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Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

A site to discuss better education for all


Trump Claims that the New Jobs Data Made George Floyd Happy. Is He Insane?
by dianeravitch / 11h
Dana Milbank writes a regular opinion column for the Washington Post. Today, he lacerated Trump for what must be a new low , a speech so disgusting that it is incomprehensible that any sane person would say what Trump proudly said. While the nation is reeling and convulsed by protests because of the murder of George Floyd while in police custody, Trump claimed that the new jobs number made the re
Randi on Jobs and Racism
by dianeravitch / 12h
The AFT issued this statement: Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten on Jobs Report WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after the U.S. jobs report showed the loss of more than half a million additional public sector layoffs amid a rebound in private sector jobs: “The jobs report out today confirms what we already know: The CAR
The 2020 PayPal Service You Need To Know
by Honey
If you aren't using this tool when you shop online, you're probably wasting money.
A Conversation with Jitu Brown, Leader of Journey for Justice Alliance, About Racism and Action
25by dianeravitch / 20h
The Network for Public Education has sponsored a series of weekly ZOOM conversations in which I interview someone who has important things to say. On Wednesday, I interviewed Jitu Brown, a prominent community organizer in Chicago and leader of the Journey for Justice Alliance, which has organizations in thirty cities. When we set up the discussion, we thought we would talk mostly about privatizat
Jan Resseger: The Best Post-Pandemic Strategy May Be Community Schools
by dianeravitch / 21h
Jan Resseger explains here why community schools may be the best post-pandemic strategy for reopening schools. Jeff Bryant recently profiled Mary Parr-Sanchez , the current president of the National Education Association’s New Mexico affiliate, speaking about what education will be like after the pandemic: “‘I think we’re all going to be different after this… When I first learned of the community
An Explosion of Police Brutality, Encouraged by Trump
44by dianeravitch / 22h
Anyone who follows Twitter or other social media platforms has seen the sickening videos of police using excessive force to attack peaceful protestors. We are witnessing in public the brutal tactics that people of color have long experienced. And we are seeing the effects of Trump’s advice to officials to “dominate” the streets even when people are exercising Constitutionally protected rights. Yo
Jeff Bryant: The Future of the School Is Not Online. It’s in New Mexico.
48by dianeravitch / 23h
Jeff Bryant writes here about promising developments in New Mexico . where educators are reimagine the future of schools. Not many people would think of New Mexico as an educational paradigm. Its test scores and very low, and it’s child poverty rate is very high. It endured eight years of a Republican Governor who believed in Je Bush’s ideology of high-stakes testing, test-based evaluation of tea

JUN 04

General Kelly Calls Trump a Liar (Or Confused)
45by dianeravitch / 1d
This story just appeared in the Washington Post. Mattis criticized Trump. Trump tweeted a vicious insult about Mattis to discredit him. Kelly defended Mattis. To work for this sociopath is to risk your reputation. It used to be said that Mattis and Kelly worked for Trump in service to the nation, to rein in his basest, most impulsive actions. They are gone. Trump now is completely surrounded by s
James Mattis on Trump and the Constitution
28by dianeravitch / 1d
The full statement by General James Mattis, who was Trump’s Secretary of Defense. James Mattis full statement In Union There Is Strength I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one
Tennessee: Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Voucher Decision
59by dianeravitch / 1d
Great news for public schools in Tennessee! The Tennessee Supreme Court refused to assume jurisdiction of the voucher case and refused to grant a stay of the lower court decision overruling the state’s voucher law. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY ET AL. v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, ET AL. Chancery Court for Davidson
Harold Meyerson: A Brief History of Sending in the Troops
by dianeravitch / 1d
Harold Meyerson, editor-in-large at The American Prospect, writes here about the risks and dangers of sending the military to restore peace on American soil. Within just a single hour on Monday afternoon, Donald Trump broke new ground for an American president in two distinct ways. First, in awkwardly and hesitantly brandishing a Bible outside St. John’s Church, he became the first U.S. president
Peter Greene: Why Teach Literature?
by dianeravitch / 1d
LINK CORRECTED! Over the past few weeks, Peter Greene has written several articles on the subject of “Why Teach Literature?” He writes faster than I can post, so I am far behind. Greene includes all of the articles in this series. Now you can read them all in one sitting!
Stephen Dyer: How Ohioans Can Push Back Against Vouchers
48by dianeravitch / 1d
Stephen Dyer was in the Ohio legislature when the state’s Edchoice voucher program started as a small initiative. Since then, it has grown, despite research showing that it provides no education benefit to students while taking money away from public schools. In this post, he announces the launch of a program to educate the public about how vouchers harm their public schools. Every dollar allotte
Trump: The Most Mendacious President Ever: He Is #1
by dianeravitch / 1d
The Washington Post Fact Checker, Glen Kessler and his team (it takes a team), has written a book about Trump’s lies. James Hohmann of the WaPo writes about it here: President Trump has made 19,127 false or misleading claims since taking office, according to a database maintained by our Fact Checker team, including more than 800 related to the novel coronavirus. A fresh Washington Post-ABC News p
What Is the Boogaloo Movement?
100+by dianeravitch / 1d
There has been persistent speculation that peaceful protests against racism and police brutality may have been infiltrated by white provocateurs. The members of this movement have attracted attention. The police in Las Vegas arrested three white men and charged them with terrorism. Three Nevada men with ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. governm

JUN 03

Robert Kuttner: Reasons for Optimism
by dianeravitch / 2d
Robert Kuttner is editor of The American Prospect. He writes a blog called Kuttner on Tap. If You Can Stand It, a Little More Optimism. Now we find out what America is made of. And what we see, a week after George Floyd’s police lynching, is this: Protests are continuing and they are increasingly peaceful, except for police violence. Protest leaders are working with local governments to contain b
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Non-Violence
25by dianeravitch / 2d
The following assemblage of citations from Dr. King’s life was prepared by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Nonviolence As a theologian, Martin Luther King reflected often on his understanding of nonviolence. He described his own “pilgrimage to nonviolence” in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, and in subsequent books and articles. “True pa
College Board Scraps At-Home SAT
49by dianeravitch / 2d
Anemona reports in the New York Times that the College Board has abandoned its plans to deliver ((sell) an online SAT. More than 1200 colleges and universities are now test-optional. The University of California’s decision a few weeks ago to forego thevSAT as an admission requirement was a huge blow to the College Board’s business plans. The College Board said on Tuesday that it would postpone pl
Joe Biden Addresses the Nation
by dianeravitch / 2d
Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden addressed the nation. I found myself nodding in agreement. Joe Biden is not a perfect candidate, but he is the candidate who will oppose Trump in November (unless Trump goes full-fascist and cancels the elections indefinitely). I don’t know of anyone who is perfect, let alone a “perfect candidate.” He is the one we have and I will work for his election.
Nancy Bailey Reimagines Schools of the Future
21by dianeravitch / 2d
Nancy Bailey here presents a vision of schools that create a new realty and build a better society. Public schools can bring us together. When children learn to care for each other with tolerance and understanding, they will grow to respect one other as adults. Honor the memory of George Floyd and black citizens who have unjustly died, by reconsidering our past efforts to integrate public schools

JUN 02

Evan Osnos: Trump, a Bible, and a Sanctuary
22by dianeravitch / 3d
Evan Osnos wrote in the New Yorker about Trump’s phony strongman speech to the nation, followed up by a stroll to a historic church, where he brandished a Bible. Meanwhile, the military cleared a large path for him and his entourage by assaulting peaceful protesters and firing tear gas and rubber bullets at them. The age of fascism nears. Here is an excerpt from the article: As the afternoon wore
Chaos in Manhattan After Curfew
by dianeravitch / 3d
A report in the New York Times : The looters tore off the plywood that boarded up Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, swarming by the dozens inside to steal whatever they could find before being chased down by the police. Others smashed the windows at a Nike store, grabbing shirts, jeans and zip-up jackets. They crashed into a Coach store, vandalized a Barnes & Noble, ransacked a Bergdorf Goo
Terrence Floyd Speaks Out After His Brother’s Murder
by dianeravitch / 3d
George Floyd’s brother Terrence spoke at the scene of the crime in Minneapolis and called for peace. On behalf of his family, he called for an end to the looting and vandalism. He urged people to “do this peacefully.” Educate yourself, vote. “Peace on the left. Justice on the right.” Watch this 11-minute video. Terrence Floyd recognizes that looting and vandalism are not productive or acceptable
A Summary of Research Studies About Vouchers
74by dianeravitch / 3d
The advocacy group called Public Funds a Public Schools gathered a useful archive of research studies of vouchers. The studies were conducted by nonpartisan academic and federal researchers. The findings are broadly congruent. Voucher schools are academically inferior to public schools. Voucher schools divert funding from public schools, which enroll most children. Voucher programs lack accountab
Jennifer Howse: The Absurdity of Trump’s Decision to Leave W.H.O.
by dianeravitch / 3d
Jennifer Howse served for many years as the executive director of the March of Dimes, where she played a significant role in shaping public health policy in the nation. I asked her to write about Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization. She writes: AN EXECUTIVE ORDER OF GRAVE CONSEQUENCE There was once a US President confronted by a devastating virus, mas
Politico: States Divided About Following DeVos Guidance to Fund Private Schools
21by dianeravitch / 3d
Politico Morning Education reports that states are divided about whether to take Betsy DeVos’ advice and distribute federal funds based on enrollment, not need. This is her way of sending federal money to private schools, including elite private schools. She has been rebuked by both Republican leaders like Lamar Alexander and Democrats including Patty Murray and Bobby Scott. DeVos is not backing

JUN 01

Join Jitu Brown and Me on ZOOM on June 3
by dianeravitch / 4d
Community organizer Jitu Brown and I will be in conversation on Wednesday June 3 at 7:30 pm EST. Please sign up and join us . Jitu Brown is the leader of Journey for Justice, a civil rights organization with chapters in 25 cities. We will talk about the murder of George Floyd, about racism in America today, about the legacy of Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, about Jitu’s fight to prevent the closing of
Trevor Noah Explains the Social Contract, Broken by Racism
by dianeravitch / 4d
Most of us know Trevor Noah as a commentator who filled Jon Stewart’s spot as moderator of The Daily Show. Like Jon Stewart, he has a keen intellect and a sharp sense of humor. In this monologue, Trevor Noah is reflective about connecting the dots that brought us to the present moment. He connects Amy Cooper, the white woman who falsely complained to police that an African American man was threat
North Carolina: New Study Finds Voucher Schools Are Shielded from Accountability
by dianeravitch / 4d
Jane R. Wettach of Duke Law School has written a study of North Carolina’s voucher program . It is expensive, having cost the state thus far nearly $160 million. It diverts money from the public schools. Most of the voucher schools are religious schools. Voucher schools do not participate in the state’s accountability program so the academic progress—or lack thereof—cannot be assessed. Some of th
Los Angeles: Where Was the Crisis Money Spent?
by dianeravitch / 4d
Sara Roos reviews the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars by Los Angeles School Superintendent Austin Beutner, who was given authority without accountability during the pandemic. She explains where the money went by referring to the school board’s documents. She writes: The Superintendent who now controls purse, policy and process, was appointed with a tenuous mandate, by a school board e

MAY 31

Los Angeles: Peaceful Protests Overshadowed by Looting and Vandalism
53by dianeravitch / 5d
The protests against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis began peacefully in Los Angeles. As night arrived, however, the peaceful protestors were overwhelmed by large numbers of looters and vandals, who came to break store windows, write graffiti, smash stores, and steal whatever they could carry away. In the vivid account in the Los Angeles Times, those who wanted to make a statement abou
Red Queen in L.A.: How Did a Peaceful Protest Turn Violent?
by dianeravitch / 5d
Sara Roos was part of the protest against police brutality in Los Angeles. She joined the crowd that assembled to express their views on-violently. When she felt a change in mood or direction, she left. She took pictures along the way. She concluded that “Black Lives Matter. The Truth Matters.” She wrote, as the protest began, A veteran of a fair number of protests, this rally was not like any ot
How Dutch Schools Are Reopening During the Pandemic
by dianeravitch / 5d
Larry Cuban reposted an article about the reopening of schools in the Netherlands. The article, by educator Linda van Druijten, shows how to prepare for reopening and to implement scientific advice. Schools reopened on May 11. We can learn how to reopen schools by paying attention to the guidance of medical experts and by watching other nations and seeing what works best. She begins: On the first
Thomas Ultican: Will the Billionaires Buy and Privatize Oakland Public Schools?
52by dianeravitch / 5d
Thomas Ultican, retired teacher of advanced math and physics, has been analyzing the depredations of the privatization movement, which dares to call itself a “reform” movement, thus debasing the plain meaning of reform. In this post , he digs into the machinations of the billionaire privatizers and their plans to buy and privatize the public schools of Oakland, California. Their tentacles reach f
Robert Shepherd’s Glossary of Adjectives to Describe Trump
93by dianeravitch / 5d
Robert Shepherd writes comments on the blog frequently, and he also writes his own blog. He is a recently retired teacher in Florida who spent decades as a writer, editor, and developer of curriculum and assessments in the education publishing industry. Since he has often expresssed his views of the current occupant of the White House, I invited him to assemble a Trump glossary. He did. Some peop
DeVos and Mnuchin Sued for Seizing Tax Refunds of Student Debtors
42by dianeravitch / 5d
How cruel can Betsy DeVos and Steven Mnuchin be? As people of great wealth and privilege, they have not a thought for those who have been impoverished by the pandemic. Both have been sued in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of student debtors whose tax refunds they sought to garnish. Jessica Corbett writes in Common Dreams: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and t
America Is Burning
3Kby dianeravitch / 6d
These are the worst of times. Police brutality in Minneapolis murdered a black man who allegedly used a fake $20 bill. Petty crimes are adjudicated in a court of law. Police do not have the authority or right to use lethal force when confronting an unarmed person. After a long string of similar incidents where black people were unjustly murdered, the killing of George Floyd ignited protests acros

MAY 30

Are the Charters in Your City Getting Small Biz Loans?
42by dianeravitch / 6d
The Network for Public Education is gathering data on charter schools that applied for and received federal funding as small businesses. Most prefer not to admit what they have done, but diligent citizens can request copies of the minutes of their board meetings. NPE’s Marla Kilfoyle has been diligently collecting the names and the amounts that charter schools have received from the SBA PPP loans
Trump Backs DeVos, Vetoes Effort to Forgive Student Debt to Predatory Colleges
61by dianeravitch / 6d
Trump vetoed legislation that would have protected college students burdened by debt from predatory colleges. Many of the defrauded were veterans. Trump’s support of predatory colleges should not be surprising, since Trump owned a predatory college “Trump University”), which was closed down by regulators and led to Trump being fined $25 million. From the Washington Post: President Trump on Friday
Photo of the Year: Whites Protect Black Protestors in Louisville
21by dianeravitch / 6d
This is a heartening photograph showing a line of whites, apparently all female, arms locked together, defending black protestors against the police. I don’t recall whites standing up to defend black protestors in the 1960s. We must all stand together against racism, injustice, and hatred.
IDEA Charter Chain Will Pay Its CEO Tom Torkelsen Severance Pay of $900,000
39by dianeravitch / 6d
Under its CEO Tom Torkelsen, the charter chain IDEA experienced explosive growth, dramatic success in winning nearly $200 million in federal funds from Betsy DeVos and the federal Charter Schools Program, but multiple scandals involving lavish spending on personal perks, like a lease on a private jet, first-class travel, and box seats at sporting events. Torkelsen announced his resignation in Apr
Stephen Dyer: Vouchers Hurt Poor Kids
87by dianeravitch / 6d
Stephen Dyer, who served in the Ohio legislature and is an expert in school finance, writes here that vouchers hurt poor kids and explains why . It is important to bear in mind that no state offers vouchers large enough to pay for a high-quality private school. Most voucher students attend low-quality religious schools. When anyone claims that vouchers enable poor kids to have the same choices as
Carol Burris: Charters Are Looting Federal Funds Meant to Save Small Businesses
300+by dianeravitch / 6d
A few days ago, Carol Burris and Marla Kilfoyle of the Network for Public Education wrote an article in Valerie Strauss’s “Answer Sheet” about the charter schools that are claiming federal funds designated for small businesses, thwarting the intention of the legislators. Public schools are not eligible for the PPP relief funds, but—presto chango—the money-hungry charters decided they are not publ
Superintendents to Tech Vendors: “Just Stop It!”
43by dianeravitch / 6d
The National Superintendents Roundtable published a report calling on tech vendors to get out of the way during the pandemic and “ Just Stop It.” COVID-19 has unleashed a tsunami of work for school superintendents as they distribute food to students, implement distance learning, and prepare for 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all