The War on Public Education, Graphically Displayed

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Posted by on January 28, 2018 in Uncategorized


Wake Up, America! You Have a School Shooting Problem!

Wake Up, America! You Have a School Shooting Problem!

How do Republicans deal with the out-of-control violence in the United States?

By selling more firearms to everyone so more children and adults get shot. The GOP also sends people to prison for stupid reasons. The result is that the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world thanks to a GOP president called Nixon who declared war on recreational drugs that are equal to a legal drug called alcohol. You can chug a quart of whisky legally and easily become a drunk driver (DUI), but you can’t smoke marijuana legally or even have some tucked away safely in a pocket. In most states a DUI is classified as a misdemeanor, not a felony, but in some states if you are caught with marijuana on you even if you are not smoking it, it is a felony charge on the first offense.



There have been 11 school shootings so far this year.

And January isn’t even over yet.

That makes about 50 for the academic year – roughly one a week.

Some involve no injuries. Some are suicide attempts. And some, like the latest in Kentucky, involve an active shooter hunting and killing children.

While gun violence is a problem throughout the country, it is especially virulent at educational institutions.

According to an FBI study that looked at incidents from 2000-2013, nearly one quarter of all U.S. shootings took place at schools. And they’re on the rise.

Yet this latest incident barely raised an eyebrow in the collective consciousness.

Hardly anyone even attempted to offer a solution.

The reason?

Since Sandy Hook, we’ve effectively given up.

In December of 2012 a gunman walked in to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children and six…

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Posted by on January 26, 2018 in Uncategorized


Edd Doerr: The Great School Vouchers Fraud

Diane Ravitch's blog

Ed Doerr of Americans for Religious Liberty wrote this overview of vouchers.

The most enlightening information in this paper appears on page 11, where he lists the 29 State referenda where the issue was spending public money for religious schools.

Every one of them was defeated.

Voucher proponents like to say that the unions (those evil unions) outspent the voucher advocates, but note that vouchers were defeated even in non-union states. The claim is ridiculous on its face since billionaires like the DeVos family, the Waltons, and the Koch Brothers support vouchers.

The paper should be updated to show how Vouchers have been adopted insidiously in states where the Constitution and the voters oppose them, like Florida.

This explains why privatizers are terrified of referenda. They know they can’t win. The public opposes vouchers. The only way they get adopted is when wealthy donors buy legislators or pour millions into…

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Posted by on January 24, 2018 in Uncategorized


Peter Greene on a Defector from the World of “Personalized Learning”

charter school companies are businesses, not schools, and that personalized learning via computer is a sham and a fraud

Diane Ravitch's blog

I applaud those who defect or dissent from received wisdom. I know from personal experience that it is especially hard to dissent when it means stepping off a money train and leaving behind your friends.

Paul Emerich was a true believer in “personalized learning.” On this Blog, the term is translated to mean “depersonalized learning.”

Peter Greene is not sure whether to congratulate him for waking up or to chastise him for his cluelessness. 

Greene writes:

“I’ve been trying to understand why this piece, which confirms so much of what many of us have said, and does so from the perspective of someone who’s been there– why does this rub me the wrong way. The best explanation is this: Emerich calls himself naive, but I think he’s letting himself off easy. I don’t think he’s so much naive as arrogant, and the same arrogance that was displayed in heading off…

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Posted by on January 20, 2018 in Uncategorized


The Language Police Are Back (Psst: They Never Went Away)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Much has been written about the ludicrous banning of words at various government agencies.words like “climate change” and “fetus” and “diversity” are on the outs in government documents, while Nazi rallies and chants are okay, at least among Trump’s alt-right fan base. Alan Singer has a clever idea:

“To help teachers address the official and unofficial word bans in their classes, I propose a “High School Homework Challenge.” Students should write a coherent paragraph using all ten words and phrases officially and unofficially banned by the Trump Administration. For extra-credit, text your paragraph to Donald Trump at @realDonaldTrump.”

For me, there is a certain sense of deja vu about this latest burst of word censorship.

Nearly twenty years ago, I was on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). President Clinton suggested the creation of voluntary national tests. At first, he…

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Posted by on January 16, 2018 in Uncategorized


History Lesson: The Founders Cared about Education Before the Constitution Was Adopted

Diane Ravitch's blog

We often hear that the word “education” is not included in the U.S. Constitution. That is true, but it does not mean that the Founding Fathers were indifferent to the importance of education. The U.S. Constitution was written and signed in 1787. Before the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1789, the Congress passed Ordinances that expressed their commitment to the importance of public schools.

Congress enacted the Land Ordinance of 1785 to show how the new lands in the western territories should be settled. This ordinance laid out new townships into 36 sections. Section 16, in the center, was to be set aside in every township in the new Western Territory for the maintenance of public schools. (“There shall be reserved the lot No. 16, of every township, for the maintenance of public schools within the said township.”) The committee that wrote the Land Ordinance included Thomas Jefferson…

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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


Jersey Jazzman Debunks the Gorilla Channel and Miracle Schools

The alleged miracle corporate charters schools that are not miracles. It’s all a lie, a sham, a shell game.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Do you believe in miracles? Do you want to believe that a charter chain—unlike public schools— can graduate every student, no matter what their economic status, and send them on to college? We all want to believe in heroic teachers and miracle schools. The reality is often not as impressive in the cold light of day. Incremental change is a stabler, more reliable base for lasting change but it is not so exciting as miracles.

Along comes Jersey Jazzman to debunk the latest miracle charter story promoted by the New York Daily News. 

The story and follow-up editorial cited this statistic about Democracy Prep Charter High Schools:

“According to the network, last year 189 of the 195 seniors in its three high schools that had graduating classes went on to college. And although the sample size is small (the network has graduated fewer than 400 students), the network estimates that…

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Posted by on January 7, 2018 in Uncategorized