In school board meetings from the battleground county of Loudoun in Virginia to Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, and other states the far-right is targeting public education in furtherance of a Nazification of school curricula. We have also seen the first moves to traditional de-legitimize institutions of higher learning in favor of universities and colleges, some only recently formed, that teach only far-right propaganda. Continue reading
Republicans have placed the critical and factual teaching of history on the ballot of the Virginia gubernatorial race between Republican Glenn Youngkin, a Trump-supporter and former CEO of the sinister Carlyle Group, and Democratic former Governor Terry McAuliffe. Youngkin has vowed to eliminate the teaching of “critical race theory” (CRT) in Virginia schools. However, Virginia does not and never has taught the theory, which is found only in the graduate curriculum of select universities and colleges around the country. Emulating Senator Joe McCarthy, Youngkin has transformed the non-issue of CRT in Virginia schools into a rallying cry for Donald Trump’s base of ranting and raving whites across the commonwealth. Continue reading
If you think elementary, middle, and high school students know too little history, geography, and government, try asking them about the corporations that command so many hours of their day, their attention, what they consume, and their personal horizons. Continue reading
Wildly inaccurate accusations are flying all over the place right now. Don’t get sucked in—do this instead.
If you are worried about critical race theory in schools, here is some advice from someone who actually teaches it. Continue reading
One House Democrat said he can't wait for January 20, "when this disgrace is pushed out the door and her bags are dropped at the curb."
After spending much of her nearly four-year tenure in government attacking public schools and pushing privatization schemes, outgoing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is now reportedly encouraging career staffers at her department to obstruct President-elect Joe Biden’s policy agenda. Continue reading
On November 2, Trump signed an executive order that aims to manipulate the minds of young children. Continue reading
Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is heading the administration’s effort to force schools to reopen in the fall for in-person instruction. What’s her plan to reopen safely? She doesn’t have one. Continue reading
MIAMI—Saying Florida’s mandate to reopen brick-and-mortar schools despite the coronavirus pandemic endangers students, teachers, and everybody else, the state’s teachers’ union is suing the GOP-run government to stop Florida’s unsafe school reopening plan. Continue reading
‘With our country dealing with a pandemic, an economic recession, and structural racism, she's spied an opening to exploit this crisis to resuscitate her failed agenda.’
With the Trump administration planning to demand that Congress devote a large chunk of the state and local education funding in the next COVID-19 relief package to a new grant program for private and religious schools, the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers on Thursday accused Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of attempting to exploit the pandemic to advance her privatization agenda. Continue reading
‘Today's ruling is perverse,’ Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a ruling civil liberties advocates warned could make taxpayers “underwrite religious education”—opening a massive crack in the bedrock principle of church and state separation. Continue reading
Times of great adversity not only bring out the best and worst in society, but they also flush out some of the stinkiest and slimiest creatures. Think of war profiteers, hucksters who prey on poor hurricane victims, or Betsy DeVos. Continue reading
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will use the COVID-19 virus as an opportunity to ‘revolutionize’ the state’s school system, inviting Bill Gates to implement his controversial ideas about education.
Taking time off from mismanaging a pandemic and turning lifesaving masks sent from all over the country into an art installation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared yesterday that he would use the deadly COVID-19 virus as an opportunity to “revolutionize” the state’s school system, inviting Microsoft founder Bill Gates to implement his controversial ideas about education statewide. Cuomo did not divulge many details of what his imagined education revolution would look like but did mention virtual education and remote learning. However, Gates is best known for one thing in education: charter schools. Continue reading
DeVos, Thiel, Phase 2 of Project BEST
In 1982, former Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement for the US Department of Education, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, blew the whistle on the Reagan Administration’s Project BEST (Better Education Skills through Technology): a techno-fascist plan to privatize the American school system by selling it out to Big Tech corporations that deliver B. F. Skinner’s operant-conditioning method of “programmed instruction” through computerized “teaching machines.” Almost thirty years later, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” is primed to pump a flood of federal education funds into online charter school corporations, such as K12 Inc., KIPP, and Connections Academy, which deploy “adaptive learning” software that replace human teachers with artificial-intelligence courseware programmed with “Skinner-box” cognitive-behavioral algorithms geared to condition students for workforce training. Continue reading
How community schools and charter schools are both public-private partnerships that medicalize workforce training through socioemotional learning
Democratic presidential candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, have pledged to fix the American education system by replacing privatized charter schools with “community schools” that incorporate “socioemotional-learning (SEL)” programs. These “Democratic” community schools, which teach “social skills” and “emotional competencies,” might sound like “liberal” or “leftwing” education reforms. But don’t be fooled by the pathos of such leftist “social justice” rhetoric. The Democrats’ socioemotional community-learning centers are no more “progressive” than corporate-fascist charter schools. Continue reading
I am a substitute teacher (grades K-12) in a public school system located in Virginia, a state on the eastern seaboard of the United States. For many years prior to becoming a substitute teacher, I also taught at a private school in Virginia. Tuition and fees at the private school are approximately $42,000 (USD), the public schools are, of course, tuition free. Continue reading
‘I'm not sending anyone to jail yet, but it's good to know I have that ability.’
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday was told in no uncertain terms that her refusal to abide by a 2018 order stopping her department from collecting on student loans made to predatory for-profit Corinthian College had the potential to land her in jail, though Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim made clear that was, for now, an unlikely outcome. Continue reading
This will come as no surprise to most sentient human beings but we have an education crisis in this country that begins with the Cheeto Benito in the White House and trickles down all the way to households in which a child has never had a storybook read to them. Continue reading
The backstory to the showdown in Los Angeles between teachers and billionaires
Back during the 1960s and 1970s, in cities, suburbs, and small towns across the United States, teacher strikes made headlines on a fairly regular basis. Teachers in those years had a variety of reasons for walking out. They struck for the right to bargain. They struck for decent pay and benefits. They struck for professional dignity. Continue reading
The lending business is heavily stacked against student borrowers. Bigger players can borrow for almost nothing, and if their investments don’t work out, they can put their corporate shells through bankruptcy and walk away. Not so with students. Their loan rates are high and if they cannot pay, their debts are not normally dischargeable in bankruptcy. Rather, the debts compound and can dog them for life, compromising not only their own futures but the economy itself. Continue reading
Higher education has been financialized, transformed from a public service into a lucrative cash cow for private investors. Continue reading
A continuation of outcomes-based behaviorism through medicalized education
Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote to confirm US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos marks the first time in history that a VP has issued the deciding vote to officiate a presidential cabinet appointment. The contentious opposition votes have expressed that among their concerns are conflicts of interest between Secretary DeVos’s federal powers and her multimillion-dollar investments in a biofeedback corporation known as Neurocore, which provides neuroscience treatments for retraining cognitive habits through stimulus-response conditioning. Continue reading
When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, the eminent “free market” economist, Milton Friedman, referred to the tragedy as “an opportunity to radically reform the educational system” into a privatized system of “school choice” competition. Heeding Friedman’s call, education reformers have converted approximately 90% of the New Orleans school system into a network of for-profit and nonprofit charter school corporations that are integrated through Louisiana’s two P(K)-16/20 workforce development councils: the College and Career Readiness Commission and the Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence. Now, nearly ten years later, this 90% privatization overhaul is being touted as a model for a total charter privatization takeover of the United States national education system through P(K)-16/20 workforce development councils. Continue reading