Video: The Progressive Fellows at the NPE Conference on racial equity (or a lack thereof)

The Progressive Magazine selected 12 blogger/journalists from around the country to contribute to The Progressive website on a regular basis. I was fortunate enough to be one of the Fellows selected. At the Network for Pubic Education conference held in … Continue reading Video: The Progressive Fellows at the NPE Conference on racial equity (or a lack thereof)

School “Choice”: What it really means

This was first posted on EduShyster and I am reposting it here because it pertains to Seattle and the ongoing fight to keep our schools public and democratic. The scenario of what happened in New Orleans is not pretty. Big Easy, Little Choice by Ashanna Bigard If New Orleans is being held up as a model for the schools in your community, I have some advice for you. Fight harder than you’ve ever fought to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. When I talk about *choice* in New Orleans I use quotations with both fingers and I wink … Continue reading School “Choice”: What it really means

So much for school choice in New Orleans and elsewhere

Karran Harper-Royal, an advocate for all children in public schools, works tirelessly in New Orleans and beyond in ensuring an equitable education for all against many odds. Mrs. Harper-Royal has begun a collection of video recordings of herself and others as they describe the reality of the so-called miracle of New Orleans charter schools. The first video is one of Mrs. Harper-Royal as she speaks in front of the school board in New Orleans in 2011 when promises by Paul Vallas, then the superintendent of the New Orleans School District, were not kept. By the way, Paul Vallas is another … Continue reading So much for school choice in New Orleans and elsewhere

For KIPP charter schools, more computer time, less class time

With the Race to the Top (RTTT) funds dwindling, charter schools are having to balance their books and keep their CEO’s well paid by cutting out face-to-face class time with teachers and instead, placing those students in front of computer screens. They refer to this as “blended learning”. I have another word for it but I won’t use that word here. First KIPP was replacing qualified and certified teachers with Teach for America, Inc. (TFA) recruits with five weeks of training now it’s cutting costs by adding computers and subtracting teachers. This is a trend that is, unfortunately, catching on … Continue reading For KIPP charter schools, more computer time, less class time

Weekly Update: The charter school debacle in New Orleans, eight year olds grading their teachers in Georgia and more on Bill Gates

The Weekly Update: News you might have missed. With Initiative 1240, the charter school  initiative backed by Bill Gates who has provided $1M to the cause, looking like it will be appearing on the ballot this fall, more folks are starting to talk about charter schools in our state. Fortunately the word so far is that most people don’t want charter schools, just like the last three times it was voted on in a general election. Folks in our state want their schools to be adequately funded. Period. Someone sent me this comment that was posted on the Seattle Schools … Continue reading Weekly Update: The charter school debacle in New Orleans, eight year olds grading their teachers in Georgia and more on Bill Gates

The Cruel Hoax of “Choice” With Charter Schools

Karran Harper Royal, a Founding Member of Parents Across America, works as an Education Advocate in New Orleans. She is the Assistant Director of  Pyramid Community Parent Resource Center and the former Training Coordinator for the New Orleans Parent Organizing Network.  Her work at Pyramid involves providing one on one support to parents of children with disabilities and conducting workshops to help parents understand their rights under federal special education law.   In addition to working with Pyramid and New Orleans Parent Organizing Network, Mrs. Harper Royal is a contributor to Research on Reforms and provides a parent voice to the … Continue reading The Cruel Hoax of “Choice” With Charter Schools

How Arne Duncan is Transforming New Orleans Public Schools

Few of us can forget Arne Duncan’s now infamous quote that Hurricane Katrina “was the best thing to happen to the education system in New Orleans”. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, charter school enterprises came in along with Teach for America and “transformed” the education system of that city. For a description of what happened during that period and why, read Naomi Klein’s introduction to her book The Shock Doctrine. For other views on whether Duncan and Co. have succeeded with their grand plan see the Institute on Race and Poverty: New Orleans School Experiment is Not Serving the … Continue reading How Arne Duncan is Transforming New Orleans Public Schools

Lessons from Chicago: Good Reform, Bad Reform?

This commentary was written by Kristin, one of our contributors. Dora Lessons From Chicago: Good Reform, Bad Reform? Talking with other parents about the corporate-funded “education reform” that’s currently taking place in the United States, I have been really surprised to the extent at which other parents – parents I respect – support policies that I see as extremely destructive to education in general. While I see charter schools, increased standardized testing, and replacement of certified teachers with Teach for America recruits as harming our children, others see them as desperately needed solution for longstanding inequalities in education. Why the … Continue reading Lessons from Chicago: Good Reform, Bad Reform?

New Scandal for Seattle Public Schools: Popular Principal Fired by Interim Supt. Enfield, Protests Planned

So it looks like the Seattle Public School District is averaging a scandal every two months. Not a propitious start to a big levy and election year. The latest controversy is the unexpected summary firing of well-respected and beloved Principal Martin Floe of Ingraham High School. Parents, students, staffers and prospective Ingraham families are reacting with shock, outrage and support for Floe, calling him “a class act.” They are also weighing in at the Seattle Times (Principal of Seattle’s Ingraham High School to be replaced). An apparently spontaneous and unanimous statement of confidence in Principal Floe (posted below) was signed … Continue reading New Scandal for Seattle Public Schools: Popular Principal Fired by Interim Supt. Enfield, Protests Planned

A Few Words from Diane Ravitch on Education Reform

What I Learned in New Orleans by Diane Ravitch Posted on November 9, 2010 on Bridging Differences. Dear Deborah, The elections brought a barrage of bad news for supporters of public education. A number of governors and legislators were elected who support the corporate reform model. They will promote vouchers, charters, merit pay, more testing, tougher accountability, evaluating teachers by test scores, and anything else that is guaranteed to cause dissension and demoralization among the men and women who work in our nation’s public schools. It’s sad for teachers and administrators and will be catastrophic for the quality of education. … Continue reading A Few Words from Diane Ravitch on Education Reform