Sunday, November 28, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Tryptophan Hangover Edition (11/28)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Tryptophan Hangover Edition (11/28)

 Tryptophan Hangover Edition

The week may have been hectic, but people were still writing things and putting them into the world, so it's time to take a look.

Working in the Pencil Graveyard

Notes from the Educational Trenches takes a quick look at the current toll on middle school students. Somehow, things have to get better.

Is It about Learning or The Adult Ned To Control Children

Teacher Tom looks at Johnny Cash and the need for control, and how humans, including young humans, respond to that.

Some US Christian schools feel free to fire gay teachers

Not news, exactly, but well explained in this piece in The Guardian

Was education the issue in Virginia. Board elections say maybe not

The Hill breaks down election results and what it tells us about education as an election issue. Maybe CRT isn't a big winner.

In the 1950s, rather than integrate its public schools, Virginia closed them

A little history lesson from the Guardian, and reminder that race and education have been a source of trouble not so long ago.

SEL is the next big target

The Hartford Courant sees the "activist parents" coming for social and emotional learning.

Texas book ban would cost districts millions

The Texas book ban has a lot of things wrong with it, but don't forget that it would also be expensive as hell for districts to follow. Danika Ellis is the writer who ploughed through Matt Krause's whole list of "questionable" books; now she looks further into the issue.

These people are not educators

Turns out lots of Texans are not on board with elected officials coming up with book banning lists. From Reform Austin.

Tennessee spells out its teacher gag rule

Tennessee has one of the more terrible gag laws; now they've explained in detail just how punitive it is. You don't want this in your state.

The Conservative War on Education That Failed

Friend of the Institute Adam Laats is a historian whose deep knowledge of conservative Christianity and education in the US makes him well-positioned for our current state. This piece in the Atlantic looks back at the century-old attempt to make evolution go away.

Audit finds accountability holes in Utah

Turns out that Utah's system for overseeing charter schools is a little buggy. KUTV lays it out. 

Yes, no or "huh?" in talk of critical race theory

How Yorba-Linda school district grapples with the ongoing vaguely defined and ill-understood controversy/

Parents should not be able to dictate what other parents can read

In the Miami Herald, the American Library Association director for the Office of Intellectual Freedom explains why book bans kind of suck.

What War?

In which TC Weber calls the Tennessee Moms for Liberty chief and reminds us that even people we disagree with are human. (Ironically, you may disagree with some portions of this post.)

UC Is Done with the SAT Experiment

Akil Bello at Forbes with some response for people who think it's a shame that California is dumping standardized testing for college admissions.

WV Private Schools Figuring Out How To Get Their Hands on Voucher Money

It took roughly fifteen seconds for religious schools in WV to figure out how toi really cash in on the state's new school voucher set-up.

Take all the books of the shelf

Alexandra Petri is a national treasure. Here she explains why we should just do away with books entirely (Washington Post)


What Democrats Get Wrong about the Fight to Save Public Schools - -

Another Curmudgumile Marker
I pause to note this so that I can find the moment later, should I ever choose to. Sometime last week, this blog passed ten million views. That's partly because I have just stayed here, flailing away ta my keyboard for seven plus years. It's also because people really care about this public education stuff, and because they appreciate finding someone who says what they think but maybe can't quite
Romanticizing Anxiety
I'm working my way through Judson Brewer's book Unwinding Anxiety , and at one point he addresses the ways in which we justify and even seek out anxiety. The sciency basis is a paper from 1908 by Yerkes and Dodson that has become enshrined as the Yerkes-Dodson Curve or even the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Yerkes-Dodson posit a sort of bell curve for stress, where more stress and anxiety and pressure drive
Slamming Teachers
Here's something that just popped up on my Twitter feed. Honestly, I could have picked any of a few dozen others, but I went with this one because it was fresh, and yet widely loved. Another good cause that schools might take up is the teaching of reading and math. — Caitlin Flanagan (@CaitlinPacific) November 23, 2021 I have a hard time envisioning the worldview that these kind of cracks rest up
Room To Grow
One of the odd, bad assumptions of much discussion and policy of school staff is the premise that people emerge from teacher or administrator school fully formed, all their virtues and flaws set in cement. Somehow that 22 year old newby will be essentially then same person at age 55. An item in this morning's newspaper reminded me of one of my earliest bosses. He was hired, as administrators often
Why Are We Still Listening To EdReports
Feathers were ruffled recently with the news that both Fountas & Pinnell and Lucy Calkins both got "failing marks" for reading programs from EdReports. Some flappery broke out on Twitter, and there was wringing of hands around and about, but any time an EdReports rating comes out, I think we have to answer one important question. Who cares? EdReports was launched in early 2014. Politico actually
Write A Note To Your Hero
h/t to @theJLV, who reminded me this morning of something I've long advocated, but haven't brought up around here since 2014 . And this year seems like the perfect time. I write a weekly column in our local newspaper, and since I started, I've made it a tradition, every year as we head into Thanksgiving, to encourage readers to write a note to a hero. I mean get out a piece of paper and a pen, an
A Tale Of Research And Social Distancing
A recent article in Wired is both fascinating and scary if you are in a school with lousy ventilation and a modicum of social distancing. The fascinating part may be fascinating only to those of us who find research stuff fascinating. But " The sixty-year-old scientific screwup that helped COVID kill " is about one of those little things that worms its way into acceptance as conventional wisdom i
ICYMI: New Pandemic High Edition (11/21)
Well, my county has hit its highest COVID numbers since the whole thing started. Now, for us that's still under 200 with rare mortality, but it's still not encouraging. And still plenty of people with their "well, it's my choice" crap about vaccination. Thanksgiving's looking great. For no particular reason, there's a long list this week, just in case you need more reading to tide you through the
Introducing the Public Education Hostility Index
Here at the Curmudgucation Institute, we have always realized that we are lacking one thing that every good thinky tank and Institute and Foundation has--reports. So we finally buckled down and created the American Public Education State Hostility Index (APESHI). This report now has its very own website . The goal was to address the question, "Which states are the most hostile to public education
NH Teacher Bounty: Gov Denounces, Moms for Liberty Double Down
New Hampshire instituted a gag order on teachers that could strip them of their licenses for teaching the wrong thing, and Moms for Liberty jumped in by putting a bounty on the heads of teachers whose broke the law. It has been a good-sized flap, as well it should have been. Governor Chris Sununu has come out pretty clearly on the matter. “The Governor condemns the tweet referencing ‘bounties’ and
GOP House Proposed Parents Bill of Rights.
The GOP is ready to do some serious pandering, as the critical race theory panic continues to metastasize. Here comes Kevin McCarthy with an announcement: Over the past nearly two years, we have seen a troubling trend take root in the Democrat Party. Their elected officials want to take power away from parents and hand over more control to politicians and teachers unions to dictate what our child