Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, February 14, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Happy Valentines Day Edition (2/14)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Happy Valentines Day Edition (2/14)

Happy Valentines Day Edition

Well, Congress rushed through their work so that they could get started on their vacation. Why shouldn't the rest of us. Let's take a look at this week's reading list.

In Disorienting Return To Civility, Joe Biden's DOJ Backs Up Betsy DeVos

A couple of outlets picked up this story this week, but only Time found a clever angle to go with a clever headline.

My HBCU experience has been life-changing

Lets have some positive stories this week, please. A nice first-person story here from Marissa Stubbs at The Undefeated. And she's in Florida, so there is hope.

Update: Dispatch from the Covid trenches

Grumpy Old Teacher, back in the building, checks his classroom ventilation. The results are not encouraging.

School Ratings, Ranking and Wrongdoing  

Have You Heard welcomes Akil Bello from Fairtest to talk about how much baloney can be squeezed into a ratings list (spoiler alert: a lot).

Big Data on learning loss is not the point: Teachers know how to use formative assessments to guide their work with each child

Jan Resseger adds to the stack of excellent essays explaining just how the chickjen littling about learning loss is a bunch of hooey.

$100M for children "learning faster than ever before" in Tennessee?!

Nancy Bailey takes a look at Tennessee's adoption of Reading360, and why it's not good news.

Who really created the Marvel universe?

A new Stan Lee biography is out, and this is one of the better looks at the attempt to unravel the man's complicated, troublesome legacy. No, it's not about education. I like comics and have read them my whole life. Happy Valentines Day.

OpenAI and Stanford researchers call for urgent action to address harms of large language models like GPT-3

Let's grab that barn door and see if we can't get a handle on the loose horse mess that is language mimicking software. Since GPT-s is OpenAI's baby, I'm not sure how much of this is responsible science and how much of it is trying to handicap marketplace imitators, but since these damn things are going to be proposed as teacherbots sooner or later, we should be paying attention to this stuff.

Piano-playing Penn State professor supports students' mental health

From last October in the Collegian. I have mixed feelings about this mechanical engineering prof who closes class with some piano playing, probably related to the mixed feelings about the amount of tuition I sent off to PSU with my daughter years ago, but it's certainly a bit outside tbe box.

How East Stroudsburg schools plan to diversify curriculum, staff and more

A school district in PA makes an attempt and a plan for getting the schools to more properly reflect the diversity of the student body. From the Pocono Record.

Charter schools invaded our neighborhoods without public input

Carl Peterson in Patch for Los Angeles talks to Eastside Padres Contra La Privatization about how charters moved in, public schools were damaged, and local voices were silenced.

Stop Disrespecting Teachers, Please

Arthur Goldtsein is in the New York Daily News detailing the disrespect that NY teachers have been feeling.

To Test or Not To Test

Well, the correct answer is "not," but this Hechinger Report article by Kelly Field does a better job than some of detailing the sides at play here.

Village teacher wins $1 million prize 

Ranjitsinh Disale wanted to be an engineer but ended up taking on a rough rural gig in India. Now he has a million dollar prize. From NPR

Searching for Shelley Duvall

Shelley Duvall is okay. Another not-education story, but a story that's just very human. 

Now they love her

A beautiful reflection on the forever-awesome Karen Lewis

Amid tough school reopening battles, Americans continue to cheer teachers unions

Rebecca Klein and Ariel Edwards-Levy at Huffington Post reporting that, contrary to what you're hearing from some politicians and pundits, teachers are not actually widely hated for single-handedly keeping school buildings closed.

Pennsylvania Charter School Funding Reform Long Overdue, On The Horizon - by @palan57 on @forbes

Report: California Wastes $600 Million Per Year On Cyberschools - by @palan57 on @forbes

My Battle With Learning Loss
It first hit me in the July after high school graduation--I had lost my learning about Algebra III. A whole semester, mostly gone. Of course, I told myself, I never really actually "learned" any of that stuff in the first place. So maybe I didn't actually lose that learning. But in college, there were other warning signs. I was an English major, so I didn't take science courses, and all of my hig
School Choice: Branding for an Open Market
Coming up with the right name for a policy initiative is a critical step in framing a conversation and controlling the narrative. The classic example is the abortion debate, in which one side is "pro-choice" and the other is "pro-life," carefully selected terms that frame each side as champions of an undeniable good. Just watch supporters of "defund the police" get caught in an endless loop of "n
HI: A Houseless Village
It started with this tweet: Children who are houseless (homeless), have the chance to win laptops to help with their distance learning during the pandemic. They need your online votes to help them win. #HawaiiNews — KHON2 News (@KHONnews) February 6, 2021 Reactions were peak tl;dr, with most people not making it past the tweet. But click past to the story , and then on to
This Is Not An Anti-Teacher Gotcha Moment
So I posted this on Twitter, and drew the response pictured here Usuals: "Here you go--hospital-grade safety measures!" Teachers: "But we need to get the vaccine." Usuals: "Here's your vaccine." Teachers: "BTW the kids need the vaccine too." Usuals: "There is no vaccine for kids." Teachers: "LOL, suckers." — LiberalAgainstLockdowns (@LLockdowns) February 9, 2021 There's a special group of folks a
PA: A Reminder That Charter Schools Are Businesses
Who do you suppose might have said the following: During the last few years, we’ve created a complete business ecosystem at The Waterfront. This strategic purchase was the natural next step as we continue to expand our operations. A: A classroom teacher B: A building principal C: A corporate VP in charge of mergers and acquisitions D: The CEO of a cyber charter school The answer is D, and the spe
Donors Chose Monday: Books. Just Books.
Researchers actually took a look at teacher fundraising via Donors Chose and other micro-philanthropy sites. Some of t he patterns that emerged are not exactly surprising--the site is used for "triage and not extras," and more prevalent in states where funding of schools is less than optimal. As I've said before, Donors Choose shouldn't be a thing. The need it meets shouldn't exist, and stories a
ICYMI: Hooray for the Sports Ball Edition (2/7)
My understanding is that there will be some sort of contest today in which millionaires will chase a bag of air up and down a plastic field. But since none of them are Steelers, who really cares. I'll catch up later. And if you're killing time today until the sportsballfest begins, here's some reading from a blessedly low-eventful week. A Bucket of Nuggets A pot-pourri of stuff from Dad Gone Wild
PA: Budget Kicks Off Another Round Of Charter Battles
Governor Tom Wolf has released his budget proposal, and charter supporters are not happy. This is not the first time Wolf has made the charter school industry sad. Back in the summer of 2019 he fired some shots across their bows with an aggressive agenda for fixing Pennsylvania's messed up charter