Sunday, April 23, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Day After Earth Edition + Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Day After Earth Edition (4/23):

ICYMI: Day After Earth Edition (4/23)

Your list of worthwhile reads from the week. Enjoy, and pass them on. 

Looking for the Living Among the Dead

A beautiful Easter meditation from Jose Luis Vilson

The Privateer Legislators

A family friend passed this along from Florida. An articulate argument for not privatizing education in Florida, or anywhere else, from Roger Williams.

Chester Finn Jr. Calls for an End to Teacher Tenure

I assume that if you read here, you also follow Diane Ravitch, but it's easy to lose pieces in the midst of the Ravitchian avalanche of posts, and here's one you really don't want to miss, as the education historian points out what's wrong about so many arguments against teacher tenure.

Call This The Empty Chair 

One more panel about teaching without a single teacher in sight.

Where Did All the Black Teachers Go?

A personal essay about one of the most under-addressed issues in education-- why can't schools hold onto teachers of color?

School Choice: The Faustian Bargain 

Russ Walsh looks at what choicers require folks to give up in order to get choice.

Mr Staples, Here's What Happened To Black Teachers

A solid response to that NYT piece from the Schools Matter blog.

Homework Is Wrecking Our Kids

This piece is actually over a year old, but it's still the truth, and still well-worth a read and a share.

Largest Charter Chain in LA Raises Millions To Fight Unionization

Facing a unionizing teacher staff? Charters could take any number of responses, but in LA, the largest charter chains went with "Collect $2.2 from various anonymous friends to keep unions from happening."

As It Always Should Be

Everyone with a little needs a Teacher Tom in their life. Here he is discovering one more beautiufl and joyous thing about his kids.

These Are a  Few of My Favorite Green Things

For Earth Day, another post from my daughter about the small sustainable things we can all do to help. 

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Day After Earth Edition (4/23):


Sunday School Lessons Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Sunday School Lessons Diane Ravitch's blog 
A site to discuss better education for all

Mercedes Schneider on Tenure at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
If you were irked by Checker Finn’s article calling for an end to teacher tenure, you will enjoy Mercedes Schneider’s biting commentary on “tenure” at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. She opens up the tax returns of TBF and reveals executive salaries. Working for a think tank in D.C. pays far more than teaching. I was a founding board member of TBF, back when it started. Checker’s father was chai
Russ Walsh: School Choice and the Faustian Bargain
In the wake of Betsy and Randi’s visit together to a public school in Ohio, Russ Walsh reflects on how school choice affects democracy. Every dollar that goes to a charter or voucher is taken away from public schools like those they visited. “Choice” means budget cuts to the public school, and it means that public dollars go to privately controlled schools. “While the school that DeVos and Weinga
How Jeb Bush and His Foundation for Educational Excellence Profited Their Corporate Sponsors
This is not a new article but it remains timely and worthy of your attention. Jeb Bush runs an organization called the Foundation for Educational Excellence. Betsy DeVos was a member of his board. FEE receives corporate contributions. It works closely with ALEC, the rightwing corporate-sponsored organization that lobbies for charters, vouchers, and against teachers’ unions and tenure. In the Publ


Arthur Goldstein on the Madness at Central Park East 1
Deborah Meier created an oasis of child-centered education at Central Park East 1?in East Harlem. Parents from out-of-district enrolled. It was different from other public schools. Deborah Meier left, convinced that her school was in safe hands. But the system took control. The system does not like rebellion. Parents are now protesting a principal determined to quash Deborah Meier’s vision. Arthu
Mike Klonsky: What Was Gained by Randi’s Visit with Betsy?
Mike Klonsky says: Nothing. You cannot turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
Carl Paladino: More Reason to Remove Him
The State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia has scheduled a hearing on whether to remove Buffalo school trustee Carl Paladino for racially offensive remarks made last December in print. As Leonie Haimson writes here, there is another reason to discipline the billionaire real estate developer. He violated student privacy laws.
SomeDam Poet: How I Will Celebrate Earth Day
Ruminations on Earth Day in the Trump era, by SomeDam Poet: “How I plan to celebrate earth day” For Earth Day Forty Seven I plan to chop a tree To honor Earthly Heaven I’ll drill in Arctic sea I’ll open up a pipeline That brings the oil to you Pollute the river lifeline With tar and other goo I’ll bring back dirty coal And with it, lung disease The things enviros stole Through hugging of the tree
Busted Pencils on the New Documentary: “Backpack Full of Cash”
Tim Slekar regularly posts podcasts of high value to the resistance, to those fighting privatization and high stakes testing. This episode features an interview with Sarah Mondale and Vera Aronow, the veteran filmmakers whose new documentary tells the story of the organized assault on public education. Please take he time to listen. In 2001, Mondale and Aronow made a four-part documentary called
In the Public Interest: Why the Trump-DeVos Choice Agenda Won’t Work
Donald Cohen, executive director of the nonprofit group In the Public Interest, wrote the following ( co-posted in Huffington Post ): Conservatives seem to have a thing for fast food. The founder of what would eventually become the country’s largest private prison corporation, CoreCivic (formerly CCA), once declared , “You just sell [private prisons] like you were selling cars or real estate or h
New York: State Commissioner Elia Has Ordered a Hearing to Consider Removal of Carl Paladino
New York Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has scheduled a hearing to consider the removal of Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino, who made vile comments about President and Mrs. Obama last winter. The hearing will be held on June 22. Last December, Paladino was invited to participate in a published discussion of “hopes for 2017.” His response began like this: 1. Obama catches mad cow disease aft

The Big Lie Told about Students with Disabilities and School Choice
A follower of this blog contacted me recently to share a video on YouTube that outraged her. She explained that she is blind and so are her two children. She is also a lawyer, who has overcome many obstacles to achieve an education and a profession. She was outraged because this video featured a young man who said he was blind and that he was unable to get the support he needed in public schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Ed Notes Online: CPE1 and Global Tech - East Harlem Dist. 4 Supt Alexandra Estrella: Evil Death Star School Destroyer

Ed Notes Online: CPE1 and Global Tech - East Harlem Dist. 4 Supt Alexandra Estrella: Evil Death Star School Destroyer:

CPE1 and Global Tech - East Harlem Dist. 4 Supt Alexandra Estrella: Evil Death Star School Destroyer

Alexandra Estrella Sans Disguise
Alexandra Estrella, the District 4 superintendent, has shown Baiz the door in what is expected, by most educators who know both Global Tech and the district, to mark the beginning of the end for the school. Last week, the staff sat stunned and teary-eyed, when Baiz announced at the weekly staff meeting that he would not be returning after spring break.... Global Tech may turn out to be among the first Bloomberg-era small schools to be dismantled by the de Blasio-Farina administration. Those close to the school see Global Tech as a victim of an expanding bureaucracy where “who you know matters more than what you know.”...........Andrea Gabor, Gotham Gazette

David Baiz, the award-winning teacher who was handpicked by Global Tech’s founding principal to become her successor.

Do you see a pattern here, a pattern to put in closer principals with a blueprint to drive out veteran teachers -- a pattern the UFT refuses to acknowledge?  

Despite the turmoil, several teachers at the school, which is also known for low teacher turnover—not a single teacher left last year—are clearly reluctant to leave. ... Several other teachers, though, are updating their resumes. Thanks to Estrella’s decision to push Baiz out early, they have the entire upcoming so-called open-market period to look for new jobs within the department.
Yes, Virginia, Estrella is the very same Supt. who supports CPE1 Prinipal Monika Garg, branded the worst principal in NYC, but has inserted herself into Global Tech to bring in yet another one of her buddies as principal. turns out that she is moving one of her lieutenants, Ellen Johnson Torres, a teacher evaluation and development coach, into the job temporarily—another sign, education sources say, that the school will be merged with P.S. 7.
Global Tech also traces its lineage to the era of collaboration and teacher-leaders that flourished in District 4 Ed Notes Online: CPE1 and Global Tech - East Harlem Dist. 4 Supt Alexandra Estrella: Evil Death Star School Destroyer:

Henry Giroux: "Trump is the Endpoint" -- On Cruelty and Isolation in American Politics | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

Henry Giroux: "Trump is the Endpoint" -- On Cruelty and Isolation in American Politics | NewBlackMan (in Exile):

Henry Giroux: "Trump is the Endpoint" -- On Cruelty and Isolation in American Politics

'Cultural critic Henry Giroux examines the slow, steady rise of cruelty in American culture -- as the logic of neoliberalism strips our politics of anything besides self-regard, and the right capitalizes on the anger caused by its own policies -- and calls for the left to reclaim a language of liberation, and then get out on the streets and start fighting the war it's been losing for decades. Giroux wrote the article "The Culture of Cruelty in Trump's America" for Truthout.' -- This Is Hell! Radio

Education Lessons From A Sparkly District: PARCC Refusals and Doing the Right Thing

Education Lessons From A Sparkly District: PARCC Refusals and Doing the Right Thing:

PARCC Refusals and Doing the Right Thing

Last month, I wrote about some ridiculously punitive actions being taken against students whose parents had refused PARCC and the PARCC practice exercises. You can read about 3rd graders in detention here. As it was last year, as soon as the PARCC testing window began, so did the stories of intimidation by administrators to force students to participate in PARCC. Some examples of last year's craziness can be read here and here.

But what about districts who treat parents and students with just simple, common decency? Fortunately, those stories are out there too. They tend to be quiet. I certainly cannot blame any administrator for not wanting the punitive NJDOE spotlight on them. 

Here are just a few quotes from parents. I am not naming parents, students, or districts on purpose. Thanks to the parents who came forward to share their experiences. I hope their stories serve as examples to follow for the districts who are not treating students and parents like this. 

From Union County:

"I know there are lots of angry posts about treatment by opting out of PARCC, so I'd like to share positive experience... yes I said positive.We have a 4th grader in the XYZ district and we have opted him out of PARCC testing this coming week. We met no resistance from his teacher and none from his principal. In fact, his teacher provided us the following details so that both my son and I could be prepared for the testing week:
1. Exact testing time so that if we wished to bring him to school late we could, Education Lessons From A Sparkly District: PARCC Refusals and Doing the Right Thing:



HYH: Edvertising

If I've said it once, I've said it a gazillion times:

The free market does not foster superior quality; the free market fosters superior marketing. 

Annnnd here it comes. The marketing.

The latest episode of Have You Heard with Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider takes a look at educational marketing (it also posits the heretofore unknown product "Extruda," which... just makes me uncomfortable).

There are soooo many issues with school marketing, and not that marketing a school is "unseemly." For instance, as the cast points out, most marketing is aimed at selling a private good, while education is a public good. There is also the issue of customer evaluation-- New Coke had the weight of the advertising world behind it, but that could not overcome all the people who actually drank some and said, loudly, "Yuck!" With a charter school, you may not figure out that you were scammed for quite some time.

But most striking is just the cost. Sarah Butler Jessen is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bowdoin College who studies school marketing and makes a guest appearance on the show. She holds up Eva Moskowitz's Success Academies as one of the leading examples of charter marketing, and she unloads two stunning factoids-- SA has spent about $1,000 per student on marketing, and marketing is the second-biggest expenditure for the charter chain.

$1,000 per student on marketing. Imagine what you could do if you had another $1,000 to spend on actually educating each student.

This is part of the problem of edu-marketing-- even if your marketing is Honest and Pure and True, you have just spent a ton of money on something other than educating students.

Jessen also talks about how charter management groups and chains are far ahead of the marketing war, particularly with their branding and I was surprised (though on reflection I shouldn't have been) that, for instance, KIPP has a whole Brand Guideline Video. Like any other brand leader, KIPP's CURMUDGUCATION: HYH: Edvertising:

Earth Sunday. | Fred Klonsky

Earth Sunday. | Fred Klonsky:

Earth Sunday

40,000 take part in Science March, Chicago

Just a few years ago, the police in Chicago almost never locked anyone up for violating probation or parole. Now, they do it several times a day, on average.

From 2001 through 2012, the police made a total of 96 arrests for parole violations, city data show.
The number then rose to 338 in a single year, 2013. Then, it surged to 1,978 in 2015.
Arrests for all types of crimes plummeted last year after the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video led to more scrutiny of the police. But Chicago cops still remain on pace this year to arrest more than 900 people for parole violations.
“It’s a way to get them off the street” and also to make it easier for the police to keep tabs on gangs, says one veteran cop who spoke only on the condition that his name not be used.
He also offers a reason for the sudden rise in parole arrests, pointing out that it began after the city decriminalized the possession of small amounts of Earth Sunday. | Fred Klonsky:

Writing and Teaching Writing: By Topics | radical eyes for equity

Writing and Teaching Writing: By Topics | radical eyes for equity:

Writing and Teaching Writing: By Topics 

Related image

One aspect of blogging that is a recurring pleasant surprise is when an older posts pops up in the daily stats; someone has discovered and shared, and then, it resonates, often in a way it did not when I originally posted it.
Since my primary focus as an educator has been writing, I have accumulated a significant number of posts on being a writer and on teaching writing/composition. Here, I want to catalogue my writing posts by topics in order to make them more accessible to anyone interested. I will also try to update as I write more.
Hope this is useful to writers and teachers of writing.
Accountability, Standards, and High-Stakes Testing of Writing
Being a Writing Teacher
Being a Writer
Citation and Research Papers
Creative Writing
Diagramming Sentences
Direct Instruction
Disciplinary Writing
First-Year Composition
Five-Paragraph Essay
Genre Awareness
LaBrant, Lou
Literary Analysis Essay
Literary Technique Hunt
Public Intellectual (Writing for the Public)
Reading Like a Writer
Teaching English
Writers on Writing
Writing Workshop

 Writing and Teaching Writing: By Topics | radical eyes for equity:



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