No Testing Means No Problems, Right? So Says Trump and Mark Weber

The first tweet on this page is from Mark Weber, acolyte of teacher union leaders and affiliated groups like Education Law Center, NJ Policy Perspective, and Diane Ravitchy-types. Weber and his crew are opposed to standardized testing because it makes schools look bad. (See here for my take.) Doesn’t matter the vendor — could be the “gold star” NAEP tests or the despised PARCC tests — because having accurate measurements of student proficiency is less …

Hand Me The Barf Bag: I Agree With Trump Jr. On School Choice.

It is unacceptable that too many African American and Hispanic American children are stuck in bad schools, just because of their ZIP code. Agree or disagree? Personally I find this sentiment in line with my own values about educational equity. Certainly my friends and colleagues at brightbeam would sign onto this statement in a jiffy and, most likely, many of you too. So hold onto your hats: The statement above was uttered by Donald Trump, …

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Must Rise: Thoughts on Last Night’s Convention.

True confession: I didn’t watch the Democratic virtual convention last night. Currently I’m maintaining my mental health by mainlining “The West Wing,” sort of like Tom Hanks clinging to his volleyball while castaway for four years on a deserted island. But I did read media coverage this morning and listened to Bruce Springsteen’s anthem “The Rising,” first composed after the 9-11 attack in 2001 and repurposed for the convention. The video of the song that …

Donald Trump and Diane Ravitch Are Anti-Testing Soulmates

In these times of high anxiety it’s a boost to one’s spirits to discover a bit of serendipity. That moment came to me when, after reading about Trump’s Tulsa rally, I realized that he has a kindred spirit in none other than Diane Ravitch, foe of accountability, parent autonomy, and activists who are sick and tired of waiting for failed government institutions to equitably educate marginalized students.  Hold your fire! Let me explain. In Tulsa, …

Facing “Unprecedented Uncertainty,” Governors Ask DeVos For Promised Emergency Education Aid

On March 27th, two weeks ago last Friday, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to help industries getting slammed by COVID-19. Part of the money —$30 billion—is subtitled the “Education Stabilization Fund” (ESF) and earmarked for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. Of that $30 billion, $13.5 billion will be distributed to states and territories, which will then parcel it out to …

I Spit Out My Coffee When I Read Cory Booker’s Op-Ed: Nine Theories That Explain His Change of Heart.

I gasped as I opened the op-ed section of the New York Times this morning and read Senator Cory Booker’s column repudiating his regressive stance on public charter schools. Until he entered the Democratic presidential nominating contest Booker was one of the nation’s most eloquent supporters for school choice, with his hometown of Newark the proofpoint for the impact of a high-quality charter sector on a struggling school system. But when he entered the primary …

“Dear Mark”: A Veteran Teacher Gives Himself Ten Pieces of Advice As Another School Year Begins.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for ten years. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, and here. Dear Mark, You called out sick today (Thursday, September 6, 2007). Only your third day of school — ever! — and you lied about having a family emergency in Rhode Island. I know, you’re scared; not of the kids but of the …

Stacey Abrams Will Give the Democratic Response to Trump’s SOTU. Here’s What She Should Know About What Parents Really Want.

This is a guest post from my friend and colleague Erika Sanzi, who blogs at Good School Hunting. She is a mother of three sons and taught in public schools in Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island. She is currently a Fordham senior visiting fellow. Stacey Abrams became something of a household name in the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterms and tonight she will give the Democrat response to the President’s State of the …

Is Betsy DeVos on the Verge of Removing Civil Rights Protections for Students of Color?

(A different version of this piece appeared earlier this month at Education Post.) Let’s just call her Betsy DeVoid. Our secretary of education earns a name-change because of her predilection for voiding laws that protect our most disenfranchised students. First it was rescissions to the civil rights regulations that protect students with disabilities. Now it’s the 2014 Obama administration’s school discipline guidance, also based on civil rights law, that requires districts to address the wide …

Not Backpacks Full of Cash But Backpacks Full of Rights: NCSECS Takes On Special Education Equity in Charter Schools.

It’s a common complaint among those who look down their collective nose at public charter schools: they don’t serve their fair share of students with disabilities, or at least those with moderate to severe disabilities, and they counsel out kids who can’t deal with academic rigor, either back to their sending districts or to private placements at district expense. Let’s pay our respects to Mark Twain who said, “all generalizations are false, including this one.” …