Saturday, May 13, 2017




Progressive: The Trouble with Ranking Schools
For a while now I've been a "Progressive Fellow in Education" (which is different from being, say, a charming fellow in the low brass section) and I write regularly for them as part of a group of twelve education writers. If you aren't reading the Fellows regularly, you should be. Anyway, I'm going to try to entice you over there by offering the lead to my latest piece, because I think it's impor
(Not) A New Conversation
Phyllis Lockett took to Huffington Post last week to call for a New Conversation , which-- okay, can we stop calling for new conversations? Because they're hardly ever new and often they are barely conversations, and we have had many of these calls and maybe we should just finish one of our old conversations instead of dropping them to start new ones like an easily-distracted party guest. Lockett


NC: Millions More for Vouchers
Just found this in the budget. Looks like the plan is to dramatically increase vouchers for private school over the next decade. — Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) May 11, 2017 Jeff Jackson is a Democratic senator in North Carolina whose fifteen minutes came in 2015 when he was the only legislator to show up for work on a snow day. What he "just found" was not really

MAY 11

OK: "Let's Deport Students"
There's a lot to unpack in the news from Oklahoma's GOP legislators , but let's just skip straight to the most awful. From this special caucus of conservatives, looking for ways to close a budget hole: The caucus said there are 82,000 non-English speaking students in the state. “Identify them and then turn them over to ICE to see if they truly are citizens, and do we really have to educate non-cit

MAY 10

SAT Test Preppery
You may recall that one of the awesome parts of David Coeman's shiny new SAT test was going to be how impervious it was to any kind of test prep . Coleman's singular vision (because in Coleman's world, he's the only one with a vision) was a new SAT that would fix inequality in America . Because being able to afford expensive test prep would no longer matter. Flexibility in viewing tomorrow's self-
HUD, Carson and Choice
Slate's Henry Grabar has a great piece today about Ben Carson and his clueless already-disproven theories about low-income housing. The piece is worth a full read on its own, and it has nothing to do with education-- except that it is yet another lesson in how a market actually works, with huge implications for the kind of choice system that Betsy DeVos and Beloved Leader have in mind. So I'm goi

MAY 09

DeVos: Boldly Trampling Public Education
Today Secretary of Privatization Education Betsy DeVos delivered some remarks at the annual Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. It's a fun gathering of technocrats with all sorts of profitable forward-thinking solutions to education's challenges (as they put it, a can't miss ,if you're an educator, innovator or an investor.) Whatever else we can say abo
Pearson May Quit US K-12
The world's biggest 800 pound corporate education gorilla, Pearson, has announced that they're considering the sale of their US K-12 digital and print curriculum business (the US Learning Services wing of the British-based giant). We should have taken a virtual trip instead The move comes at the end of yet another bad period for the previously unstoppable education-flavored mostrosity. The big fea

MAY 08

Raw Materials
Free market education fans like to talk about parents and students as customers. Schools will get better, they say, because schools will compete for those customers. I've talked before about what's wrong with that model, but right now, let me suggest that under current regulations, it's not even the right model. Transfroobium, as far as you know In a system where school and teacher performance is

MAY 07

Should We Practice What We Teach?
A curious report emerged last month from the Aspen Institute, co-authored by Ross Wiener and Susan Pimental. Wiener is the head of Aspen Institute's Education and Society Program. He worked previously at the Education Trust , a group that has been part of the Core-promoting Gates-funded reform machine . Pimental was a founding partner at Student Achievement Partners and StudentsWork and (though y
ICYMI: May Flowers Edition
Here's some reading from the week. Share what you like. Remember, everyone can be an amplifier. Why Would School Choice Improve Outcomes Frederik DeBoer offers a spirited and snappy takedown of choice, including, among other many fine lines, this one: There’s no secret book titled “Actually Good Pedagogy” that only charter schools get to buy. Education Is an End In Itself, Not a Preparation for th

MAY 06

PA: Meet Scott Wagner
If you don't know Scott Wagner yet, you soon will. Wagner has mounted a loud, burly campaign for governor in Pennsylvania. And it is not good news for either educators nor other working folks. "PSEA-- I intend to kick your ass!" Wagner's political career started recently and fairly spectacularly. After PA Senator Mike Waugh resigned, Wagner threw his hat in the ring and was boxed out by the GOP es
Charters and the Front Line
Here's one of the things that really bugs me about the charter school industry. Public schools are on the front lines of multiple battles, and have been for decades, or possibly forever. Public schools work against ignorance and 


Latest News and Comment from Education