Petition Addressed to Gavin Newsom and Tony Thurmond

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Diane Ravitch's blog

The Color of Change, an online civil rights group, posted this online petition addressed to the newly elected leaders of California.

Congratulations on your victories! Many of us campaigned for you, donated to you, and voted for you. Now we write to ask you to represent us – the public school students, families, teachers and taxpayers of the great state of California.

Given that a mere ten percent of California’s public school students attend charter schools, we sincerely request you make the following changes immediately upon taking office:

1. Ninety percent (or 10 out of 11) of your nominees to the State Board of Education (SBE) ought to come from traditional public schools and districts, not charters or pro-privatization groups. Current SBE Members disproportionately represent charters, or have financially benefitted from their relationships to charters.

2. Similarly, staff the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS)…

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Posted by on December 5, 2018 in Uncategorized


Tom Ultican: An Astonishing $61 Million Spent on Tuck v. Thurmond Race

Diane Ravitch's blog

There has never been an election for State Superintendent of Public Instruction like the one recently concluded in California between Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond. Tom Ultican says that $61 Million was spent. It might eventually be even more.

This was an epic showdown between charter supports and charter skeptics.

The charter billionaires spent heavily on former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He didn’t get to the runoffs.

“When Villaraigosa lost badly in the June 6 primary, many of the same billionaires listed above turned their full attention toward electing Marshall Tuck SPI.

“Following a brief career in investment banking, Tuck took a job at the politically connected Green Dot charter schools. Steve Barr a former chair of the Democratic Party who had served on national campaigns for Bill Clinton, Gary Hart and Michael Dukakis founded Green Dot charter schools in 1999. He hired Tuck in 2002 to be…

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Posted by on December 3, 2018 in Uncategorized


Why A New Generation of Teachers is Angry at Self-Styled Education ‘Reformers’

GFBrandenburg's Blog

This is an excellent essay at Medium that I learned about from Peter Greene of Curmudgucation. I copy and paste it in its entirety in case you don’t like signing into Medium.

Why New Educators Resent “Reformers”

Let’s consider why so many young educators today are in open rebellion.

How did we lose patience with politicians and policymakers who dominated nearly every education reform debate for more than a generation?

Recall first that both political parties called us “a nation at risk,” fretted endlessly that we “leave no child behind,” and required us to compete in their “race to the top.”

They told us our problems could be solved if we “teach for America,” introduce “disruptive technology,” and ditch the textbook to become “real world,” 21st century, “college and career ready.”

They condemned community public schools for not letting parents “choose,” but promptly…

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Posted by on December 2, 2018 in Uncategorized


No, Robert Pondiscio, School Choice is Not a “Moral Agenda”

The Alt-Right is waging a war against what words mean like what “moral” means. They want to normalize white collar crime, racism, and rape as morally acceptable.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday, I participated in a panel discussion at the Washington Post about national issues in education with Robert Pondiscio of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Dean Bridget Terry Long of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This followed a few other panels, including one in which Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his chosen school superintendent Janice Jackson lavished praise on their successful efforts to transform the public schools of Chicago, with nary a dissent.

Our panel did include dissent, since I was critical of school choice and the other two panelists supported it. I was critical of standardized testing, and Dean Long supported it.

Valerie Strauss did a great job moderating and keeping us on track.

In my opening statement, I argued that the key education issue of our time was the defunding of public schools by the federal and state governments. NCLB and Race to the Top had…

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Posted by on November 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


Thrive Charter Schools in San Diego: Where the Founders Thrive, But Not Students

Diane Ravitch's blog

Tom Ultican has written several articles about the Destroy Public Education Movement; this installment examines a failing charter chain in San Diego that continues to rake in big bucks.

The Thrive charter chain, he says, is a masterpiece of marketing, but a failure at education.

When the chain was launched, the San Diego Unified School District staff said it was not ready to open; the founders appealed and were rejected by the staff of the County Board of Education. The founders appealed to the State Board of Education, where its defective application was rubberstamped by Governor Jerry Brown’s pro-Charter State Board.

Ultican says that charter schools are supposed to perform at least as well as similar public schools or show improvement over time.

Thrive charter schools did not meet either benchmark. But that did not deter funders or founders.

They were shameless and kept growing their failing charter chain. And…

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Posted by on November 24, 2018 in Uncategorized


Thurmond vs Tuck and how FAKE Democrats are fooling voters with help from Alt-Right Billionaires


“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was right, this time. The results of the election between Thurmond and Tuck show that “you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on November 17, “Thurmond wins race for state school superintendent as Tuck concedes.”

“The tight race saw a record level of spending — more than $50 million. Tuck attracted deep-pocketed education reformers, including Gap co-founder Doris Fisher and philanthropist Eli Broad. A representative from Tuck’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

California’s General Election results on November 19, 2018 were:
Tony K. Thurmond 4,669,431 (50.9%) votes to Tuck’s 4,514,400 (49.1%).

In 2014, Tuck’s charter school/voucher supporters spent about $13.5 million and failed to get him elected California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Four years later, they tried and failed again. to elect Tuck to the same position.

The Sacramento Bee reports, “Charter school backers spent millions on statewide races in 2018. They still lost twice. “Independent groups supporting Tuck spent more than $36 million this cycle. Prominent education reform supporters, including frequent political donor Bill Bloomfield, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and philanthropist Eli Broad were among the biggest contributors to those efforts. Tuck’s official campaign raised another $5 million.”

How much will the public school hating, profit loving, private sector, corporate education reformers spend in the next election in 2022 to elect Tuck or someone like him to destroy California’s public schools?  I hope that the majority of California’s voters continue to NOT be fooled by the autocratic, billionaire privatizes that hate labor unions, the public sector, the U.S. Constitution, and democracy.

**** reported on November 1, five days before the 2018 election, “In the race to be California’s top educator, charter schools ally Marshall Tuck registered a substantial 12-point lead (48 percent to 36 percent) over state Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, as Tuck takes his second shot at the position. …

“The state superintendent race has attracted the most outside spending of any statewide contest, some $35 million: Teachers unions have showed up big for Thurmond, while rival EdVoice — whose campaign warchest is stocked by a small cast of individuals that includes Bill Bloomfield, Arthur Rock, Eli Broad, Richard Riordan and Jim Walton — have poured it on for Tuck. Both sides are saturating the airwaves; illustrating the stakes, the California Democratic Party just launched a $2.3 million ad blitz for Thurmond, and Sen. Kamala Harris appeared in a new pro-Thurmond.”

If that isn’t enough to point out the FAKE Democrat, maybe this will. At the State Democratic Convention, who did the Democrats in the audience boo off the stage? The Washington Post answered that question: “Both men are registered Democrats, but Tuck has the support of many Republicans. With the state Democratic Party supporting Thurmond, Tuck was booed off the stage at the California Democratic Party convention earlier this year.”

When was the last time a Democratic candidate was support by Republicans?

Back in 2015, the Alt-Right, Bill Bloomfield, Arthur Rock, Eli Broad, Richard Riordan and Jim Walton, et all. Poured it on for another fake Democrat by the name of Steve Glazer, and The Mercury News asked, “Will the ‘real Democrat’ please stand up?”

“They support Democratic touchstone issues such as environmentalism, gun control, gay marriage and abortion rights. But they’re often seen as party pariahs for espousing ideas like rolling back public workers’ pensions, banning transit strikes and making it easier to fire bad teachers.

“They’re a new breed of Democrat politician, and they’re shaking up the state’s political landscape as business interests, independents and sometimes even moderate Republicans pour money into nasty Democrat vs. Democrat battles made possible by California’s new “top-two” primary. And with the state Republican Party still searching for a path back from decades of decline, some political analysts say it’s only the beginning of a long battle for the soul of the California Democrat Party.”

Back in 2015, I published a blog post about Steve Glazer, another fake Democrat, in Evidence of a Corporate Reformer Pretending to be something he isn’t, and how the wealthy are buying the U.S. one election at a time.

I wrote, “It is obvious that Steve Glazer’s wealthy and corporate supporters are outspending Susan Bonilla at least $8 to $1 if not more.”

Nothing has changed but the name of the FAKE Democrat and that name is Marshal Tuck.

I wrote the following paragraph in 2015, and nothing has changed. “If you aren’t aware of the war being waged in the United States by a few billionaire oligarchs to remake the United States into a country that fits what they think, then it’s time to wake up and learn how to discover the signs of oligarch funded propaganda designed to manipulate and fool voters during elections. These billionaires are buying their way into the Republican and Democratic parties, and they are libertarians, neo-liberals, and neo-conservatives—and all of them threaten our freedom and way of life, because to win, they subvert the democratic process protected by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

If you vote for Marshal Tuck, you are supporting liar, a fraud, and if Tuck wins the election, California will end up with a Betsy DeVos clone or worse.  The Washington Post said it best: “Betsy DeVos is the worst secretary of education ever”.  If Marshall Tuck wins this election, he will be the worst state secretary of education ever.

Tony Thurmond is a real Democrat while Marshal Tuck, running as a FAKE Democrat, was booed at the California State Democratic Convention


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and disabled Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005). He is also the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine and Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose.

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John Thompson: Insights on the Origins of “A Nation at Risk”: A Conversation with James Harvey and John Merrow

President Ray-Gun’s 1983 “A Nation at Risk” report started out praising and friendly to U.S. public schools, but before it was published, the report was torn out of the hands of the original authors, hijacked, and turned into a weapon against America’s successful public education system.

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson, retired teacher and historian in Oklahoma, shares his thoughts about the Network for Public Education Conference in Indianapolis. He begins by trying to wrap his brain around my provocative claim that “We are winning.” After I received his post, I explained to him that everything the Reformers have tried has failed. Every promise they have made has been broken. They have run American education for a decade or a generation, depending on when you start counting, and they have nothing to show for it. I contend there is no “reform movement.” There is instead a significant number of incredibly rich men and women playing with the lives of others. The Billionaire Boys Club, plus Alice Walton, Laurene Powell Jobs, and a few other women. This is no social movement. A genuine movement has grassroots. The Reformers have none; they have only paid staff. If the money dried up…

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Posted by on November 3, 2018 in Uncategorized