"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Kevin Carey on Diane Ravitch

"The Dissenter" https://newrepublic.com/article/97765/diane-ravitch-education-reform

I am getting reading to finish Wishing Away Goliath, Part 5.  In my digging around, I came across this 2011 assessment of Diane.  Well worth reading. 
A very insightful clip here:

I asked James Fraser if, as a historian, he could locate any consistent intellectual point of view in her work. He thought for a while before saying: “No. And that’s an interesting ‘No.’ I can’t really think of anything at this state, beyond her ability to use historical narrative in illustrating various points—sometimes hugely contradictory points!—about current debates in education.” 

The most consistent thing about Ravitch has been her desire to be heard. In many ways, she has never left the cramped, argumentative office of The New Leader in the 1960s. Her genius was in the construction of a public identity of partial affiliation—a university-based historian who never wrote an academic dissertation, a former government official whose career in public service lasted less than two years, an overseer of the national testing program with no particular expertise in testing, and a champion of public school teachers who has never taught in a public school. She enjoys the credibility of the sober analyst while employing all the tools of the polemicist.


Monday, August 24, 2020

New Covid Database for Schools and Colleges

If you are an educator living in a state like Tennessee whose governor lines up at every chance to lick Trump's boot, or preferably a little higher up on his sweaty, corpulent trunk, you will need some reliable data in terms of Covid infection rates.  From The Daily Beast:

MIAMI—Ever since she got fired from her job with the Florida Department of Health, Rebekah Jones refuses to stop gathering data on coronavirus cases and sharing it with the public. In the past four months, the 31-year-old architect of the state government’s COVID-19 dashboard built her own version of that product as a counterweight for data dissemination, emerging as a consistent and vociferous critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic

Now Jones is taking on the arduous task of tracking coronavirus cases inside schools and colleges across the country. The plan is to compile that data into a new dashboard she hopes will help everyone from parents to students to school board members to health officials wrap their heads around tough choices that have already shown signs of disaster.

“I started building it more than two weeks ago,” Jones told The Daily Beast. “It’s called the COVID Monitor. I want to make the data available to epidemiologists, researchers, school districts, and even governments. It’s always been my mission to give people the information they need to make informed decisions.” . . .

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Why I Protest for the P.O.

Video Link: https://www.newschannel5.com/news/national-politics/several-small-rallies-held-across-nashville-to-save-our-post-office

Save Our USPS Rally

By: Chris Davis

Posted at 3:56 PM, Aug 22, 2020

and last updated 5:44 AM, Aug 23, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — About 30 protesters gathered in front of lawmaker's offices in Nashville Saturday morning to send a message about the post office.

"People need their bills, their prescriptions," said longtime activist Venita Lewis.

"We just want to preserve the Postal Service," said Joe Counts, who attended with his family.

Controversy first erupted a few weeks ago, when U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy started an overhaul of the mail system just months before a Presidential election. That overhaul was projected to cause delivery delays across the country.

"We’re getting into political agendas and who the hell is worried about the people?" asked Lewis.

Now DeJoy has promised to delay those reforms until after the November election but the changes that were already made, like removing collection boxes in certain cities, will remain in place.

"Restore the operations of the post office as to what they before Mr. DeJoy who should be in DeJail came into office," said James Horn, who attended the protest with his wife.


Neither Alexander or Blackburn were in their offices at the time of the rally. Earlier this week, Blackburn called the reforms needed, and tweeted this out last weekend calling the controversy a hoax to discredit President Donald Trump.

"We have two senators that don’t seem too enthusiastic in terms of us having a fair election in the fall," said Horn.

Whether you call it a hoax or a harrowing abuse of power, it seems like this debate is unwrapped and here to stay. "This is what you see here now, people concerned with their government and how much of that government is about them," said Lewis.

Rallies like these were held across Nashville and across the country. DeJoy told a Senate committee on Friday he has no plans to step down.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Today's Action to Save the PO and the Election

Please feel free to use the letter below or any parts of it to write your elected federal officials TODAY (yes, I'm screaming).  Thank you--your children and grandchildren will thank you. 

[Find phone, email, and US mail here and here.]




Because I believe you to be among the 90 percent of Americans who deeply value the essential work of the United States Postal Service, I am writing to request your help. Media reports currently abound about deliberate efforts by the Trump Administration to hobble the USPS by cutting work hours, altering work rules and record keep requirements, removing postal collection boxes, decommissioning mail sorting equipment, reorganizing management to centralize power, and destroying hundreds of expensive barcode sorters. 


The President, himself, has admitted more than once an active role in disabling the capacity of the USPS to manage the millions of mail-in ballots that will be cast during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic this Fall. 


The question I put to you now is this: Will you use your voice and apply the power your office to halt the anti-democratic efforts underway to sabotage the most basic right of the American people for free and fair elections this Fall? 


The hundreds of millions of voters, businessmen, veterans, retirees, parents, college students, and regular taxpayers who depend upon the USPS require your help.  Please return to Washington, DC now, this week, and request that leaders of both the House and Senate immediately convene oversight hearings that require detailed explanations for the latest postal policy changes from the Postmaster General and the Board of Governors for the USPS.


Secondly, will you please push for the immediate passage by the Senate of provisions to include $25 billion for the USPS as part of the latest coronavirus economic assistance package passed by the House in May 2020?


Congress cannot wait until after Labor Day to act.  In order to make sure that the November election in conducted in a fair and impartial way that protects the integrity of our form of government, nonetheless, Congress must do everything possible now and until such assurances are guaranteed.  


Please respond with a public statement regarding your position and your intentions regarding this vital matter.  Thank you.




Friday, August 14, 2020

How Trump's Mob Dies at the PO

Today I stopped by the local PO and spent $100 on Forever Stamps. Took this selfie with Zona, the postal clerk. 


Now if 25% of 2016 presidential voters did the same, USPS would have the $3 billion they need. If you are waiting for Pelosi and Schumer to do something, you will be waiting long after democracy is buried in the U. S.

Do something today. Please pass it on! 

And tomorrow do something else. If everyone does just a little, a lot gets done.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Open Letter to LAUSD Board Regarding the Implementation of AB 1505

A copy of this letter was sent to each individual member via email

August 1, 2020

Dear Members of the Board of Education:

I am an educational rights attorney and law professor here in Los Angeles. I live within the boundaries of the Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”) and I am a registered voter.

I am writing you regarding the implementation of AB 1505. I’m asking you to vote YES on said implementation this Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

As you know, Assembly Bill No. 1505 went a long way towards reigning in the more egregious excesses of the charter school industry. Most notably, it discouraged the practice of “forum shopping” in which a charter school corporations found to be out of compliance with the law, and thus denied a petition or renewal, could circumvent the law by seeking authorization with another authorizer. Public policy supports placing more oversight and accountability on these private entities that divert funding from our public schools.

Assembly Bill No. 1505 also implemented a number of other student-centered policies that force the charter school industry to be more accountable, transparent, and responsive to the communities from which they draw their funding. A key issue advanced by AB 1505 was in regards to credentialing. Students in our communities deserve instruction from educators with appropriate education in child development and pedagogy.

A YES vote on the implementation of AB 1505 provides a path for placing pupils over profits.