Pennsylvania: Governor Wolf Proposes Charter Law Reform, Charter Lobby Cries Foul

Diane Ravitch's blog

Three years ago, the Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale declared that the state’s charter law was the worst in the nation. The scandals and frauds were frequent, and many public school districts teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. But Republican Governor Tom Corbett and the Republican Legislature had no interest in reforming the charter law. A major charter owner was the single biggest contributor to Corbett’s re-election campaign and leader of his education transition team.

DePasquale is now the state’s Attorney General, and the current Democratic Governor Tom Wolf announced that he intends to issue executive orders and propose legislation to reform the charter law to require accountability and transparency.

Gov. Wolf announced a plan on Tuesday to improve financial accountability and academics among Pennsylvania’s charter schools, focusing on cyber charters and charter management companies, through executive actions and new legislation.

“Charter schools, like traditional public schools, should be high…

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Posted by on August 17, 2019 in Uncategorized


Joe Biden: Where Does He Stand on Race to the Top?

Diane Ravitch's blog

I have not endorsed a candidate, and I will vote for anyone nominated by the Democratic party to run against Trump. He is the worst, most ignorant, most unqualified president in our history, and we cannot have four more years of his vile policies.

I am expressing my views about the candidates in the Democratic primaries and will continue to do so.

I am not a one-issue voter but I sincerely hope that Democrats have a candidate who will reverse the ruinous education policies of the past four decades. Our nation has invested in standards, testing, accountability, and choice with nothing to show for it.

Many states today spend less on education than they did eleven years ago, and millions of teachers are not paid or respected as professionals. Many states cut taxes and cut their education budgets yet expanded privatization by charters and vouchers, diverting even more money away…

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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Uncategorized


The Not-so-Secret War against OUR Public Schools

About eight years ago my wife heard Diane Ravitch being interviewed on NPR. When Anchee got home, she told me I’d be interested, and I’ve been following Diane’s blog since and have read a few of her books on the war being waged against our public schools.

Make no mistake about this issue; it is a greed-based war of power and corruption that mostly old, white billionaires and corporations managed by old, white CEO’s launched against the people’s public schools long before I learned about Diane Ravitch.

I was a public school teacher for thirty years working in Rowland Unified School District in Southern California from 1975 to 2005. The two schools I taught at the longest were Giano Intermediate and Nogales High School in La Puente, California. After President Ronald Reagan’s flawed and misleading “A Nation at Risk” report was released in 1983, it didn’t take long for news and opinion pieces to start appearing in the media blaming public school teachers for literally everything that was allegedly wrong in the United States, including poverty and the number of Americans in Prison.

National Public Radio reported, “The idea that American schools were worse just wasn’t true,” says James Guthrie, an education professor at Lynn University in Florida. Guthrie published a scholarly article in 2004 titled “A Nation At Risk Revisited: Did ‘Wrong’ Reasoning Result in ‘Right’ Results? At What Cost?” … “I looked at it every which way,” he says now. The authors in 1983 “were hell-bent on proving that schools were bad. They cooked the books to get what they wanted.”

Did you know that one of the leaders in this war against our public schools is Bill Gates? But, he isn’t alone. There are others like Eli Broad, the Wal-Mart Walton family, the Koch brothers, and Betsy DeVos. Taking a page from Hitler’s Nazi propaganda machine, these greedy, power-hungry enemies of our public education system created a misleading phrase and have relentlessly repeated it through the years. That phrase was the school to prison pipeline.

There is the Republican-Nixon-Reagan to prison pipeline, but there has never been a school to prison pipeline.  If anyone reading this doesn’t believe me, look up President Nixon’s War on Drugs (launched June 1971. Click the previous link and scroll down to find that date). Then President Reagan doubled the War on Drugs when he became president and the prison population in the United States exploded and eventually became the largest prison population in the world with China in a distant second place. Don’t forget that China has more than four times the population but several hundred thousand fewer people in its prisons.

If you are interested, you might want to read this report out of Stanford University about Nixon’s War on Drugs. “The United States has been engaged in a “war” for nearly 25 years. …  We spend $50 billion per year trying to eradicate drugs from this country. According to DEA estimates, we capture less than 10 percent of all illicit drugs. … Does $50 billion a year for a 90% failure rate seem like a good investment to you?”

If you do the math, the total spent on that war comes to more than 1.25-trillion dollars, while individuals that think like Bill Gates blame the public schools and public school teachers for the results of Republican President Nixon and Reagan’s War on Drugs.

Anyway, back to public education, there were other false claims in this war on our public schools: too many teachers are incompetent and we can’t fire them, the teachers’ unions are corrupt, test scores are too low, et al. It didn’t take me long after 1983 to start thinking that there was a conspiracy behind all of these lies demonizing public school teachers, but I convinced myself that couldn’t be true, because if the public school system in the United States was destroyed, it would be the end of our Constitutional Republic and a return to 1900 when 40-percent of Americans lived in poverty, only 7-percent graduated from high school, and 3-percent went to college.

Who were most of these high school and college graduates in 1900?
They were the children of the wealthiest, elite, white Americans like Bill Gates and his family.

After World War II, The United States became a great nation because of our public schools that have become the foundation of our modern Republic and Democracy. Once our public schools are gone, this county will return to 1900.

Then almost ten years ago, I started reading Diane Ravitch’s blog and some of her books and discovered from all the facts and evidence I was reading, that I had not been wrong. There was a deliberate conspiracy to destroy our public schools and it started back in the 1970s and went viral after 1983 thanks to the Republican Party and their President Ronald Reagan, and that war on our public schools is getting more vicious by the year and continues to escalate. The vampire corporations and extremist autocratic billionaires like Bill Gates and their paid-for-troops are not stopping, and the lies and dirty tricks they keep pulling out of their hats-from-hell seem never-ending.


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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Jon Schnur and His Nonprofit Accelerator, America Achieves: A Deep Dig

Meet two of the kleptocrats destroying the United States.


Sometimes the ed-reform deep dig is really deep.

On July 22, 2019, I wrote a post about a nonprofit, Results for America, that was incubated by another nonprofit, America Achieves.

I had planned to follow up with a post about America Achieves, which received its nonprofit status in November 2010 and which was co-founded by its chair, Jonathan Schnur, and co-chair, Rod Washington. (Washington is no longer listed on the America Achieves site, but his bio can be access using this archived America Achieves bio link from January 2013.)

What I noticed on America Achieves’ 2011 tax form is that in 2010, revenue for this brand-new nonprofit was already $4M, and in its second year (2011), revenue jumped to $13.5M. Contributions and grants accounted for most of the revenue ($2.9M in 2010 and $13.4M in 2011), which indicates that its founders were really connected.

It is in…

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Posted by on August 1, 2019 in Uncategorized


Jersey Jazzman: How “Creaming” Works in the Charter Schools of Newark

Corporate Charter Schools “CREAM” their way to raising test scores. Public schools are not allowed to use CREAMING because it is wrong!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jersey Jazzman seems to be in an endless battle with New Jersey’s largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, or at least with the writer of its editorials. He went to the trouble of getting a doctorate in statistics so he could persuade that editorialist to understand how the charters produce high test scores. It is called creaming, picking the best and excluding the rest. 

This article explains how in works.

Creaming has become a central issue in the whole debate about the effectiveness of charters. A school “creams” when it enrolls students who are more likely to get higher scores on tests due to their personal characteristics and/or their backgrounds. The fact that Newark’s charter schools enroll, as a group, fewer students with special education needs — particularly high-cost needs — and many fewer students who are English language learners is an indication that creaming may be in play.

If you understand…

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Posted by on July 25, 2019 in Uncategorized


TFA Is Shocked, Shocked To Find That It Is An ‘Arm’ Of The Charter School Movement

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

A few weeks ago an article appeared in ProPublica called ‘How Teach for America became an arm of the charter school movement’.  I found this be a very well researched article which shed light on something that public school advocates like me already knew a lot about — that TFA and the charter school movement are highly intertwined.

For people who didn’t already know about this, this would be truly eye opening.  But even for people like me who have always known about this, this article gave some new details that offered even more compelling proof including a major ‘smoking gun.’

The smoking gun is a contract that TFA signed with the Walton Foundation where TFA would receive $4,000 for each public school teacher they recruit and $6,000 for every charter school teacher they recruit.

I thought the article was great and it got a lot of attention but…

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Posted by on July 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


Dem Candidates: Charter-School-Enabled *Profiteering* Is the Problem. What’s Your Plan?

Discover the labyrinth of greed based deceit and lies found in the publicly funded, private sector, charter school industry.


Some Democratic hopefuls for the 2020 presidency have taken to saying that they do not support “for-profit charter schools.” (See here and here and here.)

On July 07, 2019, Network for Public Education (NPE) executive director, Carol Burris, called them out for promoting a false distinction. Below is Burris’ commentary, in part:

When Democratic candidates are questioned about charter schools, many typically reply, “I am against for-profit charter schools.” Everyone cheers. Politicians have created a convenient (and false) dichotomy that says nonprofit charter schools are good, and for-profit charter schools are bad.

Don’t be fooled. There are now only 2 states that allow for-profit charter schools—Arizona and Wisconsin. California changed  its laws. 

However, 35 states allow for-profit Charter Management Organizations (CMOS) to run their nonprofit charter schools. …

The question candidates need to answer then are:

 “Do you support for-profit Charter Management Organizations, and if you do not…

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Posted by on July 11, 2019 in Uncategorized