The Merrow Report

To remain aloft, a hot air balloon must be fed regular bursts of hot air. Without hot air, the balloon falls to earth. That seems to be the appropriate analogy for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) during the ten-year regime (2007–2016) of Chancellors Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson…

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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


John Merrow and Mary Levy: The D.C. “School Reform” Fiasco: A Complete History

This is about the fraud and lies behind the REAL Michelle Rhee, and her links to Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton Family Foundation. It was all smoke and mirrors.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I intended to make this the only post of the day, but late last night I learned of the lawsuit in Florida challenging the disastrous HB 7069, a gift to charter operators.

So this is the last post you will see today. I want you to read it in full. The post was written by veteran journalist John Merrow with Mary Levy, a civil rights and education finance lawyer, and an education finance and policy analyst.

One of the key episodes in the short and divisive history of the corporate reform movement was the appointment of Michelle Rhee as Chancellor of the D.C. public school system. Rhee became the public face of the movement. Rhee was idolized by the media because of her take-no-prisoners style and her evident contempt for teachers and unions. Amanda Ripley wrote a cover story about Rhee for TIME magazine, which suggested that Rhee knew how…

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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


The Most Important Article You Will Read Today: Katherine Stewart on the Proselytizers and the Privatizers

“How religious sectarian school voucher extremists made useful idiots of the charter movement.” … At the Heritage Academy, a publicly funded charter school network in Arizona, according to a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, high school students are required to learn that the Anglo-Saxon population of the United States is descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel. … and there’s a lot more crap about the fraudulent lie-riddled movement to get rid of community-based, democratic, transparent, non-profit public education in the United States.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Today, I am launching a new format for this blog.

You will not see five or seven posts. Or more.

You will receive only one post today, unless there is breaking news of great importance.

Instead of filling up your computer, I offer you one article that I hope you will read and digest and react to.

I am going to ask you to forward this article to your friends and colleagues, to anyone you know who cares about the future of this country.

Katherine Stewart just published a very important article that appears in The American Prospect called “The Proselytizers and the Privatizers.”

The subtitle is: “How religious sectarian school voucher extremists made useful idiots of the charter movement.”

She is also is the author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.

It is one of the most significant articles I have read…

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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Uncategorized


Global Report on Choice: Beware! Choice May Undermine Quality and Equity

School CHOICE does not work. It makes the world a worse place.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Global Education Monitoring Blog just released a bulletin about the risks of school choice. The blog is published by UNESCO, which the Trump administration recently abandoned.

Be that as it may, its conclusions are evidence-based. The full report, which is linked on the blog offers extensive documentation and references.

The overall conclusion:

In the last three decades, reforms rooted in the school choice logic have been implemented in more than two-thirds of OECD countries, for instance. Across the 72 systems participating in PISA 2015, the parents of around 64% of students reported that they had at least two schools to choose from for their children.

However, a closer look at the evidence suggests that school choice often doesn’t work as it’s meant to, and can in fact increase inequalities and undermine quality education…

The main criticisms of market-oriented policies are that they benefit wealthier schools, families and communities, increasing…

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Posted by on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized


Making Puerto Rico the New New Orleans – Steal the Schools and Give Them to Big Business to Run For Profit

Making Puerto Rico the New New Orleans – Steal the Schools and Give Them to Big Business to Run For Profit



Charter school backers can’t help it.

They see a bunch of black or brown kids displaced by a natural disaster and they have to swoop in to help…

Help themselves, that is.

They did it in 2005 to New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina. Now they want to do it again in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

“This is a real opportunity to press the reset button,” said Puerto Rican Secretary of Education Julia Keleher.

“…this [is a] transformational opportunity for us to start to think fundamentally differently about what it is to be in school, and how one goes about getting an education.”


A dozen years ago in Louisiana, that meant stealing almost the entire New Orleans public school system in the aftermath of Katrina. About 90 percent of the city’s 126 schools were given to the Louisiana Recovery School District, which turned them all into charter schools.

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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


Laura Chapman on Bill Gates’ Hubris, Ignorance, and Folly

Bill Gates is a hantavirus and terminal cancer cloaked in the misleading robes of a saint, thanks to his vast fictional PR image machine.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A couple of days ago, Bill Gates said he has a new plan to reform education. As I pointed out in a post, Bill Gates is batting 0 for 3. He dropped $2 Billion into breaking up large high schools and turning them into small schools. He started in 2000, didn’t see a big jump in test scores, and backed out in 2008. Then, having decided that the answer to high test scores was to punish teachers whose student scores didn’t go up, he pushed value-added Assessment, partnering with Arne Duncan and Race to the Top. Thousands of educators were fired and many schools were closed based on Gates’s fancy. That lasted from 2008 until now, and it has been written into state law in many states, although it has distorted the purpose of education and created massive demoralization among teachers and a national teacher shortage. Then he funded the…

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Posted by on October 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Have you heard how horrible teachers are in the United States? Part 3 of 3

Explain why teachers allegedly don’t care about the children they teach when they get paid less and even spend their own money for materials in their classroom.

How does teachers’ pay compare to other Americans with the same level of education?

The Economic Policy Institute says, “A comparison of teachers’ wages to those of workers with comparable skill requirements, including accountants, reporters, registered nurses, computer programmers, clergy, personnel officers, and vocational counselors and inspectors, shows that teachers earned $116 less per week in 2002, a wage disadvantage of 12.2%. Because teachers worked more hours per week, the hourly wage disadvantage was an even larger 14.1%.

“Teachers’ weekly wages have grown far more slowly than those for these comparable occupations; teacher wages have deteriorated about 14.8% since 1993 and by 12.0% since 1983 relative to comparable occupations.”

Conclusion: Teachers that work in community based, democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools have been criticized and attacked in the media for decades ever since President Ronald Reagan released a missleading and fraudulent study called “A Nation at Risk” in 1983. In fact, a few years later, The Sandia Report proved that Reagan’s study that was used to declare a war on America’s public schools and teachers was totally wrong.

The truth is that public school teachers work, on average, almost twice the number of hours a week than the average American does while being paid less than workers with comparable skills, and then those teachers spend their own money so America’s children have a better chance to earn an education through their hard work. Teachers teach. Children do the work that learns from that teaching. Parents are supposed to support both the teachers and the children. What has gone wrong?

My daughter is 25 and she is now earning more than I did the year I retired after teaching for thirty years, and I had an AS degree, a BA, and an MFA. All she has is a BA.

Start with Part 1 or return to Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and disabled Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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