California: The Rightwing Money Behind Marshall Tuck’s Campaign for Superintendent of Schools

Meet America’s Christian version of Islam’s Taliban, ISIS, and Al Qaeda. These alleged Christians are called “The Gathering” and they are ruthless and powerful. They are working hard to take over the United States and also take over all of our lives.

Diane Ravitch's blog

California political activist Karen Wolfe writes in this article about the rightwing money behind Marshall Tuck’s campaign to become State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The campaign has been well endowed by the usual crowd of billionaires who want to undermine school boards and expand the charter industry. Tuck has raised at least $25 million so far, an unprecedented amount for the job of state superintendent, reflecting how badly the billionaires want control of the state.

By the end of the campaign, Tuck will likely have collected at least $30 million, far exceeding Tony Thurmond’s $10 Million, most of it from teachers and people committed to public schools and opposed to corporate influence in the schools.

Tuck, writes Wolfe, “has the same pro-privatizing platform that voters rejected when he was defeated for the position four years ago, and it’s the same education platform of Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and John…

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Posted by on October 21, 2018 in Uncategorized


The Coring of the Six Hundred (with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Bob Shepherd | Praxis

Row on row, row on row,

Row on row stationed

Sick at their monitors

Sat the six hundred.

“You may now type your Username”

Said the test proctor.

Set up for failure

Sat the six hundred.


“Enter your password key!

“Mercy upon you!

“During the testing

“No one can help you.”

Someone had blundered.

The unspoken truth. But

Theirs was not to make reply,

Theirs was not to reason why,

Theirs was but to do or die,

Theirs was but to try and cry.

Set up for failure

Sat the six hundred.


Text to the right of them

Complex, out of context,

Bubbles in front of them,

Plausible answers,

Tricky and tortured,

Boldly they bubbled and well

Though smack in the mouth of hell

Sat the six hundred.


This is what reading means,

Now that Gates/Pearson

Has reified testing

Far beyond reason.

Pearson not persons.

Plutocrats plundering

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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in Uncategorized


Andrea Gabor: When School Choice Means No Choice

Diane Ravitch's blog

Andrea Gabor is the author of the new book, “After the Education Wars,” a penetrating account of the mistakes of the reform movement.

She writes here about the wrong turns taken by charter enthusiasts. How did a movement intended to unleash grassroots energy turn into an industry dominated by national corporate chains?

“When Albert Shanker, the legendary teachers’ union leader, promoted the idea of charter schools 30 years ago, he was hoping to create flexibility from the constraints of education bureaucracies and union contracts so teachers and communities could experiment and innovate.

“In the years since the first charter-school law was passed in Minnesota, in 1991, the charter movement has strayed far from Shanker’s original vision. Instead of community-based, educator-driven innovation, charters have grown into an industry dominated by like-minded management organizations that sometimes control hundreds of schools — some nationwide.

“These charter organizations have proliferated with the help of…

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Posted by on October 13, 2018 in Uncategorized


Akron, Ohio: The Most Innovative School in America, Sponsored by LeBron James

The greatest of all innovations: a school in which love and kindness are built in as policy.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The “I Promise School” sponsored by LeBron James as part of the Akron public school system is the most innovative school in America. Its focus is on developing healthy children, whose dreams are big and whose education equips them to make a life for themselves. It accepts only children with low test scores. It’s these is to help children overcome trauma. Its philosophy is informed by LeBron James’ experiences as a child growing up in dire circumstances.

Contrast this school, where children are surrounded by love and caring, with the harsh and punitive “no excuses” charter schools. Read this article and answer the question: Which is better? Love or Fear? Charter advocates should learn about this school and learn from its example.

The greatest of all innovations: a school in which love and kindness are built in as policy.

This article by Eddie Kim goes into detail. I am not…

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Posted by on October 10, 2018 in Uncategorized


New York: Common Core Produces Massive Failure in Writing

Test Prep for high stakes rank and punish tests do not teach critical thinking and problem solving skills. With high stakes tests, real teaching is trashed.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Remember all the bold promises about Common Core? Remember the claims that it would increase achievement for all students and close the achievement gap? That’s what David Coleman (architect of the Common Core and now president of the College Board, maker of the SAT) claimed, along with a plethora of Gates-funded advocates for Common Core.

Never happened. National NAEP scores flatlined, and scores for the poorest kids dropped.

Here is the latest from New York, which embraced the Common Core wholeheartedly.

Since the introduction of the Common Core, the proportion of students in New York who scored zero on the state writing tests has doubled. In addition, the achievement gap has grown.

An alarming number of NYC students have scored three or more “zeroes” for their writing answers on the statewide English exams, a new study reveals.

On the English Language Arts exams between 2013 and 2016, in addition to…

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Posted by on October 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


California: Marshall Tuck Lowered Standards to Raise Graduation Rate

California, do NOT vote for Marshall Tuck. He is a FAKE Democrat supported by extreme right billionaires and the Republican Party that’s spending almost 4 dollars for every dollar Tony Thurmond, the REAL Democrat, is spending.

Diane Ravitch's blog

For the future of American education, the most consequential election this November will take place in California, where charter school champion Marshall Tuck faces off against pro-public school candidate Tony Thurmond.

The billionaires and the Republican Party have joined forces behind Tuck.

The California Teachers Association and the state Democratic Party Support Tony Thurmond.

Both men are Democrats, but Thurmond received the votes of 95% of delegates to the annual meeting of the state Democratic Party. Tuck has been endorsed by Arne Duncan.

Marshall Tuck was in the financial industry, then took over the Green Dot charter chain, then ran Mayor Villagairosa’s chain of schools. Thurmond is a social worker and a state legislator.

The billionaires have donated nearly $14 million to Tuck’s campaign, compared to the nearly $4 million that the CTA has given Thurmond.

Erika Jones writes here about Marshall Tuck’s claims to fame, and how he raised…

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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Uncategorized


The “Secrets” Behind Moskowitz’ ‘Success Academy’

GFBrandenburg's Blog

It’s very simple: expel all of the students except those who are EXTREMELY compliant.

John Merrow has provided the SA disciplinary code, which is draconian in the extreme. The following are their LEVEL TWO infractions:

  • Failing to follow directions
  • Failing to complete work
  • Being off-task
  • Arriving late to school/class and/or violating school attendance policy
  • Violating the Dress Code
  • Being unprepared for class (which includes, but is not limited to, failing to bring a pencil, not completing homework, etc.)”

Level ONE infractions include :

“Slouching/failing to be in “Ready to Succeed” position (SPORT or Magic 5 position)

  • Calling out an answer
  • Chewing gum or bringing candy to school
  • Minor disrespectful behavior”

I taught 7th, 8th, and 9th graders for about 30 years. I think I could count on one hand the number of kids who never, ever violated any of those.

In fact I am quite sure I violated a good…

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Posted by on October 2, 2018 in Uncategorized