Tag Archives: Reign of Error

Happy New Year! My campaign mentioned in Diane Ravitch’s “Best of 2013;” Plus, a chance to vote on new math for Seattle’s Schools!

Best of 2013 & Promising News for 2014!

With Dr. Diane Ravitch when she spoke in Seattle on tour with her new national best-selling book, in Sept. 2013 (an event the Seattle Times curiously ignored).With Dr. Diane Ravitch in Sept. 2013 when she spoke in Seattle, on tour with her new national best-selling book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools"

Dr. Diane Ravitch included the School Board victories of Steve Zimmer, Monica Ratliff, candidates in Bridgeport, CT, and myself among her “Best of 2013” list:

“9. Some of the candidates opposed by the “reformers” managed to win their elections, despite being overwhelmingly outspent by corporate funders (in many cases, the corporate funders lived thousands of miles away). Among the winners who fought off the “reform” money machine were Steve Zimmer and Monica Ratliff in Los Angeles, Sue Peters in Seattle, and the winning candidates who took control of the school board in Bridgeport, Connecticut, signaling the end of the Paul Vallas era in that small city.”

(From: The Best of 2013: the Great Awakening about the Status Quo, Diane Ravitch’s blog, Jan. 1, 2014)

The Garfield High School teachers’ stand against the MAP test also made many Top Ten and Best Of lists for 2013.

With the momentum for a $15/hour minimum wage, a socialist City Council member, a gay mayor, progressives on the School Board,  and courageous teachers, Seattle continues to make both local and national news! (The inauguration of Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant and Mayor-Elect Ed Murray at City Hall on Jan. 6 is promising to be a standing-room only event.)

Math News!

Public input sought on new math adoption program for kindergarten, Grades 1-5 — Seattle Public School District

Through Jan. 8,  the public has the opportunity to review new K-5 math instructional materials under consideration for adoption, currently on display in the school district headquarters library.

A final two or three options will then be made available to the greater community for review at select locations throughout the city, resulting in a final recommendation which will come before the School Board for a vote. The new materials will replace the controversial Everyday Math textbooks which are overdue for review.

Those who are interested in bringing solid math to our elementary students should weigh in.  If you can’t make it to the JSCEE, you can have a look online for information, sample texts and input from others.

You can share your feedback with the district online by completing the simple survey form located on the K-5 Mathematics Instructional Materials Adoption Committee web page.

Meteorologist, UW Professor and math advocate Cliff Mass also discusses the K-5 math options for Seattle’s schools in his Weather Blog. See: Seattle Public Schools Faces A Critical Decision on a New K-5 Math Curriculum, as does the Seattle Schools Community Forum Blog. See: If You Care about K-5 Math in Seattle Public Schools…

Best Wishes for 2014 to all!


Highlights from Diane Ravitch’s Talk in Seattle


Chatting with Diane Ravitch after her talk in Kane Hall, at the University of Washington. She assured me that grassroots campaigns can be won!

Some words of wisdom from Dr. Ravitch:

“If you close a school, usually it destroys the community as well.”

“The most important causes of low achievement are poverty and segregation.”

“Tests should be used diagnostically.”

“Most tests should be made by teachers.”

“Standardized tests are a very accurate measure of a parent’s income and education. They do not measure the capacity to learn.”

“We have overdosed on testing.”

“Principals should themselves be master teachers.”

“Superintendents should be experienced educators.”

(To the teachers of Garfield High School who spoke up against the flawed MAP test.) “They brought so much heart and hope to the nation. Thank you for your courage.”

She concluded her talk by reading the final paragraphs from her new bestselling book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools:

“Genuine school reform must be built on hope, not fear; on encouragement, not threats; on inspiration, not compulsion; on trust, not carrots and sticks; on belief in the dignity of the human person, not a slavish devotion to data; on support and mutual respect, not a regime of punishment and blame. To be lasting, school reform must rely on collaboration and teamwork among students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, and local communities.

“Despite its faults, the American system of democratically controlled schools has been the mainstay of our communities and the foundation of our nation’s success. We must work together to improve our public schools. We must extend the promise of equal educational opportunity to all the chidlren of our nation. Protecting our public schools against privatization and saving them for future generations of American children is the civil rights issue of our time.”


“We must treasure public education. We must make it stronger and better. It belongs to all of us.” — Diane Ravitch