Saturday, January 15, 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

Gary Rubinstein: The Lies About Tennessee’s “Achiement School District” Live On
Gary Rubinstein has been following the sad career of Tennessee’s Achievement School District for a decade. The ASD was created with $100 million in Race to the Top funding, a portion of the $500 million won by the state in Arne Duncan’s competition. The ASD was launched in 2012, when advocates of privatization earnestly believed that charter schools performed miracles. The mere act of turning a l


North Carolina: State Superintendent of Schools Derides “Critical Thinking”
Catherine Truitt, the Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction in North Carolina sneered at critical thinking, as she put forth her own definition of what education is for. North Carolina teacher Stuart Egan wrote: A Little Soma Made in 1984 Cooked At F451 Degrees For You? Why Every Teacher Should Be Insulted By State Superintendent Truitt’s Words “Cram them full of noncombustible data, ch
Billy Townsend: The Collapse of Florida’s “Schools of Hope” Program
Five years ago, Florida’s Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced his plan to “save” the state’s lowest performing schools. He called it “Schools of Hope.” The idea behind the plan was to turn public schools over to charter operators. Corcoran believes in choice. He despises public schools. He wants to replace public schools with vouchers and charters. His wife ran a charter school,
Billy Townsend: Florida’s Education Leaders Are Rotten
Billy Townsend, a former school board member in Polk County, Florida, warns that the state education leaders are rotten. In this post, he accuses several of them of engineering a plan to protect their private interests. He writes: Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and Senior Chancellor for K-12 Jacob Oliva should both immediately resign over the state Department of Education’s Je

JAN 13

Good News About the Planet, for a Change
A friend directed me to a website that reports good news. We all need that during these stressful times. Here are ten good news stories about the environment. For example, there is this story . “ Researchers Pull Carbon Out of the Sky and ConvertIt to Instant Jet Fuel, Reshaping Aviation for Good.” The story begins: A simple, yet world-altering method of sucking CO2 from the air into airplanes wh
Boston Globe: Bad News on the Environment
The Boston Globe published a story about climate change that scared me. The story has the headline “Climate Change Has Destabilized the Earth’s Poles, Putting the Rest of the Planet in Peril.” President Biden has a sense of urgency about climate change, but thus far he has been unable to move the 50 Republicans and one Democrat (Manchin) to care about the future of the planet. Why is climate chan

JAN 12

Good News in Charleston: School Board Delays Privatization Effort
It is great when good things happen, especially when they prove the power of the pen. Backstory: an anonymous reader of this blog left a comment asking whether I was aware that a billionaire (Ben Navarro) was promoting privatization of the Charleston public schools. I was not, so I started googling. Every local news story was written by Paul Bowers, the education writer for the Charleston Post an
Missouri: A Parent Speaks Up for St. Louis Public Schools
The Republican-controlled legislature in Missouri has imposed charter schools on the state’s two urban districts (but not their own). The legislature is now considering HB1552, which will financially benefit charter schools. Emily Hubbard, a parent in St. Louis, wrote to ask the Budget Committee to stop expanding and favoring charter schools and to fund the state’s public schools equitably and ad
A Letter to Jonah Edelman
I received the letter at the bottom of this post at the beginning of January. I thought it deserved a response. This was my response: Dear Jonah, You don’t know me but I have followed your career. As the son of illustrious parents, much was expected of you. Stand for Children was a great idea, when it actually defended children and public schools. But somewhere along the way, you changed and Stan

JAN 11

John Merrow: The Lives We Lost
It has become traditional at the end of the year to pay tribute to those who died during the year. Usually, they are famous or celebrities or both. In this post, John Merrow pays tribute to educators (or people important in the field) who died in 2021. He begins by paying tribute to the more than 1,000 educators who lost their lives to COVID. He singles out nine people, “all of whom cared deeply
Why Are They So Angry…About Masks, Vaccines, CRT, Voting, and More?
Marty Levine used to write regularly for the Nonprofit Quarterly, and he seemed to be the only person writing about philanthropy who understood the danger of the billionaire foundations’ disparagement of public schools and their love of privatization. Now he hashisown blog called Change Counts , which is consistently interesting. In this post, he examines the emotions that drive today’s angry pro

JAN 10

Peter Greene: The Charter Industry, Sucking Up Profits on Real Estate
He writes: Peter Greene reports on real estate transactions in the Florida charter industry, just one transaction that provides an insight into the financial interests getting rich by exploiting public dollars meant for education. Lots of millions changing hands, but nothing about children or education. This is the kind of “news” that makes my blood simmer. It turned up as an item in the South Fl
North Carolina Supreme Court Rules Charter Schools Are Not Immune from Civil Suits Because They Are Not State Agencies
The North Carolina Supreme Court dealt a legal blow to charter schools. It ruled that they are not immune from civil suits, as public schools are. This punches a hole in the charter industry’s claim that they are ”public schools” but under private management. RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled on Friday that nonprofit charter schools can’t avoid facing civil fraud claims
Leonie Haimson on de Blasio’s Education Record
Leonie Haimson assesses Bill de Blasio’s record on education after eight years as Maor of New York City. He succeeded Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who served for 12 years and completely upended the schools, first, by getting the state legislature to give the mayor total control of the city’s public schools, then by closing scores of schools and replacing them with hundreds of small schools and charte

JAN 09

Alexandra Petri On Ted Cruz
Alexandra Petri writes humor columns about the news for The Washington Post. She wrote about Ted Cruz’s abject apology on the Tucker Carlson Show for calling the 1/6 insurrectionists a bad name. He called them terrorists, as he had done many times. Uh-oh. The Trump Party insists that the crowd who entered the U.S. Capitol, smashed windows, pummeled police officers, and ransacked the building were
NPE: Come to the Annual Conference and Meet Our Terrific New Board Members!
The Network for Public Education will host its annual conference in Philadelphia on March 19-20. The conference has been repeatedly delayed by COVID. We now feel confident that we can meet safely in person. Please join us! Carol Burris writes: We have reopened registration for our conference to be held in Philadelphia on March 19 and 20. We believe that when the current Omicron surge subsides, we
Donald Cohen: “Market-Based” School Reform Has Failed
Donald Cohen is the executive director of “In the Public Interest” and co-author of an important new book The Privatization of Everything. He titled this column, which originally appeared in the Washington Post. He writes: Reforming public education with market-based reform is “like using a hammer to cook an omelet” Trying to fix public education with market-based reform is like using a hammer to
Denis Smith Warns West Virginians About Charter Schools
Denis Smith was a teacher and an administrator in West Virginia. He moved to Ohio where he worked in the State Education Department. His last position before retiring was in the office of charter schools (misleadingly called “community schools” in Ohio, even when they operate for profit). He writes here in the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail, the state’s largest newspaper. The link works

JAN 08

“I Am a New York City Public High School Student. The Situation Is Beyond Control.”
This statement by a student was published anonymously at Reddit. He wanted to explain what is happening in his school in regards to COVID. The situation, as he puts it, is “beyond control.” There are many absences, students as well as teachers. There is very little learning going on. The writer makes clear that he hates remote learning, but given the conditions in the school, he thinks remote lea

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