Saturday, September 17, 2016

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: John King's Evidence-Based Revisionist History



John King's Evidence-Based Revisionist History
The US Department of Education and Secretary of Education John King are out with a one-two punch of silly bureaucratic blather and revisionist history. Friday's PR release carries the pithy title " U.S. Department of Education Releases New Guidance on Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments During Back to School Bus Tour " and it provides a handy link to Non-Regulatory Guidanc


USED: How Teachers Can Be Heard
Maddie Fennell is a Teacher of the Year from Nebraska who hooked up as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the US Department of Education, and she wrote what seems like a perfectly innocuous piece at Ed Week called " Hello from the Other Side " listing a few key lessons from her time there. Some of the insights are perfectly swell. Don't put education policy on a pedestal, because it's just
Petrilli: Mission Accomplished
Remember when we had a terrible, terrible crisis in the number of terribly bad awful really no good schools (filled with stinky, disastrous teachers) and we had to put the reform pedal to the scholastic metal toot de suite! Common Core, teacher evaluations, choice-flavored systems-- we had to have them RIGHT NOW and couldn't afford to wait another second because crisis crisis CRISIS! Remember all
What do you mean? I took the test.
My class is wasting our time engaged for two days with a popular "research-based, computer adaptive assessment that helps kids learn." It is several hours of our lives that we can't have back, and it reminds me once again of the very basic hurdles that these standardized bubble tests have trouble overcoming. The biggest first hurdle is that the students have to care. The students have to

SEP 15

Forest and Trees
Like many jobs in the world, particularly those that deal with humans, teaching requires focus on both forests and trees. A teacher faces questions like these in the classroom: What body of information do I need to convey to my students in a deep and integrated manner that best fits their pedagogical requirements and will most help them take their place as fully-actualized adults in the world? Wha

SEP 14

TN: (Not) Mrs. Jobs' Mall Charter [Update]
You may recall that last fall we were talking about Laurene Powell Jobs' (Wharton Business School, Goldman Sachs) entry into the world of Rich Amateurs Fixing Schools -- the XQ project , a grant competition to design America's next super-school. Well, the super-schools are here. Almost here. And Memphis, Tennessee gets one of them. (Well-- almost*) Among the charter schools approved by the Shelby

SEP 13

Hess: The Reform Agenda
Man, it is always so hard to get your hands on a copy of an agenda. For instance, we've been hearing about gay agenda for years, and yet nobody seems to have an actual copy of the thing. But last week over at the National Review, Rick Hess (AEI), one of my favorite writers that I generally disagree with, laid out the reform agenda (actually a reprint from conservative forum ). And I'm not just rea

SEP 12

The New Mascot
Consider Pitbull. The rappish artiste and modern poet ("Face down, booty up, that's the way we like to- what?!") has greeted the new school year with his third charter school. Pitbull has tried to make something out of the nickname he was tagged with once-- "Mr. Education"-- but it hasn't really caught on. But it hasn't stuck, perhaps because Pitbull's actual connection with th

SEP 11

OR: Oh Noooos!! SBA Results Are In!
Out in Oregon, the Smarter Balanced Assessment results were in this week, and various outlets raised the cry of dismay over the results. But Betsy Hammond at the Oregonian did an outstanding job of capturing everything wrong with SBA fever in her "8 Sobering Takeaways... " piece. First, she reminds us that "the tests are designed to measure whether students are on track to be ready
Election Education Update
After the two conventions, it began to look like public education would not have any champion in this Presidential cycle. So maybe now that the candidates have had a chance to put together clearer statements and assemble some advisors, has the picture changed? Are things looking up for fans of public education? Well, in a word, no. And in more than a single word...? Trump Flaps His Gums This was t
ICYMI: Catch up on your reading (9/11)
Here's some education reading for a quiet week in September. As always, please share and pass on the pieces you like. To the Gentlemen Talking about Lazy Teachers This blog is operated by two former teachers, but clearly the woman still remembers how the gig works. I Don't Want My Son To Read in Kindergarten One more great argument in favor of letting small children be small children. Black Teache
(Some of) What Technocrats Get Wrong
Slate ran an article this week about the newsy side of Facebook , and it's a reminder of so many reasons that technocrats are not to be trusted around education. Facebook has been having trouble handling the news. Well, and history. They censored the award-winning photo sometimes known as "napalm girl," an immediately recognizable Vietnam war photo both important in its role for driving

SEP 10

PA: Judge Cuts School Funding
Here in Pennsylvania, we've had a potentially game-changing ruling come down that could create all new problems for school districts and their funding. This story has many moving parts, so you'll have to stick with me for a bit here. The 

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