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Saturday, April 17, 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

Steven Singer: Diversity is the Most Important Reason to Save Public Schools
Steven Singer, a teacher in Pennsylvania, explains what is most important to him in public education: Diversity is the Most Important Reason to Save Public Schools Public schools are under attack. So what else is new? It’s been so since the first moment the institution was suggested in this country by revolutionaries like Thomas Jefferson: “Education is here placed among the articles of public ca


What I Said About NCLB and Standardized Testing a Decade Ago
In 2011, I was interviewed by Terri Gross on “Fresh Air,” her NPR program. When my book The Death and Life of the Great American School System : How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. When it was published, there was quite a lot of speculation about why I changed my views. Apparently, no one ever has a change of mind or heart. I have been consistent over the years in admitting that I w
Speduktr: We All Pay for Public Services and Public Goods, for Our Common Benefit
The privatization movement is built on the ideology of “a backpack full of cash.” Give the money to the family and let them spend it where and how they want. The money is not actually in the child’s backpack, but handed out to families to spend as they wish. If they want their child to attend a religious school or a private school or a for-profit school or a virtual charter school or home school,

APR 15

Laura Chapman: The Growth of the EdTech Biz
Laura Chapman is a retired arts educator and a tireless researcher. After she read a post about the disappointing history of education technology and its constant self-promotion, she wrote a post about the current frenzy to buy and build new forms of education technology for the classroom. While most parents and teachers will welcome the return to full-time, face-to-face instruction, many entrepr
Tom Ultican: Why I Support Public Education
Tom Ultican explains why he spends so much of his time fighting for public schools. The original cause for my supporting public education was that my rancher father married a school teacher. Growing up on a southern Idaho ranch, I learned many philosophical and theoretical reasons for supporting the establishment and maintenance of public schools from my mother. However, it was from watching mom
My Signal Contribution to the U.S. Department of Education
When I served in the George H.W. Bush administration, I was Assistant Secretary for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. OERI, as it was then called, had almost no discretionary money. There was very little opportunity for any initiatives, which may have been a good thing at that time. I became very involved in advocacy for national standards, which I now regret. I also spoke up fo

APR 14

Steve Ruis: Why the Rich Love the Status Quo
Steve Ruis writes in his blog that “class warfare” is over, finished, kaput. The top .001% won. They made out like bandits during the pandemic while most people struggled to pay the mortgage or the rent. No wonder they prefer to claim that charter schools and vouchers will raise up the poor. Of course, they won’t. He writes: From an article in The Guardian on Forbes magazine’s latest list of bill
Andrea Gabor: How Big Philanthropy Captured Media Coverage of Their Education Investments
Andrea Gabor is the Bloomberg Professor of Business Journalism at Baruch College, which is part of the City University of New York. Gabor has written insightful articles about education in the New York Times and at She is the author of After the Education Wars: How Smart Schools Upend the Business of Education Reform. The following is a summary of a chapter in her forthcoming book,
Jeanne Kaplan: The Battle Against Deformers in Denver is Always Uphill
Jeanne Kaplan is a veteran civil rights activist who was elected to serve two terms on the Denver school board. She has been active in multiple campaigns to stop privatization and over-testing and energize a genuine effort to improve the public schools. She wrote this piece for this blog. THE SISYPHEAN TASK IN DENVER The dictionary defines Sisyphean task as something you keep doing but never gets

APR 13

The Politics Of School Choice
Julian Vasquez Heilig, Jameson Brewer, and Frank Adamson have written a peer-reviewed analysis of the politics of school choice. As Heilig wrote in his description of the analysis , “Modern notions of “markets” and “choice” in schooling stem from the libertarian ideas Milton Friedman espoused in the 1950s. Considering the underlying politics of school choice, it is important to examine the ramifi
Ken Futernick: Teacher Stories about Life Today
About a decade ago, when policy elites were bashing teachers on a regular basis, Ken Futernick was writing about the challenges that teachers face every day, including lack of support by administrators and poor working conditions. Recently, he has been creating podcasts in which teachers explain how they teach about important issues of the day, like teaching about racism and the Black Lives Matte

APR 12

Diane’s Practical Tips for Dog Lovers
My spouse and I have a wonderful dog named Mitzi. She is a 57-varieties mixed breed. When people ask me what she is, I say she is a genuine pedigreed Muttheimer. She is black with white paws and weighs 100 pounds. She may be the sweetest dog I have ever known. But Mitzi has one problem. Since puppyhood, she has suffered from bouts of diarrhea. A few years back, I used metronidazole, which was pre
Peter Greene: I Believe in Public Education
Peter Greene is well-known as a blogger, a teacher, a columnist for Forbes, and a humorist. He taught in the public schools of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years. He wrote this article at my request. He wrote: I believe in public education. I believe in the promise that every child should have a free quality education. And not by going out to shop for it, to hunt it down like looking for deals on a

APR 11

“We Found a Baby on the Subway”–A Lovely Story
This is a beautiful story. It happened in New York City. A man was rushing to have dinner with his new friend when he saw what looked like a doll on the ground in the subway. It was wrapped in an old sweat shirt. But it wasn’t a doll, it was a baby who had been abandoned. You will enjoy reading this. You might even cry. It’s good to be reminded of the goodness in the world.
John Thompson: How Corporate Reform Devastated My School
John Thompson is an historian and a retired teacher in Oklahoma. He wrote this piece for the blog at my request. In 2006, our John Marshall High School was enduring the worst of the five months-long, extreme meltdowns I witnessed in 18 years with the Oklahoma City Public Schools. Many days, I’d see the anarchy and the blood-splattered halls, and ask if I was dreaming. One thing that kept me sane
Yong Zhao and William McDiarmid: Time to Rethink Standardized Testing
Two friends got together to address an important topic for readers of the blog. Yong Zhao is a much-published international scholar based at the University of Kansas. Bill McDiarmid is Dean Emeritus of the College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They write: COVID-19 has disrupted schooling in its traditional sense. It has also disrupted other school related activi

APR 10

Bob Braun Explains the Opposition to Billionaire-Funded “Reform”
Bob Braun was an education reporter for 50 years. After he retired from the New Jersey Star-Ledger, he began blogging and paid close and critical attention to the state takeover of Newark. This column , posted in 2014, is as timely now as it was when it first appeared. Bob Braun: It’s Not Reform, It’s Hijacking Let’s get this straight. Those of us opposed to the structural changes to public educa
West Virginia: The Great Charter School Swindle
State Senator Mike Romano of West Virginia wrote an article about the hoax of charter schools, which will cost the state’s public schools hundreds of millions of dollars without improving education. He wrote: In the shadows of Covid, bills have passed during the 2021 Legislative session that will move West Virginia backwards. From the weakening or elimination of state licensing for electricians,
David C. Berliner: A Hug for Jennifer
David C. Berliner, one of our nation’s most honored researchers of education, shared this essay for readers of the blog. A Hug for Jennifer I met Jennifer for the first time at a party. She taught elementary school to mostly white, mostly

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