Category: Education

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A Simple Solution to Fix the Problem of our Failing Public Education System

Let me begin with an apology: I have intentionally lured you here under false pretenses. What do I mean? I’ve used that favorite strategy of internet hoaxes and supermarket tabloids, the “click bait headline”, to catch your eye, whet your appetite, and influence you to “click” the link, which brought you here. According to Wikipedia, “click bait headlines” rely on […]

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How Trump’s tax scam fuels the red state education revolts

How Trump’s tax scam fuels the red state education revolts

If we can afford to give the Kochs $1 billion a year, maybe your kid’s teacher shouldn’t have to drive an Uber at night Around 125 teachers and their supporters marched from Oklahoma City to Tulsa this week to demand the state restore funds to the state’s starved schools. The Guardian’s Mike Elk reported that the marchers were met with […]

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Poor communities in Michigan still paying the costs of Emergency Managers. One of them sold off the school playground equipment.

Poor communities in Michigan still paying the costs of Emergency Managers. One of them sold off the school playground equipment.

In April of 2012, control over Muskegon Heights schools was handed over to an un-elected Emergency Manager, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. By July, Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon had signed a contract to turn the entire public school system over to the for-profit charter school operator Mosaica. Two years later the district was still insolvent and having to borrow almost […]

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Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Secretary of Education and Saturday Night Live fixture Betsy DeVos is fond of saying that picking a school should be as easy as choosing an Uber or a Lyft. She bases this belief on the economic theories that buttress much of the neo-liberal and conservative approach to education reform: As economist Milton Friedman had theorized decades earlier, Ohio legislators believed […]

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Apparently unfamiliar with “libraries”, GOP Gov. candidate Bill Schuette proposes radical idea of “dedicated reading centers” to solve illiteracy crisis in Michigan

Apparently unfamiliar with “libraries”, GOP Gov. candidate Bill Schuette proposes radical idea of “dedicated reading centers” to solve illiteracy crisis in Michigan

Despite state spending of nearly $80 million to improve early reading skills in Michigan school kids, reading scores have actually gone DOWN since 2014 in our state. Not even the threat of being held back a year by state law was enough to frighten and threaten these children into learning to read better. Michigan’s Republican Attorney General, a man who […]

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Secretary Betsy DeVos at CPAC 2017 Feburary 23rd 2017 by Michael Vadon

Betsy DeVos attacks teachers as “defenders of the status quo”–here’s why that makes no sense

Speaking at a conservative political conference recently, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called teachers and public education advocates “defenders of the status quo.” Indeed, it has become one of her favorite insults, and one she seems to use increasingly when she feels defensive or under attack–something that happens pretty frequently. The term “status quo” means “the existing state of affairs, […]

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Tahoe Elementary School, Sacramento, CA

The sinister motive behind Trump & DeVos’ plan to “harden schools”

The news has been full of reports over the last few weeks on the need to “harden” our schools in response to the seemingly daily onslaught of school shootings in our nation. Many of our elected officials, such as President* Donald Trump and Secretary of Education* Betsy DeVos, have called for teachers and other school personnel to be given firearms […]

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Betsy DeVos is wrong about competition improving public schools

Betsy DeVos claimed last night, in her disastrous “60 Minutes” interview with Lesley Stahl, that “choice” (in the form of vouchers and charter schools) is the solution to improving public education–specifically, that when competition is inserted into the “education marketplace” it forces traditional public schools to improve.   But that’s just flat-out wrong. For a deeper dive into why this […]

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Getty Images; David McGlynn

The Educational Malpractice of Ms. Moskowitz

Elizabeth Green, the founder of “Chalkbeat,” an online education site, is out with a fawning, sycophantic puff piece on Eva Moskowitz, the leader of the Success Academy network of charter schools in New York City. Some of my favorite edubloggers have already responded with their thoughts (Peter Greene, aka Curmudgication; Mercedes Schneider here), so I’ll make my comments on this […]

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Secretary Betsy DeVos at CPAC 2017 Feburary 23rd 2017 by Michael Vadon

Betsy DeVos Sure Gets Confused Easily

Remember when U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos scrapped the Obama administration’s guidelines on campus sexual assault because they were “confusing“? Remember how some Very Serious People, even liberals, praised this as a good-faith effort? (Some folks seem to believe that there’s an epidemic of really good guys being falsely accused of rape and this is the worst thing in the […]

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Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong

Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made headlines this week at Harvard University. I’m still confused as to why Harvard invited her to speak at an event allegedly focused on public education–she never attended a public school, never sent her own children to a public school, never studied education, and has never taught anyone anything–and the reaction to her talk suggests […]

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