Saturday, October 15, 2016

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: There Are More Important Things



There Are More Important Things
This is Homecoming week at my high school; Thursday parade, Friday game, and tonight, the Big Dance. It's a big deal. I've been the Student Council adviser in charge of all this stuff for years and years now, and I never cease to be amazed at how worked up some students get about it. After all, it is the first Big Dance of the year, and for our freshpersons, the first Big dance of their entire hig


Student$Fir$tNY Bankrolls GOP
StudentsFirstNY launched back in 2012, an Empire State spin-off of the StudentsFirst orgnization launched by former DC chancellor, She Who Will Not Be Named. She was always nominally a Democrat (check out this awesomely non-prescient article from 2012 that says she's taking over the Democratic Party), but the NY branch of StudentsFirst was formed by Jenny Sedlis , who worked with Eva Moskowitz (th

OCT 13

Embracing Education Productivity?
Rick Hess recently posted a piece that makes a couple of discussion-worthy points while neatly sliding right past a couple of other ones. In " Why You Should Learn to Love Educational Productivity ," Hess argues for an embrace of "productivity," but I'm not sure that word means exactly what he thinks it means. We get to the "productivity" issue by sliding past a different one. Hess opens by noting
Fed's Stupid Teacher Prep Program Rules
The feds have released their rules governing teacher preparation programs, and they are just as stupid as they have promised to be all along. How stupid? Kate Walsh of the impossible-to-take-seriously National Council on Teacher Quality saw the rules and pronounced them even "better" than she had expected , with extra-super-accountability. The genius portion is the part that links college teacher

OCT 12

Closing the Achievement Gap
There are some educational issues that have become so covered with layers and layers of detail and nuance and policy and jargon and baloney and nature's own fertilizer that it can become difficult to see the relatively simple problem that lies beneath the giant mounds of stuff. Closing the achievement gap is one such issue. It's the subject of considerable discussion and policy wrangling, and is t

OCT 11

FL: Oh, Come On Now!
I don't even want to be still writing about this story, but apparently Florida's flock of school administrators include some of the most terrible people ever. So here we are. You will recall that several Florida parents sued their district, the state, and anyone else connected to the baloney-faced rule about refusing to pass third graders who hadn't scored on the third grade reading Big Standardiz
I am just emerging from the final sprint of my seasonal fall marathon. I've been directing a community theater production of Disney's Little Mermaid, a show which may not have a great deal of intellectual heft, but which does include a great number of moving parts. The show ran for two weekends in our community theater, with the second weekend corresponding with our local festival. As one of the g

OCT 10

Why Are Teachers So Stressed?
Last week at the Atlantic, teacher-author Timothy Walker took a broad look at the reports of teacher stress (a good follow-up to his earlier piece on teacher burnout ). Walker did a good job of gathering up the current data on teacher stress, but he stopped short of one huge question. On twitter he opened the door to that question, so I'm going to go ahead and step through it. Walker's compendium
Don't Wait for the Authorities
This morning we had some professional development from our local police department, The training centered around the ALICE method of dealing with an active shooter. What are we supposed to do when there's an active killer in the building? ALICE focuses on three choices-- run, hide or fight. There were some specifics mixed, including some of the specifics of blockading a classroom door and making t

OCT 09

ICYMI: More Edureading
I It's a short list this week, but still worth reading. The Annual Autopsy You know I love a good analogy. Here's one more way to look at the uselessness of "data." Education's Failure To Retain Great Teachers Another look at the sad state of teacher retention in the ed biz. Seven Things I learned from Attending a Charter School Board Meeting Nancy Flanagan went to a charter board meeting and had


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