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Saturday, April 30, 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

Peter Greene: I Am Not Going to Defend SEL
In case you wondered, Peter Greene is not a fan of SEL (social-emotional learning) . Just because the loathsome Florida Governor Ron DeSantis doesn’t like it is no reason to embrace it. He feels the way about SEL that I always felt about character education. Character education should not be a course or a program; it should implicitly permeate everything you do in teaching honesty, integrity. res
Australia: Teachers Plan to Strike on May 4
Teachers in New South Wales, Australia, plan to strike on May 4 to protest working conditions, especially understaffing and low salaries. A letter to public school parents Every day across NSW, children are missing out because of a lack of teachers. It’s an unacceptable situation affecting public and private schools. Children can’t put their education on hold and wait for this to be fixed. They h
Florida: Man Demands Ban on Bible and Dictionary in Schools
Chaz Stevens, a 57-year-old tech wizard, noticed that Florida made it easier to challenge books used in schools and housed in school libraries. The law doesn’t take effect until July 1, but Stevens couldn’t wait that long. So he immediately launched a complaint about the Bible and the Oxford English Dictionary and requested that they be banned. As of Wednesday, he has filed near-identical petitio
Florida: School District Bans “Everywhere Babies”
The book-banning and censorship are reaching absurd proportions. A school district in Florida just banned a beloved children’s book, “Everywhere Babies.” Caitlin Gibson wrote about it in the Washington Post. what’s next? “Goodnight Moon”? Some think it’s atheist because the little bunny doesn’t say its prayers. “Harold and the Purple Craton”? Why “purple? Is Harold gay? These censors don’t realiz
Beware the Gay Penguins! The Sensitive Ferdinand! The Heterosexual Ducklings!
Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, the authors of a popular—and frequently challenged—children’s book “And Tango Makes Three,” warn in this article that Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law threatens every book that deals with “gender identity.” They wrote in The Washington Post: Dear K-3 teachers of Florida, Thank you for your kind messages! Please don’t feel bad. We totally understand why you have t

APR 28

Time to Reform the Federal Charter School Program
I wrote this article that was published in the New York Daily News. It could be subtitled: “Lies that the Charter Lobby Says to Protect Its Money Pit.” Fix this wasteful federal charter-school fund By Diane Ravitch New York Daily News April 28, 2022 at 5:00 am The federal Charter School Programs (CSP) began in 1995 as a modest program intended to jump-start new, independent, publicly funded schoo
Brooklyn Public Library Opens Its Archives to Teens to Fight Book Banning
Good news from the Brooklyn Public Library for teens whose libraries have been ransacked by censors and other vandals. The Brooklyn Public Library will give you free access to its collection, which is uncensored. Like we needed another reason to love libraries: with book bans ramping up in school systems around the country, the Brooklyn Public Library is taking steps to make its massive catalog a
Jeb Bush: Let’s Get Back to Destroying Public Schools
Say this for Jeb Bush: he is not dissuaded by failure. No matter how many studies show the failure of vouchers, he doesn’t care. No matter how many studies show that charter schools do not get better results than public schools, he doesn’t care. No matter how many grifters have drained millions through privatization of schools, he doesn’t care. No matter how little evidence he has for any of his
Los Angeles: Teachers at 4 Charter Schools Plan to Strike Today
This just in: FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 28 On-site Contact Rosalina Cardenas C: 213-280-1144 E: Follow Up Contact Glenn Goldstein Organization & Field Services, AFT C: 510-735-4815 E: Charter educators to strike on Thursday, April 28, as management continues to deny right to unionize Educators demand Alliance College-Ready Publi

APR 27

Michigan: The GOP Goes Off the Deep End
Amber Phillips reported in The Washington Post that the Michigan Republican Party selected a Trump-chosen person for the role of Secretary of State—the official who oversees and certifies elections. She sounds like a true believer in conspiracy theories: Until the 2020 election, secretaries of state — at least at the state level — worked mostly under the radar, overseeing state elections and cert
Jan Resseger: Unfair School Funding and the Legacy of Jim Crow
Jan Resseger writes here about the continuing effects of racism on school funding today, not only in the south but across the nation. She cites the important writings of law professor Derek Black, whose work deeply informed her about the history of racism and how it persists today (I think that is called “critical race theory”). She writes: In a powerful new article, Legacy of Jim Crow Still Affe
Florida: DeSantis’ Attack on Disney May Cost Orange County Taxpayers $1 Billion+
The Disney Corporation ended its silence on Governor DeSantis’ decision, with the legislature, to dissolve the special district the state created for the entertainment giant more than 50 years ago. Disney’s lawyers let the Governor know that taxpayers in nearby districts would have to pick up the costs of public services that Disney pays for, but also its bond debt of more than $1 billion. DeSant
Gloria Nolan: Why I Quit the Charter Industry
Gloria Nolan is a parent of children enrolled in St. Louis public schools. She recently joined the board of the Network for Public Education. She wrote the following article , which was published in the St.Louis Post-Dispatch. She begins: For about three years I worked for an organization that was invested in growing the charter school movement locally and around the country. Thankfully, I moved

APR 26

Chris Rufo Threatens to Sue Randi Weingarten
Randi Weingarten quoted Chris Rufo’s speech at Hillsdale College, where he called for school choice to break free of public schools, one of our democratically governed local institutions. He threatened to sue her. His first tweet: delete your false tweets and issue an official retraction—or I will unleash hell on you. He’s complaining a
NPE Letter about Regulating Federal Charter Funds Signed by 101 Organizations
Please read the letter from the Network for Public Education to the U.S. Department of Zeducation, supporting its proposed regulations for federal funding of charter schools. The letter was signed by 96 organizations. On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we submit the following response to the Department of Education’s request for comments related to the proposed priorities, requirements,
Ted Cruz: “School Choice is the Most Important Issue” of Our Time
The two most outspoken conservatives in Texas—Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott—are at odds in two races for the state legislature. Abbott is supporting the Republican incumbents. Cruz is supporting their challengers in the Republican primary. The two grinches of the right are diverging because of one issue: school choice. Texas is already overrun with charter schools (mostly low-performi
Chris Rufo Wants You to “Lay Siege to the Institutions”
Conservatives used to be known as people resistant to radical change. In decades past, conservatives sought to conserve traditional institutions and make them better. That stance appealed to many Americans who were unsettled by radical ideas, opposed to big-box stores that would wipe out small-town America’s Main Street. Conservatives were also known for opposing government intrusion into persona

APR 25

If Every Philanthropist Were like Mackenzie Scott
As most everyone knows by now, Mackenzie Scott is the ex-wife of billionaire Jeff Bezos. Her divorce settlement made her one of the richest people in the world. Since acquiring sole control of this fortune, she has given away billions of dollars to various organizations. Most are committed to civil rights, women’s issues, LGBT issues, and other worthy causes. Other billionaire philanthropists, li
Tom Ultican: The City Fund Uses Oligarch Money to Privatize Public Schools
Tom Ultican, retired teacher of advanced mathematics and physics, is an expert on the “Destroy Public Education” movement. In this post, he explores the oligarch money behind The City Fund and the cities it has targeted for privatization of their public schools. He writes: Born in 2018, The City Fund (TCF) is a concentration of oligarch wealth crushing democracy and privatizing the commons. John
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, Is Funding Rightwing Republicans
Billionaire Reed Hastings claims to be a Democrat, but he loves charter schools and despises public schools. In his efforts to promote privatization, he has funded some extremist Republicans. In Missouri, he funded the Republicans intent on eliminating abortion services for women , while giving a pittance to Democrats in the Missouri legislature.. In Indiana, Reed Hastings is the sugar daddy of a

APR 23

Grumpy Old Teacher: Censoring Florida’s Math Textbooks
Grumpy Old Teacher explains in his blog the “thinking” behind Ron DeSantis’ decision to censor math textbooks and purge them of content that he and his Department of Education found objectionable. He begins: As the uproar over Department of Education (FLDOE) deemed inappropriate mathematics textbooks continued this week, the governor claiming that the curriculum materials were proprietary, the pu
Dana Milbank: If the Jackboot Fits, Wear It
Dana Milbank is a columnist for the Washington Post. He is one of my favorites. (I also adore Valerie Strauss and Jennifer Rubin, and of course, Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker). I’m sorry that his many links did not transfer when I copied and pasted . Subscribe to the Post. He writes: There were even more vermin than usual in Washington this week. A rabid fox at the Capitol bit at least nine peo
Bob Shepherd: Hillsdale College’s 1776 Curriculum: Comic Book History
Bob Shepherd is a regular reader and commenter who has been an assessment developer, a textbook writer and editor, and a teacher, among other things. In the following post, he reviews the Hillsdale College “1776 Curriculum,” which took its name from Donald Trump’s short-lived “1776 Commission.” He writes: According to the Nashville Tennessean, Governor Bill Lee, a proponent of charter schools, is
Iowa: High School Students Are Smarter Than Legislators
High school students in several districts in Iowa have staged walkouts to protest legislation that affects their education. Students want their teachers to have the freedom to teach, and they want the freedom to learn. Iowa legislators don’t want either. In light of recent education bills at the Iowa Legislature, whether it’s promoting vouchers for private schools or restricting what teachers are

APR 22

Florida: Which Was the Only Publisher to Win the K-5 Math Textbook Market?
Only one publisher met all of Florida’s requirements for K-5 math textbooks . The winner was Houston-based Accelerate Learning. The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, acquired Accelerate Learning on Dec. 20, 2018, according to the firm’s website. During that time, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin was the co-CEO of the firm. After 25 years with the company, Youngkin resigned in 2020 to run for o
Ron DeSantis’ Abuse of Government Power to Impose His Hatreds Is Dangerous
Yesterday, the Florida Legislature passed legislation enacting Governor DeSantis’ personal vendetta against the Disney corporation, dissolving the special district status it enjoys, where it supplies all its own services, such as security and sanitation. Disney is a huge economic boon to the state, drawing millions of tourists to Florida every year. DeSantis wanted to punish Disney for criticizin
Florida Officials Reveal Why They Rejected Math Textbooks
Allie Pitchon of The Miami Herald reported that state officials told some publishers of math textbooks why the state would not buy their books. The initial announcement said that some math books were too “woke,” contained “critical race theory,” or included concepts from Common Core, which Governor Ron DeSantis turned against because former President Obama endorsed it. Former Florida Governor Jeb
Florida: Who Selects Textbooks?
The Miami Herald says that districts have the final say over which textbooks are used in their classrooms. However, Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to compel all districts to adopt only the textbooks approved by the state. Sommer Brugal writes that under current law, the districts will decide. Despite the chatter among district leaders about the announcement, and confusion about why certain title

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