Saturday, July 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

Fred Klonsky: What Happened When Marjorie Taylor Greene Visited Illinois
Fred Klonsky writes here about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ’s recent visit to Illinois. She came to support a member of Congress who is running for re-election and shares Greene’s extremist views. She campaigned in the most conservative part of the state, where the Ku Klux Klan was popular in the 1920s. Note the sponsors of one of their rallies, whose rally brochure is portrayed on Fred’s blog. F


Dennis Shirley: Standardized Testing Is Obsolete
Dennis Shirley is the Duganne faculty fellow and professor at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. His new book with Andy Hargreaves is entitled Five Paths of Student Engagement: Blazing the Trail to Learning and Success. Shirley contends in this article in Commonwealth Magazine that standardized testing no longer fits the needs of students, if it ever did. He writes:
Jan Resseger Reviews an Important New Book About “No-Excuses” Schools
In this post , Jan Resseger reviews Joanne W. Golann’s Scripting the Moves: Culture & Control in a No-Excuses Charter School. What she describes is a culture of behaviorism and strict control. Resseger writes: Joanne W. Golann’s new book is all about schools that insist their teachers follow the guidance of Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion instead of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, bu

JUL 15

Heather Cox Richardson: A History Lesson About Reconstruction and the Rights of Black People
Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian who teaches at Boston College. She writes an informative blog called “Letters from an American.” This one appeared recently. She writes: On July 9, 1868, Americans changed the U.S. Constitution for the fourteenth time, adapting our foundational document to construct a new nation without systematic Black enslavement. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment
Tom Loveless: Why the Common Core Standards Failed
Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, interviewed scholar Tom Loveless about the failure of the Common Core on her weekly radio show called “Talk Out of School.” Loveless is a former teacher, professor, and researcher at the Brookings Institution. Loveless recently published a book titled Tom Loveless’ book, Between the State and the Schoolhouse, Understanding the Failure of C
The Obscure Foundation Funding the Uproar Over “Critical Race Theory”
Readers of this blog are accustomed to the rule “follow the money.” Thus, you should not be surprised that the national campaign to discredit teaching about racism (aka critical race theory) is an o bscure rightwing foundation. Judd Legum and Tesmin Zekeria wrote on a site called “Popular Information” about the activity of the Thomas W. Smith Foundation. In 2020, the authors correctly write, few

JUL 14

Tennessee: Top Vaccination Official Fired for Urging Teens to Get Vaccinated
Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the top vaccination official in the Tennessee, was fired for encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated. She is a public health official who wants to save lives. Those who fired her thought she was alarmist, despite the deaths of 600,000 Americans who were infected with the coronavirus. Tennessee is a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation. The now-former i
Sign Up for NPE’s Annual Conference This October!
I’ll be sending you occasional notices to remind you that the end of the pandemic means the return of the annual conference of the Network for Public Education. This will be your opportunity to make connections with friends and allies fighting for public schools across the nation. Join us! Our Network for Public Education Action conference will be an in-person conference on October 23 and 24 in P
North Carolina: School Board Bans Teaching Anything That Makes Students Uncomfortable
Justin Parmenter, NBCT teacher in North Carolina writes here about the resolution passed by a local school board that bans teaching anything that might cause students to feel stress, anxiety, or discomfort. Well, that pretty much eliminates teaching about world wars, genocide, racism, sexism, and everything bad that ever happened in history. It denies the uncomfortable facts of history, like the

JUL 13

I’m Proud of My Fellow Texans!
The New York Times reports: Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and the Republican-controlled legislature are eager to pass legislation making it harder to vote, especially for people of color. Most Republican-led states are doing the same thing, even in states that Trump won (like Texas). Governor Abbott’s despicable attempt to disenfranchise voters is the centerpiece of the proposed law, but it include
Steve Hinnefeld: “The 1619 Project” Affirms American Ideals
Now that so many Republican-controlled states are planning or hoping to ban the use of curriculum materials based on the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning “The 1619 Project,” it is refreshing to hear a contrary view. Indiana blogger Steve Hinnefeld believes that “The 16 19 Project” strongly affirms American values and hopes it will be taught in schools across the country. Here is an excerpt
The Life of Sally Hemings: An Exhibit at Monticello
Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson in Virginia. It is now a museum, which tells the story of Jefferson and the enslaved Sally Hemings. This short video and the text that follows it recount the life of Sally Hemings, who gave birth to six children fathered by Jefferson (two died at a young age). The video is based on the words of Madison Hemings, son of Sally and Thomas Jefferson. The tex

JUL 12

Trump Praises January 6 Insurrectionists on FOX News
Politico reports: TRUMP EMBRACES ‘GREAT PEOPLE’ OF JAN. 6 — In a Sunday interview on Fox News with MARIA BARTIROMO, former President DONALD TRUMP spun up a new interpretation of Jan. 6: It was an act of “love,” a word he used repeatedly to describe the sacking of the Capitol. He portrayed ASHLI BABBITT essentially as a martyr — an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman” — while floating a conspir
Robin Lithgow: A Tribute to Drama Teachers
Robin Lithgow was in charge of arts in the public schools of Los Angeles. She writes frequently about the arts in schools. She writes: Pleased to announce! Now that the pandemic is subsiding and schools are reopening, I’m moving forward with the publication of my book. The working title now is Learning the Way Shakespeare Learned: Classroom Dramatics, Physical Rhetoric, and a Generation of Genius
Denis Smith Warns West Virginia about Their New Charter Law: Expect a Train Wreck
Denis Smith went to graduate school in West Virginia and served as an elementary and middle school principal, director of curriculum, and director of federal programs in the suburban school system adjacent to the state capital. He subsequently moved to Ohio, where he was in charge of overseeing the state’s burgeoning and scandal-ridden charter sector. He wrote a warning to West Virginia , publish
Robert G. Parkinson: You Can’t Teach the Story of 1776 Without Discussing Race and Slavery
One of the hotly debated questions surrounding “The 1619 Project,” the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of essays is whether race and slavery played a role in the American Revolution. Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote that Southern slave owners supported the Revolution to protect their property (slaves) and to ward off the influence of British abolitionism. Some of her critics argued tha

JUL 11

Mercedes Schneider on the Reporter Who Broke the Story About the UNC and Nikole Hannah-Jones
Republicans have whipped up a frenzy in the states and in the conservative media that they control about “critical race theory.” They are blowing up the issue because it benefits their party in two ways: First, it distracts public attention from the violent and unprecedented assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They want to pretend that day—where their own lives were at risk—never happened.
Charter Chain Fights Audit Demanded by Private Funder
I remember the original promise of charter schools when the idea was first floated in the late 1980s. They would cost less than district schools because of no bureaucracy. They would be more accountable than district schools because they would lose their charter if they didn’t meet their academic goals. We now know that none of this is true. Charter leaders demand the same or more funding than th
Valerie Strauss: Florida Cancels Local Control of Public Schools
Valerie Strauss wrote the following on her blog “The Answer Sheet” at the Washington Post: Here’s a very short quiz: The Hillsborough County School Board in Florida met this month to consider a dozen proposals to open new charter schools or extend the operating agreements on others. The board considered data, recommendations of its staff and testimony from community members about the charters, wh

JUL 10

Jan Resseger: Ohio’s Education Budget Fracas
Jan Resseger writes here about the tussle in the legislature over the Ohio education budget. Funding was increased for public schools, but funding for charters and vouchers was also increased. And taxes were cut. Republican supporters of public schools saved the day from the voracious privatizers, led by Andrew Brenner, who is hostile to public schools. Resseger writes: The Ohio Constitution defi
John Thompson: The Anti-CRT Crusade and the Oklahoma City Bombing
John Thompson reports that the crusade against teaching racism critically is in full swing in Oklahoma. Rightwing legislators can’t seem to understand why it’s okay to encourage students to think critically about the terrorist bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City but to forbid them to think critically about racism. Who would have thunk it? The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum,

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