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Author Archives: Lloyd Lofthouse

About Lloyd Lofthouse

Lloyd Lofthouse earned a BA in journalism after fighting in Vietnam as a U. S. Marine. He then taught English and journalism in the public schools by day (for thirty years) and for a time worked as a maitre d' in a multimillion-dollar nightclub by night. Later, he earned a MFA in writing. He lives near San Francisco.

Detroit: A Cautionary Tale of a Promising Charter School That Was Doomed to Fail

Teaching is a challenging profession and teachers must be highly educated, dedicated, and supported to be able to manage a classroom without being sabotaged by disruptions caused by “dysfunctional” children that arrived already dysfunctional because of the environment they grew up in and/or from learning disabilities that arrived along with their birth.

For instance, I was born with dyslexia that caused learning disabilities. When I was seven, my mother was told by so-called administrative experts that tested me, that I would never learn to read or write.

Without support from my first-grade teacher and my mother, that seven-year-old me would have never learned to read or write. That first-grade teacher and my mother made liars out of those so-called expert administrators.

Without that dedicated first-grade teacher, would my mother have learned what to do at home to overcome the learning challenges I was born with?

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is an extraordinary story, which I hope you will read to the end. It was published by Chalkbeat.

A group of concerned leaders in Detroit, including some retired educators, decided to open a charter school.  They won the endorsement of the city’s leading philanthropies. They won a federal grant from the Charter Schools Program.

The school struggled from the beginning. It struggled initially to attract students, because it was competing with so many other charters for the same students. It took in students from a closing charter, who were far behind. It searched for an educational management company, which drew off a large share of its income.

It housed its students in a closed elementary school, where there was far more space than the charter could use.

There was no shortage of potential authorizers. The sponsors were turned down by one, then found another.

Efforts to regulate…

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Posted by on February 15, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Trump Lied About Philly Student in “Failing Government School”

One more lie to add to Trump’s endless lies that are now closing in on 20,000 since he lied in January 2017 while taking the Oath of Office to become the 45th (first faux) President of the United States.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Trump singled out a child from Philadelphia who, he said, was “trapped in a failing government school.” In fact, the child attends one of the city’s most elite charter schools. Didn’t Betsy DeVos realize she had given $1.3 million to the self-same charter school in 2019?

President Donald Trump turned a Philadelphia fourth grader into a poster child for the school-choice movement Tuesday when he told the nation that thousands of students were “trapped in failing government schools” and announced that the girl was at last getting a scholarship to attend the school of her choice.

But Janiyah Davis already attends one of the city’s most sought-after charter schools, The Inquirer has learned. In September, months before she was an honored guest at Trump’s State of the Union address, she entered Math, Science and Technology Community Charter School III.

MaST III opened in the fall…

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Posted by on February 9, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

TIME: How “Education Reform” Has Failed America

Diane Ravitch's blog

This article in TIME summarizes my new book SLAYING GOLIATH.

Read the book to learn the stories of the brave heroes who have stood up to billionaires, financiers, and profiteers intent on harming the democratic institution of public education.

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Posted by on February 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Reviewing a Review: Annie Murphy Paul on Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath

I have never had a high opinion of the New York Times and now that opinion has sunk lower into the mud of murky, filthy, manipulating. biased, misleading journalism.

Bob Shepherd | Praxis

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?), Juvenal, Satire VI

On January 21, 2020, Annie Murphy Paul’s “review” of Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath appeared in TheNew York Times. Being reviewed in the Times is a big deal.  Such a review affects public opinion and sales. That’s why a hatchet job in the Times on a truly important book is irresponsible.

In her new book, education historian Ravitch presents a recent history of the popular resistance to an “Education Reform Movement” led by billionaires interested in

  • privatizing U.S. PreK-12 education via charter schools and vouchers,
  • foisting upon the country a single set of national “standards,”
  • busting teachers’ unions,
  • selling depersonalized education software, and
  • evaluating students, teachers, and schools based on high-stakes standardized tests.

Here’s Ms. Paul’s opening salvo:

“She came. She saw. She conquered.”

This opening is, of course, an allusion to the boast about his role in…

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Posted by on January 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Did Rosa Parks Really Support Charter Schools?

Did Rosa Parks Really Support Charter Schools?

Discover more about the Greedy Segregation Rights Bigots that are out to destroy public education.

gadflyonthewallblog

Screen Shot 2020-01-28 at 8.36.33 PM

They say history is written by the victors.

But fortunes change, and sometimes you can even reclaim a figure from the past who the last round of winners had cast in an unlikely role.

Take Rosa Parks.

She is universally hailed as a hero of the civil rights movement because of her part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Everyone knows the story. Parks, a black seamstress in Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus and was arrested. Then working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many other activists, she helped encourage black people throughout the city to stop riding the buses until they were eventually desegregated.

But did you know that 40 years later after she had moved to Detroit, Parks tried to open a charter school?

It’s true…

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Posted by on January 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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