Latest News and Comment from Education

Friday, November 22, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: Booker Returns To The Corporate Fold

CURMUDGUCATION: Booker Returns To The Corporate Fold

Booker Returns To The Corporate Fold

On Monday of this week, Cory Booker went full charter school in an op-ed for the New York Times, a choice that made a little more sense when I looked at my Wednesday e-mail from Whitney Tilson.

Whitney Tilson is a successful hedge funder who started Democrats for Education Reform mostly because at that point, Republicans for Education Reform would have been unnecessary. The GOP was already behind the idea of privatization; it was the Dems who needed a push in that direction. In some states, actual Democrats have repudiated the D in DFER, and since Betsy DeVos became the public face of so many of their favorite policies, they've been struggling for Democrat leverage. Look for them and their friends every time you hear of a poll that shows how much Real Democrats love charter schools.

Cory Booker was a hot young star and a friend of DFER, so things were looking good. But then suddenly the 2020 election actually involved more education discussion than just thirty seconds about universal pre-K, and Booker's close ties to charters and, yes, Betsy DeVos, were looking like an obstacle.

Apparently, Booker has decided to just lean into charter support. Monday's op-ed was a compendium of the usual pro-charter baloney. Students are trapped in zip codes with bad schools; this is not baloney, but the idea that we should let some privatized amateurs rescue a few of those children instead of investing resources in the improvement of the public schools-- well that is CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Booker Returns To The Corporate Fold

New Episode! Parenting After Prison – Parenting for Liberation

New Episode! Parenting After Prison – Parenting for Liberation

New Episode! Parenting After Prison

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In this week’s podcast, Trina talks with Matthew Arlington, who is currently interning with Parenting for Liberation through his program at California State University Fullerton. Matthew is a father who was formerly incarcerated during the early stages of fatherhood. This episode focuses on the hardships associated with parenting while incarcerated and methods to overcome those barriers. Trina also explores how Matthew has adjusted to parenting after prison and his parenting methods. Lastly, Matthew and Trina reflect on parenting strategies for raising our children with a liberated mind set. 
Key Points Discussed in this Episode:
  • Approximately, 10 million children nationwide have a parent who has been incarcerated
  • The importance of communicating with your child while incarcerated
  • “Get on the bus” is a California based program that was developed by the Center of Restorative Justice Works, which transports families to and from prisons for visitations on Mother’s and Father’s Day.
  • The importance of and open communication with your children after release from prison to build bonds of trust. 
  • Recognizing the inequality that still exist in society and how to teach our children how to live according to law with a sense of empowerment and love for themselves.
  • Friends Outside”, a Los Angeles based organization that provides resources to ex-convicts to help them transition back into society and family life. 
  • Project Rebound”, a program located on most CSU campuses that provides assistants to ex-convicts in enrollment and other resources needed when returning to school.

Announcing the RISE Award for Classified School Employees - Blog

Announcing the RISE Award for Classified School Employees - Blog

Announcing the RISE Award for Classified School Employees

We’re excited to announce the inaugural competition of the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award to spotlight classified school employee’s outstanding contributions to quality education in the United States.
Classified school employees include paraprofessionals, clerical and administrative services, transportation services, food and nutrition services, custodial and maintenance services, security services, health and student services, technical services, and skilled trades. They offer essential services to the school community and play a vital role in providing for the welfare, safety, and success of students.
Beginning in 2020, the U.S. Department of Education invites the governor of each state and the chief executive of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas to nominate up to two classified school employees. Governors’ offices determine their process for selecting up two nominees by November 1 annually. They may be part- or full-time employees serving early learning to high school populations in public or private schools.
Nominees must, at a minimum, demonstrate excellence in all of the following:
(A) Work performance
(B) School and community involvement
(C) Leadership and commitment
(D) Local support (from co-workers, school administrators, community members, etc., who speak to the nominee’s exemplary work)
(E) Enhancement of classified school employees’ image in the community and schools.
The Department will announce and communicate a single national selectee’s story in order to inspire excellence and innovative practices among classified school employees. The Department encourages states to honor their state selectees and runners-up as well.
Individuals interested in nominating or applying should contact their governor’s office to inquire as to the state-specific process. Governor office program administrators may contact with any questions and to indicate a state’s plans to participate.  More information is available here.
Announcing the RISE Award for Classified School Employees - Blog

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

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

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

Will Bunch: Why Bloomberg Cannot Win

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially entered the Democratic primaries . He will skip the first four primaries and join the race on Super Tuesday, focusing on the states holding their primaries then. One of the world’s richest men, with a net worth estimated by Forbes to be $53 billion, Bloomberg is positioned to be a force to counter the candidates who emerge from the first four nomi
Great Hearts Charter Schools Target Middle-Class and Affluent Students

The original idea behind charter schools was that they would help the neediest, most disadvantaged students, including those who were disengaged or failing in their public schools. Some charters have been criticized for selecting the most compliant students. One charter chain stands out for ignoring the neediest, the poorest, the most disadvantaged: Great Hearts. This charter chain was repeatedly
Carol Burris and Kevin Welner: In Defense of Warren’s K-12 Plan

After Elizabeth Warren released her bold K-12 education plan, with massive funding increases for poor students (Title1) and for students with disabilities, the charter lobby reacted with outrage because she also announced that she would eliminate the federal Charter Schools Program. The CSP has been not only wasteful and ineffective but has been used by Betsy DeVos as her personal slush fund, to
Parents: Beware of the Mind Trust!

The Mind Trust is funded by billionaires to advocate for privatization of public funds and public schools. Now it is going after parents. Of course, the best person to make the case to parents is an education entrepreneur. Dear Friends, I deeply believe that those most impacted by systemic injustice are also the people who are best positioned to lead the fight to create a more just and equitable


Breaking News! Pennsylvania Voucher Bill Blocked, for Now!

You read it here first. It has not appeared online. Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Turzai did not have the votes to bring his voucher bill up for a vote. Your emails, phone calls, and letters made a difference! Stay alert! He may bring his zombie bill back in the future. The Network for Public Education Action Fund will keep watch.
Legal Organizations Join to Support Education Equity and Rights

This is good news for everyone who cares about the constant encroachment of Big Money and Dark Money into American education. The school choice movement has been an effort to substitute changes in school governance for equitable and adequate funding. Diverting funding from public schools to support charters and vouchers injures the vast majority of students, who are enrolled in public schools. Ab
Watch Fiona Hill Testify: She Is Riveting!

Dr. Fiona Hill, the government’s top Russia expert, was born in England, the daughter of a coal miner. She said in introducing herself that if she had stayed in England, her accent would have marked her and her opportunities would have been limited. She didn’t mention it, but in the US, her British accent makes her sound upper-class, not a coal miner’s daughter. Her testimony was, to me, the most
Oakland: Stop the School Closings! Students Need Stability!

School closings in Oakland are accelerating. These closures disproportionately affect the lives and well-being of black and brown students. They need stability, not disruption and constant churn. Black communities across the nation have suffered disinvestment in their communities because of school closings. Reply-To: “Kwesi Chappin, Color Of Change” > Tell Acting School Boa
Massachusetts: Legislature Unanimously Passes $1.4 Billion for Education

Both houses of the Massachusetts legislature unanimously passed a major funding bill f or education, directing $1.5 billion mainly to the neediest districts. Massachusetts has long had the most successful public schools in the nation. The state is poised to build on its record of success. The majority of the $1.5 billion set aside in the bill will go to lower-performing and underfunded school dis
Angie Sullivan: Nevada Must Increase Education Funding by $1 Billion!

Angie Sullivan regularly writes blast emails to every member of the state legislature and to the state’s journalists. Here is her latest: CCEA members voted at a General Meeting yesterday to raise dues. Those teacher union dues will be used to campaign for a billion dollars. Yes, billion. Yes, dollars. We need to think big to win big. Teachers need those funds to fund class-size reduction. We nee

Bill Phillis: It is Wrong for Ohio to Require Public Schools to Pay for Transportation Costs of Charters and Vouchers

Bill Phillis asks a reasonable question: Why should public schools in Ohio be required to take money from their budget to pay the transportation costs of charters and vouchers? School district transportation costs increase with the 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

CURMUDGUCATION: The Waltons Try To Disrupt Elizabeth Warren

CURMUDGUCATION: The Waltons Try To Disrupt Elizabeth Warren

The Waltons Try To Disrupt Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren was in Atlanta at Clark Atlanta University to talk to black voters, when the rally was disrupted by a group of charter school supporters, angry about the hard line stance Warren has staked out on the charter school industry.

The group of grass roots charter supporters had, they said, "come from all over the country," and if that doesn't send up a little red flag, then perhaps their perfectly matching t-shirts and signs might.

Intercept reporter Ryan Grim was there, and with some interviewing and online searches, he unraveled the whole thing pretty quickly in a series of tweets that are collected in this write-up.

The group said they raised money on GoFundMe, which turned out to be true-- however, the funding was stacked with  anonymous $1,000 donors.

The group is Memphis Lift Parent Institute, Sarah Carpenter is the founder and chief exec, but she didn't do it alone. The group was aided by Strategy Redefined, a Nashville education consulting firm, and Natasha Kamrani, head of Tennessee's chapter of Democrats for Education Reform and the wide of Chris Barbic, the original head of Tennessee's ill-fated Achievement School District. Grim says that the group is 100% funded by the Waltons; published reports say they've given Memphis Lift $1.5 million since 2015. Since their 2017 filing shows $375, 200, with $200 coming from public CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: The Waltons Try To Disrupt Elizabeth Warren
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