David C. Berliner: A Hug for Jennifer

“Alec’s brother had been shot and killed by the police the night before– a rarity in the middle class neighborhood the school served. And it happened at home, in front of Alec.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

David C. Berliner, one of our nation’s most honored researchers of education, shared this essay for readers of the blog.

                                             A Hug for Jennifer

          I met Jennifer for the first time at a party. She taught elementary school to mostly white, mostly middle-class kids in a suburb of San Francisco. We chatted about education for a while and she invited me to visit her class. I like visiting classes, in part, because they are always so difficult to understand. It is an enormous intellectual challenge to witness and make sense of the interaction of teachers and students with curriculum materials in a classroom setting. Sometimes, with teachers you come to admire, it is like trying to put together a recipe after  tasting  a delicious food. It’s hard to figure out the ingredients that made it so special. 

More frequently, my observations struck me as a bit like trying to study what comes out the end of a…

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Posted by on April 10, 2021 in Uncategorized


Gary Rubinstein: Why I Left the “Reform” Movement

Gary Rubinstein, from teacher to crusader fighting to save OUR public schools from the greedy, lying, manipulating corporate and billionaire-funded “reform school” movement.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Gary Rubinstein is well known to readers of this blog, as I have posted almost all of his blogs. He is a career high school math teacher in the New York City public schools. I met Gary about ten years ago, when I had made a complete turnaround in my views about testing and choice. I was working on an article about “miracle schools” that fudged their data and discovered that Gary was an expert on reviewing school-level data and exposing frauds. He helped me write an article (“Waiting for a Miracle School”) that appeared in the New York Times in 2011, and he has continued to be a friend ever since. Gary’s analytical skills have been invaluable in fighting off idiotic “reforms,” like evaluating teachers by their students’ test scores (known as VAM). In his multiple posts on that subject, he showed its many flaws. For example, an elementary…

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Posted by on April 9, 2021 in Uncategorized


Florida: League of Women Voters Exposes Voucher Boondoggle As Big Business

Carry a good flashlight when you follow this DARK money.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Florida League of Women Voters has long been wary about the state’s rush to privatize public school funding through charters and vouchers. It has previously published reports on the conflicts of interests, the politics, and the money in the charter sector. In this report, it investigates the organization created to hand out money for vouchers, called “Step Up for Students.” I am posting only the introduction. To read the body of the report, please open the attached PDF file.

Step Up for Students

Preliminary Investigative Report

League of Women Voters Education Task Force

Contact: Dr. Sarah (Sally) Butzin

President, League of Women Voters of Tallahassee


March 2021


For the past 20 years, a private organization has been growing exponentially using direct and indirect public funds largely out of public view. This organization is the conduit for an unregulated school system without standards being created by the…

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Posted by on March 29, 2021 in Uncategorized


Beware: Here Is How to Wreck Your State’s Public Schools

One state and school district at a time, like a dangerous virus, the reform schoolers, greedy power-hungry frauds, and liars all, are destroying OUR community-based public schools.


Many state legislatures are currently considering new private school tuition vouchers or planning to expand long running voucher programs, tuition tax credit vouchers, and education savings account vouchers. Ohio provides a stark warning about the potential damage of rapidly growing school privatization at public expense.

In a column in Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, Peter Robertson examines how the growth of publicly funded private school tuition vouchers is increasingly sucking up the state funding Ohio supposedly provides for its public schools:

“According to the Ohio Department of Education’s first February Foundation Funding Report (Robertson’s article contains a link to the Excel spreadsheet from the Ohio Department of Education.), districts will spend $162 million this school year on these private school vouchers… An analysis last year by News5 Cleveland found that nearly two-thirds of voucher recipients had not previously been students in the public district schools—they were private school students who…

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Posted by on March 20, 2021 in Uncategorized


Michael J. Hynes: Beware the College Board Dragon!

David Coleman and Bill Gates got together, copulated, and gave birth to the Test Gods that destroy the lives of children and makes the lives of teachers miserable.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Dr. Michael J. Hynes is superintendent of the Port Washington school district on Long Island in New York. He previously posted here his proposal for a new vision of education.

He writes here about the College Board, which has become the gatekeeper whose tests decide which students go to which colleges.

He writes:

The College Board Monster and Why It’s Time to $lay the Dragon (at least during a pandemic)

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D.

Reader beware.I wrote a scathing diatribe about the College Board a few years ago. I have since updated it as we enter testing season this spring.

Before you read my thoughts about the educational sacred cow and standardized testing machine known as the College Board, you should know up front that I am no fan of the College Board CEO/President David Coleman who years ago was the architect of Common Core. I felt this way before the…

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Posted by on March 19, 2021 in Uncategorized


Network for Public Education: The Scandal of For-Profit Charter Schools

The K-12 “reform school” movement that abuses children and teachers is only there for the money.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, authored this powerful exposé of for-profit charter schools. The report names the nation’s largest for-profit charter chains, which profit not only from skimming tuition money, but from lucrative real estate deals and financial dealings with related for-profit corporations owned by the charter operator.

Between September 2020 and February, 2021, The Network for Public Education identified more than 1,100 charter schools that have contracts with one of 138 for-profit organizations to control the schools’ critical or complete operations, including

  • management, personnel, and/or curriculum. Patterns of for-profit management companies directing schools to their related real estate and service corporations is more the rule than the exception among these schools. Chartered for Profit: The Hidden World of Charter Schools Operated For Financial Gain exposes how for profit education management organizations use charter schools to direct funds away from children to the pockets…

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Posted by on March 17, 2021 in Uncategorized


10 Year Assessment of Education Reform in DC — a Fraud, says its former director of assessments, Richard Phelps

The billionaires and oligarchs behind the public education reform movement are All frauds, liars, and corrupt. I say, OFF with their heads? Where are the guillotines that were used in the French revolution stored?

GFBrandenburg's Blog

Stolen from Valerie Jablow:

Looking Back on DC Education Reform 10 Years Later, Part 1: The GrandTourbyValerie Jablow

[Ed. Note: As DC’s office of the state superintendent of education (OSSE)seeks a waiverof PARCC testing again (recall that OSSE waived PARCC last school year due to the pandemic) and the DC auditor just released abombshell reportof poor stewardship of DC’s education data, it is time to revisit how standardized test data, teacher evaluations, and harsh school penalties were united by ed reformers in DCPS under mayoral control. This first-hand account of what went down in DCPS, the first of two parts by semi-retired educator Richard P. Phelps,appearedin Nonpartisan Education Review in September 2020 and is reprinted here with permission. The author thanks DC budget expert Mary Levy and retired DCPS teacher Erich Martel for their helpful comments in the research of this…

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Posted by on March 12, 2021 in Uncategorized


Why did America’s Founder include this Oath in the U.S. Constitution?

What is the difference between a patriot, a loyalist, and someone willing to defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign or domestic?

Lloyd Lofthouse

U.S. Constitution: Article II, Section 1, Clause 8:

“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

For those that are elected to the U.S. Congress or those that join the U.S. military or a federal law enforcement agency, there is a similar oath.

5 U.S. Code§ 3331.Oath of office

“An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true…

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Posted by on February 21, 2021 in Uncategorized


ALERT! Red State Governors Push DeVos Privatization Agenda As They Celebrate “School Choice Week”

Wake up! The Republican Party wants to destroy OUR democratic public schools and steal OUR money that funds those schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Betsy DeVos made the goal of school choice clear: Shift public dollars away from public schools and transfer them to privately managed charter schools, online schools, for-profit schools, home schools, and vouchers for religious schools. She never supported public schools. Her actions emboldened her followers in Red States to make a full frontal attack on public education. Please share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Alert your friends and colleagues. The attack on public education rolls on, despite the overwhelming evidence that charter schools do not get better results than public schools unless they cherrypick their students, and voucher schools get worse results, while most avoid accountability and transparency.

The Red State governors want to fund failure, instead of adequately and equitably funding their most important responsibility: the public schools.

In this article, Carol Burris–with research assistance of Anthony Cody and Marla Kilfoyle–of the Network for Public…

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Posted by on January 29, 2021 in Uncategorized


Sweden and the Damage Done by Free-Market Reforms

For the free-market system of K-12 education, profits count more than education and students.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Larry Cuban turned his blog over to retired Swedish teacher Sara Hjelm, a reader of his blog, who took the opportunity to warn American readers about the dangers of the free-market reforms adopted in Sweden.

Sweden adopted the “reforms” in 1992, allowing families to choose any school, public or private, and send their child there with his/her taxpayer dollars. It is the “backpack full of cash” theory behind the demand for school choice, as advocated here by Betsy DeVos and Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform. The voucher system has led to a growing industry of private, for-profit schools, called “free schools.” Two of the companies that run “free schools” are listed on the stock exchange. They are comparable to our charter schools.

Hjelm writes:

The huge private for profit school companies exist on all these levels, competing for student vouchers. Largest part is in the upper secondary…

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Posted by on January 9, 2021 in Uncategorized