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Saturday, February 19, 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

Tom Ultican: The History of the Nefarious “New Leaders for New Schools”
When a bright young man or woman gets an idea to replace experienced educators with inexperienced tyros and is quickly funded by billionaire foundations, you can guess that the ultimate goal is privatization. For one thing, the enterprise rests on a base claim that “our schools are failing,” and that experience is irrelevant and probably harmful. Tom Ultican recounts the origin story of one such


Global Guru #1 !!!
I am pleased to report that I was selected as ” Global Guru #1” by an organization that selects “global gurus” in different fields. I am happy to see my friends Deborah Meier, Andy Hargreaves, and Pasi Sahlberg on the same list. I’m honored to be in the company of such distinguished educators. In case you read the bio, there are two updates. I retired from active service at New York University on
Texas: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Wants to Ban “Critical Race Theory” in Universities
This is when 21st century McCarthyism gets serious. Dan Patrick, the talk-show host who is now Lieutenant Governor of Texas, wants to ban the teaching of “critical race theory” in higher education. Critical race theory, the study of systemic and institutionalized racism, has been taught and debated in law schools and colleges since the mid-1980s. Patrick wants to quash academic freedom in higher
South Carolina: Don’t Defund Our Public Schools With Vouchers!
Paul Bowers, previously the education journalist for the Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier , writes his own blog. In this post, he calls on the state legislators not to pass voucher legislation that would predictably defund the state’s already underfunded public schools. South Carolina has a large budget surplus and one of the lowest tax rates in the nation. Governor Henry McMaster annou

FEB 17

Tennessee: Woman Charged with Statutory Rape in Same County That Banned MAUS
A 38-year-old woman in McMinn County, Tennessee, was arrested and charged with raping multiple boys at McMinn Central High School. ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) – An Englewood woman has been indicted on more than 20 sex charges after investigators say she traded items for sexual encounters with male students who attend McMinn Central High School. Melissa Blair, 38, is charged with 18 counts of aggravated
Missouri: League of Women Voters Reports on Latest Bills Advanced by State Senate
A friend of public schools in Missouri sent the following excerpt of a report by the League report by the state League of Women Voters. EDUCATION Senate Education Committee Votes Out Bills The committee voted out all bills heard thus far this session on February 10, including: SB 869 (Koenig) to revise the law specifying payments to charter schools and shift more local school funds to charter sch
Nora de la Cour: Why We Should Care About School Bus Drivers
Nora de la Our writes in Jacobin magazine about the plight of school bus drivers. They are in short supply across the nation. She explains why. The 2021–22 school year has been marked by severe transportation problems across US school districts. In a nationwide survey of those in the pupil transportation industry conducted in August, 78 percent of respondents said their district’s bus driver shor
Tennessee: “Instead of Raging Over MAUS, Support Local People Who Are Fighting the Ban”
Whitney Kimball Coe, director of national programs for the Center for Rural Strategies, advises those who are outraged about the removal of MAUS from the eighth grade curriculum by the McMinn County School Board to support those in the South and rural areas who agree with them, instead of showering them with contempt and condescension. She was invited to appear on CNN to talk about the decision,

FEB 16

Michael Hiltzik: Trump’s Deal with China Was a Failure
Remember when Trump bragged about his great skills as a deal maker? Emremember when he ridiculed everyone else who preceded him? Guess what? He was a conman on that claim like so many others, according to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times. The final tally is in, and the numbers are grim: Donald Trump’s huge trade deal with China — the deal he trumpeted as a “transformative” victory for the
San Francisco: Voters Recall Three Board Members
Voters in San Francisco overwhelmingly recalled three board members because the board spent too much time on divisive equity issues and too little time on reopening schools, according to the account by Laura Meckler in the Washington Post. The story subtitle is: “In a warning for the left, critics saw misplaced priorities, as the board focused on equity issues while schools remained closed” Some
NYC: Parents Leaders Demand an End to Mayoral Control of the Schools
As soon as he was elected NYC mayor in 2003, Michael Bloomberg asked the Legislature to give him full control of the schools. The Legislature, wowed by the billionaire mayor with a reputation for business acumen, gave him what he wanted. He promptly renamed the Board of Education, and turned it into the Department of Education, no longer an independent agency but a branch of city government, like
Peter Gray on the Tennessee Pre-School Study
Writing in Psychology Today , Peter Gray reviewed the longitudinal study by Vanderbilt researchers of the effects of pre-kindergarten classes on low-income children. He noted that the long-term effects were negative. He usefully points out that the German government conducted a similar study in the 1970s: The German government was trying to decide whether it would be a good idea, or not, to start
NPR: A Surprising Study of Pre-K
Anya Kamenetz of National Public Radio reported a new study of pre-K that reached surprising results. Most policymakers who support the expansion of early childhood education expect that it gives young children an early start with academics and leads later to narrowing of the achievement gap between different groups of children. But that’s not what this study found. Kamenetz wrote: Dale Farran ha

FEB 15

Heather Cox Richardson: Why Trump Hit the Ceiling Yesterday
Heather Cox Richardson is a historian who blogs about current events from an historical perspective. Her blog is called “Letters from an American.” She wrote: February 14, 2022 Heather Cox Richardso n It appears there was a reason for the former president’s unhinged rant of yesterday suggesting that members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign had spied on him and that “in a stronger period of time
West Virginia: Students Walk Out to Protest “Optional” Prayer Meeting During School
More than 100 students walked out at Huntington High School in Huntington, West Virginia, to protest a religious revival in school. The students “staged a walkout to protest a school-sanctioned religious revival that some of their teachers required them to attend.” Earlier this week, teachers told students that during a non-instructive class period called COMPASS, they had to go to an assembly wh
Katherine Stewart: The Religious Right Targets Public Schools for Extinction
Katherine Stewart has been writing for years about Christian nationalism and its pernicious influence on American society, especially public schools. Her latest book is The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous World of Religious Nationalists. She wrote this article about the January 6 insurrection for The New York Times : The most serious attempt to overthrow the American constitutional system

FEB 14

Rachel Levy: If We Value Our Schools, We Must Value Our Teachers
Rachel Levy is a public school parent and teacher in Virginia. She wrote this article as part of the series created by the Network for Public Education called “Public Voices for Public Schools.” Rachel recently ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. She learned about politics at the ground-level. And she saw how much the public appreciates its public schools. She wrote: I was proud to
San Francisco: Plutocrats Pour Big $$$ into School Board Recall
On February 15, San Francisco will hold a recall election for three members of its school board. Big contributions are pouring in from the pro-charter plutocrats. The pro-recall campaign has collected nearly $2 million . The anti-recall campaign has raised a small fraction of that, about $30,000. Arthur Rock, a California billionaire who has given many millions to Teach for America and charter sc

FEB 13

A Site That Unmasks the Leading Anti-Vaxxers
The New York Times recently wrote about Twitter’s suspension of the personal (not the official) account of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Twitter applied its rule of “five strikes and you’re out” because she posted misinformation about COVID and vaccines that could cause harm to others. Among other things, she had posted on Twitter that COVID was not dangerous and that vaccines should not
Palm Beach County Ready to Approve Prayer Meetings in School During the School Day
Palm Beach County is set to approve prayer meetings in schools . The Boca Raton News reports: BOCA RATON, FL ( (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Palm Beach County School Board is set to approve a policy that permits religious meetings on school grounds and during the school day. first reported on the controversial proposal in January. ha

FEB 12

Tim Slekar: We Do Not Have a Teacher Shortage
Tim Slekar, Director of the Educator Preparation Program, Muskingum University of Ohio. He insists we do not have a teacher shortage. We have a shortage of respect for teachers as professionals. He wrote the following: Enough Already! It’s NOT a teacher shortage. “ The public is not begging for teachers yet, but districts are. At some point, if this pathway does not change, the public will also b
South Carolina: Republican Legislators Advance Voucher Legislation
The floodgates are opening for vouchers, as Republicans accelerate their war on public schools. South Carolina Republicans introduced voucher legislation , joining a long list of other red states. COLUMBIA — Republican legislators are on track to create a private school choice program in South Carolina after years of failed attempts, driven by parental complaints about closed classrooms and virtu
Denis Smith: The Charter and Voucher Wars Continue
Denis Smith wrote the following post on the website of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, founded by former state official William Phillis. The Charter School and Voucher Wars Continue: A Tale of Two Cities, or Maybe Three Denis Smith, retired school administrator and ODE Charter School Office consultant, discusses school privatization in 3 C’s—Columbus, Charleston and
John Merrow: A Spartacus Moment
John Merrow, like millions of Americans, was appalled when the Republican National Committee attacked Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for serving on the House Committee investigating the insurrection of January 6. He was reminded of the film Spartacus. He wrote: In the 1960 movie “Spartacus,” the Roman Army puts down a slave revolt. The Commander of Italy offers to pardon thousands of s

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