Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shawgi Tell: Charters Open and Close Like Day Lilies

Diane Ravitch's blog

Shawgi Tell is a professor of education at Nazareth College in New York.

He points out that “More than 765 Charter Schools Have Closed in Three Years.”

This is what Disrupters refer to as “high-quality seats.” Here today, gone tomorrow.

Currently, about 3.2 million students are enrolled in roughly 7,000 privately-operated charter schools across the country. This represents less than 7% of all students and 7% of all schools in the country.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 765 charter schools closed between 2014-15 and 2016-2017, leaving thousands of families stressed, abandoned, dislocated,and angry. This figure represents more than one out of ten charter schools in the country by today’s numbers. The real closure figure is likely higher. To be sure, more than 3,000 charter schools have closed in under three decades.

The top three reasons privately-operated charter schools close are financial malfeasance…

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Posted by on November 14, 2019 in Uncategorized


William Mathis: What to Do with a Dead Horse? Beat It Even Harder.

Poverty prevents learning and all the high stakes, rank-and-punish tests in the world will not change that FACT!

Diane Ravitch's blog

William Mathis, a member of the Vermont Board of Education and managing director of the National Education Policy Center, reviews reactions to the dismal scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The people who inflicted high-stakes testing insist that more and more and more testing is needed. More of the same policies that have already failed will surely work if we keep doing the same things for another generation or two.

The main perpetrator of the claim that we must “stay the (failing) course” is Arne Duncan, of course.

Mathis writes:

The latest round of flagellation of dead horse flesh has been provoked by the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores. After 20 years of overall progress, many of the scores went down. While all groups improved over the long haul, the gaps between white and other racial groups varied over time but generally remained…

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Posted by on November 9, 2019 in Uncategorized


Arthur Camins: Take Back Our Government. Start with Public Schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Arthur Camins retired after a career as a teacher, aprofessor, a scientist, and director of a lab in charge of innovation.

In this post, he lays out the great mission of our era: take back our government, restore our democracy of the people. Start with public schools.

An excerpt:

Public schools are the bedrocks of democracy and equity. They are a great place to start reclaiming government because they are under assault by market enthusiasts who promote charter schools.

At best, charter schools–publicly funded but privately governed–benefit a few at the expense of the many. The evidence is in. At worst, they drain funds from public school districts, exacerbate segregation, facilitate corruption, and promote competition rather than solidarity among diverse constituencies for education quality and equity. It is time to hammer the nails in the charter school coffin.

In a dramatic and welcome shift for presidential candidates,

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Posted by on November 3, 2019 in Uncategorized


Not So Fast, Betsy DeVos!

Discover the LIES that Betsy (the BEAST) DeVos repeats every chance she gets.

Betsy the Beast loves publicly funded, private sector charter schools that profit the few and rob from the many.

Betsy the BEAST hates democracy.

Betsy the BEAST hates real public schools even though the long term EVIDENCE proves they perform better than corporate charters and/or vouchers.

GFBrandenburg's Blog

I attended the official roll-out of the results of the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) a couple of days ago at the National Press Club here in DC on 14th Street NW, and listened to the current education secretary, Betsy Devos, slam public schools and their administrators as having accomplished nothing while spending tons of money. She and other speakers held up DC, Mississippi, and Florida as examples to follow. Devos basically advocated abandoning public schools altogether, in favor of giving each parent a “backpack full of cash” to do whatever they want with.

Some other education activists I know here in DC shared their thoughts with me, and I decided to look at the results for DC’s white, black, and Hispanic students over time as reported on the NAEP’s official site. (You can find them here, but be prepared to do quite a bit of work…

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Posted by on November 1, 2019 in Uncategorized


Valerie Strauss Interviews Historian Jack Schneider: Are Schools Unchanged for a Century?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Journalist Valerie Strauss interviewed historian Jack Schneider. Is Betsy DeVos right to say that American public schools have not changed for a century, she asks. He answers: Not true. Betsy DeVos doesn’t know what she is talking about.

Schneider says:

If we could transport ourselves to a typical school of the early 20th century, the basic structural elements — desks, chalkboards, textbooks, etc. — would be recognizable. And we might see some similar kinds of power dynamics between adults and children. But almost everything else would be different. The subjects that students studied, the way the day was organized, the size of classes, the kinds of supports young people received — these essential aspects of education were all different. Teachers were largely untrained. Access to education was entirely shaped by demographic factors like race and income; special education didn’t exist. Latin was still king. It was just a completely different…

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Posted by on October 27, 2019 in Uncategorized


Valerie Strauss: The Koch Strategy to Eliminate Public Schools

Now that David Koch is dead, Charles Koch and his son continue the war to destroy the Constitutional Republic of the United States with a focus on OUR public schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Valerie Strauss writes here about an important new book about the Koch Empire and its desire to eliminate and privatize public schools. The book is “Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America,” by Christopher Leonard.

Strauss writes:

Early this year, the Koch network committed to starting an effort to transform public education. What would that look like?

The author of a new book on the billionaire Charles Koch and his late brother, David, says it would amount to the destruction of public education as we know it.

The Koch network is the influential assemblage of groups funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and more than 600 wealthy individuals who share his pro-business, anti-regulation view of economics and positions on social policy, such as climate change denial.

The focus on K-12 education follows long involvement by the Koch brothers in higher education. As leaders of…

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Posted by on October 20, 2019 in Uncategorized


Jeff Bryant: How Billionaires Corrupted the School Leadership Pipeline

How EVIL and CORRUPT billionaires and out to destroy our public education system.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant writes here about the billionaires who corrupted the school leadership pipeline. Chief among them, of course, is billionaire Eli Broad, who created an unaccredited training program as a fast track for urban superintendents.

Bryant has collected stories about how superintendents who passed through the Broad program hire other graduates of the program and do business with others who are part of their network. The ethical breaches are numerous. The self-dealing and the stench of corruption is powerful.

Bryant begins with the story of a phone call from Eli Broad to one of his graduates:

It’s rare when goings-on in Kansas City schools make national headlines, but in 2011 the New York Times reported on the sudden departure of the district’s superintendent John Covington, who resigned unexpectedly with only a 30-day notice. Covington, who had promised to “transform” the long-troubled district, “looked like a silver bullet” for all the…

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Posted by on October 19, 2019 in Uncategorized