John Thompson: Why Bill Gates Must Read Anthony Cody’s Book

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

John Thompson reviews Anthony Cody’s néw book THE EDUCATOR AND THE OLIGARCH. The book recapitulates Cody’s five-part debate with the Gates Foundation. Thompson says Cody demolished their spokesmen.

Thompson writes that Cody won the debate, hands down:

“They probably didn’t expect a mere teacher to assemble and concisely present such an overwhelming case against their policies. But, who knows?, perhaps they were completely unaware of the vast body of social science that Cody drew upon, and they blamed the messenger for the education research he brought to the table. The Educator and the Oligarch explains how the failed Gates reforms could create an education dystopia.”

Best of all is Thompson’s summary of Cody’s proposal for how Gates ought to be evaluated.

Example:

“Since Bill Gates, more than any other person, is responsible for the absurd evaluations that are now being imposed on teachers, Cody wonders if Gates’ practice as a…

View original 112 more words

Annenberg Institute Proposes New Rules for Charter Schools

Kiersten Marek:

Interesting ideas and proposals for how to make charter schools more accountable…

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Warren Simmons, president of the Annenberg Institute, here releases a set of rules for the operation of charter schools intended to make them transparent and accountable. The question he raises is whether charters can become not only more transparent and accountable, but can they operate without damaging public schools.

The report recognizes that some charters have no interest in accountability or transparency. Indeed, there are so many well-documented cases of fraud and abuse that it is hard to be sure that this industry can be regulated, especially when it has often made sizable campaign contributions to legislators in a position to write regulations.

The Annenberg report begins:

In the last two decades, charter schools have grown into a national industry with 2.5 million students, more than 6,000 schools, and a burgeoning market of management services, vendors, policy shops, and advocacy organizations. State laws and charter authorizing standards have not kept…

View original 353 more words

This Blog Just Reached 15 Million Page Views! Thank You, Readers!

Kiersten Marek:

The best blog I know for following K-12 education and politics.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

I just noticed that the blog has had 15,000,050 page views since its inception on April 26, 2012.

I am amazed and gratified.

Thank you to the readers who are here everyday, commenting, sending articles from your town, city  or state.

Thank for for engaging in thoughtful dialogue in the comment section.

Some of the best-read blogs have been written not by me, but by you.

The blog has become a hub of the resistance to high-stakes testing and privatization. I will continue to highlight the hard work you do to strengthen your public schools, to stand up for children, and to defend real education, as opposed to the massive machinery of data collection that is now promoted by the U.S. Department of Education and the Gates Foundation. I will continue to honor those parents, students, and educators who speak out for real education and for treating students and teachers…

View original 154 more words

Richard Brodsky: Wall Street and Rightwing Billionaires are Key Players in Education Policy

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Richard Brodsky was one of New York’s most enlightened state legislators. He is currently a senior fellow at the Wagner School at New York Univetsity.

In this article, he describes the new politics of education: the policy debates are now dominated by hedge fund managers and rightwing billionaires.

When people like me say these things, the corporate reformers say derisively, “Conspiracy theory.”

Brodsky is a level-headed veteran of state politics. This is what he says:

“The usual participants [in legislative debates about education] have been school boards, parents, unions, the education establishment and the occasional adventurous elected official. Starting a few years ago, and more so now, there are new players in New York. The brawny and outspoken new kid is the hedge fund community.

“Say what? Well, there are millions in hedge fund dollars now floating around. Generalities are a little dangerous, but it’s fair to say that…

View original 396 more words

Bob Herbert on “The Plot Against Public Education: How Millionaires and Billionaires Are Ruining Our Schools”

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Readers of this blog understand the corporate assault on public education. With few exceptions, you know of Bill Gates’ belief that metrics can solve all the world’s problems. You are aware from the events in your state or district that corporate raiders look at the public schools as a way to get rich with their sales pitch for a charter school, a charter chain, a cyberschool, a professional development gig, or new technology.

Again and again, the question arises: How do we get the story to the mainstream media when media giants are cashing in on testing and technology? How can we make the voices of parents and teachers heard?

Here it is. Bob Herbert, who was a columnist for the New York Times, tells the story in his new book, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America (Doubleday).

Herbert’ explains “The Plot Against Public Education: How…

View original 336 more words

BUYING AT OUR MARKET IS A SNAP; HORSES AND HAYRIDES, TRINITY CHURCH BAKES

From the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market:

Rain promises to hold off until the afternoon on Saturday, so spend the morning gathering great fall food and decorative elements from our farmers. Pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks make attractive and sustainable displays for Halloween, Sukkot and Thanksgiving.

Remember that our market accepts SNAP/EBT at the market welcome table, and that we offer a 40% bonus that can buy more fruits, vegetables and herbs. We also take WIC and Senior coupons.

And the hayrides are coming! Friends of Pawtuxet Village sponsors this annual event, with a horse drawn wagon trotting through the village. Reservations recommended.

Trinity Church will be selling delicious treats tomorrow as well.

And Farmer Frank of PV Farmstand has extra lean sliced bacon, on sale for $9.99 /lb for preorders. He also says the turkeys are going fast, so reserve yours today.

See you at the market.

Can LA’s Approach to Homelessness Become a National Model? Hilton Hopes So

With two recent grants to Pathways to Housing and LA Family Housing, the Hilton Foundation is continuing its efforts to end homelessness in Los Angeles. Those efforts go back over 20 years, and the foundation has funded a range of approaches to this problem over time. Hilton hasn’t just been a funder in this space. It’s been a convener of different stakeholders. Currently, the foundation is well into a five-year Chronic Homelessness Strategic Initiative.

Can LA’s Approach to Homelessness Become a National Model? Hilton Hopes So – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.