Monday, September 5, 2016

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Still Stupidly Punishing Children + ICYMI: Fall kick-off edition


FL: Still Stupidly Punishing Children
Sigh. So you will probably recall that some of Florida's educational leaders have lost their damned minds , having decided that the full force of districts and state powers must be brought to bear in order to beat a bunch of nine-year-old children into compliance. In some school districts, administrators had concluded that third grade children who opted out of the Big Standardized Test could not b


Why Charters Love "Public School"
The question is up for pseudo-debate once again because of the National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases that charter schools are private corporations . The decision is new, but the fact that charters are private businesses is not. While charter fans are trying to act shocked and surprised ., I'm just going to go ahead and link, for the six-zillionth time, to that special occasi
Brookings Fails at Teacher Diversity Research
This is just exceptional. In mid-August, Brookings released a report looking at the huge inequity in the teacher force , specifically the question of how to get more teachers of color in the classroom. Their conclusion, loosely paraphrased, is that the problem just can't be solved . Which seems, I don't know-- counterintuitive? improbable? wrong? There are some red flags in this report. Right up f

SEP 03

ICYMI: Fall kick-off edition (9/4)
As always, if you see something that really speaks to you, share it. Michigan Spends $1 Billion on Charter Schools But Fails To Hold Any Accountable Well, that headline for this Detroit Free press pretty well covers it. Schools Open, Schools Close-- Charter Schools and the Ties That Bind From Harvard, a thoughtful consideration of the real costs of school closures Rubric for the Rubric Concerning
Some Gates Charter Personalized Love
Don Shalvey has been pushing charter schools for many, many years. He was serving a superintendent of the San Carlos School District when he launched the first charter school in California . That was 1992. In 1998 he joined with Reed " Elected Schools Boards Suck " Hastings (Netflix) to for Californians for Public School Excellence, an astroturf group created to push charter school legis
Is Poverty No Longer a Thing?
Mike Petrilli was over at Campbell Brown's place this week where A) he was oddly billed as a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a book author, but not as the head honcho of the Fordham Institute and B) suggesting that we might need to reconsider our stances on poverty, now that it's not so much of a thing. I'm not an economist and I don't play one on tv (though economists pretend

SEP 02

Dyett Opening Again
You may recall that a year ago, activists launched a hunger strike to protest the closing of Dyett High School in the historic Bronzeville section of Chicago. Chicago Public Schools appeared bound and determined to carve the school up and turn it into one more private turnaround money salad (with gentrification dressing on top), even though community members had done everything just the way they w

SEP 01

Duncan Stops Pretending
As the head of the United States Department of Education, Arne Duncan must have felt some pressure to be supportive of public education in this country. But now that he's a private citizen and name-for-hire, he is held by no such restraints. That's made extraordinarily clear in his piece for Atlantic, in which he " examines the issues at the heart of the charter-school debate ." It would
The Struggles of Boy Teacher
Dylan Felton is an English teacher in his sixth year, working at Collingswood High School, a public school in Camden*, NJ. Felton aspires to be an "educational leader," which makes his recent piece in the Huffington Post all the more extraordinary. In " What It's Like Being a Male Teacher ," Felton mushes together a couple of separate issues, some of which deserve discussion a

AUG 31

Education vs. Poverty
Ben Spielberg, at 34justice, has put together a short stark piece that juxtaposes five simple pieces of data. There is nothing new here, but putting these five points side by side is compelling. 1) There are achievement gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten, and they are related to family income. 2) School quality is a minor factor in explaining the testing (aka "achiev

AUG 30

Charter Fans Put Bounty on John Oliver's Head
How much did John Oliver's piece on charter schools upset charter cheerleaders? About $100,000. Yesterday the Center for Education Reform, Jeanne Allen's pro-charter advocacy group, announced the " Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School " video contest, in which your charter school can win $100,000 for creating a video that will show John Oliver "why making fun of charter schoo

AUG 29

English Teacher Side Hustle
Forbes may be the magazine of the business world, but they aren't above the occasional listcicle. Today my feed coughed up the insta-classic " 15 Easy Side Hustles You Can Start This Weekend ." Ryan Robinson is the writer, and his intro slide sets it all up: Not ready to leave your job, but also not ready to start up? Here are some ideas that can help you earn some extra money on the sid
Mr. Gates Chats with Mr. Bowling
A week back, Bill Gates took to his blog to report on a sit-down with Nate Bowling. He calls it " A Powerful Conversation about Schools, Poverty and Race ," and that may be overstating the case a bit, but it's worth a quick look. Nate Bowling has won an assortment of teaching awards, most recently Washington State Teacher of the Year. He blogs at A Teacher's Evolving Mind , and his self-
MI: Boatloads of Money
“People should get a fair return on their investment,” said former state schools Superintendent Tom Watkins, a longtime charter advocate who has argued for higher standards for all schools. “But it has to come after the bottom line of 

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