Diane Ravitch's blog

DeVos Thinks She is Promoting the “Common Good” by Attacking Public Schools

DeVos Thinks She is Promoting the “Common Good” by Attacking Public Schools

I am writing this post for the journalists who cover education. Please fact-check every word that DeVos says. She literally doesn’t know what she is talking about. This is the New York Times’ report on Betsy DeVos‘ press conference at Brookings. She claims that the Bush-Obama policies of test-and-punish failed because throwing money at the […]

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Slate: For-Profit Alternative Schools Accused of Abusive Treatment

Slate: For-Profit Alternative Schools Accused of Abusive Treatment

If you ran a for-profit corporation that provides facilities for kids with disciplinary and academic issues, what would you call your chain of alternative high schools? Utopia High? No. Great Scholars High? No. How about Camelot? Bingo! A magical place of hope and possibility. In an age of alternative facts, open deceit, and fake news, […]

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CBS Tracks Gulen Charter Schools

CBS Tracks Gulen Charter Schools

CBS News ran a story about the mysterious Gulen charter chain and the reclusive cleric behind it. Former Turkish teachers at the large chain claimed they were required to kick back as much as 40% of their salary. The story is complicated, and few people outside the education world ever heard about it. Turkey has […]

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Note to DeVos: A School is not a Taxi or an Uber

Note to DeVos: A School is not a Taxi or an Uber

At the Brookings celebration of school choice, Secretary DeVos said that people should choose a school like choosing Uber or some other alternative to the traditional public school. She is clueless about the role of public education in a community and in a democracy. Picking your mode transportation is a consumer good that you pay […]

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Mercedes Schneider: A Real Public School is not a Franchise

Mercedes Schneider: A Real Public School is not a Franchise

Mercedes Schneider had the stomach to watch Betsy DeVos and Grover Whitehurst talk about their favorite subject –School Choice–at Brookings today. She noticed their careless use of business language to talk about schools, at one point referring to them as “franchises.” https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/are-traditional-public-schools-franchises/ As I said, Mercedes has a strong stomach, as I find this use […]

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Betsy DeVos Suck-Up Watch

Betsy DeVos Suck-Up Watch

The website Chalkbeat posted an article about the sunny side of Secretary DeVos. http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/us/2017/03/28/rave-reviews-here-are-the-states-schools-and-programs-that-have-gotten-betsy-devoss-seal-of-approval/ She likes really good programs! Like Florida’s tax credit programs for vouchers! (Which sucks tax dollars away from public schools) Like Milwaukee’s school choice programs! (Which have produced no positive results for students in 26 years) Like Nevada’s Achievement School District […]

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Network for Public Education Action Fund Endorses Steve Zimmer for Re-Election to LAUSD Board

Network for Public Education Action Fund Endorses Steve Zimmer for Re-Election to LAUSD Board

The billionaires are circling the Los Angeles public schools again, trying to gain control of the school board so they can shift half the students into privately managed charter schools that are free to pick the students they want and kick out the ones they don’t want. They have targeted Steve Zimmer, the current president […]

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Brookings Sullies Its Reputation By Aligning with DeVos Agenda for Privatization

Brookings Sullies Its Reputation By Aligning with DeVos Agenda for Privatization

The Brookings Institution used to be referred to as a liberal think tank. In reality, it was a nonpartisan think tank that hired former high-level officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations and produced valuable studies and reports. As I was ending my time in the first Bush administration in late 1992, the president of […]

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Peter Greene: What Two Decades of Testing Have Produced

Peter Greene: What Two Decades of Testing Have Produced

http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-lost-years.html?m=1 Peter Greene asks a crucial question: What have we gained–or lost–because of our society’s obsession with standardized testing for at least the last two decades? When did it start? Before No Child Left Behind was signed into law in January 2002, but not with the same intensity or the high-stakes that took hold since […]

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Leonie Haimson Is Collecting Comments on the New York ELA

Leonie Haimson Is Collecting Comments on the New York ELA

The state Common Core tests that children in grades 3-8 in New York are supposed to take are shrouded in secrecy. Last year, a teacher posted a couple of items to show how confusing and tricky they were, and the testing company went on a tear, threatening legal action against the teacher and against the […]

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An 8-Year-Old Child Writes Betsy DeVos: “I Love My Public School”

An 8-Year-Old Child Writes Betsy DeVos: “I Love My Public School”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-year-old-sends-heartfelt-message-about-her-public-school-to-betsy-devos_us_58d3ed5ce4b0b22b0d1a9076 A second-grade student wroteto Betsy DeVos to tell her that she loves her public school. She pleaded with DeVos, “Please leave are [sic] public schools alone do not tear it down ever.” Willa is a second grader. She is the daughter of a journalist, who posted Willa’s message on Instagram. Do you think Betsy […]

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Ralph Ratto: Today I Am Ashamed to Be a Teacher

Ralph Ratto: Today I Am Ashamed to Be a Teacher

Ralph Ratto is an elementary school teacher in New York and a frequent blogger. He describes yesterday as “one of the darkest days in education.” Testing started yesterday. Now that the tests are untied, some children will struggle for six hours a day for six days to satisfy some adult idea that they need to […]

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Good News: Charter School Growth Is Slowing

Good News: Charter School Growth Is Slowing

Citing an article in Education Week, The National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College notes that charter school growth is slowing. “Charter school growth is slowing down, reported Education Week. The decline since 2012, when 640 new charters opened, has been steady. In 2013, 501 new charters were launched; in […]

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To New York Parents: A Warning about the Common Core Tests

To New York Parents: A Warning about the Common Core Tests

Students in New York sat for the ELA Comin Core tests on Tuesday. The test will continue for three days, an ordeal lengthier than graduate school exams. Leonie Haimson invited teachers and parents to share their stories about the test, which is otherwise blanketed in deep secrecy. Testing expert Fred Smith sent this comment: Thank […]

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Laura Chapman: Congress Votes to Eliminate Internet Privacy

Laura Chapman: Congress Votes to Eliminate Internet Privacy

Laura Chapman writes about breaking news: “Pending a signature by Trump, Republicans have succeeded in making internet privacy a relic of the past. Last week the Senate passed a bill that will give internet service providers (ISPs) the automatic right to make a profit from every bit of data that you and your family, including […]

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What Opportunities Do Charter Schools Provide That Would Not Exist Without Charter Schools

What Opportunities Do Charter Schools Provide That Would Not Exist Without Charter Schools

Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy–a retired educator who served as deputy commissioner of education for the state of Ohio- asks the question that is the title of this post. And he answers: What educational opportunities do charters provide that would not exist if there were no charters? Sometimes public school […]

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Memphis: Under-Enrolled Charters Cancel Contracts, Dropping Out

Memphis: Under-Enrolled Charters Cancel Contracts, Dropping Out

Two charter schools in Memphis are breaking their ten-year contracts, leaving Memphis because of under enrollment. http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/tn/2017/03/27/heres-why-charter-operators-exiting-tennessees-turnaround-district-can-walk-away/ Some residents don’t understand how a charter school can break a ten-year contract. Apparently the contracts were written on the assumption that the charters would be flooded with applications. They are not. “Contracts signed by both Gestalt Community […]

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