Saturday, May 29, 2021

KEEP UP/ CATCH UP WITH DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG A site to discuss better education for all #REDFORED #tbats

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

A site to discuss better education for all

Mercedes Schneider: The Meteoric Rise and Fall of the Top Executives at the IDEA Charter Chain
Mercedes Schneider read the letter posted by the board of the celebrated IDEA charter chain. She noted that the chief executive officer and chief operating officer had been fired. She dug deeper and wondered about a culture of corruption and self-aggrandizement that went beyond the leaders who were fired. The May 25, 2021 Houston Chronicle reports of the firing of IDEA Public Schools charter chai
Billy Townsend: Are Florida Teachers Allowed to Teach Mandated State Standards About Racist Violence?
As blogger Billy Townsend explains, education officials in Florida are either hypocrites or stupid. In a post that is second in a series, he shows how they campaign against teaching about racism (which they consider “indoctrination”) yet state standards require teachers to teach about the infamous 1920 Ocoee race massacre. Is it possible to avoid teaching about racism and white supremacy while te


Poll: QAnon Believers as Numerous As Some Major Religions
The New York Times reports on a poll finding that 15% of Americans believe in QAnon conspiracy theories. Those are the findings of a poll released today by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core, which found that 15 percent of Americans say they think that the levers of power are controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, a core belief of QAnon supporters.
Ka-Ching! The Charter Lobby Buys into NYC’s Mayoral Race
In a crowded field of candidates in the Democratic primary, only two are opposed to expanding the number of charters in a city with hundreds of them: Scott Stringer and Maya Wiley. The other candidates support more charters at a time when the national Democratic Party seems to realize that charters are a key component of the rightwing’s longtime goal of privatization of the public schools. Charte
Oklahoma: Epic Virtual Charter Severs Ties to Co-Founders’ For-Profit Firm After Paying Them Millions
After a scathing state audit of its finances, the EPIC virtual charter school cut its ties to the school’s for-profit co-founders. The governing board of Epic Charter Schools underwent a major overhaul Wednesday night and then declared its independence from the for-profit school management company owned by Epic’s co-founders. Epic’s seven-member board of education unanimously approved a mutual te

MAY 27

Texas Removes All Limits on Buying and Carrying a Handgun
Other nations have figured out that the best way to reduce gun violence is to impose many barriers to buying a gun: background checks, registration, waiting period, training, proof of a locked safe where the gun will be stored, as well as restrictions on when the gun may be carried. Texas’ Republican leadership has decided to do away with all those obstacles that interfere with the citizen’s righ
Tom Ultican: I-Ready Is Not Ready for Prime Time: It May Never Be
Tom Ultican wrote about I-Ready three years ago, and he continues to receive frequent clicks and letters from angry students. He thinks the deal between Oakland Public Schools and Johns Hopkins University is of dubious value. Hopkins gets the data; students in the Oakland public schools get a curriculum that most will hate. Ultican notes the connection between I-Ready and Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Ch
Jane Nylund: I-Ready Stinks
Jane Nylund is a parent activist and educator in Oakland. She writes: A bit of background: we are a family of two kids through OUSD, nearly 20 years with the district. Strong foundation in math and science, and some experience with statistics. As a classified educator in a high-needs school, I have recently spent time proctoring the I-Ready diagnostic in my fourth grade class. Out of concern for

MAY 26

IDEA Charter Chain in Texas Admits Major Scandal and Corruption
The IDEA charter chain in Texas was one of Betsy DeVos’s favorite grantees. She handed over $200 million from the federal Charter Schools Program to IDEA to spur its expansion. With so much money, the management of IDEA indulged in luxuries. They planned to lease a private jet for $2 million a year but backed off because of adverse publicity. They bought season box seats at the San Antonio Spurs

MAY 25

Texas Legislature Passes Sweeping Restrictions on Teaching About Race
In the GOP’s race to the bottom on teaching about racism, Texas takes the lead. The legislature passed a bill limiting what teachers can teach in history and social studies about race. Rightwing Governor Greg Abbott will sign it. Here’s a description of the legislation from the Texas Tribune, written before it was passed by the Senate: The Senate-approved version revives specific essential curric
Board of UNC-Chapel Hill Denies Tenure to Distinguished Journalist
The faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill selected the highly accomplished Nikole Hannah-Jones to serve as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the UNC Haussmann School of Journalism and Media. She was quite a catch: she has won a Pulitzer Prize, a coveted MacArthur Fellowship, has worked for major newspapers. She’s even an alumna of UNC. The committee that i

MAY 24

Billy Townsend: Florida’s State Commissioner Corcoran Is a Loser Who Wants to Indoctrinate Students with Lies
Billy Townsend doesn’t pull any punches. In this post, he tears into the State Commissioner for thinking he can indoctrinate the students of Florida with lies. He titles his piece: Indoctrinate this, part 1: The voices of the Great Migration laugh at Richard Corcoran A grifter who can’t make finalist in a university president search rigged for him is no match for the honest, competitive study of
Florida: State Commissioner Fires Teacher for Supporting BLM
Richard Corcoran, state commissioner of education in Florida, announced that he fired Amy Donofrio, a teacher in Duval County, because she supported #BlackLivesMatter. Corcoran made his decision known during a lecture at conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan. He was speaking about “critical race theory” and curriculum oversight and used her as an example of his cleansing of the ranks. Donofr

MAY 23

Arizona: Were Voting Machines Corrupted by Private Contractors?
The Arizona State Senate hired a private firm, whose owner is a Trump supporter, to conduct an audit of the 2020 ballots in Maricopa County. Election officials fear that the voting machines may have been manipulated. Replacing the machines are likely to cost $6 million. The Arizona Republic writes: The Arizona Senate gave contractors unfettered and unmonitored access to Maricopa County’s vote-cou
Bill Phillis: Why Do Ohio Republicans Hate Public Schools?
Bill Phillis is a retired state education official who writes frequently about the Republican war against public schools and against the education provisions of the state constitution. He created the Ohio Coalion for Equity and Advocacy of School Funding to publicize his campaign for equitable funding and his opposition to privatization. He writes: SENATE PRESIDENT HUFFMAN: THE EDUCATION IN OHIO

MAY 22

Providence: State Takeover Stumbles As “Toe-Popping” Official and Superintendent Are Fired
When Gina Raimondo was Governor of Rhode Island (she is now Biden’s Secretary of Commerce), she determined that the only way to fix the Providence schools was a state takeover. Raimondo, a former hedge fund manager, hired Angelica Infante-Green as state commissioner, although Green’s experience was limited to two years of Teach for America and a few years as a state bureaucrat (she was never a pr
Billy Townsend: Jones High School in Florida Is Far Better Than the Deregulated, Unaccountable Voucher Schools That the State Prefers
Billy Townsend served as a school board member in Polk County, Florida. He now blogs about the schools in his state and takes aim at the state’s determination to cripple public schools while shifting more than a billion dollars to voucher schools. In this article in the Orlando Sentinel, he compares a public high school to the inferior voucher schools that the state wants more of. He writes: Six
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

MAY 21

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

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