Monthly Archives: December 2016

North Carolina: Judge Puts Temporary Hold on Legislative Coup

North Carolina: Judge Puts Temporary Hold on Legislative Coup

Diane Ravitch's blog

A judge in North Carolina put a temporary hold on one of the legislature’s last-minute effortsto strip power away from the governor’s office, since the new governor will be a Democrat and the legislature has a super-majority of Republicans.

The judge needs more time to determine whether the General Assembly’s assault on democracy is unconstitutional.

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Mercedes Schneider: Don’t Let Betsy DeVos Do to the Nation What She did to Detroit

Mercedes Schneider: Don’t Let Betsy DeVos Do to the Nation What She did to Detroit

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider reviews the ruination of public education in Detroit while under the thumb of Betsy DeVos. She relies on an article that appeared in Truthout by Joseph Natoli.

Natoli wrote:

“Privatization of all things public has slammed Detroit as gentrifying investors seek to put price tags on what was previously public domain. In predatory fashion, privatizers are targeting the city’s struggling students as a new frontier for profit.

“How weak and vulnerable is public education in Detroit? The Nation’s Report Card, published by an independent federal commission, named Detroit Public Schools the country’s “lowest-performing urban school district” in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. In 2011, a Republican state legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder repealed a statewide cap on the number of Detroit charter schools. The floodgates were opened and privatizing predators rolled in.

“Bankruptcy following the collapse of the jobs that fueled the “Motor City” has exposed Detroit…

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Here is a Gift for the Children in Your Life

Colin is energized by the recognition and is now playing a leading role in a new effort called the Autism Creatives Collective in the Bay Area, for creative people on the autism spectrum who want to share their talents with the world.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Donald Cohen regularly defends us against the scourge of privatization of public services. His son Colin is on the autism spectrum. He helps Colin share his stories with the world. Please read.  Please consider giving a copy of Colin’s book to your children or someone else’s. I am buying one for my grandchildren. You can buy it here. 

Donald writes about his remarkable son here:

My son, Colin, blows me away every day. He is 28 years old and was diagnosed with Asperger’s at a young age, when the relatively unknown Asperger’s was still in a cul de sac of uncertainty. Now, Asperger’s is more well-known.

We spent Colin’s early years wondering, searching, trying to understand what it meant and what to do. I no longer think about that. I focus now on what I can do to share his creative genius with the world.

Colin is a storyteller —…

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Politico: Trump Considering Common Core Leader for #2 Job at Department of Education

Is President Elect Trump for or against Common Core?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Politico reports that Hanna Skandera, Commissioner of Education in New Mexico, is being considered for the second most important job in the Education Department.

Mercedes Schneider explains that Skandera is a major advocate for the Common Core. She is currently in charge of PARCC, the testing consortium. Schneider reviews her history working for Jeb Bush, Margaret Spellings, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jeb Bush, a strong supporter of Common Core, is Skandera’s mentor.

Schneider asks:

If Trump is supposedly against Common Core, one wonders why he would choose a woman who is currently the chair for one of the two federal-fund-established Common Core testing consortia, PARCC.

During the campaign, Trump ridiculed Common Core. Was he serious?

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Let Us Introduce Ourselves Ms. DeVos

Patrick Kearney wrote: “I suppose we also need to address the elephant in the room. We are a little freaked out by your nomination to be secretary of education. You aren’t an educator. You haven’t ever attended or sent your children to a public school, yet you seem to have some pretty strong opinions about them.”


Dear Ms. DeVos,

I don’t think we’ve really met yet, we are America’s public school teachers.  There are about 3.1 million of us.  We teach in large urban areas, we teach in the suburbs, we teach in small rural communities, and we teach in some really remote parts of our country.   The most important thing to recognize is that we teach every kid who shows up.  We don’t pick and choose the types of kids that we will teach, we teach ALL of them.

Because we haven’t really had much interaction, we thought it might be nice to share a little bit about the public schools we teach in.  First of all, we are very proud of our schools.  Public schools today have the highest graduation rate in American history.  The Gallup Poll says that the rate of parents who are satisfied with their public school is the highest in…

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Study: Portrait of a “Teach for All” (TFA International) Teacher

Study: Portrait of a “Teach for All” (TFA International) Teacher

Diane Ravitch's blog

This study appears in the Education Policy Analysis Archives. Written by Michelle Gautreaux and Sandra Delgado of the University of British Columbia in Canada, it describes the origins of Teach for All, the international wing of TFA, which destroys the teaching profession and unions wherever it goes.

Here is the abstract:

“This article employs narrative analysis to examine how the media in 12 different countries characterize the Teach for All (TFA) teacher. Examining mass media narratives in these 12 countries illustrates that there are some remarkable commonalities in the narratives and character portraits co-constructed and propagated by the media. At the core of these narratives is the notion of a problem in education. This problem justifies the creation and emergence of a character, commonly constructed in opposition to traditionally certified teachers, who embodies the characteristics and attributes of the contemporary neoliberal subject. This article discusses the implications of this character’s…

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