Trump’s education secretary seemed to be at war with the idea of public education. How much can Joe Biden roll back her legacy?
Critics charge DeVos is exploiting a national public-health crisis to promote her agenda of privatizing public education.
California is one of the richest states in the nation but spends about the same on its students as states like Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and South Carolina, where the cost of living is far less than in California.
The 25-year experiment with charter schools has been a failure, former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch said this week at the annual conference of the Network for Public Education.
UCLA’s John Rogers on the Struggle for Democratic School Improvement.
Despite the trendy popularity of charter schools in some circles, their wholesale replacement of traditional public schools is unnecessary.
Charter schools, their lobbyists and choice proponents often discuss the underperformance of traditional public schools in the public discourse. But what data should be trusted by parents and policymakers alike when comparing charters with traditional public schools?
Many charter school advocates — often guided by a “free market” ideology — claim that charter schools force traditional public schools to innovate and provide better education. But in Detroit, where teachers and parents this week performed “walk ins” to show support for the city’s ailing public schools, the exact opposite has been true.
Detroit’s schools are in rough shape. The city’s traditional public school district, Detroit Public Schools (DPS), could face bankruptcy by April. On a recent tour of DPS schools, Mayor Mike Duggan found crumbling facilities, dead rodents, and children wearing coats in freezing classrooms.
But even though Detroit’s residents elected him, Duggan can’t do much to help. DPS has been under state control for seven years, ruled by a series of “emergency managers” with unchecked authority over democratically elected local officials. The same tactic of “running government like a business” played a crucial role in the Flint water crisis.
If there were still any doubt about Eli Broad’s desire to gut traditional public education, it has been erased by his much-discussed “Great Public Schools Now” initiative, a draft of which LA Times reporter Howard Blume obtained last month.
Broad’s 44-page proposal outlines plans to replace half of LAUSD’s existing public schools with charter schools. “Such an effort will gather resources, help high-quality charters access facilities, develop a reliable pipeline of leadership and teaching talent, and replicate their success,” states the document. “If executed with fidelity, this plan will ensure that no Los Angeles student remains trapped in a low-performing school.”
According to the proposal, Broad wants to create 260 new “high-quality charter schools, generate 130,000 high-quality charter seats and reach 50 percent charter market share.”
(Actually, LAUSD has 151,000 kids in charters now: 281,000 out of 633,000 LAUSD students is 43 percent. This isn’t the only imprecision in the proposal.)
The estimated cost of this LAUSD transformation would be nearly half-a-billion dollars.
Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released striking data about the rapid turnover of charter schools. CMD’s state-by-state list of closed charters shows that, since 2000, these schools have failed at a much higher rate than traditional public schools. And over this time, millions of federal dollars went to groups planning to start charter schools that never even opened.
Instead of giving children the ‘disruption’ of a school closure, we should do everything we can to give every child access to a great school.
Earlier this month, teachers and school staff in Seattle did just that. After a five-day strike, they won a better education for students at traditional public schools across the city. Elementary school students now have guaranteed daily recess, which many parents had wanted, and special education teachers will teach smaller, more individualized classes.