Monday, January 27, 2014


For some reason, I read this as School Choke Week.
Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage
“If you want a good education, go to private schools. If you can’t afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school.” -- NPQ, Republican Gubernatorial Campaigns Play the Charter School Card
George Will 

His latest column attacks Obama's calls for expanded early childhood education, an increase in the minimum wage, and the government's subsidies for college tuition.
 Even “high-quality” universal preschool would not measurably reduce inequality. It would, however, efficiently convey funds from the federal treasury to a new cohort of unionized teachers, then through union dues to Democratic candidates. -- Washington Post
Sarah Simmons confronted the mayor
While [Mayor Emanuel] was uttering platitudes about Martin Luther King ... I simply asked him how Dr. King was honored by closing 50 public schools in black and brown neighborhoods, and then opening 31 privatized schools. -- Chicagoist: Activist Who Confronted Mayor Emanuel On School Closings
New Orleans Time-Picayune columnist, Jarvis DeBerry 
Dear students of John McDonogh High School:  It is with heavy hearts that we, the residents of New Orleans, write you this letter informing you that we find it impossible to educate you. We’re giving up on our stated goal of preparing you for a future that requires your literacy, your facility with numbers and critical thinking skills. You have our regrets. -- Diane Ravitch Blog


  1. George Will is right that universal pre-K will not greatly impact inequality. And he's right that it's just a transfer of funds from the federal treasury. The destination of those funds, however, is hardly "the union", since most preschools are not unionized. That money will end up in the hands of the curriculum creators and testing companies as we push the nightmare that is No Child Left at the Top down into preschools.


  2. Whenever someone begins a comment with, "George Will is right..." I feel an urge to respond. I usually don't bother, but this morning (it's -30 in Chicago), I'm trying to keep my fingers moving.

    No, Dienne, Will isn't right (I mean correct). Universal pre-K will most certainly impact inequality, especially for poor and working class women. Will offers no evidence that it won't.

    Secondly, when you say, "it's just a transfer of funds from the federal treasury", uh, yes. That's exactly what we want. That's what all federal programs are. Aren't they? For example, a nice whopping transfer of funds from the federal treasury away from military spending to early-childhood education would help solve a great many social problems.

    You are right on the last point. Off course Will's idiotic remark about pre-K money flowing to the unions is absurd on its face. When the hell has this ever happened?

  3. How will universal pre-K impact inequality for poor/working class women? Preschool is a couple hours a day, 3 to 5 days per week. Are you confusing pre-k with daycare? I would love to see a focus on making daycare affordable (or even free) for all working women, but the focus on "pre-k" gives me the willies given the current CCSS/testing environment which keeps getting pushed down further and further. When most of these people talk about "pre-k", what they're talking about is little kids sitting at tables "learning" letters and numbers and doing drills and worksheets - all the kinds of things that Pearson can get their money grubbing hands into by selling curriculum and, egad, tests.

    Yes, women need childcare in order to get jobs and support their families. But this childcare shouldn't be "pre-k", it should be supportive and nurturing, play-based and developmentally appropriate. None of these things are anything that Obama or Duncan or even St. de Blasio really know anything about and I for one don't want any of them making any decisions about such matters.

    If my fears are right about "universal pre-k", it certainly will impact inequality, I suppose, but not in the right direction. Children of the elite will go right on having naps and free play time and story time while all other children will be sitting in front of computers learning to click the right bubble.



Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.