Saturday, January 14, 2017

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: Investors Warned Off Pearson + Unmoored (tl;dr)



Investors Warned Off Pearson
Today The Daily Telegraph, in its Questor business section, warned investors to stay away from Pearson stock. Writer James Ashton notes that one need not "monitor Donald Trump’s late-night Twitter feed" to get some sense of his opinion about education, specifically that Herr Trump does not think that education needs a giant injection of money. And that's not good news for the publishing behemoth (
Unmoored (tl;dr)
The signs are everywhere. Herr trump says he doesn't need to divest business interest or release taxes because the public doesn't care and isn't interested, and the counter-argument is to cite statistics that yes, the public does care.That's swell-- but isn't the point that we have rules and laws and even Presidents are supposed to follow them? Our discourse about ourselves as a country has come u


More Baloney in Support of DeVos
This week, it's often looking as if the postponement of Betsy DeVos's confirmation hearing was so that she could round up a few more supporters. So here comes former Michigan Governor John Engler, the guy who helped start the process of busting up public education in Michigan. Engler opens with a nifty observation: America doesn't need any more fights around education. Yeah, I'm looking better eve

JAN 12

Petrilli: Reconsider Vouchers
It's kind of curious. So many people are suddenly talking about vouchers again, and the only real reason that we are is because we're looking at the possibility of a Secretary of Education who just loves them and we're all trying to figure out what could come of that (Spoiler alert: nothing good). Wise researchers like Jersey Jazzman are reminding us where the voucher money ends up (Spoiler alert:
Tofu Schools
The repeated claim is that charters and choice are necessary in order for students to have options and to be able to select from many different educational programs, which makes me wonder-- are public schools made out of tofu or some other featureless, uniform substance. When you slice a public school, do you uncover the same bland surface, the same unvaried material, no matter which way you slice

JAN 11

Bad Management
I have a theory that one of the major problems in America today is just plain bad management. I have watched it trash companies on the smaller, more local scale here, and periodically we get to watch large American corporations go down in flames. For instance, consider retail giant Sears. Business Insider has published a blistering look inside the ongoing death spiral of the venerable retail giant
Charter Fans Challenge DeVos
The Massachusetts Charter Public [sic] School Association has joined the discussion of Betsy DeVos-- and they've joined it by asking Senator Elizabeth Warren to grill DeVos a little more thoroughly. Don't worry. Confirmation hearings have to end some time. MCPSA has had a rough few months. In November, Massachusetts voters resounding rejected a proposal to lift the charter cap and let charters roa

JAN 10

Should Devos Make This Argument for Choice?
Rick Hess (American Enterprise Institute) is using the occasion of the DeVos nomination to make some points about choice as a reform strategy. This is fair-- all of us in the education debates are both agitated about the nomination and aware that, for at least these fifteen minutes, American political discourse is actually paying attention to education. So we're all busy articulating our thoughts

JAN 09

Warren Spanks DeVos
Elizabeth Warren has noticed that there will be only one, brief opportunity to grill Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, and so today she has sent DeVos a letter outlining what sorts of answers she's looking for. The whole thing is sixteen pages long, and while Warren has not always been on the right side of education debates (in particular, she believes in the Big Standardized Test), she

JAN 08

Plutocrat Romney Endorses DeVos
Mitt Romney's willingness to prostrate himself has been one of the many unpleasant surprises of the last year. At first, he was one of the GOP voices of reason, calling Trump a phony and a fraud who was “playing members of the American public for suckers.” Then Herr Trump waved the Secretary of State job, and Mittens set himself up for this: Perhaps this was the very moment when he realized that h
ICYMI: Last Gasp Weekend Edition (1/8)
Some readings from the week. Share what speaks to you, so that it can speak to other folks. 10 New Years Resolutions for Those Taking Charge at US Department of Education Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute is reformster through and through, and Betsy DeVos has contributed to AEI, but this still makes for an interesting list of suggestions for the new regime We Know What Works in Teachi

JAN 07

How Privatization Works (Part 2,351,142)
Here's a recent story from the DC area Fox affiliate that shows how things play out when you privatize a public service. In this case, the service is roads. And this picture tells you what you need to know. That's right-- $30 to use the 


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