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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.

NPE: STOP PUBLIC FUNDING OF UNACCOUNTABLE EXTREMIST NETWORKS!

Read this to learn if you live in a state that is using public money to support private schools teaching children to grow up and become Nazis or other far-right extremists.

Diane Ravitch's blog

For Immediate Release: For more information, contact: Carol Burris, NPE Executive Director, 718-577-3276, cburris@networkforpubliceducation.org

PRO-VOUCHER SPECIAL INTERESTS WORK TO FUNNEL PUBLIC FUNDS INTO UNACCOUNTABLE AND EXTREMIST NETWORKS

The Network for Public Education (NPE) calls for the immediate cessation of ESA voucher payments to homeschoolers and all other non-school-based “individualized” instruction programs based on the discovery of an online homeschooling network whose primary purpose is to teach young children to be Nazis. According to the report in the Huffington Post, its numbers thus far are in the thousands, but the greater threat is how its existence exposes the dangers of publicly-subsidized vouchers designed to fund extremist beliefs. Such programs, including so-called micro-schools, operate with almost no curricular supervision or public fiscal oversight, allowing them to legally indoctrinate children with a distorted hate-filled curriculum directly supported by public funds.

NPE President Diane Ravitch stated, “Our nation fought a World War…

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Posted by on January 30, 2023 in Uncategorized

 

Happy 10-Year Blogday, Mercedes Schneider!!!

“Mercedes Schneider is one of the sharpest, smartest voices of the Resistance to privatization (of K-12 public education). She is a hero of the Resistance thanks to her incisive, brilliant exposés of ‘reform’ hoaxes.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Mercedes Schneider’s wonderful blog!

I learned about it last night, too late to mark the actual blog birthday.

Mercedes is one of the sharpest, smartest voices of the Resistance to privatization. She is a hero of the Resistance thanks to her incisive, brilliant exposés of “reform” hoaxes.

She is a high school English teacher in Louisiana. She has a Ph.D. in statistics and research methodology. she could have been a professor but she wanted to teach high school students.

I started my blog in April 2012; she started hers in January 2013. We exchanged emails, and we met when I came to speak in Louisiana. We became fast friends. Mercedes has been a regular at annual conferences of the Network for public Education, where she gave lessons on how to obtain tax forms and other public data about “reform” groups, which sprouted like…

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Posted by on January 26, 2023 in Uncategorized

 

Network for Public Education: Chartered For Profit, II: Pandemic Profiteering

Learn how how scammers and grifters have gotten a stronghold in the charter K-12 school industry, to the detriment of students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Network for Public Education has released a new report on for-profit charters, which grew during the pandemic years. The report is titled Chartered for Profit II: Pandemic Profiteering. It builds on the findings of a report published by NPE in 2021. For-profit charters not only divert money away from the public schools, which enroll the vast majority of students in every state, but they skim off profits that should have been spent on students and teachers. The report details the nefarious deals that enrich the charter operators. Every citizen who cares about our future should be aware of the facts detailed in this report. We believe readers will be genuinely shocked by the findings in this report, which shows how scammers and grifters have gotten a stronghold in the charter industry, to the detriment of students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Here is the executive summary:

In March of…

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Posted by on January 11, 2023 in Uncategorized

 

Peter Greene: Charter Schools Are Not Public Schools

What does it mean to be a public school? If you aren’t sure, have doubts, or do not know, read this re-blogged post and learn the TRUTH!

Diane Ravitch's blog

You may have noted, if you have followed this blog for a long time, that I am a big fan of Peter Greene. Peter is a wonderful writer, has a great sense of humor, and was a classroom teacher for 39 years in Pennsylvania. In addition to his own blog Curmudgacation, Peter is a regular columnist at Forbes, where he educates business people.

He writes so much so quickly that I sometimes miss terrific columns. This is one that I missed. It was published in 2019 in Forbes. The topic remains pertinent. Just in the past few days, I have had to defend the proposition that charter schools are not public schools. They call themselves public schools, but that doesn’t mean it is so.

Peter Greene explains here why charter schools are not public schools.

Modern charter schools prefer to attach the word “public” to their descriptions. Many of the…

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Posted by on January 9, 2023 in Uncategorized

 

Top 11 Education Articles of 2022 Hidden by Facebook, Buried by Twitter, and Written by a Gadfly

Top 11 Education Articles of 2022 Hidden by Facebook, Buried by Twitter, and Written by a Gadfly

Are you a reader that is interested in what sites like Facebook have decided you shouldn’t read, then read this and find out what you are missing. Twitter doesn’t count anymore. With Captain Musk at the wheel, it hit an iceberg.

gadflyonthewallblog

If you’ve stumbled across this article on social media, congratulations!

You’re one of the few people allowed to read it!

This blog, Gadfly on the Wall, used to be read by at least half a million people each year. Now it’s seen by barely 100,000.

The reason? Poor writing? Flagging interest in the subject?

I don’t think so.

Education is still as important today as it was in 2014 when I started this venture. And as to my writing ability, it’s no worse now than it was 8 years ago.

The difference it seems to me is the rise of social media censorship – not in the name of fact checking or peer review. After all, I’m a nationally board certified classroom teacher with a masters in education writing about the field where I’ve been employed for two decades.

However, the tech bros who gate keep what could have…

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Posted by on December 27, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Oklahoma: Catholic School Will Apply for Charter Status

The charter school LIES have never stopped!

“When the charter movement started, it promised that charter schools would be innovative, accountable, cost less than public schools and be transparent. As we have repeatedly seen, charter schools are not innovative, avoid accountability, demand the same or greater funding than public schools, and are not transparent.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

We saw this coming. The charter movement, widely praised in the press, opened the door to school choice and consumerism. Now, as we see in Oklahoma, the state may soon have its first Catholic school charter. When the charter movement started, it promised that charter schools would be innovative, accountable, cost less than public schools and be transparent. As we have repeatedly seen, charter schools are not innovative, avoid accountability, demand the same or greater funding than public schools, and are not transparent.

Oklahoma shows where the charter movement is heading: charter schools are becoming a pathway to vouchers.

A Catholic charter school funded by taxpayer dollars is likely coming to Oklahoma soon, based on a recent ruling of the state’s outing attorney general, with support from the re-elected governor and off newly elected state superintendent of public education.

For decades, Baptists have fought against public funding of parochial…

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Posted by on December 21, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

A Book You Might Enjoy

A book that would be a terrific Christmas gift for an educator

Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner and Carl Hermanns edited a book about the value and importance of public schools in a democratic society. Its title is Public Education: Defending a Cornerstone of American Democracy, and it was published by Teachers College Press. I was one of the contributors, along with other well-known figures in the field.

The book would be a terrific Christmas gift for an educator.

This review will give you a good look at the contents.

Public Education is a 346-page book containing 29 chapters penned by some of America’s most eminent scholars, including Diane Ravitch, Jennie Oakes, Sonia Nieto, H. Richard Milner, Deborah Meier, Ken Zeichner, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Michael Apple, William Ayers, and of course, co-editor David Berliner. The late Mike Rose has a chapter in the book as does Edward Fiske, the longtime New York Times education reporter and author of the ubiquitous Fiske Guide to Colleges.

While…

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Posted by on December 19, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Thom Hartmann: Why the GOP Wants to Destroy Public Schools

Why does today’s Republican Party hate OUR country’s public schools?

Because fascism flourishes when people are ignorant, and most of OUR public school teachers in the United States teach OUR children how to think critically, solve problems logically, and question/challenge liars like Traitor Trump that many elected Republicans still support even after the traitor called for terminating the U.S. Constitution and putting him back in the White House without an election.

What does that make voters that still vote for Republicans?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Thom Hartmann is a journalist and blogger who hits the nail on the head with this post. I would add one suggestion to his post, under the heading of “what can I do?” Run for your local school board. Don’t let wacky rightwing extremists buy it.

Former Tea Party congressman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently put a bulls-eye on the back of the president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers.

“I tell the story often — I get asked ‘Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?’” PompeotoldSemafor’s Shelby Talcott.

“The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten. It’s not a close call. If you ask, ‘Who’s the most likely to take this republic down?’ It would be the teacher’s unions, and the filth that they’re teaching our kids…”

I’ve known, respected, and admired…

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Posted by on December 6, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

School Vouchers Don’t Increase Academics; They Increase Bigotry   

School Vouchers Don’t Increase Academics; They Increase Bigotry   

The headline for this post says it all.

gadflyonthewallblog



Let’s be honest.

  
At best, school vouchers are a failed education policy experiment.  


At worst, they’re an attempt to normalize bigotry.


Using taxpayer money to send your child to a private or parochial school has got nothing to do with getting a quality education.


If we look at the facts, using a school voucher to go from a public school to a private one actually hurts kids academically.

  
Large-scale independent studies in Indiana,Louisiana, Ohio and Washington, D.C., show that students who used vouchers were as negatively impacted as if they had experienced a natural disaster. Their standardized test scores went down as much or more than students during the Covid-19 pandemic or Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  


This should come as no surprise. When we give children school vouchers, we’re removing their support systems already in place.



They lose the friends, teachers, and communities where…

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Posted by on November 19, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Josh Cowen: Vouchers Are a Disaster for Students Who Leave Public Schools

Studies (plural – from more than one state) show that vouchers, that take money away from public schools and give that money to private/religious schools, causes children’s math and reading scores on standardized tests to drop more than the impact of the COVID pandemic did to the nation’s k-12 school children and the learning loss caused by Hurricane Katrina to students in New Orleans.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This post is so important that it is the only one I have scheduled today. Please read it and share it with your friends, your local newspaper, your local radio station, your elected representatives, social media, anyone who cares about the future of our society. This is not a reprint. The author, Josh Cowen, wrote this post for this blog.

Josh Cowen, a professor at Michigan State University, has been studying vouchers for more than 20 years. He has been a member of the teams conducting major studies of vouchers. When I read his article in The Hechinger Report, where he declared that he was convinced that vouchers were disastrous for students who use them, I wanted to know more about him and his experience. I wanted to ask him, “Why did you change your mind?” That’s the question that’s been asked of me hundreds of times. I have…

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Posted by on November 15, 2022 in Uncategorized