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Saturday, May 22, 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


Dana Milbank: The War Over Civics Education
Dana Milbank believes that Republicans are terrified of restoring civics education for fear that the younger generation will learn how our government is supposed to work. He wrote in the Washington Post: Pretty much everything the Trump-occupied Republican Party has been doing these days violates the basic tenets of democracy that American schoolchildren are taught. But the Trumpy right has come


Judge Orders DeVos to Testify About Cruel Treatment of Students Who Were Defrauded
Salon wrote about a A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will have to testify in a class action lawsuit over her handling of the Education Department’s student debt loan forgiveness program . Judge William Alsup said “exceptional circumstances” warrant issuing DeVos a subpoena, a move that goes against both Devos’ and the Biden administration’s requests t
Tom Ultican: This Important Book Explains the Toxic Racism That Poisoned New Orleans
Tom Ultican, retired teacher of physics and advanced mathematics in California, just finished reading a book that he calls “a scholarly masterpiece.” The book- William Frantz Public School: A Story of Race, Resistance, Resilience and Recovery in New Orleans – is a history of the William Frantz Public School, which opened as an all-white public school in New Orleans in 1938. It is also a history o
Carol Burris: Choice Zealots Accelerate Their Drive to Put Public Money into Private Schools
Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education explains in an article at Valerie Strauss’ Answer Sheet in the Washington Post, that choice zealots have redoubled their drive to divert public money away from public schools and hand it over to unregulated private schools, religious schools, homeschooling, virtual schools, and entrepreneurs. The privatization lobbyists claim th

MAY 20

Texas: Vouchers Lose Again!
Our friends in Texas, Pastors for Texas Children, report that a legislative proposal for vouchers was beaten again! They work closely with parent groups across the state. PASTORS FOR TEXAS CHILDREN VOUCHER REMOVED FROM BILL! This week is evidence of what happens when you rally your voices in support of our children. If you remember, we started off the week letting you know that SB 1716 was coming
Minnesota: The Money Behind the Effort to Rewrite the State Constitution’s Education Clause
In late April, I posted an article by Minnesota blogger and public school advocate Rob Levine about a sneaky effort by elites in the state to rewrite the state constitutional clause on education to protect and encourage segregated charter schools. This new post digs deeper into the machinations and motivations behind the demand to revise the state constitution. The campaign is led by the presiden
Minneapolis: Segregated But Celebrated Charter School Will Close
Minneapolis prides itself on its charter schools, despite the fact that they are highly segregated by race and ethnicity. They enjoy the support of the city’s elite, who defend segregation as “culturally responsive.” Years ago, a reporter from Bloomberg News toured the city’s charters and said that it felt like the Brown decision overturning segregation had never happened. One of those segregated

MAY 19

Jeff Bryant: The Story of a School That Beat Back a State Takeover and Thrived
Jeff Bryant reports here on the inspiring example of a so-called “failing school” in North Carolina that not only succeeded in blocking a state takeover, but then heightened community collaboration to turn the school into a community school. North Carolina passed a state takeover plan based on Tennessee’s failed Achievement School District. The state listed several schools that were targets for t
Steven Singer: Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Fires State Charter Appeals Board
Stephen Singer describes how Governor Tom Wolf solved a knotty problem. The state Charter Appeals Board was appointed by his Republican predecessor seven years ago. When local districts rejected charter applications, the disappointed charter operators could count on the CAB to reverse the local decision. A former member of the CAB applied for a charter, was rejected by the district she was moving

MAY 18

Arizona: Election Officials Object to Private Audit of 2020 Ballots
Election officials, most of them Republicans, sharply criticized the audit of 2020 ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County. Trump apparently hopes that the findings, gathered by a private, pro-Trump firm called Cyber Ninjas, will enable him to call for similar recounts in other contested states. He continues to insist that Biden “stole” the election, despite his campaign’s failure to produce evidenc
Capital & Main: Eli Broad Wanted to Destroy Public Education
Upon his death recently, Eli Broad received many laudatory obituaries, describing his philanthropic contributions to the arts and medical research. He even built an art museum in Los Angeles, named for himself. Modesty was not one of his virtues. Less noted was his determination to disrupt and destroy public education. Not only did he launch an ambitious plan to privatize 50% of the public school
Everything You Wanted to Know About Bill Gates, But Didn’t Ask
Walter Isaccson, author of best-selling biographies and former editor of TIME, wrote this awestruck article about Bill Gates in 1997. At the time, Bill was the richest man in the world, his marriage to Melinda was new, and he hadn’t yet decided that he was the smartest man in the world and knew everything better than those who had worked in their profession for years. This is Bill Gates before he

MAY 17

Why is “Critical Race Theory” Controversial and What Is it?
In several states, the Governor and Legislature have denounced “critical race theory” and even (in Idaho and some other states) banned it from their schools. The controversy over teaching about race gained ground when former President Trump condemned CRT as divisive and launched his own quickie commission to teach “patriotic” education. The object seems to be to minimize or eliminate teaching abo
Historian: Segregation Persists Because Whites Opposed Any and All Efforts to Advance Desegregation
Today’s is the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education of 1954. Much has changed. Barack Obama was elected President twice. But much has not changed. The desegregation of schools that once seemed inevitable stalled, inhibited by white flight from urban districts and housing desegregation. Historian Matthew D. Lassiter of the University of Michigan argues in this opinion piece in the Washin

MAY 16

Arizona Republicans Blast Partisan Audit of 2020 Election
The Arizona State Senate established an audit of the 2020 vote in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county. After the election, the votes were recounted three times and certified. The State Senate hired a private contractor who is a Trump supporter. Some Republicans are outraged. A recount of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s largest county is becoming “dangerous,” the Republic
Chicago Eliminates Another Arne Duncan Initiative
While Arne Duncan was superintendent of schools in Chicago, he received over $10 million from the Gates Foundation to begin “turning around” low-performing schools. He supported the creation of The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), which subsequently took over 31 schools, some of which raised test scores but were criticized for pushing out low-scoring students. One of AUSL’s goals was t
Impoverished Pennsylvania District About to Be Fully Charterized, Despite Parent Opposition
Chester-Upland school district is one of the poorest in the state. Seventy percent of its students are black. One big charter school, owned and operated by a wealthy Republican lawyer from Philadelphia, already dominates the district with his Chester Community Charter School. The district has been in receivership and under state control for years. Even though CCCS is a low-performing charter, the

MAY 15

Jan Resseger: Will the Biden Administration Revive the Failed Policies of NCLB and Obama?
A few years ago, someone coined the term “zombie policies” to describe policies that fail again and again, yet never go away. One such zombie is “merit pay,” which has never succeeded yet never dies an ignominious death or loss of reputation. I mention this because our current education system is hampered by at least 20 years of zombie policies, beginning with No Child Left Behind, then Race to t
Robert Kuttner: Biden’s Chance to Save College Students from Crushing Debt
Kuttner on TAP New Hope for Student Debt Relief With the appointment of Richard Cordray as chief of federal student loan programs, we will now see the potential of executive power to bring relief and end abuses. Cordray is a close ally of Elizabeth Warren and former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The first best policy, of course, would be outright cancellation of up to $50,000

MAY 14

Michael Gerson: The Only Republican in Good Standing Must Be a Liar or Resign
Michael Gerson has been active in Republican politics for many years. He is appalled now that national and state leaders have created a loyalty test based on the Big Lie, the lie that Trump won the election, and Biden stole it. Liz Cheney was ousted from her senior role in the House Republican Caucus because she spoke the truth: Biden won, Trump lost, and its time to move on. Mitt Romney was booe
Teachers, Bloggers, Writers: Tell Your Story
Experienced education journalist Jeff Bryant is collecting stories about successful community schools and he would like to hear from you. Jeff writes: Education Writers, Bloggers, Podcasters, Content Sharers Wanted A national network has organized a project to lift up stories from public schools about their success in using the community schools approach for transformational school improvement. T

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