Monthly Archives: February 2018

February Comments 2/25/18

“Reform”, Charter, Choice, and Voucher Travails

New Zealand has a full choice system and no neighborhood schools. Results null to negative.  Choice and competition didn’t improve performance and some measure declined.

A poignant tale of the damage school closings have done in Chicago and a plea to halt closing four high-schools by the leader of the community based Mothers Against Senseless Killings and see one advocates fight against closing a Chicago school

John Merrow castigates Washington, DC misplaced “reform” efforts based on test results.

Similarly, the Washington Post reports on ongoing scandals in the district throwing into question touted results.

The latest CREDO report finds turnaround efforts in New Orleans and Tennessee fail to produce results.

Princeton professors find that charter schools in Texas produce no improvements in test scores and negative results on later earnings.

We estimate the impact of charter schools on early-life labor market outcomes using administrative data from Texas. We find that, at the mean, charter schools have no impact on test scores and a negative impact on earnings. No Excuses charter schools increase test scores and four-year college enrollment, but have a small and statistically insignificant impact on earnings, while other types of charter schools decrease test scores, four-year college enrollment, and earn- ings. Moving to school-level estimates, we find that charter schools that decrease test scores also tend to decrease earnings, while charter schools that increase test scores have no discernible impact on earnings.

Gary Rubinstein, similarly, finds that 5 of the 6 schools in the Tennessee Achievement District failed to improve after six years and remain tin the bottom five present.

Even the Wall Street Journal reports that vouchers are ineffective.

Diane Ravitch quotes Bill Phillis on how Ohio wasted $10 billion on charter schools.

Larry Cuban, Spilling the Beans on Personalized Learning

EdSource’s article, The Jury is Still Out on Personized Learning

An article by Anya Kamentz blows the whistle on virtual schools and their political use of parents.

Another in a continued series of articles showing students in on-line schools fall significantly behind.

A virtual charter scheme in Maine slammed.

Award-winning expose finds Florida scholarship voucher program rife with fraud and chaos.

What Tax Payers Should Know About School Choice.

Jeff Bryant reports on the use of the Puerto Rican disaster to justify closing and selling of the island’s public schools.  and in the same vein

Mercedes Schneider laments that Florida’s voucher tax credit scheme creates “a la carte” education.

Diane Ravitch reports on a New Jersey poll which shows overwhelming parental support for public schools but opposition to too much testing.

Jeff Bryant writes about the closure in Ohio of one of the largest online schools in the country, the troubled ECOT, strands 12,000 students and is ignored by choice advocates.


Another in a string of reports of charter schools closing and leaving students adrift. This Rocketship  charter  in Nashville closed a few months after it opened due to low enrollment.

Diane Ravitch reports on an Arizona school that went bankrupt while the CEO withdrew a million dollars. Arizona has almost no accountability for charter schools.

A high profile charter school leader in Atlanta pleads guilty to stealing  half a million dollars from charter school funds. (He did)

Claire Smrekar, quoted in Larry Cuban’s blog asks, What We Can Learn from Closure of [an All Girls] Charter School That DeVos Praised as ‘Shining Example’

Steven Singer highlights a “reform” groups findings that charter school expansion has significantly slowed.

John Thompson laments many participants in a high-level meeting by “reformers” on why Bush and Obama reform efforts produced such few results demonstrate continued hostility to teachers.

Merit pay produces trivial growth.


Build and Support Efforts that Work; Money Matters

California’s increased funding and ambitious improvement efforts are paying off.

Tale of two states: Oklahoma irresponsibly cut taxes on the wealthy causing a massive budget shortfall and now public schools are on a shortened week schedule; California raised taxes on the wealthy and invested in its public schools.

Aspen Institute report on the best ways to organize professional learning systems for  teachers and education staff around student learning.

How to teach the hard facts about slavery. A poll showed only 8% of students picked “protecting slavery” as the reason the South seceded

Studying the humanities pays off.

Learning Forward’s report on how the best schools systems support continuous learning around a high quality curricula.

The gap between what is known about teaching beginning reading and how it is being taught. and here is a link on how to do it right.

The benefits of “Strength Based Learning”


Privatization and Other Anti-Public School Measures

A heartbreaking story of why money matters. One of the best public schools with highly dedicated teachers forced to make devastating cuts from funding reductions.

Jeff Bryant on how the Koch brothers plan to sabotage public education.

Diane Ravitch in the New York Review of Books reviews two important books about how big money forces in this country, both radical and corporate, are harming public education. One is Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth for America. The other is Gordon Lafer’s The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time.

An article in American Prospect shows how religious extremists dupe the charter movement. Proselytizers and the Privatizers;  how religious sectarian school voucher extremists made useful idiots of the charter movement.

Atlantic article on how the GOP/Trump tax bill subverts public education.

The Center for American Progress lists how Trump and DeVos’s budget continues to undermine our public schools.

Educators say that Trump’s proposed budget cuts will devastate science education.


Technology and Social Media

Undercover high-school attendees find seven major differences with students in high-school today and the pervasive effects of social media.

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