Saturday, December 4, 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

Samuel Abrams: Should France Establish Charter Schools?
Samuel Abrams is the Director of the National Center for the Study of Privaization in Education. He writes here about his recent work on education issues in France. France has a long history of public schools, but it also subsidizes religious schools. A candidate for President proposed. That France should authorize charter schools. Her reasoning was similar to that of charter proponents in the U.


Andre Perry: Push Back Against Conspiracy Theories That Defame Public Schools and Teachers
Andre Perry, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, urges parents to speak out against fake conspiracy theories that are being cynically used to undermine public schools, their teachers, and freedom to teach and learn. Perry writes: Power-hungry politicians and bigots have always appealed to white supremacist values to achieve their political goals. In the 1950s, politicians latched onto w
Steven Greenhouse: How Unions Improve Workers’ Lives
Steven Greehouse, a veteran journalist, wrote an article for The American Prospect that demonstrate s the power of unions to improve the lives of workers. The story includes vignettes of workers in different fields who describe how joining a union has raised their salaries, cut the cost of healthcare, and created a workplace where their voices are heard. He tells the stories of the following work

DEC 02

Homi Kharas: How Billionaires Could Solve Global Problems with a 1% Tax
Homi Kharas of the Brookings Institution writes about ways that the world’s billionaires could solve persistent global problems by paying an annual tax of 1% of their wealth. He writes: Until recently, even the wealthiest individuals did not have enough money to make a material dent in global problems, let alone “solve” them. Compared to the size of national economies, or the budgets of the gover
Billionaire Bloomberg Will Give $750 Million to Expand Charter Schools
Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, announced yesterday that Bloomberg Philanthropies will spend $750 million to expand the charter school sector. Declaring that “the American public education system is tragically broken,” Bloomberg pledged to add 150,000 seats in “high-quality charter schools” over five years, with the intention of “closing the achievement gap.” As mayor, Bloomberg

DEC 01

Michigan: Another Tragic School Shooting
You read the news: another school shooting. This time in Michigan. Students and teachers in most schools have drills to practice defense against a shooter, in this case, a sophomore in the high school. Why did he have a gun? Why did he shoot? What will the country do to prevent future school shootings? Will we ever have gun control? After Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, and countless other such
Tom Ultican: The Attack on Democracy and Public Education by Charles Koch, ALEC, and Dark Money
Tom Ultican, retired teacher of physics and advanced mathematics, has written an incisive analysis of the libertarian attack on democracy and public education, funded by billionaires and advanced by rightwing think tanks. He “follows the money,” and it leads him to Charles Koch, the Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, ALEC, the Manhattan Institute— and other o
Grumpy Old Teacher: DeSantis Would Be Worse Than Trump
Blogger Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) explains the competition between Donald Trump and Florida Ron DeSantis for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 (both want to turn the clock back to 1924!) Trump made DeSantis by endorsing him for Governor when he was an o score Congressman. Trump does not like ingratitude. GOT describes DeSantis’ passion to ban mandates for masking in the schools. How d

NOV 30

New Study Finds that Tougher Teacher Evaluations Showed No Gains in Student Achievement
Education Week reported that a decade of “reforms” focused on tougher teacher evaluations produced no improvement in student test scores. More than a decade ago, policymakers made a multi-billion-dollar bet that strengthening teacher evaluation would lead to better teaching, which in turn would boost student achievement. But new research shows that, overall, those efforts failed: Nationally, teac

NOV 29

Florida: Can Schools Wipe Out Racism by Banning Books about It?
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board published a statement denouncing the current zeal for censorship in schools and school libraries. (To learn about the history of book banning and censorship in American schools, read my book THe Language Police ). The rising tide of book banning threatens freedom of thought, academic freedom, and common sense. Banning and burning books is nothing new. What’s n
Carol Burris: NPE Builds an Archive of Charter Scandals
Carol Burris is executive director of the Network for Public Education. She writes: For the past four years, the Network for Public Education has collected and posted charter school scandals from across the United States on a special page of its website entitled Another Day Another Charter School Scandal which you can find here . NPE has now turned that page into an interactive research tool, all

NOV 28

Stephen Sawchuk: What is Critical Race Theory and Why Is It Under Attack?
Stephen Sawchuk is a staff writer for Education Week. He wrote this article back in May, and I missed it. I think it’s one of the clearest, most balanced explanations of CRT that I have read. Sawchuk writes: Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservativ
After 25 Years, New York City Teachers Win Largest Legal Settlement Ever from NYC
In 1996, a group of Black and Hispanic teachers sued the City of New York for requiring them to pass tests that were, they said, racially discriminatory and not relevant to their work. The city will be required to pay nearly $600 million to the 350 plaintiffs, a sum that might rise to nearly $2 billion. The state was dropped from the lawsuit in 2006, even though it imposed the tests as requiremen

NOV 27

Defend Public Education Against Privatizers!
Today is #GivingTuesday, a day to support the organizations and causes you believe in. If you care about public schools, if you oppose the efforts to privatize them, please support the Network for Public Education. Whether it is voucher legislation, charter expansion, wild disruptions of school board meetings, or the slashing of school funding, it is clear that the extreme right-wing is waging wa
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

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