Sunday, January 29, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Has it only been a week edition + Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Has it only been a week edition (1/29):

ICYMI: Has it only been a week edition (1/29)

It is really hard to keep a focus strictly on education these days, and yet tomorrow morning, those of us who teach will be headed back into our classrooms whether the world is burning or not. 

Media Consensus on Failing Schools Paved Way for DeVos

Making the case that years of repeating that "everybody knows" how badly schools are failing set us all up for someone like Betsy DeVos. 

Channeling My Rage

Mary Holden on finding a way to turn frustration and anger into positive action.

What Taxpayers Should Know About the Public Cost of School Choice

Valerie Strauss and Carol Burris take a look at what school choice really does to public schools.

Can the President Handle the Truth 

Yet another excellent response to that ignorant "flush with cash" line

Chris Christie Bashes Teachers, But Now Noone Cares

Jersey Jazzman notes that Christie has returned to his standard fallback in troubled times-- those damned teachers. But this time it's not enough to save his butt.


As our congresspersons make themselves harder and harder to contact (well, harder if you don't have a bunch of money to flash), it's necessary to get more creative. This website will let you send a free fax to your senator without even registering or setting up an account.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Has it only been a week edition (1/29):


Don't Read Me Today
Seriously. I'm not blogging today. I'm throwing all those words into tweeting, emailing and Facebook messaging my Senators and Representatives and telling them that so much of what's happening this week is not okay (I would be phoning them, but nobody's answering the phones and all the voicemails are full). Not the refusal to oppose Betsy DeVos. Not the muslim ban, exerted against legal residents

JAN 27

Friend$ of DeVos
If you follow the many pieces about Presumptive Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, you will notice that there are folks who stand up for her as a super-duper prospect for Secretary of Education. For instance, Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal spoke up for her hometown girl Betsy, and was, according to released emails, prepared to accept an all-expenses-paid trip to
More Discouraging USED Appointments
The Trump Department of Education continues to shape up as a place that is, perhaps, more about patronage than education. Today we have word from the Huffington Post that a memo from Jason Botel (another supremely reformy appointment as Senior White House Adviser for Education) that the following folks have been brought into the department: Derrick Bolen Debbie Cox-Roush Kevin Eck Holly Ham Ron Ho

JAN 26

IN: Teacher Sit-in For DeVos Senator
Todd Young was born in 1972 in Lancaster, PA. Today (Thursday) he's an Indiana senator with an office full of grumpy teachers. Young's family moved him to Indiana, where he graduated from public high school and then went straight into the Navy, from there to the Naval Academy, graduated Cum Laude, got a commission in the Marines. Soccer star, intelligence officer, head recruiter in Chicago/Indian
Edushyster In DeVosland
Jennifer Berkshire often takes the unusual blogging step of doing actual journalism, like the kind where you call people and go places and actually talk to the carbon-based life forms who are involved in What's Going On. That's just part of what makes Edushyster required reading for anybody in the ed debates. She recently traveled to DeVosland, the Michigan home base and spawning ground for Betsy

JAN 25

Local Control
States are increasingly telling cities what laws they may or may not pass . The most famous example may be North Carolina's HB-2, the notorious law that restricted bathroom access - but also, like laws passed in Alabama and other states , forbid cities to pass laws raising the minimum wage. State legislatures are taking action to undo the choices of voters. North Carolina's legislature decided the

JAN 24

Reformster Jason Botel Added To USED
. @JasonBotel coming on as senior White House adviser for edu. Will work with acting secretary to lead new ED team: — Caitlin Emma (@caitlinzemma) January 25, 2017 Jason Botel comes with the full reformy pedigree. He graduated from U of Penn in 1997 with a degree in English and went straight to work as a Teach for America recruit in Baltimore. He spent three whole years in
Competition vs. Quality
It is an oft-stated truism-- competition creates excellence. If you are running a race, you will run faster and harder to beat people who are also running fast. If you are playing football, you will train to be better than the team facing you on the field. It seems sensible. There are some problems with this model just on its face. The people in the front of the pack, the winners, will get stronge

JAN 23

Dem-ish Reformsters Play Both Sides
You know how it is. New school year starts, lunch time rolls around, and everyone has to decide who they want to sit with for the next year. Modern education reform has been fueled in part by folks pretending to be left-tilted Democrats while embracing right-tilted free market corporate-based policies. The sweet smoothie of neo-liberal conservatism has worked for years--it helped sell No Child Lef

JAN 22

Foggy College Readiness
Chester "Checker" Finn is concerned. The former head of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and current Maryland State Board of Education VP thinks that our students and families are enveloped in a giant bank of foggy lies, lies about their college readiness and their future prospects and the quality of their K-12 education. National Affairs includes Finn in their Winter 2017 issue with " The Fog of '
ICYMI: Let's Not Talk About Trump Edition (1/22)
The problem with living through big moments in history is that everybody has to talk about them constantly while they're happening. Remember when the interwebs were all about cute cat pictures? Boy, those were the days. Meanwhile, remember to post and pass on things that speak to you. Reading Is Knowledge Horatio Speaks offers some words about the importance of content in reading (as opposed to th
The Most Troubling Lie
Sure, we know that Trump has a tendency to tell whoppers, stretch the facts, and just make shit up. But his insistence yesterday that his inauguration crowd was not smaller than Obama's 2009 inauguration crowd-- well, this one I find extra troubling. Here's why. It's so transparent. It's not like you can look at the photos, squint, and say, yeah, I can see how if you're really a fan of Trump, you


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