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Saturday, February 26, 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

South Carolina: It Doesn’t Matter What’s Taught If There’s No One to Teach It
Patrick Kelly, director of governmental affairs for the Palmetto State Teachers Association, warned in an opinion piece in the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier about the state’s teacher shortage. Teacher salaries are low, and legislators are obsessed with the idea of telling teachers what they may and may not teach. Meanwhile the state has a budget surplus, and Governor Henry McMaster will use it
Nevada: Most Charter Students Enrolled in Schools Managed by Florida For-Profit Firm
Back in the early days of charter schools, their advocates imagined that most would be run by teachers or local educators with a passion to run their own school. The charters would be innovative and accountable, working closely with public schools to share good ideas. That was then, this is now. No one back in the late 1980s envisioned huge charter chains like KIPP. Nor did they imagine the emerg


What the Kenyan Ambassador Said About National Borders
Fareed Zakaria said on CNN a few days ago that the Kenyan Ambassador to the UN gave the best response to Putin’s assertion about national borders. Basically, he said that all the borders in Africa were created by the colonial powers, but Africans have agreed to live with them because the alternative would be endless war. Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept agreed. He wrote: AS EUROPE FACES the grim
Is Ukraine a Sovereign Nation?
A few days before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Putin justified the decision to make war by claiming that Ukraine did not exist. It was a fake nation, invented by Lenin. But… The Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler debunked Putin’s web of lies . The reality is that Ukrainian culture and language have existed for centuries and a Ukrainian nationalist movement sprang up in the mid-1800s, a
Oakland: The Indispensable School that the Board Wants to Close
Community members and two members of the Oakland school board asked for a one-year delay in the decision to close schools. The board turned down their request. The two board members who have valiantly opposed the closures are Mike Hutchinson and VanCedric Williams. Zack Haber wrote at Medium about one school on the closure list that is indispensable. It is Community Day School, which takes in stu
Texas: Charter $$$ Flood Race for State Board of Education
The charter industry has set its sights on Texas, since the state has a rightwing Governor and Lieutenant Governor and Republicans control the state legislature. So charter money is flowing to candidates for State Board of Education. In El Paso, board member Georgina Perez decided not to run again, so the charter industry is backing a charter school leader to take her place. Perez is a charter cr

FEB 24

Ukraine President, Who Is Jewish, Asks the Russian People: “How Could I Be a Nazi?”
Shortly before the massive invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine, President Zelensky tried to reach Vladimir Putin on the telephone. Putin refused to take his call. Then Zelensky made an emotional appeal to the people of Russia, addressing them in Russian, yet fully aware that the state-controlled media would block his words on Russian media. Putin said he had to invade to “denazify” Ukraine, w
Arizona Parent: I Got a Voucher But No School Would Take My Special-Needs Child
Pamela Lang, a parent of a child with special-needs in Arizona, wrote for Public Voices for Public Schools about her terrible experience finding a school for her son . She writes: I may not look like your typical public school advocate. I’m not opposed to private schools, and I even use a voucher for my son. I’ve also always loved public schools and advocated for our elected representatives to do
Tennessee Charter Scandals: Tweets by Amy Frogge
Amy Frogge was elected twice to the Nashville Metro school board. She is a lawyer, a public school parent, and executive director of Pastors for Tennessee Children. As a board member, Amy quickly learned about the big money behind charter schools, especially when she was outspent 5-1 when she ran for office. Tennessee received a grant of $500 million from Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top competition

FEB 23

Putin’s $100 Million+ Super-Yacht Heads Back to Russia
Vladimir Putin’s super-yacht, worth at least $100 million, left its port in Hamburg before repairs were finished. It is heading for a safe port in Russia. Putin wants to make sure it is not seized as new sanctions are imposed by NATO governments after his invasion of Ukraine. It’s likely that sanctions will be placed on the personal assets of Russian oligarchs, including Putin.
Poll: Half of Americans Don’t Want Students to Learn About the Effects of Racism Today
Education Week reported the results of a poll that showed that half of Americans don’t want children to learn about racism today . How will they understand the events of the day? What will they make of the national protests after the murder of George Floyd? How do they sense of hate crimes? How do they make sense of persistent segregation and inequality? Madeline Will writes: The public is divide
John Oliver Explains the Link Between “Critical Race Theory” and School Choice
John Oliver explained the Republican hysteria over “critical race theory.” At bottom, as he shows, the GOP goal is to persuade parents to escape “CRT” by abandoning their local public schools and enrolling in charter schools or seeking vouchers. The leading anti-CRT crusader, Chris Rufo, made this linkage explicit, as Oliver demonstrates, as did Betsy DeVos. The big money supporting the anti-CRT
Texas: Pastors Fight for Public Schools Against Heartless Privatizers
The well-organized Pastors for Texas Children is engaged in rhetorical battles with the well-funded privatizers. Whether by Tweet, in the media, or on the lecture platform, Pastor Charles Foster Johnson and his colleagues lead the battle on behalf of public schools, taking on the rich and powerful and their political lackeys. After Congressman Chip Roy attacked Pastors for Texas children and clas

FEB 22

What Do the People of Ukraine Want? Watch This Film.
I just watched the film called WINTER OF FIRE , an amazing documentary about the Ukrainian uprising against the government in the winter of 2013-2014. It is streaming on Netflix. It’s a story of patriotism and courage. You will see the incredible determination of the Ukrainian people to live lives of freedom and dignity. I urge you to watch it. It shows up the bobble-head pundits who claim to hav
Florida: “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Gets Worse
Robert Hubbell again: The Florida bill to ban teaching about gender and sexuality just went from reprehensible to depraved. Now Republicans propose that school administrators must inform parents if they think a student is gay or face civil lawsuits. He writes: Florida Republicans proposed a bill that would prohibit school districts from “ encourag[ing] classroom discussion about sexual orientatio
Robert Hubbell: Putin’s Power Play and His GOP Enablers
Robert Hubbell is a blogger who is always informative and insightful. Today he digs into Putin’s aggression and its frightening implications for the other states that were once part of the Soviet Union. Be sure to open the link to Charlie Sykes’s review of the Republicans who are shilling for Putin, led by Tucker Carlson. For more on Putin’s useful idiots, see what Hubbell wrote yesterday. He wri
Dale Farran: Think of Child Development as an Iceberg
Dale C. Farran was one of the lead researchers in a study of the effects of an academic pre-kindergarten program in Tennessee. The study concluded that the children who participated in the program eventually fell behind those in the control group who were not in the program. In an article on the blog of DEY (Defending the Early Years), Farran expressed her views about child development. She used
Denisha Jones: We Must Protect Children from Bad Ideas
Denisha Jones is a lawyer, an early childhood educator, and a member of the board of DEY (Defending the Early Years). She writes here about the necessity of protecting young children from the resurgence of bad ideas. The worst of these bad ideas is standardized testing. She writes: As protectors of childhood, we have a duty to resist bad ideas, policies, and laws and be as vocal in our resistance

FEB 21

Dana Milbank: How Are Anti-Vaxxers Like ‘60s Radicals?
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post compares the anti-vaxxers (those who fight for the right to get sick and die) to ‘60s radicals in this article . The times, they are a-changin’. Last month, when antiabortion activists and anti-vaccine protesters staged mass protests in the capital, speakers at both rallies quoted the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Today, we are going to reclaim Martin’s dream!”
Florida Sets Off a Red-State Frenzy to Add Anti-Gay Laws to Their Anti-CRT Laws
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature passed a law to ban any discussion of homosexuality in school; the legislation is known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Other red states are rushing to pass copycat legislation. Some are using their gag orders to target both critical race theory and any discussion of LGBT. PEN America, the authors’ organization, summarized this frenzy: Last month PEN
Republicans Refuse to Act Against Climate Change
Paul Waldman of the Washington Post w rites that Republicans, with only a few exceptions, refuse to do anything about climate change. The news gets worse, but they are determined to do nothing. CNN posted illustrations of what rising sea levels would do to the coastal cities in the not distant future, and the visualizations are terrifying. Sure, Democrats are predominant in New York and Californi

FEB 20

Watch Nancy MacLean and Me Discuss the Rightwing Attacks on Public Schools
On February 3, Duke University historian Nancy MacLean and I held a Zoom conversation called “Public Education in Chains,” about the nefarious conspiracy to undermine and privatize our public schools. The discussion was sponsored by Public Funds Public Schools and the Network for Public Education. Dr. MacLean is the author of many books, including the brilliant Democracy in Chains: The DeepHistor
Nancy MacLean: Milton Friedman, School Choice, Segregation, and Privatization
Nancy MacLean is an esteemed historian at Duke University, where she is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy. She specializes in the study of race, gender, labor history and social movements in the United States. Her book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History ofthe Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America is must reading. In this important paper , she examines the role of e

FEB 19

Texas: Dan Patrick Threatens to Take Tenure Away from Professors Who Defy Anti-CRT Law
Kate McGee of the Texas Tribune writes that Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has t hreatened to kill tenure in Texas universities to compel compliance with his wish to stop any teaching about race or racism, which he calls “critical race theory.” Dan Patrick is a phony Texan. He wears boots, but he was born and raised in Baltimore. His birth name was Dannie Scott Goeb . He was the little Rush Limbaugh of
Philadelphia: District Will Regain Control of Two Low-Performing Charter Schools
Don’t believe the hype about charter ”success.” As the Network for Public Education has documented in several reports, the failure and closure rate of charter schools is high. in Philadelphia, the district has battled to close two low-performing charter schools for years and only now is on the cusp of regaining their students. A state panel on Tuesday upheld the Philadelphia school board’s decisi
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

FEB 18

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

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