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…

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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…

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Responding to DeVos’s Negligent #SOTU19 Response – Education Article

With Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address in the rear-view mirror, we are left to reflect on and process the 82-minute sermon. Naturally, education received some attention in the speech, as it has for countless other SOTUs. This time, Trump shared 16 particular words about his education policy: “To help support working parents, the time has come to pass school choice for America’s children.” Despite issues around school violence, arming teachers, and inequitable district funding consistently swirling around…

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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…

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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,…

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Betsy DeVos’ Callous and Incompetent Management – Dropout Nation – Education Article

Over the past week, Elizabeth Prince DeVos has continued to make the case for last week’s Dropout Nation call for her resignation as U.S. Secretary of Education. Her dismal performance Sunday night on 60 Minutes (including an inability to articulate the case for expanding public charter schools and other forms of family choice in education) demonstrates that she remains as willfully ignorant about education policy issues as she was during her confirmation hearing last year. Meanwhile DeVos’ lack of soft…

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When Congressmen Lie About School Discipline Reform – Dropout Nation – Education Article

If you want to get a better sense of the shoddiness of the arguments of opponents of school discipline reform, especially when it comes to the Department of Education’s guidance on reducing the overuse of harsh school discipline, simply look at the traditional districts represented in Congress by Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who this morning, complained that the four-year-old Dear Colleague letter made school leaders “afraid” to discipline children in their care. Harris made this declaration during one of…

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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…

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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…

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Charter School Lobby Silent as Charter Teachers Continue Strike – Education Article

  Charter school teachers in Chicago are in their fourth day of a strike.   Yet I wonder why the leaders of the charter movement are quiet.   Where is Peter Cunningham of the Education Post?   Where is Shaver Jeffries of Democrats for Education Reform?   Not a word from Campbell Brown or Michelle Rhee?   Nothing from Bill Gates, Cory Booker, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?   Not a peep from Betsy DeVos or Donald Trump?   This…

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What Happened to 2018 As The Year of the Teacher? – Education Article

  This year teachers took their mission way beyond the classroom.   Starting in West Virginia, we staged half-a-dozen walkouts in red states across the country demanding a better investment in children’s educations and often getting it.   Then we took that momentum and stormed our state capitals and Washington, DC, with thousands of grassroots campaigns that translated into seats in government.   It was so effective and unprecedented that the story began circulating that 2018 would be known as…

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LA Teachers Strike is About Charter Schools and High Stakes Testing – Education Article

  On Monday more than 30,000 teachers at 900 schools in Los Angeles, California, will be on strike.   And unlike the wave of teachers strikes last year in red states like West Virginia, this time educators are taking to the streets due to the policies of Democrats.   At issue are things like lowering class sizes and providing more nurses, librarians and counselors.   But behind these issues lies one of the most important facts about our country.   When you…

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The Best and Worst of 2018 in Public Education – Education Article

2018 was by most measures a pretty great year for public education. It seemed that finally – finally – the conversation about the future of public education was headed in the right direction. The country was actually listening to educators. There were many other successes for public schools in 2018, but also enough disappointments and outrages to splash a little cold water on any year-end celebration. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights for 2018. (It’s hardly an exhaustive…

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The Tide May Be Turning on Billionaire Backers of Charter Schools in California – Education Article

For years, billionaires have donated millions to promote pro-privatization, school choice candidates in political races ranging from local school board, to state houses, to Washington, D.C. An avalanche of political donations from deep-pocketed national advocates for private-management of education—such as entrepreneur Eli Broad, the Walton family (heirs to the Walmart fortune), co-founder of the Gap retail chain Doris Fisher, and other wealthy ideologues—has elected politicians and promoted district leaders who have enacted school choice policies focused on private management. California has perhaps…

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A Gadfly’s Dozen: Top 13 Education Articles of 2018 (By Me) – Education Article

    I’m not going to mince words.   This year, 2018, has been a monster.   We’ve been fighting the dumbest and most corrupt President of our lives – Donald Trump. And we’ve been making progress.   Thanks to the midterm election blue wave in the U.S. House, Trump will finally have a check on his power.   We have more black and brown representatives, more women, more nationalities, ethnicities and faiths in the halls of power than ever…

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How Many Decisions Do Teachers Make Every Day? – Education Article

  Teaching is an exhausting job.   If you’re a parent, you know how tiring it is with just one or two kids.   Imagine having a room full of them — Twenty to thirty children, each demanding your attention, each requiring your urgent help – every minute, every day, for hours at a time.     Back in the late 1980s, before education became totally absorbed by standardized testing and school privatization, we used to wonder about the effects…

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Public School Students are Being Erased From TV, Movies and Other Media – Education Article

  Ninety percent of America’s students go to public schools.   But you wouldn’t know that if you opened a book, turned on the TV or went to a movie.   The media is engaged in a disinformation campaign erasing public schools and public school students from our entertainments.   It’s another way marketing and advertising is forced down our throats and into our leisure hours.   Not only do the multi-billion dollar corporations who fund these entertainments want to…

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