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.

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


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.


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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


Michael Kohlhass: How “Nonprofit” Charter Schools Make a Profit

Discover the SCAM: how faux non-profit, publicly funded private sector charter schools make a profit while claiming to be a non-profit.

Diane Ravitch's blog

There are many ways in which nonprofit charters make a profit. Most involve complex real estate transactions and such things as “triple net leases” which are hard for the public to understand. Such deals often involve a charter operator owning or leasing the real estate and renting it to the charter school at exorbitant rates, with the public footing the bill.

Michael Kohlhaas has discovered another ingenious way that allegedly nonprofit charter operators extract money from their operations. 

He describes the case of a charter operator in Los Angeles who sold his “receivables” soon after getting his charter.

Kohlhaas writes:

The idea is very simple. A charter school has guaranteed future income in the form of payments from the state. They sell those payments to a finance company at a discount.

The finance company also charges a transaction fee. So for instance, if a charter has enrollment worth $1,000,000 they…

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Posted by on December 14, 2019 in Uncategorized


Network for Public Education Releases Explosive New Report on Federal Charter Schools Program

Where has all that taxpayer money gone?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Last spring, the Network for Public Education published a report on waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal Charter Schools Program. The report, called Asleep At the Wheel, documented the Department of Education’s failure to monitor the veracity or feasibility of applications for the program or to follow up on what happened to the money spent to launch new charter schools. It found that nearly $1 billion of federal dollars had been wasted on charters that either never opened or closed soon after opening.

Today, NPE released a new report that delves into what happened with federal money from the Charter Schools Program in the states. The findings were even more concerning than last spring’s report.
The new report is called Still Asleep At the Wheel.

An excerpt:

This report, Still Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Results in a Pileup of Fraud and…

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Posted by on December 10, 2019 in Uncategorized