . The study shows that well-organised public ed
New Hampshire: Voucher Costs Are Likely to Be 60 Times the Amount Budgeted
Jeanne Dietsch, former state Senator in New Hampshire, reports here on the predicted cost of the state’s new voucher program. Voucher Update Costs at 60 times budget, so far! Taxpayers are in for a surprise when the bill comes due for vouchers. Instead of the $140,000 budgeted for 2022, current projected spending is $6.9 million, with 800 more applications pending! Applications soared after Ameri

OCT 04

NPE Action Grassroots Network Now Counts 175 Groups Nationally
Please read the report of NPE’s Grassroots Network. There are now more than 175 local organizations working for their public schools against privatization. If your group hasn’t joined yet, consider doing so. Here is a small part of the monthly report: Giving Voice to Friends of Public Education: NPE Action’s New Project The Network for Public Education is proud to announce a new project from NPE
A Tale of Two Vaccines
Sandi Dolbee of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about the very different public responses to two life-saving vaccines for deadly diseases: polio and COVID-19. I remember the national fear of polio. Parents were not sure how it spread, so every family had different rules: Stay out of movie theaters, avoid public swimming pools, keep away from crowds. She began: Church bells rang out. Car horns h
Audrey Watter’s Brilliant New Book on the Origins of Ed Tech
I had the pleasure of reading the galleys of Audrey Watter’s fascinating new book— Teaching Machines : The History of Personalized Learning —about the origins of education technology, which began with the search for a machine that could replace teachers: a teaching machine. She goes into detail about the pioneers of this innovation, notably B.F. Skinner, who tried relentlessly to find a publisher

OCT 03

Billy Townsend: GOP Candidate for Mayor Promises to Ban “Marxists” and George Soros from Lakeland, Florida
Billy Townsend zeroes in on Lakeland, Florida’s mayoral campaign to illustrate how far off the rails the Republican Party has gone. The Republican candidate is promoting an extremist agenda that shows no concern for people who don’t agree with her. She is a Trumper through and through. Townsend sees her as symbolic of the loss of citizenship as a unifying principle. She is running to represent pe
York, Pennsylvania, District Removes Ban on Books About Racism and Diversity
The Central York school board banned a long list of books and videos about race, racism, and diversity. Days ago, responding to protests by students, parents, and teachers, the board voted unanimously to lift the ban. This censorship is in keeping with the current effort by Republicans to label teaching about racism to be teaching “critical race theory” that makes white students feel guilty and u
Denis Smith: If We Lose Public Schools, We Lose Our Democracy
Denis Smith worked for many years in the Ohio State Department of Education, finishing his career in the Office of Charter Schools. He writes in the Ohio Capital Journal about the existential threat posed to our democracy and our society by the privatization of public schools. His advice: Be careful what you wish for. In the last few months, Americans have witnessed a series of assaults by the po

OCT 02

Koch Network Funds Parent Anti-Mask Protests
Conservative groups are funding protests against “critical race theory.” Now we learn, thanks to investigative reporting by the Washington Post, that the rightwing libertarian Koch network is funding parent protests against mask mandates. Billionaire Charles Koch has blood on his hands by supporting and encouraging parent opposition to mask mandates in schools. Isaac Stanley-Becker writes in the
Florida’s New Surgeon General Echoes Gov. DeSantis’ Anti-Vaxx Views
The Boston Globe recently wrote about Governor Ron DeSantis’ choice for Florida’s Surgeon General. He is Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a 2008 graduate of Harvard Medical school, who also earned a doctorate from Harvard in health policy. The Globe wrote: Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, Florida’s new surgeon general, made waves Wednesday in the Sunshine State, inking new guidelines allowing parents to decide whether th
Sandy Hook Parents Win Defamation Suit Against Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones
Sandy Hook parents won a defamation lawsuit against rightwing media figure Alex Jones. Their children were murdered on December 14, 2012, in a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A total of 20 children between the ages of six and seven were killed, along with six staff members, including the principal. For years, Alex Jones has asserted that the massacre was staged a

OCT 01

Jan Resseger: Why Don’t We Value Early Childhood Education?
Jan Resseger describes the crisis of early childhood education in this post. The importance of early childhood education for healthy development has been repeatedly documented, most recently by the Learning Policy Institute. Yet the sector continues to be underfunded, teachers are underpaid, and they are in short supply. She writes: The kind of enriched child care envisioned by experts at the Lea

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