Don’t Extend Kids’ School Day; Shorten Parents’ Work Week – Education Article

It’s rough being the parent of an American school student.You often leave for work before your kids have even made it to school yet – and you get home long after they’ve returned.When exactly are you supposed to parent?   Your kids have to get themselves to school. They have to get themselves home. And helping with homework, talking about their days, even setting a good example are all luxuries you have to pay dearly for with an ever-shrinking amount…

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There Are No Bernie Bros, Just Diverse Supporters Being Made Into What They’re Not – Education Article

 It’s time to call the whole “Bernie Bros” phenomenon exactly what it is – racist, sexist, homophobic propaganda.     I don’t mean that Bernie Sanders’ supporters are any of those things.     I mean that the term used to lump us all together is.     There is no monolithic group of angry straight men backing the Vermont Senator’s bid for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. Nor was there in 2016.    A substantial portion of…

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Trump Administration’s “Junk Food Loophole” is Symptomatic of School Privatization – Education Article

  Who wants children to eat more junk food?     Apparently the Trump administration does.     This seemed to be the Department of Agriculture’s concern when it announced plans last week to further reduce regulations for healthy meals at the nation’s public schools.   The Department’s new scheme would change the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to include what critics call a “junk food loophole” in meals offered at public schools – usually breakfasts and lunches.  …

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AstroTurf Alert: National Parents Union is Thinly Veiled Union Busting Backed by Billionaire Cash – Education Article

 How do you do something disgusting without hurting your image?     If you’re the Walton Family, you hide behind a mask.     That’s what their latest AstroTurf front group is – the so-called National Parents Union (NPU).     It’s a way to bust teachers unions, destroy public schools and profit off of students behind the guise of a friendly parents organization.     Oh, it’s all funded with oodles of cash from the Walton family and other…

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Sixteen Gadfly Articles That Made Betsy DeVos Itch in 2019
 – Education Article

  “Life can only be understood backwards,” wrote Søren Kierkegaard, “but it must be lived forwards.”  I remember reading the Danish philosopher’s “Fear and Trembling” in my philosophy of religion class back in college.   To be honest I was never a big fan of his work – I thought if the only way to truth was taking a leap of faith, how many madmen have already reached enlightenment?     But he had a point when he wrote about…

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Why is Accountability Too Much to Ask of Charter Schools? – Education Article

NOTE: Not an exact quote but Allen wrote a book “Charting a New Course The Case for Freedom, Flexibility & Opportunity Through Charter Schools” that proposes just this idea.  If you hire someone to buy your groceries, you’ll probably ask for a receipt.   That’s really all education advocates want from the charter school industry.   Charter schools are bankrolled with tax dollars but often run by private businesses.   Is it too much to ask these businesses to account…

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Public School Teacher Questions for 2020 Dem Presidential Candidates – Education Article

      What happens when you give a microphone to a public school teacher?     That’s not a rhetorical question. I really want to know, because we so rarely let educators speak in any context other than the classroom.     Maybe that’s why it’s so refreshing that MSNBC is hosting “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Justice for All”on Saturday, Dec. 14, in my hometown of Pittsburgh.     Public policy is usually made by billionaires who…

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Eight Things I Love About Elizabeth Warren’s Education Plan – And One I Don’t – Education Article

 My daughter had bad news for me yesterday at dinner.   She turned to me with all the seriousness her 10-year-old self could muster and said, “Daddy, I know you love Bernie but I’m voting for Elizabeth.”  “Elizabeth Warren?” I said choking back a laugh.   Her pronouncement had come out of nowhere. We had just been discussing how disgusting the pierogies were in the cafeteria for lunch.  And she nodded with the kind of earnestness you can only have…

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Racial Disparity in Student Discipline Isn’t All About Race – Education Article

In 2016, the poorest 50% of American adults had an average net worth (home and financial assets minus debt) of just $7,500. To make matters worse, only a year previously it was $9,000. The difference all went to the top 1% who gained an average of $1.5 million during that same year.   These facts have real world consequences for every level of society – especially how our children behave in school.   CONSEQUENCES   It seems clear then that…

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Inside Bill Gates’ Hubris: Propaganda to Make America Neoliberal Again – Education Article

 Once upon a time, the world was run by rich men.   And all was good.   But then the world was conquered by other rich men.   And that is something the first group of rich men could not allow.   That is the reason behind Netflix’s new film “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates.”   The three-part documentary goes live on Sept. 20. But the film’s aims are clear from the trailer.   It’s a vanity project about…

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Busing and School Segregation Used for Politics not Policy – Education Article

 If children of all races went to the same schools with each other, it would be harder to treat them unequally.   Moreover, it would be harder for them to grow up prejudiced because they would have learned what it’s like to have classmates who are different from them.   And though most people agree with these premises in principle, our laws still refuse to make them a reality in fact.   Perhaps that’s why it was so astounding when…

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Top 10 Reasons Bernie Sanders’ Education Policies Are Light Years Ahead of Everyone Else’s – Education Article

    For most of my life, the United States has been neglecting its public school children – especially the black and brown ones.   Since the mid 1970s, instead of integrating our schools, we’ve been slowly resegregating them on the basis of race and social class.   Since the 1980s, instead of measuring academic success by the satisfaction of an individuals curiosity and authentic learning, we’ve been slowly redefining it to mean nothing but achievement on standardized tests.  …

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Sell Your Soul to the Testocracy: Kamala Harris’s Faustian Teacher Raises – Education Article

 I love the idea of Kamala Harris’ plan to give teachers a pay raise.  But once we get past ideas, it’s way more troubling.   The California Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful is proposing a $13,500 pay increase for the average teacher, with the exact number based on the size of each state’s pay gap.  That’s $315 billion more over a decade through federal matching funds, which amounts to a 23 percent salary increase for most educators.   Yes, please!…

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Diane Ravitch’s New Book is a Fun and Breezy Romp Through the Maze of School Policy – Education Article

Imagine you could talk with Diane Ravitch for 10 to 15 minutes everyday.  That’s kind of what reading her new book, “The Wisdom and the Witt of Diane Ravitch”, is like.  You’ve probably heard of Ravitch before.   She’s the kindly grandmother you see on the news who used to think standardized tests and school privatization were the way to go but actually had the courage to pull an about face.   She’s that rare thing in public policy –…

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The Forgotten Disaster of America’s First Standardized Test – Education Article

  The merry-go-round of history continues to spin because the riders forget they are free to get off at any time.   But we rarely do it. We keep to our seats and commit the same stupid mistakes over and over again.   Take high stakes standardized testing.   It was a disaster the very first time it was attempted in America – in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1845.   Yet we continue to prescribe the same error to students in…

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The Best School Innovation Would Be More People – Education Article

  Public schools thrive on innovation.   In nearly every classroom around the country you’ll find teachers discovering new ways to reach students and foster skills, understanding and creativity.   But if you pan out to the macro level, the overwhelming majority of innovations aren’t organic. They’re imposed on us by bureaucrats and functionaries from outside the classroom:   Education Technologies.   School privatization.   Standardized tests and Common Core.   For the last two decades, these are the kinds…

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