Saturday, June 10, 2017




You'll Never Be a Writer

This is a line often included in one of those self-reported stories that people feel compelled to share when they discover they are talking to an English teacher. It's not quite as popular as those standards "I Always Hated English Class in High School" or "I Hate To Read" or the super-popular "I Guess I'll Have To Watch My Grammar When I'm Around You." Just today, someone once again summed up her


The Federal Regs Voucher Workaround

Betsy DeVos is having some trouble making up her mind on whether it's OK for private schools to discriminate. — AJ+ (@ajplus) June 9, 2017 After Betsy DeVos's last round of Congressional obfuscation testimony, many folks are asking the same question as EdWeek-- " When Do Voucher Programs Allow Private Schools To Discriminate Against Students ?" As you can see in the cli

JUN 08

Data Overload

The last nine months have brought a shift in my view of data. Despite my long and vocal opposition to the gathering in data in schools, to the use of standardized tests to generate data that is in turn used for everything from judging students tons of it every day in my classroom-- in fact, one of my criticisms of many reformer data programs is they involve far too little data. On top of that, you

JUN 07

The Long Run

Raising tiny humans is nuts. It is nuclear space brain science jumping-over-the-Grand-Canyon-on-a-tricycle nuts. And yet I am hopeful. I come at that hopefulness from a not-entirely-usual perspective. I am, aa of yesterday, the father of two new twin boys, and my wife and I are contemplating the tremendous challenge we have been set. These tiny humans are fraught with all sorts of possibility and
Why Do We Need Professionals

This is my short answer to the question. It's my wife and newborn twin sons, now about twenty-seven hours old, and it has been an adventure every step of the way, which is how it goes with childbirth, a process that can unroll gently like the Miracle of Freaking Life, or like a terrifying rush of nurses and doctors and anesthesiologists into the operating room where they cut the mother's body ope

JUN 05


Do teachers need to be experts in the subjects they teach or ‘just’ experts at teaching? #education #visiblelearning #teaching — Visible Learning (@VisibleLearning) June 5, 2017 I was not the only person to see this tweet and have the following thought... One of my college education professors drilled this into me, and my last thirty-some years of teaching have only confirmed it-- half the secret

JUN 04

NPE and Charter Schools

The Network for Public Education has issued a clear, concise and pointed statement about charter schools in the US, and it's worth your eyeball time.* The statement is useful if you have been trying to explain to friends or civilians why, exactly modern charter schools are such a contentious concern. It nails some of the fundamental problems of the charter industry: We believe that taxpayers bear
Treating Teachers The Same Way

Marc Tucker and Chester Finn have been having a bit of a conversation about a new report about teacher empowerment. We may get to that another day, but among Finn's complaints was this old standard, explaining why the reports recommendations can't work: the teacher unions have demanded and not deviated far from an industrial model in which everyone is treated alike. This is an oft-repeated complai
ICYMI: Graduation Day Edition (6/4)

Here is my neck of the woods, we're just a few hours away from high school graduation. It's definitely that time of year. Here's your assorted pieces of reading from the week. Remember to pass on the ones that speak to you. These Activists Want Greater Home School Monitoring In the background, as other education debates rage, is the old set of issues surrounding homeschooling. Here's a look at act

JUN 03


Rick Hess had a good piece this week that called back to one of my favorite films-- Hess noticed that much of the ESSA planning rolling in looks suspiciously like TPS report work. But you rarely see the paper-shufflers get as much ink or as 

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