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“Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats”

The Democratic Party stabbed the American people in the back, repeatedly, when it comes to public teachers and the public schools that belong to the American people.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I wrote this article for The New Republic.

https://newrepublic.com/article/142364/dont-like-betsy-devos-blame-democrats

It explains how Democrats set the stage for DeVos’ anything-goes approach to school choice by their advocacy of charter schools. Charters are the gateway to vouchers. We have seen many groups like Democrats for Education Reform try to draw a sharp distinction between charters and vouchers. It doesn’t work. Once you begin defaming public schools and demanding choice, you abandon the central argument for public schools: they belong to the public.

The political side to this issue is that the Democratic Party sold out a significant part of its base–teachers, teachers unions, and minorities–by joining the same side as ALEC, the Walton family, and rightwing conservatives who never approved of public schools.

Their pursuit of Wall Street money in exchange for supporting charters helped to disintegrate their base. To build a viable coalition for the future, the Party must walk away…

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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Steve Zimmer: The Case Against Myself

It is abhorrent that such an important election could be determined solely on lies and distortions. It should scare everyone that believes in the U.S. Constitution.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Los Angeles votes today on whether to re-elect Steve Zimmer to the board of education or to choose a man who is a puppet of billionaires who want to turn the schools over to unregulated private operators.

Steve deserves to be re-elected, and Imelda Padilla deserves to join him on the board.

Steve wrote a stunning article in Huffington Post, in which he offers four reasons why someone might decide to vote against him. He also refutes the outright lies on which Nick Melvin’s entire campaign is based.

He writes:

I want to present four legitimate arguments against me. These are good and fair reasons to vote against me on May 16th.

I know this is unusual, but because my opponent has lied so much about my record, I thought I would just go ahead and do this myself. I hope you will share this with your friends and…

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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tracy Bartley, An L.A. Parent, Writes a Letter to Eli Broad

A parent’s letter to autocrat billionaire Eli Broad. It’s your money. It’s our kids. I want to add that it is the people’s democracy, and not Broad’s or other billionaires.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Billionaire Eli Broad decided long ago that one of his missions in life would be to privatize public schools, even though he and his wife are graduates of Michigan public schools. He has never explained his passion to stamp out the institution that educated him. He has spent years funding organizations committed to diverting public dollars to private hands. I once was invited to meet him in his glamorous penthouse apartment in New York City, and he explained that he didn’t know anything about education, but he knew management. He believes that non-educators should run education, especially if they surround themselves with people who have degrees in business and business experience. When I was on the board of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, he funded a “manifesto” declaring that principals should be managers, not educators. He started a Superintendents Academy to train urban superintendents in his philosophy. A startling number…

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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Will the Trump-DeVos Alliance Win Control of Los Angeles Public Schools?

Dump Trump and Bump Betsy.

Diane Ravitch's blog

“In the Public Interest,” an organization that keeps track of privatization of the public sector, points out that Trump and DeVos have a lot riding on the outcome of the school board election in Los Angeles on May 16.

Their allies have invested millions of dollars in gaining control of the school board so they can turn students and schools over to private hands.

If they can defeat Steve Zimmer and Irma Padilla in run-offs, they will be able to divert public funding to charter entrepreneurs and corporate charter chains. They will squash democratic control of public schools. They will send tax dollars to corporate entities that are neither accountable nor transparent. They will widen the reach of an unregulated industry that has been marred by scandal, theft, fraud, misappropriation of funds, and self-dealing.

Citizens of Los Angeles. Stand up for democracy and public education! Vote for Steve Zimmer and…

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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

William J. Mathis: Fake News from Florida About Charter “Success”

How misleading claims and outright lies based on fake news is destroying America’s community-based, democratic, transparent, NON-PROFIT traditional schools and replacing those schools with autocratic (dictatorial), opaque (secretive), often child abusive, FOR-PROFIT, corporate charter schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

William J. Mathis is the former Commissioner of Education in Vermont, currently managing director of the National Education Policy Center

Fake News and Politicized Prevarications: The Florida State Department of Education and the Center for Education Reform Reports on Charter School Performance

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”
— Thomas Jefferson to Richard Price, 1789.

In a rational world, we accept that knowledge, honestly applied, will set things right. But the nation’s political world is not so rational. In our current controversies, “fake news” and “alternative facts” are used to establish an ideology or to dismiss inconvenient truths. This is not a recent phenomenon. Throughout history fake news has been used to justify wars, unify people, and assault opponents. Its purpose is to invent or establish some scientific appearing veneer to justify activities which otherwise would be on shaky grounds. Unfortunately, education does…

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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Did KIPP game the U.S. News And World Report rankings?

Discover the SPAM generated from crap by U.S. News and World Report’s school rankings.

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Each year, U.S. News And World Report generates a report of the ‘best’ high schools in the country.  This year, the charter world has been celebrating because out of the top 100 schools, by the U.S. News rating system, 34 of them are charter schools.

There are a lot of ways to measure the quality of a high school.  The way that U.S. News does it is as follows:  75% of the score is the percent of 12th graders who get at least a 3 on at least one AP test.  25% of the score is the percent of 12th graders who took at least one AP test.  They call this weighted average the ‘College Ready Index.’  By including the participation rate, a school can’t inflate their scores by only allowing students to take the AP who are most likely to pass.

The school at which I teach, Stuyvesant High…

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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Edujournalism and Eduresearch Too Often Lack Merit

Discover the alleged crap-science and misleading claims of teacher merit pay.

radical eyes for equity

What do Marta W. Aldrich’s Teacher merit pay has merit when it comes to student scores, analysis shows and Matthew G. Springer’s Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis have in common?

Irony, in that they both lack merit.

Let’s be brief but focus on the nonsense.

Well, as Aldrich reports about Springer’s research, a meta-analysis (this is research-speak that is supposed to strike fear into everyone since it is an analysis of much if not all of the existing research on a topic; thus, research about research), we now have discovered that merit pay in fact works! You see, it causes [insert throat clearing] “academic increase … roughly equivalent to adding three weeks of learning to the school year, based on studies conducted in U.S. schools, and four weeks based on studies across the globe.”

Wow! Three to four weeks of learning. That is … nonsense.

So…

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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized