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Lily Eskelsen Garcia Writes a Letter to Betsy DeVos

Diane Ravitch's blog

Betsy DeVos called Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the president of the National Education Association. She said, let’s talk. Lily wrote her a letter laying out some conditions before talking or meeting.

Read Lily’s letter here.

http://lilysblackboard.org/2017/02/betsy-devos-called-sent-letter/

Here are her conditions:

“It’s important for educators, parents, and communities to know where you stand on some of the most critical work of the federal Department of Education. We must ask you to give us the substantive answers that we did not hear you give to the senators at your hearing on issues critical to our students:

1. Do you agree that all schools receiving public dollars must be held to the same accountability and transparency standards?

2. Will you agree not to privatize funding for Special Education of Title I?

3. Will you stand with educators and protect our most vulnerable students from discrimination, including LGBT students, immigrant students, students of color, girls…

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Posted by on February 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Texas: Pastors Leading the Fight Against Vouchers!

Diane Ravitch's blog

There is a wonderful organization in Texas called Pastors for Texas Children, led by the indefatigable Pastor Charles Foster Johnson of Fort Worth.

Their members span the state, and they have worked with public schools and parents to oppose vouchers, which would destroy many communities and defund their community’s public schools.

Pastor Johnson recently sent out this letter:

Pastors for Texas Children is a three-year-old organization that mobilizes the faith community for public education assistance and advocacy. Our website is http://www.pastorsfortexaschildren.com

Our goal is to connect every single local congregation to every single public school in wrap-around care and school improvement assistance – especially high-need schools in poor neighborhoods. We do this always under the authority of the local superintendent and principal – and always scrupulously adhering to the principles of religious liberty and church/state separation.

We believe fully in the First Amendment prohibition against any religious instruction in our…

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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

America’s Founding Fathers Were Against School Choice

gadflyonthewallblog

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One of the founding principles of the United States is public education.

We fought a bloody revolution against England for many reasons, but chief among them was to create a society where all people could be educated.

Certainly we had disagreements about who counted as a person. Women? Probably not. Black people? Doubtful. But the ideal of providing a quality education for all was a central part of our fledgling Democracy regardless of how well we actually lived up to it.

In fact, without it, our system of self-government just wouldn’t work. A functioning Democracy, it was thought, couldn’t exist in a nation where the common person was ignorant. We needed everyone to be knowledgeable and enlightened.

That’s why we have public schools – so that an educated citizenry will lead to a good government.

Our founders didn’t want a system of private schools each teaching students…

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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Network for Public Education Outraged by DeVos’ Okay

Diane Ravitch's blog

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2017

Media Contact: Carol Burris 718-577-3276

cburris@networkforpubliceducation.org

The Network for Public Education furious over the approval of Betsy DeVos. Begins campaign to thwart any attempts to privatize schools.

The Network for Public Education (NPE) announced its campaign to oppose any attempts by the newly appointed Secretary of Education to privatize public education. In a letter to its 316,000 members, NPE vowed to continue the fight against the DeVos agenda at both the state and national level.

“Betsy DeVos put a spotlight on the ongoing threat to our democratically governed, community public schools. Public school advocates across the nation spoke out. Our campaign against DeVos generated over 600,000 emails and thousands of phone calls and letters to the Senate. Americans do not want an unregulated, privatized school system paid for by American taxpayers. They do not want public school funds taken from their neighborhood schools for…

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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Texas Tribune: Vouchers Are Not About Kids, They are About Money

Diane Ravitch's blog

Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune reviews the upcoming voucher battle in Texas.

The voucher fight is not about kids. It is not about education. It is about who gets the public money. “While it seems to be a fight about education, it’s really a fight about money — about whether taxpayers should foot some or all of the tuition bill for private elementary and secondary education.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants vouchers. Governor Gregg Abbott wants vouchers.

Their big battle will take place in the House, where every year a coalition of urban Democrats and rural Republicans defend their public schools and oppose funding private and religious schools.

Will the coalition stand strong again this year?

Is there any evidence that vouchers will help the children of Texas? No.

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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Gary Rubinstein: KIPP School in Wendy Kopp’s Hometown Gets an F from the State

More on Corporate Charter School failures.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Gary Rubinstein, critical friend of Teach for America, reviewed the school rankings recently released by Texas and made a startling discovery. Wendy Kopp’s hometown is Dallas. Wendy Kopp is a huge supporter of charter schools, which hire most of her recruits. KIPP was started by two TFA graduates. KIPP is widely considered to be a purveyor of “high-quality seats.”

The KIPP Destiny Elementary School in Dallas was rated F by the state.

But wait, aren’t these supposed to be the schools that are beacons of excellence in a sea of despair?

Rubinstein says sadly,

So this KIPP school is rated in the bottom 250 schools out of 9,000 schools in Texas which is around the bottom 3%. There’s a reformer mantra, “Zip code is not destiny.” I guess in the case of KIPP Destiny, zip code is, in fact, destiny.

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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

U.S. Public Schools Are NOT Failing. They’re Among the Best in the World

gadflyonthewallblog

surprised-kid-investor-050213

Everyone knows U.S. public schools are failing.

Just like everyone knows you should never wake sleepwalkers, bulls hate red and Napoleon was short.

Wrong on all counts. Waking sleepwalkers will cause them no harm – in fact, they’re more likely to harm themselves while sleepwalking. Bulls are colorblind; they’re attracted to movement. And Napoleon was 5’7”, which was above average height for Frenchman during his lifetime.

So why do we believe that American public schools are doing such a terrible job?

Because far right policymakers have convinced us all that it’s true.

It’s not.

Let me repeat that in no uncertain terms – America’s public schools are NOT failing. They are among the best in the world. Really!

Here’s why: the United States educates everyone. Most other countries do not.

We have made a commitment to every single child regardless of what their parents can afford to…

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Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Uncategorized