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William Doyle: Please, Mr. Trump, Put Betsy DeVos on a Plane to Finland ASAP

Why Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, and corporate school choice in the United States and the U.K. is a scam run by con artists who are just like Donald Trump.

Diane Ravitch's blog

William Doyle is living in Finland as a scholar-in-residence at the University of Eastern Finland.

In this post, he describes what Betsy DeVos would learn if she visited Finland.

He writes:

Donald Trump is promoting “school choice” as he vows to improve the American education system. To achieve this vision, he should start by putting his incoming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on a plane to world education superpower Finland to see what school choice means in its most powerful form — the choice from among numerous, great, neighborhood schools anywhere in the country.
Just ranked by the World Economic Forum as the No. 1 primary school system globally Finland shows us, that true educational choice means holding politicians accountable to provide families the choice between safe, well-resourced, high-quality local schools, especially in high-poverty areas, schools run by teachers trained at the highest levels of professionalism and supported by a…

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Posted by on December 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Mercedes Schneider: Betsy DeVos on Video Explains How to Turn Corporate Taxes into Vouchers

Betsy DeVos teaches corporations how to ignore state Constitutions and break the law.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Nevada state constitution contains this language:

Article 11, Section 10: “No public funds of any kind or character whatever, State, County or Municipal, shall be used for sectarian purpose.”

Mercedes Schneider explains how the Nevada Supreme Court did a fancy rhetorical two-step to conclude that the state constitution does not forbid vouchers, it just forbids funding them. Got that?

She then shows a video of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, telling a Florida lawyer how corporate taxes can be used to provide vouchers for use in any school, including religious schools. This, despite the fact that the Florida state constitution explicitly says in Article 1, Section 3:

“There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political…

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Posted by on December 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Facebook Sucker-Berg Phenomenon and the Deliberate Destruction of Community-Based Public Ed

I read “I quit Facebook and my life is better now” at Cathy O’Neil’s Mathbabe blog, and my thoughts became a wild river about Facebook and its founder who launched Facebook by cheating two brothers and hijacking their idea. To learn more about Suckerberg’s own con, read 6 People Mark Zuckerberg Burned On His Way To The Top.

After reading O’Neil’s Mathbabe post, I was glad I was never suckered into a Facebook obsession. Yes, I do have two Facebook pages: one for my books that’s part of my internet-author’s platform, and a personal Facebook page, but all I did was set up automatic feeds from my 4 blogs to Facebook and occasionally I go there to reply to a comment.  The reason I never fell into the Facebook swamp was because it was a confusing maze to me, and I didn’t want to go through the learning curve to discover how to use all those allegedly great bells-and-whistles that Facebook offers to help destroy your life in the real world.

But the stream of thoughts that flowed between my ears as I was reading O’Neil’s Mathbabe blog post had nothing to do with Facebook. It was all about Mark Suckerberg, Facebook’s founder, and how he was conned out of a $100 million dollars to save the children of Newark, New Jersey from those horrible failing public schools that really never were failing anyone as schools. If you want to learn more (put an emphases in LEARN — because there are far too many ignorant, easy-to-fool voting citizen in the U.S., or we wouldn’t be stuck with narcissistic, psycho, serial-lying, con-man, Donald Trump for our next president — I suggest reading What Happened with the $100 million that Newark schools got from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? Not Much from The Hechinger Report.

You see, there’s this myth that America’s traditional public schools are failing and to save our children we have to replace those schools with an unproven, genetically-modified crop of allegedly perfect, (hell sent) corporate charter schools that just happen to make profits for a host of greedy frauds and liars similar to Donald Trump and his current pick to run the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos.

If you think America’s community based, democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools are failing and the choice of a corporate charter school is the answer to save our children, then I will roar as only a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Vet can angrily shout, “It’s the poverty, stupid, you ignorant, biased, deplorable, easy-to-fool ass!”

The fact is America’s traditional public school are not failing, and an often deliberately ignored report out of Stanford University proved that years ago in Poor ranking on international test misleading about U.S. student performance, Stanford researcher finds.

The conclusion of this report from one of the top-ranked universities in the world said, “A comprehensive analyses of international tests by Stanford and the Economic Policy Institute shows that U.S. Schools aren’t being outpaced by international competition.”

After reading that report, it was obvious to me that the results of the international test that Stanford referred to was rigged to make America’s traditional public school look bad.

Stanford reported that once the flawed data was corrected, the U.S. went from 14th in reading to SIXTH and went from 25th in math to 13th.

In addition, Stanford discovered “There is an achievement gap between more and less disadvantaged students (living in poverty) in every country; surprisingly, the gap is smaller in the United States … and not much larger than the very highest scoring countries.”  In fact, “Achievement of U.S. disadvantaged students (living in poverty) has been rising rapidly over time, while achievement of disadvantaged students (living in poverty) in countries to which the United States is frequently unfavorably compared … had been falling rapidly.”

It’s time for most voting Americans to wake up and stop being suckered like Suckerberg was in Newark, New Jersey.  It’s obvious that before the top-down reforms forced on the United States by President G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act and continued with President Obama’s flawed and fraudulent Race To The Top bullshit and its Common Core test-and-punish crap, the United States had (and hopefully still has) one of the best public education systems in the world, and it was on track to only get better.

And who is con-man President-Elect Donald Trump putting in charge to finish the destruction of America’s top-rated public schools?  The answer: labor union hating, billionaire Betsy DeVos, who never attended a public school in her life, and she sends her own children to very expensive private schools that only the wealthy can afford.

If you want to educate yourself about this one-woman billionaire wrecking crew, learn, learn, learn from: Betsy DeVos and the Wrong Way to Fix Schools, 5 Things to Know about Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump Education Choice, and What’s the worst that could happen with Betsy DeVos as education secretary? Two scenarios.

Make no mistake about this. The United States is on the verge of the total destruction of one of the best public education systems in the world, and what is waiting to replace it is the autocratic, opaque-and-secretive, often fraudulent-and-inferior, private-sector corporate charter school industry that often bullies and terrorizes children to become assembly-line drones that score high on tests or face eviction back to the cold, brutal world of underfunded and deliberately abandoned, traditional public education.

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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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Does the United States have a CEO, a dictator, or a President in Donald Trump?

Lloyd Lofthouse

I woke up this morning thinking, “Trump is still a private citizen. Trump is the unofficial president elect. He isn’t the president until January 20. In fact, Trump isn’t officially even the president elect until December 19 when the Electoral College makes it official, but he’s acting as if he were already the president with powers that a president of the United States doesn’t legally have.”

Whitehouse.gov clearly defines the role of a sitting U.S. President: “The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet.”

In fact, even the U.S. Constitution, written by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century, says, “Under Article II…

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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Zombie Politics of School Choice: A Reader

the becoming radical

The original zombie narrative has been re-created and distorted in contemporary U.S. pop culture, as Victoria Anderson explains:

So what were zombies, originally? The answer lies in the Caribbean. They weren’t endlessly-reproducing, flesh-eating ghouls. Instead, the zombie was the somewhat tragic figure of a human being maintained in a catatonic state – a soulless body – and forced to labour for whoever cast the spell over him or her. In other words, the zombie is – or was – a slave. I always find it troubling that, somewhere along the line, we forgot or refused to acknowledge this and have replaced the suffering slave with the figure of a mindless carnivore – one that reproduces, virus-like, with a bite.

While there is some nuance and variety among the many ways in which U.S. pop culture have manipulated the zombie narrative, central to almost all of those is the zombie…

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Posted by on November 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

MythBuster: Do We Have a “Government-Run Education Monopoly”?

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“There’s no failed policy more in need of change than our government-run education monopoly, and you know that’s exactly what it is.”

With these words, candidate Donald Trump unleashed his K-12 education policy at a campaign stop in September, two months before winning the general election.

In the speech, the former reality TV star and current President-elect vowed to spend $20 billion in federal tax dollars to encourage more charter and voucher schools nationwide.

It remains his most concrete executive policy offering to date. Yet it’s based on this characterization of public schools as a “government-run education monopoly.”

One wonders – is it true? Do we really have such a thing here in the U.S. or is it just propaganda to boost an unpopular education scheme?

The devil, it seems, is in the details.

The answer is both yes and no: Yes, public schools are…

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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tom Ultican: Why For-Profit Education Always Fails

Diane Ravitch's blog

Tom Ultican, a high school teacher in San Diego reviews Samuel Abrams’ new book, “Education and the Commercial Mindset.”

He writes:

“Samuel E. Abrams has created a masterpiece of research and reason illuminating the successes and failures of the forces favoring privatization of public education. His new book published by Harvard University Press is Education and the Commercial Mindset.

“Starting with Chris Whittle and his infamous Channel One on TV and the ill-fated Edison Education, Abrams documents the triumphs and failures of profit based education. He shares the thinking and biographies of key characters working to privatize education and includes voices warning about the unsavory consequences of this agenda; not only in America, but worldwide.

“My big take-away from this book was solidified in the last two chapters that discussed privatization efforts in Europe and South America. It explains why both Chile and Sweden have begun undoing their privatized…

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Uncategorized