Accountability

What Will It Take to Get Equitable School Funding in Pennsylvania – a Statewide Teachers Strike!? – Education Article

What if every public school teacher in Pennsylvania refused to come to work on Monday? What if instead they took to the streets with signs and placards, bullhorns and chanted slogans. Maybe: “Hey! HEY! Ho! HO! This Unfair Funding Has to Go!”Or: “What do we want!? FAIR FUNDING! When do we want it? YESTERDAY!” The problem is that from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and all places in between, the Keystone state has the most unequal school funding system in the country.…

Read More

Los Angeles: Will LAUSD Close Down Failing Charter Schools? – Education Article

Carl J. Petersen wonders if the LAUSD school board will hold failing charter schools accountable? Predictably, it turns out that the charterization of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) did not provide the miracle that was promised. The District has the highest number of charter schools in the country, with approximately 18% of its students in these publicly funded private schools. In the just-released list of 110 underperforming schools in the LAUSD, 20%were independent charter schools. Are we diverting…

Read More

The Tail Wagging The Dog – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes What silly reasons drive good people out of the teaching profession? Until someone in the Department for Education (or Ofsted) has the gusto to pull the plug on all of this nonsense, we can expect our education system to continue in a mindless and self-fulfilling loop for another generation. Imagine two schools … Imagine you are a teacher working in a school (A). You may find yourself lucky enough to be working in a culture in…

Read More

Rahm Emanuel’s Non-Apology Apology for Being a School Privatization Cheerleader – Education Article

    Rahm Emanuel’s recent op-ed in The Atlantic may be one of the dumbest things I have ever read.   The title “I Used to Preach the Gospel of Education Reform. Then I Became the Mayor” seems to imply Emanuel has finally seen the light.   The outgoing Chicago Mayor USED TO subscribe to the radical right view that public schools should be privatized, student success should be defined almost entirely by standardized testing, teachers should be stripped of…

Read More

A Parent in California: What’s Wrong with Charter Schools? – Education Article

In this post, a parent activist in Northern California succinctly described the case against charter schools. Charter schools take resources away from the public schools, harming public schools and their students. All charter schools do this – whether they’re opportunistic and for-profit or presenting themselves as public, progressive and enlightened. Charter schools are free to pick and choose and exclude or kick out any student they want. They’re not supposed to, but in real life there’s no enforcement. Many impose…

Read More

West Virginia Teachers Authorize a New Walkout If Legislature Passes Offfensive Bill – Education Article

Teachers in West Virginia warned that they are still united and #55Strong and prepared to renew their walkout if the legislature passes a bill that contains obnoxious provisions that affect their working conditions and charter schools. Last year every school in the state’s 55 counties closed down and teachers marched on the State Capitol to demand a 5% pay raise. The governor agreed he would not permit charter school legislation. The legislature, however, passed a bill that authorized both charters…

Read More

The Trouble with Test-Obsessed Principals – Education Article

    When I was a child, I couldn’t spell the word “principal.”   I kept getting confused with its homonym “principle.”   I remember Mr. Vay, the friendly head of our middle school, set me straight. He said, “You want to end the word with P-A-L because I’m not just your principal, I’m your pal!”   And somehow that corny little mnemonic device did the trick.   Today’s principals have come a long way since Mr. Vay.   Many…

Read More

Cory Booker and Rahm Emanuel: Two Tigers Trying to Change Their History – Education Article

By chance, two articles came to my attention today about two leading figures in the Reform movement who don’t want to be seen as Reformers any more. Have they really changed? Frankly, I am waiting for each of them to call a press conference and declare their support for public schools and renounce their past error in supporting charters (and in Booker’s case) vouchers. Even then, I would be dubious because both of them have motives that are politically expedient.…

Read More

California: Board of West Contra County Schools Debating Charter Moratorium – Education Article

  Following the passage by the Los Angeles schoolboard of a request for a charter moratorium, other counties in California are taking a look at doing the same.     WCCUSD Trustee Consuelo Lara is bringing a resolution supporting a Statewide Moratorium on the Growth of Charter Schools and strengthening oversight and transparency of current charter schools. The resolution puts the WCCUSD in step with the recent resolution passed by the Los Angeles School Board joining with the NAACP, the…

Read More

Pittsburgh Christian Academy Tries to Become a Charter School to Cash in on Taxpayer Funding – Education Article

    The line between public and private school is getting awfully thin in Pittsburgh.   City public school directors received a request from Imani Christian Academy, a religious school in the East Hills, to be allowed to transform into Imani Academy Charter School for the Fall term of 2019.   Though parochial schools have metamorphosed into charter schools in Florida, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., this would be the first such transformation in Pennsylvania, according to Ana Meyers, executive director of…

Read More

Oakland Educators Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize Strike if Necessary – Education Article

This just in:   Mike Myslinski Headquarters Communications California Teachers Association 1705 Murchison Drive Burlingame, CA 94010 650-552-5324 408-921-5769 (cell) www.cta.org   NEWS RELEASE   February 4, 2019   Oakland Education Association 272 East 12th Street Oakland, CA 94606 510-763-4020 www.oaklandea.org   Contact: OEA President Keith Brown on cell at (510) 866-8280. On Twitter: @oaklandea, #Unite4OaklandKids, #WeAreOEA, #RedForEd #WeAreCTA   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE With 95% ‘Yes’ Vote Tally, Oakland Unified Educators Give OEA Union Right to Call a Strike, If Necessary…

Read More

Chicago: Dollars for Teachers, Milliions for Charter Operator – Education Article

  News from Chicago Teachers Union:   Charter operator CICS would rather spend public dollars on scabs than on student needs.That’s wrong – and we can do something about it. We learned this weekend that the management of CICS – Chicago International Charter Schools – has made arrangements to hire in scabs to break a planned Tuesday strike for smaller classes and no cuts to student programs, social workers or counselors. CICS bosses are currently sitting on $36 million in…

Read More

Los Angeles: The Peculiar Deal Behind the Contract – Education Article

Bill Raden, the investigative journalist at Capital & Main, unearthed a surprising deal behind Austin Beutner’s decision to settle with the UTLA. https://capitalandmain.com/learning-curves-lausd-hire-under-fire-0201 it involved hiring the son of a key politician. Raden writes: One political winner of last week’s Los Angeles teachers strike settlement was L.A. Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner. The former investment banker has made no secret of his desire to one day land the top job at L.A. City Hall, and signing a deal became his first…

Read More

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Promised to Block Charter Schools But He Lied – Education Article

  During last spring’s historic teacher walkout in West Virginia, which closed every school in the state, Governor Jim Justice promised to block charter legislation. https://www.register-herald.com/news/republicans-vote-down-democratic-amendments-on-charter-schools-esas/article_e531ec82-0c49-5fd7-8da3-39103fd1826a.html He lied. The legislature is set to pass both charters and vouchers. Trachers in charters won’t need certification. Vouchers will include home schooling. Both bills mean less funding for the state’s underfunded public schools. Gov. Justice could veto the bill but would it have gotten this far without his… This is only a snippet…

Read More

Ten of 15 Cyber Charter Schools in PA Are Operating Without a Charter – Close Them All – Education Article

    Cyber charter schools are an experiment that failed.     It’s time to pull the plug and recoup our losses.     First, let’s get straight exactly what we’re talking about here.     Like all charter schools, these are contracted institutions. In fact, that’s what charter means – they’re independent businesses that sign a deal with the state to teach kids.     So they’re publicly financed but privately run. And in the case of cyber charters,…

Read More

Koch Brothers Plan to Disrupt Public Education, the “Lowest Hanging Fruit” – Education Article

  This is a shocking development: The infamous billionaire Koch brothers have a plan to disrupt American education, beginning with five states. Their goal is to break up the public education system and enable public funding to flow to every kind of school, whether religious, private, homeschooling, for-profit, anything and everything. They call it “educational pluralism.” At the Koch Conference last year (700 people who paid $100,000 to attend), they declared that K-12 schooling was “the lowest hanging fruit,” and…

Read More

John and Laura Arnold Foundation Moving into Political Advocacy Role – Education Article

    i always watch my words when I mention John Arnold. In 2014, I referred to him as a billionaire who used to work for Enron, the hot energy company that went bankrupt, leaving its many employees without a dime since they invested in the company’s worthless stock. I got an email from John’s PR person telling me that he would sue me if I didn’t retract my words implying that he benefitted while others suffered. At that moment,…

Read More

Teaching Through Lockdown | gadflyonthewallblog – Education Article

    “Excuse the interruption. We are under a lockdown.”   That was it.   Not an explanation of what caused it.   Not any idea of how much danger we were in.   Not any idea of how long it would last.   Just a vague warning that teachers knew meant to keep all their students in class until further notice.   As an educator, you’re expected to teach.   It doesn’t matter what’s happening around you. There can…

Read More

Mercedes Schneider: Denver Orders Central Office Staff to Prepare to Be Scabs – Education Article

    Denver teachers voted to strike, but it is not clear when or if it might begin. The leadership is preparing for a strike, Mercedes Schneider points out, by informing central office staff that they are expected to act as scabs in the event of a strike. Like this: Like Loading… This is only a snippet of a Education Article written by dianeravitch Read Full Article

Read More

Politico: Trump Aides Don’t See Problem About Going Without a Paycheck – Education Article

Politico reports: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/24/ross-government-shutdown-food-banks-1122842 Wilbur Ross is a billionaire. He says that missing a paycheck or two is no big deal. Not for him, it isn’t.   White House Trump aides set off furor with out-of-touch shutdown remarks One of President Donald Trump’s top aides likened the shutdown to a “vacation.” Another called it a “glitch.” And on Thursday, Democratic leaders pounced after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he didn’t “really quite understand why” unpaid federal workers are going to food banks.…

Read More

Children of the Gun: How Lax Firearm Legislation Affects My Students – Education Article

  Tanisha was just 6-years-old the first time she was in a shooting.   She was home in the kitchen looking for a cookie when she heard a “pop pop pop” sound.   Her mother rushed into the room and told her to get down.   Tanisha didn’t know what was happening.   “Hush, Baby,” her mom said wrapping the child in her arms and pulling her to the floor. “Someone’s out there shooting up the neighborhood.”   That was…

Read More

Cory Booker Opens His Presidential Campaign in New Orleans – Education Article

Cory Booker sent a complicated message at his campaign kickoff in New Orleans at Xavier University, where he was sponsored by charter chain and spoke to students. He told the audience that the power of the people outweighs the power of money. This is inspirational indeed. It says that those of us fighting the power of the Walton family, the Sackler family, the Koch brothers, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the DeVos family, Paul Singer, and the many other billionaires attacking…

Read More

System Leadership and School Improvement – Education Article

Reading Time: 1 minute How do we find the next generation of teachers to step up to leadership? In a high-stakes accountability system, how do we nurture the next generation of school leaders and reduce a football-manager-syndrome culture. This is a question I have been asking England’s inspection watchdog for a number of years … Macro accountability … Headteachers (at least that’s what they called themselves a decade ago) used to settle their disputes with the local authority, or with…

Read More

As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally – Education Article

  What a slap in the face!     In California, 30,000 Los Angeles teachers are on strike because charter schools are gobbling up their funding without providing the same level of quality services or accountability.     Meanwhile in New Orleans, Sen. Cory Booker is giving the keynote address at a charter school rally.     That wouldn’t be surprising if Booker was a Republican.     Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a big time champion of…

Read More

Los Angeles: First Charter Strike Ever in California – Education Article

A small number of charter schools have gone on strike in Los Angeles. This is remarkable because charter schools were created to eliminate teachers’ unions. That’s why the Waltons Fund them. That’s why DeVos and the Koch brothers fund them. The remarkable story in the following press release from UTLA is what happened when charter school parents tried to meet with the charter Zceo. Instead of listening to them, he called the police. MEDIA ADVISORYContact: Anna Bakalis, 213-305-9654Kim Turner, 213-305-9316…

Read More

NAEP Must Get Its Standards Right This Time – Top Performers – Education Article

Forgive me if I am a little cynical about the eternal dance between measurement and accountability when it comes to reporting on the progress and achievement of American school children.  From the beginning, the leaders of our state education systems have invited testing experts to help them set the cut points for passing or not passing the state tests.  They listen gravely to the advice of the experts, then ask them how many students will fail at the recommended cut…

Read More

Billionaire Heiress Lashes Out at Unions Because Her Fortune Didn’t Buy Election – Education Article

  Betsy DeVos is furious!   She and her family spent boatloads of money this election cycle and few of their candidates won.   Instead, lawmakers were largely selected by these things called… ew… voters.   She was so enraged that she used her platform as Secretary of Education – another prudent purchase by her family – to lash out at teachers unions for – get this – having too much influence!!!!!   She told Fox Business Network:   “The…

Read More

A Message from Bernie about UTLA Strike – Education Article

Just received. He gets it! Bernie SandersSisters and Brothers – There is something happening in Los Angeles that you need to know about and that we all need to do something about. Today, for the first time in 30 years, more than 30,000 Los Angeles public school teachers are on strike fighting for smaller class sizes and decent wages, for nurses, counselors and librarians in their schools, and against a coordinated effort from billionaires on the right to make money…

Read More

There Are Few Things As Reprehensible as a Scab – Education Article

  There is a special place in Hell for strikebreakers.   Some people kill. Some steal.   But only a filthy, disgusting scab can do all of that in one.   When you take someone else’s job, you’re stealing their bargaining power and killing the community’s chances for their kids.   This week as 30,000 teachers at Los Angeles Unified School District walked out demanding support for their students and their professions, a few slimy worms have crossed the picket…

Read More

The Holiday Season Brings Fear and Resentment for Many Students – Education Article

“I hate Christmas.”   Teachers hear that with surprising regularity around this time of year.   I hate Christmas. I hate Thanksgiving. I hate every holiday.   America’s public school students are living under tremendous pressure.   The social safety net is full of holes. And our children are left to fall through the ripped and torn fabric.   The sad fact is that one in four students in America’s classrooms have experienced a traumatic event.   So if your…

Read More