Friday, May 24, 2013

Chicago School Closings- 4 views

Chicago School Closings: The Largest in US History
Diane Ravitch, Karen Lewis, Randi Weingarten.
by Diane Ravitch
May 23, 2013
Never in U.S. history has a local school board - or any other board, appointed or elected - chosen to close 49 public schools.
That's what the Chicago Public Schools did yesterday.
Thousands of parents, students, and teachers objected, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his puppet board didn't care.
Yesterday was a day of infamy in Chicago and in the history of American education.
School boards exist to protect, improve, and support public schools, not to kill them.
The New York Times has written about this story and twice said that the school closings were the largest "in recent memory [2]."  The Times wrote this despite my telling them - twice - that these were the largest mass closure ever. I wish the reporters would explain whose "memory" they were relying on. Just yesterday I explained in an email that no public school district had ever closed 49 schools at one time. On this issue, the "Times" is not the newspaper of record but the newspaper of "recent memory."
Why does it matter? The phraseology removes the truly historic destruction that Rahm Emanuel is inflicting on children and schools in his city. He is wantonly destroying public education. He is punishing the teachers' union for daring to strike last fall. He will open more charter schools, staffed by non-union teachers, to pick up the kids who lost their neighborhood schools. Some of them will be named for the equity investors who fund his campaigns.
Rahm and his friends will laugh about the way he displaced 40,000 kids.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The tragedy in Oklahoma

Choosing Democracy: The tragedy in Oklahoma: In Moore, Oklahoma a teacher saved children's lives by covering them with her own body. No politicians were observed doing so.  ...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Choosing Democracy: Census Bureau ranks California 36th in school spe...

Choosing Democracy: Census Bureau ranks California 36th in school spe...: California’s  per-pupil spending was $1,421 below the national average in 2011, placing  it 36th in the nation accordin...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Choosing Democracy: k-12 Education Budget- The Governor's May Revise

Choosing Democracy: k-12 Education Budget- The Governor's May Revise: California. The Governor’s May Revise. Education Funding- From Dept. of Finance. With the passage of Proposition 30, the 2012...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Excellent new TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson on schools and creativity

New excellent talk.
Sir Ken Robinson.  On schools, education, teaching, and creativity.
“Education does not go on in the committee rooms of legislatures.” May, 2013.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Walmart heirs invest in Rhee's Students First

Laura Clawson.
StudentsFirst has been having a rough week, what with the bad publicity around their choice of one of the authors of Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" bill as "reformer of the year." The organization repudiated the bill in response, but didn't disown the legislator. In the meantime they've been blasted by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and many Democrats nationally who are realizing just how poisonous Michelle Rhee's agenda is. But it's also been a good week for StudentsFirst financially: The Walton Family Foundation is donating $8 million over two years. Sorry, not donating. "Investing."
Think about that for a minute. When the Walmart heirs take a break from paying workers so little they qualify for food stamps and refusing to pay Bangladeshi contractors enough to have fire extinguishers in their factories, their philanthropic agenda is right in line with the Michelle Rhee education policy agenda. This isn't a first, either; $8 million over two years represents an increase in the Walmart investment in StudentsFirst, but the Waltons have already been a substantial source of money, giving $3 million to StudentsFirst since late 2010. StudentsFirst is also only one of many corporate education policy groups the Waltons have backed to the tune of $1 billion so far. Just what might a family whose vast wealth comes from low-wage labor and fierce anti-unionism like so much about so-called education reform? There's the obvious effort to bust teachers unions. But there's more than that. As I wrote last year: