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Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Unknown Virus: A Personal Story | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

The Unknown Virus: A Personal Story | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

The Unknown Virus: A Personal Story

San Angelo is in West Texas. The county seat between Abilene and the Mexican border. Farms, oil wells, and cattle ranches fenced with barbed wire dot the county. Blessed with a warm climate and reputation as a healthy place to live, in one year San Angelo added to its reputation in ways that city leaders dreaded.*
In mid-spring, the newspaper reported that a local child had come down with a viral disease that had occurred in earlier springs like hailstorms and tornadoes. Previously, when this disease occurred, it had not spread. This one, however, did.
Parents began arriving at Shannon Memorial Hospital with “feverish, aching youngsters in their arms,” the local newspaper reported. Within days these children died: 10 month-old Esperanza Ramirez, seven year-old Billie Doyle Kleghorn, four year-old Susan Barr, and others. The city health officer said that an epidemic was occurring. Because the disease had no known cause or prevention or cure, he recommended that San Angelo children avoid crowds, wash their hands regularly, and get a lot of rest.
A month later, with known cases spiking to over 60, the city council voted to close all indoor meeting places, including theaters and churches. Tourists stopped coming to the city. The economy shrank. One local doctor said, “We got to the point … when people would not even shake hands.”
The year is 1949, not 2020. The disease is polio, not Covid-19.
I got polio in 1944, five years before the epidemic hits San Angelo. But I was CONTINUE READING: The Unknown Virus: A Personal Story | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG CATCH UP NOW - Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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



 Diane Ravitch's blog 

 A site to discuss better education for all

California: Appeals Court Rules That Non-Profit Charter Schools Are Not Exempt from Taxation

This decision was announced on March 11 : Metropolitan News-Enterprise Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Court of Appeal: Nonprofit Chartered Schools Are Not Exempt From County Property Taxes, Assessments By a MetNews Staff Writer The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday affirmed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Monica Bachner’s determination that a nonprofit charter school is not impliedly exempt
Florida: Republican State Senator is Tired of Micromanaging Public Schools While Focusing Only on School Choice

Now here is a refreshing story from Florida. Republican State Senator Tom Lee says he is fed up with the legislature’s micromanagement of education policy. Moreover, he actually noticed that the Legislature spends most of its time on 20% of the state’s students while ignoring the other 80% who attend public schools. “As I talk to members, I don’t think there’s anyone quite where I am yet, but I’m
Florida: House Passes Bill to Protect “Parents’ Rights” vs. School System

The Florida House passed a bill to protect “parents’ rights” against decisions by the school system. The House advanced sweeping, if aspirational, legislation codifying a parent’s “bill of rights” on Monday. The vote in favor was 77-41. The House version (CS/HB 1059), sponsored by Rep. Erin Grall, now includes a technical amendment that reaffirmed parental rights to any type of school (public, pr
Florida: House Rejects Bill to Ban LGBT Discrimination in Voucher Schools

On January 23, the Orlando Sentinel published an investigative report that nearly 160 religious schools receiving public money for vouchers openly discriminated against LGBT students, families, and staff. The Florida House just rejected a bill to make such discrimination in publicly funded schools illegal. To make it plain, the Florida House sent a message to religious schools that it is just fin


Trump Speaks to the Nation from the Oval Office about the Coronavirus

I don’t know about you but I found tonight’s speech by Trump about the coronavirus to be extremely vapid. He praised the response of his administration to the crisis but didn’t say exactly what it was doing in real time. He did not mention the federal government’s failure to supply tests for the virus, which is a critical issue. Every major country in the world is testing more people per day than
Bipartisan Senate Votes to Reject DeVos’s Effort to Restrict Debt Relief for Defrauded Students

In a surprising turn, a bipartisan majority of the Senate voted to overturn Betsy DeVos’s rule to restrict debt relief to students who were bilked by colleges that defrauded them. The House already rebuked DeVos and passed the legislation. The bill will go to Trump, who may veto it or sign it. Will he protect Betsy DeVos or the students who were cheated? The Republicans who voted with Democrats w
Teresa Hanafin on the Latest Madness from D.C.

Teresa Hanafin writes the daily “Fast Forward” for the Boston Globe. Here is a part of today’s commentary: The number of reported Covid-19 infections — that’s the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus — has zoomed past 1,000 in the US, doubling just since Sunday. At least 1,050 people in 38 states and D.C. have tested positive; at least 29 people have died. That’s a very high death rate,
Trump Allies Got Virus Tests, But Not the Public

Apparently you have to be a friend of Trump to be tested promptly for the novel coronavirus. All others must stand in line for tests that are seldom available. Two close congressional allies of President Trump underwent coronavirus testing in recent days in apparent defiance of federal recommendations reserving those tests for patients exhibiting symptoms of infection — and amid growing concerns
Happy Birthday, Mary Shelley and Ezra Jack Keats!

Garrison Keillor included these birthday notes today in his daily “Writer’s Almanac,” which is online and free. It was on this day in 1818 that Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein was published (books by this author). Two years before she had spent the summer in a cabin on Lake Geneva with her lover, Percy Bysshe Shelley, her sister Claire, and Claire’s lover, the poet Lord Byron. It rained a lot t
Oklahoma: When Public Money Goes to a Charter School, Does the Money Belong to the Public?

EPIC virtual charter school is locked in a battle with state auditors over the question of whether public money belongs to the public or to the owners of the school. Face-Off Between Epic, State Centers on Controversial ‘Learning Fund’ EPIC is a charter school but it’s defense is that it is a private business, not a public agency. How refreshing! The story: The state is drawing a hard line: Publi
Oklahoma: EPIC Charter Graduates Zip Through Classes but Are Not College Ready

Online charter schools are an “epic” fail, as proved by the disaster of the EPIC online charter school in Oklahoma. Here is the latest EPIC story: Like many teenagers, Maggie Waldon caught a sort of senioritis halfway through a traditional high school. She was ready to be done. With two years left, she enrolled in Epic Charter Schools, the Oklahoma City-based online public school that is now one
Another Study: Students Experience Academic Decline in Virtual Charter Schools

I have posted repeatedly here about the dismal academic results of virtual charter schools. Students have high attrition rates, low test scores, and low graduation rates. This finding has been reported again and again. In 2015, CREDO at Stanford said that students lose almost a year of learning in math when they attend virtual charter schools . In many states, the virtual charters are the state’s
New York: Cancel the State Tests NOW!

A reader made this sensible proposal. In the midst of a public health crisis, with various schools and districts closed, the state tests should be cancelled. The writer says: Here’s something else that must be cancelled: NYS 3-8 ELA and Math tests set to start in two weeks. I called NYSED today to share my concern about testing amidst a health emergency. The kind gentleman on the phone said I sho

Gary Rubinstein Debunks TFA Claims of “Turnaround Schools” in Baltimore

For a few years, Gary Rubinstein was our nation’s leading debunker of “miracle school” claims. He found that the so-called miracle schools usually had high attrition rates but somehow forgot to mention them or some other manipulation 
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