A MUST READ! Think National, Fight Local: The Story of Indianapolis and the DPE (Destroy Public Education) Movement

To fight the anti-democratic, anti-community local-national effort to privatize and profitize public schools, we must organize and fight back in our local communities first.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This very important post was written for this blog by Jim Scheurich on behalf of himself, Gayle Cosby, and Nathanial Williams, who are identified in the text. They are experienced in the school politics of Indianapolis, a city whose school system is being systematically dismantled and privatized. They have been active in the fight against what they call the DPE (Destroy Public Education) model in their city. Their experience and insights are extremely informative, especially their recognition that the DPE movement is not limited to Indianapolis; it has gone national. Indianapolis is only one of its targets. The business community, civic leaders, political leaders, DFER, the Mind Trust, and Stand for Children have joined together to Destroy Public Education. As they attack democratic institutions, they falsely claim that “it is all about the kids” and they claim they are advancing civil rights. Instead, it is about money and power and…

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Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


Randi Weingarten: The Fight Before Us Against DeVos and Privatization

This should be printed and taped to every front door in the United States. Required Reading!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Randi Weingarten gave a major address to the AFT Teach Conference yesterday, in which she explained why she took Betsy DeVos to Van Wert, Ohio, and she called out the forces of destruction now targeting public schools in America. It is time, she says, to resist. To resist privatization by charters and vouchers; to resist the attacks on the teaching profession; to fight racial segregation; to resist the budget cuts that hurt children. And to stand up proudly for our public schools, the anchor of our communities, governed democratically by elected school boards. [Jeanne Allen, director of the pro-charter, pro-voucher Center for Education Reform, called for Randi’s resignation for drawing a line connecting school choice advocates today with segregationists in the mid-twentieth century.]

I. Introduction—My Day with Betsy

Welcome to TEACH!

I know many of you have just arrived in Washington (and you can understand why we call it the…

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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris: A Critical Review of the PBS Special “Schools, Inc.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Between April and June of this year, PBS distributed a three-hour documentary called “Schools Inc.” to its member stations. I was invited to comment on the program by WNET, the PBS station in New York City. It was a 10-minute interview, and not nearly enough time to respond to all the issues covered in a three-hour narrative. I was certainly grateful to WNET for inviting my response but thought a longer analysis was needed. I asked Carol Burris, the executive director of the Network for Public Education, to co-author a critique of the program with me. It was posted last night by Valerie Strauss on her “Answer Sheet” blog. You can check her post for all the links in our article, as well as PBS’s response to my objections to the documentary and the libertarian CATO Institute’s critique.

The Network for Public Education circulated our objections to the…

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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Test-Based Accountability – Smokescreen for Cowardly Politicians and Unscrupulous Corporations


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There is no single education policy more harmful than test-based accountability.

The idea goes like this: We need to make sure public schools actually teach children, and the best way to do that is with high stakes standardized testing.

It starts from the assumption that the problems with our school system are all service-based. Individual schools or districts are not providing quality services. Teachers and administrators are either screwing up or don’t care enough to do the job.

But this is untrue. In reality, most of our problems are resource-based. From the get-go, schools and districts get inequitable resources with which to work.

This is not a guess. This is not a theory. It is demonstrable. It has been demonstrated. It is a fact.

No one even disputes it.

What is in question is its importance.

However, any lack of intention or…

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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


A Nashville School Board Member Warns Kentucky and Mississippi about the Charter Scams

if you don’t toe the line for charter schools, you will be attacked. You will be demeaned, bullied, and belittled. Get ready for the smear campaigns and character assassinations.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Amy Frogge ran for the Metro Nashville School Board in 2012 as a concerned mom who was also a lawyer. She was unaware of the pitched battle about charters and privatization. She had the simple goal of improving public schools, which made her an enemy of the privatizers. She ran again last year and was re-elected. Both times, she faced candidates who outspent her by vast sums with out-of-state reformer cash. She was previously named to the Blog’s Honor Roll for her fortitude in standing up to the vilification by reformers and sticking to her promise to fight for public schools.

In this post, she writes that it is a new day in Nashville. High-profile charter operators arrived with big promises, then crashed and burned. The Nashville community sees them for the frauds they are.

She hopes to alert parents in Kentucky and Mississippi to beware, now that rightwing…

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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Uncategorized


Charter School Lotteries – Why Most Families Don’t Even Apply


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Who gets to enroll in your school?

This question is at the heart of the charter school debate.

While traditional public schools have to accept any student who meets residency requirements, charter schools can be entirely more selective.

They don’t have to take just any student. They can pick and choose based on pretty much whatever criteria they want.

Despite the fact that charters are publicly funded and privately run, transparency requirements are so low in most states that regulators aren’t even allowed to check up on their enrollment practices.

It’s a situation rife with the potential for fraud and abuse with America’s most vulnerable students often being victimized and huge corporations raking in record profits.

Critics say that charter schools routinely accept only the easiest students to educate. They take those with the best academic records, without disciplinary problems or special education needs. This allows them…

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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Uncategorized


NAACP on Charter Moratorium: “We Won’t Back Down!”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Corporate privatizers like Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump, Arne Duncan, and Peter Cunningham (previously Duncan’s communications director, now editor of the billionaire-funded Education Post) claim that turning public money over to operators of privately-managed contract schools (aka, “charter” schools) is the “civil rights issue of our time.”

But the authentic voice of the civil rights movement–the NAACP–does not agree. Last summer, the national convention of the NAACP passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on new charter schools until important issues of accountability were addressed and corrected. Despite a concerted effort to persuade the national board of the NAACP to repudiate the resolution, despite critical editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post, the Board upheld the resolution at its meeting last October.

Since passing and confirming the resolution, the nation’s oldest civil rights group decided to hold hearings across the country. What they learned convinced them to stand…

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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Uncategorized