ICE Orders Dozens of Full-Body Restraints for Immigrants Seeking Freedom

Diane Ravitch's blog

They come to America as immigrants seeking freedom. They are arrested, separated from their children, and imprisoned.

Their children are sent to distant facilities. Some will never see their parents again.

ICE has ordered 60 full-body restraints for the immigrants who resist.

Is this America?

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DeVos Refuses to Defend Transgender Students

Diane Ravitch's blog

Politico Morning Report tells the sad story of Betsy DeVos’ abandonment of transgender students. This administration prefers that these students suffer discrimination and humiliation and bullying.

Let it be noted that the DeVos family is notable for homophobia. Betsy’s family were founders and major funders of the anti-gay Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Her mother and brother are still board members. Her mother was the single biggest contributor to the fight to block gay marriage by referendum in California. When Betsy was asked during her Senate hearings about the virulently anti-gay activism of her mother’s foundation, she claimed to know nothing about it. When someone pointed out that she was a member of the board, she said it was a clerical error. A clerical error for 17 years. I.e., she was prevaricating. Lying to Congress is a crime.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the rotten…

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Wisconsin: Two Former Aides of Scott Walker Turn Against Him, Support Evers

Diane Ravitch's blog

A former top aide to Governor Scott Walker turned against him and made an ad endorsing his Democratic challenger Tony Evers.

“A second former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker has come out against him, saying the GOP governor’s team told him to meet with payday loan lobbyists and discouraged him from creating documents that could be turned up under the state’s open records law.

“Former Financial Institutions Secretary Peter Bildsten joins ex-Corrections Secretary Ed Wall in excoriating their former boss, claiming they were told not to send emails and cutting digital ads for Walker’s Democratic challenger, state schools Superintendent Tony Evers.

“A third former top aide to Walker has also contended he was told not to create documents that would have to be turned over under the public records law.

“I was told to avoid creating electronic records,” Bildsten says in a digital ad debuting Monday. “I thought Scott…

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Bill Gates Doles Out $10M for Green Dot Rainier Leadership Academy


Billionaire school reform experimentalist Bill Gates has decided to spring almost $10M for a Green Dot charter high school facility in Seattle, Washington:

Washington Charter School Development, Inc

Date: July 2018
Purpose: to fund the construction of Green Dot’s south Seattle high school–Rainier Valley Leadership Academy
Amount: $9,800,000
Term: 30
Topic: K-12, K-12 Education
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Seattle, Washington
Grantee Website: 

The Gates Foundation is paying the cash to Pacific Charter School Development Fund (PCDF), a nonprofit spinoff of NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF); PCDF was founded in 2004 with NSVF “seed money” and “joined by The Broad Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as providers of project equity.”

The Gates grant references the PCDF email address as the “grantee website”; however, the grantee name is Washington Charter School Development, Inc. (WCSD), a PCDF spinoff created in 2014.


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Gail Collins on The Bane that Is Betsy DeVos

Diane Ravitch's blog

A very welcome column about our odious Secretary of Education by the brilliant Gail Collins.

The Bane That Is Betsy DeVos

Today let’s talk about the evil deeds of Betsy DeVos.

We’ve been distracted, what with Omarosa and the Manafort trial and that $90 million military parade we were so looking forward to. At the same time, our secretary of education has been busy, working to protect for-profit colleges from their students.

Yes! We keep being told that Donald Trump was elected because working-class Americans were worried that their kids wouldn’t be able to move up in the world. And now DeVos is making it easier for those very same kids to be cheated when they try to prepare for a career.

It’s quite a story, just as DeVos is quite a gal. Probably the first secretary of education with a $40 million family yacht that’s registered in the…

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Nancy Bailey on Arne Duncan’s Contempt for Educators

Diane Ravitch's blog

Nancy Bailey lists the cushy jobs and boards that Arne Duncan has landed.

Getting into education has been a good gig for him. He’s making plenty money telling the country how terrible American education is, how awful teachers are, and why no one has as much courage as he does. He was the U.S. Secretary of Education for seven years. He had a powerful perch. Why didn’t he fix anything?

She hasn’t read Arne Duncan’s books but she knows the first line:

“He begins his book “Education runs on lies.” This is an insult to every authentic educator who will show up to teach children in the coming weeks.

“He talks about knowing poor children, but until you’re responsible for instructing thirty (or more) struggling students in an overcrowded classroom, lacking resources and support on a daily basis, you have no right to judge teachers.

“If only Duncan had…

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A Story about District Test Scores

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

This story is not about current classrooms and schools. Neither is this story about coercive accountability, unrealistic curriculum standards or the narrowness of highly-prized tests in judging district quality. This is a story well before Race to the Top, Adequate Yearly Progress, and “growth scores” entered educators’ vocabulary.

The story is about a district over 40 years ago that scored one point above comparable districts on a single test and what occurred as a result. There are two lessons buried in this story–yes, here’s the spoiler. First, public perceptions of  standardized test scores as a marker of “success” in schooling has a long history of being far more powerful than observers have believed  and, second, that the importance of students scoring well on key tests predates A Nation at Risk (1983), Comprehensive School Reform Act (1998), and No Child Left Behind (2002)

I was superintendent of the Arlington (VA) public…

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Los Angeles: Union and Inexperienced Superintendent at Odds

Diane Ravitch's blog

Austin Beitner, the former hedge fund manager-publisher picked by the school board as superintendent of the nation’s second-largest district despite his lack of any education experience, is at loggerheads with the UTLA.

UTLA released this statement last night (note the return of Cami Anderson):

We are responding to the letter you sent yesterday to UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl. We are writing this letter jointly because Arlene Inouye is UTLA’s bargaining chair and, with the UTLA Bargaining Team, has urged the district to stop refusing to meet with a state-appointed mediator in a timely fashion as required by law.

In response to the mediator proposing multiple dates for August and in contrast to UTLA’s willingness to meet for mediation immediately, LAUSD is refusing to participate within a reasonable time frame. This is unacceptable and indefensible.

Two UTLA officers met with you yesterday with one goal: to get you to abide by…

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Valerie Strauss: “Why Would Anyone Deliberately Hurt Students” Who Were Defrauded By Scam Colleges?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Valerie Strauss wrote here about Betsy DeVos’s plan to remove consumer protections from students who were scammed.

“Why would anyone want to make it harder for defrauded students? Well, the Education Department says that college students are “adults who can be reasonably expected to make informed decisions and who must take personal accountability for the decisions they make.” Supporters of the proposed changes say it is too easy for students to apply for loan forgiveness and that too much public money will have to be used to repay bad loans.

“To be sure, college students are indeed adults who can be reasonably expected to make informed decisions. And adults should indeed take personal accountability for the decisions they made.

“But the proposed regulation says, among other things, that to qualify for loan forgiveness, students who claim they have been defrauded have to prove the college intended to defraud them and…

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You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Fight Racism. But You Have to Try


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I am a white guy who talks about racism.

I teach mostly students of color in a western Pennsylvania public school. I write a blog about education and issues of prejudice. And I participate in social justice campaigns to try and redress the inequality all around me.

But in my quest to be an anti-racist, one of the most common criticisms people hurl my way is to call me smug:

You think you’re so perfect!


You’re just suffering from white guilt.


You love black people more than your own people.

Things like that.

Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret.

I make mistakes.

All. The. Time.

I am just like every other white person out there. But I have recognized certain facts about my world and I’m trying to do something about them.

America is built on the genocide of over 110 million indigenous Americans…

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