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Shame on Houston's Texas Education Agency for Attacking Local Democratic Control of Public Schools! by Diane Ravitch

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Diane Ravitch  was a K-12 graduate of the Houston Independent School District writes: 'I am appalled that Texas officials would dare to strip Houston citizens of their elected board because of ONE LOW-PERFORMING HIGH SCHOOL,  when the rest are scoring in the top tier in math and readingWheatley High School happens to have a high concentration of students who live in poverty (88%), don’t speak English, and have special needs (19%).'This takeover by the Texas Education Agency strips the entire Houston community—particularly Houston’s families—of their basic right to have democratically governed public schools. This is a power grab to disenfranchise families in Houston—particularly families of color—who just exercised their voice in a democratic vote on control of the city’s public schools.'

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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The war on public schools is the war on democracy by the power elite who know thatshared knowledge is the core of democracy and that income equality depends on citizens who can apply knowledge -- what they learn-- to critical thinking skills which is required for income equality.

The war on the INSTITUTION of PUBLIC Education, which is critical for any citizenry to thrive, began in the nineties, when I was there, and experienced the first assault as they came for the educated, experienced, PROFESSIONAL TEACHER-PRACTITIONERS. Hundreds of thousands of the top teachers were sent packing as the media (owned by the billionaires) sold the fake stories of 'burned-out, lazy teachers.

I was the NYS Educator of Excellence at that moment, with Harvard and Pew studying my practice in order to document the principles of learning that I used to enable by students to be so successful by any and all criteria, including those assessed through actual performance (like writing for example) and by tests (3rd highest scores in NY STATE when 3/4 of children in NYC kids failed.

20 years later, I have reported on the demolition of public schools for decades, and so has Diane Ravitch, the former ass't SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, and top academic voice in America, who has written about the privatization movement for and the demolition of American Education.

Her latest book lays out what we must do. "Slaying Goliath "THE PASSIONATE RESISTANCE TO PRIVATIZATION AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE AMERICA'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Dr Ravitch is one of the foremost authorities on education and the history of education in the United States. Her book is an inspiring look at the ways in which parents, teachers, activists citizens are successfully fighting back to defeat the forces that are privatizing America's public schools.

The NPE, which Dr. Ravitch founded is the other reliable place for FACTS about our public schools,. Newsletters - Network For Public Education ,. OUR CITIZENS need a reliable place for news about EDUCATION & PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Also, here at OEN, see my many series which follow the devastation of our public schools

and here is a A Layman's Guide to the Destroy Public Education Movement;: The DPE Movement is Well Financed and Determined

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 7, 2019 at 11:50:00 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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and now this...W. J. Gumbert left the following comment about the state takeover of Houston, based on the low test scores of one high school. For the uninitiated, Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hate public schools. John Arnold is a billionaire who made his money as an energy trader at Enron and now campaigns against public sector pensions and in favor of charter schools.

Gumbert writes: The takeover of HISD is SOLELY to allow TEA, Abbott, Lt. Dan and crew to implement the largest portfolio of privately operated charters in the nation. It is not a coincidence that John and Laura Arnold reside in Houston, have funded the expansion of the portfolio model and are funding IDEA's expansion in Houston. It is time for everyone that cares about kids and democracy to take a stand!!!!!

Let's remember that charters close their low performing campuses enrolling economically disadvantaged students to circumvent accountability. Wheatley HS is 93.8% economically disadvantaged, 78.9% "at-risk", 20.5% special education and student mobility is 28.5%. Wheatley would be evaluated under the "alternative academic accountability standards if it was operated by a charter. Regardless, TEA assigned HISD an academic accountability rating of 88.

At the same time as HISD's takeover, TEA has approved the following charters, operated by appointed boards, to expand despite operating campuses with a lower rating than Wheatley HS:

KIPP Texas 4 campuses rated 46-54
International Leadership of Texas 3 campuses rated 45-58
Harmony Science Academy (Waco) 51
Jubilee Academies 3 campuses rated 50-51
Great Hearts 56

Submitted on Friday, Nov 8, 2019 at 1:32:10 AM

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