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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.

New York: Parent Groups Denounce Cuomo Outreach to Gates

Stop Bill Gates from meddling in OUR public schools and damaging the education of OUR children, not his!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Well, that was fast!

Only minutes after news broke that Governor Cuomo had asked Bill Gates and his foundation to help “reimagine” education in New York, parent groups responded with a loud NO!

Don’t mess with New York parents! Remember, they started the biggest opt-out from state testing in history.

Here is their public letter:

May 5, 2020

To Governor Cuomo:

As educators, parents and school board members, we were appalled to hear that you will be working with the Gates Foundation on “reimagining” our schools following the Covid crisis. Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have promoted one failed educational initiative after another, causing huge disaffection in districts throughout the state.

Whether that be the high-handed push by the Gates Foundation for the invalid Common Core standards, unreliable teacher evaluation linked to test scores, or privacy-violating data-collection via the corporation known as inBloom Inc., the education of our children…

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Posted by on May 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

98 Success Academy Students Accepted To College

Learn how Success Academy’s publicly funded, private sector CHARTER SCHOOLs spin lies into truth by leaving out a LOT of facts. Eva Moskowitz the founder and CEO of this chain of boot camp, child-abusing charters has no shame. Does that mean parents are handing their children over to a psychopath and narcissist?

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

But is that a lot?

The New York Post seems to think so. Three times in a recent article they suggest that this is 100% of the seniors. The title “Entire Success Academy senior class accepted to college” certainly implies it. The first sentence “Every senior in one of the city’s largest charter school networks has been accepted to a college this year, officials said.” reinforces it. And the second sentence “All 98 of the 12th graders at Success Academy’s HS of the Liberal Arts in Manhattan earned admission to universities — including Yale, Penn, Duke and Georgetown.” further drives the point home.

But a responsible reporter would ask the logical follow up question. Is 98 really all the students in the class of 2020?

The answer, of course is, ‘no.’ What the actual number is depends on how you define the class of 2020.

If you go back to

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Posted by on May 2, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Eleven Warning Signs that Privatizers Are Invading Your School District During the Pandemic

The public education deformers love chaos and are using it to steal more public money and destroy more public schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

“In The Public Interest,” a nonpartisan organization that supports a healthy public sector, has identified eleven warning signs that privatizers are targeting your school district.

Read them and be prepared to defend your public schools from privatizers and profiteers!

Here are the first six. Open the link and learn about the other five:

As students, parents, educators, and school districts struggle to adjust to the Covid-19 pandemic, others see the crisis as an opportunity to escalate their efforts to further privatize public education. For years, “education reformers,” private companies that want to profit from public education dollars, and others have worked to undermine public education by privatizing all aspects of it—from charter schools, to contracted out bus services and cafeterias, to private testing companies, to software and hardware providers touting the benefits of virtual/online education.

With the current need for districts to rapidly switch to distance learning, many of these…

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Posted by on April 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

An Open Letter to Joe Biden, by Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris

Diane Ravitch's blog

Carol Burris and I wrote “An Open Letter to Joe Biden,” which was published by Valerie Strauss on her blog “The Answer Sheet” at the Washington Post.

Valerie Strauss begins:

During the Obama administration, public school advocates led by Diane Ravitch opposed the education agenda of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who had embraced standardized testing, charter schools and the Common Core State Standards as the way to improve America’s schools.
Ravitch, an education historian and research professor at New York University, became the titular leader of the grass-roots movement against the privatization of public education in 2010, when she published her best-selling book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System.” It detailed her conversion from a No Child Left Behind supporter to an opponent.

From 1991 to 1993, Ravitch served as assistant secretary of research and improvement in the Education Department under President George H.W…

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Posted by on April 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

“The Coronavirus Just Might End School Privatization Nonsense”

Support your local traditional, democratic, transparent, K-12 public schools and reject greed-based, autocratic, opaque and secretive, private sector charter schools and vouchers.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is an essay I wrote for Education Week. I thank them for their close reading, fact-checking, and careful editing.

The vast majority of the nation’s schoolchildren are out of school because of the deadly coronavirus. Parents are frantically trying to figure out how to keep their children engaged in learning, and many districts are providing online instruction or recommending resources for lessons. After teaching her two children for a week, Shonda Rhimes, the creator and producer of hit TV shows, tweeted, “I think teachers should be paid a billion dollars a year. Or a week.” Another parent forced into homeschooling joked, “Is there any way I can get one of my children transferred to someone else’s class?”

Most parents don’t feel qualified to teach their children at home, especially since museums, libraries, and other public spaces are also closed. They don’t long to be home schoolers; they long…

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Posted by on April 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

David Berliner: How “Successful” Charter Schools Cull and Skim Students They Don’t Want

Diane Ravitch was recently criticized for writing that charter schools, supported by public tax money, engage in skimming and creaming students and families. Ravitch, however is right!

Diane Ravitch's blog

I recently wrote an article that referred to charter schools that succeed by excluding students with disabilities, English learners, and others unlikely to get high scores. The editor questioned if this claim was accurate. I turned to several expert researchers to ask their view, and they all agreed with my assertion. David Berliner of Arizona State University—one of the nation’s pre-eminent researchers and statisticians—had data to back it up, and I invited him to write an essay addressing this issue.

He wrote:

Culling, Creaming, Skimming, Thinning: Things We Do to Herds and School Children

To cull is to select things you intend to reject, often in reference to a group of animals. An outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease can cause authorities to order a cull of farm pigs. An outbreak of low-test scores or a meeting with undesirable parents can promote the culling of charter students. To cream is to remove…

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Posted by on April 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

A Conspiracy Theory that turned out to be Real

On July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Read Slaying Goliath, and learn that some of the wealthiest and most powerful Americans are trying to take away our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I was a public school teacher in California from 1975 – 2005. During those thirty years, I worked 60 to 100 hours a week during the school year. I took work home seven days a week and couldn’t wait for the winter and spring breaks, not because of the time off from teaching, but because I’d have time to catch up correcting student work. After all, teachers have to sleep, too.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan released a report that was a lie. That report was called “A Nation at Risk,” and it painted the nation’s public schools as failures.  After that misleading report, teachers were called lazy and incompetent. The public schools were blamed for the prison population in the United States that was really caused by Presidents Nixon and Reagan’s war on recreational drugs like marijuana.

The critics of the public schools even came up with a misleading term that was also a lie. It was called “The school to prison pipeline.” There has never been a school to prison pipeline in the United States.

After “A Nation at Risk,” came the Self Esteem Movement that got its start in Catholic K-12 schools and from the pulpit of evangelical Christian churches. When that failed, teachers were blamed again. However, the majority of teachers, including me, did not agree with the Self Esteem Movement that put pressure on us to stop failing students that refused to learn and inflate grades so children would feel good about themselves, even if they didn’t deserve it.

That top-down failure was followed by The Whole Language Approach to teaching. English Lit Teachers like me were told to stop teaching mechanics, grammar, and spelling because it was boring. We were told that the kids could learn that boring stuff just by reading on their own, except most kids do not read on their own.

A decade later, when that Whole Language Approach that was forced on teachers also failed, teachers were blamed again.

That is why, back in the 1980s, I started to think there was a conspiracy theory to destroy the public schools. Over the years, as one top-down movement after another to improve the public schools failed, I convinced myself that it could not be right that someone was trying to destroy our public schools.

Who could be that cruel, that greedy, that monstrous, to deliberately demonize teachers and blame them for almost every problem in the United States? The critics said teachers were lazy. The critics said we were incompetent. The critics said our labor unions were corrupt and were getting in the way of improving the public schools.

I retired from teaching in 2005 and swore that if I was forced to teach again, I’d instead rejoin the U.S. Marines and fight in Afghanistan against Islamic terrorists. Since I had already served in the Marines and fought in Vietnam before I was a teacher, I knew that being a teacher was way worse because of the way teachers are treated in this country.

When I retired, I took a 40-percent pay cut and left without medical insurance, but the critics said teachers were greedy, and our retirement systems would cause the states to go bankrupt. I live in California, and about 6% of the state’s annual budget goes to support the teacher retirement system.

If you believe that retired teachers are greedy, let me sell you a vacation home on a moon orbiting Saturn. I understand the view of Saturn’s rings are incredible.

Read Slaying Goliath, and you will learn that what I suspected back in the 1980s was real. There has been a movement in the United States for decades to replace the nation’s democratic, transparent, public schools and destroy the teaching profession. That disruptive movement wants to replace the people’s public school with a profit-driven, often corrupt, secretive, autocratic, private school system that operates without rules and oversight.

Read Slaying Goliath, and you will learn that the leaders of the publicly funded, private-sector charter school industry are mostly deceivers and liars.

Read Slaying Goliath, and you will learn that the leaders of the publicly-funded private/religious voucher school industry are also mostly deceivers and liars.

When you read Slaying Goliath, you will learn who those liars are. You will learn who is behind the disruption of our public schools and how they are subverting our Constitutional Republic to strip us of our rights. Then maybe you will be angry enough to support and even join the passionate resistance of parents, grandparents, teachers, and children that are already fighting to save America’s public schools.

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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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