Sunday, June 26, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Some Must-Reads for June

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Some Must-Reads for June:

ICYMI: Some Must-Reads for June

And not a word here about Brexit.  

The Importance of Parent Voice

Talking about the co-opting of language and  parent voice in Nashville and elsewhere.

The Reading Rules We Would Never Follow As Adults

Those rules we impose on student readers that, as adults, we would never stand for, and what that tells us about the authenticity of reading instruction. 

School Reform Is Really about Land Development

Somehow this sat and stewed for about a month before it got traction. It is an absolute must-read. If you only read two pieces on this list, this should be one of them.

What's Wrong with Christie's Wrongheaded School Aid Plan?

The spectacle of Tom Moran actually calling Christie really wrong.


You can't go wrong with Alfie Kohn, who may not blog often, but every time it's well thought out and deeply important.

CBE and ALEC Preparing Students for the Gig Economy

Competency based education is perfect grooming for the gig economy, where nobody ever has a steady job.

America's Not-So-Broken Education System

This would be the other must-read post from the week. Jack Schneider puts the whole picture in perspective and goes back to the fundamental flawed premise of reform.

North Carolina: The Ongoing Destruction of Public Education

Every so often, it's worth taking a moment to just step back and take in the full breadth of North Carolina's continuing attack on public schools and the teachers who work in them 

When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers

Not directly about education, this looks at how Wall Street is taking over basic services like health care, and the miserable side effects for people who depend on those services. It will all seem distressingly familiar.

No Words Can Charm a Computer

A student writes a letter to the editor that beautifully outlines why computer-based scoring is a stupid idea.

Politicians Say They Care About Education: Now Public School Advocates Are Putting Them To the Test

The education planks that should be in every party's platform

Vivian Connell: Her Last Post

Of all the voices that Diane Ravitch has amplified, none has been more moving and heart-wrenching than Vivian Connell, the teacher blogging about her long fight with ALS. This week she made her final post.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Some Must-Reads for June:

The Truth Behind Grit
In 1955, researchers Emmy Werner and Ruth Smith approached every family on Kauai, HI, who had a child that year. 698 families said yes, beginning one of the longest studies of childhood development and childhood adversity ever conducted.The study is featured in a fascinating article at Mosaic Science by Lucy Maddox. The piece never uses the word "grit," but it looks at the question of re
Time To Speak Up on ESSA Regulations
While the new education law is on the books, it still remains to follow ESSA:The Law with it's even-more-important sequel ESSA: The Regulations. It's the body of regulations that determines exactly what the law means, how exactly the law will influence day to day life in Educationland.So the writing of ESSA regulations is Really Important, and it's an especially big deal this time because Secretar

CBE: Personalized Education & The Indexing Problem
There are plenty of reasons not to like Competency Based Education, which can be found these days shambling about under the nom de guerre "personalized education." It's an appealing name, as it evokes images of a student with her own personal tutor and guide, her own educational concierge. Instead, it's actually a student strapped to a personal computer screen watching a parade of adapti
PA: Cybers Are Delusional
It's been little more than a week since the bricks and mortar portion of the charter school industry took a big, hard swipe at their cyber-siblings. As you may recall, three major charter school groups released a "report" that was basically a blueprint for how to slap the cyber-schools with enough regulation to make them finally behave. The report was rough, noting all of the worst findi
MD: State Super Gets Writing Lesson
Les Perelman is one of my heroes. For years he has poked holes in the junk science that is computer-graded writing, bringing some sanity and clarity to a field clogged with silly puffery.We are all indebted to Fred Klonsky for publishing an exchange between Perelman (retired Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at MIT) and Jack Smith, the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. Maryland is

JUN 24

OK: An Example for All of Us
Oklahoma has taken its share of lumps in the ed debates. Their legislature is not quite as determined to burn public education to the ground as are the legislatures of North Carolina or Florida. It's not quite as committed to cashing in on the charter revolution as Ohio. But Oklahoma remains in the grip of reformster baloney, and teachers are tired and frustrated. The word 'frustrated" comes
School Accountability Camps
Now that ESSA has opened the door (maybe, kind of) to new approaches to school accountability. What are the possibilities? Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute has outlinbed four possibilities in a list calculated to help us all conclude that only one of the possibilities is really legit. The list apparently grows out of the Fordham contest to design a compatibility system; I entered that compet
Do Interim Tests Help?
You know the drill. We have to take the Big Standardized Tests in the spring, so in the fall and winter, maybe multiple times, we're going to take the pre-test, or practice test, or interim test, or testing test test.The plan is that this will get the students ready for the BS Test (because it is such an artificial, inauthentic task that it doesn't resemble any other activity except taking similar

JUN 23

Intangible Greatness
You may have heard by now the satisfying news that the Supreme Court spanked Abbie Fisher in a decision that provides, as Salon put it, "A massive blow to mediocre white people coasting on their racial privilege." Fisher (and her lawyer, notorious affirmative action combatant Edward Blum) argued that as a mediocre white person, she should automatically get preference over a mediocre blac
Attacking the Public in Public Education
Many parts of the attack on US public education have not been subtle or hard to detect. The refrain "our schools are failing" has been so steadily repeated for the past few decades that it is now accepted uncritically, independent of any evidence other than "Hey, I keep hearing people say it, so I guess it must be true." Now we hear it just tossed off as an aside, an assumption

JUN 22

Charterista Faux Teacher Programs Make ESSA Demands of Feds
The damndest things turn up on Twitter some days. Take this document. Entitled "Joint Statement Calling for Transparency of Outcomes to Improve Teacher Preparation and Better Serve Students and Districts," this is a fairly transparent demand by several "alternative path" teaching programs that new regulations give them a better advantage in the Brave New ESSA World.Urban Teache
PA: A Curious Online Learning Bill
I'm not honestly sure what to make of this one, but this bill has actually passed in the PA House, so we should probably pay a little bit of attention. It deals with online learning, so that demands attention as well.House Bill 1915 doesn't even have a snappy name, but its purpose is to establish the Online Course Clearinghouse.The bill was put out there by Rep. Jason Ortitay (R) who indicated tha

JUN 21

Twenty Two Years & Lost Possibilities
Our local newspaper runs a "22 years ago today" item most days, a quick snapshot of what people were up to 22, 44 and 66 years ago. This morning I picked up the paper and saw a name I think about every year.The student was in my class, long long ago. He was what we like to call an "at risk" student, which is such a professional term to use, when the human reality of at risk stu

JUN 20

Live Blogging Ed Reform Marriage Counseling Session
A few weeks ago, Robert Pondiscio wrote what seemed to me to be a fairly well-measured piece about the uneasy and possibly-unraveling collaboration between reformy conservatives and reformy liberals. I even wrote a vaguely thoughtful response. But lots of folks absolutely lost their heads, and the post and various responses to it bounced all over the reformy side of the blogoverse.That seems to ha
Mexico: How Bad Can the Ed Debates Get?
I try to be careful with word choice. I've been reluctant to call the reformster-driven ed debates in this country a "war" or even an "assault" because when we inflate the nature of some conflict, we dilute the meaning of words, words that we may need when something that does more closely resemble an actual war, with fighting and shooting and killing. Which takes us to Mexico.N
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Some Must-Reads for June:

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