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Saturday, March 9, 2019

5 Things Teachers Should No Longer Have to Do - Teacher Habits

5 Things Teachers Should No Longer Have to Do - Teacher Habits

5 Things Teachers Should No Longer Have to Do

Of all the nonsense today’s educators must endure, perhaps the most galling is the mixed messages we regularly receive about how to perform our jobs. Teachers, once upon a time, were essentially independent practitioners, trusted to choose their own topics of study, craft their own lessons, design their own tests (or not give any at all), enforce their own grading policies, and shepherd their students through whatever year they happened to have them in the manner they best saw fit.
In such a system, it made sense for teachers to always be learning. They needed lesson plans. They had to know why they were teaching what they were teaching. They were always on the lookout for more interesting ways to reach students. The success or failure of their lessons rested on their shoulders.
The legacy of such a model of teaching still exists, even though the reality is far different. Many school leaders act as though teachers are making decisions because teachers used to make decisions. As a result, these leaders still expect teachers to behave as though they are working in a system that simply no longer exists in many places.
When we started striving for “guaranteed and viable curriculums,” we began the process of standardizing classrooms. The adoption of common standards across many states accelerated this movement because it allowed publishing companies to sell to most of the nation. That resulted in the same programs being taught in thousands of CONTINUE READING: 5 Things Teachers Should No Longer Have to Do - Teacher Habits

K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago | Schott Foundation for Public Education

K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago | Schott Foundation for Public Education

K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago

A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that teacher strikes work and have led to substantial increases in K-12 school funding in states where strikes occurred "Despite last year’s improvements, however, formula funding remains well below 2008 levels" in Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia, states that made the deepest cuts over the last decade. Progress is still short of what's needed and funding mechanisms may be unsustainable.

From the report:
Protests by teachers and others last year helped lead to substantial increases in school funding in Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, four of the 12 states that had cut school “formula” funding — the primary state revenue source for schools — most deeply over the last decade. Despite last year’s improvements, however, formula funding remains well below 2008 levels in these states. Further, three of these four states boosted school funding using revenue sources that will be difficult to maintain over time, likely making their progress short lived unless they raise revenue in more sustainable ways. Kentucky, another deep-cutting state where teachers protested in 2017, held state formula funding for schools roughly flat last year.
Several other deep-cutting states that did not see major teacher protests last year also remain well behind their previous formula funding levels. For instance, per-student formula funding in Texas is now a full 20 percent below 2008 levels adjusted for inflation after lawmakers in that state further cut formula funding last year.
At the same time, more than half of the states have now increased total per-student funding compared to a decade ago. As of 2016, the latest year for which comprehensive data are available, 26 states were providing more total state and local funding per student than before the recession, after adjusting for inflation. Since state and local revenues generally have continued to improve since 2016, the number of states whose school funding finally has recovered from the Great Recession has likely continued to grow.
Further, some states have made new investments that research suggests are likely to boost student outcomes, an CONTINUE READING: K-12 School Funding Up in Most 2018 Teacher-Protest States, But Still Well Below Decade Ago | Schott Foundation for Public Education

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

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

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

Jan Resseger: Why Ohio Should Not Give More Money to Charter Schools

Jan Resseger explains here why Ohio should not give more money to charter schools and their sponsors (in Ohio, the authorizers of charter schools get a 3% commission for every student enrolled in their charters). Their most vocal advocate is the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which sponsors charters and collects a hefty commission. When its Ohio office writes editorials supporting an increase in re
Atlanta: A Public Protest Against the “Portfolio Model”

The Atlanta School Board is controlled by a slate of former Teach for America teachers. They are devoted to privately managed charter schools. They don’t seem to have any ideas about how to improve public schools other than to outsource them. They are determined to impose a portfolio district model that welcomes more charter operators staffed by temps like they once were. A group of Atlanta citiz
Remember the Congressman That AOC Beat?

There was much gnashing of teeth in establishment Democratic circles when 29-year-Old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes beat high-ranking Congressman Joe Crowley. Upstart! How dare she? But don’t cry for Joe Crowley. He has landed a job at one of DC’s top lobbying firms, which represents fossil fuels, private prisons, and other distinctly non-liberal corporations. Since I’m meeting AOC in a week to talk a


D.C.: Teachers Unfairly Terminated by Michelle Rhee Win $5 Million Settlement: VICTORY!

The Washington Teachers Union won a long-standing battle with the D.C. public schools caused by the unfair implementation of Michelle Rhee’s teacher evaluation program called IMPACT. W
Los Angeles: More About the Billionaire Boys Club, Who Are Adrift and Forlorn

I have been posting a lot about the race for the empty seat on the LAUSD school board because it is the second largest district in the nation, the largest with an elected board, and the Billionaire Boys Club has been trying to buy control of it. Eli Broad wants half the students in LAUSD in charter schools, and “only” 20% are now in charters. The BBC thought they won control when they put Ref Rod
On Paul Manafort’s Sentence of 47 Months

From this morning’s Washington Post: — A string of defense attorneys, especially public defenders, pointed to much harsher sentences doled out to people for non-white-collar crimes than what Manafort got from Ellis. Mueller’s team laid out evidence during the Virginia trial that Manafort, by concealing $16 million in income, didn’t pay $6 million he would have owed in federal taxes, among other c
Los Angeles: Jackie!

Howard Blume wrote an incisive analysis of the race for the LAUSD seat in District 5, where Jackie Goldberg won 48% of the vote in a crowded field. He writes that UTLA put $660,000 into the race on behalf of Jackie, who is a progressive fighter for kids and public schools. She raised another $200,000 on her own. But she did not spend the most. The biggest spender (Heather Repenning) had a kitty o
Jan Resseger: Why Is America Underinvesting in Education?

Jan Resseger writes one astonishingly smart post after another. We can all learn from her. Having dedicated her career to social justice and especially to education justice, she is steeped in the issues. But she has a way of putting together information from different sources that brings new light on old discussions. This post about our national underinvestment in education is exemplary. She begi
Missouri: Stop Privatization Now!

The legislature in Missouri is considering bills for charters and vouchers, which will defund public schools. if you live in Missouri, contact your legislator and express your support for yourcomm7nity’s Public s hoops.
Utah: Expose of Legislators Who Are Cashing in on the Charter Industry

This report from television station KUTV in Salt Lake City points out a bizarre contradiction in Charter World. Plenty of legislators are cashing in on charter schools In Utah: State Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (Dist. 10) is one of the foremost experts on charter schools in the state legislature. That makes sense given that he runs Charter Solutions, a company that from 2015 to 2018 has collected $5.7
New York City: A Forum on Education Issues with AOC

Want to meet Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez? So do I. If you are in New York City or its environs, here is your chance. Public Education Town Hall A conversation on a bold new vision for public school justice and equity Featured speaker: Diane Ravitch with education advocates With responses from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and NYS Senator Jessica Ramos Panel and discussion followed by audience Q&

MAR 07

Florida: Teachers Want a Salary Increase, Not Bonuses

The Florida Legislature is getting set to modify its “best and brightest” teacher bonus, which gave incentives to students who had high SAT/ACT scores in high school. Almost every teacher in the state gets some bonus, which is not pensionable. Average teacher pay in Florida is among the lowest in the nation, ranked 42nd. Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel wrote: More than 11,200 Florida teache
Florida: Heads Up, Some Bad Legislation is on the Front Burner

Betsy DeVos touts Florida as a national model even though it spends less per pupil than most states and pays its teachers less. It has vouchers! It has charters! It violates its own state constitution! From a reader: We could use some help. Make a call. I Cannot stress enough how parents and teachers need to call and protest these bills. Please make a call today: Please feel free to share this. O
Breaking News: Eli Broad Gave $100,000 to Defeat Jackie Goldberg in School Board Race

Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times just tweeted this: Verified account 1h 1 hour ago More Eli Broad made a $100,000 donation on March 5, election day, to an SEIU Local 99 PAC backing Heather Repenning for the open L.A. school board seat. Other pro-charter folks gave to support other candidates, suggesting divided views and/or an anybody-but-Goldberg strategy. Heather Repenning worked for Mayor
California: Newsom Signs Bill Requiring Charter Accountability, Transparency

The California Legislature fast tracked a bill requiring charter school transparency and accountability and prohibiting conflicts of interest. The charter lobby had fought this legislation for years and Governor Brown had twice vetoed similar legislation. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill surrounded by well-wishers, even the California Charter School Association, which pretended to be thrille
Rochester, New York: Students, Parents, and Educators Fight State Takeover of Public Schools

Supporters of public schools are fighting a proposal for a state takeover of the Rochester public school district in New York. State takeovers have not worked anywhere. The Michigan Education Achievement Authority was a disaster and has closed down. The schools in the Achievement School District in Tennessee made zero gains as compared to similar schools not in the state district. Contrary to pub
Bob Braun: Newark’s Schools, Cronyism, and Missing $$$$$

Bob Braun was an investigative reporter for the New Jersey Star Ledger for many years. After he retired, he began blogging and is a reliable source for exposes of the inner workings of the state and the city of Newark. Read this one. Braun tells the story of the Newark public schools, with accounts of back-scratching, lavish contracts that produced nothing, well-paid consultants and a revolving d
Education Week: Charter High Schools Have Lower Graduation Rates Than Public High Schools

Education Week conducted a survey of graduation rates and discovered that charter high schools have lower graduation rates than public high schools. Of course, charter apologists had many explanations and excuses but they apparently forgot their original claim that they would be far, far better than public schools. A story by Arianna Prothero and Alex Hardin begins: ”At nearly 1,000 U.S. high sch

MAR 06

LAUSD Race: Jackie Has 48.26% and the Count Continues!

The special election for the empty seat on the LAUSD Board continues. If you recall the contest between Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck for state superintendent, the final vote was not released for many dates as the elections board counted mail-in ballots. At this early stage, Jackie has 48.26% of the vote. The #2 and #3 candidates are virtually tied at about 13%. A victory for Jackie is a defeat
Randy Rainbow: Why Donald Loves Tyrants

Time for a laugh.
Democrats Who Support Charters Now Face Criticism in Presidential Contest

It’s about time. A story in the Los Angeles Times notes that those Democratic candidates who supported charters (and still do) are facing a backlash by their party’s voters. The wave of teachers’ strikes have brought into sharp relief the fact that most families enroll their children in public schools, not charter schools; that charter schools are a priority for Republicans, Wall Street, and far-
Ohio: Two-Thirds of Charter Schools Are Rated D or F, But Charter Industry Wants More Money

Would you put more money into a failing business? If you were in charge of the charter industry, the answer is yes. The charter industry in Ohio is lobbying for a 22% increase in tuition, even though 2/3 of the state’s charter schools are rated either D or F. If they were public schools, most would have been closed by now. Back when charters started, their advocates claimed they would get better
Los Angeles Race for School Board: Jackie Leads But Run-Off Likely

Jackie Goldberg easily led the race for what may be the deciding vote on the Los Angeles school board with 47%. The final tally is not yet in, but if current numbers hold, Jackie will be in a run-off with a Runner up who received about 13% of the vote. Jackie is a firebrand for equity and public schools. She is the billiinaires’ nightmare. The Billionaire Boys Club was waiting for a run-off befor
Louisiana’s Academic Standards Are Baloney, a Hoax

Mike Deshotels, veteran educator, exposes the myth of high standards in Louisiana in this post. He discovered that John White, the State Superintendent of Education, has systematically and secretly lowered the state standards to make it appear that the state was making progress every year. The raw scores on Louisiana’s state tests are kept secret from the public and the legislature. Deshotels got
Anthony Cody: Charter Schools and Vouchers Are an Existential Threat to Public Schools

Recently Education Week posted a column claiming that charters and vouchers do not threaten public schools and that concern about privatization is vastly overblown. Anthony Cody refutes that argument for complacency in this post. The writer of the article, Arianna Prothero, is a staff writer for Education Week. Cody writes: Prothero apparently only consulted one side of this contentious issue, as

MAR 05

Georgia: State Senate Says NO to Vouchers!

The Georgia State Senate, controlled by Republicans, voted not to create a private school voucher program. Critics said the program would eventually cost the state half a billion a year, defunding public schools. Democrats voted as a bloc against it, joined by key Republicans including Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville. Public school supporters who opposed the bill were astonis
Texas: CEO of Texas Charter Schools Association Insists that Charters Should Have “Right” to Exclude Students They Don’t Want

Starlee Coleman, CEO of the Texas Charter Schools Association, insists that charter schools should have the right to exclude students they don’t want. State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, a Democrat who represents Austin, has introduced a bill proposing that charters act like public schools if they want to be public schools and serve all kinds of students, not just those who are easiest and cheapest to educ
Rightwing Heritage Foundation Rejects DeVos’ Federal Voucher Plan

Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy notes that even her far-right allies reject Betsy DeVos’ plan for a federal voucher program. Conservative Heritage Foundation opposes Betsy DeVos’ $5 billion federal voucher program proposal Secretary DeVos recently proposed tax credits as a means of advancing her voucher agenda. Democrats in Congress opposed the proposal immediately. Int
How Charter Operators Exploit Legal Loopholes to Rake in Profits

This is an important article by three scholars. Derek Black of the University of South Carolina, Bruce Baker of Rutgers University, and Preston Green of the University of Connecticut. Please open the link to read it all. While critics charge that charter schools are siphoning money away from
Indiana Pays Millions to Virtual Charters that Educate No One

What a Business! The stateof Indiana shells out millions of dollars to virtual charter schools that educate no one. Even Republican legislators thank this this could be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. “Top state education leaders called it a “scandal” and “serious” that two Indiana virtual charter schools are accused of counting toward their enrollment thousands of students who either never signed
Florida: The Word from Ron DeSantis and Jeb Bush: “We Don’t Need No Education…”

The Florida State Constitution guarantees a Common School System to all students and prohibits spending public money in religious schools. But that means nothing to Florida Republicans, who are determined to hand out money to anyone who wants it to do their own thing. This is Jeb Bush and Betsy DeVos’s Dream. Peter Greene warned us that the Republicans who own the state government planed to elimi
Plunderbund Nominates Congressman Jim Jordan for an Emmy Award

Plunderbund, Ohio blogger, nominates Congressman Jim Jordan for an Emmy award for his abominable performance during the Michael Cohen. Rep. Jordan has already made a name for himself as the Congressman who never wears a suit jacket, just a shirt and tie. Plunderbund writes: The Emmy for the Worst Performance in a Continuing Role goes to … Jim Jordan of Urbana, Ohio. How many different words can y

MAR 04

Los Angeles: Candidate Drops Out, Endorses Jackie!

Dr. Rocio Rivas dropped out of the race for District 5 school board member and endorsed Jackie Goldberg. The election is tomorrow. She reminds us that thiselection is a fight for our democracy. We cannot let the billionaires buy another seat on the board. Dr. Rivas writes: As a candidate in tomorrow’s election, I am asking you to read this post before you go to the polls. Our nation’s Democracy i
Alex Caputo-Pearl: UTLA Endorses Jackie Goldberg for LAUSD School Board!

This was just released by Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, which endorsed Jackie Goldberg for the vacant seat on the LAUSD school board. The special election is tomorrow , to fill a seat left empty when a member who happened to be a charter school founder was convicted of money laundering charges. Jackie was a teacher for many years; a member of the Los Angeles
Los Angeles: Tomorrow, Vote for Jackie Goldberg for School Board

Tomorrow is the day when voters in Los Angeles will pick the swing vote on the school board. Mid you live in District 5, please vote for Jackie Goldberg. She is the most experienced and most knowledgeable candidate in the race. She will speak out against the billionaires who hope to control the board. She will speak up for students, teachers, parents, and public schools. To learn where the money
Nashville: Charter School Under Scrutiny for Cramming Kids into Small Rooms

The New Vision Academy in Nashville is in trouble for violating the fire code andquestionable financial practices. “The Nashville charter school New Vision Academy has been violating city fire code by enrolling more students than the capacity allowed at the south Nashville church building where it rents space. “Because of the overcrowding issue, Metro Nashville Public Schools is forced to remove
Leonie Haimson: Reality Vs. Hype in “Teach to One” Program

Leonie Haimson, NYC Parent Activist, is blessed with a long memory and deep knowledge. In this post, she explores the origins and evaluations of a blended learning program called Teach to One. She writes: Last week, two different studies came out about the results of the well-known blended learning program originally called “School of One” and now called “Teach to One”, created and sold to school
RI: The Opioid King Funds Charters and Governor Raimondo

In Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo is Charter-mad. This makes sense since she used to be a hedge fund manager and most HFMs are Charter zealots. What was not so well known is that Jonathan Sackler has contributed large sums to support more charters in RI and to help Raimondo’s political career. Sackler’s billions are derived from the marketing and sale of opioids, which have killed more than
“No Excuses” Charter Chain Has a Reckoning with Its Harsh Disciplinary Policies

The Achievement First charter chain is committed to re-examining the value and purpose of its harsh disciplinary policies after a white principal was videotaped shoving a black student, and a behavioral specialist resigned and blasted the oppressive climate at one of the charters. No-excuses charters claim that their draconian policies produce high test scores but critics have long criticized the

MAR 03

Oakland: OEA Members Vote to End Strike

It seems as if the only way for teachers and students to win gains from the boards that allegedly protect and serve them is to strike. BREAKING BAY AREA NEWS: Oakland Education Association members have voted to ratify their new contract and end their seven-day strike, the union announced tonight. Educators will return to their classrooms Monday. See the news release below…. Mike Myslinski Headqua
Trump Will Cut Off Federal Funding to Universities That Limit “Free Speech”

Trump told the Conservative Political Action Committee that he would issue an e ecutive order barring federal funding for research at universities that restrict “free speech.” Apparently he was thinking of campuses where student protestors have barred hate speech from far-right provocateurs. Speakers who advocate racial hatred and bigotry have not found a hearty welcome on such campuses. Trump pr
Libertarians: Cory Booker is the Champion of Charters and Vouchers

In this article, a writer for the libertarian Reason magazine–which supports free-market solutions to all government problems–praises Cory Booker for his advocacy on behalf of charters and vouchers, and even dares to mention that he worked closely with Betsy DeVos, his ideological ally on education issues. Booker is proud of his record as an advocate of privatization and a supporter of non-union
Chicago: The Election Was “a Complete Repudiation” of Rahm Emanuel

Thanks to Fred Klonsky for alerting me to this analysis of the mayoral election in Chicago, in which two African American women are in a run-off, the establishment candidate William Daley came in third, and privatizer Paul Vallas got about 5% of the vote. Voters voted no to Rahm’s school closings and charter favoritism. Curtis Black writes: “The election that advanced two black women to the runof
Oakland, CA: Billionaires Will Convene to Discuss New Plans for Privatizing Public Schools

What exquisite timing! The teachers in Oakland went out on strike to demand a decent living wage and to protest the destruction of their schools by privatizers, and guess who is planning to come to town? On May 8-9, the NewSchools Venture Fund will hold its annual summit in Oakland, California, to review its plans for additional privatization of public schools. The summit is sponsored by the usua
Leonie Haimson: Why DeBlasio’s Latest Plan is Old Wine in New Bottles

Leonie Haimson was not surprised by the collapse of New York City’s Renewal Schools Plan. His new plan sounds just like his old plan. More coaches for principals and teachers. ”The original Renewal program featured a plethora of coaching of teachers and principals; the new plan will provide “intensive coaching and professional development” for school staff. The old plan offered extra learning tim
Mercedes Schneider: The College Board and the Big Salaries It Pays

Please remember that the College Board is a nonprofit. But Mercedes Schneider reminds us that the people who work at this nonprofit make a lot of money. If you scan the list of executive salaries, you might begin to understand why the SAT is so expensive to consumers. And you might cheer on the FairTest list of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that have become “test-optional,” because th

MAR 02

Texas: Calling All Parents Whose Children Have Been Subjected to Rigged Tests

Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA) [aka Moms Against Drunk Testing] needs your help to fight abusive testing. We learned recently that the state tests (STAAR) is set two grade levels above where children are. Third-graders are tested on fifth-grade material and vocabulary, fifth-graders on seventh-grade material and vocabulary, etc. The tests are rigged to fail the kids.
New York State: Success Academy Charters and NYC Department of Ed. Violate Civil Rights of Kids with Disabilities

An investigation by the New York State Education Department faulted Success Academy Charter Chain and the New York City Department of Education for violating the civil rights of students with disabilities. Success Academy charter schools and the New York City education department have violated the civil rights of students with special needs, an investigation by state officials found. The charter
DeVos Proposes $5 Billion for Federal School Choice Program

In a large waste of paper, time, and energy, Betsy DeVos proposed a new $5 billion federal program of tax credits for charter schools, vouchers, cybercharters, and home schooling. This is a big decrease in her ambitions. Two years ago, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, DeVos
California: Legislature Passes Historic Charter Accountability Bill

During Governor Jerry Brown’s tenure in office, he vetoed all efforts to hold charter schools accountable, to consider their fiscal impact, or to limit their numbers. Those days are over under Governor Gavin Newsom. Edsource reports: “The chairman of the Assembly Education Committee and several Democratic colleagues introduced a package of bills Monday that would impose severe restrictions on the

MAR 01

Oakland Settlement: The Union’s View

Mike Myslinski Headquarters Communications California Teachers Association 1705 Murchison Drive Burlingame, CA 94010 650-552-5324 408-921-5769 (cell) MEDIA ADVISORY March 1, 2019 Oakland Education Association 272 East 12 th Street Oakland, CA 94606 510-763-4020 Contact : Mike Myslinski with CTA on cell at 408-921-5769 , FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TENTAT
Oakland: District and Teachers Reach Agreement

This press release came from the Oakland Unified School district. It does not mention mention any agreement on the teachers’ demand to call a halt to privatization, which sucked nearly $60 million out of the budget last year. Friday, March 1, 2019 Contact: John Sasaki Communications Director 510-214-2080 OUSD and OEA Come to Historic Agreement to End Teachers’ Strike Oakland
Dictator Kim Says He Didn’t Know About Otto’s Torture. Trump Believes Him.

#RememberOtto Contradicting Trump, Otto Warmbier’s parents blame North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the death of their son The parents of Otto Warmbier, the American student w
Jan Resseger: How Charter Schools Have Plunged Oakland into a Fiscal Crisis

Jan Resseger writes here about the cause of Oakland’s fiscal crisis: the expansion and encroachment of charter schools. This context is important as background to understand the teachers’ strike. She writes: Like Los Angeles, Oakland’s financial crisis is related to California’s embrace of charter schools and the school district’s adoption of a portfolio school reform governance plan by which the
Peter Greene: Republicans Plan to Eliminate Public Schools in Florida

Peter Greene paints an ugly picture of the dominant forces of privatization in Florida and their plans to destroy public education and share the spoils. He begins by asking these questions: Here are two not-entirely-academic questions: Is it possible to end public education in an entire state? Can Florida become any more hostile to public education than it already is? Newly-minted Governor Ron De
Angie Sullivan Blasts Nevada Legislators and Power Brokers Who Refuse to Fund the Public Schools

Angie Sullivan is a firebrand on behalf of children in Nevada. She is a first grade teachers in Las Vegas (Clark County), which most people think of in terms of glitz and glamour. But the children she teaches are poor and many barely speak any English. Her school is underfunded. Angie writes frequent email blasts to every legislator and she does not mince words. On April 27, thousands of teachers

Rhode Island: Can You Fire Your Way to Higher Scores?

The testscores came in and Rhode Island got bad scores. RI still uses PARCC, which is guaranteed to faiil most students. First the State Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner resigned. Now the Providence Superintendent is 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all