School Choice

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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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.…

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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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Cory Booker Is No Friend Of Public Education – Education Article

The field of Democratic presidential candidates is wide open. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Kamala Harris have all dipped their toes in the chilly water that is the 2020 election. Choices are usually positive in most things, except when it comes to school choice.  Of all the politicians mentioned above, Cory Booker, the former mayor of Newark, New Jersey is the least friendly to public education.  He is a Republican in a Democrat’s suit.  If you…

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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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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…

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On Nobel Prizes That Do Not Yet Exist and Other Exciting Matters – Top Performers – Education Article

First, a shout-out to Hank Levin, who wrote me to point out that, in attributing a Nobel Prize in Economics to Nikolai Kondratieff in a recent blog, I awarded him a prize that did not yet exist when he died.  That was embarrassing.  I work hard to be accurate in these pages, but now a whopper like that gets through. Mike Petrilli picked up on my recent blog on system gateways and honesty in setting education goals in his most…

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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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David Osborne on Reinventing Government (of Schools) – Top Performers – Education Article

Twenty-five years ago, David Osborne, a journalist now based at the Progressive Policy Institute, and Ted Gaebler, a former city manager, wrote a book called Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector that got a lot of attention among city and state officials all over the United States. In it, the authors advanced a set of powerful ideas designed to transform tired bureaucracies into high performance organizations driven by strong incentives to deliver and constantly improve…

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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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