Saturday, July 7, 2012

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG Diane Ravitch's blog 7-7-12 #SOSCHAT

Diane Ravitch's blog


LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH ALL WEEK LONG 
Diane Ravitch's blog

Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

Where Does Arne Duncan Stand?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 hours ago
When John White was appointed to run the Recovery School District in New Orleans, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called him a “visionary school leader.” Now John White is doing the bidding of a Tea Party governor and leading the most reactionary drive in the nation to dismantle public education; to take money away from [...]

What the Microsoft Culture Is Doing to Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 hours ago
Paul Thomas has written a blog that explores the destructive nature of the Microsoft culture and how that culture is now affecting and demoralizing public education. Thomas is reacting to an article in Vanity Fair that is a must-read. The “cannibalistic culture” that Thomas critiques is derived from a method of employee evaluation called “stack [...]

TFA Alum Criticizes Reform in Philly: Video Disappears

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 hours ago
Dr. Camika Royal, a 1999 Baltimore TFA alum, recently spoke at the opening of the TFA training institute in Philadelphia and she gave the incoming TFA corps members a dose of hard-earned reality. Philly is a hotbed of corporate reform ideas right now, with a plan drafted by Boston Consulting Group to privatize as much [...]

Governor Scott: Is Florida Testing Too Much?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 hours ago
Good grief! I knew that the anti-high-stakes testing movement was making headway, but this is unbelievable. Governor Rick Scott of Florida now wonders if the state is testing too much. Parents in Florida have been complaining for years that their children are over-tested, that too much instructional time is wasted on test prep, that too [...]

The Economist Loves Privatization

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 hours ago
The Economist magazine has two articles (here and here) about the “success” of charter schools in the U.S., which they admiringly refer to as privatization. Charter advocates here might be embarrassed by the praise, as they prefer to call themselves “public schools.” The Economist recognizes that charter schools are experiments in privatization, not simply another [...]

Charter School Parents Get Angry

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 20 hours ago
In New Orleans, the Algiers Charter School Association hired a management consultant from New York City to address their problems. Some of their schools have very high scores, and some have very low scores (critics say they are dumping grounds to help the other schools). The management consultant fired central staff, reassigned principals and embarked [...]

Keep Following the Money in Philly, part 2

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 20 hours ago
The Citypaper in Philadelphia learned that the city’s major foundation (William Penn) is funding the privatization forces, and the foundation didn’t like it. It launched pushback in other media. What appears to be unquestionably true in the offensive and counteroffensive is that powerful people are mobilizing to turn many public schools in Philadelphia over to [...]

Follow the Money in Philadelphia

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
One man and one foundation decides what’s good for Philadelphia. One sharp-eyed investigative reporter learned the details. That foundation–the William Penn Foundation–used to be concerned about equitable funding for the children and public schools of Philadelphia. No longer. The William Penn Foundation brought in the Boston Consulting Group to develop a plan to redesign the [...]

The Scarlet Letter in New Orleans

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
I received an email from an educator in New Orleans who read my post about the proposal by a management consultant to require low-performing charter schools to post their grades on the wall and on their clothing. The informant said that the proposal to the Algiers Charter Schools Association was not merely theoretical. It was [...]

The Only Egg in NYC’s Basket Is Broken

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
After ten years of mayoral control of its public schools, New York City has only one strategy to “reform” the schools: Closing existing schools and replacing them with many new small schools. You would think that after ten years with one person in charge, holding the unlimited power to do whatever he wants, the schools [...]

George Will’s Surprising Take on the Chicago Battle

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
George Will is confused about who is right and who is wrong in the battle between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union. And that’s a good thing, because one would expect this doughty conservative to stand firmly, loudly, and uncompromisingly in opposition to the union. But he didn’t. Granted, he doesn’t know that [...]

Let’s Hear It for Stability

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
Corporate reformers love the idea of creative disruption. They think that closing schools and opening schools is a bold, innovative stroke. It’s never their own children who lose their school. It’s never their own community. They never ask those involved, because when they do, the people say a loud “No.” People have many reasons to [...]

Fraud Alert! Beware of Change.Org

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
From a reader: Change.org & Students First are STILL at it! Yet ANOTHER Students First petition is attached to a valid one. This petition is titled “Good Teachers Deserve Decent Pay.” REALLY?? Can someone out there get them to stop loading these phony petitions? It says that 1,300,000+ people signed!!! To whoever can do anything–THANK [...]

Misinformation at NEA RA

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
I have had several emails from people at the NEA representative assembly asking me if I was no longer supportive of the Save Our Schools organization. Apparently some delegate got up and said I had disassociated myself from the group. I replied that this was untrue. I was invited to speak this summer, and I [...]

More Puzzling about the Gates Foundation

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
I blogged about an article on the Gates Foundation this morning. The article was written under a pseudonym. The author of the article posted the following comment this morning in response to my post: I’m puzzled, too. When Gates first announced the foundation, my husband was at UCD working on international health and nutrition. The [...]

What About Sweden?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 day ago
A reader of the blog posts a comment saying that the U.S. should be open to charters and privatization because, well, what about Sweden. What about Sweden? Their educational system is one of the best in the world. It’s a public/private hybrid that essentially uses a voucher system. This is something the NEA has foot [...]

Muddy the Narrative? We Know That Trick. (Update)

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
I have received a copy of this story from about 15 different people, all of whom live in Louisiana. The story tells about emails showing that John White, the commissioner of education in Louisiana, hatched a strategy to mislead the media and divert attention from the botched voucher program. After a local newspaper revealed that [...]

More about Stand for Children in Memphis

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
It turns out that Stand for Children is not only the guiding organization behind the plan to transfer large numbers of public school students to charter schools, along with $212 million of taxpayers dollars, in Memphis/Shelby County, but it was previously active in promoting the pro-privatization propaganda film “Waiting for ‘Superman’” to parents and the [...]

I Am Puzzled by the Gates Foundation

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
When one foundation has amassed over $30 billion, it has the financial power to shape the policies of government to its liking. The Gates Foundation has more than $30 billion, and when Warren Buffet’s gift of another $30 billion is added to the Gates fund, the Gates Foundation will have the power to direct global [...]

Who Is Funding Charters?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
I recently learned about an amazing new website that shows the commitment of private foundations to charter schools: http://www.erinproject.org/foundation. The website was created by the John and Laura Arnold Foundation. John Arnold is a Texas billionaire who has given a lot of money to Michelle Rhee for her campaign to diminish the teaching profession and privatize [...]

Whose Side Are You On?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 days ago
Once again we see the short-term and long-term effects of the continual cutting at our public schools in order to feed the monster of corporate education. As we celebrate our country’s independence, I also find I am mourning the loss of teaching civics to our young people and how that has reduced us to ranting [...]

A Sign of Educational Madness?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
I just read that ACT is developing a test of college-and career-readiness for children in kindergarten. When I read something like this, my first reaction is to think it is a joke, a parody, a satire. Surely, no adult can take this nonsense seriously. But it is not a joke. Someone is laying out millions [...]

What Is Stand for Children?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
This is an evolving definition. Stand for Children began in Portland, Oregon, as a grassroots organization to advocate for more funding for public schools (readers in Portland and elsewhere, correct me if I am wrong). At some point in the past two or three years, Stand shifted priorities and discovered that it would have far [...]

A Civics Lesson for the 4th of July

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
In response to a post this morning: Why is it that most people don’t understand basic civics? They think the majority should always win. That’s not what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they created our great society. If the majority always won, we wouldn’t need the Supreme Court, the rights of the minority would never [...]

Accused of Sexism!

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Former State Senator Gloria Romero of California accused me of being sexist and possibly anti-Latina as well. (Please read the comments that follow the article.) Romero is now an employee of the Wall Street hedge fund managers’ organization Democrats for Education Reform, which advocates for charters and eliminating tenure and seniority. Romero is hurt that [...]

Does “College-for-All” Make Sense?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
A number of readers have responded with good comments to the ongoing discussion of “college-for-all.” I love education, love learning, and want everyone to be able to get as much education as they want, but I have my doubts about the goal of college for all. Maybe the most irritating aspect of this issue is [...]

What Will the Principal Say?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Diana Senechal imagines a conversation between a principal and a parent to discuss the teacher’s’ value-added ratings. This is the conversation that Mayor Bloomberg hopes will happen in every school. He wants every principal to contact every parent and tell them the rating of their child’s teacher. I blogged about that recently. But what would [...]

Why Elected Local School Boards Matter

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 days ago
Lance Hill in New Orleans knows what it is like to have no democratic control of schools funded with taxpayer dollars (so do people in New York City, but that’s another topic). He writes: Local democratic control of schools is the last remaining obstacle to the complete privatization of public education. For that reason alone, [...]

For the Children?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
A note from a teacher who was one of those rehired for a turnaround school. Thank you, Michael Bloomberg and Arne Duncan, for the unnecessary damage you inflict on schools, communities, students and teachers, all the while publicly proclaiming that it’s “for the children.” Yesterday I made a sojourn into my school, one of the [...]

Memphis: Stand for Children Responds

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
I received the following comment from Kenya Bradshaw, the executive director of Stand for Children in Tennessee. She was responding to the posts about the transition plan for merging Shelby County and Memphis. The transition plan envisions an expansion of the number and proportion of students in privately managed charter schools, from 4% to 19%, [...]

More on Local Control

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
I have always had mixed feelings about local control. On one hand, I think it is very important for people to feel a sense of pride, belonging, ownership, and engagement in their local school. On the other, I don’t want the school to reflect nothing more than what the local people already know and believe. [...]

Chaos in 24 NYC Turnaround Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
On Friday, an independent arbitrator issued a binding ruling to stop the “turnaround” of 24 schools, where some 3,500 teachers lost their jobs so that the city could claim federal School Improvement Grant funding. The federal program requires that the principal and at least half the teachers be fired; the school gets a new name, [...]

A Case for Local Control

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
A reader explains why local control works in her community’s public schools. She realizes the downside of local control. She knows that local control can be a way of maintaining ignorance and rejecting science and knowledge. But there is a danger in standardization, and she explains why we must seek to find the right balance [...]

The Lie Behind “College for All”

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Teachers provide a reality check to the grandest of visions. The grand vision of our time is that every student should go to college. If everyone goes to college, everyone will have high wages. Poverty will end because everyone went to college. This is fallacious reasoning. If everyone has a college diploma, then a college [...]

Follow the Money

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
If you want to know why so many politicians think so highly of charters, there is a basic rule of politics that explains it all: Follow the money. The most visible organization promoting corporate reform is called Democrats for Education Reform, known as DFER (commonly pronounced “D-fer”). DFER is the Wall Street hedge fund managers’ [...]

Trouble in New Orleans Charter Paradise

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
Down in New Orleans, which corporate reformers treat as a model for the nation, there’s trouble. One of the charter groups, called the Algiers Charter Schools Association, is in hot water with parents. Algiers has eight charters, enrolling over 5,000 students. It recently lost its CEO and hired an interim chief academic officer, Aamir Raza, [...]

More on Memphis: Jim Horn Responds

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 4 days ago
In my post about the Memphis-Shelby County schools yesterday, I quoted Jim Horn of Schools Matter. Horn was extremely critical of the plan to increase the proportion of students in charters from 4% to 19%, resulting in a $212 transfer of public school funding from the Memphis public schools to private hands. A comment on [...]

“Democracy” in Chicago?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
A parent in Chicago wrote to explain how difficult it is for parents or anyone else to speak at a “public” hearing. A true grassroots parent group in Chicago, 19th Ward Parents, attend every monthly meeting of the Board of Ed at CPS. One of our parents was ejected by security because she dared to [...]

What Is an ATR?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
New York City teachers who read this blog include a number of ATRs. Readers from outside the city ask what an ATR is. I have explained that it is a teacher who used to work in a school that was “phased out” and replaced by new schools. This is the Bloomberg administration’s central strategy of [...]

“Collective Bargaining” by Diktat

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
The emergency manager of Detroit has created a new meaning for the term “collective bargaining.” He wrote his own contract for teachers, decided what its terms would be, didn’t consult the teachers, and imposed it unilaterally. The terms have not been revealed. But Roy Roberts, the emergency manager who is a former auto-industry executive, knows [...]

Do You Believe Sugar Bugs Cause Cavities?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Gary Rubinstein is a friendly critic of TFA. As a former corps member, he knows the good and the bad side of the TFA experience. The question that is the title of this post is answered in his post, which I recommend. What attracted me to Gary is that he doesn’t like hype and spin. [...]

Lawyers Garnish Teacher’s Wages to Pay Off Student Debt

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
John Hechinger of Bloomberg News is the best education journalist at work these days. His latest story is chilling: It tells of a determined effort by the federal government and lawyers to collect a student loan debt owed by a teacher in Los Angeles. The teacher had a debt left from the 1970s. The aggressive [...]

Pearson Helps the Poor

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Pearson, the all-encompassing media giant that dominates education publishing, plans to open $3-a-month private schools for children of the poor in Africa and Asia. According to Sir Michael Barber, who advises Pearson, there really is no point depending on government when private entrepreneurs can supply education at low cost far more efficiently. I suppose the [...]

One Reason Why Louisiana Turned into a Bad Joke

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
This parent in Louisiana noticed that the state insists that only trained professionals can trim his shrubs. And only licensed florists can sell flowers to him. But under Bobby Jindal, the children of Louisiana can be taught by anyone who wants to teach, even if they have less training than a shrub technician or a [...]

School’s Out at a Turnaround School

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
This era may be remembered as the time when our nation’s leaders decided to break the spirits of our teachers and to close enough schools to instill fear in the hearts of all educators I don’t know which “thought leader” came up with the idea that the best way to “fix” a school with low [...]

These Guys Want to Run Our Schools

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Joe Nocera, a regular columnist for the New York Times, wrote a column about what can only be described as the legal looting of Burger King. He describes how one group of financiers bought the company, paid themselves a few hundred million, then sold it to some other Wall Street bunkum artists for a billion, [...]

Why This Preschool Teacher Voted to Strike

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
A lot of cash will be spent in Chicago to beat the teachers down for authorizing a strike. Expect a barrage of ads aimed at demeaning the teachers and distorting their grievances. The big equity investors and corporations like to complain about the power of the unions, but the unions don’t look very powerful these [...]

Bloomberg’s Defeat..For Now

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Mayor Bloomberg is intent on closing as many public schools as he can before he leaves office at the end of 2013 (his third term). He has already closed about 150 schools, maybe more, of the 1,100 or 1,200 that he started with. He has added hundreds of new schools. I’ve lost count. Maybe he [...]

Will Florida Ruin Its Higher Education Institutions?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
A reader informs us about Florida Governor Rick Scott’s plans to transfer the destructive ideas of K-12 to the higher education sector. Last fall, Governor Scott memorably said that Florida doesn’t need more people with anthropology degrees, that presumably being an unusually useless area of study; his daughter has an anthropology degree: The university system [...]

Theft of Public Education in Memphis (Update)

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 5 days ago
Jim Horn of Schools Matter pored through the 200-page document describing the plan for the immediate future of the Memphis public schools, and this is what he learned. The Memphis schools will be merged with the schools of Shelby County, allegedly for efficiency. But in fact, the plan is to implement a massive transfer of [...]

Does Experience Matter?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
One of the axioms of corporate reform in education is that experience doesn’t matter. Also, they say, degrees don’t matter. Certification doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except “performance” or “results,” and these are defined as the “measurables,” the test scores. If a teacher can get students to produce higher test scores, he or she is a [...]

Forget It

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
Just a couple of days ago, I said I wouldn’t blog on weekends. Yet, here I am, reading the news, reading my emails, and having a reaction to everything I read and impelled to share. It’s a Sunday. I just posted a blog. I violated the rule I just announced. Oh, well, they used to [...]

One of the Strangest Stories of the Day

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 6 days ago
The school leaders of New York City, Newark, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., convened a meeting to tell publishers that they would not buy their textbooks unless they were closely aligned with the Common Core standards. Now bear in mind that these districts are in the forefront of corporate reform. Washington, D.C., Newark and Chicago are [...]

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