John Thompson: The News from Oklahoma, Part 1

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is the first of a three-part series. Last spring, Oklahoma experiences a mass teacher walkout to protest underfunding of public schools.

John Thompson, historian and retired teacher, writes:

Oklahoma made national headlines in 2018 because of its teacher walkout; teachers running for the legislature; and a “Blue Wave” in Oklahoma City and the nation’s biggest congressional upset. But the election of a vocal Trump supporter as governor has emboldened privatizers. In some ways, the drama is more common in states, like Oklahoma, that have cut schools and public services in the most extreme manner. Mostly, however, the assault on the state’s schools and the teachers’ counter-attack is representative of national privatization campaign.

Test-driven, charter-driven reform failed, so now the Billionaires Boys Club is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in selling the “Portfolio Model.”

The Portfolio Model is new and different. Its strategy is the opposite: charter-driven, test-driven reform.

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