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Two Ravitches In One!!

Diane Ravitch has had it with celebrities openly discussing education policy because they don’t know anything about schools (read: express an alternate viewpoint).

Ugh, how awful must it be for public figures to talk about things in a free and open society. Kudos to Ravitch for bringing this horridness to our attention.

Ravitch has taken a similar position in the past with respect to celebrities nosing around issues related to our nation’s schools. For example, take when Ravitch called Matt Damon, “A Hero of American Education,” following Damon’s public appearances in support of status quo conditions.

In fact, so adamant was Ravitch about how celebrities shouldn’t comment on education that she vehemently defended Damon against the perceived hypocrisy of him exercising school choice with his own kids while advocating for a system that locks other kids into schools solely based on zip code.

At the end of the same August 12, 2013 blog post, Ravitch went so far as to say, “ is not only a hero on the big screen, he is a hero to millions of parents and teachers who need him.” Wow, sure told him off!

More recently, Ravitch took a similar anti-celebrity stance when discussing comedian Louis C.K.’s dabbling into the education debate, when C.K. publicly criticized the Common Core.

Wrote Ravitch, “Louis C.K. Takes Aim At Common Core – And We’re All Smarter For It.”

The absolute nerve of Louis C.K. talking about standards and testing prompted Ravitch to eagerly thank him for having such a positive impact on the national conversation surrounding Common Core:

“The standards and tests can be improved, but only if their advocates are willing to listen and think critically,” Ravtich wrote critically.

“Louis C.K. may have made that possible. Thanks, Louis.”

As anyone can plainly see, Diane Ravitch has consistently denounced any attempt by a

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Importance of Strong Charter Laws

In a new analysis intended as a conversation starter about the impact of charter school laws, the Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) found little ties between the strength of a charter law according to The Center for Education Reform’s own rankings and student learning.

To be fair, and as DFER points out in the conclusions section, charter student success is based on a number of variables, and it’s this type of positive customization and versatility that makes a charter school a charter school. This does not take away, however, from the importance of having a strong charter school law on the books.

Though the analysis isn’t meant to illustrate cause and effect, The Center for Education Reform still cautions against drawing any inferences when charter student performance is based on the very questionable results produced by the 2013 national CREDO study.

CER noted in 2013 that the national CREDO study is fraught with unreliable methodology that leads to equally unreliable conclusions.

The initial effects of having a strong charter law are twofold. Not only does a law with multiple, independent authorizers, no cap and equitable funding allow for more educational options to flourish, but in so doing creates an environment in which charter educators, leaders and parents are a welcomed part of public education.

This relationship is exemplified by the 335 additional charter campuses created during the 2012-13 school year in states rated ‘A’ or ‘B’, on the law rankings, contrasted with the 13 campuses in states rated ‘D’ or ‘F.’

The removal of oversight mechanisms — whether in the form of a politicized state commission or an ill-equipped local school district — that lack a vested interest in the success of charter schools go a long way in attracting excellent charter models.

As Kara Kerwin wrote in the charter

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In The Car: Esquith’s Real Talk To Himself

“For about a minute, I focus on things that have me worried or sad. You might call it a prayer or a moment of meditation. But whatever you call it, I take a few moments to pause and just think…I think of everything possible that could get me down. And I remind myself to leave those problems in the car. They have no place in Room 56. There are kids there with problems far greater than mine, and without the adult sensibilities to handle them.” Rafe Esquith, Real Talk for Real Teachers.

The Center for Education Reform (CER) is a leading advocate for issues related to charter schools, teacher quality, online learning, standardized testing, and federal policy. CER aims to make sure that parents are aware of school choice, that teachers make use of their resources, and that all students receive the education that they deserve. Rafe Esquith, a fifth grade teacher at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles, shines as an educator. CER, in regards to the issue of teacher quality, believes that teachers carry a heavy influence over their students. Therefore, it is imperative that children are taught by the best, and that the best should be rewarded for their hard work.

In Real Talk for Real Teachers, Esquith offers advice to the 22-year-old with a baccalaureate starting out his or her career as a teacher and to the master of the classroom who began perfecting the art of education…well, years ago. Nonetheless, Esquith suggests for both the young folks and those more experienced in the profession to not only believe in Churchill’s concept of never ever giving up, but to also put their students first.

As Esquith tells his students on a daily basis, a task cannot be accomplished some of the time; nor can it be accomplished most of

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