December 13, 2022 12:24 pm

December Newsletter: A new “Conversation with Diane Ravitch” and more

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Before you read about our important work, I have a simple question to ask.

Can you spare just $5.00 a month to save public education?

Your monthly gift provides a dependable source of funding, enabling our team to put out Action Alerts, newsletters, seminars, and reports that inform the public, the press, and policymakers about the war on public schools. 

Please commit today to a monthly amount of $5, $10, $15, or even $20. For NPE, monthly donations add up to make a big difference.

The stakes are getting higher all of the time. Just this week, the outgoing Oklahoma attorney general declared that it is unconstitutional to prohibit religious charter schools.

Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children and the Oklahoma governor applauded.

A Catholic online charter chain is ready to put in its application. The time is now to act to save public education.

Please sign up to make a monthly donation today.

We’re so grateful for the donors that supported our work in 2022. You can see a list of those supporters on our website. Please consider a donation to the Network for Public Education in your year end giving.

Register Today! Diane Ravitch in Conversation with Josh Cowen

Join us on January 11 for a video conference with NPE President Diane Ravitch. Diane’s guest will be Josh Cowen, Professor of Education Policy at Michigan State University. Diane and Josh’s conversation will be titled School Privatization and the Education Culture Wars: The Year in Review and the Year Ahead.

Dr. Cowen has been studying school choice, teacher labor markets, and other policies for nearly two decades, and works directly with policymakers, stakeholders and media professionals to understand the consequences of various education reforms.

“Josh has drawn connections to the school culture wars, privatization, voting rights denial, and other hot-button issues,” Diane said.

Keeping them Honest

Last year, Congress asked the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate the controversial federal Charter Schools Program (CSP), focusing on grantee charter schools that have closed or never opened. That investigation would, I thought, be important – since the GAO might be able to pin down the scattered pieces of data about the hundreds of millions that have gone to schools that never open or shut down. 

But when I read the report the GAO published in October, my jaw dropped. As someone who has studied the CSP since 2019, I was surprised not only by the astounding undercounting of closed CSP schools but the inaccurate interpretation of their own findings. 

I made numerous attempts to convince the GAO to review their results, each time emailing new factual evidence, each time receiving evasive and, at times, contradictory responses. The evidence I sent to the GAO showed that the numbers reported were severe undercounts.

You can read what we found when we dug deep, published here on Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet in the Washington Post.

Join us at our 10th Anniversary Conference

We hope you’ll join us for the NPE/NPE Action 2023 Conference in Washington, D.C., Public Schools: Where Democracy Grows. We will be gathering at the Capital Hilton in the heart of the nation’s capital to celebrate our 10th Anniversary on October 28-29, 2023.

You can book your hotel reservations here, and if you would like to present at the 2023 conference fill out the application for panelists here.

Happy Holidays from NPE!

On behalf of the staff and the board of the Network for Public Education, I want to wish you and your family health, happiness and good fortune this holiday season, and in the new year!