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The Dangerous Case of Espinoza v. Montana, Now Before the US Supreme Court: National Education Policy Center:

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The future of public education hangs in the balance. The US Supreme Court has shifted far to the right, with the addition of religious zealots Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The case, Espinoza v. Montana, would permit them to eliminate the line of separations between church and state, abolishing every state constitutional provision that bars public funding of religious schools. The Court has already ruled that religious “freedom” makes it permissible for a place of business to refuse service to someone based on their sexual orientation, if that refusal is based on sincere religious beliefs. Will we one day learn that racial discrimination is permissible so long as it is based on sincere religious beliefs?'  Read on...

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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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(Member since Oct 25, 2009), 22 fans, 20 articles, 4269 quicklinks, 7898 comments, 2 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
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The Life And Death Of The Terrible Education Reform Movement | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

In the early 1500s Michelangelo completed his sculpture 'David'. Though it took 500 years for another genius to rival his, Diane Ravitch's 'Slaying Goliath' is a masterpiece that will be studied and celebrated for generations.

In 'Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America's Public Schools education historian Diane Ravitch does the thing that she is best in the country at taking a complex period of history in education and finding a way to turn it into a story with twists and turns worthy of great literature.


This book is like a sequel not to 'Reign Of Error' (2013) or even 'The Death And Life Of The Great American School System' (2010), but instead to the first book I had ever read by her, 'Left Back: A Century Of Failed School Reforms' (2000). In that book, as she does in this one, Ravitch methodically weaves her way through the people and events that shaped the conflicts of education policy.


She is a master of brevity and I, as a pretty verbose blogger, marvel at how she can tell the story of such complex issues like the opt-out movement or the Massachusetts charter school ballot issue in just a few pages each. It's like watching one of those artists who with a few simple seeming strokes of a pencil captures the essence of her subject. It looks so easy though of course it isn't.

Watch as she summarizes twenty years of education reform in three paragraphs (!) on the third page of the book.

For nearly two decades, the "reformers" had promised a dramatic transformation in American education, based on their strategy of high-stakes testing, teacher evaluation by test scores, charter schools, and closing low-scoring public schools. They confidently claimed that they knew the answers to all the vexing problems in education. They asserted that they were leading the civil rights movement of our time, funded by billionaires, Wall Street titans, and the federal government, as if the elites would be leading a civil rights movement against the powerful (themselves!). They insisted that when their remedies were imposed, America's test scores would soar to the top of international rankings. No longer would poor children be "trapped in failing schools." No more would children's success be determined by their ZIP code or social status. They all sang from a common hymnal about the failures of public education and proclaimed their certainty that they knew how to turn failure into high test scores for all.

But despite the investment of billions of federal, state, local, and philanthropic dollars, these malign efforts came up empty. The leaders of this charade had confidently predicted that success was just beyond the horizon. But as so often happens with mirages, the horizon kept receding farther away. None of their promises and claims came true. Judged by their own chosen metrics standardized test scores the fake 'reformers' failed

In this book, I will not call these activities and their leaders by the honorable word reform, which they have brazenly appropriated. The individuals and groups who promote test-best accountability, school closings, and school choice as remedies for low test scores are not reformers. What to call them? Others call them "deformers" or the "financial privatization cabal" or the "Destroy Public Education Movement" or "privateers." Such groups and individuals often say their goal is to "disrupt" public education, and I think in this instance they have accurately named themselves. They are Disrupters. They are masters of chaos, which they inflict on other people's children, without a twinge of remorse.

And that is just one out of 283 pages!


Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 5:36:16 AM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Bob Shepherd writes about Espinoza v. Montana, It begins " It's about whether a state can refuse to provide religious schools with the same per pupil support (typically, seven or eight thousand per student, though this case deals with tax credits for education savings "scholarships") that it supplies to public schools. This case is extraordinarily important becauseIf states have to support private religious schools through vouchers or tax credits or regular per pupil transfers, there will be far more private schools and far fewer public schools.

The case will affect the definition of separation of church and state and spill over into many other areas, such as whether a business can discriminate against LBTQX persons for religious reasons. Think of it this way: do states have an obligation to use your taxpayer dollars to support private religious schools that teach intolerance of immigrants and foreigners and other religions and LGBTQX persons? Hmmm.

"The court has the votes to overturn considerable precedent by ruling for the plaintiffs."

"Of course, if the justices seek justice, they will rule for public schools and the separation of church and state. But there is an alternative: they can be remembered by history for signing onto the worst decision since Plessy v. Ferguson."


Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 5:44:28 AM

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