Saturday, January 18, 2020

KEEP UP/ CATCH UP WITH DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG A site to discuss better education for all

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

A site to discuss better education for all

Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America's Public Schools

Peter Greene: Why the Education Disruption Machine Is Failing

This post by Peter Greene appeared in Forbes, where he is now a regular contributor, explaining the real world of education to non-educators. It is Greene’s perceptive review of SLAYING GOLIATH, which will be officially published on January 21. To my delight, he describes this blog as “the Rick’s Cafe” of the Resistance to what is wrongly termed “reform,” but which I have renamed Disruption. Call


Today is the Anniversary of the Worst Constitutional Amendment

Garrison Keillor posted this on his very engaging website “A Writer’s Almanac.” The daily newsletter is delightful, it’s free, and I recommend it. I was chastised by a reader for reprinting anything by Keillor, since he was credibly accused of #MeToo actions. I believe in redemption. I also believe in my freedom to post whatever I want. Keillor writes: It’s the 100 th anniversary of the beginning
What Happened When a 52-Year-Old Navy Seal Was Accepted as a Freshman at Yale?

James Hatch, Navy Seal, applied to Yale University and was accepted as a freshman at the age of 52. He was wary about how he would fit in. Were the students the “liberal snowflakes” he had heard about? Would he be able to do the work expected of a Yale freshman? Read his reflections on his experience. He was amazed, and you may be too. He began: In May of 2019, I was accepted to the Eli Whitney s
John Merrow: Insect-Based Teacher Training, Parts 1 & 2

John Merrow learned about the latest trending idea in teacher training. Give a teacher a script, put a “bug” in his or her ear, and let the teacher follow instructions. This is what he calls “insect-based” teacher training. He decided to visit some schools to find out how it was working. Part 1 begins like this: The latest development in the never-ending struggle to improve teaching involves “A b
ProPublica Exposes The Big Business of Lobbying

ProPublica is one of the most valuable sources of investigative journalism. I send them a regular contribution. They are truly on the side of the public, not the special interests. This is the latest entry in their series called “A User’s Guide to Democracy.” To save our democracy, we have to understand who is using big money to buy influence. Our votes can counter their money, but only if we are
Two Master Bloggers–Peter Greene and Steven Singer–Deconstruct the “National Parents Union”

Two of the best education bloggers in the nation weighed in on the nature and purpose of the new “National Parents Union,” which proudly announced that it would give parents’ “voice” in opposition to the teachers’ unions. Peter Greene asks, “Do You Smell Astroturf?” He provides a detailed history of the well-established “ed reform” credentials of its founders, as well as a scathing letter by a pa

JAN 16

Jennifer Hall Lee: In Pasadena, the Fund-Raising for Schools Reflects the Income Inequality in Society

Jennifer Hall Lee is a parent activist in Pasadena, California. She wrote this article about the different amounts of money available to different types of schools in Pasadena. Remember that one of the goals of American public education is “equality of educational opportunity.” How is this possible when children in public schools do not have access to the resources as children in other kinds of s
Sign Up Now for NPE Action Conference in Philly!

Time to register for the best education conference ever! Meet your allies and leaders of the Resistance! I will see you in Philly March 28-29!
Florida: Are Violent Kids Protected by Law?

The Sun-Sentinel in Florida wrote about the problem of “violent students,” who can’t be removed from school because they are protected by law. I hope to hear from Florida teachers about this investigation. In an eight-month investigation, the South Florida Sun Sentinel found that a sweeping push for “inclusion” enables unstable children to attend regular classes even though school districts sever
Gary Rubinstein: The Collapse of the Tennessee “Achievement School District”

Gary Rubinstein has been following the Tennessee Achievement School District since its inception and reporting annually on its failure. The ASD was funded by $100 million from the Obama-Duncan “Race to the Top.” The theory behind the ASD was that students had low test scores because they attended public schools with bad teachers. Take the same students in the same schools, turn them over to chart

JAN 15

Teresa Hanafin: New Evidence on the Ukrainian Affair

Teresa Hanafin, writer of the Boston Globe’s Fast Forward, writes today: Before we review what’s scheduled to happen today at the Capitol re: the articles of impeachment, there is truly stunning new evidence that strengthens the Democrats’ accusations against Trump: Dozens of pages of notes, text messages, and other records that detail the work that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Giu
Maurice Cunningham: Why the Waltons Fund the “National Parents Union”

Maurice Cunningham is a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts who specializes in shining a bright light on Dark Money, the money insidiously inserted into political campaigns under false pretenses, where the donors try to hide their identity. In the instance described below, the identities of the donors are mostly known, so technically it is not Dark Money, but the pur
The “Patriotic Millionaires” Who Want to Pay Higher Taxes

The New Yorke r published a very interesting article about an organization that calls itself Patriotic Millionaires. They want to pay higher taxes because they believe that inequality is a blight on our society. The focus of the article is Abigail Disney, who developed a social conscience in college and has deepened her commitment to social and economic justice. Excerpts: Abigail Disney remembers
Tom Ultican: The Takeover of Providence Public Schools

Tom Ultican, retired teacher of physics and advanced mathematics, is a specialist in the Destroy Public Education movement. In this post, he describes the effort underway to take over the Providence public schools, a tactic that has not worked anywhere else. He begins: November 1, 2019, AngĂ©lica Infante-Green, Rhode Island’s new Commissioner of Education, announced the state was taking over Provi

JAN 14

California: County Board of Education Denies Renewal of Troubled Charter School

The Los Angeles County Board of Education has denied renewal to a troubled charter school in the Inglewood school district. The school has a long history of self-dealing, conflicts of interest, and a mixed academic record. This charter demonstrates that even “non-profits” can be very profitable to its owners. The California Charter Schools Association is on high alert because of a change in state
Gary Rubinstein: More Reform-Funded Nonsense About KIPP Graduation Rates

Gary Rubinstein is the Myth-Buster of the Resistance. He has achieved this eminent position because of his intolerance for hype, propaganda, and lies. In this post, he bust the myth that low-income charter school graduates have a dramatically higher college graduation rate than low-income public school graduates. In fact, he shows, charter school graduates have the same college graduation rate as
Steve Hinnefeld: Indiana’s School Rating System Is Worthless

Steve Hinnefeld is a veteran reporter on Indiana education. In this post, he describes the shift from a simplistic A-F rating system (the one devised by Jeb Bush) to the federal rating system, which includes more factors. The problem with both ratings systems is that they accurately measure student income. The highest rated schools have students with the highest income. The lowest rated schools h
Arizona: Goldwater Institute Sues to Invalidate Regulation of Voucher Money

The far-right Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit claiming that the state has no right to regulate how parents spend their voucher money, the money that is paid by taxpayers. Goldwater says that if the parents misspent the money, it should be refunded to parents so they can try again. The Goldwater Institute, along with the DeVos family and Charles Koch, have sponsored efforts to expand the v
Jersey Jazzman: The Hoax of “Choice”

Jersey Jazzman, aka New Jersey teacher Mark Weber, analyzes the false promises of choice advocates . He demonstrates their repeated claims that charters and vouchers will give poor kids “the same choices” as rich kids. This is nonsense. Wealthy Right-wingers have been trying to destroy public education for decades. This is their latest hoax. The private schools where rich families send their chil

JAN 13

New York: Will Democrats in State Senate Sell Out to Hedge Fund Billionaires?

The New York Daily News reports that lobbyists for billionaires who support charter schools had a cozy meeting with Democrats in the State Senate. Even though pro-public education progressives swept control of the State Senate away from the charter-crazy Republicans in the State Senate, the lobbyists know that money is still green, no matter who is in power. Jeffrey Cook-McCormac, a lobbyist work
Sign Up Now for the Network for Public Education Action Conference in Philadelphia, March 28-29!

Join your friends, allies, and other members of the Resistance in Philadelphia, March 28-29. Now is the time to register!
Sanders Speaks Out for Public Schools and Their Teachers in Florida

Thousands of teachers in Florida are rallying at the state capitol today to demand higher wages and better working conditions. The Republican-dominated legislature has been handing out public monies to charter schools and for voucher programs, but ignoring the public schools that enroll 85% of the state’s students. Several of the key legislators are related to charter operators. Conflicts of inte
Hooray! The Astrology Book Club Recommends SLAYING GOLIATH!

SLAYING GOLIATH will be published one week from tomorrow! I can’t wait for you to read it and send your comments. Meanwhile, the latest kudo came from an unexpected source: LITHUB. Its Astrology Book Club selected SLAYING GOLIATH as one of its annual recommendations . CAPRICORN Diane Ravitch, Slaying Goliath (Knopf, January 21) If you really need something to get done, call a Capricorn. These tou
Arthur Goldstein: Albany Hands Down the New 10 Commandments to English Teachers

Arthur Goldstein, veteran teacher of many decades, thinks he knows a thing or two about teaching English. The State Education Department doesn’t trust him or other English teachers. So they have distributed new mandates about how to teach “advanced literacy” to make sure that he does what he is told. And he doesn’t like it. Frankly, it sounds like Common Core in a new dress. Goldstein writes: For
Larry Lee: The Colossal Charter Mess in Alabama

Larry Lee, native Alabaman, follows the charter confusion in his home state, where the law describes precisely how charter schools should be authorized. But, as Lee notes, the actual process of creating new charters has proceeded with complete disregard for the law, and no one seems to care. Public schools in Montgomery will be replaced by charter schools, but the local board did not agree (the l
Domingo Morel: The State Takeover of Houston Schools Is about Race and Power, Not School Improvement

Domingo Morel is a professor of political science at Rutgers University who has studied school takeovers across the nation. He is the author of Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy. In this post, he describes the proposed state takeover of the Houston Independent School District as a hoax. It is a manufactured crisis. It is a theft of political power, and it is based on race. If the
DeVos Ignores Judge’s Order: Will She Be Punished?

During the Obama administration, Congress passed legislation to protect students who had been defrauded by for-profit colleges. In most cases, the “colleges” made claims about their success in placing their graduates in jobs. As a result of these misleading claims, thousands of students paid for a worthless degree. The Education Department attempted to help them get restitution. The Education Dep

JAN 12

Register Now for NPE Action Conference!

Now is the time to register for the best conference you have ever attended! You will meet the bloggers you read here regularly. You will meet leaders of the Resistance from across the country. You will have to choose among amazing panels. Join me in Philadelphia, March 28-29!
My Book Tour Dates for SLAYING GOLIATH

This is the current (and evolving) list of my speaking engagements in connection with the publication of my new book: SLAYING GOLIATH: THE PASSIONATE RESISTANCE TO PRIVATIZATION AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I am trying not to wear myself out. Ten years ago, I hopped from city to city like a mountain goat. But now I am 81 years old, and my knees are worn out. I have to pace myse
Philadelphia: Principal Says, “My School Needs Support, Not Competition”

Nimet Eren, principal of the public Kensington Health Sciences Academy, runs a public school for 465 students that is open to all and offers four career pathways. Recently the school learned that a new charter would open nearby offering the same program. The principal was told that the competition would “help” her school by providing a “model” of what her school was already doing successfully. Sh
New Hampshire Democrats Again Reject $46 Million for New Charters

A few weeks ago, Democrats in the New Hampshire legislature’s Fiscal Oversight Committee rejected $46 million from Betsy DeVos and the federal Charter Schools Program. The vote was 7-3 on partisan lines. The grant would have doubled the number of charters in the state at a time of declining enrollment statewide. The Republican State Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut, came back to the comm
New York: State Drops “Achieve” as Testing Consultant

The New York State Board of Regents received a grant of $100,000 from the Gates Foundation to hire a consultant to evaluate its testing illness. The Regents hired Achieve, an organization devoted to standardized testing and it’s proliferation. In addition, Achieve was deeply involved in the development of the Common Core. After hearing outrage from constituents, the Regents broke ties with Achiev

JAN 11

Michael Kohlhaas: Charter Leader Embarrassed to Admit That He Took Money from the Waltons and Broad (“Great Public Schools Now”)

Michael Kohlhaas, the blogger who has used the California Public Records Act to obtain emails among charter leaders, the California Charter Schools Association, and their enablers, reveals here what happened when protestors shut down a charter board meeting last March , accusing the charter school of taking money from the nefarious Eli Broad and the Waltons. Broad and Walton have a shell takeover
Waltons and Broad Fund a “Grassroots Parents’” Group

If you believe that any genuine parent organization is funded by the Waltons, Eli Broad, and the City Fund (which was funded by the Reed Hastings, John Arnold, and other billionaires), please contact me at once, as I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you for a reasonable fee. Really! I’ll even print up a gen-u-wine bill of sale! One of the leaders of the National Parents Union, Keri Rodri
Charter Chains Try to Lift College Graduation Rates By Sending Dropouts to Online “College”

The Texas-based IDEA charter chain, along with the Noble Network in Chicago and the Match charter school in Boston, is trying to boost its college graduation rates by encouraging its former students who dropped out of college to enlist in an online college program where requirements are minimal. By partnering with Southern New Hampshire University, which enrolls tens of thousands of students from
Bob Shepherd Reviews “SLAYING GOLIATH”

Bob Shepherd is a polymath, a man of remarkable learning, an author, a scholar, and at the capstone of his career, a classroom teacher. Regular readers of this blog know him as a frequent contributor and a source of wisdom and humor. Here is his review of my new book, SLAYING GOLIATH: THE PASSIONATE RESISTAMCE TO PRIVATIZATION AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS , which will be release

Wisconsin: Taxpayers Angry About Supporting Two School Systems

The Eau Claire County Board was asked to endorse a resolution saluting “School Choice Week,” but homeowners turned out to denounce the loss of money from their public schools that was sent to voucher schools. One after 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all