Saturday, February 11, 2017

Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: The Wealth Gap: Worse Than You Think + Impersonal Personalization



The Wealth Gap: Worse Than You Think
How much is whiteness worth? The answer turns out to be "a whole heck of a lot." A new report with the unsexy title " Asset Value of Whiteness " has been released jointly by Demos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy (Brandeis University), two left-tilted thinky tanks. The researchers used the Survey of Consumer Finances, a tri-annual data crunch sponsored by the Federal Reserve and the

FEB 09

Impersonal Personalization
Imagine this is your child's classroom. Your child sits at a desk, alone in the room. No teacher ever enters the room. An aide comes into the room periodically to give your child a quiz, or a worksheet. Your child fills out the sheet, the aide scores it. Maybe the aide gives it back to your child to do again, but the aide can't explain anything. All the worksheets and quizzes are written so that t
DeVos Staying The Course
Betsy DeVos granted her first interview as Secretary of Education, or even Secretary-nominee, to Ingrid Jacques at the Detroit News. Jacques could be counted on to treat DeVos with warm, soft, friendly gloves. The deputy editorial page editor has previously told readers that DeVos is all about children , that the EAA is working , and that DeVos showed grit at her hearing. Jacques was a fine choice
Reformsters Contemplate Race (Part I)
Last week the American Enterprise Institute hosted an afternoon of reformy navel gazing, featuring an all-start lineup and centered around the general topic of race and the specific issue of whether the Great Reform Coalition was about to fall apart because (I'm paraphrasing) there's an actively racist administration taking power in DC and some reformsters are much more comfortable with that than

FEB 08

DeVosian Threat Inventory
So now Betsy DeVos has her very first big girl job, and we live in a Trump-DeVos education era. Time to take an inventory of what education issues to watch for. Here's my set of best semi-educated guesses. Common Core Pshaw. Common Core continues to be a zombie policy, existing in various mangled forms both under its old name and its new one. This administration will claim to have gotten rid of it

FEB 07

Uplift Checklist For a Dispiriting Day
Honestly, my expectations are always so low that it's hard to really disappoint me, and this day was no exception. Defeating DeVos depended on finding a GOP senator who was willing to separate himself from his senate pack and also piss off a President known for his unreasoning grudgeholding rage in the first days of a new administration whose main goal seems to be sorting the people of the world i
WI: Destroying the Profession
Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers would like to lower the bar for teachers. Heading up the Leadership Group on School Staffing Challenges, Evers has teamed up with some members of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators t o try to solve the mystery that is Wisconsin's shrinking teacher pool-- veterans are quitting, and the pipeline for new teachers is drying up. Their s
The New Friedrichs Anti-Union Lawsuit
Well, that didn't take long. The Center for Individual Rights has filed a lawsuit against the state of California and the California Teachers Association -- Yohn v. CTA. CIR is the same right-wing group that brought us the Friedrich's lawsuit , and this is basically the same suit with a new teacher used as a prop. They cut their teeth doing anti-affirmative action work, but have more recently join

FEB 06

The DeVos Alarm Clock
The Betsy DeVos nomination, in its sturm and drang and distress and noise, is quite different from any nomination we've ever seen. And yet, Betsy DeVos is not that much different from what we've seen before. As a political operative seeking to remake public education in her own preferred image, DeVos is a bush-league Bill Gates. "I'm rich. I've got a tn of money. Why shouldn't I rewrite the educat

FEB 05

Choice and the Un-opened Door
There are so many criticisms and counter-criticisms that swirl around the issue of choice and charters in the Great Unending Education Debate, but there are some criticisms of choice that have never been answered, because they can't be. It's not all the surprising that Betsy DeVos came up stumped by IDEA at her hearing-- charter-choice systems don't spend a lot of energy, effort or (most important
PA: Another Attack on Unions
It's an idea that crops up from time to time, unique in that there isn't really any camouflage for it-- it just baldly attempts to make life more difficult for unions. This time it's coming up in Pennsylvania under one of its common names-- "Paycheck Protection." This bill pops up in Pennsylvania roughly as often as Punxsutawney Phil, and the rationale is as simple as it is transparent. Here's the
Chiefs' New Hilarious Practical Joke
I am about 72% certain that this is a practical joke, right down to this stock photo: "Seriously, dude?" That photo is on the top of a Chiefs for Change news item for the new Student Growth Simulator. A new web-based tool will offer far greater ease and clarity for state and district leaders seeking to set learning goals and measure progress under the sweeping Every Student Succeeds Act. The Chief
Nevada's Voucher Fail
Back in 2015, Nevada decided to go all-in on vouchers, establishing the voucheriest of voucher programs-- the education savings account. With ESA's the state just hands every parent a check or a debit card (in Nevada's case, $5,700 for poor families and $5,100 for not-so-poor families) and families can spend that money on private school tuition, tutors, homeschool supplies, a case of Lisa Frank tr
ICYMI: Some Game Today Edition (2/5)
Is there some sort of sporting event going on today? I've heard rumors, and I may find it in me later to care. But in the meantime, here's some readings for the day. And remember-- there's still time to bother your senator about the upcoming DeVos vote. American Schools are Still Segregated. These Parents Are Making It Worse. There are some complicated issues here. This piece takes a fairly balanc

DeVos on SNL
So Melissa McCarthy did a Spicer press briefing last night, and it included an appearance by Betsy DeVos. It was pretty hilarious, and I present it to you here (just in case you've missed it) but I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, when was the last time that an education issue garnered enough widespread 

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