Why I Do Not Support Mayor Pete

Diane Ravitch's blog

There are many reasons why I would like to support Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He’s young, he is well-educated, he is smart, he has an admirable record of service to his country, he’s brimming with ideas. I find him very attractive on many levels.

But on education, he is a stealth corporate reformer.

I had an inkling of this when I read a review of his autobiography, which described his formative years at McKinsey and his data-driven, technocratic approach to solving problems. But I didn’t reach a judgment.

Then I learned more when a friend sent me an invitation to a fundraiser for Mayor Pete, hosted by Reed Hastings. Hastings is the billionaire founder of Netflix who is a charter school zealot. He served on the California State Board of Education where he used his influence to minimize any regulation of charters. Since then, he has given many millions to charters…

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State Takeovers: Radical Seizure of School Districts vs. Organic, Community Grounded School Improvement


This blog will take a one-week, mid-summer break.  Look for a new post on Monday, August 5.

We are in the midst of a wave of state school takeovers.

On Tuesday evening In Providence, Rhode Island, the state Council of Elementary and Secondary Education granted the authority for Rhode Island’s recently appointed State Education Commissioner, Angelica Infante-Green, to take over the Providence Schools. A new and scathing report by a team from John Hopkins University had criticized the current operation of the school district—already under mayoral governance.  For the Providence Journal,Linda Borg reports: “Under a 1997 statute, Infante-Green now has the power to revamp the teachers’ contract, revise how the school district is governed, even make decisions over hiring and firing… Infante-Green also confirmed that she will hire a superintendent to takeover the schools by early November. In fact, she is already speaking with several individuals, although…

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The D.C. “Miracle” Disappears

Diane Ravitch's blog

I am reposting this post because the main link was dead and I fixed it. Also, it was originally titled “The D.C. ‘Miracle’ turns to Ashes,” and a reader said a miracle can’t turn to ashes. So it has a new title.

A year ago, reformers were touting D.C. as their triumphant example. Those graduation rates!

Unfortunately, like every other reformer tale, it was a hoax. The graduation rate was phony. Students were walking across the stage without the necessary attendance or credits. Metrics!

From PBS:

“Critics view the problems, particularly the attendance issue, as an indictment of the entire data-driven evaluation system instituted a more than a decade ago when then-Mayor Adrian Fenty took over the school system and appointed Michelle Rhee as the first chancellor. Rhee’s ambitious plan to clear out dead wood and focus on accountability for teachers and administrators landed her on the cover of…

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It has been more than 2 months since the Civilian Appeals Board voted to overturn the GRPD’s decision on Captain VanderKooi

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

It has been 10 weeks since the Civilian Appeals Board voted to overturn the GRPD’s Internal Affairs investigation of Captain VanderKooi

The Grand Rapids Civilian Appeals Board (CAB) voted 6 – 2, to overturn the decision by the GRPD to return VanderKooi to active duty. On May 15, when the CAB was making there decision to overturn the GRPD’s decision about VanderKooi, there were two overriding themes. First, that the GRPD conducted a weak investigation, which was evident since when questioned by the CAB members, the two cops involved in the investigation either couldn’t answer the questions or had vague responses. Secondly, to many people in the room, even without seeing all the documentation that the Civilian Appeals Board had, it was clear that Captain VanderKooi demonstrated significant bias during the Jilmar Ramos-Gomez case, which is exactly the conclusion that the Civilian Appeals Board landed on.


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Five Decades of ‘MarketWorld’ Education Reform


By T. Ultican 7/27/2019

There has been a fifty-year push to reform education using business management principles. In the period, Harvard Business School has trumped Columbia Teacher College concerning pedagogy. Unfortunately, the results are an unmitigated disaster for most communities and students. This market based endeavor – financed by billionaires – has transformed public schools into non-democratic profit centers. It is the precursor to the ultimate goal of dismantling universal free public education.

The radical right is pushing to privatize everything from policing; to prisons; to schools. They have spread the gospel that governments are incapable of solving problems and only businessmen can solve problems. In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan declared “…, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Viewing society as consisting of “makers” and “takers,” these apostles of privatization fear the tyranny of democratic majorities. They strive to make property…

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The One Sin White Evangelicals Couldn’t Forgive Barack Obama For

By John Pavlovitz

Over eighty percent of white evangelicals (many of them women) voted for Donald Trump in 2016, less than two weeks after video surfaced of him speaking with historic vulgarity about women. It would begin a pattern that would be repeated countless times in subsequent months, right up to this present second: professed Christians suddenly becoming […]

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