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


The Working Notes for My Speech at Oberlin Conference on the State of American Democracy

Discover the dark forces working hard to hijack our Republic, strip workers of their rights, and destroy the public sector.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Some readers have asked for a copy of the speech that was so beautifully illustrated by the graphic posted earlier today.

I didn’t have a speech. I made notes and used them as talking points, on which I elaborated. When some in the audience (composed of progressives) insisted that charter schools were saving lives, I should have pointed out that the single biggest funder of charters is the anti-Union Walton Family Foundation, which is known for low wages and resistance to workers’ rights. About 95% of charters are non-union. The best kind of social justice that could be done by the Waltons is to pay their one million employees $15 an hour and allow them to unionize, in the stores and the charters they fund.

Here are my talking points.

“War on public sector.

“Take any public sector activity and google it with the word “privatization.”
Police, firefighters, prisons,hospitals, libraries…

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Posted by on November 19, 2017 in Uncategorized


“Innovate Public Schools” is coming to disrupt our community public schools

Coming to San Francisco to steal the city’s public schools for profit and to abuse children and control what children learn.

teaching malinche

This past Wednesday evening, as several Everett parents were preparing for our annual International Night community event, a Walton funded organization called “Innovate Public Schools” had their own plans. They had organized a meeting with Interim Associate Superintendent Tony Payne at Everett Middle School. Unknown to the administration and staff at Everett Middle School or to Tony Payne himself, the meeting was widely published on social media outlets. “Innovate Public Schools” has a corporate privatizing agenda to diminish resources for local public schools and open charter schools.

Another Everett parent and I were able to warn key school personnel, our community liaisons, Principal Lena Van Haren, and Tony Payne, the district associate superintendent, before the meeting took place. Though uninvited, we managed to stay at the meeting in which three “Innovate” employees “supported” four parents in reading questions off of a script. Tony Payne handled the questions superbly. He told…

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Posted by on November 18, 2017 in Uncategorized



The Merrow Report

To remain aloft, a hot air balloon must be fed regular bursts of hot air. Without hot air, the balloon falls to earth. That seems to be the appropriate analogy for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) during the ten-year regime (2007–2016) of Chancellors Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson…

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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


John Merrow and Mary Levy: The D.C. “School Reform” Fiasco: A Complete History

This is about the fraud and lies behind the REAL Michelle Rhee, and her links to Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton Family Foundation. It was all smoke and mirrors.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I intended to make this the only post of the day, but late last night I learned of the lawsuit in Florida challenging the disastrous HB 7069, a gift to charter operators.

So this is the last post you will see today. I want you to read it in full. The post was written by veteran journalist John Merrow with Mary Levy, a civil rights and education finance lawyer, and an education finance and policy analyst.

One of the key episodes in the short and divisive history of the corporate reform movement was the appointment of Michelle Rhee as Chancellor of the D.C. public school system. Rhee became the public face of the movement. Rhee was idolized by the media because of her take-no-prisoners style and her evident contempt for teachers and unions. Amanda Ripley wrote a cover story about Rhee for TIME magazine, which suggested that Rhee knew how…

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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


The Most Important Article You Will Read Today: Katherine Stewart on the Proselytizers and the Privatizers

“How religious sectarian school voucher extremists made useful idiots of the charter movement.” … At the Heritage Academy, a publicly funded charter school network in Arizona, according to a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, high school students are required to learn that the Anglo-Saxon population of the United States is descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel. … and there’s a lot more crap about the fraudulent lie-riddled movement to get rid of community-based, democratic, transparent, non-profit public education in the United States.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Today, I am launching a new format for this blog.

You will not see five or seven posts. Or more.

You will receive only one post today, unless there is breaking news of great importance.

Instead of filling up your computer, I offer you one article that I hope you will read and digest and react to.

I am going to ask you to forward this article to your friends and colleagues, to anyone you know who cares about the future of this country.

Katherine Stewart just published a very important article that appears in The American Prospect called “The Proselytizers and the Privatizers.”

The subtitle is: “How religious sectarian school voucher extremists made useful idiots of the charter movement.”

She is also is the author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.

It is one of the most significant articles I have read…

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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Uncategorized


Global Report on Choice: Beware! Choice May Undermine Quality and Equity

School CHOICE does not work. It makes the world a worse place.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Global Education Monitoring Blog just released a bulletin about the risks of school choice. The blog is published by UNESCO, which the Trump administration recently abandoned.

Be that as it may, its conclusions are evidence-based. The full report, which is linked on the blog offers extensive documentation and references.

The overall conclusion:

In the last three decades, reforms rooted in the school choice logic have been implemented in more than two-thirds of OECD countries, for instance. Across the 72 systems participating in PISA 2015, the parents of around 64% of students reported that they had at least two schools to choose from for their children.

However, a closer look at the evidence suggests that school choice often doesn’t work as it’s meant to, and can in fact increase inequalities and undermine quality education…

The main criticisms of market-oriented policies are that they benefit wealthier schools, families and communities, increasing…

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Posted by on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized