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Saturday, February 5, 2022

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

A site to discuss better education for all

David Corn: The Inside Story of the Tennessee School Board that Banned MAUS
David Corn, the D.C. Bureau Chief for Mother Jones, read the minutes of the McMinn County, Tennessee, school board that banned Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel, MAUS, and he found the comments even dumber than he expected. The school board members were worried that students in middle schools might hear words like “bitch” and “god damn,” they were upset by nude mice, and some


Virginia: Judge Temporarily Blocks Youngkin’s Ban on Mask Mandates
Sometimes common sense prevails over craven politicians. A judge in Virginia on Friday handed down a temporary ruling that seven school districts could keep their mask mandates in place — a setback to Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who had signed an executive order making masks optional in public schools. Last month, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Hampton, and R
Biggest Lie of the Day
Meeting in Salt Lake City, the Republican National Committee censured Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinziger for participating in the investigation of the events of January 6 and declared that the insurrectionists of January 6 were engaged in “legitimate political discourse. Salt Lake City (CNN) – In a resolution formally censuring GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the Republican Nat
NYC: Yeshiva Drops Secular Course Despite State Law Requiring It
The New York State Board of Regents has tried for years to enforce a state law requiring orthodox Jewish religious schools to teach core subjects in English. Yeshiva graduates have complained that their education in Yiddish and Hebrew left them unequipped to function in the modern world. Despite the state law, a Brooklyn Yeshiva decided to drop the only secular subject taught in eighth grade. A H
Oakland: Board Debates Closing a Score of Public Schools, Amidst Loud Protests
The public schools of Oakland, California, are being slowly strangled by the growth of charter schools. The school board is discussing the potential closure of some 20 schools. Parents are outraged. Teachers are outraged; they have threatened a hunger strike. Tina Andres, a teacher in California and a member of the board of the Network for Public Education, wrote the following account of the most
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw: Dr. King Understood “Critical Race Theory” Before It Had a Name
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw is a professor of law at Columbia and UCLA and one of the leading figures in the field of critical race studies. She wrote the following article for the Los Angeles Times, where she demonstrates that the new laws banning the study of systemic racism simultaneously ban Dr. King’s views of America’s racial problems, which were not solved by passing civil rights laws. The

FEB 03

Oklahoma: Epic Charter Schools Mismanagement Was “Worst Abuse” of Taxpayer Funds in the History of the State
Fraud, scandal, embezzlement, failure: Nothing can slow the Republicans’ demand for charters and vouchers. The latest example of charter failure comes from Oklahoma, where the state auditor of Oklahoma reviewed the finances of the Epic charter schools and declared it was the worst abuse of taxpayer funds in the history of the state. And as yet there have been no consequences. Oklahoma’s state aud
New York: Charters Scoop Up All the New Funding for Public Schools
Advocates for fair funding for public schools in New York have pursued a remedy from the state for years. They finally won a big increase in the budget, but were shocked to discover that almost the entire increase in funding will be diverted to charter schools, which enroll 14% of the state’s students. Either coincidentally or not, Governor Hochul’s election campaign is heavily funded by charter

FEB 02

Tune in to Zoom Discussion: “Public Education in Chains: The Road to Privatization of Our Nation’s Public Schools”
Tonight, February 3 at 3 p.m. (EST), Public Funds Public Schools and the Network for Public Education are co-sponsoring a Zoom discussion between Nancy MacLean and me about the privatization of public schools. You can register here . All are welcome and there is no fee to attend. The Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS) webinar series continues on February 3 with a very special event: “Public Educa
GOP Congressman from Kentucky Tweets Fake Voltaire Quote, Whose Origin was a Neo-Nazi Pedophile
Daniel Dale is CNN’s fact-checker, and he identified a huge blunder by Representative Tom Massie, a Re publican from Kentucky. Earlier this week, a reader asked whether anyone should trust a person who declares “I am science,” and I didn’t know that he was referring to the tweet cited here. I thought it was a real question, not an unsubtle way of slamming Dr. Fauci. Daniel Dale writes: Rep. Thoma

FEB 01

North Carolina: Double Standard Defines School Funding and Accountability
The citizens’ group “Public Schools First NC” has published a scathing critique of the double standards that the General Assembly has inserted into the laws that govern education. Double Standard! Proponents of school choice, especially voucher program supporters, are often the most committed to holding public schools accountable for how public funds are spent. They point to the need to monitor t
Reader: The Founding Fathers Loathed the Filibuster
A reader who identifies as Quickwrit posted the following comment about the filibuster. For most of our history, debates in the Senate could be used to delay consideration of a bill, even to kill it. But the filibuster was not written into law until 1917. Our Founding Fathers would agree that “contemptible” aptly describes Manchin, Sinema, and each of the other Democrats who oppose ending the fil
Stephen Sawchuk: How the CRT Debate Is Shaping State History Standards
Stephen Sawchuk wrote in Education Week about the ways that public controversy about “critical race theory” is affecting the drafting and revision of state history standards. He looks closely at three states that revised their history standards in 2021: Louisiana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. For months, GOP officials and FOX news kept up a steady and alarming drumbeat, falsely claiming that pub

JAN 31

Robert Kuttner: Things Will Get Better for Biden
Robert Kuttner, editor of The American Prospect , predicts that Biden will turn around public opinion before the mid-term elections. Biden has been the target of endless media speculation about his failures. Kuttner thinks this will change. Here is how Kuttner thinks he will do it . He writes: How Things Will Get Better for Biden and the Dems We can count on Trump to seize defeat out of the jaws
Jesse Hagopian: We Will Not Teach Lies
Jesse Hagopian is an activist teacher in the Seattle Public Schools, a leader in Black Lives Matter at School and editor of the book More Than a Score : The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing. This article appeared in the Seattle Times: State Republican Rep. Jim Walsh recently introduced HB 1807 and Republican Rep. Brad Klippert introduced HB 1886 for this legislative session — two bills de

JAN 30

Jim Sleeper: It Can Happen Here
Jim Sleeper is a lecturer in political science at Yale and an author. He wrote the following post in 2018, when the horrors of the Trump regime were fresh. It is still relevant. Donald J. Trump isn’t a Nazi, although his father came close. It’s true that historical analogies between Trump’s policies and Hitler’s are often facile, and sometimes dangerously misleading. But here’s one that I’m not i
Paul Bonner: The Absurdity of Testing Kindergartners
Paul Bonner, who recently retired as a principal in Alabama, wrote the following comment as part of a discussion of administering NAEP to kindergartners. He wrote: One of the experiences that made me aware that my time with public education was coming to an end was when our district began testing kindergartners. I would walk into kindergarten classrooms and watch students struggle and often cry o
Mercedes Schneider: They Can’t Ban MAUS Unless They Shut Down the Internet
Mercedes Schneider writes that it is literally impossible to ban a book that is easily available on the Internet. The school board of McMinn County, Tennessee, voted unanimously to ban a Pulitzer-prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust called MAUS. But, she points out, students can find it for free on the Internet. Furthermore, banning a book is a sure fire way to motivate students to wan

JAN 29

New Study Finds Parents in England Dissatisfied by School Choice, Parents in Scotland Pleased with Their Local Schools
The Guardian in the U.K. reports on a study finding that parents in England are unhappy with the past three decades of “school choice.” By contrast, parents in Scotland are satisfied with their local public schools. Three decades of school choice in England has left parents feeling more “cynical, fatalistic and disempowered” than their peers in other parts of the UK, according to new research. A
Good Government Is Not Socialism
The current Republican Party has reverted to the ace card it held in the 1950s: its followers refer to every government program as socialism. SOCIALISM!! This one word is supposed to terrify everyone into fearing that government is about to take away their freedoms. Those politicians who do this should be asked if they are willing to abandon their own right to Social Security and Medicare. One of
The Real Crisis in Education
The Network for Public Education posted this article by Mark Perna, which originally appeared in Forbes. Mark C. Perna: Why Education Is About To Reach A Crisis Of Epic Proportions If you missed this widely shared article the first time it was burning around the internet, here’s a chance to catch up. This piece by Mark C. Perna for Forbes lays out just how bad the current crisis is. In order to 

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