BREAKING NEWS: Washington State Court Rules Charter Schools Unconstitutional

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Washington State’s Supreme Court ruled that charter schools are unconstitutional.

“After nearly a year of deliberation, the state Supreme Court ruled 6-3 late Friday afternoon that charter schools are unconstitutional.

“The ruling overturns the law voters narrowly approved in 2012 allowing publicly funded, but privately operated, schools.

“Eight new charter schools are opening in Washington this fall in addition to one that opened in Seattle last year…

“Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote that charter schools aren’t “common schools” because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards.

“Therefore “money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools,” Madsen wrote.

“The ruling is a victory for the coalition that filed the suit in July 2013, asking a judge to declare the law unconstitutional for “improperly diverting public-school funds to private organizations that are not subject to local voter control.”

The Background:

The state held four referenda on…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Hungry school children, Rahm, hunger strikers, and so-called compromise

Originally posted on Reclaim Reform:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) is playing a very sick power game. He claims to offer a public high school at Dyett for a year, but not the one the community wants and needs. His PR department has presented this to the media as a  so-called compromise.

The corporate media controlled by the billionaires’ private club, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, will support the so-called compromise. This has been Rahm’s usual method-of-operation for years. Corporate media in Chicago, especially the Tribune News Media Services which includes WGN radio and television, is controlled and extreme. One of its editors recently wrote of her desires was to see a Katrina type of storm that would destroy Chicago ,except her exclusive area, and leave a wake of bodies floating outside her window.

Rahm Dyett Edict.002

Go to #FightForDyett and #WeAreDyett to understand that people have resorted to a hunger strike, intentional starvation…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Vicki Cobb: Something about Reform Smells Rotten

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Vicki Cobb, noted author of science books for children, here reviews the powerful video “Education, Inc.”

She writes:

“The American Revolution ultimately came together with the widespread distribution of a pamphlet that spoke truth about power.

“The American Revolution ultimately came together with the widespread distribution of a pamphlet that spoke truth about power. [Now] is the start of a public awareness campaign to take a close look at the school reform movement through a modern day equivalent of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense — an hour-long documentary called Education, Inc. It is not something that the billionaires behind the so-called reform movement want you to see.

“The brilliant award-winning film-makers, Brian and Cindy Malone, navigate their way through a complex and seemingly diabolical scheme to “reinvent” education where school reform is sold through a sophisticated advertising smoke screen touting “choice” for children. How do they expose what’s really happening?…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Help the ACLU Sue the State of Nevada to Stop Vouchers

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Vouchers are a bad idea, and the public doesn’t support them. Time after time, vouchers have been put on state ballots, and every single time they have been defeated. They were defeated overwhelmingly in Utah in 2007, with 62%-38% of the vote, and defeated most recently in Florida in 2012, by a vote of 58%-42%. Yet, with the help of the far-right ALEC and its model legislation, several state legislatures have created voucher programs without going to the voters. Even in states that explicitly ban the use of public funds for religious institutions, the legislatures have coined some euphemism like “opportunity scholarship” or, as in Nevada, “education savings accounts.” A voucher is a voucher is a voucher.

I tweeted this message; I hope you will too: Should taxpayer $ go to religious schools? @ACLUNV says no & Nevada agrees. Support separation of church & state!

Here is an appeal…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Schneider and Greene Give a Lesson to Jonathan Alter

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jonathan Alter is an insightful writer about politics but knows little about education. He doesn’t like public education. Unfortunately, he thinks he is an education expert. He had a starring role in “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” where he looked solemnly into the camera and said, “We know what works. Accountability works.” Right. Like No Child Left Behind was a huge success.

Alter adores charters. Recently he wrote an article for the Daily Beast about why liberals should love charters. He doesn’t like me because I don’t love charters. A few years ago, he got very angry at me when I wrote about schools–both charter and public–that claimed to have produced miraculous score increases. Alter and I debated on David Sirota’s radio show in Denver, and Alter made clear that he believes any claim that a charter school made about test scores and graduation rates, no matter how outlandish. I guess I…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Sign the Manifesto for an Education Revolution!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

A group of educators who oppose the current corporate reforms have organized a petition drive. They have issued “A Manifesto for a Revolution.”

Please read it and if you agree, consider signing on.

They have also launched an informational site called Follow.Education. Read their response to Campbell Brown in the link.

To bring about the change we hope for, we need even more activism. We need the support of parents who opt out of the tests; we need students, whose own education is being warped by high-stakes testing. We need retired educators. None of these groups can be fired. They should demonstrate, protest, do whatever they can–like the brave Dyett hunger strikers–to stop the destruction of real education.

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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


David vs Goliath: Threatened Grade School Principal Stands up to Chicago’s Corrupt Political Machine

“Principal known as Emanuel critic reprimanded by mayor’s school board.” – Chicago Tribune, August 29, 2015

We Dont Need Heroes Troy L

Troy LaRaviere’s Blog: A place to discuss a better school system for all Chicagoans

Troy LaRaviere: My Statement on CPS’ “Warning Resolution”
I’ve been asked for my thoughts in response to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education issuing a “warning resolution” against me for opposing their backward education policy and corrupt fiscal management of our school district. Before responding, I have to write a few words about who I am. …

Lloyd Lofthouse, the host of this Blog, is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”



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