Saturday, November 7, 2020

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

A site to discuss better education for all

Arizona: Voters Approve Tax on Rich to Fund Public Schools
#Red4Ed is still producing results in Arizona! Voters approved a measure t o raise the taxes of the wealthiest by 3.5% for the benefit of public schools. Proposition 208 passed with 52% of the vote. It will produce nearly $1 billion annually for public schools. Fifty percent will be used to raise teachers’ salaries. The “YES” vote on Prop. 208 will impose a 3.5% income tax surcharge on taxable an
Robert Kuttner: Can We Make a Deal to Get Trump Out Sooner than January 20?
Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect is worried about the period from now until the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20. He thinks Trump might find a happy refuge in Hungary or the Philippines. I would recommend North Korea, where Trump would get a hero’s welcome and could launch a new career developing waterfront property and hotels. Trump: The Art of the Deal Once Donald Trump accepts th
Pastors for Texas Children on the Election Results
The Network for Public Education is allied with Pastors for Texas Children. PTC has been a courageous leader in the fight for our public schools and against privatization. The leader of PTC wrote the following statement: Statement from Reverend Charles Foster Johnson on the 2020 Elections Pastors for Texas Children extends a hearty congratulations to all those elected and re-elected to serve our
David Dayen: Will There Be a Stimulus Bill?
As always, David Dayen of the American Prospect is a good guide to the inner world of Washington, D.C., politics. In this post, he explains what’s happening during the lame duck session of Congress. As you will learn, Mitch McConnell is calling the shots. He doesn’t care what Trump wants; he is history.
DFER Names Its Candidates for Secretary of Education
Chalkbeat reports that the privatizers at “Democrats” for Education Reform have identified their candidates for Biden’s Secretary of Education . They are three big-city superintendents who have worked harmoniously with charter schools. DFER is an organization of hedge fund managers and financiers who are supporters of charter schools, merit pay, high-stakes testing, and value-added evaluation of
Chicago Public Schools to Reopen After Installing Air Purifiers
Chicago Public Schools are ready to open, according to officials . CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools said classrooms are ready for students and teachers to safely return Wednesday after the district installed air purifiers and took other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Last month, the Chicago Teachers Union said neither teachers nor students should return to class because school buildi

NOV 05

Would Mitch McConnell Destroy Biden’s Presidency?
Paul Waldman, a regular columnist for the Washington Post, lays out a nightmare scenario in which Senate Majority Leader McConnell stifles Biden’s presidency. It now looks likely that on Jan. 20 of next year, Joe Biden will become president of the United States. And after the inaugural balls are over that evening, he will take off his tuxedo, put on a scratchy jumpsuit and check into a prison cel
Robert Kuttner: Can Biden Govern with a Republican Senate?
Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect explains the dilemma of divided government: Can Biden Govern With a Republican Senate? It now looks like Biden will squeak through by taking Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. But in the Senate, Republicans will likely have 51 seats. If Mitch McConnell is leader of a Republican majority again, what then? For starters, Biden will have to govern as a more
Los Angeles: Billionaires Buy Control of School Board
Every two years, the future of the Los Angeles public schools hangs in the balance with the school board election. The charter industry’s billionaire backers have consistently funded candidates who will support more charter schools. Twenty percent of the students in LAUSD attend charters; eighty percent of the charter schools have vacancies. In Tuesday’s election, the charter industry competed fo
Ohio: The Cost of “School Choice”
What is the state of Ohio paying for charters and vouchers? From state data and evaluations, we know that neither sector performs as well as the state’s public schools. The legislature likes to fund failure. Bill Phillis, who retired as deputy state superintendent and is expert about school finance, has the answer: Current Cost of School Choice The cost of school choice borne by the state and sch

NOV 04

Arthur Goldstein: Who We Are
Arthur Goldstein, veteran New York City teacher, analyzes what the election says about the country, our fellow Americans, us. He writes: It’s remarkable what Donald Trump gets away with. He can say the most vulgar and offensive things and a America says, “I’m good with that.” He can separate children from their parents. He can send these children back, alone, to Mexico, even if they aren’t Mexica
“A Low Dishonest Decade”–W.H. Auden
W.H. Auden speaks to us, about his time, about our time: September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden – 1907-1973 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Ac
Jeff Bryant: How Bad Leadership Created a Crisis for Public Schools During the Pandemic
Jeff Bryant reports here that too many school districts failed to prepare teachers how to teach remotely , leaving them to improvise. He begins: Michael Barbour, a professor at Touro University California and an expert on K-12 online learning, believes that more than half of the nation’s school superintendents “should be fired.” Improving remote learning would have meant creating spaces for teach
Trump Creates His “Patriotic Education” Commission
Donald Trump, a man who is noted for his ignorance of history, signed an executive order the day before the election to create a “1776 Commission” to establish guidelines for “patriotic education.” The commission was established as a counterpoint to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which told the story of African Americans in the colonies and the nation.
GregB: The Confederacy Won
We won’t know the final results of our national election for days. The volume of mail-in ballots will slow the counting in several states. What we do know is that Trump was not repudiated, despite his lies, despite his crude behavior, despite his poor handling of the pandemic. Reader GregB said this about the election: Conventional wisdom has informed us that when high voter turnout occurs Democr
A Bad Night
Once again, the polls misled us. We were expecting an overwhelming defeat for the incompetent racist-misogynist-xenophobic liar Trump, but it didn’t happen. As of 2:35 am, when I wrote this, the election was undecided. Trump held on to most of the states he won in 2016. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are not decided, although the polls showed comfortable leads for Biden in all three. The b

NOV 03

How To Survive A Knife Attack
Periodically, I post useful information. A few years ago, I offered unsolicited advice about how to buy a generic for what would normally be expensive medicine for canine diarrhea. This is another bit of useful information. How to survive a knife attack.
Flash! Contents of Hunter Biden Laptop Revealed!
Twitter star @CoopMike reports that Hillary Clinton’s emails were discovered on the hard drive of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Mystery solved!
A Delightful Trip Down Memory Lane
Just watch, listen and enjoy!
Our Leading Politicians Strut Their Stuff
This is a funny, silly video. I think you will laugh. I did.
The Dog Who Thought He Was a Horse
Enjoy this delightful video!
A Person Born in 1900 Experienced These Events…
This short video provides perspective on where we are today. The long view….
Trump and the Wizard of Oz
SomeDAMPoet wrote the following to explain Trump. As I was typing the headline, I accidentally wrote “Iz” instead of “Oz,” and it then occurred to me that Trump is the Wizard of Id. No filters on his ego or his mouth. SomeDAM Poet: Brain is severed From his tongue We can learn a lot about Trump from the Wizard of Oz. He’s the accumulation of these characters: The scarecrow had no brains, tin man
Enjoy This Spectacular Comedy Trapeze Act
In my endless search for ways to lighten and brighten your days (and mine), I found this wonderful comedy trapeze act. Enjoy!
How to Relax When You Are Stressed Out
This is one of those days when almost everyone is on edge. Today is an incredibly important election, certainly the most important in my lifetime. I have voted in every Presidential election since 1960. This one matters most, because the future of our democracy, our environment, our public schools, our domestic tranquility, is on the ballot.
A Few Beautiful Moments of Dance, for Your Enjoyment
This is a beautiful of 32 talented dancers from around the world performing “Swan Lake.” They are raising money for dancers whose income has been cut off. Each dancer is alone, in isolation caused by the pandemic They give a differe
Is Trump “The Chosen One”?
A friend forwarded the answer to this question. He commented, “This is proof that there is a God.”
Do You Love Animals? You Will Love This Video!
I watched this video several times. I am an animal lover. It made me happy. It will make you happy too!
Johnny Carson’s Singing Dog Contest, 1987
Time for some fun and laughs in the midst of so much bad news.
Doris Day with Good Advice for You
I was stacking the dishwasher one morning when I starting singing this song , which I haven’t heard for many decades. I think you will enjoy it too.
My Plan for Election Day
Millions of people have already voted. I voted on October 29. If you have not yet voted, go to your polling place and do your civic duty. End our national nightmare. So, here is my plan for the rest of the day. Because this is not a normal day, I’m going to do something unusual. Instead of posting about corruption, fraud, privatization, disruption, testing, or other themes with which you are fami

NOV 02

Jan Resseger: What Is at Stake Tomorrow?
Jan Resseger is always worth reading. She thinks deeply about the issues and synthesizes brilliantly. I n this post , she asks and answers what’s at stake in the election tomorrow for our nation’s public schools. She believes that therere is a chance for fresh thinking about how to help schools instead of punishing them. If Joe Biden is elected President, I believe our society can finally pivot a
Texas: Federal Judge Rejects GOP Effort to Toss Out Ballots in Harris County
A federal judge in Texas dismissed the GOP attempt to invalidate 127,000 votes cast at drive-in polling places. The judge was appointed by President George W. Bush. His decision may be appealed. Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said the lawsuit fits a broader pattern of GOP-led lawsuits claiming voter fraud.
Marc Anthony Urges His Fellow Puerto Ricans to Vote
Celebrated singer Marc Anthony was born in New York City. His parents were from Puerto Rico. This is a powerful messag e that shows why Puerto Ricans must vote. I urge you to watch.
Jane Mayer: Why Trump Is Afraid of Losing
Jane Mayer, crack investigative journalist for The New Yorker, writes that Trump is afraid of losing because so many state investigations and lawsuits and debts await him, and perhaps, prison. No American President has ever been charged with a criminal offense. But, as Donald Trump fights to hold on to the White House, he and those around him surely know that if he loses—an outcome that nobody sh
Beware the “Betsy DeVos of Washington State”
Laurel Demkovich writes here about the election in Washington State for state superintendent. The incumbent Chris Reykdal faces a challenger who supports charter schools and vouchers. The Democratic Party is supporting Reykdal, the Republican Party is supporting his opponent, Maia Espinosa. Washington State has no voucher program; it has a small number of charters, established after four state re
David Bentley Hart: What’s Wrong with Socialism?
Writing in Commonweal, David Bentley Hart debunks the myths about socialism. I graduated high school in 1956 and was politically aware during high school and college. I remember McCarthy-style Republicans denouncing every government program as “socialism,” which was the surepath to Communism and Stalinism. I grew up in Texas, where that overheated rhetoric was common. These days, I wonder if we h
North Carolina: Police Use Pepper Spray on Peaceful Black Protestors
This is an outrage. Trump’s Brownshirts harass the Biden campaign, engage in voter intimidation, block major thoroughfares—without penalty. Now this: GRAHAM, N.C. — The voters came in black sweatshirts emblazoned with the mantra of the late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who celebrated “good trouble.” Fists and iPhones raised, they chanted “Black lives matter” and promised
Vote As If Your Life Depends Upon It: It Does
After the 2000 election, which George W. Bush won by a few hundred contested votes in Florida, I was appointed to the National Commission on Federal election Reform. It was completely bipartisan. The co-chairs were former President Gerald Ford and former President Jimmy Carter. It’s report was released in August 2001 . The overriding goals of the commission were to ensure that elections were free
ACLU Sues to Block Voter Suppression in Houston
Republican activists have been trying to invalidate 127,000 votes cast in Harris County (Houston). Their case failed in the state courts. They are now in federal courts, arguing that votes cast at a drive-in location are invalid, even though the sites were approved by the Secretary of State of Texas. ACLU Challenges Effort to Invalidate Nearly 127,000 Drive-Thru Votes Cast in Harris County, Texas
“Give People Light, and They Will Find a Way”
Watch this wonderful commentary on the election and on the future of our democracy. Share it with your friends and family.
Winston Churchill on the Essence of Democracy
The Republican Party and its malign leader Trump are working hard to suppress the vote, calculating that the bigger the turnout, the worse for them. Americans are standing for hours in long lines waiting to exercise their vote. This may be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. Winston Churchill, addressing the House of Commons on October 31, 1944, said: The foundation of all democracy

NOV 01

North Carolina: Why You Should Vote for Jen Mangrum for State Superintendent
I have written in the past about why Jen Mangrum would be a superb State Superintendent in North Carolina. She is an experienced teacher and teacher educator. She knows what teachers need to succeed. She has been endorsed by the state teachers’ association. She is also courageous. In 2018, she ran against the most powerful state legislator, Phil Berger. Now a few words about her opponent, Catheri
Timothy Snyder: This Is Not a Normal Election
Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale and author of the best-selling On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century , explained in Commonweal why this is not a normal election. Please read the entire article, of which the following is an excerpt: In normal times, we might regard any vote as ethical. To participate in an election is to dignify oneself as a citizen with a voice, and t
Betsy DeVos: “Shame”
Betsy DeVos spent her time as Secretary of Education attacking and demeaning public schools. Before she was selected as Secretary, she spent millions of dollars promoting privatization of public funds. As Secretary, she carried forward her lifelong goal to divert public funds to vouchers for religious schools. This is how public parents, grandparents, and graduates will remember her.
Televangelist Warns That if Biden Wins, People Will Start Having Sex with Cattle
A friend who retired from D.C. to Arizona sent me this frightening story. A televangelis t says that if Biden wins, people will start have set with cattle. My friend says they are locking up the cattle, just to be on the safe side.
Bob Shepherd: Can We Survive Kakistocracy?
Polymath Bob Shepherd wonders if our society can survive kakistocracy, the rule of the most ignorant among us. He recalls profoundly dumb things said by Sarah Palin when she ran as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008. Then came Trump, whose ignorance is profound. He writes: Can we survive the likes of Trump? How well I remember Sarah Palin giving a speech, very shortly after she
NBC News Investigates the Hunter Biden Laptop Story
NBC News assigned two investigative reporters to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story. What they discovered was worthy of a James Bond movie (farewell to Sean Connery, the best of the Bonds). NBC investigators Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny pursued the origins of a document that was widely circulated on rightwing media. One month before a purported leak of files from Hunter Biden’s laptop, a fake

OCT 31

Texas: Trump Supporters Blockade Biden Campaign Bus, Forcing Event Cancellation
A Biden campaign bus driving from San Antonio to Austin was surrounded by Trump supporters who slowed it dow n and endangered those on the bus. Some of the Trumpers were armed. They appeared following a call from Don Trump Jr. to show up at Biden-Harris events. In a video ahead of a Friday event by Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, Trump Jr. encouraged his father’s supporters to show up a
George T. Conway III: I Believe the President
George T. Conway III is a conservative Republican who co-founded The Lincoln Project. He is a contributor to the Washington Post, where this satirical column appeared. He writes: I believe , more than ever , in the president. I believe Sleepy Joe Biden and that “ monster ” Kamala D. Harris would turn America into a “ socialist hellhole ,” and we’d all have “ to speak Chinese .” I believe they “ w
The Cast of “Hamilton” Sings: VOTE!
Lin-Manuel Miranda and the original cast of “Hamilton” (not all, but many) have made an excellent video to appeal to young people with this simple message: REGISTER AND VOTE. The best way to vote is IN PERSON, so your vote is certain to be counted. If you can’t get to the polling place in person, vote by mail but vote EARLY.
Jesse Jackson: Black Americans Are Not Fooled by Trump’s Lies
Jesse Jackson wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times that Black Americans will not fall for Trump’s absurd claims about the great things he claims to have done for them. He wrote: If a lie is repeated often enough, the truth may never catch up. Donald Trump understands this better than anyone
Mercedes Schneider: Surviving Hurricanes, COVID, and DeVos
Mercedes Schneider teaches English to high school students in Louisiana. In this post, she describes her triumphs of recent months: one hurricane after another has swept across her state. COVID threatens. DeVos expresses her contempt for public schools and their teachers, like Mercedes. Yet she feels triumphant! Well, Betsy, my public school is a good school, and I am a good public school teacher
Texas Parent PAC: A Model of Action for Every State
Parents in Texas got disgusted 15 years ago when the Legislature almost passed a voucher law. They organized the Texas Parent PAC, which is a highly effective voice on behalf of public schools and more than five million students. The website of Texas Parent PAC has a list of the endorsed 

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