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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.

Shawgi Tell: Are Charter Schools Public Schools?

No matter what you read or hear, publicly funded, private sector charter schools are NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT public schools!

Do you hear me shouting … and pounding on my desk?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Shawgi Tell, a professor of education at Nazareth College in upstate New York, has a straightforward answer to the question he raises. His answer: No. Charter schools are not public schools.

He writes:

Charter school advocates have always desperately sought to convince themselves and the public that privately-run nonprofit and for-profit charter schools that operate like businesses are actually public and similar in many ways to public schools.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Charter schools are not public schools.

In reality, privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools differ in many profound ways from public schools that have been educating 90 percent of America’s youth for more than a century.

Below is an abbreviated list of the many ways in which privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools differ significantly from public schools.

Charter schools are exempt from dozens, even hundreds, of state and local laws, rules, regulations, policies…

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Donald and the Black Sharpie

Donald Trump’s Sharpie has been very busy.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I have read “Harold and the Purple Crayon” for many decades. First to my children, then to my grandchildren.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post re-imagines the iconic children’s book brilliantly. The best commentary I have read in a long time on our national nightmare.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/donald-and-the-black-sharpie/2019/09/06/44202240-d0b9-11e9-b29b-a528dc82154a_story.html

He wrote:

With profuse apologies to the late Crockett Johnson, author of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”

One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Donald decided he wanted to be president.

He drew a picture that made his hands look very big.

He drew another picture that made dark people look scary and another that made the president into a mean Muslim from Africa.

He made a picture of a swamp with frightening alligators, a picture of terrible monsters in Chicago and a picture of dangerous animals from Central America.

Still, Donald did not win most of the votes. So he drew…

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Posted by on September 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Betsy DeVos: The Musical!

A musical about Betsy DeVos with songs like: “Jesus Wants Me to be Rich” and “The Best Kind of Teacher is a Teacher with a Gun”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Quinn Strassel, a drama teacher at Ann Arbor Community High School has written a music about Betsy DeVos, the arch-for of America’s public schools. The Michigan media took note.

Strassel recruited Diane Hill, his former Ypsilanti High School drama teacher, to take on the role of Betsy DeVos, while he played husband Dick DeVos and brother Erik Prince.

The cast also included some of Strassel’s former students and fellow school teachers and staff.

As the fictitious storyline in the play goes, DeVos makes an appearance at a Grand Rapids charter school, “Future Business Leaders of Tomorrow Academy,” and enlists the help of six students of color in putting on a musical. She promises to personally give them $200,000 to renovate the school theater if they do a good job.

As the musical progresses, things go wrong and DeVos upsets and frightens the children. Guns enter the picture, one student is…

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Posted by on September 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Texas: Public Schools Outperform Charter Schools

PROOF that publicly funded, transparent, democratically managed, traditional public schools are vastly superior to publickly funded, opaque, secretive, CEO managed. corporate charter schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

The original rationale for charter schools was that they would be innovative, would be accountable, and would have lessons to share with public schools. We now know that the only innovation associated with charter schools is the adoption of stern discipline, reminiscent of schools a century or more ago.

We now know that charter lobbies fight any accountability.

They no longer see themselves as collaborators but as competitors. If they have anything to share, they are not doing it.

Their biggest innovations are diverting resources from the public schools and choosing the students they want. As a sector, the charter industry has produced a plethora of frauds and scandals, which is what you would expect to happen when entrepreneurs get government money without supervision, oversight or accountability.

Charter advocates claimed they would “save poor kids from failing schools,” but in most states the poor kids are better off staying in…

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Posted by on September 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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.

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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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