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Saturday, October 16, 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

Carol Burris: The Myth of “Charter School Enrollment Growth” During Pandemic
On September 22, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools put out a press release boasting of unprecedented enrollment growth during the pandemic. The report asserted that charter school enrollment increased during the pandemic in at least 39 states, with a 7 percent overall increase. The charter lobby said that this growth “is likely” to be “the largest rate of increase in student enroll


The Sad and Unfree Life of an Anti-Vaxxer
A few days ago, I was driving across the Brooklyn Bridge heading towards Brooklyn and saw that the Manhattan-bound side of the bridge was closed by a demonstration. I couldn’t make out what the signs said, so I turned on the local all-news radio station, 1010 WINS, to learn what was happening. It turns out it was a protest against the city’s vaccine mandate for teachers. About 90% or more of the
Billy Townsend: Is the Era of High-Stakes Standardized Testing Coming to an End?
Billy Townsend of Florida writes here about an emerging development : the end of high-stakes testing. As a candidate, Biden promised to end it, but didn’t. Now Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis says its day is done. Even his state commissioner loves testing but turned on a dime to support the Governor. The vaunted “Florida model” of test-punish-choice is dead, writes Townsend. No state has been mor

OCT 14

Network for Public Education Action Endorses Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia!
If you live in Virginia and care about your public schools, please vote for Terry McAuliffe for Governor! The Network for Public Education Action has endorsed Terry McAuliffe for a second term as the Governor of Virginia. McAuliffe previously held the office from 2014-2018. In 2017, NPE Action named then Governor McAuliffe a Champion of Public Education for vetoing a group of bills that would hav
New York City Plans to Eliminate G&T Test for Four-Year-Olds…Maybe
Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the city would eliminate the entry test for the city’s “gifted and talented” programs, administered to four-year-olds. The children who make the cut are disproportionately white and Asian. He wants all children to have accelerated programs. However, the Mayor has only a few months left in office, and his decision may be reversed by the new mayor, who will likel
Harold Meyerson: The Little Union That’s Reviving the Strike
The American Prospect publishes two of our nation’s most thoughtful commentators: Harold Meyerson and Robert Kuttner. They represent liberalism at its best; they are on the side of working people, and they aim for a fair and just society. Nothing “neo” about them. You might want to sign up for their “On Tap” bulletins. Here is Harold Meyerson, with news about the union that is reviving the strike

OCT 13

New Hampshire: Legislator Says She Got COVID at Committee Meeting
A friend in Boston recently described New Hampshire as “the Florida of the North.” Clearly, she wasn’t referring to climate but to retrograde politicians. New Hampshire is one of those states, like Florida, that has decided to minimize the significance of COVID. Actions have consequences. CONCORD — A House member is claiming she was infected with COVID19 at a sub-committee meeting last week. Rep.
Jeannie Kaplan: Dark Money Floods into Denver School Board Races
Jeannie Kaplan, a former member of Denver’s elected school board, has warned for years about the subversion of Denver’s school election by well-funded, out-of-state “reformers.” Their money makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to run for the school board. In this post, Jeannie reports that Dark Money is back and is prepared to fund candidates who support charter schools and other elements of
Parent: How I Was Scammed by a Charter School’s False Promises
Katherine Kozioziemski tells the sad story of her bad experience with a charter school that promised the moon, but turned into a grand financial scam. Her post appears on a new site sponsored by the Network for Public Education called “Public Voices for Public Schools.” She begins: I knew something was seriously wrong as soon as I saw the budget of the charter school my kids attended. As a member

OCT 12

Ashley Parker: A Worst-Case Scenario for Democracy
Ashley Parker writes for the Washington Post. She wrote this ominous article. A year before the 2020 election, about two dozen constitutional scholars and democracy advocates traveled to Washington to work through a range of scenarios where something goes awry on Election Day. The country’s political system was being tested by a campaign like no other in modern history, with an incumbent presiden
Spencer Bokat-Lindell: Will Our Democracy Die in 2024?
Spencer Bokat-Lindell, a staff writer at the New York Times, echoes growing fear that democracy in America is at risk. He writes: Nearly nine months after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election, a question still lingers over how to place it in history: Were the events of Jan. 6 the doomed conclusion of an unusually anti-democratic moment in Am
Kentucky: Judge Strikes Down Voucher Program as Unconstitutional
Republican-controlled states have been expanding voucher programs in recent years, following the lead of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, ALEC, and the Koch network of funders. But Kentucky just hit a roadblock. A Franklin County judge ruled last week that the state’s voucher program violates the state constitution. The Republican-led legislature narrowly passed the Education Opportunit

OCT 11

Steven Singer: Five Ways to Slow the Teacher Exodus
Steven Singer is a veteran teacher in Pennsylvania. In this post, he offers five ways to slow the teacher exodus. He begins: As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, schools across the United States are on the brink of collapse . There is a classroom teacher shortage. There is a substitute teacher shortage. There is a bus driver shortage . There is a special education aide shortage. The people we depen
An Educator Who Changed Lives: Irene B. West
At a time when teachers are burned out and leaving, when teacher shortages are growing, it’s useful to learn about a beloved educator who inspired many children, including her own. And, as it happens, she was the mother of philosopher Cornel West. Journalist Seth Sandronsky writes about Irene B. West here: Irene B. West was a trailblazer on many levels. As Elk Grove’s first Black classroom educat
Peter Smagorinsky: Who Would Want to Teach These Days?
Peter Smagorinsky is a Distinguished Research Professor of English Education, emeritus, at the University of Georgia. He taught in K-12 classrooms for 14 years before becoming a teacher educator. This column that he wrote appeared on Maureen Downey’s blog “Get Schooled” at the Atlanta Journal. He begins: The AJC Get Schooled Blog is one of many this fall in which educational stakeholders have ask

OCT 10

Sweden: Why Do For-Profit Schools Survive Despite Overwhelming Public Opposition?
Sweden is one of the few nations that allow for-profit schools to be funded by the government. The United States also funds for-profit schools with public money. The virtual charter chains like K12 Inc. operate for profit (the latter is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and its top executives are each paid millions of dollars annually). in addition, more than 1,000 charter schools are operat
Burris and Rees Debate For-Profit Charter Schools
Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, debated Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, about whether for-profit charter schools should receive federal funds. Here is Burris’s opposition to the proposition:

OCT 09

Good News from Oklahoma!
Joy Hofmeister, a lifelong Republican and Superintendent of Public Instruction in Oklahoma, has decided to join the Democratic Party and run for Governor against incumbent Kevin Stitt. Stitt is a devotee of Trump, and Oklahoma is a deep-red state. Hofmeister is a strong supporter of public schools and a very brave person. She was interviewed by Erin Burnett on CNN . I met Joy a few years ago when
Jan Resseger: The Disaster of Student-Based Budgeting
Jan Resseger hopes that Pedro Martinez, the new superintendent in Chicago, will eliminate the disastrous policy of “student-based budgeting.” The importance of the topic is not limited to Chicago. School officials in Los

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