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Saturday, June 5, 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

Mercedes Schneider: Why Does This State Board Member and TFA Official Consistently Fail to File Financial Disclosure Forms?
Louisiana hIgh school teacher Mercedes Schneider is required by law to file a financial disclosure form every year, and she never misses the deadline. State board member Kira Orange-Jones is also required to file a financial disclosure form but she misses the deadline year after year , even thought is supposed to be fined for late filing. Orange-Jones is also a senior Vice President of Teach for


New Hampshire Set to Approve Vouchers
Despite public hearings in which a huge majority of citizens showed up online to oppose vouchers, the New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee approved voucher legislation. The legislation already passed the House and will certainly be signed by the Governor. Governor Sununu and the legislative majority are Republicans. Before the 2020 elections, the legislature was controlled by Democrats, who rej
Steven Singer: Why Does Pittsburgh Media Treat Rightwing Propaganda as Real News?
Steven Singer identifies a common problem that occurs in newspapers, magazines, radio, and on television. The media likes bad news stories about the public schools (wasteful, inefficient, “failing”). Worse, they take seriously every piece of rightwing propaganda and report it as news. He gives the latest example: Pittsburgh media printed summaries of a report funded by The Commonwealth Fund, asse
Do Children Have a Right to Play?
The title of this post may sound absurd. Of course, children should play; it need not be a “right,” as defined in law, but it should be common sense. Play is an essential part of childhood. Most of us remember the games we made up, the pots and pans that we turned into playthings, the music we created on our own. But children today have been denied the fundamental time needed for unstructured pla

JUN 03

Chicago Ends Arne Duncan’s Failed Strategy of “Turnaround” and “Disruption”
Way back in 2004, Chicago’s then-superintendent Arne Duncan announced a bold initiative that he called “Renaissance 2010.” He closed 80 public schools and opened 100 charter schools. He implemented a disruptive strategy called “turnaround,” in which schools were closed and handed over to charter operators, most or all of the teachers fired. When he was appointed Secretary of Education by Presiden
New Hampshire: Why We Need Equitably-Funded Public Schools
This clear and thoughtful article was written by Michael Turmelle, director of education and career initiatives, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The Republican-controlled legislation intends to pass sweeping voucher legislation that would harm the public schools attended by the great majority of the state’s children. He writes: If you have ever needed a hospital or a pharmacy; driven on well

JUN 02

Go Here for the Best Blog Posts on the Internet
Peter Greene is curating the best of the best posts on the Internet. He does this on the behalf of the Network for Public Education. Please subscribe here. It’s free:
Republicans Plan to Steal 2024 Election
Max Boot, former conservative, wrote about the partisan attack on the elections of 2022 and 2024. Republicans are setting in place the process to steal the elections. He writes: Republicans have spent nearly seven months making bogus charges of fraud in the 2020 election under the banner of “stop the steal.” Now they have segued into a “start the steal” offensive to ensure that they will win the
100 Scholars: Our Democracy is at Risk
Republican-controlled state legislatures are writing scores of new laws to restrict voting. Some are passing laws that would permit the legislature to reverse the will of the voters. Our democracy is at risk. The right to vote is fundamental. Voting should be encouraged, not restricted. One hundred scholars signed a “Statement of Concern” about the current drive to make it harder to vote. Please

JUN 01

Jan Resseger: Time to Abolish the Federal Charter Schools Program
Did you know that the United States Treasury is the single biggest founder of charter schools? In 1994, when there were only a small number of charter schools, the Clinton Administration started the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) to help new startups get off the ground. The program offered only a few million dollars. At the time, no one gave much thought to the prospect of large corporate
Oklahoma: Judge Orders Charter Founders to Turn Financials Over to State
Someone recently asked me for a definition of the Yiddish word chutzpah. Here it is. Two smart entrepreneurs create a virtual charter school in Oklahoma. Their public funding enables them to become millionaires. When the state auditor requests their financial records, they refuse to turn them over. The state auditor sues them and wins. The two entrepreneurs exhibited chutzpah. A reader in Oklahom

MAY 31

The Extremist Danger to Our Country
Neil MacFarquar wrote this story in the New York Times. It is a chilling warning. Many Americans fought and died to protect our democracy and preserve our rights. Sadly, there extremists within the country who threaten the ideas and values we hold dear. They are haters and white supremacists who betray the national idea of e pluribus unem. They robbed an armored car outside a sprawling Seattle sh
Bob Dylan’s Wonderful Nobel Lecture
The literary world was astonished when the Nobel Prize Committee gave the prize for literature in 2016. Never before had the prestigious award gone to a writer of songs. Dylan was not present at the awards ceremony but wrote a lecture that was released in June 2017. At the time, I didn’t read it. Probably you didn’t read it either. I can’t quote it in full because of copyright restrictions, but y

MAY 30

Jeff Bryant: The Truth Behind Attacks on Teaching “Critical Race Theory”
Journalist Jeff Bryant writes that the motivation behind the much-discussed attacks on teaching “critical race theory” is not solely about teaching the history of racism. The goal of rightwing politicians is to silence the teaching of all subjects they don’t like. Despite the Republicans’ frequent complaints about “cancel culture,” they have embarked on a national crusade to cancel uncomfortable
Why Do Republicans Scare Voters with Absurd Claims about “Radical Socialism”?
Republicans today rant about President Biden’s “socialist agenda,” trying to scare ignorant people into fear of a humane government. None of the Trumpers I know are willing to give up their Social Security or Medicare, both of which are forms of government socialism. Max Boot, who was previously a conservative columnist for the Washington Post, explains in this column that President Biden is tryi
The Tulsa Race Massacre: A Shameful Day in U.S. History
The Washington Post published contemporary photographs and videos of the Tulsa Race Massacre. As many as 300 black people were killed. On May 30, 1921, Greenwood was one of the wealthiest Black communities in the country, home to doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. It boasted restaurants, grocery stores, churches, a hospital, a savings and loan, a post office, three hotels, jewelry and clothing s

MAY 29

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

MAY 28

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

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