Lack of Oversight of Federal Charter Schools Program Cheats Taxpayers, Students, Families, and Local Public Schools


The impact of federal investment in the Charter Schools Program has been in the news this month thanks to the Network for Public Education’s stunning new report, Asleep at the Wheel, which exposes the number of schools across the states that received millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program but never opened or, after opening, subsequently shut down.  The Network for Public Education (NPE) documents the waste of hundreds of millions of dollars out of the total $4 billion that has been spent on the Charter Schools Program (CSP), which has been operated with an outrageous absence of oversight. A third of the schools whose startup or expansion was seeded by the CSP are currently not in operation.

Last week the Network for Public Education expanded its coverage of abuses in the Charter Schools Program by breaking down the numbers to show how much…

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High School Students Stand Up for Press Freedom and Public Education


A society’s public institutions reflect the strengths and also the faults and sins of the culture they embody. For this reason, America’s public schools that serve over 50 million children in every kind of community will never be perfect. There will be instances of mediocrity and examples of poor school administration and poor teaching. There will be schools stuck in the past and schools where there is sexism and racism—schools where poor children aren’t served up the kind of curriculum that rich children are offered—schools where families persist in segregating their children from others who are “not like them.”  We must expose the problems in our schools and surely, as a society, we are obligated to address our schools’ faults and problems.

But something else has happened in America as we have permitted advocates for privatization to capture our national imagination. How did so many come to view public schools…

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An ADHD Medical Device Again Raises Questions about Classroom Rigor and the Lack of Recess

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that 5 percent of American children have ADHD. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the number at more than double the APA’s number. The CDC says that 11 percent of American children, ages 4 to 17, have the attention disorder.

~The A.D.D. Resource Center, Oct 11, 2017

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the use of drugs to control behavior has always been controversial. Now, a new medical device approved by the FDA called the eTNS System (TNS stands for Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation) has been approved by the FDA. It’s designed for 7 to 12 year-old children not on ADHD medication.

It once again raises questions about ADHD and whether today’s strict academic classroom rigor, time spent facing screens, and the loss of recess contributes to the problem.

According to the report,

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that 5 percent of American children have ADHD. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the number at more than double the APA’s number. The CDC says that 11 percent of American children, ages 4 to 17, have the attention disorder. ~The A.D.D. Resource Center, Oct […]

Testing Resistance & Reform News: From FairTest, April 23, 2019

Home “How much more evidence do some policy-makers and their big-money donors need before they admit that high-stakes testing driven education “reform” is a failure? This week’s news clips provide more ammunition for activists fighting to replace standardized exam overkill with assessments that help improve learning and teaching — as you will see, meaningful victories are increasingly common.”


Most Teachers Don’t Teach Climate Change; 4 In 5 Parents Wish They Did

More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school.

A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory — 86% agree that climate change should be taught.


MI Ed Board members weigh in on controversial social studies standards

Teacher standing in front of a classroom of children.

This week, the public can start weighing in on the latest draft of revised social studies standards for Michigan’s K-12 schools.

The standards lay out guidelines on what content should be covered in social studies classes and lessons for different grade levels. State officials have been working on revising them for the past five years.


ZINNEDPROJECT.ORG April 23, 1951: 16-Year-Old Barbara Johns Leads a Student Strike – Zinn Education Project

#tdih 1951 Barbara Johns (16-years-old) led her classmates in a walkout to protest the substandard conditions of her school in Prince Edward Cty, Virginia. Portrait by Robert Shetterly of Americans Who Tell the Truth.

Learn more & find the book for middle school “The Girl from the Tar Paper School” below.



Federal Charter Schools Program Wasted Nearly $36 Million on Ohio Schools That Never Opened or Soon Closed


Several weeks ago the Network for Public Education (NPE) released Asleep at the Wheel, a major report on the lack of accountability and subsequent waste and fraud in the federal Charter Schools Program. At the end of last week as part of a letter addressed to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (and published by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post), Carol Burris the executive director of NPE, and Diane Ravitch began releasing state-by-state lists of never-opened or eventually shut-down charter schools that received seed money between 2006 and 2014 from the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). The numbers are shocking. In my state, Ohio, between 2006 and 2014, the amount of Charter Schools Program money spent on charter schools that never opened or eventually closed amounts to nearly $36 million.

Here is a brief review of the Network for Public Education’s findings in last month’s Asleep at the…

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ZINNEDPROJECT.ORG April 22, 2004: Football Star Pat Tillman Killed in Afghanistan 

#tdih 2004, football star and soldier Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. The U.S. gov’t. immediately used his death in pro-war propaganda. The Tillman family learned the truth and has bravely spoken out ever since. Meanwhile, the Koch Brothers-funded Bill of Rights Institute distributes lessons that repeat the lie. Learn more on the link below.

And please support the Zinn Ed Project so that teachers can access lessons that teach people’s history, not pro-war propaganda.