Saturday, November 19, 2016

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Charter Teacher Fired for Assigning Reading + The Faux Progressive Polka



FL: Charter Teacher Fired for Assigning Reading
The Franklin Academy charter chain of Florida says it takes its inspiration from Ben Franklin, "a founding father who personified the pursuit of excellence, discovery and creativity." But they apparently also credit Franklin with being a champion of compliance and test prep, and they apparently don't share his respect for teaching. 7th grade English teacher Elliott Herman has been fired by the Pa

NOV 17

The Faux Progressive Polka
It has always been one of the curiosities of the reformster movement-- the insistence that they are Progressives and Democrats, while they have embraced and pushed policies linked to the privatization of public education. How could it be that Bush II's ed policy could flow seamlessly into Obama's? How could it be that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton saw each other as simpatico when it came to educati
MA: Charter Lessons
By now, you've heard that the folks who threw a giant pile of money at Question 2, the initiative to free charter-preneurs from their chains so that they could romp freely in fields of money-- those guys lost, and lost hard. There have been plenty of pieces that dissected the victory for public education from the public education advocate side of things. But I found some interesting points to note

NOV 16

Chait Sends Ed News from Alternate Universe
New York magazine ran a piece by Jonathan Chait that considers some more ed policy possibilities from the upcoming Trump administration-- but just to switch things up a bit, his article throws around pieces of news from some alternate universe. "Will Trump Give Education Reform the Kiss of Death?" is a legitimate question, but Chait throws in some ideas that are just counterfactual. The hook here
Trump Teaching Lesson
There's an aspect of Candidate Trump's success that I think is both under-discussed and also a good lesson/reminder for those of us in the teaching biz. Trump never made folks feel stupid. Seriously. Members of the public would figuratively run up to him hollering, "Good lord, did you see this terrible story on the internet," and without batting an eye, Trump would respond "I know!! Incredible, ri
The Open Door
I have news. Not political news or even education news, but completely personal news. My wife and I are expecting. In fact, we're expecting twins. This is only partially a surprise. There was some science involved, but science does not account for the twin part. So that was a bit of a shock. We have moved past the Really Freaking Out stage for the moment. We are due in June, so we have time to pla

NOV 15

Help Back Backpack
Sarah Mondale is a documentary filmmaker and teacher. Ten years ago, she and her partners created the multi-part documentary School: The Story of American Education ( you can find the book form at many booksellers ). Now she has a new project and it deserves your support. Backpack Full of Cash is a look at the privatization of education in America , how the drive to make schools into a profitable
Jeb's Charterpalooza Coming Soon
Proud to say that today's email includes my media registration invitation to this years convention thrown by Jeb Bush (out-of-work politician) & Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE)-- Transforming Lives Through Education. I am interested in seeing what happens next to Jeb!, who now occupies a weird sort of reformster twilight zone. On the one hand, Herr Trump appears to fully embrace Bush'

NOV 14

Yes, It's That Bad
We have the first names of the Trump administration, and people are worked up. The choice of Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff is one more sign that folks who wanted Trump to completely turn his back on the establishment and drain the swamp-- well, that is going to be the first of many disappointments for them. But the choice of Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist is bad news. Exceptionally bad news.

NOV 13

OH: One Third Won't Graduate
Back in the summer of 2014, the Ohio legislature approved a New! Improved! plan for measuring student achievement. Two years later, it's not looking so good. The plan was to expand over and above the old Ohio Graduation Test, which would be replaced with seven other tests. Four of the new exams will be based on the new multi-state Common Core standards that Ohio is starting to use in all schools.
Adieu, Core Warriors: The Post-Election Realignment
It was going to happen sooner or later. The folks lined up against the forces of reformsterdom, like the forces of reformsterdom themselves, represented an odd patchwork of alliances, an alignment of a few interests that prompted overlooking a few others. But now, with Trump's election, alliances on both sides will be ended. Folks are going to have to throw away their old dance cards and grab some
ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition
Man, I just can't. I've been reading election-related stuff all week, and either you have, too, or you have given up. Either way, you don't need any more. So let's just take a break, for a few moments, before we wade back into it again. Gunhild Carling is a musical prodigy from Sweden. Genius duet between Astaire and Eleanor Powell, the unfairly forgotten Queen of Tap. Fun to watch Astaire work on

NOV 12

Uganda Shuts Down For-Profit Ed Provider
We can get so focused on the USA aspects of reformsterism that we forget how much privatization is being exported. Take, for instance, the export of some of our worst, most developmentally-inappropriate ideas to schools in Ecuador. But one of the thriving edu-exports has been the business of selling school-in-a-can t9o nations in Africa. Bridge Academies are one such edu-business , founded by a no
Principled Bullies
At the end of this seemingly endless week (perhaps it just seems linger because I've spent so little of it sleeping), what I most treasure are people of principle. And I'm going to ask you to do something for me here, because if you get mad and check out in the middle of this piece, you are going to miss the point. One of the most striking and disappointing things about many Trump supporters has b

NOV 11

Education's Trumpian Crystal Ball
Today's new cottage industry is Trumpian predictive activities-- what will he do, what will happen next, what will he decide about My Favorite Issue. This is a bit of a fool's game-- on the one hand, Trump has told us pretty clearly what he's 

Latest News and Comment from Education