White Evangelicals Want to Destroy the Public Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

Katherine Stewart’s new book The Power Worshippers describes the hostility of evangelical Christians to public schools. I reviewed her book along with two others in the New York Review of Books. One of the most interesting insights in her book is that white evangelicals at first tried to mobilize public opinion to protect the tax-exempt status of segregated private schools and universities. When that didn’t work, they found another issue that did: abortion.

But they have never given up on their goal of public funding for religious schools that were free to discriminate and the elimination of public schools.

Last year, no one mentioned “critical race theory.” This year it has become an all-purpose cudgel with which to bash the public schools.

CRT has been used to accuse the public schools of “indoctrinating” students. Like “indoctrinating” them to believe in human equality, justice, and the dignity of all people? CRT…

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North Carolina: The Racism Behind the State Statute Barring Discriminatuon

Diane Ravitch's blog

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering legislation that ostensibly bans discrimination in the state’s classrooms. But the real purpose of the statute is to ban discussions of racism. Among other things, it prohibits teaching anything that might cause students to feel “discomfort,” and it prohibits diversity training.

The bill begins:


Public school units shall not promote that:
(1) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
(2) An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist,
sexist, or oppressive.
(3) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment
solely or partly because…

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Chris Lubienski: The Deceptive Language of School Choice

Diane Ravitch's blog

Chris Lubienski is a professor of education policy at Indiana University. He wrote recently with Amanda Potterton and Joe Malin about the deceptive rhetoric of school choice rhetoric. Thirty years ago, the school choice movement boasted that charters and vouchers would “save poor children from failing public schools.” They claimed that private schools outperform public schools. Now we know that school choice does not produce academic improvement for students; that many pick their students and discriminate against the children they don’t want. “Success” for school choice means expansion of charters and vouchers, not better education for students.

Last week, Forbes magazine published an article on how “School Choice Keeps Winning.” Interestingly, “winning” isn’t defined as helping kids learn. Indeed, the article avoids that issue because evidence indicates that school choice is actually failing on that front. Instead, Forbes uses the term to celebrate the expansion of choice programs…

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Ohio Governor Signs Bill To Ban Schools and Universities from Requiring COVID Vaccinations

Diane Ravitch's blog

America, we have a problem. The COVID is spreading, largely through a highly contagious variant called Delta, but only 48.3% of the population is vaccinated. More than 600,000 Americans have died. In five states—Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Louisisna—less than 36% are vaccinated.

Despite the resurgence of this deadly disease, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed legislation barring schools and universities from excluding unvaccinated students. The results are predictable: more hospitalizations, more deaths.

GOP legislators say they prefer to wait until the vaccines have received full approval from the Centers for Disease Control. The three in wide use-Moderna, Pzifer, and J&J-were approved on an emergency basis by the CDC and have been highly effective.

The CDC should move swiftly to give full approval to the vaccines and remove this excuse from the vaccine deniers.

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, conservatives ridiculed the vaccines.


From the Washington Post:


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In “Scripting the Moves,” Joanne Golann Exposes the Demeaning Hidden Curriculum in a No-Excuses Charter School


Joanne W. Golann’s new book is all about schools that insist their teachers follow the guidance of Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion instead of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, but whose principals and teachers have convinced themselves they are liberating students from oppression.

Lured by the promise that their middle school will put them on the path to college, many of the students in Scripting the Moves: Culture & Control in a “No-Excuses” Charter School quickly become angry and disgruntled as teachers assign them demerits for failing to sit at attention or whispering or speaking as they walk in straight lines marked by squares on the hallway floors. At Dream Academy, teachers are driven obsessively to “sweat the small stuff.” School leaders warn teachers that the whole system might collapse if anyone loses control.

Golann explains that, Dream Academy, the pseudonymous name of the school where she…

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North Carolina: School Board Bans Teaching Anything That Makes Students Uncomfortable

Diane Ravitch's blog

Justin Parmenter, NBCT teacher in North Carolina writes here about the resolution passed by a local school board that bans teaching anything that might cause students to feel stress, anxiety, or discomfort. Well, that pretty much eliminates teaching about world wars, genocide, racism, sexism, and everything bad that ever happened in history. It denies the uncomfortable facts of history, like the existence of racism, the denial of women’s rights, the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps during the Second World War, the brutality of the Holocaust, the forced relocation of Native Americans, and on and on. It also requires the suppression of many novels; only happy, pleasant stories may be read, in which no one dies, no one is betrayed, no one is cheated or harmed.

Obviously, it’s a back door attempt to ban teaching about racism, which is the crusade of the moment for the Republican Party..

Is it possible…

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Tennessee: Top Vaccination Official Fired for Urging Teens to Get Vaccinated

Diane Ravitch's blog

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the top vaccination official in the Tennessee, was fired for encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated. She is a public health official who wants to save lives. Those who fired her thought she was alarmist, despite the deaths of 600,000 Americans who were infected with the coronavirus. Tennessee is a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation.

The now-former immunization director for the Tennessee Department of Health had been facing scrutiny from Republican state lawmakers over her department’s outreach efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccinations among teenagers.

“Now there is a fundamental lack of ability to discern credible information in the state of Tennessee amongst our leaders as well,” Fiscus told WKRN. “They don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between a Facebook meme and a peer-reviewed scientific journal publication.”

Dr. Fiscus told The Tennessean that she was fired Monday to appease lawmakers…

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Dear Tucker Carlson


Dear Tucker Carlson,

Hey Tuck, I just got done watching a segment of your show. You know, the one where you suggest that there should be a camera in every classroom in order to root out…let me get this accurate…”civilization ending poison.” https://twitter.com/ndrew_lawrence/status/1412566208763895810

I’m going to zig where you thought most teachers would zag. I welcome your Orwellian cameras in my classroom. Frankly, I don’t know many teachers who would object to having people watch what we do. As a matter of fact, I hate to tell you this Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, but most of us spent the last year having video cameras in our classrooms.

See, I think you believe that your suggestion that people see what happens in our classrooms will somehow scare teachers. The truth of it is that we have been begging for years to have people, such as yourself, come into our classrooms. I…

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Charter Chain Fights Audit Demanded by Private Funder

Diane Ravitch's blog

I remember the original promise of charter schools when the idea was first floated in the late 1980s. They would cost less than district schools because of no bureaucracy. They would be more accountable than district schools because they would lose their charter if they didn’t meet their academic goals. We now know that none of this is true. Charter leaders demand the same or more funding than their public counterparts. Although many charters close every year, many low-performing charters are not closed. And now we find that there is no financial accountability, that religious schools may become charters, that white-flight academies may become charters, and that some charter leaders pay themselves far more than district superintendents.

The latest example of charter refusal to be accountable is the Cornerstone charter chain in Detroit, where a major donor is battling in court to see a financial audit. The donor is especially…

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