Monday, July 1, 2019

My Favorite Things | Diane Ravitch's blog @dianeravitch

My All-Time Favorite Movie (and a Few Current Favorites) | Diane Ravitch's blog

Today Is My Birthday | Diane Ravitch's blog 

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS 


Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad



My All-Time Favorite Movie (and a Few Current Favorites) | Diane Ravitch's blog 
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My Favorite Television Programs | Diane Ravitch's blog 
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My Father’s Favorite Singers and Favorite Songs | Diane Ravitch's blog
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My Favorite Cause: Please Support NPE and NPE Action | Diane Ravitch's blog 
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The Education Deserts of Rural America - The Atlantic

The Education Deserts of Rural America - The Atlantic

The Education Deserts of Rural America
The college-completion gap between rural and urban residents is widening.

One in three Montanans lives more than 60 minutes from the nearest college campus. The tracts of land that separate these individuals and institutions are sometimes called “education deserts,” and they cover many patches of rural America. Add to that the fact that nearly 40 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen attend institutions fewer than 50 miles from home, and these statistics begin to sketch the outlines of a crisis.
The high-school education gap actually narrowed between 2000 and 2015—now students are just about as likely to attain a high-school diploma whether they live in a rural or an urban environment, according to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture. But during that same time period, the college-completion gap has widened. “The share of urban adults with at least a bachelor’s degree grew from 26 percent to 33 percent, while in rural areas the share grew from 15 percent to 19 percent,” the report found. The gap could be due, in part, to students leaving rural areas after college—or to adults with college degrees moving to urban or suburban areas in search of jobs. Regardless, the gap has grown by 4 percent.
“We need to take seriously the idea that everyone deserves access to a quality education, and we need to do everything we can to make that a reality,” Tara Westover, the author of the memoir Educated, said onstage at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. “There’s all kinds of evidence to show that education is wildly unequal,” she said, “and CONTINUE READING: The Education Deserts of Rural America - The Atlantic

CURMUDGUCATION: This Case Could Break The Wall Between Church And School

CURMUDGUCATION: This Case Could Break The Wall Between Church And School

This Case Could Break The Wall Between Church And School

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case for Forbes, trying to explain why it would be a big deal if the Supremes decided to hear this case. One thing has changed since then-- the court has decided they will hear the case.

This is a big deal. Here's a slightly modified version of that Forbes piece to serve as an explainer for why we need to pay attention.


This summer the US Supreme Court has decided to hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Its decision will have huge repercussions for public education. To grasp why this case matters and why it's coming up now, there are two pieces of background you need to understand.

Tax Credit Scholarships
Tax credit scholarships are yet another variation on a school voucher program. With vouchers, a family picks the school it wants its child to attend, and the state hands that child's "share" of education funding to that school. The problem is that when a family chooses a religious school (as is often the case), that can run afoul of the separation of church and state in general, and Blaine Amendment laws in particular. The Blaine Amendment was a failed Constitutional amendment that prohibited spending tax dollars on sectarian schools; 38 states adopted it for their own constitutions. It's not an easy law to defend, because it rose out of nativist reaction to immigrant Catholics, even if does fit with the wall between church and state.
Tax Credit Scholarships do an end run around the wall. A business or wealthy individual gives a CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: This Case Could Break The Wall Between Church And School

Charter School Advocates Reject Analysis | Dissident Voice

Charter School Advocates Reject Analysis | Dissident Voice

Charter School Advocates Reject Analysis



Advocates of privately-operated charter schools that siphon billions of dollars a year from public schools have been a little more defensive and restive than usual in recent months.
This is to be expected given the growing number of mainstream and academic reports exposing their long-standing problems, as well as the fact that more people are seeing charter schools for what they really are.
There is a growing unstoppable social consciousness that charter schools are not just over-hyped phenomena which regularly over-promise and frequently under-deliver, but that they are fundamentally pay-the-rich schemes masquerading as “innovations” that “empower parents,” “promote choice,” and “save minority kids.”
The pious claims, platitudes, and grandstanding of charter school advocates are becoming more worn-out, hackneyed, and tired. They mean less with each passing week. Charter school advocates think that blindly repeating the same knee-jerk assertions and one-liners over and over again is the same thing as analysis and discussion. They believe that people develop convictions in a healthy and organic way by being bombarded by clich├ęs, buzzwords, and counterfeit solutions.
Charter school supporters and promoters have always favored disinformation and irrationalism over analysis, discussion, and coherence. They have always feared that too much discussion, especially deep discussion and analysis, would expose them too much and undermine their antisocial agenda. They do not want people to think too hard and too much about what is really going on.
It is not a coincidence that in various cities charter school advocates are striving more desperately to organize more charter school “discussions” to combat the swelling irreversible social consciousness developing about major problems in the charter school sector. Of course, such “discussions” are often sponsored by pro-business organizations (e.g., chambers of commerce) and typically led by panels made up entirely, or almost entirely, of people who unequivocally support charter schools and repeat myths and banalities about them.
Some of the key topics and issues charter school advocates are unable and unwilling to analyze seriously include the following.
Blind Embrace of High-Stakes Tests
Charter school promoters never address, let alone analyze, the role, nature, meaning, and significance of expensive, curriculum-narrowing, anxiety-producing, punitive, high-stakes standardized tests produced by a handful of CONTINUE READING: Charter School Advocates Reject Analysis | Dissident Voice


Today Is My Birthday | Diane Ravitch's blog

Today Is My Birthday | Diane Ravitch's blog

Today Is My Birthday

I was born 81 years ago in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, at 12:01 am.
Eighty is the new 60. No, the new 50. Or 40.
I am third of eight children.
My mother was born in Bessarabia and came to this country when she was 9 years old. She was a very proud graduate of the Houston public schools. My grandfather in Houston was a tailor. My father grew up in Savannah. He was a mischievous boy, I hear, and he dropped out of high school.
I attended Houston public schools from kindergarten through high school graduation. I then had the good fortune to be accepted to Wellesley College, which changed my life.
I will spare you the rest of my story. I am one-third of the way through a memoir, and I will turn to that after the publication in January of Slaying Goliath. 
Big Education Ape: Pre-Order Diane's New Book - Slaying Goliath - Network For Public Education - https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/06/pre-order-dianes-new-book-slaying.html
If you share my values about the importance of public schools, the necessity of being good citizens, the recognition that all children need good nutrition, good health, play and a rich education, I think you will love the new book. It is unlike anything I have written in the past. It is a story of the heroes of the Resistance, the individuals and groups who have fought to stop the privatization of their public schools, to block insane federal mandates, and to demand that they get the resources they need to become far better than they are now.
If you want to say “Happy Birthday,” please send a donation to NPE Action.
That is the part of NPE that is involved in raising consciousness and building the resistance to privatization.
We are making a difference.
The elite disrupters of public schools are on the run, thanks to the dedication and persistence of the Resistance. Students, parents, teachers, retired teachers, principals, the millions who owe a debt of gratitude to their community’s public schools and want to see them thrive.
Thank you.
Diane
Today Is My Birthday | Diane Ravitch's blog


Big Education Ape: My Favorite Things | Diane Ravitch's blog @dianeravitch - https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/07/my-favorite-things-diane-ravitchs-blog.html


My All-Time Favorite Movie (and a Few Current Favorites) | Diane Ravitch's blog

My All-Time Favorite Movie (and a Few Current Favorites) | Diane Ravitch's blog

My All-Time Favorite Movie (and a Few Current Favorites)

My all-time favorite movie is “Singin’ in the Rain.” I have lost track of how many times I have seen it. Every time I see it, I enjoy it all over again. Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor are a great singing and dancing team. Nineteen-year-old Debbie Reynolds is beautiful, adorable, fresh, a wonderful ingenue. The music is delightful.
TCM has an excellent history of the movie, which is about Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies.
The plot hinges on Debbie Reynolds helping to save Gene Kelly’s first talkie by dubbing the voice of his co-star, who has a screechy voice.
Here is the great secret of the film, which I discovered only last year, while googling to learn more about the movie.
Debbie Reynolds’s voice was dubbed when she was supposed to be dubbing the voice of Lena Lamont!
From TCM:
“Ironically, Debbie Reynolds’ voice was dubbed by Betty Royce for the scenes where Reynolds’ character dubs CONTINUE READING: My All-Time Favorite Movie (and a Few Current Favorites) | Diane Ravitch's blog

Louisiana Educator: The Common Core Debacle Proves We Can't Educate Kids Better Than a Cave Man.

Louisiana Educator: The Common Core Debacle Proves We Can't Educate Kids Better Than a Cave Man.

The Common Core Debacle Proves We Can't Educate Kids Better Than a Cave Man.


Here is an excellent article describing the real reasons for the teacher shortage happening in other states as well as Louisiana. The following is a quote in the article from a teacher who quit teaching recently partly because she felt that the new Common Core based system imposed on her school did not allow her to address her students' individual needs in reading. She was teaching 8th grade English and had found that many of her students were reading at second or third grade level:

"At a staff meeting with a school district testing data coach and our principal, I brought up the lack of reading skills in my eighth-graders. How was I expected to bring them up five or six grade levels in one year so they could pass the state test in February and April, I asked.

Their reply was: ‘Don’t talk about kids who can’t read and our responsibility to educate them, and don’t ask questions. Head down; mouth shut. You’re no longer teachers, but managers and monitors of information."

Notice how similar this description of teacher frustration is to my earlier post on the Louisiana teacher shortage. There is now little respect for the professional opinions of teachers. The unrelenting drive is a total focus on preparing kids to score well on the state tests. But that school system has found out, just as we in Louisiana have, that the imposition of slavish prep for the state testing has not really significantly raised test scores after all.

In this post, I want to focus on the current negative effect of the CONTINUE READING: 
Louisiana Educator: The Common Core Debacle Proves We Can't Educate Kids Better Than a Cave Man.




As Ohio Budget Negotiations Drag On, Conference Committee Should Leave State School Takeovers Out of the Budget | janresseger

As Ohio Budget Negotiations Drag On, Conference Committee Should Leave State School Takeovers Out of the Budget | janresseger

As Ohio Budget Negotiations Drag On, Conference Committee Should Leave State School Takeovers Out of the Budget

This morning, July 1, marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for Ohio. Yesterday was the deadline for passage of a new budget to pay for the functions of state government for the next biennium—fiscal years 2020 and 2021.  But instead over the weekend, members of the Legislature passed a 17 day budget extension to keep the state operating while members of the Senate/House conference committee wrangle.
One of the biggest conflicts between House and Senate is over the misguided state school district takeovers established in the 2015, House Bill 70, a bill which was fast tracked through the Legislature without open hearings.
HB 70 has proven a catastrophe.  You may remember that just two months ago, the Ohio House passed HB 154 to repeal Ohio state school takeovers.  Not only did the Ohio House pass HB 154 to undo HB 70, but its members did so in spectacular, bipartisan fashion by a margin of 83/12. The House also included the repeal of HB 70 in HB 166, the House version of the FY 20-21 biennial budget.
The Ohio Senate has also been considering state school district takeovers. Distrusting teachers, school administrators, and locally elected school boards in Ohio’s poorest school districts where test scores lag, members of the Ohio Senate removed from the budget bill the House language to repeal the state school takeovers.  Senator Peggy Lehner and the Senate Education Committee she chairs convened a working group to create a complicated amendment to replace the current HB 70 state takeovers with another form of state control called the Ohio School Transformation Plan. Lehner’s committee is dominated by members of the American Legislative Exchange Council.  Lobbyists from the far-right Thomas Fordham Institute and the CONTINUE READING: As Ohio Budget Negotiations Drag On, Conference Committee Should Leave State School Takeovers Out of the Budget | janresseger

The Democratic Presidential Debate: Why Were Education and Labor Ignored (except for busing)? | Ed In The Apple

The Democratic Presidential Debate: Why Were Education and Labor Ignored (except for busing)? | Ed In The Apple

The Democratic Presidential Debate: Why Were Education and Labor Ignored (except for busing)?

As soon as the results of the 2018 congressional elections were in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president began. In the era of Facebook and Twitter elections are never-ending.
There are two elections: the first will be decided on July 16th 2020: the elected delegates to the Democratic National Convention will choose a candidate, the July to November sprint to the November 3rd presidential will be a totally different election. If you don’t win the first  the second one is irrelevant.
The debates will take place almost monthly (July, September, October, November, December) with a declining field of debaters as the rules for participation narrow.
As the candidates on the stage thin, hopefully, the questioning at the debates will become more insightful.
No one will actually vote until February 3rd, the Iowa caucuses, followed by the New Hampshire primary, both dominated by older white voters, on to South Carolina, many Afro-American voters and the March 3rd super Tuesday. New York State is April 28th. (Read the primary schedule here)
Every candidate has a carefully scripted campaign.
Elizabeth Warren has focused on detailed specific policies, Bernie on Medicare for All and attacking the capitalist overlords, Biden, “experience counts,” and Booker and Harris, light on policy specifics and heavy on “its time to pass the CONTINUE READING: The Democratic Presidential Debate: Why Were Education and Labor Ignored (except for busing)? | Ed In The Apple

Jersey Jazzman: The Facts About Newark's Schools: An Update

Jersey Jazzman: The Facts About Newark's Schools: An Update

The Facts About Newark's Schools: An Update

Thanks to, among other things, Cory Booker's presidential campaign, Newark's schools remain in the spotlight. Back in 2017, Bruce Baker and I released Newark’s Schools: The Facts in an attempt to give some context to the topic. The report is admittedly long, but the story of Newark's schools can't be told in a few talking points.

That said, if I had to boil down what we found, it would be the following:


  • Newark's school system gained significant resource advantages over comparable districts, through the Abbott rulings -- a series of court cases that directed more funds to a select group of disadvantaged New Jersey school districts -- and through the proliferation of charter schools, especially those run by large charter management organizations (CMOs) such as KIPP and Uncommon Schools.
  • Much of the vaunted "growth" in Newark's test outcomes can be explained by the transition from one form of the state test (NJASK) to another (PARCC). Other, similar districts close to Newark showed similar gains in student growth, suggesting Newark wasn't doing anything unique to realize it own modest gains.
  • While Newark's charter schools have resource advantages, they aren't particularly efficient producers of student gains.
  • Newark's high-profile charter schools enroll a fundamentally different type of student than the Newark Public Schools (NPS), the city's public school district. NPS enrolls more special needs students, especially those with costly disabilities. NPS enrolls far more Limited English CONTINUE READING: Jersey Jazzman: The Facts About Newark's Schools: An Update

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Now Where Was I Edition (6/30)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Now Where Was I Edition (6/30)

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Now Where Was I Edition (6/30)

Last week I was on an actual vacation, so I'm still getting back up to speed. Here's what I've got for you to read on  this muggy Sunday.

Michigan's School Choice Mess

Jennifer Berkshire took a road trip to Michigan for the Have You Heard podcast, to see what she could learn about the choice system, the local love for DeVos, and the implication for the nation as a whole. This episode focuses on the inter-district choice system they have out there.

Why Many School Districts Are Being Set Up For Fiscal Failure  

Jeff Bryant takes a look at how some systems have been financially gutted. Good reporting here.

What If Teachers Didn't Focus On Individual Achievement

Some really interesting thoughts about how to use a classroom to lift up a community.

Are Today's Children Developmentally Different  

This is a classic from Nancy Bailey that was making the rounds again this week. Still an important read.

AltSchool Finally Bites Dust 

The high tech personalized learning boutique charter chain has finally devolved into the software company it was always destined to be.

What Actually Helps Poor Students

Another article from a few years back. A meta-study about what actually helps students achieve and-- surprise-- it's not computer software.

Things Education Reformers Still Don't Understand About Tests

Jersey Jazzman lays out in plain English some of the fallacies worked into reformer "news" about test results.

Chalkbeat and TFA Propaganda

Chalkbeat Tennessee published a horrendous piece of TFA-as-savior baloney, and Gary Rubenstein is here to pick it apart.

New Koch and Walton Backed Initiatives  

EdWeek reports on some new players in the reformster advocacy game. Forewarned is forearmed.

About That Marshmallow Test

Another study debunks the famous delayed gratification experiment.

Pay for Success Preys On The Poor

A direct and clear explanation of how some see the pay for success movement turning the poor into financial fodder in the surveillance state.


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Now Where Was I Edition (6/30)





DeVos Backs Corporate Profits Again
If there is one signature feature of a DeVos doctrine, it's that the government should never, ever stand between a business and its revenue stream. That part of the doctrine was on display yesterday as DeVos officially announced her intention to let for-profit colleges do whatever the hell they want. Okay, that may be an overstatement. What she actually did was roll back the Obama-era requirement
Eight Weeks of Summer: Leaders and Followers
This post is week 3 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators. This post will catch me up on this little project. It's an interesting piece of teacher sharing and is also turning out to be a nice antidote to political overload. As always, I'm answering the prompt on behalf of the younger, pre-retirement version of me. How are you both a leader and a follower in your career? Of co
Eight Weeks Of Summer: Influences
This post is week 2 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators. Well, actually, I'm a week late because I was on vacation where the mosquitoes are stronger than the wifi. But I'm going to stick with the exercise anyway, because I find it interesting. Here's the Week #2 prompt. As always, I'll answer for my previous pre-retirement self. What has contributed to the educator you are

JUN 28

Dear Teachers: Don't Make Your Lesson Relevant
When I was getting my teacher training way back in the 1970s, we used to hear a great deal about making our teaching relevant. It took me several years of teaching to figure out why that was terrible advice. And it hasn't ever gone away . It seems to make sense. Connect your lesson on parts of speech to a current popular song. Assign persuasive essays about something the kids are into today. Coul

JUN 20

Five Reasons School Takeovers Fail
At the May 22 meeting of the Florida State Board of Education meeting, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and some board members expressed frustration with the state of Duval County Schools. " At what point do you say, ‘Maybe we should put them in receivership. Maybe we should have legislation that allows us to go over there and take over,’ ” he said. Meanwhile, Ohio is trying to come to gri

JUN 18

We Told You So, Dammit
Over the past two years or so, there has been a steady drip drip drip of apostastic epiphanies among some Reformsters, some of whom have stepped forward to write some version of, "Oops. I think we were probably wring about X." For X, substitute emphasis high stakes testing, treating teachers like the enemy, attempts to impose national standards, education policy dictated by wealthy self-appointed

JUN 17

WV: Did Trump Just Kick Betsy DeVos (plus, Hidden Donor Shenanigans)
Is it hyperbole to suggest, as Huffington Post does , that West Virginia's Senate has gone to war with teachers (again). I'm always reluctant to use combat metaphors, but at a bare minimum, the West Virginia Senate is showing teachers a big fat middle finger. It's not just the Senate is making its third attempt to implement the same policies that prompted two previous teacher strikes. On top of tr

JUN 16

ICYMI: BBQ And Blues Edition (6/15)
Today in our city park you can listen to jazz and blues all day while sampling a variety of barbecue offerings. Now don't you wish you lived near me? In the meantime, here is some reading for you. Remember to share. Better Schools Won't Fix America Another wealthy reformster figures out that ed reform is on the wrong path. She Left The Education Department For Groups It Curbed; Now She's Back Yet

JUN 15

Winners Take All, Education Edition
Every so often you come across a book that unpacks and reframes a part of the universe in a way that you can never unsee. Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas has been a book like that for me. Giridharadas is writing about "the elite charade of changing the world," and while he is taking a broad look at the way the Betters are trying to influence our country and our world, the connections to edu
Winners Take All-- Read This Book (Excerpts)
Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas might be the most important book you read this year. It is not directly aimed at education or education reform, and yet it has everything to do with education form. I 'll address that in a separate post going up the same time as this one . But here I just want to share some important quotes from the book as a means of encouraging you to buy it and read it, b
Eight Weeks of Summer: Professional Growth Plans
This post is week 1 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators . This is a little blogventure put on by hotlunchtray.com; for eight weeks they invite teachers to respond to a prompt about how they actually spend summer. I am a sucker for A) busting the myth that teacher summers are all unicorns and pina coladas and B) a prompt. I am, of course, a retired teacher, but I'm just going

JUN 14

Magical Money And School Choice
Pennsylvania's legislature is currently having Version 2,433,672,127 of the same argument that emerges every five minutes in the places where charter schools and public schools bump up against each other. The PA legislature just passed a suite of charter school bills addressing a variety of issues, but not the single issue that folks on all sides want to have addressed: Absent from all four bills

JUN 13

The Trouble With The College Board's New Adversity Score
The College Board has for years been trying to rescue its floundering flagship, the SAT. The newly announced adversity score is just the latest unforced error from the testing giant. Just keep telling yourself that For almost a decade, the