California: East L.A. Community Defeats “Mega-KIPP” Plan, Plus the Identity of the Culprit Who Weaponized State Law

Discover what it takes to defeat the seven-headed Hydra corporate charter school industry and Reed Hastings one of its leading vampires.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bill Raden of the California progressive website Capital & Main is one of the state’s best education writers.

In the latest issue, he brings good news about the victory of David over Goliath, plus an important insight into the rigging of the state law by Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings.

First, the good news:

In a David vs. Goliath win, a coalition of East L.A. families, teachers and community groups announced last week that the City of L.A. has pulled the plug on a new “mega-KIPP” charter school development. The project was part of a $1 billion joint venture between former tennis star-turned charter school landlord Andre Agassi and money manager Bobby Turner to develop up to 130 charter properties across the country. The Boyle Heights community had been battling the 625-student facility since it was unveiled in the fall of 2017 and had filed suit against the…

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Posted by on April 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


California: How Did Charters Gain Control Of Gavin Newsom’s Task Force to Reform Charter Law?

In Californa, corporate charter schools are parasites, a terminal cancer killing public education, and Governor Newsom is allegedly helping the corporate charter industry cover up its own crimes.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bill Raden of Capital & Main presents us with this puzzle: how did it happen that seven of the 11 members of Gavin Newsom’s Task Force in charter school reform are part of the charter industry? 

The Fox is in charge of the henhouse.

Since the Task Force is supposed to examine the fiscal impact of charters on public schools, why is the industry judging itself?

Shouldn’t the Task Force have been composed of public finance experts and others who are not tied to the industry?

Or, if the Task Force was supposed to be representative, shouldn’t the majority represent the almost 90% of families whose children attend public schools, not the 10% in charters?

Why are two members drawn directly from the lobby for the charter industry?

This Task Force is a blatant example of “capture” by the industry. It is akin to the tobacco industry taking control of…

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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Uncategorized


Charter Schools: A Very Horrible, Terrible, Awful Week

Diane Ravitch's blog

This has been possibly the very worst week in the history of charter schools, which have existed for almost 30 years. It is fitting that this week coincided with Public Schools Week, reminding us of the importance of public schools, which are democratically governed, open to all who apply, and accountable, financially and academically, to the public.

Consider the trajectory of the charter idea.

What began as in idealistic proposal–experimental schools-within-schools, created and operated by teachers with the approval of their colleagues and local school board, intended to reach out and help the struggling and turned-off students—has turned into a libertarian’s dream of deregulated, even unregulated industry replete with corporate chains, entrepreneurs, billionaire backers, highly segregated schools, and a battering ram against collective bargaining.

Charter schools in the initial version were supposed to collaborate with public schools to make them better or to learn from failed experiments. That was charter…

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Posted by on March 30, 2019 in Uncategorized


The Greatest Generation

Lloyd Lofthouse

My parents were teenagers during Greed’s Great Depression

They were 14

Forced to drop out of high school to find jobs with unemployment at twenty-five percent

Working long days for pennies

There was never enough
safe water

Malnutrition was a widespread problem

Then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor killing 2,403 Americans and wounding 1,143

It was murder, and the gods of greed rejoiced

And for America’s young adults, it was an opportunity not to be ignored

The Greatest Generation left unemployment, homelessness, and hunger behind to join the chaos of war

When the war ended, 416,800 U.S. troops had been killed and another 671,801 were wounded

To mold the survivors of the Great Depression and World War II into America’s Greatest Generation only cost the world the lives of 70-to-85 million civilians and military

Is Making America Great Again worth that price?

© 2019 Lloyd Lofthouse



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Posted by on March 29, 2019 in Uncategorized


California: An Alert for Supporters of Public Schools!

Help save California’s public schools from the corrupt corporate charter school vampires.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A reader in California asks for help to fix one of the charter reform bill that has a big loophole.

He writes:

“Thank you for all you do for public education. In California right now are 4 assembly Bills – AB-1505 – AB-1508.

“AB-1508 in particular is intended to enable local school districts to consider the financial, program and facilities impacts when approving/denying new charter petitions. This leaves a huge gap for districts to have a say in renewing charters that were imposed on the districts by the California State Board of Education despite denial at the local and county levels.

“Would you be able to alert your readers in California to contact the bill’s authors before it goes to the floor for a vote to add language to AB-1508 to apply to charter renewals as well as new petitions?

“If enough Californians can respond, we may be able to…

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Posted by on March 24, 2019 in Uncategorized


This Is a Book You Should Read: Noliwe Rooks’ “Cutting School”

Discover the truth about “Segrenomics”.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I just finished reading Noliwe Rooks’ superb book, Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education (The New Press). Please buy a copy and read it. It is a powerful analysis of racism, segregation, poverty, the history of Black education (and miseducation), and their relationship to the current movement to privatize public education. She dissects the profitable business of segregation.

You will learn how cleverly the captains of finance and industry have managed to ignore the root causes of inequality of educational opportunity while profiting from the dire straits of poor children of color. In fact, as she shows, financiers and philanthropists have used and misused Black children throughout our history, for their own benefit and glory, not the children’s.

The book is both highly contemporary and at the same time, probably the best history of Black education that I have read. Rooks understands that…

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Posted by on March 18, 2019 in Uncategorized


About That College Admissions Scandal: Use of a Fake Nonprofit Was Critical


On March 12, 2019, I happened to be discussing with a few of my students the extent to which some individuals will go in order to benefit from academic fraud because college admission is a high-stakes issue.

Little did we know, that very day, the story broke about numerous individuals– among them the famous and moneyed– who have been implicated in a massive self-serving, deceptive, fraudulent network of college admission scamming known to date, as CNN reports:

Fifty people — from Hollywood stars and top industry CEOs to college coaches and standardized test administrators — stand accused of participating in a scheme to cheat on admissions tests and admit students to leading institutions as athletes regardless of their abilities, prosecutors revealed Tuesday in a federal indictment. The scandal is being called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.

As the alleged culprits, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin…

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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized