“Schools Matter” on Democrats’ Public School Betrayal

Jim Horn (I think) here excoriates the heads of the AFT, NEA and Diane Ravitch for helping sell out public school students, their families and their teachers to the corporate and financial oligarchs. Is he going overboard?

I know for a fact that Randi Weingarten is playing a very complicated double game: she personally negotiated the terrible contract in DC that started the give-back of pretty much all teacher rights in return for a mythic ally high salary that very, very few teachers will ever stick around to collect.

Is Horn going too far? Read it, and comment. I’m posting the whole thing.

Schools Matter

DeVos Will Make Democrat’s Charter Plan Easier to Sell

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 07:55 AM PST

A few years back Diane Ravitch was forced to admit openly what the opponents of testing accountability knew when No Child Left Behind became law: the ridiculous goal of 100% percent student proficiency in reading and math could never be met, and the fanciful imposition of such a pipe dream would wreak havoc across the entire K-12 education universe.


By the time Ravitch finally came around to acceding the dangerous fantasy that she had loyally promoted along with her fellow charter and voucher supporters at the Hoover Institution, almost half the schools in the U. S. had already been labeled as failures, and a reckless and corrupt corporate feeding frenzy had been set into motion by Ravitch’s free market chums. Tutoring companies were draining billions in federal dollars by cramming poor children for tests they would never pass; the scandal-ridden Reading First gang was shoving its antiquarian reading techniques nationwide to really bad effect; alternate teacher certification scams had been federally incentivized; charter schools, both virtual and physical, were springing up like mushrooms in cow paddies after a rain, and a whole new industry of sponsored fake education research by corporate foundation “think” tanks had become an acceptable occupation for under-employed academics.


During the seven years since Ravitch’s lucrative conversion experience, Diane has made it clear that she maintains one foot solidly on the side of the corporate education reformers who brought us the NCLB disaster. It took her until 2013 to admit her stubborn wrongheadedness on Common Core, even while maintaining even today her support for “voluntary” national standards–whatever that means. Today she maintains her enthusiasm for shoveling Core Knowledge into the heads of children, just as she remains a supporter of ridiculously high NAEP standards that have been used by “reformers” for years to bludgeon the public schools for their low scores.


In early 2015, her crucial support for NCLB 2.0, which is better known as ESSA, made her culpablility undeniable. This was followed by a year of propagandizing for the longtime charter supporter, Hillary Clinton, while pretending to be the most determined foe of school corporatization. Diane’s blog was used to soft-pedal Weingarten’s autocratic choice of Clinton over Sanders, just as it was used to obfuscate Hillary’s supportive position on corporate welfare charters. And it was her political soulmate, Randi Weingarten, who put the final flourishes on the Democratic platform, which clearly supported charter schools while pretending to do the opposite.


Her recent outlining for Jay Mathews the kind of charter schools she would support signals that she is ready to swing both legs onto the side of the charter fence. Along with the NEA’s Eskelsen, AFT’s Weingarten, and the troglodytes running the DNC, Ravitch is clearly signaling surrender on charters to Team Trump, even before the first inaugural dance.


Ravitch, as lead propagandist for the corporate unions, will use the Betsy DeVos nomination to make the Dem position of supporting “non-profit” segregated no excuses charters seem most reasonable in comparison. It is not a coincidence that Ravitch is suddenly playing footsie with charter spokesman, Jay Mathews.


The ESSA, which could not have happened without NPE, NEA, and AFT support, will continue intact, thus allowing Trump, too, to appear reasonable in letting public schools die a slower death than Sister Betsy would have preferred. And thus the bipartisan dismantling of public education is likely to continue on schedule. The biggest change we are likely to see in Washington are the corporate Democrats from the Gates Foundation heavily reinforced by the corporate Republicans from the Walton Foundation.
Oh yes, don’t forget to send your next donation to NPE. Ravitch and the corporate unions need your support to buy a whole new coat of whitewash.

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Who is Jim Horn?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for giving me the link to Him Horn’s book on Amazon. You can discover how well a book is selling by its Amazon Best Seller Rank. The paperback for “Work Hard Be Hard” is ranked almost 2 million. That means he hasn’t sold a book in weeks and maybe months. His kindle e-book is ranked at almsot 800,000. That means the same thing as the paperback.

        He has 2 reviews.

        His first book from 2013 isn’t doing much better.

        What I’ve learned about Horn is that he has a PhD and two books for sale on Amazon that hardly anyone has read.

        The blog he founded called Schools Matter has a search engine rank in the US of 243,764. Not bad but not all that great. It’s better than my best ranked blog (I have four) and that blog is getting about 200 views a day, so Horn isn’t doing that bad but he is a long way from matching Ravitch.

        Diane’s Blog has a ranking of 29,940. That is incredible.

        “Reign of Error” by Ravitch has more than 400 reviews and its Amazon rank for the paperback is #37,518. I know enough to know she’s selling copies on a regular basis to have that ranking. Amazon has more than 12,000,000 books for sale and the one that’s ranked 12,000,000 isn’t selling at all.

        What happens when a 2,000 year old redwood tree falls in an old growth forest and the nearest person is a hundred miles away?


  2. I used to read Jim Horn’s stuff, but the he started writing phrases like, “shoveling Core Knowledge into the heads of children.” Does he read anything but his own writing anymore?

    I read Ravitch’s blog daily, and she has stated numerable times that NAEP’s score of “Proficient” is too high a standard to deem students or schools as failures if they don’t reach it. I don’t agree with everything Ravitch supports, but he seems to be blatantly misstating her stance on NAEP.


  3. As a teenager back in the Kennedy years, my friends and I would make the rounds of Times Square, collecting leaflets from all the political and religious groups working the street. I remember one screed accusing the authors of the Declaration of Independence of Marxist sympathies. Horn’s blast is on that level, replacing a political stance–open dialog in the public square–with a spectator’s stance: rooting for the home team and shouting down the opposition. For Horn, it seems, most everybody is the opposition…
    I’m a life NEA member, though I don’t always agree with my union’s positions. I’m a veteran public school teacher, but I understand why some parents in cities like Philadelphia, Boston and New York seek a charter option for their kids. I agreed with Al Shanker when he proposed the idea of charters, and I agreed with him when he turned against them, though I bitterly opposed him over school decentralization in NY.
    Politics isn’t about being right, or creating an ideal world: it’s about finding common ground to solve problems that need to be dealt with. I favored Clinton over Sanders because she had a proven record as a politician, though I think she had a weaker-than-I’d-like position on public education. Trump has made it clear that he prefers applause lines to thinking about anything in particular, but I know a lot of Trump voters are going to look askance at efforts to damage their local schools.
    What we get as the future of American schooling will be determined by those who get engaged, talk AND listen, and make the deals–including taking the half-loaves–that real politics requires. Jim Horn, and the rest of the spectators who won’t play the game, are just background noise.


  4. Reading Mr. Horn’s post, I felt like I was reading a sample of writing by someone who wants to work for some type of “tell all” magazine that specializes in slinging words to a certain effect.
    It does not take much, for adults, to see that the Democratic party has been just as sold out to special interests as the Republican party has been since about the end of Kennedy’s presidency, so nothing the Democratic party does surprises me and that includes the scene that Horn has painted. As a piece of writing, he makes it work.
    As a reflection of reality, it strikes me as exaggerating at least some facts to make it work as a “piece,” and that exaggeration is to excoriate Diane Ravitch for efforts to work with the system as is–being realistic–including standing up for teachers as working people even if their unions are faulty in some regard. There is also, I sense, a rather intense effort to blame just that one person for the situation he seems to think exists which makes me wonder if he is perhaps a little jealous for Ravitch’s successes in bringing so many people to the truths she’s uncovered, written about and inspired to take take action in defense of public education. She is a hero to a lot of people. Maybe he wanted to be that hero.


    • Maybe? From what I’ve seen, he’s like the ugly American at a cafe in Paris who shouts at the waiter since that will cause him to understand English. In his mind, all who disagree with Horns perceptions are purposefully ignorant waiters.


  5. Horn has inhabited his own “post truth” reality for some time now, one populated with straw men and cherry picking of every description. Like present day Trump supporters, he accepts no facts or evidence that contradict his self constructed reality because in his mind such things are all just fakery, diversions from the reality that he alone can perceive. His screeds against Ravitch are a case in point. No one loves or defends students and teaching as much as Horn does, no one understands the mind, strategies, and goals of the enemy as he does, he simply has no equal, and woe unto them who dare suggest he is not the apex of all that. I care not what his pathology is and I will not amplify the circular firing squad he presides over by participating in it. I suggest others read his rantings in order to decide for themselves if what I have described here rings true.


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