The latest anti-school choice rant comes to us courtesy of Diane Ravitch, “a historian of education,” who is the Arthur Clarke of her field. When she writes, the reader is treated to science fiction dosed with a substantive amount of snake oil for good measure. In the current New York Review of Books, Ravitch’s “The Dark History of School Choice” is laden with cherry-picked half-truths and a level of fearmongering guaranteed to put a satisfied smirk on the face of every teacher union leader.
Reviewing several books on the subject, she does correctly cite a few circumstances where the push for the privatization of schools was used to promote racial segregation, but her 3,700-word tirade is very light on facts, and is instead primarily an excuse to bash Betsy DeVos, Christianity and free market policies in education.
Seriously threatened by the pod phenomenon, the National Education Association is taking action. The union issued an “opposition report” attacking Prenda, a microschool provider in Arizona. Among other things, while Prenda policy says that prescription drugs, alcohol and weapons must be locked and secured at a pod location, the union claims that it is unclear whether Prenda conducts any inspections. NEA also says that Prenda should be taken to task for not providing meals or transportation to the students. In other words, the union is suggesting that parents are incapable of taking care of their own kids’ most basic needs.
A working paper released this month by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform reveals that local politics, not the severity of COVID-19, is the most important factor in determining whether K-12 public...