Destroying public education

GFBrandenburg's Blog

I’m copying and pasting here:

End of public schools and school breakfast and lunch.
The school voucher system proposed by Education secretary Betsy DeVos does not mean you can choose any school you want your kid to go to. It means the public education program will be dismantled.

If your child has an IEP (individual education plan for students with special needs), kiss it goodbye.

If you have a job in special-education, if you’re a special education teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, a para, a teacher’s aid, or an ESL (English as a second language) teacher, you’ll go first.

House Bill 610 makes some large changes. Inform yourselves. This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17 and starts the defunding process of public schools. The bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation’s educational…

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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Uncategorized


California Teachers Form Statewide Alliance to Fight for Real School Reform

If you are a teacher and you belong to a teachers’ unions that is not on this list, let your local know and urge them to join.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Teachers organizations from across the state of California have formed an alliance to fight for genuine School reform.

CALIFORNIA: 8 Teacher Union Locals Unite Against the Trump/DeVos Agenda, Fight for Public Schools through Collective Bargaining, Community Power

United around common struggles and a shared vision, The California Alliance for Community Schools is a groundbreaking coalition of educator unions from 8 of the largest cities in California, representing more than 50,000 educators. The alliance officially launches tomorrow, Thursday March 23 and includes: Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association, Oakland Education Association, San Bernardino Teachers Association, San Jose Teachers Association, San Diego Education Association, United Educators of San Francisco, United Teachers Los Angeles and United Teachers Richmond.

All 8 unions are uniting around statewide demands, through local bargaining as well as legislation, for more resources in schools, charter school accountability, lower class sizes and other critical improvements. Most of the locals are in contract…

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Mercedes Schneider: Betsy DeVos Cherrypicks One Student Success in a Failing Virtual Charter School

The Trump Administration is drowning in its own lies, and Betsy DeVos, the deplorable, incompetent U.S. Sectary of Education, must also be constantly fact-checked.

Diane Ravitch's blog

You will note that all of Betsy DeVos’s stories are about struggling students who were rescued from failing public schools by choosing to go to a charter school, a religious school, a home school, or a virtual charter school. Apparently she has never in her life seen a successful public school.

Her latest story is about a young man from India who attended the usual horrible public school. But his life was turned around because he had the good fortune to attend a virtual charter school in Washington State. DeVos was speaking to the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Mercedes Schneider decided it was time for fact-checking.

The young man to whom DeVos referred attended a virtual charter with a four-year graduation rate of 19.1%. After five years, the graduation rate was up to 23.6%.

Surely, someone on her staff knew this. Yet she chose to conceal that…

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


The Most Effective Anti-Poverty Program: The New York City (CUNY) and State University (SUNY) Systems (Especially CCNY)

Ed In The Apple

Research shows us that student’s prospects of earning more than their parents have fallen from 90% to 50% over the past half century; instead of increasing numbers moving up the economic ladder from generation to the next the opposite is occurring.

Anti-poverty programs are maintenance programs, relatively few move up the ladder. The feds maintain a Mobility Index, percentage of kids who move from the bottom 40% by income to the top 40%.

There is one shining light.

The public colleges have been extraordinarily successful in moving graduates up the economic ladder as measured by the Mobility Index

Raj Chetty and others at Stanford, using “big data” techniques scanned extremely large numbers of students over more than a decade and found,

To take just one encouraging statistic: At City College, in Manhattan, 76 percent of students who enrolled in the late 1990s and came from families in the bottom fifth of…

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Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Uncategorized


Gary Rubinstein on the Miraculous Data from Charter Schools that Is Miraculously Distorted

Charter School With 38% High School Completion Rate Brags About 88% College Completion Rate In USA Today

Diane Ravitch's blog

Gary Rubinstein has a peculiar habit of insisting on integrity of reporting. He gets hot and bothered when people claim “miracle achievements” but hide the facts or distort them.

He noticed an article in USA Today that both appeared to criticize charter schools and at the same time to claim that some of them had achieved astonishing college graduation results.

The bottom line, said USA Today, was that many charter school students don’t make it through college. But, it also said, their college graduation rate is far higher than that of comparable low-income students.

Gary did an inquiry, and he learned that the writer of the article–as is typical–did not take the charters’ high attrition rates into account.

So, in the end, the article was another phony claim about the “success” of charter schools, when that “success” depends on shedding large numbers of students.

The star example: Democracy Prep in…

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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Mike Klonsky: Earth to New York Times: Rahm Did NOT Fix the Chicago Public Schools

A perfect example of how to manipulate and mislead the media to help manipulate and mislead the people.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mike Klonsky, veteran activist in Chicago, was surprised to read in the New York Times that the public schools of Chicago were the fastest improving urban schools in the nation and that their improvement was due to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wisdom in choosing principals. This ran counter to everything he knew.

He writes:

I’m not sure who in Rahm Emanuel’s oversized City Hall PR Dept. planted this story in the New York Times, but kudos to them for getting this piece of fluff past the fact checkers and custodians of common sense. Peter Cunningham swears it wasn’t him, but I congratulated him anyway.

The Op-ed by David Leonhardt, “Want to Fix Schools, Go to the Principal’s Office” focuses on Chicago and gives all the credit to the mayor and CPS super-principals for the district’s supposed “fastest in the nation” gains in student achievement, rising graduation rates and lower dropout rates.

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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in Uncategorized


John Kuhn: Vouchers Are the Civil Wrongs Movement of Our Time, Hurting the Children They Pretend to Help

“It was never about assessing student learning. It was always about smearing teachers and manufacturing a crisis.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Kuhn is an eloquent, wise superintendent in Texas who spreads truth to power.

In this address to the Association of Texas Professional Educators, he warned that the very existence of public education was under fire by a coalition of the rich and the greedy.

He is so brilliant, so eloquent, and so on target that it is hard to excerpt his speech. I urge you to read it in full. If you know anyone in Texas, share it. Send it to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the politician who wants to monetize and privatize the state’s underfunded public schools. That’s his game. That’s his shame. Be sure to tweet JOHN Kuhn’s speech to Dan Patrick @DanPatrick and @LtGovTX

Kuhn says:

“It all really comes down to vouchers. This has been the end-game the whole time. Going back through the decades from TABS to TEAMS to TAAS to TAKS to STAAR…

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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Uncategorized