Saturday, December 18, 2021

KEEP UP/ CATCH UP WITH DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG A site to discuss better education for all #REDFORED #tbats #edchat #K12 #learning #edleadership #edtech #engchat #literacy #edreform

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

A site to discuss better education for all

Maurice Cunningham: Beware the Koch-Funded “Parents Groups”
Maurice Cunningham is a retired professor of political science in Massachusetts who specializes in following the trail of Dark Money into school issues. He was a major influence in turning the public against a state referendum to expand charters in 2016; he revealed the Dark Money behind the charter advocacy and that revealed the lies behind the rosy rhetoric. In this post , he describes the role


The Proud Boys Are Menacing School Boards, Town Councils
The New York Times reports that the Proud Boys, the white nationalist group of the far-right, is now using its members to protest mask mandates at local school board meetings and other local events. Their presence will probably cause some people to leave their school board position or not to run. But their presence makes it all the more imperative that concerned parents and other citizens run for
Michael Moore: Mothers, Sons, Guns
Michael Moore grew up in Michigan, not far from Oxford, the site of the most recent school shootings. He writes in this post about what happened there, and he includes the full text of the fan letter that Ethan Crumbley sent to President Trump when he was elected. Reading it provides some insight into the climate in which Ethan was raised. He begins: In a nation born and built on violence, where
Holding Parents Accountable When Their Children Kill
This very important story appeared in the Washington Post. She had seen her grandson’s red, spiral-bound notebook before that night, but now, as Catherine O’Connor sifted through its pages for the first time, what she read astonished her. “School Shootings,” Joshua O’Connor had titled the first page, above a reconstruction of the Columbine High School massacre that left 13 people dead. In the pag

DEC 16

Capital & Main: How Much Corporations Pay to Bust Unions (A Lot!)
This article in the Capital & Main series was written by Marcus Baram and is titled ” Inside the Secretive World of Union-Busting: Here’s How Much Corporations Pay to Bust Unions.” Subtitle: “ U.S. companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year to ensure workers don’t organize .” It begins: A handful of workers at the Dollar General In the small Connecticut town of Barkhamsted had grown
Capital & Main: The Story of an Unlikely Alliance
In this article, Marcus Baram of Capital & Main describes a surprising alliance between a veteran labor organizer and his chief nemesis, a man who was a master of union-busting. He begins: They were certainly an odd couple, the unlikeliest of allies: the union organizer and the notorious union buster. Bob Muehlenkamp , a stalwart of the modern-day labor movement, has coordinated hundreds of union
Capital & Main: Scholars Who Study Unions Are Harassed
This part o f Capital & Main’s examination of union busting reviews the targeting of academics who study labor by corporate critics. It was written by Jo Constantz. Many scholars who study the history and economics of organized labor are sympathetic to the union cause. These academics often encounter threats, harassment, and defunding of their research. It begins: Throttled by both strong-arm tac
Capital & Main: How Employers Use Technology to Thwart Union Drives
In part one of its review of union busting, written by Jo Constantz, Capital & Main examines how employers use technology to defeat unions. It begins: During a Zoom call set up by union representatives and employees who had organized a worker organizing committee, “We noticed that managers of the company had busted into the meeting — they had crashed our Zoom call,” recalls Lorena Lopez, a direct
Capital & Main: Inside the Secretive World of Union-Busting
When people bemoan the increasing inequality in American society, they usually fail to mention one of the reasons for the huge gaps between those at the top and those at the bottom of wealth and income: The decline of unions. Unions didn’t disappear because workers lost interest in being represented by them. Major employers never liked unions, which demanded better pay and better working conditio

DEC 15

CORRECTION! Louisiana: Homer Plessy Pardoned After 130 Years
Steve Luxenberg, an editor at The Washington Post and the author of a 2019 book on racial separation and the Plessy case, Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation, wrote to correct important errors in my post about Homer Plessy. Plessy, you may recall, was arrested in New Orleans for attempting to ride in an all-white train car, thus violating s
Jennifer Berkshire: Will “Parent Rights” Be a Winning Issue for the GOP?
Jennifer Berkshire wrote a fascinating article in The New Republic about the politics and history behind the “parent rights” issue. She reminds us that the issue came to a boil in the 1990s, as the GOP cynically seized upon it as a sure fire winner to motivate the base. And that it has an even longer history, as she shows. Will it prove to be a winner for the GOP? Republican candidate Glenn Young
The Most Important Article You Will Read About the Attempted Coup of January 6
Barton Gellman is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He is amazingly prescient. Right before the election of 2020, he wrote an ominous article speculating that Trump, if the election results were close, might refuse to concede. He foresaw the chaos that Trump would indeed unleash, undermining the integrity of the election, which is the central mechanism of democracy. Now he has written an equally a

DEC 14

Remember Sandy Hook.
Nine years ago, a deranged gunman blasted his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connec ticut. He murdered 20 children and six educators, including the principal, Dawn Hochsprung. The children were all 6- and 7-year-olds. Teachers shielded their children as best they could, and some died while protecting the children. Many thought this slaughter of babies and educators would compel
Nevada: State Says 60 Students in One Third Grade Classroom Is Just Fine
ATTORNEY FOR STATE OF NEVADA ARGUES THAT 60 THIRD GRADERS PER CLASSROOM WOULD BE CONSTITUTIONAL State argues that only real requirement is one school per district and that state standards are simply “aspirational” and cannot be a basis to measure students’ right to a basic education On Monday, December 6, attorneys representing several parents made their case to the Nevada Supreme Court on behalf
Jeff Bryant: How Community Schools Help Revive Erie, Pennsylvania
Jeff Bryant recounts the story of the revival of Erie , Pennsylvania, which was in the depths of despair, both as a city and as a school district. Manufacturing was leaving the city, white- and blue-collar jobs were disappearing, poverty levels were rising, the public schools were losing enrollment, and the city and its schools were in deep deficit. He writes: As good-paying jobs left Erie, famil
Gary Rubinstein: NYC’s New Chancellor Runs a Chain of Low-Performing Schools
Gary Rubinstein, a math teacher at Stuyvesant High School, has no patience for overblown claims. For a few years, he maintained a website devoted to debunking the spurious claims of “miracle schools,” such as those that claimed 100% graduation rates of their seniors but neglected to admit the high attrition that occurred before senior year. He inevitably had to review the chain called Eagle Acade

DEC 13

New York Will Drop edTPA
The New York Board of Regents, which is the state’s Board of Education, has begun the process of eliminating the controversial edTPA as a requirement for certification. The New York State United Teachers applauded the decision , which is almost certain. Theres no evidence that the test is weeding out people who would not be good teachers. It has had a disparate racial impact. At a time of teacher
Chicago: CTU Seeks Compensation for Teachers Who Lost Jobs in “Turnarounds,” Which Had Racially Disparate Impact
Chicago was the starting place for Arne Duncan’s very bad ideas about school reform. Duncan boasted about how many schools he closed, working on the theory that the students would transfer to a better school or a charter school. As Eve Ewing documented in her book, Ghosts in the Schoolyard, Duncan’s punitive approach wreaked havoc on black and LatinX students, communities, and of course, neighbor
New Hampshire: Teachers, Parents File Lawsuit Against “Divisive Concepts” Law
Teachers in New Hampshire, along with parents, sued the state to block a new law that bars teaching “divisive concepts.” This law is part of the backlash against critical race theory, which is understood by Republicans to mean anything about racism or any subject that makes students uncomfortable. I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that such lawsuits should add the law’s infringement on the Fi
Do Not Forget the True Purpose of School
Mother’s first class, around 1950, at Skabersjöskolan, where I myself also went to school. A friend in Sweden sent this article via Twitter. It was written by Jenny Maria Nilsson. I went to Google and asked for a translation from Swedish to English. Sweden is even farther down the road to privatization than we are. A conservative government in the early 1990s opened the way to public funding of i
Audrey Watters “Takes on Ed Tech from Its Beginnings”
Steven J. Koutsavlis, a research associate at the National Center on Privatization in Education reviews Audrey Watters’ new book on the history of education technology in schools. Its title is Teaching Machines: The History of Personalized Learning. Koutsavlis writes: On account of the pandemic, there has been a seismic shift to remote or hybrid instruction. However, long before COVID-19, forces
Texas: IDEA Charter Chain Sues State Attorney General to Keep Hotel Purchase Records Secret
The IDEA charter chain is one of the largest and most aggressive in Texas. Betsy DeVos showered more than $200 million on IDEA to help it grow faster and to expand in other states. But IDEA, with so much state and federal money coming in, developed a taste for luxury. Its executives and board planned to lease a private jet for $2 million a year, but the publicity put the kibosh on that plan. The

DEC 12

Robert Kuttner: A Good Day for Labor
Robert Kuttner wrote the following for The American Prospect, which he co-founded and where he is co-editor. It is “the authoritative magazine of liberal ideas.” I urge you to subscribe. As the EU provides rules for gig workers, young people foul up Kellogg’s strikebreaking plans. The certification of one Starbucks out of the thousands in the U.S. is getting an appropriate amount of attention—the
Kathy Irwin: The Public High School in Mayfield, Kentucky, is Serving Its Battered Community
Blog reader Kathy Irwin sent the following comment, which shows how important publicschools are as the heart of their communities. This shows why we fight against privatization of public assets, of which public schools are the most important. She wrote: A “pioneer” in the Community School Movement was 1929 Elsie Ripley Clapp when she took John Dewey’s thinking on democracy into The Ballard Memori
Gary Rubinstein: One of the “Most Dangerous” Reformers Will Be #2 in NYC Ed Department
Gary Rubinstein writes here about the new leadership of the New York City Department of Education. He begins: Eric Adams will become the next Mayor of New York City on January 1st. He will hire David Banks as the new schools Chancellor. And Banks will bring in Dan Weisberg as his top deputy. Dan Weisberg Unfortunately Dan Weisberg is one of the most dangerous people in the country who could rise

DEC 11

An Absorbing Film about History, Heroism, Luck, Courage
I watched this wonderful film—They Survived Together—on public television by happenstance. It is absorbing. It is the story of a family that managed to escape the Warsaw ghetto just as the Nazis began to eliminate the Jews who lived there. They encountered the face of evil, they looked down the barrel of the gun pointed at them by the Butcher of Krakow. They endured unimaginable hardships. The st
Sarah Lahm: Overwhelmed by Choice and Shrinking Budgets, Minnesota Turns to Community Schools
Minneapolis-based journalist Sarah Lahm writes about Minnesota as a pioneer in the school choice movement, but the state is now awash in choice and disruption. She sees hope in the growing community school movement, which fosters bonds between schools and families instead of competition among schools for scarce resources. She writes: In Minnesota, the Saint Paul Public Schools district has been l
Peter Greene: Amazon and the Future of Education
In this insightful and somewhat frightening article , Peter Greene draws a straight line from the Amazon model of production and sales to the “reform” vision for education.

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