Saturday, November 27, 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

Charles Pierce: Do You Feel Safer After the Kenosha Trial?
Charles Pierce is a wonderful writer who has a regular column in Esquire magazine. He often seems to write just what I was thinking. If you truly believe in law and order, which Republicans say they do, you can’t be happy that Rittenhouse killed two people and maimed a third, and will suffer no consequences. To the contrary, Rightwing extremists—now in control of the Republican Party—are treating
Sara Stevenson: Governor Abbott, Stop Smearing School Librarians!
Sara Stenson was a middle school librarian in Texas for many years. In this post, she calls on Governor Gregg Abbott to stop dragging school librarians into his culture wars with false and salacious claims. She writes: Librarians, as public servants, have no secrets. Anyone can access our online library catalogs. It is also important to note that the existence of a book in a library in no way sig


Reader: Should the Holy Bible Be Banned for Its Dangerous Content?
A reader, Nancy Papat, read Pastor Chartes Foster Johnson’s article about Governor Gregg Abbott’s campaign against pornography in the schools and school libraries. She concluded that the Bible is a dangerous book because it contains sexual innuendoes, violence, and even anti-capitalist propaganda (like driving the money-changers from the Temple). She posted this comment: By this standard, schools
The View from Canada: Why Public Schools Are Public
As we wade through the muck of a national effort to privatize public schools and replace them with “school choice,” via privately-run charters and vouchers, it’s important to recall why we have public schools. Education is not a consumer item. It is an integral part of a democratic society. Contrary to the propaganda from the right, our public schools do not indoctrinate children. They are tasked

NOV 25

Happy Thanksgiving!
What are you thankful for today? I’m thankful to be alive. Eight months ago, I had open heart surgery. I was sedated and intubated for five days and spent a total of two weeks in the intensive care unit. I’m thankful that I have a loving family. Many people don’t, and I consider myself fortunate. My spouse, Mary, was at my side during my long convalescence and made sure that I walked 2-3 miles ev

NOV 24

Georgia Verdict: Guilty
Three Men Found Guilty of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery The defendants were found guilty of murder and other charges on Wednesday for the pursuit and fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. They face up to life in prison. That’s the headline in the New York Times. I never thought I would live to see the day when a jury of 11 white people and one black person in Brunswick, Georgia, would find three white men,
Chris Rufo Calls for Purging Educators and Dissenters
Chris Rufo has taken credit for creating the furor over “critical race theory,” leading about a dozen Republican-controlled states to pass laws banning it (whatever they think it is, mostly anything to do with racism). He is widely recognized for inventing the fear that public schools are teaching children to “hate” America or to be ashamed for being white. Despite lack of evidence that critical
Arizona Republic Exposes Trump’s Frenzied Efforts to Overturn Arizona’s 2020 Vote
The Arizona Republic conducted an intensive investigation of the effort by the Trump campaign and discovered some fascinating details. Rusty Bowers was talking on his cellphone to Karen Fann after church services on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, looking ahead to another hectic week. It was Nov. 22, 2020. The counting was done and Joe Biden led Donald Trump by a razor-thin margin, but the presid

NOV 23

West Virginia: Board Approves 2 For-Profit Online Charter Schools
West Virginia recently passed a charter school law, breaking its promise to the state’s teachers. A new board was created to authorize charters. That board just approved two for-profit online charter schools. One is run by K12 Inc., which changed its name to Stride. The other will be run by Ron Packard’s Accel, which operates low-performing charters in Ohio. Packard was the first CEO of K12 Inc.,
Steve Nelson: The Campaign to Destroy Public Education
Steve Nelson, a retired educator, describes the calculated and underhanded effort to destroy public education , a ruse that proceeds by stealth and loaded language. He begins: The same fine folks who brought us the Critical Race Theory (CRT) scare tactic to win the Virginia gubernatorial election are now poised to bring our public education system to its knees and then put it out of its misery. I
Niall Ferguson: Higher Education is Hopelessly Left-Wing, So We Are Starting a New College
Niall Ferguson is a historian who has been a professor at Oxford, New York University and Harvard. He is now at the Hoover Institution, a well-endowed conservative think tank located on the Stanford University campus. The following essay appeared on the Bloomberg News site. Ferguson doesn’t acknowledge the paradox behind his proposal. He argues that academia has become so stifling of conservative
John Oliver Explains Union-Busting
On his regular television show “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver explains how big corporations like Amazon prevent their workers from forming a union. They hire expensive consultants to advise them on tactics. They bombard their workers with warnings about what they will lose if they join a union. They require them to watch anti-union videos. His show is both informative and amusing. He runs an an

NOV 22

Rittenhouse Benefitted from a Well-Funded Defense Team
We have had some animated discussion on this blog about whether the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse was “fair,” since he walks away a free man despite murdering two men and maiming a third. Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University and a contributing columnist to the Washington Post, wrote on this subject today: Kyle Rittenhouse beat his case because he put on the best defense money can buy
Arthur Camins: Tell It to Your School Board: We Demand Science and Care
Arthur Camins is a retired science educator. In this post, he emphasizes the importance of teaching students to ask the right questions, rather than memorize the “right answers.” Camins begins his article: I t is inescapable: Truths, lies, and inaction about climate change, Covid-19, and racism. Everywhere we see pitched battles over whether and how to respond. Our children live in this adult-mad
Gratitude for a Celebration of Educators
We are accustomed to reading depressing stories about demoralized teachers who are leaving their profession. They were demonized before the pandemic and during the pandemic, accused of not working hard enough and expecting more pay, blamed for flat test scores, and denounced for worrying about being exposed to the coronavirus. And many of those teachers said they could no longer tolerate the nons

NOV 21

Thom Hartmann: The Day Our Democracy Was on the Brink
Thom Hartmann is a journalist who writes a regular commentary, the Hartmann report. He w rote this on November 20. — The singlemost ransacked office in the Capitol on January 6th was the office of the Parliamentarian, where the Electoral College ballots were supposed to be stored. This shocking bit of information , courtesy of Johnathan Karl’s new book Betrayal , is proof positive that this wasn’
Peter Greene: Ranking States by Their Hostility to Public Education
Peter Greene realized that supporters of public education have been lacking the very thing that catches the attention of the public and the media: reports backed by data. Especially reports that rank states as “the worst” and “the best.” Greene’s Curmudgation Institute constructed rubrics to rate the states and developed the Public Education Hostility Index. He has created a website where he defi
Michelle Goldberg: Democrats Must Fix Public Schools Or…
Michelle Goldberg is a regular columnist for the New York Times. In this post , she says that Republicans are cynically exploiting parents’ exhaustion with pandemic measures and fears of Criticsl Race Theory to undermine public schools and replace them with school choice: charters and vouchers. Democrats have traditionally been the party of public schools. Now it’s time for them to remember that.

NOV 20

Dana Milbank: Who Is Worse? Paul Gosar or Kevin McCarthy?
Dana Milbank writes about politics for the Washington Post. Whenever I read his column, I find myself vigorously agreeing. This one is right on. Milbank says that Gosar made a murderous video, showing him killing AOC. McCarthy, he says, is murdering democracy. The Democratic members of the House, aided by two Republican colleagues (Cheney and Kinzinger), voted to censure Gosar. McCarthy shrugged.
Bruce Baker Reviews a Deceptive Voucher Proposal for New York
Bruce Baker, an expert on school finance at Rutgers University, dissects a proposal for vouchers (“education savings accounts”) offered by the Manhattan Institute, a rightwing think tank. Writing for the National Education Policy Center, he concludes that the proposal was poorly thought out and loaded with negative consequences. He wrote: The Manhattan Institute’s report promotes Education Saving
Arnold Hillman: Something’s Screwy with These Salaries
Arnold Hillman and his wife Carol are educators who retired from their workin Pennsylvania and moved to South Carolina, where they continued to work with impoverished high school children in underfunded rural schools, but as volunteers. Arnold writes a blog, which I urge you to follow. He was astonished, for example, when the Governor and Legislature forbade the public schools to impose mask mand

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