ALERT! GOP Congress Launches First Effort to Undermine Public SCHOOLS!

I know our elected officials don’t care, but people don’t want vouchers. They have been proven to be a failure every time.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Republicans in The House of Representatives have proposed legislation that would require states to adopt vouchers or lose their federal funding. This is an outrage! This is step one of the Trump-DeVos agenda to force vouchers and charters on states that do not want them. This is a blatant misuse of federal power to coerce states to go along with religious zealots like DeVos.

The legislation, HR 610, has been filed. Let your Representative in Congress know that you oppose this egregious federal overreach. Support The Network for Public Education as we rally supporters of public schools to repel this obnoxious legislation.

The language of the legislation and the steps you can take to oppose it are included here.

If you do not want your tax dollars to fund evangelical religious schools, madrassas, or yeshivas, get active.

If you believe in public schools with certified teachers who teach modern science…

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School Vouchers Will Indoctrinate a Generation in Alternative Truths

gadflyonthewallblog

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My middle school students are good at telling the difference between facts and opinions.

Facts, they’ll tell you, are things that can be proven.

They don’t even have to be true. They just have to be provable – one way or the other.

For instance: “I’m six feet tall.” It’s not true, but you could conceivably measure me and determine my height.

Opinions, on the other hand, are statements that have no way of being proven. They are value judgements: That is good. This is bad. Mr. Singer is short. Mr. Singer is tall.

It doesn’t make them less important – in fact, their relative importance to facts is, itself, an opinion.

But today the very ability to prove facts has been called into question.

Our government has put forward statements that are demonstrably false: The Bowling Green Massacre. Undocumented immigrants commit massive amounts of…

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What Betsy DeVos Says of Detractors Depends on the Day

She is a “how the wind is blowing” speaker.

Depends on which way the wind is blowing to determine her message of the day/moment.

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Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos received an unprecedented amount of public resistance to her confirmation as US secretary of education.

Her take on public resistance to her utter disregard, painfully obvious ignorance, and established disdain for American public education changes with each situation– which she has already demonstrated in three US Department of Education press releases within a single week.

Consider an excerpt from her press release regarding the protesters who attempted to block her entrance into Jefferson Middle School in DC on February 10, 2017:

I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education. No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.

Sounds good. It is, after all, politically correct to “respect peaceful protest.” However, DeVos’ neutral tone changed on February 15, 2017, in a speech to the Magnet Schools…

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NCTQ on States’ Teacher Evaluation Systems’ Failures | VAMboozled!

Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning"

VAMboozled!

VAMboozled!

A blog by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley

The controversial National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) — created by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute and funded (in part) by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as “part of a coalition for ‘a better orchestrated agenda’ for accountability, choice, and using test scores to drive the evaluation of teachers” (see here; see also other instances of controversy here and here) — recently issued yet another report about state’s teacher evaluation systems titled: “Running in Place: How New Teacher Evaluations Fail to Live Up to Promises.” See a related blog post in Education Week about this report here. See also a related blog post about NCTQ’s prior large-scale (and also slanted) study — “State of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading and Learning” — here. Like I did in that post, I summarize this study below.

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“Public Schools Flush with Cash” — Trump’s Assessment Is Tragically Inaccurate

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: “Public Schools Flush with Cash” — Trump’s Assessment Is Tragically Inaccurate

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FIGHT PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Thank you, Betsy Deavos, for awakening the parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens about the risk of privatizing our public schools and handing them over to entrepreneurs and religious institutions.

We will fight you. We will stand together against your schemes and malevolent dreams. The public paid for our schools, and you can’t take them away.

The Network for Public Education and NPE Action will lead the fight.

Join us!

Thanks to DeVos, our membership went from 22,000 to more than 300,00 and it is growing daily.

Help us push back.

RESIST!!!!!

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Presidents Day: What Trump Has Done for the Country

Diane Ravitch's blog

I have received several copies of this statement about Trump’s accomplishments.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:

1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.

2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google.

3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They’re holding signs and marching every week.

4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone’s forgotten he’s kind of a jerk.

5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.

6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.

7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.

8. Footage of town hall meetings…

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Jitu Brown: How to Build a National Movement to Secure Quality Education for All Children

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steven Rosenfeld of Alternet interviewed Jitu Brown about the coalition-building he is leading to fight for educational justice. Jitu is national director of the Journey for Justice, which fights for the rights of underserved black and brown children. Jitu is a member of the board of the Network for Public Education.

Jitu led the successful hunger strike at Dyett High School in Chicago, preventing its closure.

He says:

“I always say to people, we had to go on a hunger strike to win a neighborhood school in Brownsville. We had to risk our lives, literally. So I think what people have to realize as we organize, we can’t organize in a way that’s transactional. We can’t organize in a way like we’re insiders, because we are not—even if we think we are. We have to organize like we are fighting a system that is dead-set against making sure that black…

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Betsy DeVos Had an Awfully Difficult First Week on the Job

Diane Ravitch's blog

Teachers who teach children with multiple disabilities and children who are homeless may think that they have a tough job, but consider what a very hard time Betsy DeVos had in her first week as Secretary of Education, very likely the first paying job she has ever held. She visited a public middle school in D.C., where protestors harassed her and tried to keep her out. When she eventually entered the school, she said nice things to the staff, but after she left she insulted them as being in a “receive” mode. She gave a few interviews and said she hoped to launch more charter schools, more vouchers, more cybercharters, and presumably shrink the number of public schools as she opens up opportunities for students to go anywhere other than public schools.

In one interview, she told syndicated conservative columnist Cal Thomas that she did not think the protests…

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The Importance of Asking the Right Policy Question: Technology in Schools

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

About a century ago, electronic technologies entered the classroom. Initially  as the film (1920s), radio (1930s), and instructional television (1960s), these devices derived from the entertainment business. The hype surrounding each promised that teachers would have access to the world beyond the classroom and the library. Teachers would have engaging tools that turn on students to what had to be learned. And students would be able to learn more, faster, and better.

The policy question driving these entertainment-oriented devices was: How can these new media help teachers do better what they ordinarily do in conveying to students new knowledge and skills?

Both teacher and student access to these electronic devices, however, was limited by costs of film projectors, classroom radio sets, and television wiring and equipment. Districts parceled out equipment to schools and established audiovisual departments. Consider further that finding the best film for a unit took much time as teachers…

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