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Saturday, January 16, 2021

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

A site to discuss better education for all

A Historian of Fascism: What Comes Next?
Timothy Snyder, a historian at Yale University, specializes in the history of fascism, wrote a powerful essay about Trump and his Insurrection for the New York Times. It is called “The American Abyss.” Snyder is the author of the best-selling book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. I urge you to subscribe to the New York Times so you can read this essay and see the powerful ph
In the Public Interest: Betsy DeVos Lives On
The nonpartisan, independent organization called “In the Public Interest” reports on efforts to privatize public services. Its education newsletter is called “Cashing In on Kids.” Here is its latest updates on the DeVos education agenda: Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, an email newsletter for people fed up with the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest . Not
Katherine Stewart: Josh Hawley, Religious Zealot
Katherine Stewart is the nation’s leading chronicler of Christian nationalism and the religious right. Her latest book, The Power Worshippers, is a must-read; I reviewed it in The New York Review of Books. This article appeared in The New York Times. It is an alarming and well-documented analysis of the religious zealotry and intolerance that propels Trumpism. Josh Hawley is competing with the lo
Hiding from the rioters in a secret location away from the Capitol, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appealed to Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) phoned Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter. And Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Trump confidante and former White House senior adviser, called an aide who she knew was standin


Three Heroic D.C. Police Officers Describe the Insurrection
This link will take you to interviews conducted by ABC’s WJLA in the District of Columbia. Three police officers and the chief of the D.C. Metropolitan Police describe what happened on January 6. One of them was dragged out of one of the Capitol entrances and beaten with his own baton. Another was crushed inside a door and nearly had an eye gouged out. They describe a mob that was bent on mayhem
Sara Stevenson: Our “Lord of the Flies” Moment
Sara Stevenson was a middle school teacher and librarian in Austin, Texas, for many years. She wrote this post in response to the current crisis, which reminded her of Lord of the Flies . She begins like this: Several editorialists have compared recent events to the 1954 classic and bane of high school students for decades, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. As a former high school English
Why Amazon Shut Down Right-Wing Site Parler
The New York Daily News published messages released by Amazon to defend its decision to boot the right-wing Parler off its site. Amazon sought to justify its shutdown of Parler on Thursday by sharing with a federal judge several deranged posts from the anti-social network. Amazon attorney Ambika Doran said during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Seattle that the tech giant had no choice but to
Well-Known Hate Groups Participated in the Siege of the U.S. Capitol
ProPublica identified several well-known hate groups that took part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol, including the “Proud Boys,” the “Oathkeepers,” the “Bougaloo Bois,” and other white supremacist groups. Some promised a return to D.C. on January 19. The Anti-Defamation League posted a guide to the leading figures of the white supremacist, anti-Semitic hate groups. This post is a “who’s who”
ADL: The Alt Right and Lite-Right: Naming Names
Donald Trump invited rightwing extremists, white nationalists, and conspiracy theorists into the mainstream. This is his legacy. They used to hover in the shadows or under a rock. No more. People say about the terrorists who stormed the Capitol, “This is not who we are.” Not quite right. These haters are part of who we are. This report from the Anti-Defamation League names names. We will living w
Senator Bernie Sanders on Biden COVID Plan
The office of Senator Bernie Sanders released the following statement about President-Elect Biden’s coronavirus relief plan: BURLINGTON, January 14 — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement regarding President-Elect Biden’s plan to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis: “President-Elect Biden has put forth a very strong first installment of an emergency relief plan t
Biden’s Relief Proposal for Schools and the Economy
President-Elect Joe Biden released his comprehensive plan to control the pandemic and help the economy, families, students, and schools. The attached PDF has the full plan. This is the section that pertains directly to schools. Provide schools the resources they need to reopen safely. A critical plank of President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 plan is to safely reopen schools as soon as possible – so ki

JAN 14

An Epitaph for Donald Trump’s Twitter Account
This is a clever farewell to @realDonald Trump, banished for life from Twitter, at last! As someone said on Twitter in response, how will people know that they have been fired if they can’t read it on Trump’s Twitter feed?
Dana Milbank: The Republican Party Deserves to Die
Dana Milbank writes that the Republican Party deserves to die because so many of its members chose fealty to Trump over loyalty to the country. Even after the failed coup attempt, when their own lives were in danger, they still fought to overturn the legitimate election of Joe Biden and to install Trump for a second term, without having won the election. Trump instigated the coup attempt. Evidenc
Arthur Camins: What Democrats Must Stand For Now
Arthur Camins reviews recent political history as a way to understand how Democrats lost their principles and values. Democrats became the party identified with both civil rights and labor, if tepidly on both counts. However, they never fully embraced a multiracial movement for social and economic justice. Neither movement overcame mutual distrust. Segments of working- and middle-class Americans
Stop the Spring Tests! Support the Children!
Ann Cook, executive director and co-founder of the New York State Performance Standards Consortium, and Phyllis Tashlik, director of the Consortium’s Center for Inquiry in Teaching and Learning, argue in this article in the New York Daily News that the spring testing should be canceled. The Consortium, a group of a few dozen high schools in New York, has an exemption from most state testing and h

JAN 13

Harold Meyerson on Trump’s Second Impeachment
Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect writes here a bout Donald Trump’s historic achievement as the only president in American history to be impeached twice. JANUARY 13, 2021 Meyerson on TAP Impeachment: Second Time Around One of the weirder sentiments expressed by Donald Trump’s Republican defenders during today’s debate on the impeachment resolution was that the Democrats had the chutzpah to
Trump’s Speech on January 6, Annotated
During the debate about impeachment, Trump’s defenders said the speech he gave to a rally on January 6 never encouraged violence and that his words were protected by the First Amendment. The event began at 11 a.m. and was called the “SAVE AMERICA MARCH.” Did he incite violence? Was he responsible for the mob that vandalized the Capitol? Read the speech and reach your own conclusion. This is the v
Washington Post: Rally Organizer Conspired with Three Members of Congress
The Washington Post reported that a leader of the “Stop the Steal” movement collaborated with three members of the Congress. Weeks before a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, right-wing activist Ali Alexander told his followers he was planning something big for Jan. 6. Alexander, who organized the “Stop the Steal” movement, said he hatched the plan — coinciding with Con
Inside the Riot: A Washington Post Video
Washington Post reporter Kate Newsome and photographer Joy Sharon Yi went inside the riot, inside the mob, inside the Capitol. Newsome was shouted at and vilified by protestors when they asked her where she worked. She told them. “F— you! Fake News!” She maintained her calm.
Free! Top Ten Articles from the History of Education Quarterly
From now until February 1, Cambridge University Press is offering free access to the top ten articles that have appeared in the History of Education Quarterly, following a poll of its members. These articles are drawn from sixty volumes of HEQ. Take a look. As Jack Schneider, the editor of the HEQ, and I would attest, the study of the history of education is fascinating.
60 Minutes Interviewed Nancy Pelosi about the Insurrection
This is an informative interview of Nancy Pelosi by Lesley Stahl. During the riot, her staff locked themselves in one of the rooms in her office and hid under a table, fearful for their lives. Pelosi showed the damage done to her office.
A 50-State Analysis of PPP Funding of Charter Schools, Religious Schools, and Private Schools
Good Jobs First has studied the distribution of COVID relief funds in depth. It created a site called COVID Stimulus Watch. It published an article about the depth of corruption in the Trump administration, which distributed COVID relief funds. In this post, the researchers at Good Jobs First reveal the federal funding in the Paycheck Protection Program for all 50 states, distributed to charter s

JAN 12

The FBI Lied: They Knew in Advance
The Washington Post just reported that the FBI had advance warning of the violence on January 6 from one of its offices in Norfolk, Virginia. A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that
Atlanta: Charter Schools Rake in Millions in PPP Funds for “Not-Public Schools”
Ed Johnson, fearless advocate for public schools in Atlanta, obtained a list of the charter schools in that city that received Paycheck Protection Program funding from the first CARES Act. Public schools were not allowed to apply for PPP funding. But charters were, because…they are not public schools! After reviewing the millions in CARES money that went to Atlanta charters, Ed Johnson wrote to m
What Might Have Happened on January 6
Consider what might have happened on January 6, 2021, if the members of the House and Senate had not been evacuated in time. A CNN documentary on Sunday night (“The Trump Insurrection”) showed how close their escape was, as does this timeline in the New York Times. The Senate and House were both in session as the mob was battling the police inside the building. The Senate seems to have been moved
TFA Snags Top Job in Biden Administration
Well, that didn’t take long! The Biden administration has selected a TFA person for one of the plum jobs in the White House. At least half a dozen individuals recently appointed to positions in the White House include those with teaching experience and others who have worked with education-focused organizations. While several have most recently worked on the Biden-Harris campaign — and didn’t nec
Jan Resseger: Resuming Standardized Testing in the Midst of a Pandemic Is Absurd
Jan Resseger writes here about the absurdity of the demand by major editorial boards (the New York Times and the Washington Post) to resume standardized testing. Under normal circumstances, without a pandemic, the tests are useless. As I have written before (and Jan quotes in her article), the tests do not provide teachers or parents with timely or useful information about students’ progress, as
Peter Greene: The Washington Post Editorial Board Are the Know-Nothings of U.S. Education
Major newspaper editorial boards love standardized testing. They write from a position of complete ignorance of how useless these tests are and how little information of value they produce. Recently the New York Times came out in favor of resuming the spring tests–even though the scores won’t be returned for several months–and now the Washington Post has endorsed the annual testing. Peter Greene

JAN 11

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Trump’s Coup Attempt Reminded Him of Nazis
This article in Mashable contains a gripping video in which Arnold Schwarzenegger compares the Trump coup attempt to Kristallnacht, “the Night of Broken Glass.” He remembers his childhood, surrounded by broken men, swept up and destroyed by the powerful men who ruled their society.
Former White House Official: Trump Knew He Lost the Election. He Lied.
Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farrah resigned on December 1. She says that Trump knew full well that he lost the election. He tried to bully state officials into reversing the outcome. He lied to the public and to his followers. The big lie was a hoax. She said Trump should resign. He fooled Ted Cruz. He fooled Josh Hawley. He fooled the majority of House Republicans. He put t
Ted Cruz: America’s #1 Hypocrite
The Houston Chronicle reported that Ted Cruz criticized Trump for the violent siege of the Capitol. No kidding. Even after the vandals stormed into the buildings, even after they spread feces on the floors and invaded private offices, even after five deaths, Cruz resumed his campaign to discredit Biden’s election victory. He persuaded a few other Senators and the majority of House Republicans to
Houston Chronicle to Ted Cruz: Resign! You Embarrass the State
The Houston Chronicle called on Ted Cruz to resign for his disgraceful behavior on January 6, and before January 6: In Texas, we have our share of politicians who peddle wild conspiracy theories and reckless rhetoric aiming to inflame. Think U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert’s “terror baby” diatribes or his nonsensical vow not to wear a face mask until after he got COVID, which he promptly did. This editor
There Was a Failed Coup Attempt on January 6. Who Planned It?
We know a lot of very disturbing facts about what happened on January 6 when a mob of thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building and held it for two hours. We know the mob was incited by Trump, Guiliani, and others at the Trump rally that morning. Trump said repeatedly that Congress was meeting to certify the election of Joe Biden, that the election was stolen, that his follo

JAN 10

FBI Arrests QAnon Leader of Capitol Mob
The FBI arrested the guy wearing the horns and carrying a 6-foot spear at the insurrection. He is not Antifa. He is QAnon.
Donald Trump is a Traitor
Jake Tapper summarized the case about Donald Trump’s traitorous actions here . Watch this video. What happened on January 6 was a failed coup. Many of Trump’s MAGA base joined the mob innocently. But the mob was led by trained militia men, equipped to take hostages, prepared with flex cuffs, which police use to handcuff suspects. The mob chanted “Hang Mike Pence.” The mob knew the location of the
Friends Who Stood Up for Reverend Warnock Report on Their Journey with Him
Bill Eville wrote an article about his family’s long friendship with Reverend Raphael Warnock. They became friends years ago, maintained a close relationship, and worked on his campaign. Here is an excerpt from the account of their experiences : One summer, about nine years ago, when my daughter was three years old and the Rev. Raphael Warnock came for his annual visit to Martha’s Vineyard, she g
Dominion Sues Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell for $1.3 Billion for Defamation
Trump lawyer Sidney Powell filed numerous lawsuits alleging massive voter fraud. Dominion Voting Systems was one of her major targets. Dominion is suing her and others for defamation. Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell, demanding more than $1.3 billion in damages for havoc it says Powell has caused by spreading “wild” and “demonstrably false”
One by One, the Domestic Terrorists Who Swarmed the Capitol Are Identified. But Most Will Not Be.
This is a very satisfying post at the blog “Crooks & Liars.” The vandals and terrorists who invaded the U.S. Capitol took selfies and posed as they desecrated one of the nation’s greatest civic spaces. They were engaged in criminal trespass and, yes, the far more serious crime of sedition. They went to the Capital to disrupt a process ordained by the Constitution. They struck at our democracy. Ma
Rep. Clyburn: How Did Terrorists Know Location of My Unmarked Office?
House Majority Whip James Clyburn wants a thorough investigation of the storming of the Capitol. The terrorists knew where his unmarked office was. How did they know? Why did they bypass the office with his name on it, and go right for his working office, which is unmarked? In an interview with SiriusXM Radio’s Joe Madison, the South Carolina Democrat said Friday that he had never seen such a fai

JAN 09

Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz: Impeach Trump Without Delay
Writing in the Washington Post, constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe and impeachment lawyer Joshua Matz assert that Trump should be speedily impeached for his violation of the oath of office. Trump spent months convincing his followers , without factual basis, that they were victims of a massive electoral fraud. He summoned them to D.C. for a “wild” protest as Congress met to certify the electio
Randy Rainbow on “Sedition”
The brilliant satirist and performer Randy Rainbow explains the political events of the moment. A hilarious spoof using a famous song from Fiddler on the Roof.
Business Insider: U.S. Allies Say Trump Attempted Coup with Inside Help
Business Insider interviewed foreign inteigence officials about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and they expressed suspicion that Trump tried to orchestrate a coup with the quiet assistance of federal law enforcement. This article is deeply disturbing and worth a read. It begins: The supporter
Sweden and the Damage Done by Free-Market Reforms
Larry Cuban turned his blog over to retired Swedish teacher Sara Hjelm, a reader of his blog, who took the opportunity to warn American readers about the dangers of the free-market reforms adopted in Sweden. Sweden adopted the “reforms” in 1992, allowing families to choose any school, public or private, and send their child there with his/her taxpayer dollars. It is the “backpack full of cash” th
John Thompson: Is It Time to Apologize to Teachers and Their Unions for Their Caution?
John Thompson, historian and retired teacher in Oklahoma, has a beef with “experts” and pundits who criticized teachers and teachers’ unions for refusing to reopen schools when it was not safe and uncertainty was the rule. He writes: The Guardian reports , “Los Angeles is becoming the center of America’s out-of-control coronavirus pandemic in these final days before the new year.” Its “meteoric r
Josh Hawley: Bad Karma for Bad Character
Josh Hawley, graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, took the low road, aligning himself with Trumpism and trying to block the pro forma certification of Biden’s election. He saluted the rioters as they encircled the Capitol and prepared to storm it. Even after the siege, he continued to pre

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