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Slaying Goliath: We Are Not for Sale

No genuine social movement is created and sustained by the few that buy their power and influence. That is why the for-profit privatization of public education will fail even if the elite 0.1 percent succeed in their goal to destroy the people’s democratic public schools.

deutsch29

I have been blogging regularly about the impact of market-based education reform upon American education for seven years. I began this blog on January 25, 2013, following numerous months of responding in the comments sections of news articles often promoting the glories of test-based grading of schools and teachers and of fashioning the traditional, community school as enemy and publicly-funded private school vouchers and privately-operated charter schools as savior.

In early 2012, I learned that the governor I helped re-elect, Bobby Jindal, had decided that Louisiana teachers were the enemy; that he had both the 2012 Louisiana legislature and the 2012 state ed board in his pocket to push test-centric ed reform onto Louisiana’s K12 classrooms, and that local news outlets refused to publish articles challenging Jindal’s war on Louisiana public education.

And so, in addition to teaching full time, I began researching and writing about the corporate-ed-reform assault on…

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Posted by on January 27, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Life And Death Of The Terrible Education Reform Movement

“In summary, this is a must-read. Whether you are just learning about these issues or if you are someone who has studied them for years, you will get so much out of this. And you really want to get this and read it right away before everyone else starts talking about it and you’re going to feel very left out.”

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

I’ve often thought, over these past eight years of following the politics of education, that one day this saga will make a great book. What I didn’t expect was that that one day would be today.

slaying

In ‘Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools’ (Knopf 2020, $27.95), education historian Diane Ravitch does the thing that she is best in the country at — taking a complex period of history in education and finding a way to turn it into a story with twists and turns worthy of great literature.

This book is like a sequel not to ‘Reign Of Error’ (2013) or even ‘The Death And Life Of The Great American School System’ (2010), but instead to the first book I had ever read by her, ‘Left Back: A Century Of Failed School Reforms’ (2000). In that book, as she does in…

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Posted by on January 19, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Two Master Bloggers–Peter Greene and Steven Singer–Deconstruct the “National Parents Union”

What are the real motives behind the billionaires funding a movement to end public education as we knew it?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Two of the best education bloggers in the nation weighed in on the nature and purpose of the new “National Parents Union,” which proudly announced that it would give parents’ “voice” in opposition to the teachers’ unions.

Peter Greene asks, “Do You Smell Astroturf?” 

He provides a detailed history of the well-established “ed reform” credentials of its founders, as well as a scathing letter by a parent who previously founded the New York City Parents Union, and found that she was pushed aside by the Walton-funded newcomers. He notes: I have heard the argument over and over and over again that philanthropist money and Walton and Gates and Broad and Jobs money is necessary to counterbalance the vast financial resources of the unions, but the union is a bb gun in a field of howitzers.

And quite by coincidence, Steven Singer wrote about the “National Parent Union” and issued an…

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Posted by on January 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Jan Resseger: The Empowering and Hopeful Message of “SLAYING GOLIATH”

The alleged corrupt, lying criminals called the disrupters of public education are revealed for who they are. Every single one of these billionaires should lose their wealth and go to prison for decades.

Diane Ravitch's blog

In this post, Jan Resseger reviews my new book SLAYING GOLIATH: THE PASSIONATE RESISTANCE TO PRIVATIZATION AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Jan is an expert on the damage imposed by so-called “reformers.” Several years ago, when I was in Cleveland, she took me on a tour of devastated neighborhoods. Ohio legislators and local leaders responded to growing poverty by creating charters and vouchers and tearing down empty houses. The city center was filled with empty stores and neighborhoods had gaping holes where houses once stood. According to federal data, the enrollment in Cleveland public schools is 100% poor. Talk about a mismatch between problems and “solutions!”

Resseger begins:

In her new book, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools, Diane Ravitch summarizes, defines, and humanizes the widespread attack that has threatened public education across the United States in…

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Posted by on January 9, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Indiana: State Graduation Rate is 87%, but for Charters, It is 40%

Why are publicly funded, private sector charter schools allowed to exist when they only graduate 40.2 percent of their students vs the almost 90 percent that graduate from real public schools? Charters are also allowed to be opaque (secretive) and do not have to answer to voters as public schools do.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Why do the Disrupters continue to insist that charter schools will “save poor kids from failing schools,” when the evidence continues to accumulate that this is simply not true.

According to the latest state data for Indiana, the graduation rate is about 87%, with variations among different groups of students.

For charter schools, the graduation rate is 40%. 

Indiana’s high school graduation rate dipped slightly in 2019, with the rate of students needing waivers from the state to earn a diploma, noticeably higher than previous years. 

The state graduation rate has hovered around 87 percent since 2016, but a higher rate of students needed a waiver to get a diploma in 2019 – students get one if they don’t pass their final state exams..

Schools graduated black, English Language Learner (ELL) and special education students at the lowest rates among student groups, at 78, 77 and 71 percent, respectively.

State…

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Posted by on January 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Carol Burris: Joe Roy, a Hero of Public Education

Joe Roy is one of many heroes fighting to save our public schools from the greed of the few that crave power over the rest of us.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, writes here about Superintendent Joe Roy, a champion for students and public schools. I add him now to the honor roll of the blog.

Superintendent Joe Roy is a fearless fighter for better opportunities for the students that attend his small city school district of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  His district is diverse, and about 60% receive free or reduced price lunch.
 
In 2016, he was the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year. This is what he said when honored, “I’m one person out of 2,000 people in the district who do great work. So many people contribute, and it’s nice to have the recognition, but it shouldn’t be one person.”  That is who Joe Roy is.
 
Two years ago, I spoke with Joe Roy who told me how his district is being drained of funding by charter schools and cyber…

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Posted by on January 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Carol Burris Cites DeVos to Prove Failure of Federal Charter School Program

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Network for Public Education has issued two reports documenting waste, fraud, and lack of oversight in the federal Charter Schools Program. The CSP was created by the Clinton administration in 1994 at a time when there were few charters; it was intended to give aid to start-ups. Over the years it has evolved into a slush fund for rapacious corporate charter chains and for the advocacy groups that lobby for more charter funding.

In response to the NPE reports, the charter industry attacked them as cherry-picking, inaccurate, and union-funded, none of which is true.

Recently Betsy DeVos attacked NPE and its critique of the $440 million CSP program that is in her sole control.

NPE executive director Carol Burris responded to the critics by using the data offered by DeVos herself. DeVos’s numbers demonstrate that the NPE reports underestimated the number of charter schools that never opened (“ghost schools”)…

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Posted by on January 3, 2020 in Uncategorized