Saturday, January 1, 2022

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

A site to discuss better education for all

Happy 2022: Protect Your Health and the Health of Your Family and Community
Have a happy, HEALTHY New Year! Get vaccinated if you haven’t already, although I can’t believe that any reader of this blog would not be double vaccinated and boosted by now. Wear an N95 or KN95 mask. ( Here is advice from the New York Times about how to buy high-quality N95 masks online.) My friends tell me that this is the N95 mask used by nurses at Mt.Sinai Hospital in New York City. Georgia


Heather Cox Richardson Looks Back on 2021
Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian at Boston College. I enjoy reading her views, which are always well-informed. She writes : December 30, 2021 Heather Cox Richardson Dec 31 On January 6, insurrectionists trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election stormed the U.S. Capitol and sent our lawmakers into hiding. Since President Joe Biden took office on January 20, ju
Reflections by Blogger Robert Hubbell
This is a blogger whose thoughts and writings I enjoy. Personal Reflections on 2021 December 31, 2021 Robert B. Hubbell Dec 31 [Audio version of newsletter here ] Legendary House Speaker Tip O’Neill was fond of saying that “ All politics is local .” I would add that “ All politics is personal .” My effort to interpret the news each day through “a lens of hope” begins and ends with my family. Abov
My Suggestions for Your Entertainment
It being New Year’s Eve, it is not a time for serious thinking. Thus, I take this opportunity to offer my suggestions for good things to watch on television. Or, to put it another way, things that I really liked watching. My favorite was the Belgian crime series called “Professor T.” on PBS. Do not mistakenly watch the British version. Professor T. is a highly intelligent, neurotic criminologist
Farewell 2021: “The Stupidest Year in American History”
Michael Hiltzik, a superb columnist for the Los Angeles Times, says farewell to “the stupidest year in American history. “ (Again, I violate copyright law by posting this column. I appeal to the good graces of the wonderful L.A. Times. If they object, I will delete the post.) My one criticism of his incisive critique is that he nearly ignores the astonishing, unprecedented attack on the U.S. Capi
Andy Borowitz: Texas GOP Backs Statewide Dress Code for Women
Andy Borowitz is a humorist who writes for The New Yorker. His jokes get their bite by being so close to reality that they are almost plausible. The magazine now labels them as humor because apparently so many people apparently believed they were true. He recently posted his best jokes of the year. Here are my favorites. AUSTIN ( The Borowitz Report )—A new bill moving swiftly through the Republi

DEC 30 2021

Bob Shepherd Offers an Essential Reading List
Recently the daughter of one of our regular readers (Roy Turrentine) posted a comment. She wrote in response to the reports of politician Bob Shepherd was delighted by her writing, and he offered her a reading list of some of his favorites (unlikely that these are on the Common Core reading list, since CCSS privileges “informational text” over fiction). Bob wrote: Have you read Siddhartha, by Her
MAGA Republicans Are Running Against Other Republicans to Expand Base
The Washington Post reports a concerted effort by Trump faithful to increase their base in the House of Representatives by challenging moderate Republicans. As a result of tedictricting, the number of highly concentrated conservative districts has increased. Joe Kent, running in Washington State, believes that the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, are “patriots.” The de
The Vaccines Work; Why Does GOP Oppose Them?
Someday soon, when dispassionate observers write about the pandemic, the biggest question will be why so many people fought to remain unprotected from the deadly virus. Rational explanations don’t work. Why would parents insist on their children’s “right” to catch the virus? Why would state governors and legislatures oppose life-saving mandates? Here is an analysis of COVID death rates.

DEC 29 2021

Mercedes Schneider on Virginia’s New Secretary of Education
Mercedes Schneider digs into the background of Virginia’s new Secretary of Education. She is a data collector, not an educator. On the good side, she is conservative but apparently not an anti-CRT warrior: On December 20, 2021, Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced that his choice for state education secretary is “education consultant” Aimee Guidera. In the ABC8News in which I read You
Oklahoma: 6th Grade Boy Saves Two Lives in One Day
Davyon Johnson, a sixth-grader in the MuskogeePublic Schools saved two lives in one day. In the morning, he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a classmate who was choking on a bottle cap (he says he learned it on YouTube). Later the same day, he pulled a woman from a burning building. If he is in any sense representative of the children of America, our future is in good hands. An 11-year-old boy
North Carolina: Republicans Legislators Make War on Public Schools
Ever since Republicans in North Carolina took control of the General Assembly (legislature) in 2010, they have tried to diminish the state’s responsibility for the common good or to extinguish it altogether. No institution has suffered as much by their hostility as the public schools. NC Policy Watch is an outstanding source of information about the state. It recently reported about the General A
Jan Resseger: If Build Back Better Dies, Here Is What’s Lost
At the beginning of December, Jan Resseger wrote about why President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda is so important. At the moment, it’s prospects are dim,due to theintransigenceofSenator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Senator Manchin drives a Maserati and owns a yacht, but his state is very poor and needs the help that Build Back Better offers. Jan Resseger describes the hoary English tradition

DEC 28 2021

Guns and Crime in America
Maury Harris was a top economist in the U.S. When he retired, he went back to graduate school to study criminology. This is his first publication. (Full disclosure: He is the brother-in-law of my late younger sister). An important excerpt: The extremely low 2020 homicide levels in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany relative to the US undoubtedly reflect exceptionally high gun ownership in the
Who Demoralized the Nation’s Teachers?
Who is responsible for the widespread teaching exodus? Who demoralized America’s teachers, the professionals who work tirelessly for low wages in oftentimes poor working conditions? Who smeared and discouraged an entire profession, one of the noblest of professions? Let’s see: Federal legislation, including No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. George W. Bush; Margaret Spellings; Rod Paige (w

DEC 27 2021

A Beautiful Christmas Story
Every once in a while, I read a story that is so moving that I have tears in my eyes as I read it. This is one of them. It appeared in The Boston Globe. I know I’m posting too many words (the legal limit is 300 words). I hope the editors at the Globe will forgive me. If they object, I will condense or delete the post. Just in time for Christmas, a special homecoming Yarielis Paulino-Pepin was bor
Texas: Public Libraries Become Targets for Conservative Critics
Thanks to reader Kathyirwin1 for bringing this article to my attention. Egged on by Governor Gregg Abbott and legislator Matt Krause (who circulated a list of 850 books that should be removed from public school libraries, most because they deal with race, sexuality or inequality), critics are now targeting the books in the public libraries. The public library in Llano County closed for three days

DEC 26 2021

Jan Resseger: A New Book with Mike Rose’s Last Essay about Public Schools
Jan Resseger received an early copy of a new book edited by David Berliner and Carl Hermanns (I contributed one of the essays), and she was delighted to discover that the volume contains what must have been one of Mike Rose’s last essays before his untimely death last summer. She writes: I just received my pre-ordered copy of a fine new collection of essays from Teachers College Press. In Public
Reader: There Is No Such Thing as a “Public Charter School”
A reader whose nom de plume is quickwrit explained in a recent comment that there is no such thing as a “public charter school.” In addition to the evidence supplied, bear in mind that several federal courts and the National Labor Relations Board have ruled that charter schools are not “state actors,” meaning not public schools. Even charter schools have sought to avoid accountability for their a
Reader: Which Kind of School Is the “Factory Model”?
A reader called “Retired Teacher” read Peter Greene’s reflections on Amazon as a model of schooling and posted this comment: Devious DeVos had the nerve to call public schools a factory model of education. It seems to me that rows of zombie students staring at screens and fed content from an algorithm on a screen much more easily qualifies as a “factory model.” Public education is a model whose g

DEC 25 2021

The Christmas Miracle
What a wonderful story from World War 1. Please read it. These men and boys were not enemies. The politicians told them they were. On a frosty, starlit night, a miracle took place. In 1914, a melody drifted over the darkness of No Man’s Land. First “O, Holy Night,” then “God Save the King.” Peeking over their trenches for what must have been the first time in weeks, British soldiers were surprise
North Carolina: A Teacher Brought a Community Together to Feed Children in Need
The Washington Post published a story about a teacher-librarian who launched a community tradition of feeding children and families during the Christmas holidays. Elementary schoolteacher Turquoise LeJeune Parker was a few days away from the start of her holiday vacation when she received a text message from the mother of one of her second-grade students. The parent wondered if Parker knew where
Fred Smith: Christmas Greetings to All
Fred Smith published his annual Christmas poem in the New York Daily News and shares it her with us. Fred was for many the director of assessment at the New York City Board of Education. Since retiring, he has worked with parent optout-of-testing groups. Christmas 2021 In a year filled with trauma on this Christmas eve, I’d just taken a booster shot under my sleeve. And then starting to fade in-a
Merry Christmas from the Network for Public Education!
Dear Friends, NPE wishes you happy holidays and Merry Christmas! Open the link to learn about our plans for 2022. Join us in our work of supporting, defending, and improving our nation’s public schools. Join the 350,000 devotees of public schools who are part of NPE. Help us to fight budget cuts and privatization of our most valuable public assets. Help us defeat the billionaires and grifters who

DEC 24 2021

Will the New Superintendent of Los Angeles Expand Charter Schools?
Jack Ross of California-based Capital & Main posed the question: Will Alberto Carvalho, who was recently hired away from Miami-Dade public schools to become the new superintendent of the Los Angeles public schools, expand the number of charter schools in L.A.? At Carvalho’s first press conference, the first question to him was about where he stood on charter schools. This issue has prompted billi

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