Category Archives: Uncategorized

Steven Singer: An “Originalist” View of Public Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steven Singer tries to understand today’s public schools through the eyes of an “original story,” someone who judges court cases based on the original intent of those who wrote the Constitution.

He writes:

Let’s say you went to a restaurant and ordered a big ol’ meat sandwich only to find nothing but straw between two pieces of bread.

“Waiter!” You say, calling over a server.

“What’s wrong, Sir?”

“There’s no meat in my sandwich.”

“Oh, Sir?” He says smiling, examining your plate. “Here at Scalia’s Bar and Grill we adhere to a strict originalist interpretation of language.”

“What does that have to do with my sandwich?”

“Well, Sir, in Old English ‘meat’ meant any solid food, anything other than drink. As in ‘A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland’ (1775), Samuel Johnson noted, ‘Our guides told us, that the horses could not travel all day without rest or…

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Mitchell, D. (1995). The End of Public Space? People’s Park, Definitions of the Public, and Democracy. _Annals of The Association of American Geographers_, 85(1): 108-133.

brettany shannon

Don Mitchell, PhD Geography, Rutgers University, is Distinguished Professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. His specialties comprise: cultural, urban, and historical geography, public space, landscape, labor, social theory, and Marxism. His publications are grouped thusly: on landscape and laborers; on public space, radical politics and marginalized peoples; on culture, geography, and general trouble making. He approaches these three areas of study through a broadly Marxist, and certainly radical and materialist, framework, starting from the position that scholarship and political commitment cannot be divorced.

Mitchell recounts the controversial decision for UC Berkeley leadership to partner in 1989 with the City of Berkeley to wrest the People’s Park from its marginalized users and turn control over to middle-class and student interests, who believe the conservative argument that in order for public spaces to work, they must be safe, orderly. From the 60s through 80s, Cal students became increasingly conservative, actively…

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“Originalist” Would Not Permit Women on the Court

Diane Ravitch's blog

On Twitter, Representative Barbara Lee exploded the complete nonsense behind the “Originalist” theory of judging, claimed by people like the late Justice Scalia and Judge Amy Coney Barrett. They say the words of the Constitution should mean today what they meant in the 18th century, nothing more, nothing less.

Representative Lee tweeted:

An “originalist” reading of the Constitution would disqualify Judge Barrett, or any woman, from serving on the Supreme Court or from owning property or voting.

“Originalism” is a cover for deeply unpopular & un-democratic policies, not some kind of serious judicial philosophy.

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Network for Public Education Action Endorses Three More Senate Candidates

Diane Ravitch's blog

NPE Action previously endorsed nine Senate candidates:

Mark Kelly-Arizona

Jon Ossoff-Georgia

Theresa Greenfield-Iowa

Barbara Bollier-Kansas

Amy McGrath-Kentucky

Sara Gideon-Maine

Steve Bullock-Montana

Cal Cunningham-North Carolina

Jaime Harrison-South Carolina

We endorse three more candidates for the United States Senate:

Doug Jones-Alabama

Gary Peters-Michigan

M.J. Hegar-Texas

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Retired Teacher: The Remedy for Our Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

A regular reader who uses the name “Retired Teacher” posted this wise comment. I couldn’t agree more.


So-called choice is mostly a marketing scheme designed to make parents believe they are getting a better school for their children. Research has shown that choice generally does not improve education, and in many cases the quality of education is worse. Choice is a way for corporations to gain access to public dollars at the expense of public schools. It makes the wants of a few take priority over the needs of many. It is impossible to fund parallel systems and a public system for the same dollar. More underfunded schools are not a way to improve education.

The privatization of education has failed. It is time to consolidate resources and invest in quality education with supports and services designed to address the needs of poor students. A well resourced public school can…

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TCS: Dear Readers – Some Last Thoughts

Flowers For Socrates

All good things must come to an end– Geoffrey Chaucer, 1380s

My very first post at Flowers for Socrates, in July 2015, was a Word Cloud about James Dickey, a poet better known for his novel Deliverance.

My very last post will be the ON THIS DAY tomorrow – Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

In between, I’ve posted here over 2,245 times.

Thank you all so much for stopping by, some of you every day, to read what I’ve posted.

The reason I am not continuing is because Word Press has initiated a new block system for writing posts which I find baffling and completely unfriendly to this user. Given the stress which all of us are under because of the pandemic, particularly here in the U.S., the added problems on the West Coast because of the wildfires, our upcoming election, and some personal issues, the timing of this new system…

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