Sunday, October 3, 2021


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Applefest Edition (10/3)

Applefest Edition

Once a year, my small town closes the streets, brings in a ton of vendors, runs a whole passel of events, and calls it a festival, and it's pretty cool. Like the Harvest Homes of a century ago, it serves as a city-wide homecoming. It's not quite the same this year (the apple pancake breakfast was take-out only), but it's something. In the meantime, here's your reading list for the week.

Fighting back in Arizona

Trevor Nelson at Public Voices for Public Schools tells how activists are fighting back against the folks in Arizona trying to use the pandemic to sow more chaos, disruption and destruction of public schools.

What 150 studies have to say about motivating students

Jill Barshay at Hechinger looks at a meta-study of student motivation, Surprise--students are motivated by the same things as other humans.

How for-profit charter schools open the door for private investors to exploit public education

Jeff Bryant has been digging again. Here's a pretty appalling look at how some loopholes are being exploited by some shady actors in the edu-biz world.

Teaching children and teenagers philosophy and social justice

An intriguing and unusual slant on teaching the thinky stuff. From the blog of the APA

Why charter schools are not as "public" as they claim to be

Kevin Welner has a new book about charter schools coming out--here's a piece of what his research discovered about how charters actually enforce school's choice, not school choice.

Teach two years, climb ed ladder, score $5 mill contract

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider with an astonishing story of corruption amongs the TFA grads in Rhode Island

Racism matters to our students, so it must matter to us

Jaty Wamsted doing a guest turn at Maureen Downey's spot on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, talking about the real place of critical race theory in the classroom.

Behind the teacher shortage, an unexpected culprit: covid relief money

From NBC news. Some folks think that covid money is being used to poach teachers from other districts.

Koch-backed group fuels opposition to mask mandates

The Washington Post got its hands on some leaked documents, and you will be shocked--shocked--to learn that the Kochtopus is doing a new version of its Tea Party fueling work in the world of anti-maskers.

How America screwed up the great school reopening

The New Republic tells the tale of how we came up short.

State Task Forces Want To Root Out Indoctrination In Schools. How’s That Going? - by @palan57 on @forbes

PA: Another "Mom" Group Involved in School Board Elections
Today PennLive reports that an Open Schools group is throwing big bucks into school board races in the state. Back to School PA is a PAC that intends to drop a ton of money all over the state to back school board candidates who want to make sure that schools are open for in person learning. The money behind the group comes from Paul Martino , a venture capitalist who has been busy mostly in the w
How Do We Achieve Effective Classroom Transparency
A Pennsylvania rep just offered up yet another proposal to reveal the inner workings of school classrooms by requiring schools to post textbook lists, curriculum, and lesson plans. It's another one of those endlessly repeating cycles of education, currently being goosed along by the anti-indoctrination crowd. Because the initiative is coming from a whole host of bad faith actors who are simply loo
Bipartisan School Choice Is Over
This has been coming for a while. After the bipartisan launch of No Child Left Behind and the desire to advance bipartisan support during the Obama administration (and into the presumed Clinton administration thereafter), a kind of deal was worked out between the right and the left, and school choice was presented as a hybrid that could appeal to both right-tilted free marketeers and left-leaning
One More Story About The Extra Challenges of School Right Now
This is what educators are up against right now. Last night was school board night in my county. At one board meeting , the board was subjected to a certain amount of ranting about masks, including assertions that asymptomatic children do not spread the disease. One board member thanked them for speaking out. Just up the road from me, the Oil City School District was supposed to have its regular
PA: Cyber School 101
As is often the case in education, some people are just now noticing something that's been going on for a while. In this case, it's the financially destructive and educationally suspect nature of cyber schooling. So I'm going to try to collect the basics here in one post, suitable for sharing with anyone who's just arrived at the party. Before we start, let me add the usual caveat--cyber schools
Teaching Lessons from Community Theater
I've been directing school and community theater productions for a long time, and I've learned a lot, much of which directly parallels the work of a teacher in the classroom (there are plenty of ways to frame teaching, but for me it has always largely been performance). Here are a few. Don't Waste Time Pining for the Cast You Don't Have In professional theater, you can afford to be picky. In comm
ICYMI: Curtain Up Edition (9/26)
The challenge of mounting and opening a full sized show in the age of covid is--well, in a couple of weeks I'm going to lie down and take a huge nap. And maybe I'm a little behind on my reading. But here's some stuff for this week. School hasn't changed in 100 years. So saith TFA. The indispensable Mercedes Schneider on the Teach for Awhile version of the popular unchanged education idea... Whate
Almost unlocking a mystery of SAT scores
So close. Sooooo close!! Covering the release of SAT scores this year, WTOP news noted two results and put them right in the headline: Va., Md. SAT scores rise, but number of test-takers plunges It's the "but" that tells us that somehow, they didn't manage connect the dots, which is a shame, given there were only two. Of course, they mean average test scores rose, and understanding averages is im
Critical Race Theory Panic Continues To Widen Its Aim
Moms for Liberty is one of the frontline group s fighting against "critical race theory" and a whole lot of other things. Launched initially as anti-maskers and anti-school closers, they quickly moved on to anti-race stuff. They are another of the groups that has hired some pros and generally displayed available