Angie Sullivan: Nevada Must Increase Education Funding by $1 Billion!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Angie Sullivan regularly writes blast emails to every member of the state legislature and to the state’s journalists. Here is her latest:

CCEA members voted at a General Meeting yesterday to raise dues.  
Those teacher union dues will be used to campaign for a billion dollars.  
Yes, billion. 
Yes, dollars.  
We need to think big to win big.  
Teachers need those funds to fund class-size reduction.   We need additional teachers.   We need additional classrooms. 
Nevada teachers have the largest class-sizes in the nation.  
It is not reasonable to keep piling more and more students into small spaces.  
Our eye is on the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session.  We will get a billion dollars for kids.   
We demand political will to take care of kids.  
Here we come. 
#Fight4Kids #Billion4Kids
#NVed #NVTeach #Nevada #Vegas
The Teacher MotherJonesing,
Angie. 

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Houston: HFT Files Lawsuit to Block State Takeover

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is one reason why unions are valuable for teachers and public schools. Unions have the resources to go to the courts to fight capricious actions, like the pending takeover of the Houston Independent School District based on the low test scores of one school.

HFT_release_VOCUS 2018 new.jpg

For Immediate Release
November 19, 2019

CONTACT:
Zeph Capo
713-670-4348

Zcapo@hft2415.org
   
HFT Files Federal Lawsuit over Proposed State Takeover of School District
HOUSTON—The Houston Federation of Teachers filed a federal lawsuit in Austin today, stating the proposed state takeover of the Houston Independent School District is unconstitutional under U.S. and Texas law because it disenfranchises and discriminates against people based on race and national origin.   

Gov. Greg Abbott and Education Commissioner Mike Morath claim the state takeover of the entire Houston school district, which earned an 88 (out of 100) academic accountability rating, was triggered due to one chronically failing school, Wheatley…

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North Carolina: Teachers Must Become Politically Active to Improve Education

Diane Ravitch's blog

LeAnna Erls Delph is a veteran teacher of sixth grade students in social studies and language arts in Asheville, North Carolina. She is a member of the Governor’s Teachers Advisory Committee, is the North Carolina Association of Educators regional director for the far west, and is a member of the Red4EdNC advisory board.

She explains here why teachers owe it to their students, their communities, and their profession to become politically active.

On a recent Sunday morning, I woke up to see tremendous chatter on social media concerning the budget impasse in the North Carolina General Assembly. The discussion included the lack of educator raises, the failure to expand Medicaid, unacceptable working conditions, and a shortage of support staff. This discussion quickly evolved into the formation of a new social media group discussing the possibility of a large scale collective action or strike of North Carolina educators.

This kind of…

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Nancy Bailey: A Summit of Education Vandals

Diane Ravitch's blog

In her latest post, Nancy Bailey draws a contrast between a summit of fake education leaders and the summit that actual teachers reach when they teach their students and fight for their students and their schools.

Bailey describes the pseudo summit taking place in San Diego, where people who have never taught discuss how to reinvent education for fun and profit.

Read her list at the end of her post. It is a who’s who of the Disruption Industry, assembled in one place to celebrate themselves and the damage they have done to schools, students, and teachers across the nation.

Bailey writes:

Today’s National Summit On Education Reform meeting is a nightmare for teachers and parents. It involves those who want to replace democratic public schools with technology, ending schools and teaching as we know it. They will have children sitting in front of screens for instruction in warehouse…

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MIchael Tomasky: Why Billionaires Are Bad for Democracy

Diane Ravitch's blog

Let me explain why I post articles critical of billionaires on a blog about (mostly) education. Our nation, our states are underinvesting in education. Our teachers are underpaid. Class sizes, especially in urban districts, are too large. Too many teachers pay for supplies themselves. The rate of child poverty, which is correlated with low test scores, is very high (about 20%) compared to other developed nations. We can’t pay for education while lowering taxes and reducing revenues.

Michael Tomaskey makes the case in this important article that the concentration of wealth in a few hands is dangerous to democracy. The middle class is losing ground while money flows to the top. That’s wrong.

In addition, though he doesn’t mention it, some billionaires—the Waltons, for example, the DeVos family, Charles Koch—spend millions every year to eviscerate and privatize important civic institutions like public schools that belong to all of us.

Tomaskey…

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Charter Schools Undermine the Public Schools Which Serve the Very Children Cory Booker Worries About

janresseger

On Monday, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker published a column in the NY Times to announce his support for charter schools. I’ll give Booker credit for being honest. Until now, as an active candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, Booker has tried to hedge this issue, even though support for charter schools—and at one time even vouchers—has been among his primary priorities in public life for two decades.

I’ll also give Booker credit for endorsing, in this week’s column, better support for traditional public schools: “As a party, we need to take a holistic approach to improving outcomes for children who are underserved and historically disadvantaged.  That must mean significantly increasing funding for public schools, raising teacher pay, fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, investing in universal preschool, eliminating child poverty—and yes, supporting high-performing public charter schools if and when they are the right fit for a…

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Michigan: State Takeover of Detroit Schools was a “Costly Mistake”

Probably going to be the same mistakes Texas is getting ready to make as they prepare to take of Houston ISD

Diane Ravitch's blog

Koby Levin of Chalkbeat reports that a study of the state takeover of Detroit’s public schools–which lasted for 15 years–was “a costly mistake.”

The state was supposed to solve intractable problems that elected school officials in Detroit could not.

It made things worse, according to a newly released report on the 15 years during which the Detroit school district was largely controlled by state-appointed officials.

The study, which was commissioned by the current school board, found a pattern of “startling mismanagement” in academic and financial matters whose consequences continue to weigh on the district’s future.

While some had hoped that the report would eventually lead to a lawsuit against the state, that seems unlikely. Instead, it provides a 172-page confirmation of what many Detroiters have argued for years: that installing state officials in place of the elected school board wasn’t enough to make the district’s problems disappear.

“The legacy of…

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Study: Charter Schools Do Not Create a Rising Tide That Lifts All Boats

Diane Ravitch's blog

The conservative school-choice advocacy organization Thomas B. Fordham Institute published a report claiming that the existence of charters raises test scores in surrounding public schools. The claim is that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” This seems counterintuitive when you think about Detroit and Milwaukee, which are flooded with charters but mired at the bottom of urban districts tested by NAEP.

Now this assertion has been reviewed by a scholar and found to lack validity.

Contact:
William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Yongmei Ni: (801) 587-9298, yongmei.ni@utah.edu

Report About Charters Being a “Rising Tide” Sinks Under Weight of Flawed Data

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: Due to data and methods limitations, report fails to prove its claim that higher charter market share is associated with achievement gains for all students.

EAST LANSING, MI (November 14, 2019) – A recent report from the…

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Pittsburgh Mayor’s Tantrum About School Finances Proves He Doesn’t Understand Education or Equity

gadflyonthewallblog

20190805dsPedutoLocal01-1567025449

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is steaming mad and he doesn’t care who knows it.

On Tuesday he raved that Pittsburgh Public Schools’ finances should be taken over by the state – the same fate the city had suffered during its own economic troubles from 2004-18.

The reason Peduto thinks the school should submit to a financial recovery plan overseen by a state appointed board?School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet is proposing a 2.3% tax increase in 2020 for a reserve fund while Peduto’s municipal government allegedly is managing with a surplus.

If the city can manage its finances without a tax increase, wonders Peduto, why can’t the school district?

However, the Mayor’s narrative conveniently leaves out a few pertinent facts.

Most importantly – during the city’s economic trouble 14 years ago, Pittsburgh Public Schools gave a portion of their tax revenue to the municipal government to help it pay the…

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Education Through Friendship: One Man’s Story (Part 2)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

This is a five-part story of a long friendship in which I learned a lot about life outside of the schooling I received. See Part 1 for why I connect my friendships with an education that goes beyond schooling.

How We Began

Our origins are familiar, if not common. A group of urban teenagers, first and second generation Americans from homes of working men, small businessmen, and stay-at-home mothers, joined a local chapter of Pittsburgh’s B’nai Brith youth called Victory in the late 1940s. Passions for sports, girls, driving cars, and being accepted by the “guys” filled our lives. For some, practicing Judaism was part of the mix; for others, less so. Getting through high school and graduating was important but no more than a blip on radar screens dominated by our club.

High school and Victory were
intertwined in our daily lives. While we
spent far more time in…

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