Who Is Funding the Charter Industry?

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Out ideas for children and education are sound, their ideas fail every time, everywhere.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Ever wonder who is the supplying the money behind the privatization of public schools?

It is a long list, and it starts with the U.S. Department of Education. Every year since 1992?, your taxpayer dollars have been used to open schools that drain resources from your public schools while selecting the students they want. If your state has charters, you can expect that they will lobby the legislature for more charters. They will close their schools, hire buses, and send students, teachers, and parents to the State Capitol, all dressed in matching T-shirts, to demand more charters. Since the children are already enrolled in a charter and can’t attend more than one, they are being used to advance the financial interests of charter chains, which want to expand.

The big foundations support the growth of the charter industry: the Walton Family Foundation has put more than $1 billion into charters…

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Posted by on November 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


Please Read Jamaal Bowman’s Brilliant Open Letter to Cuomo

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jamaal Bowman wrote a powerful and important letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Bowman is a Néw York City middle school principal.

Please read and share. Help it go viral. It is an incisive critique of corporate reform. When did it become “liberal” to attack unions, career teachers, and public education? This used to be the agenda of the far rightwing of the Republican Party.

He writes:

“I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and good spirits. I write not only to you, but also to those who share your view of public education….

“I also want to personally thank you for allowing me to provide testimony to the common core commission at the College of New Rochelle…..The work of the commission, along with your hiring of Jere Hochman as Deputy Secretary of Education, has me very excited about the direction in which we are…

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Posted by on November 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


Indiana: Don’t Take It Personally, Governor Pence

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

When Indiana Governor Mikr Oence was asked about the sharp drop in state test scores, he responded, “Dont take it personally.”

Donna Roof of the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education sent her reply to Governor Pence in this post.

It begins:

“So, Governor Pence, you recently told a teacher not to take the ISTEP results personally.

“Well, actually, Governor…

“When I see developmentally inappropriate education curriculum, I take it personally.

“When I see students suffer from anxiety and other health issues due to pressure to pass high stakes tests, I take it personally.

“When I see students subjected to an abundance of test prep, I take it personally.

“When I see recess being cut to allow for more test prep time, I take it personally.

“When I see children fearing they’ll be held back if they don’t pass a high stakes test, I take it personally.

“When I…

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Posted by on November 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Refugee Challenge We Are Already Facing

Lloyd Lofthouse:

“Every child in the classroom is there to be a cultural experience for every other child in the classroom. We all learn from each other.”

Originally posted on Dad Gone Wild:

Child_Soldier_by_Paul_AlanjonesIt’s funny. As I read all the comments about Syrian refugee children and their potential arrival in the United States over the next couple months, I marvel at people’s opinions and their lack of knowledge. I have a unique perspective because my children both attend a school where there is a high population of English Learners and children in poverty. It also serves a large population of refugees. Refugees that arrive from all over the world, places with terrorist organization every bit as active as those in Syria, just without the headlines.

There are students at my kids’ school who, just last year, lived in fear of violence. Some of them might have been carrying rifles themselves; after all, they arrived from war-torn countries like Somalia and Nigeria were the recruitment of children as soldiers is an established practice. The possibility also exists that their parents may have been complicit…

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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


News Flash for the New York Times!

Lloyd Lofthouse:

What happened to the National Assessment of Educational Progress? It has been comparing all the states and D.C., as well as many cities, since 1992. Has no one at the New York Times ever heard of NAEP?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

News flash! There is a national test that enables us to compare reading and math scores for every state! It is called NAEP. It reports scores by race, ELLs, poverty, gender, disability status, achievement gaps. This is apparently unknown to the Néw York Times and the Secretary of Education, who has said repeatedly that we need Common Core tests to compare states.

The New York Times, America’s newspaper of record, has a story today about Massachusetts’ decision to abandon PARCC, even though its State Commissioner Mitchell Chrster is chairman of the board of PARCC. True or Memorex? Time will tell.

But the story has a serious problem: the opening sentence.

“It has been one of the most stubborn problems in education: With 50 states, 50 standards and 50 tests, how could anyone really know what American students were learning, or how well?”

Later the story has this sentence:

“The state’s…

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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


I am a Public School Teacher. Give Me All the Refugees You’ve Got!

Lloyd Lofthouse:

The reason Bill Gates doesn’t get it is not because he’s wealthy and never attended a public school. It’s because he is a psychopath and can’t get it.

Originally posted on gadflyonthewallblog:


Come into my classroom any day of the week and you’ll see refugees.

That little Iraqi boy slumped over a book written in Arabic while the rest of the class reads the same story in English. Those twin girls blinking back memories of the Bosnian War as they try to underline possessive nouns on an English worksheet. That brown-skinned boy compulsively rocking back-and-forth in his seat fighting back tears wondering when his dad is going to come home from prison.

Every day, every hour, every minute our public schools are places of refuge for children seeking asylum, fugitives, emigres, exiles, the lost, the displaced, dear hearts seeking a kind word and a caring glance.

Some may shudder or sneer at the prospect of giving shelter to people in need, but that is the reality in our public schools. In the lives of many, many children we provide the only…

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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


Linsey McGoey: The Gates Foundations and The New Gospel of Wealth

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

This is a must-read article by Linsey McGoey in Jacobin magazine about the big foundations–especially Gates–and how they use their alms for for-profit companies and start-ups.

McGoey of the University of Essex has written a book on the influence wielded by Gates and other big philanthropies. It’s title: “No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy”  (Verso).

“In 2010, the Gates Foundation offered $1.5 million to ABC News and a little over $1.1 million to NBC in 2011 “to support the national education summit.” The following year, the Gates Foundation gave another million to NBC, this time for the more vague purpose of “inform[ing] and engag[ing] communities.” Other for-profit media companies receiving Gates Foundation money in 2012 included Univision — a Spanish language broadcaster whose parent company, Univision Communications pulled in revenues of $2.6 billion in 2014.

“Traditionally, philanthropic grants to for-profits were…

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Posted by on November 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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