education reform

Charter Schools Are Making School Segregation Worse - And Their Supporters Need to Own Up to That

Charter schools didn’t create segregation but the charter school movement isn’t helping to end it either.

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Election Results Were Great News for Democrats - But a Warning to Party's Corporate Education Reform Wing

When Democrats win big like they did in last week’s elections, Republicans understandably get nervous. But there's another political faction that has something to fret about: folks who've aligned themselves with what's come to be called "education reform”: the embrace of school privatization, standardized testing and tough-on-teacher measures. Although the reform campaign has long been marketed as a bipartisan cause, it's increasingly apparent that the better Democrats do at the polls, the worse the education reform agenda does.

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How Closing Public Schools Undermines Democracy

Chicago shuttered some 50 schools in 2013. Since then, voter turnout and support for Democrats in the affected neighborhoods has plunged. What's the connection? In the latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast, AlterNet education editor Jennifer Berkshire talks to political scientist Sally Nuamah about the political fallout from the closures, and why shuttering schools ends up undermining democracy.

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Conflating School Choice with Democracy and Parent Empowerment Is a Scam

The following is an excerpt from the new book These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can't Afford to Abandon Our Public Schools by Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi (Beacon Press, 2017), available for purchase on Amazon:

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Teachers Unions Under Attack From Republicans and Sell-Out Democrats

With Neil Gorsuch now seated on the United States Supreme Court, the right-wing seems poised to realize its forever goal of dismantling labor unions. But conservatives aren’t the only ones anticipating the last days of public sector unions.  Challenging teachers’ job protections via “impact litigation” is an increasingly mainstream cause, drawing Democratic super lawyer David Boies, and high-profile Obama alums like Robert Gibbs and Ben Labolt. Now an education reform organization led by prominent Democratic party fundraiser Jonathan Sackler is stepping up efforts to reign in unions via the courts.

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Charter Schools Are Constantly Burning Out Teachers - And They Often Like It That Way

John was fresh-out-of-college and had never set foot in a city school before. Hired the day before the school year started, he missed out on the two-and-a-half weeks of training the charter organization had given the rest of us on what to expect at a turnaround school in Camden, NJ. John lasted less than a week.

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Why Even the World's Highest-Scoring Schools Need to Change

Betsy DeVos, the new U.S. Secretary of Education, has a theory. She agrees with Jeb Bush and other education amateurs now shaping American education that “the system” is basically sound, but teachers lack skills and kids lack grit. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Competition in the form of market forces—choice, vouchers, merit pay, charters, privatization, and so on—will shape them up.   

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Homework for Young Kids: 4 Questions for Parents to Ask Teachers

After two weeks of school, the dreaded notice arrived: homework was on its way. Beginning in a few days, my friend’s first-grade son would receive daily math assignments. She turned to Facebook to ask her friends what they thought of this expectation that she knew would turn into a daily battle with her child. 

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Rethinking School Discipline: Schools Are Cutting Back on Expulsions and Suspensions, Which Are Doled out Disproportionately to Minority Students

This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine.Subscribe here

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Elizabeth Warren Steps Up and Challenges School Privatization

Are charter schools a “progressive” idea for education? Some progressive sources would have you think so, but other progressives have challenged that framing.

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Meet Gary Johnson’s Koch-Network Money Men

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, is currently having a moment with younger voters. Presumably this is because he has emphasized his pro-marijuana stance and stayed away from touting his views on nearly everything else, which, as AlterNet has reported, are very right-wing. Yet look behind the curtain, and you’ll find that Johnson’s candidacy is fueled by money provided by funders who are driving forces behind things most young voters abhor, like the privatization of public education and the “right” to pollute the environment.

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