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Saturday, April 16, 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

Andy Spears: How Will Tennessee Spend Its $2 Billion Surplus?
Andy Spears of the Tennessee Education Report informs his readers that the state has a budget surplus in excess of $ 2 billion . It also has public schools that are perennially underfunded. How will the state spend the surplus? He writes: A state with one of the lowest investments in public education in the country now has a record budget surplus. This, of course, means Tennessee could make great
Far-Right Hillsdale College Runs a Charter Chain, Which Tennessee Governor Wants to Expand
Stephanie Saul is a crack investigative reporter at the New York Times. In this story , she took a close look at Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s request to ultra conservative Hillsdale College to open 50 charter schools in Tennessee. She begins: With only 1,500 students on a small-town campus in southern Michigan, Hillsdale College is far from the power corridors of government and top-ranked univer
What and Who Is Behind the Attack on Critical Race Theory??
Watch this short video and learn who is promoting and funding the attacks on “critical race theory.” Very few of its critics can define CRT. Most seem to think it means teaching about racism today. They prefer to believe that racism ended with slavery. They are wrong. Numerous states have passed laws banning the teaching of critical race theory, even though they can’t define what it is. It’s mean

APR 14

NPE Releases New Report Ranking the States by Their Support for Public Schools
The Network for Public Education has just released a new report that ranks the states by their commitment to their public schools and their refusal to pass laws enabling privatization of public money. Where does your state rank? A NEW REPORT EXPOSES THE WEAK PROTECTIONS FOR TAXPAYERS AND WEAK PROTECTIONS FOR CHILDREN IN STATE CHARTER AND VOUCHER LAWS America’s public schools, students, and famili
National Education Policy Center: Why Is the Charter Lobby So Upset by Biden’s Reasonable Regulation of New Charters?
The National Education Policy Center, headed by scholar Kevin Welner, wonders why the charter lobby has been so intransigent in fighting the reasonable regulations proposed by the Biden administration. The lobbyists have falsely characterized the regulations as an attempt to “destroy” or “eliminate” charter schools, but the regulations would apply only to new charters that seek federal funding. M

APR 13

Massachusetts: Starbucks Employees Vote to Unionize
Employees at two Starbucks in Massachusetts have voted to join a union . There are 9,000 or so Starbucks. More of them in the state and other states are considering unionizing. Is a revival of unions in the private sector beginning? Baristas at the two locations first petitioned to unionize in December, inspired by similar action at cafes in Buffalo, New York. A total of 15 Massachusetts Starbuck
North Carolina: Republican Chief Judge Removes Democratic Judge from School Funding Case
This report comes from the Center for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Leandro case ordered equitable funding for the state’s public schools, but the funding has not been delivered due to the Tea Party Republican control of the legislature (General Assembly). Republicans have chosen to focus on charters and vouchers, not equitable funding. Seeking to end the long-p

APR 12

It’s Not Too Late to Send Your Comments about Regulating Federal Funds for New Charters
The U.S. Department of Education has extended the deadline for public comments about proposed regulations for the federal Charter Schools Program. This program started in 1995 with $6 million, when there were very few charter schools. Now there are more than 7,000 charters, many of them operated by for-profit corporations. The new regulations would ban federal funding to for-profit school operato
Please Watch Today at 4 p.m. EST!
Several years ago, I endowed a lecture series at my alma mater, Wellesley College, focused on education issues. This year’s lecture will be live-streamed on April 12, and the speaker is Helen Ladd, an emeritus professor at Duke University and one of the nation’s leading economists. I hope you will tune in to the livestream. I will introduce Professor Ladd. The Diane Silvers Ravitch ’60 Lecture Ho
Rob Levine: How the Minneapolis Foundation Is Destroying the City’s Public Schools
Rob Levine is a photographer and public school advocate in Minneapolis. In this post , he describes the role of the Minneapolis Foundation in funding a vast expansion of charter schools, which are overwhelmingly non-union. The Minneapolis Foundation has been a fixture in civic life since 1915, funding good works that benefit the entire city. The foundation currently dispenses $125 million. Levine
The Tricks of Neoliberal Rhetoric: An Analysis of Betsy DeVos’s Speeches
Kerry McKeon recently received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas at San Antonio in December of 2021. Her dissertation focused on neoliberal rhetoric and its use in advancing the privatization of public schools. It is titled Neoliberal Discourse and the U.S. Secretary of Education: Discursive Constructs of the Education Agenda (2017-2020). She writes, in a

APR 11

Illinois: Legislature Bans Testing of Young Children
A big win for all those opposed to the mandatory testing of very young children. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 11, 2022 Samay Gheewala, 312-380-6324, IL LEGISLATURE PASSES ‘TOO YOUNG TO TEST’ ACT Bill will safeguard grades PreK-2nd from state testing Young children will be protected from any current or future plans to expand state standardized testing into prekindergarten through sec
Why I Will Never Leave Kyiv
The Ukrainian journalist Veronika Melkozerova explains why she is staying in Kyiv. KYIV, Ukraine—Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been going on for a month. Every morning from my window, I see hundreds of cars standing in lines to get to a nearby bridge that leads out of Kyiv. Right next to them, I see evacuation trains head westward in the railway section of the same bridge. Nearly 2
Tom Ultican: What I Saw at the NPE Conferences I Attended
Tom Ultican, retired teacher of physics and advanced mathematics, lives in California. He has attended every annual conference of the Network for Public Education, except for the first one in Austin, Texas. He met many of the people whose work he admired, and he left fired up to do his part in the struggle to save public schools from the privatizers. Now he has become one of the bloggers that eve
South Carolina Legislature Fails to Pass Anti-CRT and Anti-Abortion Bills
Good news sometimes comes in small victories. I this case, the good news is that the legislature in South Carolina did not pass bills banning teaching about race and restricting abortion. The Charleston Post & Courier reported : COLUMBIA — Legislation that bars race-centric lessons in South Carolina schools and further limits abortions are likely doomed for the year. The highly partisan bills are

APR 10

Please Watch a Leading Economist on Charter Schools and Public Policy
Several years ago, I endowed a lecture series at my alma mater, Wellesley College, focused on education issues. This year’s lecture will be live-streamed on April 12, and the speaker is Helen Ladd, an emeritus professor at Duke University and one of the nation’s leading economists. I hope you will mark the event on your calendar and tune in. The Diane Silvers Ravitch ’60 Lecture How Charter Schoo
Red States Criminalize Purchase of Abortion Pills by Mail
As the ultra-conservative Supreme Court nears a decision that may erode or reverse Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that allowed abortion until fetal viability (23 weeks), Red states are moving swiftly to enact ever more punitive laws to punish women who get an abortion, as well as doctors or nurses who provide them. Some thought that abortion pills that are easily available on the Interne

APR 09

Putin’s Personal Warlord
Several European media outlets have written about Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen warlord who has sent his militia to Ukraine. He has cultivated a reputation for ruthlessness and for slavish devotion to Putin. The members of his militia pride themselves on their brutality. According to witness statements collected by Ukrainian investigators and journalists, Kadyrovites in black and green uniforms hav
Insane Lie About the Schools Goes Viral
Republicans will say anything crazy and insulting about public schools as a way to radicalize parents against them. The worst example: the repeated claim that schools are installing litter boxes in bathrooms for children who identify as cats or dogs. No one knows for sure where this started–could have been Moms for Liberty or the National Parents Union or some other money-grubbing rightwing extre
Arizona: Judge Tosses Voter Approval of Measure to Raise Education Funding
Education advocates put a measure on the ballot in Arizona to raise taxes on the highest-income taxpayers to increase education funding. Voters passed the measure. But a judge struck it down because it exceeded the state constitution’s limit on taxation. This report comes from the Center on Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. AZ JUDGE INVALIDATES PROPOSITION THAT WOULD HA
Providence Finally Has a Real Superintendent
Javier Montańez has been acting superintendent of the Providence public schools all year, while State Superintendent Angelica Infante-Green searched and searched and finally decided to make him the real superintendent of the troubled school district. Providence finally has a chance to have genuine experienced leadership at the helm, if Infante-Green allows him to run the district, writes Boston G

APR 08

Kentucky: Governor Vetoes Charter Funding Bill
Kentucky authorized charter schools in 2017 but never approved a funding mechanism. The Legislature passed a charter funding bill, and Governor Andy Beshear vetoed it. Beshear struck down House Bill 9 , sponsored by House Majority Whip Chad McCoy, on Thursday. The legislation would provide federal, state and local money for charter schools, which have been legal since 2017 but have lacked a perma
NEA: End Federal Funding for Corporate Charter Schools
The National Education Association issued an appeal for educators and other concerned citizens: Raise your voice to stop the federal funding of corporate charter schools ! Now is your chance to be heard. NEA writes: Email the U.S. Department of Education to advocate for the end of corporate charter schools and support accountability and transparency for all schools taking our tax dollars. All sch
Billy Townsend: Ron DeSantis And His Corrupt Friend Are a Gift to Trump
Billy Townsend remembers Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s servile devotion to Trump while he was president. Now DeSantis is positioning himself to run for President against the old fool in 2024. But Ron D. h as a serious liability: his continued friendship with a corrupt lobbyist for the charter industry. DeSantis…banished Ralph Arza in 2018 from the sight of his campaign with much public dudgeon,
Billy Townsend: Florida Pol Blames Community for Failure of His Employer’s Charter School
Billy Townsend is an acerbic critic of Florida charter scandals and the state commissioner Richard Corcoran, whose wife runs a charter school. He never runs out of material. In this post, he tells the story of a politician, Manny Diaz, who works for a charter chain, blaming a struggling community for the failure of his employer’s charter school, which was launched with much razzle-dazzle.

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