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Saturday, April 9, 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

Kentucky: Governor Vetoes Charter Funding Bill
Kentucky authorized charter schools in 2017 but never approved a funding mechanism. The Legislature passed a charter funding bill, and Governor Andy Beshear vetoed it. Beshear struck down House Bill 9 , sponsored by House Majority Whip Chad McCoy, on Thursday. The legislation would provide federal, state and local money for charter schools, which have been legal since 2017 but have lacked a perma
NEA: End Federal Funding for Corporate Charter Schools
The National Education Association issued an appeal for educators and other concerned citizens: Raise your voice to stop the federal funding of corporate charter schools ! Now is your chance to be heard. NEA writes: Email the U.S. Department of Education to advocate for the end of corporate charter schools and support accountability and transparency for all schools taking our tax dollars. All sch
Billy Townsend: Ron DeSantis And His Corrupt Friend Are a Gift to Trump
Billy Townsend remembers Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s servile devotion to Trump while he was president. Now DeSantis is positioning himself to run for President against the old fool in 2024. But Ron D. h as a serious liability: his continued friendship with a corrupt lobbyist for the charter industry. DeSantis…banished Ralph Arza in 2018 from the sight of his campaign with much public dudgeon,
Billy Townsend: Florida Pol Blames Community for Failure of His Employer’s Charter School
Billy Townsend is an acerbic critic of Florida charter scandals and the state commissioner Richard Corcoran, whose wife runs a charter school. He never runs out of material. In this post, he tells the story of a politician, Manny Diaz, who works for a charter chain, blaming a struggling community for the failure of his employer’s charter school, which was launched with much razzle-dazzle.

APR 07

Congratulations, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson!
With the support of three renegade Republicans (Romney of Utah, Collins of Maine, and Murkowski of Alaska), Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as a new Justice of the Supreme Court. Her qualifications were beyond dispute. She is one of the most qualified members of the Court. she received the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association (Trump’s last appointee, Justice Barrett
Steven Sawchuk: States Enacting Bills to Limit or Eliminate Teaching about LGBT
Stephen Sawchuk, a veteran journalist at Education Week, has compiled a summary of current legislation that would limit or eliminate any teaching that includes references to LGBT topics. Legislators seem to believe that teachers are willfully indoctrinating students to become gay, which insults teachers. Teachers have become suspects, “grooming” students for a “gay lifestyle.” Legislators apparen
The Horrors of Bucha
As the Russian military regroups and moves to attack Ukrainian cities in the East, it is withdrawing from towns it controlled for more than a month. The evidence of sadism, torture, and war crimes against civilians shocks the conscience of everyone but the man who started the war, Vladimir Putin. He and he alone has the power to stop the killing. By now, we have all seen the trrrible carnage on t
“In the Public Interest”: Time to Regulate the Federal Charter School Slush Fund
The nonprofit, nonpartisan group “In the Public Interest” explains the need to regulate the $440 million federal Charter Schools Program, which is awash in waste, fraud, and abuse. Did you know that the federal government spends $440 million every year to help start privately run charter schools? Did you know that some of that money ends up in the hands of people who never actually open schools o
Tom Ultican: D.C. Educators Fired for Opposing Relay “Graduate School” Ideology
Tom Ultican, chronicler of the Destroy Public Education movement and retired teacher of physics and advanced mathematics, investigated a strange occurrence in the District of Columbia: Two respected, experienced black educators were fired for refusing to adopt the practices of the so-called Relay “Graduate School” of Education. Relay is not a real graduate school. It has no campus, no research, n
Carol Burris: What the Proposed Regulations for the Federal Charter Schools Program Really Say
Charter school lobbyists have poured out lamentations about the U.S. Department of Education’s proposals to regulate the federal Charter Schools Program, which gives out $440 million to open new charter schools or expand existing charter schools. These lamentations are false, because the regulations have no effect at all on the 7,000+ existing charter schools. They are a good faith effort to clea

APR 06

Tennessee: Memphis Charter School Will Close After Misappropriating Nearly $800,000
While Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is eagerly expanding the charter school sector, a state panel decided to close a Memphis charter school because of its leaders “misappropriating” nearly $800,000. MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Charter revoked. Today a state panel agreed with the Memphis Shelby County School board to pull the plug on a local charter school. The Memphis Academy of Health Sciences (MAHS) appeale
Jeff Bryant: Inside a Chaotic For-Profit Charter School
Jeff Bryant is a writing fellow and chief correspondent for Our Schools . He is a communications consultant, freelance writer, advocacy journalist, and director of the Education Opportunity Network, a strategy and messaging center for progressive education policy. In this article, he reveals what we long suspected about for-profit charter schools. They make money by cutting corners. He writes: It
Tennessee Legislature Passes Hateful Laws
Representative Gloria Johnson posted a series of tweets describing the hateful legislation that her colleagues in the Tennessee Legislature have passed. Her Twitter handle is @VoteGloriaJ When I got home this weekend someone asked how things are going in Nashville, I’m not sure they were ready for my answer, but it went kind of like this… We have a “Don’t Say Gay” bill worse than Florida’s and ab

APR 05

A Reader Sends a Comment to the US DOE about Regulating Charter Schools Program
A writer who identifies here as quickwrit sent a comment to the U.S. Department of Education commending it for the proposed regulation of the federal Charter Schools Program, which dispenses $440 million a year to start new charter schools or expand existing ones. During the Betsy DeVos years, she showered many millions of dollars on some of the nation’s largest charter chains. Some, like the IDE
Peter Greene: “Moms for Liberty” Are Shocked by Literal Interpretation of “Don’t Say Gay” Bill
Peter Greene discovered an email blast from the radical rightwing group that calls itself “Moms for Liberty.” The “Moms” are outraged by a letter supposedly written by a teacher in Florida who promised to follow the letter of the “Don’t Say Gay” law and eliminate all references to gender identity from his/her/their classroom. The teacher noted that the new law bans all references to gender identi
The Real Purpose of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law has two ostensible purposes. One is to bring national attention to Governor Ron DeSantis as the heir to Donald Trump’s MAGA base. The other is to humiliate gay people, who are collateral damage in DeSantis’ pursuit of the 2024 Republican nomination. Since teachers in K-3 in Florida do not teach sex education, the law is no more than a symbolic insult. Florida’s “Don’

APR 04

Leonie Haimson: Stop Congress from Passing Massive Data Collection on Every College Student
Leonie Haimson is a New York-based education activist who has two passions: reducing class size and protecting student privacy. She is co-founder of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy. She writes today in Valerie Strauss’s “Answer Sheet ” about legislation that threatens the privacy of every college student. Do your part to stop this invasion of privacy by writing your member of Congress. U
Debunking the Myth That Teachers Stop Improving After Three-Five Years
The following post was written by Jill Barshay and reposted by Larry Cuban on his blog. It is a response to the claim by various economists that teachers don’t improve after three to five years. This claim has been used to promote Teach for America, despite their inexperience and lack of substantive teacher education. It has also been used, as the previous post about North Carolina shows, to clai
North Carolina Plans to Scrap Experience-Based Teacher Pay and Replace It With Test-Based “Merit Pay”: A Zombie Policy
What can you say when a state decides to adopt a policy that has failed again and again and has been conclusively discredited? I call such proposals “zombie policies,” because they fail and fail but never die. Justin Parmenter, a National Board Certified Teacher in North Carolina, writes here about a plan in his state to eliminate experienced-based pay and replace it with the obsolete practice of

APR 03

Send Jets to Ukraine!
President Zelenskyy has repeatedly pleaded with every nation that would listen: Send us jets so we can protect our citizens. Thus far, President Biden has stood firm in opposition because he fears a wider war. Ukraine is not a member of NATO so NATO is not obliged to defend it. But as awareness of the war crimes and atrocities committed by the Russian military increase, the necessity of helping U
Jan Resseger Urges You to Support New Regulations Curbing Charter Profiteers
Ohio knows charter schools. A lobbyist for the charter school industry wrote the law. Charter schools are mistakenly called “community schools.” Most charter schools in the state are failing schools, but that does not dim the enthusiasm of the GOP legislature for them. Ohio welcomes for-profit charter schools. Charters drain money from public schools. For the first time in the history of the fede
Washington Post Editorial Opposes New Regulations to Ban For-Profit Charters and Require Charters to Show Their Impact
The federal Charter Schools Program was launched in 1994 with a few million dollars, when the Clinton administration decided to offer funding for start-ups. At the time, there were few charter schools. In the early, idealistic days, charter enthusiasts asserted that charters would set lofty goals and close their doors if they didn’t meet them. They were sure that charters would be far better than
Peter Greene: “Moms for Liberty” Reveals Their Plan on Steve Bannon’s Show
Peter Greene reports here on the battle plans of the radical rightwing “Moms for Liberty,” as revealed by its leader Tiffany Justice on the Steve Bannon show. In short, take over all the school boards, fire everybody, and replace then with conservatives who share the hateful views of Tiffany Justice. Greene writes, and adds his comments: BANNON: Are we going to start taking over the school boards

APR 02

This Is What a Teacher Does
A friend sent this video, which appears on TikTok. The person in the video is Katie Peters, and she teaches in Toledo. Several readers gave me her name, her Twitter handle, and her website address ( ). I wrote a message to her on Twitter to thank her, and she replied, “I am so lucky to get to do this job everyday.”
Latest Study: Ivermectin Is a Medicine for Fools
Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times reports on the latest study of Ivermectin , a veterinary drug for animals with parasites. The study found that Ivermectin is useless as a treatment for COVID-19. It is a quack treatment that became popular among Republicans. Anything, anything at all, was acceptable to Trumpers except vacccinations developed by reputable companies. He writes: The final res
Sacramento: Teachers Strike for Dignity and Respect
Sacramento City Unified School District teachers, school staff and supporters take part in a rally at Rosemont High School on March 28 as they have been gone on strike due to the staffing crisis in the district . All SCUSD schools shut down and will remain closed for the duration of the strike. I have read many articles about the shortage of teachers and school staff. I have read many that were l
Texas Requires K-3 Teachers to Take a 60-120 Hour Reading Course at Their Own Expense or Leave
Texas has a teacher shortage, but that doesn’t stop the state from piling new requirements on teachers. Brian Lopez of The Texas Tribune reports: It was one thing to ask Texas teachers — during an ongoing teacher’s shortage — to make extra room in their busy home routines for online classroom teaching for months, then to monitor the latest in vaccine and mask mandates while waiting and adjusting

APR 01

Amazon Workers in Staten Island, New York, Warehouse Vote to Unionize
This could be a historic moment for the American labor movement. Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York, voted to join a union. NEW YORK — Workers voted Friday to unionize an Amazon Staten Island warehouse, a historic decision that marks the first successful U.S. effort at the e-commerce giant and a major victory for the domestic labor movement. Amazon, the country’s second-largest private emp
Michael J. Petrilli: Test the Babies!
Michael J. Petrilli drew a lot of criticism a few months ago when he proposed to give NAEP tests to children in kindergarten, arguing that fourth grade was too late to start assessing student skills. Now he has an even more radical proposal: test the babies, he says. He writes: Earlier this year, I took to the pages of Education Next to make the case for NAEP to test starting in kindergarten, sta
How Russia Defends the War That Is Not a War
A friend forwarded this message from her friend in St. Petersburg, Russia: 1. Russia did not attack Ukraine, but Ukraine must definitely stop defending itself. 2. A special operation is not a war, but economic sanctions are a war. 3. The war began so that the war would not start. 4. Conscripts were not sent to Ukraine, but some of them died there. 5. The maternity hospital was bombed because the
Kevin Welner: New Courses Teach Laws Forbidding Teaching What the Law is About
With so many laws passed forbidding the teaching of “critical race theory,” Kevin Welner has come up with an ingenious solution. Teach the law itself! Kevin is a lawyer who teaches education policy at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is also director of the National Education Policy Center. He means this as an April Fool’s joke, but like all satires, there is more than a kernel of truth

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