Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): November 19, 2020 Jennifer Berkshire, co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, on ed reform, mostly from the right • Kate Sykes of People First Portland on some major left ballot victories in Maine’s largest city

Fresh audio product

Just posted to my radio archive (click on date for link): September 7, 2017 Christo Sims, author of Disruptive Fixation, on school reform and techno-fetishism • Christian Parenti, author of this article, on climate change and the threat to coastal cities

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive: October 22, 2015 Leo Panitch on the Canadian election • Megan Erickson, author of Class War: The Privatization of Childhood, on class and schools

Matt Yglesias is not one of those union-hating liberals, he swears!

Matt Yglesias does not like my analysis of why liberals hate teachers unions (“Why teachers unions are different”). It’s all about the taxpayers, he says—and the folks who work in charter schools. If CTU members get what they want, that’s not coming out of the pocket of “the bosses” it’s coming out of the pocket of the people who work at charter schools or the people who pay taxes in Chicago. But the CTU strike isn’t mainly about wages—it’s about education policy. The city of Chicago is spending buckets of money on… Read More

Compare & contrast: KIPP vs. Sidwell Friends

Education “reformers”—who love testing, discipline, and charter schools—wouldn’t send their own kids to the institutions they prescribe for other people. Cases in point. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has praised the KIPP schools (Secretary Arne Duncan’s Remarks at the KIPP Annual Dinner) as “extraordinary” models. Here’s KIPP’s “Commitment to Excellence”: Teachers’ Commitment We fully commit to KIPP in the following ways: • We will arrive at KIPP every day by 7:15 am (Monday-Friday). • We will remain at KIPP until 5:00 pm (Monday -Thursday) and 4:00 pm on Friday. • We will come… Read More

Bill Gates, business genius?

Reading Diane Ravtich’s excellent takedown of (private school grad and college dropout) Bill Gates for his interventions in public education reminded me that the only reason people listen to him is that he’s thought to be some sort of business genius (as if business genius were translatable to pedagogy or anything else). If he’s that rich, he must be smart, eh? But he’s really not such a business genius. Well, he’s a business genius of a sort, but not of the sort of heroic entrepreneur that’s usually lionized. His first foray into… Read More

Radio commentary, November 13, 2010

Pacifica • deficit commission • QE2 • education “reform” Before that, and before some comments on the news, a few words on the Pacifica situation. I did this show on WBAI in New York for 15 years. I was given the show by our late program director, Samori Marksman, who was a very intelligent and charismatic man with contacts all over the world. After his early death at the age of 52 in 1999—a death I’m certain was hastened by the pressures of Pacifica infighting—he was succeeded by an endless procession of… Read More