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Ethan Siegel: How to Break Public Education

Discover how the corporate, get-rich frauds behind the fake, top-down reforms of community-based, democratic, transparent, non-profit, unionized public education are destroying what was once the envy of the world.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Astrophysicist and author Ethan Siegel writes in Forbes magazine about the way that federal policies have disrespected and demoralized passionate teachers. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the Every Student Succeeds Act have been disasters for teaching and learning.

Every sentence in this short article is priceless, and I hate to abridge it. You will have to open the link and read it yourself in its entirety.

He writes:

The ultimate dream of public education is incredibly simple. Students, ideally, would go to a classroom, receive top-notch instruction from a passionate, well-informed teacher, would work hard in their class, and would come away with a new set of skills, talents, interests, and capabilities. Over the past few decades in the United States, a number of education reforms have been enacted, designed to measure and improve student learning outcomes, holding teachers accountable for their students’ performances. Despite these…

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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Two Theories Why Facebook Keeps Blocking Me When I Write About School Privatization

Two Theories Why Facebook Keeps Blocking Me When I Write About School Privatization

Facebook censures a U.S. teacher for posting an opinion with facts and links but does nothing to stop Russia from meddling in our elections and our democracy.

gadflyonthewallblog

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Facebook blocked me.

Again.

What did I do?

Did I post Russian-sponsored propaganda?

Nyet.

Did I post Nazi or racist memes?

Nein.

Did I post fraudulent or debunked accounts of factual events?

No.

So what did I do?

I had an opinion.

I took that opinion and wrote about it. I backed it up with facts, analogies, literary references and examples from my own experience as a classroom teacher in public school.

I took all that, wrote it up in a blog called “The False Paradise of School Privatization,” and posted it on Facebook.

It was the same kind of thing I do several times a week.

Write a blog. Post it on various Facebook pages and on Twitter.

And wait to see if anyone reads it.

But this time – BOOM!

I hadn’t even posted it to a handful of pages before…

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Posted by on December 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Huffington Post Analyzed Every Voucher School in America and Concluded They Are Free to Teach Lies and Hate

Welcome to the Koch brothers’ world of Trump and DeVos. “Many of these voucher schools teach creationism, sexism, racism, and homophobia. They are supported by your tax dollars.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Rebecca Klein, education editor of Huffington Post, reports here on a HuffPost analysis of the nation’s voucher-supported private and religious schools.

Many of these voucher schools teach creationism, sexism, racism, and homophobia. They are supported by your tax dollars.

These are the schools that Betsy DeVos wants to send more tax dollars to. Unlike public schools, which are expected to accept all children and to teach tolerance and democratic values, voucher schools teach whatever their religious sponsors want. And all too often, their teachings are hateful toward minorities.

President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have openly championed such programs and have encouraged states to embrace school choice, arguing that voucher programs give parents an alternative to low-performing public schools. Currently 14 states and the District of Columbia have voucher programs, and 17 have tax credit programs. DeVos has made it a top priority to push a federal school…

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Posted by on December 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The False Paradise of School Privatization

The False Paradise of School Privatization

And Facebook allows Russian Trolls to buy misleading, lying ads that subvert democratic elections in the United States. By deliberately censoring the truth, It is obvious that Facebook supports tyranny and the subversion of the U.S. Constitution.

gadflyonthewallblog

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Create a perfect world!

Go ahead! Don’t be shy!

What kind of government would you like? Republic, Monarchy, Dictatorship, Anarchy? Some combination or original system?

It’s all up to you.

How would you structure the economy? Capitalistic, Socialistic, Communistic? Something else?

You decide.

What would a family look like in your perfect world? How would careers be prepared for and chosen? What level of technology would you choose?

All these and more must be answered when creating the ideal community for you and I to live in.

It’s what Sir Thomas Moore famously did in his 1516 novel Utopia” about an impossible “best state” for civil society.

And it’s what I had my 7th grade students do last week in preparation for reading Lois Lowery’s contemporary science fiction novel, “The Giver.”

In small groups, my little ones clustered together at their tables and gave social planning a go.

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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Karen Wolfe: The School Wars in California Heat Up as 2018 Approaches

Diane Ravitch's blog

Karen Wolfe, parent activist in Los Angeles, writes here in response to an ill-informed article in the Napa Valley Register by columnist Dan Walters. I read Walters’ article and it did not reflect what I knew about California. He thinks that the angels of light are on the side of privatization, battling the mighty “education establishment.” He thinks that “civil rights groups” support the privatization of public schools. This doesn’t make sense, inasmuch as the billionaires and privatizers are out to destroy public education in California. Rather than say so myself, from a distance of 3,000 miles, I turned to someone, Karen Wolfe, who is up to date on the state of the “school wars,” to respond to Dan Walters’ views.

She wrote:

California’s school war flares up on three fronts

Dan Walters is right that there is a fierce battle over public education in the state of California that…

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Posted by on November 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

NPR: The Hoax of the D.C. Public School Where 100% of Seniors Graduated and Were Accepted by Colleges

How did the reformers in charge of the DC school system get the graduation rate up? By lowering standards. By lying.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Last July, I wrote about a struggling high school in D.C. where 100% of the seniors graduated and were accepted by colleges. The story appeared on NPR, and I wrongly assumed that they had done fact checking. I am not a reporter, and I do not have a staff to check out claims. NPR does. But they took the claim by D.C. administrators at face value, without checking.

Now NPR reports that the original story was fishy. Better late than never.

“An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. WAMU and NPR reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a DCPS employee shared the private documents. The documents showed that half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students…

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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Nancy Bailey: Pressure to Succeed in “High School Hell”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Nancy Bailey writes about the ratcheting up of pressure on high school students.

What are we doing to our kids?

“Freshmen are told on one hand not to worry about college, then given an early version of a college entrance exam three weeks into their first year of high school.

~Chicago Tribune Nov.13, 2017

“Like kindergartners pushed to be first graders, high school is the new college.

“Teens are more anxious than ever. Depression and anxiety are a fact. Drugs and alcohol use are an actuality. Suicides are real. More teens seek support from counselors and mental health facilities than ever. Some miss school due to hospitalization.

“The New York Times recently chronicled the lives of teens who struggle with anxiety. They’re frightened they will fail. They load up on Advanced Placement (college) classes not understanding they’re pushing themselves beyond high school—beyond normal teen development.

“However, despite all this…

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Posted by on November 28, 2017 in Uncategorized