Saturday, November 28, 2020

KEEP UP/ CATCH UP WITH DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG A site to discuss better education for all #REDFORED #tbats #COVID-19 #REOPENSCHOOLSSAFELY

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

A site to discuss better education for all

Trump’s Rush to Cripple the Federal Government
Timothy O’Brien, a biographer of Trump, wrote the following at Bloomberg News: Now that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed Joe Biden’s team to formally begin its transition into the White House, the president is running out of overt ways to disrupt an election he clearly lost 18 days ago. His flimsy and misbegotten lawsuits challenging the vote are all but deflated and he’s been less activ
Happy Birthday, William Blake!
From Garrison Keillor’s “The Writers’ Almanac”:* It’s the birthday of poet and artist William Blake ( books by this author ), born in London (1757). He was four years old when he had a vision that God was at his window. A few years later, he went for a walk and saw a tree filled with angels, their wings shining. He had other visions, too: he saw the prophet Ezekiel sitting under a tree, and angel


Pope Francis: What Would He Say to Our Supreme Court about COVID?
The New York Times published an essay by Pope Francis about the COVID crisis. He seems to disagree with the Supreme Court decision opposing limits on the number of people who may congregate in houses of worship because such limits restrict “freedom of religion.” Pope Francis wrote (in part): With some exceptions, governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, act
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Limits on Religious Gatherings
In a ridiculous 5-4 decision released Wednesday, t he Unitedla States Supreme Court ruled that Governor Cuomo’s limits on the number of people who may congregate in houses of worship are unconstitutional. The deciding vote was that of Trump’s appointee Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Just a few months ago, the same Court ruled that limits on the number of people in religious gatherings were appropriat

NOV 26

Happy, Complicated Thanksgiving!
This is the first time that any of us has experienced Thanksgiving in the midst of a national pandemic. Many people will heed the advice of doctors and cancel their family get-togethers. Others will gather in small groups, hopefully with masks and social distancing. A strange holiday, as will be Christmas and New Year’s. I want to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving and wish you the s

NOV 25

SomeDam Poet: Privatize the Planet
Our blog poet frequently favors with rhyme: Privatize the planet Privatize the planet Plunder it for gain Light the fire and fan it Mine the golden vein Privatize the water Sell it to the poor Privatize your daughter Sell her as a whore Privatize the wildlife Charge a viewing fee Like a Wall Street low life That is what you’ll be
Denver: Turmoil Over Superintendent’s Exit
The superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Susana Cordova, resigned abruptly, and her departure was followed by finger pointing. Denver has been a hot spot for “reformers,” and it’s school board elections attract DFER, “Education Reform Now,” and other big-money donors from out of state. I asked Jeanne Kaplan, a former DPS board member, to explain what’s going on. She sent me her comments and a
Laura Chapman: Who Is Behind the “Read by Third Grade or Be Retained” Campaign?
Laura Chapman recently wrote about the policy of holding third grade students back if they didn’t pass the third grade reading test. One result of this initiative is to raise fourth-grade reading scores on state tests and NAEP. She writes: There is a national read-by-grade three campaign. The practice of holding students back a grade is not new, but in the olden days it was never based on test sc
Los Angeles: Charter School Games the System for More $$$
Parent advocate Carl J. Peterson writes here about a charter school in Los Angeles that figured out to game the system for more money and space. He writes that “Citizens of the World” collects signatures of parents who are not likely to apply for the school and uses them as expressions of intent to enroll. A Facebook post by Jirusha Lopez, the principal of COW’s Hollywood campus, provides some in
Why I Object to the Term “Science of Reading”
As anyone who read my book Left Back (2000) knows, I have long been persuaded of the value of phonetic instruction for early readers. I was a friend of the late Jeanne Chall, who began her career as a kindergarten teacher and eventually became a Harvard professor and the nation’s most eminent reading researcher. Her 1967 book, Learning to Read: The Great Debate, should have ended the reading wars

NOV 24

Marco Rubio Says He Will Oppose Biden’s Cabinet Choices
This afternoon, President-Elect Biden introduced his first Cabinet picks, all of whom are highly qualified and experienced. None is remotely controversial. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that he would oppose them all. One reason he gave was that they had Ivy League educations. On Twitter, one of the many responses was a list of Trump Cabinet members who had gone to Harvard, Yale, and other Ivies. Tr
Kevin Welner: The Urgent De-Vos-Ing of the Department of Education
I recently had the pleasure of reading Kevin Welner’s terrific new Onion-like book, “Potential Grizzlies: Making the Nonsense Bearable.” In tweets, I described Kevin as the Stephen Colbert and Groucho Marx of American education. Kevin and I had fun discussing the book on a Zoom sponsored by the Network for Public Education. ( WATCH: Diane Ravitch in Conversation with Kevin Welner ). Kevin has ple
What Happened to the School in New Orleans That Was First to Desegregate?
You may recall the iconic painting of little Ruby Bridges, a first-grader, who was the first African American student to enroll in a previously all-white segregated school in New Orleans. If you don’t, be sure to read this article, which tells what happened to the William Franz Public School. Three scholars–Connie L. Schaffer, Martha Graham Viator, and Meg White–tell the story. The three are also
What My High School Did for One Student
I am a 1956 graduate of San Jacinto High School in Houston, Texas. The school no longer exists; it is now part of the campus of Houston Community College. When I attended San Jac, it was a thriving community of about 1500 students. Most of the teachers were old-timers. There were many clubs for after-school activities and many sports teams. We were known as the Golden Bears. As a senior, I was ed
To Test or Not to Test, That Is the Question
Everyone seems to have an opinion about whether the mandated federal tests should be administered this spring. When the pandemic was first acknowledged last March, Betsy DeVos offered waivers to states that wanted to suspend the testing. Although Biden has publicly expressed disdain for standardized testing, there has been no hint of whether he will appoint a Secretary of Education with instructi

NOV 23

The Most Outrageous Effort to Overturn an Election in U.S. History
Political reporter David Sanger wrote a fascinating analysis of Trump’s attempt to reverse the results of the election. Trump lost the electoral college; Biden won 306 votes, surpassing the necessary 270. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly six million votes. He obviously forgot that he swore an oath on the Bible to defend the Constitution. He is actively subverting it. David Sanger wrote: Pres
Philadelphia: Former Chief Financial Officer of Charter School Charged with Huge Embezzlement
The former chief financial officer of a now-closed charter school in North Philadelphia was charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the school for which he was responsible. The school is now closed. The money was diverted from teachers, their pensions, and from students. A former employee of a now-closed North Philadelphia charter school has been charged with embezzling more
Peter Greene: Betsy DeVos’s “Voucherland”
Peter Greene describes Betsy DeVos’s vision of education as provided by the marketplace. He calls it “Voucherland.” DeVos has long argued that she puts students and families over institutions, but that appears to only apply to public institutions. Students who are not straight, not white, not Christian, and not without special needs—and their families—are on their own in a privatized education ma
Missouri: Leaders in St. Louis County Say “No” to New Charter School
Elected officials in St. Louis County, which has no charter schools, are upset that the state legislature has voted to give them a new charter school, against their wishes. Their efforts to improve the struggling Normandy district will be undermined by the charter school. If you recall, Michael Brown (the teen who was shot and killed in Ferguson, leading to national protests), went to school in t

NOV 22

Justin Parmenter: Don’t Blame Educators Who Get COVID
Justin Parmenter, an NBCT teacher in North Carolina, published this article in the Charlotte Observer. As COVID-19 rates skyrocket in North Carolina and more educators lose their lives to the virus, an unmistakable trend is starting to emerge: school districts falling all over themselves to claim the infected employee didn’t get the virus at work. When Stanly County teacher Julie Davis died last
Burbank: Parents and District Debate Banning Books
The school district of Burbank, California, is embroiled in a bitter debate about book banning. The books in questions are about racism , and black parents are complaining that the books are racist. Among the books that parents want removed are: Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , one of the most censored books in American literature; Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird ; Mildred D.
Mercedes Schneider Reviews Douglas Harris’s Book About New Orleans
Mercedes Schneider reviewed Douglas Harris’s book Charter City in Commonweal . As a teacher in Louisiana and a close observer of the politics of education, Schneider is well positioned to assess the claims on behalf of the all-charter NewOrleans district. Harris is a respected economist who heads the Education Research Alliance at TulaneUniversity, which received a $10 million grant from the U.S.
President-Elect Biden: Keep Your Promises!
During the campaign, Joe Biden made clear commitments to support community public schools. He promised transparency and accountability for privately managed charter schools, as well as a ban on federal funding for charters operated for profit. He also unequivocally took a stand against standardized testing in a public meeting with hundreds of educators in Pittsburgh. NPE board member Denisha Jone

NOV 21

Charles Foster Johnson Is Hopeful about Biden Administration and Education
Our friend and ally, Dr. Charles Foster Johnson, recently gave an interview in which he expressed his optimism about the incoming Biden administration. Dr. Johnson is leader of Pastors for Texas Children, which fights privatization and supports public schools. He has opened nine state affiliates, the latest one in Alabama. He is a champion of public schools and teachers and students. He understan
Jan Resseger: Ohio Legislature Slips Through More Voucher Legislation
Jan Resseger writes that the Ohio Legislature is up to its familiar tricks. While no one was looking, it passed more voucher legislation, again brazenly violating the state constitution, which requires public funding of public schools and forbids public funding of private schools. Let us not forget that former Governor John Kasich was instrumental in this violation of the public trust. Five years
In the Public Interest: Beware the Privatization Racket!
The nonpartisan “In the Public Interest” keeps close watch on privatization across all sectors, including education. Corporate interests are preying on the public sector, looking to extract profit from our public dollars. Be vigilant! Sign up to receive newsletters from ITPI. Students are flocking to poor-performing online charter schools, straining public school budgets. Superintendents in Penns
Report from South Carolina: Rasheem and LaRonda
Arnold and Carol Hillman were educators in Pennsylvania. They retired to South Carolina and, instead of golfing and relaxing, they became involved with rural public schools. They created clubs for high school boys and girls and helped steer their kids towards college. I wrote about their work with 

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