Saturday, December 12, 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

Florida: Leader of Closed Charter School Indicted for Embezzlement
The leader of Paramount Charter School in Broward County, now closed, was indicted for theft of federal funds. The school opened in 2015, promising to provide an education that would meet “the highest academic and personal standards.” Didn’t happen, say parents. After compiling a terrible academic record, the school closed in 2017. Shauta Freeman, who said she sent three children there from 2015
Teresa Thayer Snyder: What Shall We Do About the Children After the Pandemic
Teresa Thayer Snyder was superintendent of the Voorheesville district in upstate New York. She wrote this wise and insightful essay on her Facebook page. A friend sent it to me. Dear Friends and Colleagues: I am writing today about the children of this pandemic. After a lifetime of working among the young, I feel compelled to address the concerns that are being expressed by so many of my peers ab


Breaking News! U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Texas Effort to Overturn Election!
CNN reports that the Supreme Court will not hear the demand by the Texas Attorney General and 16 other Republican state attorneys general seeking to overturn the voting results in key battleground states. On Monday, the Electoral College will meet and confirm that Joe Biden will be our new President, #46.
To Joe Biden: Save America’s Children from “Poisonous Pedagogy”
Peter Handel writes at Truthout that President-Elect Biden must change education policy if he wants to heal the nation. By his choice for Secretary of Education, Biden must acknowledge the damage done to America’s children by the high-stakes testing regime of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Bush’s law and Obama’s program were kissing cousins; both were disasters that hurt the most vulne
Nancy Bailey: Children Are Suffering Anxiety and Depression at Record Rates
Nancy Bailey writes here about the stress on children that is contributing to alarming rates of stress, anxiety and depression. Certainly the anxiety caused by the pandemic causes stress. And many children have experienced deaths among those in their family or among friends. But there are longer term causes of the mental health problems among children, such as the absurd pressure to get ever high
Thomas Ultican: The EdTech Foxes Are Inside the Biden Henhouse!
Thomas Ultican has written a series of posts about attacks on public schools and their federal, state, and local funding streams. During this awful pandemic, most parents, teachers, and students have recognized that depersonalized remote learning is no substitute for real teachers. Nonetheless, the edtech industry continues to promote its products, which in most cases are intended to substitute f
Per Kornhall: The Great Swedish Child Experiment: A Failure
Per Kornhall is a widely published Swedish scholar of education. He wrote this post for the blog. Sweden and Chile are the two nations that decided to introduce privatization into significant parts of their national school system. The results are alarming. Since the same free-market forces are at work in the United States, it is important to follow events and trends in those nations. The school e

DEC 10

FOX News, WSJ Are Shocked, Shocked that Biden Might Appoint a Leader of a Teachers’ Union as Secretary of Education
FOX News and the Wall Street Journal–both owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation–express shock and astonishment that President-Elect Joe Biden might appoint Lily Eskelsen Garcia as Secretary of Education. The Wall Street Journal article is here , where WSJ editorial board member William McGurn is taken aback that Biden would do such a thing: Everyone has understood that a Biden Education Depa
Guiliani Leaves Hospital After Receiving Special Treatment
James Hohmann reports that Guiliani received the same special treatment as Trump and was released from the hospital. Since he recovered so easily, he still opposes mask mandates. Wednesday was one of the deadliest days in American history, as the coronavirus killed 3,140 people. This is 673 more Americans than the Japanese massacred in their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. It is more than twice the
FAIR: Why Is the New York Times Cheerleading to Reopen Schools?
The organization Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting writes that the New York Times has become a “cheerleader” for reopening the schools as the COVID surges to new heights. it is strange indeed because there is evidence to support reopening and equally impressive evidence against reopening schools. Yet the New York Times consistently lands on one side: reopen the schools. Ari Paul of FAIR writes: We
Suspend High-Stakes Testing for Spring 2021! Add Your Name!
FAIRTest and other assessment reform allies call on the new Biden administration to suspend high-stakes standardized testing this spring. Please add your name to their petition! Open the link to add your name to this petition. To: U.S. Secretary of Education and state education policymakers From: [Your Name] We call on the U.S. Department of Education to waive provisions of the Every Student Succ
SomeDAM Poet: Education Needs Variation, Not Standardization
Those who seek to apply business thinking to education make a huge error. SomeDAM Poet, a regular commenter, cites the work of the brilliant education scholar Yong Zhao, who has consistently argued that progress and creativity rely on diversity, not standardization. This is, for example, a fundamental flaw of the Common Core, which claims without evidence that the imposition of national standards
Jan Resseger: Good News Before Christmas
Jan Resseger writes about two pieces of good news for the holiday season. First, Betsy DeVos extended the moratorium on student loan repayments from Dec 31 to January 31. This is a big breat for the many millions of students struggling to make ends meet. Thank you, Secretary DeVos, for giving extra time to the students. The Biden administration is likely to extend the moratorium as it figures out

DEC 09

Florina Rodov: Why I Stopped Teaching in a Charter School
Journalist Florina Rodov taught for several years in a New York City public schools, but she was turned off by the testing craze and the paperwork. Then she heard about these remarkable new schools called “charter schools.” She heard they were academically superior, safe, free of the bureaucracy of public schools, and she applied to work in a charter school in Los Angeles. The principal told her
Andy Hargreaves: After the Pandemic, Austerity or Prosperity?
Noted education scholar Andy Hargreaves questions the alternatives that are likely to follow the end of the pandemic: Will government impose deep cuts and austerity, or will they recognize the importance of funding better education for all students? He poses the choice in this abstract of his paper: One looming possibility is an onrush of austerity, deep cuts to public education, financial hardsh
Oakland School Board Election: Money Can’t Buy Everything
Ken Rice was an elected member of the Oakland Unified School District from 1997-2000. That was before the billionaire disrupters decided to take control of Oakland and turn it into their own petri dish for “reform” (i.e., privatization). Rice wrote the following description of the recent school board election, in which grassroots organizations stood together and beat the candidates of the out-of-
Jeff Bryant: What Is Worse Than DeVos?
Jeff Bryant writes that while we were all celebrating the pending departure of Betsy DeVos, the usual suspects were buying control of local school board elections . We are all aware of her efforts to direct federal funding to private schools and charter schools. But, he warns, we should pay attention to the “threat to democratically governed schools that preceded DeVos and will continue when she

DEC 08

Sonali Kolhatkar: Will Biden Reunite My Family?
Trump slammed the door on immigrants, not just those without papers, but those who were vetted and approved. Sonali Kolhatkar is a journalist, talk show host, and activist in California. She expected to bring her parents from India, but Trump blocked their entry. Now she hopes that Biden will open the door to legal immigration. She writes: In April 2020, just as I was putting together the final s
Caroline Guiliani Offers Self-Care Tips for Those Who Accept Reality and Concede Defeat
Caroline Rose Guiliani offers thoughtful tips about self-care for those who acknowledge that TrumpWorld will no longer inhabit the White House. She clearly has her father Rudy and his client Donald Trump in mind in this article in Vanity Fair. It is very funny. Here are two of her excellent suggestions: Adopt a stray. Please, just treat it better than Trump has treated his lapdogs: William Barr,
Tim Schwab: Is Bill Gates Undermining Public Health Data?
Tim Schwab has written several articles about the Gates Foundation and its negative effect on freedom of the press, education, and every other arena where it exercises an outsize influence because of its disproportionate power. When Melinda and Bill Gates make mistakes, they seldom apologize or make amends. They usually blame someone else or simply double down. In education, we have certainly see
Breaking News! Oklahoma Gov. Stitt Removes New Member of State Board of Education
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt accepted the resignation of Melissa Crabtree, whom he appointed four days earlier. Crabtree is a home-schooling parent who has vociferously opposed any mask mandate . She was selected to replace Kurt Bollenbach, also appointed by Stitt, who wanted to claw back millions from a for-profit virtual charter and who believed that students should wear masks in school. Bolle

DEC 07

Frank G. Splitt: The Legacy of Trumpism
Frank G. Splitt is an esteemed engineer who recently celebrated his 90th birthday. He writes from the perspective of many years of experience and knowledge. By Frank G. Splitt December 3, 2020 The Trump Presidency The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly The experience is shattering. How much stupidity! What delusion among such cultured and actually clever people! Just unconditional belief in the F├╝hrer,
The CEO of Dominion Voting Systems Answers Trump Campaign Claims
John Poulos, the founder, president, and CEO of Dominion Voting Systems responded to allegations of fraud by the Trump campaign in this article in the Wall Street Journal. Various spokespeople for the Trump campaign have asserted that the Dominion voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Biden, that the machines were designed by someone in the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela, that Dominion was
More than Half the Funds in CARES PPP Went to 5% of Recipients
The Treasury Department administered the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program, which was supposed to hand out more than $600 billion to small businesses. Stephen Mnuchin kept much of the information secret but had to release the full list of recipients in response to media Freedom of Information Act suits. We know that charter schools, private schools, and religious schools collected huge sums
Steven Singer: “The Silence of Our Friends” is the Worst Part of the Pandemic
Steven Singer has written eloquently about the rush to reopen schools without heed to the safety of teachers. Trump and DeVos have urged schools to reopen without lifting a finger to supply the funds needed to reopen safely. Others have jumped on any statistic that encourages reopening, without regard to the safety of staff. Singer says that teachers will remember those who forget about their saf

DEC 06

The Grinches of Georgia
The Republican Senators of Georgia are accused of unethical financial transactions, using their insider knowledge to buy and sell stocks during the pandemic.
Associated Press: The Best Photographs of the Year
This is a fascinating collection of the best photographs of the year taken by AP photographers. Coronavirus figures mightily. The images of the year from around the world remind us of an annus horribilus.
Oklahoma: Governor Stitt Appoints Home-Schooling Anti-Masker to State Board of Education
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt kicked his own appointee off the State Board of Education who made the terrible error of trying to claw back millions from a for-profit charter school and supported a mask mandate in all public schools. Gov. Kevin Stitt abruptly replaced one of his own appointees to the Oklahoma State Board of Education this week. Kurt Bollenbach of Kingfisher, who was appointed in A
Tennessee: Why Do Failed Reforms Survive, Only to Fail Again?
In 2012, Tennessee created the “Achievement School District” (ASD) and promised that it would catapult the state’s lowest performing schools into high-performing schools. So confident were state leaders that they hired Chris Barbic, who ran a celebrated charter chain in Houston, and he was confident that the state’s weakest schools could be transformed within five years by handing them over to ch
Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Scheider: What Betsy DeVos Accomplished
Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider have written a valuable new book called A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School. They recently published an opinion article in The New York Times in which they demonstrate the role of Betsy DeVos in the “school reform” movement. They point out that Congress rejected her primary policy goal–sending public fu

DEC 05

Podcast: How Success Academy Charters Violate Their Students’ Rights
Leonie Haimson is host of a weekly radio program on WBAI, a Pacifica radio station. In this podcast, she discusses “How Success Academy Charters Violate Their Students’ Civil, Educational, and Privacy Rights.” The show focused on Success Academy charters, NYC’s largest charter school chain, which has repeatedly violated students’ civil rights while becoming known for high test scores and high sus
Tom Ultican: When Tech Philanthropists Support EdTech, Beware!
Tom Ultican discovered a fascinating study of tech philanthropists and their self-serving gifts. Gates, Zuckerberg, and other tech giants are “giving” in a way that supports their self-interest. The study that Ultican reviews is “ Education, Privacy, and Big Data Algorithms: Taking the Persons Out of Personalized Learning ,” by Priscilla M. Regan and Valerie Steeves. They argue: “We argue that, a
Teacher Burnout in the Pandemic
The New York Times published an article recently by Natasha Singer–one of the best reporters on education issues in the Times –about the toll that the pandemic is taking on teachers. An extraordinary number say the burden of teaching remote classes and in-person classes is not sustainable. Large numbers of teachers are planning to retire, or have retired. All this fall, as vehement debates have r
Trump Loses Six More Court Cases
Trump’s legal team lost six more court cases Friday, even as he continued to insist that he had won the election. Even judges appointed by Trump have rejected his claims of fraud, presented without evidence, in Arizona, Georgia, 

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