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Saturday, March 13, 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

Biden’s Rescue Plan Will Cut Child Poverty in Half!
Joe Biden just signed the most sweeping economic relief package since the New Deal. He has addressed poverty and inequality directly and fearlessly. Trump could boast of a massive tax cut for the rich. Biden can boast of putting money in the pockets of most Americans at a time of dire need. The number of children in poverty, by most estimates, will be cut in half. A significant and permanent decl


Princesses Need a Union!
Alexandra Petri and Jessica M. Goldstein of the Washington Post watched Oprah’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markie and they came to a sudden realization: Princesses need unions! Alexandra Petri is a Post Opinions columnist. Jessica M. Goldstein is a contributing writer to The Washington Post Magazine and Arts & Style. We represent the most beloved, best-known princesses in all the land
College Deans Speak Out Against High Stakes Testing
Scores of education deans signed a letter to Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House Education Committee, in opposition to the recent announcement by the Biden administration that it would not grant waivers to states from the annual testing mandate in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which originated as part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. The letter was written before the confirmatio
Arthur Camins: Why We Should Abandon Standardized Tests and Embrace Assessments
Many people use the terms “test” and “assessment” interchangeably, but this is a mistake. In education, a test usually refers to a multiple-choice standardized test, while an assessment reflects a different way to evaluate what students know and can do. The SAT, which once was officially the Scholastic Aptitude Test, changed its name to the Scholastic Assessment Test, when it was a test, not an a

MAR 11

Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Randi Weingarten: Skip the Tests
Rep. Jamaal Bowman is leading the fight in Congress to reverse the Biden decision to require standardized testing this spring. Randi Weingarten is president of the AFT. Jamaal was a middle school principal in the Bronx before he was elected to Congress. He was a leader in the opt-out of testing movement. Together they wrote an article posted by NBC News about why the spring tests should be cancel
Les Perelman: We Need an FDA for Educational Assessments
Les Perelman, former professor of writing at MIT and inventor of the BABEL generator, has repeatedly exposed the quackery in computer-scoring of essays . If you want to learn how to generate an essay that will win a high score but make no sense, google the “BABEL Generator,” which was developed by Perelman and his students at MIT to fool the robocomputer graders. He explains here, in an original
Peter Greene on the Destruction of Public Education in Arizona
When I started the new blog format, I said I would repost blogs from others only in rare instances. This is one of those rare instances. Peter Greene has written a devastating analysis of the oligarchs’ plans to attack public school teachers and defund public schools in Arizona. You need to read this story. The privatizers’ game plan is on full display, in all its ugliness. It’s a reverse Robin H

MAR 10

Port Washington School Board Demands Waiver from Spring Testing
The Port Washington Union Free School District on Long Island in New York wrote an excellent letter to their representatives in Congress. It is a model letter that should inspire other local and state school boards. We are the officials entrusted with overseeing the education of over 5.300 students in the Port Washington Union Free School District in Nassau County, New York. We arc writing to urg
Rep. Jamaal Bowman Leads Effort to Reverse Federal Stance on Testing
Before he became a member of Congress, Jamaal Bowman was principal of a middle school in the Bronx. He knows what kids need: more support, not more testing. He is now vice chair of the House Education Committee. In New York, before entering Congress, he was an active member of the opt-out of testing movement. He is now spearheading an effort to roll back the Biden administration’s refusal to gran
Minnesota: Time for the Failed “Reformers” to Leave the Schools Alone
After thirty years of devotion to “reform” (aka, deform or disruption), reform leaders in Minnesota are proposing a state constitutional amendment that will install more mischief into the state’s public schools. Rob Levine, an ardent critic of privatization, has written this account of their multiple failures and their plans to try yet again to impose their ideas on the state’s schools. He wrote

MAR 09

Los Angeles: Teachers and District Strike a Tentative Deal
The Los Angeles Times reports : Los Angeles students are a critical step closer to a return to campus beginning in mid-April under a tentative agreement reached Tuesday between the teachers union and the L.A. Unified School District, signaling a new chapter in an unprecedented year of coronavirus-forced school closures. The agreement, which must be ratified by members, establishes safety paramete
Great News: Vouchers Blocked Again in Texas!
Our wonderful allies, Pastors for Texas Children, send us wonderful news: Friends of public education raised their voices, stood together, and stopped new voucher legislation! Vouchers Blocked Again! Last week, we celebrated the victory of your tireless advocacy for public education funding for our children when we announced Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to extend “hold harmless.” Today, we have an
Laura Chapman: TCM Reviews Bias in Films
Here is an excellent suggestion from our reader Laura Chapman, whose original research and writing will always find a home here. We have already missed the first Thursday but perhaps TCM will do reruns: For adults who are fans of Turner Classic Movies, TCM has introduced programing to examine stereotypes in films. This is in addition to programing on women who have and are making films, and many
New York Times: Readers Respond to Charter Debate
You may recall that sociologist and author Eve Ewing wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times that said it was time to end the debate about charter schools and celebrate all good schools, whatever they are called. This is one of the talking points of the charter industry, which prefers the public not to notice how many charter schools close every year, how many are low-performing, and how man
AFT & NEA Issue Joint Statement on Actions Needed After the Pandemic to Benefit All Students
The nation’s two teachers’ unions joined together to issue an unusual joint statement that advises federal, state, and local leaders what must be done not only to revive education after the pandemic but to restart it with a fresh vision that focuses on the needs of children, not assumptions about their “learning loss” or “COVID slide.” They introduce the document and its visionary proposals with

MAR 08

Florida Set to Expand Vouchers Again
Florida’s State Constitution has explicit language forbidding public schools fir religious schools. Voters in Florida passed a referendum in 2012 against vouchers. No matter. Republican legislators are expected to endorse SB 48, which will decrease funding for the public schools that most students attend. Students will be able to get a voucher even if they never attended a Public school. Read abo
Laura Chapman: Education Trust and Its Well-Funded Demands That the Biden Administration Deny Waivers from the Tests
As readers are well aware, the federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act continued the mandated annual testing of students in grades 3-8 in reading and math (as well as one high school test) that was the heart of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, enacted in 2002. The Secretary of Education is allowed to grant waivers to states that ask not to give the tests. Last year, as the pan
A Broadie Joins the Biden Administration
Maureen Tracey-Mooney joined the White House staff as a Special Assistant to the President for Education. She is a graduate of the notorious Broad Center, the plaything of billionaire Eli Broad, which teaches its “students” the value of applying business principles in education and the benefits of closing low-performing schools instead of helping them. According to the Broad Center, “As a Broad R

MAR 07

Dr. Seuss and “Cancel Culture”
The publisher of the many books written by Theodor Geisl (“Dr. Seuss”) announced that it was suspending publication of six books that contained demeaning drawings of Asian and African figures. The books that will no longer be published are: “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” “If I Ran the Zoo” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” “The Cat’s Quizzer.” Having
New Orleans: The Other Side of the Story
I recently interviewed Raynard Sanders, a veteran educator in New Orleans, about his new book The Coup D’etat of the New Orleans Public Schools: Money, Power, and the Illegal of a Public School System . You can watch it here . He spoke at length about the blatant racism involved in the takeover and privatization of the city’s public schools. The state leaders (white) had been eager to find a reas

MAR 06

Carol Burris: Fordham Study Misleads the Public About Fiscal Harm of Charter Schools
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently published a study claiming that charter schools do no fiscal harm to public schools, and may even lead to greater funding. Dr. Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Schools, has visited public school districts that are in a deep financial hole because of the financial drain caused by the proliferation of charter schools. She read the F
Rhode Island: Dark Money Backs “Parent Group” for More Charter Schools
Maurice Cunningham specializes in digging up the facts about Dark Money (political contributions where the donors’ names are hidden). His expose of Dark Money from the Waltons and other billionaires turned the public against a 2016 state referendum in Massachusetts to expand the number of charter

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