Saturday, April 22, 2017




Checker Still Doesn't Understand Tenure
Chester "Checker" Finn, Grand Poobah Emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, is the reformster most likely to unleash his higher dudgeon over Kids These Days and Those Darn Teachers, and he has done so again on the Fordham 

Charters and Commitment
It happened again. This time in Milwaukee. Students at the Universal Academy for the College Bound Webster Campus returned to find themselves in a completely different school , because a charter management company had decided they'd rather move on than finish out their contract for the year. Universal Companies took with them their books and their technology. Milwaukee Public Schools filled in the
Leaders, Character, and Policy
Many of us spend huge amounts of time discussing and debating education policy. But where the synthetic rubber meets the recycled asphalt, policy is not the most important thing. In every school, in every district, what really matters is the character of the leadership. In the same way that workers do not quit workplaces so much as they quit a boss, teachers are influenced by the administrators in
The Attack on Charter Schools
Nashville Charter School parents complain that they are under attack and disrespected . Charter advocates have long panel discussions about how to fight back against the attacks on charters and choice. Every 9-12 months, a new website is launched because reformy fans of charter and choice believe that they are under attack and need to get their story Out There. Even the newly-minted teacher of the

APR 20

Are Charters a Rural Solution
In a piece that has circulated a bit, Karen Eppley, an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at Pennsylvania State University suggests that charter schools might be the solution to many rural education problems. While the article is not as gung-ho about charters as the title suggests (I know-- writers rarely get to pick their own headline), it still misses some critical points. Accord

APR 19

Personalization and the Outliers
Henry Ford was an early proponent of personalization. "Any customer can have a car pained any color that he wants," said Ford in 1909 , "so long as it is black." There have always been limits to personalization. I like to wear hats, but my head is some sort of extra-large melon, so while hat manufacturers may offer choices to fit the personal size preferences of many customers, I'm an outlier. Man

APR 18

PA: Let's Arm Teachers?
Apparently it's education crazy season in Harrisburg, with one ill-advised ed bill after another. But fear not-- at least one PA legislator wants some of us to start packing heat in school. Senate Bill 383 intends to amend the school code, with the intent of "providing for protection and defense of pupils. Sponsor Donald C White , who was an insurance salesman back before his 2001 election, explai

APR 17

EdTech To Teachers: Who Needs You?
If you want to see a fully-refined expression of edtech disdain for actual teachers, check out this article by Dr. Karen Beerer, "Greatest Lesson: Teacher Buy-in Is Overrated ." Beerer is VP of Professional Development for Discovery Education. She's held that job since 2012-- before that she was Asst. Super at Boyertown School District for seven years, and before that an "educator" at Quakertown C
Why the Attack on Sarah Chambers Matters
Every day, from all over the country, we hear stories of teachers whose jobs are, for one reason or another, are on the line. Sometimes we hang back, correctly assuming that we don't have the whole story, that there are local issues that we don't know about. But sometimes these local stories deserve all the attention we can give them because they are an early warning of kinds of problems we could

APR 16

ICYMI: Easter Edition
It's easter Sunday and I'm a huge fan. But just in case you have some time to pass today, here's an assortment of worthwhile reads from the week. A Tale of Two Schools Mitchell Robinson takes us to two schools, only twenty miles apart, that illustrate some of the inequity in education today. Apparently Diversity Is Still Nor Innovative for Edtech... At Educolor's blog, a look at the problem with d

APR 15

PA: Are We Future Ready?
Pennsylvania is using its newfound ESSA-empowered freedom to create a new dashboard for measuring school awesomeness-- Future Ready PA . Many folks in Harrisburg are very excited about it and are touting it as a relief from the standardized tests that are "failing" PA students. Let's grab our flux capacitor and our supply of illegal plutonium! Is Future Ready PA all that and a bag of Snyder's chip
Who's The Boss?
When someone tells you who they are, listen to them. Representative Markwayne Mullin (Rep-OK) told his constituents a great deal this week, when in a town hall meeting he said this: You say you pay for me to do this. Bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go. And as a foll

APR 14

IN: Welcome UPSTART Pre-K Cyberschool
You probably thought this was going to be one of those posts where I made fun of some trend in education by extending it to its logical yet absurd extreme. Sadly-- I mean, really sadly-- that is not the case. "Seriously, dude. What the hell." Meet UPSTART , a company that... well, let me just quote from their home page: UPSTART is an in-home, technology-delivered kindergarten readiness program tha


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