Joanne Barkan

Joanne Barkan is a writer who lives in Manhattan and Truro, Massachusetts. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago where she attended public elementary and high schools.

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How to Criticize “Big Philanthropy” Effectively

April 9, 2014 · Blog

Criticizing philanthropy (or philanthropists) of any kind is tricky. To most people, a negative appraisal sounds off-base and churlish—yet another instance of “No good deed goes unpunished.” Criticizing the immense private foundations that finance and shape the market-model “reform” of … {…}

By Joanne Barkan
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We They Shall Overcome

January 17, 2014 · Blog

Rooted in the gospel tradition, the song “We Shall Overcome” became an anthem of the African‑American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s and then an assertion of struggle and solidarity worldwide. Solidarity is at the heart of both … {…}

By Joanne Barkan
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Plutocrats at Work: How Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy

Early twentieth-century skeptics were rightly suspicious of plutocrats deciding how to improve the human condition and then paying to translate their notions into public policy. Now it’s time for a new progressive era—complete with muckrakers and trust-busters to cast a critical eye on big philanthropy. {…}

By Joanne Barkan
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What Happened to Public Education on Election Night?

November 26, 2012 · Online Articles

The rescue of public education must come from the grassroots, from a coalition led by parents and teachers. Such a movement has been taking shape gradually and gained visibility during the 2012 election cycle. {…}

By Joanne Barkan

Who Is Victimizing Chicago’s Kids?

September 14, 2012 · Blog

Yes, schoolchildren in Chicago are victims, but not of their teachers. They are victims of a nationwide education “reform” movement geared to undermine teachers’ unions and shift public resources into private hands; they are victims of wave after wave of … {…}

By Joanne Barkan

Hired Guns on Astroturf: How to Buy and Sell School Reform

For Barkan’s other writing on the self-proclaimed “education reform movement,” click here, here, and here. If you want to change government policy, change the politicians who make it. The implications of this truism have now taken hold in the market-modeled … {…}

By Joanne Barkan

Firing Line: The Grand Coalition Against Teachers

June 29, 2011 · Online Articles

J. Barkan: Ed Reformers v. Teachers {…}

By Joanne Barkan

Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

To see an MSNBC interview with Barkan about this article, click here. For resources and further reading suggested by Barkan, click here. The cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. … {…}

By Joanne Barkan

Resources and Further Reading for “Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools” (Web-Only)

In the text of my article “Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools,” readers can find the sources for any material that I have quoted. For those who would like to see general sources, background material, or suggestions for further … {…}

By Joanne Barkan

About-face: A Conservative Rethinks Education Policy

The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch Basic Books, 2010, 288 pp., $26.95 It’s fall 2007. Diane Ravitch is packing a career’s worth of reading and writing … {…}

By Joanne Barkan
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