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Saturday, March 26, 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

Putin’s Disinformation Campaign Collapses When He Orders Invasion of Ukraine
Tom Southern writes in WIRED about the spectacular collapse of Putin’s well-oiled disinformation machine after he ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Very few people—other than a small number of extremists on the right and the left—were fooled by his claims that he was “liberating” Ukraine from its “Nazi” government. Southern writes: FOR DECADES NOW, Vladimir Putin has slowly, carefully, and stealth
Dahlia Lithwick: The Shameful Failure of Senate Democrats to Stand Up for Judge Jackson
Writing in Slate, Dahlia Lithwick calls out Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee (excepting Senator Booker) for failing to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Republicans pummeled her, berated her, distorted her record. She writes: I wrote earlier this week about the utter failure on the part of Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats to connect this hearing to what is going to be a catast
Please Confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court
After four days of hostile grilling by Republicans, the nation had the chance to see a person who stood up to every insulting and demeaning question with a calm and collected demeanor. Judge KJB has a judicial temperament. She demonstrated grace under pressure. She just received the highest rating from the American Bar Association, in recognition of her record, wisdom and intellect. The senators
Ted Cruz Attacks Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on CRT, Which His Own Daughters Are Taught
Ted Cruz harangued Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson about critical race theory. Why did her daughters attend a private school that teaches CRT, he asked, when she sits on the board of the school. Judge Jackson patiently explained that the board does not write the curriculum for the school, Georgetown Country Day School. Cruz professed shock that the school library contains books by Ibr

MAR 24

Good News: Vouchers Fail in State Senate
Despite the support of Governor Kevin Stitt, a bill authorizing vouchers failed in the Oklahoma State Senate. Most rural Republicans support public schools. Pastors for Oklahoma z children actively opposed vouchers. The Oklahoman reports: A polarizing Oklahoma bill that would dedicate $128.5 million in taxpayer dollars for private school costs failed in a late-night vote on the Senate floor Wedne
John Oliver on “Whataboutism”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a lively debate among readers of the blog about whether Russia is to blame for its actions or whether it was provoked by NATO and the U.S., and whether anyone in the U.S. has the right to criticize Putin because the U.S. has dirty hands in many conflicts (e.g. Vietnam). Those who say Putin is not to blame for launching a war have been accused
Heather Cox Richardson: Republicans Want to Roll Back Abortion, Contraception, Gay Rights, Civil Rights
Historian Heather Cox Richardson writes on her blog that Republicans want to remove federal protections on many issues and restore states’ control. Several Republican senators have spoken out against Supreme Court decisions that overturned state laws on abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, even interracial marriage. It was Senator Mike Braun of Indiana who said that the states should decid
Pennsylvania Tightens Charter Regulations for First Time in 25 Years; Charters Outraged
For the first time in 25 years, Pennsylvania officials imposed new regulations on charter schools. Charter advocates were not happy, nor were the Republicans who control the legislature. Pennsylvania’s charter schools may be required to follow certain accounting and audit standards, comply with state ethics requirements, and post enrollment policies on their websites under new rules opposed by ch

MAR 23

My View: There Are Not “Two Sides” on Ukraine
As regular readers know, I have received and posted several comments complaining that I don’t write posts showing “both sides” or “different sides” on Ukraine. They disapprove of my support for Ukraine and my criticism of Putin. In some cases, the commenters have included links to articles or videos claiming that Putin had no choice but to invade Ukraine because…he felt encircled by NATO, or he n
The Intercept: Russia Is Lying About Bio-Labs in Ukraine, Say Russian Scientists
Robert Mackey of The Intercept writes that Russian scientists h ave debunked Russia’s claim that Ukraine has labs to produce biological weapons. He writes: AT CONSIDERABLE RISK to their own safety, 10 Russian biologists, including researchers who remain in Russia, have publicly accused the Russian government of lying about having proof that biological weapons were being developed in Ukrainian lab
Scholars of Genocide and the Holocaust: Don’t Believe Lies and Propaganda
IZABELLA TABAROVSKY AND EUGENE FINKEL Statement on Ukraine by scholars of genocide, Nazism and WWII At this fateful moment we stand united with free, independent and democratic Ukraine and strongly reject the Russian government’s misuse of history to justify its own violence. (February 28, 2022 / Jewish Journal) As we write this, the horror of war is unfolding in Ukraine. The last time Kyiv was u
Florida: The Ignominious Failure of State Commissioner Richard Corcoran
Billy Townsend reviews the tenure of Richard Corcoran as Florida’s State Commissioner of Education. His main qualification for the job, aside from his time as chair of the education committee in the state senate, is that he loathes public schools. He once said that he wanted to see every Florida student in a charter or voucher school. Billy Townsend details his multiple failures. Be sure to open

MAR 22

Craig Harris: Charter Schools and Federal PPP Money: Part 2
Craig Harris of USA Today wrote a blockbuster three-part series about the charter schools that grabbed at least $1 billion in federal funds from the COVID Payroll Protection Program, passed in 2020 to help struggling small businesses stay alive and retain their employees. Today the second part was posted. Because charter schools are “technically small businesses,” about 1,000 of them applied for
Leonie Haimson: Eric Adams’ New School Board and a Questionable Contract
Leonie Haimson, CEO of Class Size Matters (and a board member of NPE), watches the budget of the NYS public schools like a hawk. She is constantly amazed that there is no money to reduce class sizes but plenty for other things that are less essential. She wrote this piece for the blog: Tomorrow, Wed. March 23 will be the second meeting of the NYC school board under our new mayor, Mayor Eric Adams
California: ALERT! Charter Insiders Infiltrate Democratic Party Platform Committee!
Sara Roos, a blogger who writes under the name “Red Queen in LA,” reports on a dangerous development in California. Charter school insiders took charge of writing the California Democratic Party’s education platform and made changes that undercut longstanding Democratic Party opposition to charter schools. Suddenly, charter schools are referred to not as privatization but as “public charter schoo
Angie Sullivan: Nevada Is Killing Off Its Public Schools
Angie Sullivan teaches in a Title 1 elementary school in Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County). She frequently sends letters to every legislator in the state about the need to fund schools like hers adequately and the dismal failure of charter schools. She responded to a post that featured an interview with Jennifer Berkshire , who predicted that some states would phase out public schools in the next
Ohio: The Academic Failure of Vouchers
Max Londberg of the Cincinnati Enquirer conducted an investigation of the academic results of vouchers in Ohio. His findings were appalling. The legislature doesn’t care about results or evidence or facts. It wants more vouchers, more students to fall behind their peers in public schools. Meanwhile, the public schools lose funding to pay for the vouchers. The story was originally published in Aug

MAR 21

Newark: Black Students Walk Out of North Star Charter to Protest Mistreatment
On Friday, a large continent of Black students walked out of North Star Academy, a high-scoring no-excuses charter school in Newark, New Jersey. The students were protesting the mistreatment of Black students and teachers. Chalkbeat reports : Hundreds of students walked out of a Newark charter school and rallied outside City Hall on Friday to call attention to what students said is the frequent m
Oklahoma: The Long Battle to Destroy Public Schools
John Thompson, historian and retired teacher in Oklahoma, writes about the legislators who are offering bills to undermine public schools, control their curriculum, even meddle with the school lunch program. Their goal is clear: the demoralization of teachers and the destruction of public schools. Thompson writes: Why are some Republican legislators in Oklahoma trying to “strip” school lunch prog

MAR 20

BBC News: The Wounded. Children of Putin’s War
This story appears on Apple News, taken from the BBC News site. Google it on the BBC site and watch the video if you can. I couldn’t. Anyone who blames the Ukrainians for this cruel war is insane. The attack on Ukraine was completely unprovoked. The Russian forces are now engaged in reducing the city of Mariupol to rubble. 90% of its buildings have been destroyed. Hundreds of women and children a
USA Today: Charter Schools Collected $1 Billion in COVID Funds They Did Not Need
Craig Harris of USA Today wrote a blistering expose of the money grab by charter schools for federal COVID funds. Harris was previously a reporter for the Arizona Republic who often covered charter school scandals in that state where deregulation has enabled grifters to get rich by opening charter schools. This story is a national scandal. Unfortunately, it is behind a paywall, so I urge you to r
Kharkiv Diary: On the Ground in Ukraine
Yakov S. is a 23-year-old art history student in Kharkiv. In this article, which appeared in American Purpose, he describes his life during the invasion. It is 5:30 in the morning on February 24, and war has broken out in my city and country. I wake up to a phone call from my friend. His voice is convulsive; he is shouting. The war has started, he says. We’re leaving. You have to leave, too. Run.
Why Are School Districts Closing Schools When Students Don’t Benefit?
The National Education Policy Center has published a thoughtful critique of the strategy of closing schools. This approach was encouraged by George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and by Barack Obama’s Race to the Top. Typically, the local board (or mayor) claims that the district will save money or the students will surely move to a better school. But what if this is not the case. NEPC identifies
Jill Lepore: The War Against Public Schools
Jill Lepore is a historian at Harvard University and a writer for The New Yorker. In this recent article, she reviews a history of attacks on one of our nation’s most important democratic institutions: our public schools. To read the complete article, subscribe to The New Yorker. It is a wonderful magazine. She begins: In 1925, Lela V. Scopes, twenty-eight, was turned down for a job teaching math

MAR 19

NBC News: The Rumor about “BioLabs” in Ukraine Spread by QAnon, Tucker Carlson, Russia
NBC News debunks the conspiracy theorists who have claimed that Russia invaded Ukraine to eliminate biolabs funded by the United States. The main promoters of this claim are QAnon, Tucker Carlson, and the Russian propaganda machine. It begins: Russia’s early struggles to push disinformation and propaganda about Ukraine have picked up momentum in recent days, thanks to a variety of debunked conspi
ProPublica: Russian Trolls Churn Out Phony Pro-Putin “Fact Checks”
Pro Publica warns about the fake news and doctored videos that are circulating on the Internet. While some are pro-Ukrainian, most are designed to support Putin’s narrative. The famous Russian troll farm that was active on behalf of Trump in 2016, ProPublica says, is now busily creating phony “fact checks” and disinformation. It begins: On March 3, Daniil Bezsonov, an official with the pro-Russia
Rodney Pierce: Hiring More Black Male Teachers is a Great Investment
Rodney Pierce is a seventh-grade teacher in North Carolina. He writes here on the Public Voices, Public Schools site sponsored by the Network for Public Education. He writes: “These are all our children. We will profit by, or pay for, whatever they become.” Though made over 30 years ago by African American writer and social critic James Baldwin, this statement still emphasizes the choice that sit

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