Tag Archives: public education

Pennsylvania: Speaker of the House Berates Public Schools and Their Teachers, Praises Charters

By dianeravitch, September 22, 2019

Once again, we are reminded that charter schools are a Republican cause, and their champion is Betsy DeVos.

Mike Turzai, Republican Speaker of the House in Pennsylvania, was on his way to a meeting with Betsy DeVos when he encountered some public school teachers, who were picketing with signs saying they loved their public schools.

Turzai found this deeply offensive, and he proceeded to lambaste the teachers as a “special interest group” defending a “monopoly.”

In the video, Turzai praised charter schools, which receive government funding but operate independently of the public school system, saying that in charter schools. “you have to care about each child, not about the monopoly.” He then claimed that the public school advocates were part of a monopoly

“What you care about is a monopoly and special interests,” said Turzai, whose district encompasses the North Hills municipalities of McCandless, Pine, Marshall, Bradford Woods, and Franklin Park.

One of the advocates then said, “I am little offended from that,” to which Turzai responded, pointing to the posters they were holding, “Oh, I am offended by your posters.”

One poster read “I love public schools.” The other read “Public Money for Public Schools.”

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Why Public Education Will Survive and Prevail

by Diane Ravitch,7/4/15

Do not be discouraged as you struggle to restore common sense and rationality to education policy. The corporate reformers have money and the political power that money buys, but it has no popular support. It misleads the public by calling its program “reform,” when its true program is privatization. It uses catchy and misleading names like “students first,” “children first,” “education reform now,” “Democrats for education reform.” But the truth will eventually prevail. They want to divert public money to unaccountable, privately managed schools and replace professional teachers with computers and low-wage temps.

All they have is money. We, the defenders of democracy and public education, have numbers. They could not fill a high school auditorium with their hard-core supporters if their paid underlings were excluded.

We, on the other hand, speak for tens of millions of parents and teachers who value public education and value their community’s public schools.

None of their “reform” strategies works: not high-stakes testing, not test-based teacher evaluation, not merit pay, not charters, not vouchers. Axiom: you can’t fail your way to success.

We will prevail. Not just because of our numbers, but because of our fundamental belief in equal opportunity for ALL children. Not SOME children. Not the strivers. ALL children.

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The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time?

By Diane Ravitch, June 1, 2015

The corporate reformers like to say that “school choice” is the civil rights issue of our time. This is a view shared by Jeb Bush, the Walton family, Scott Walker, and various other rightwingers whose real goal is to shrink the public sector by privatization and to eliminate unions.

But a recent story in the New York Times said that the loss of public sector jobs hurts African American workers disproportionately.

“Roughly one in five black adults works for the government, teaching school, delivering mail, driving buses, processing criminal justice and managing large staffs. They are about 30 percent more likely to have a public sector job than non-Hispanic whites, and twice as likely as Hispanics….

continue reading at Diane Ravitch

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The truth about charter schools: Padded cells, corruption, lousy instruction and worse results

by Jeff Bryant, Salon, 1/10/14

Charter schools are sold as an answer. With awful discipline and shocking scandals, many really cause new problems

Imagine your 5-year-old boy went to a school where he was occasionally thrown in a padded cell and detained alone for stretches as long as 20 minutes.

Or you sent your kid to an elementary school where the children are made to sit on a bare floor in the classroom for days before they can “earn” their desks.

Or your kid went to a school where she spent hours parked in a cubicle in front of a computer with a poorly trained teacher who has to monitor more than 100 other students.

Maybe you don’t have children or send them to private school? So how do you feel when you find out the local school that you pay for with your taxes is operating a scam that diverted millions of dollars through fake Medicaid billing?

Or the school used your tax dollars as “grants” to start up other profit-making enterprises … or pay lavish salaries – $300,000, $400,000 or more – to its administrators … or support a movement linked to a reclusive Turkish cleric being investigated for bribery and corruption.

Welcome to the world of charter schools….

see numerous links and continue reading at Salon

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