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Saturday, November 13, 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: Biden’s “Build Back Better Program” Would Lift Millions of Children Out of Poverty
Jan Resseger, one of our best informed bloggers and social justice advocates, lauds President Biden’s Build Back Better program for its benefits for children. It would end decades of policies that punish poor children. Our nation has dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly, but neglected our children. She writes: The U.S. House of Representatives finally passed President Biden’s infrastruc


Stephen Dyer: Ohio Shifts District Funds to Charters
Stephen Dyer is a former state legislator who keeps close watch on school finance in Ohio. I missed this post when it was posted a few months ago, but it retains its ability to shock. Open the link to see his graphs and documentation. Dyer wrote: Despite House Bill 2 , which was supposed to slim down our notoriously poor-performing charter school sector and the closure of the nation’s largest onl
Jennifer Berkshire: The Real Reason McAuliffe Lost in Virginia
Jennifer Berkshire, education journalist and co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door (with Jack Schneider) explains in The Nation the real reason why Terry McAuliffe lost the governorship in Virginia. McAuliffe, she says, could have turned the education issue in his favor, but he doesn’t have a clue what public schools are for. He is a corporate reformer. He couldn’t defend the public schools

NOV 11

New Hampshire: Critics Worry that New Voucher Program Lacks Accountability, Especially for Students with Disabilities
With the encouragement of Governor Sununu, the Republican-dominated legislature of New Hampshire authorized a voucher program. Critics are fearful that there is little accountability for how the money is spent. The organization that will administer the program is very pleased. A report by reported on a meeting of the state education board. The state commissioner Frank Edelblut is a
Fort Worth: Voters Narrowly Pass Largest School Bond Issue in the Nation
Fort Worth Independent School District mounted a campaign to pass a $1.2 billion bond issue, the largest in the nation, and it passed by 57 votes, out of nearly 25,000 cast. The successful campaign reflected the needs of the public schools and the hard work of parents and the chair of the campaign, Dr. Charles Foster Johnson of Pastors for Texas Children. a The new money will be used to renovate
North Carolina: “Proud Boys” Show Up at Wilmington School Board Meeting
Five members of the white-nationalist “Proud Boys” showed up at the New Hanover County School Board meeting, dressed up in their organization’s colors. They did not speak, but they gave a standing ovation to anyone who spoke against the mask mandate. Ironically, the meeting occurred on November 10, the same date as the infamous “Wilmington Massacre” of 1898. NPR wrote about this sordid episode in

NOV 10

Texas: Federal Judge Throws Out Governor Abbott’s Ban on Mask Mandates
Governor Gregg Abbott, like some other Republican governors, banned mask mandates, preventing school districts from exercising local control about how best to protect their students. A federal judge ruled that Abbott’s ban violates the rights of students with disabilities and cannot be imposed on any district. This is good news for parents who want to protect their children against a deadly virus
Texas: IDEA Public Schools Have Run Amuck, and No Excuses Exist for the State’s Unyielding Support
You may remember IDEA as a free-spending charter chain in Texas. A few years ago, IDEA got negative publicity when its board of directors decided to lease a private jet at a cost of $x million per year. Then we learned that the schools had paid for box seats for the San Antonio Spurs basketball games. When the CEO departed, he received a $1 million golden parachute. These are not customary expend
Ohio: Public Schools Outperform Charter Schools Again
Bill Phillis, retired deputy commissioner of education in Ohio, is a staunch advocate for the state system of common schools, which is guaranteed in the state constitution. He founded the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy. The question in Ohio, as in many other states, is why Ohio legislators continue to fund failure. He writes: STATE REPORT CARD: CHARTER SCHOOLS NOT EVEN A CLOSE SECOND TO R

NOV 09

Massachusetts: Parent Coalition Protests New Charter in New Bedford
Two leaders of the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Schools—Cynthia Roy and Roberto Rosa—are outraged that the state is about to plunk a new charter school into their district. They expect the state will approve the “Innovators Charter School,” and they know that parents will condemn the decision. They wrote in a local newspaper: One of the most morally disturbing aspects of the Innovators Chart

NOV 08

Dan Greenberg: How Teachers in My Ohio Community Beat Back the Attack on Our School Board
Dan Greenberg is a teacher in Ohio and a member of the board of the Network for Public Education. He teaches high school English in Sylvania, in the northwest of the state. Here he writes about the power of teachers, who are trusted by parents and the community to refute slanders about their schools. He writes: About a week before the November 2nd election, a colleague of mine sent me a picture o
David Gamberg: Son of a Truck Driver
David Gamberg recently retired as Superintendent of two contiguous school districts on the North Fork of Long Island: the Southold district and the Greenport district. He first was appointed in Southold, where he was beloved for his devotion to the students; he is a child-centered educator, who encouraged the arts, developed a student-run garden (whose produce was used in the school cafeteria), a
Republicans Stoop to Role of Schoolyard Bully
This article by Ed Montini in the Arizona Republic explains the childish behavior of Republican leaders, who engage in taunts instead of reasoned discourse about their agenda. They don’t want to expand Medicare. They don’t want universal pre-K. They don’t support efforts to combat climate change. They oppose paid family leave for families in need after surgery or childhood. They are against a fed

NOV 07

Mercedes Schneider: What I Need to Seriously Confront Pandemic Learning Loss
Mercedes Schneider is an experienced high school teacher in Louisiana. She wants to help her students overcome what they may has lost during the pandemic. She knows what it will take. How likely is it that the district or the state will give her what she needs?
Democrats Quietly Drop $100 Billion for School Capital Improvements from Infrastructure Bill
Many of the nation’s public schools are in poor physical condition. Since the Great Recession of 2008, states stopped or cut the funding necessary repairs and upgrades. President Biden’s infrastructure plan included $100 billion to upgrade the physical conditions of America’s schools. In the last hours of haggling before the bill was passed, this provision was cut, then eliminated. In a major blo
Berkshire and Bailey: The Democrats Are Not Champions of Public Schools
Veteran journalist Jennifer Berkshire speculated on Twitter about why Democrats failed to defend public schools against extremists. The answer is that they swerved into the politics of neoliberalism 25 years ago and promoted privately-run charter schools. They allied with reactionary forces like the Waltons in their fruitless quest for “innovative” schools. Her handle is @@BisforBerkshire. She wr

NOV 06

Harold Meyerson: Manchin and Simena are not “Moderates”
Harold Meyerson, one of my favorite commentators on current events, says that we should stop calling Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema “moderates.” How can one man and one woman block every proposal that would help improve the lives of millions of Americans, including their constituents? Nor should we use that term to describe the handful of Democrats in the House who are blocking reasonable and pop
Why the Abortion Debate Will Soon Become Moot
As everyone knows, Texas passed a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, well before women know they are pregnant. There are no exceptions, not even for cases of rape and incest. Governor Gregg Abbott says the exemptions are unneeded because he will “eliminate” rape in Texas. Since he has already passed legislation to remove gun control, women can defend themselves, presumably, by sh

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