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Sunday, April 3, 2022

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Can It Be April Already Edition (4/3)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Can It Be April Already Edition (4/3)

Can It Be April Already Edition

Every Sunday I offer up a compendium of notable readings from the previous week, because there's just so much out there and just in case you missed something, here it is. You can make sure you don't miss this weekly digest or any other scintillating posts by subscribing via the little box over in the right column (I have no idea where it is on your phone). There's also a Facebook page where you can catch all the writing I send out into the world.

So here's some reading for this week. Remember that if you think something is valuable and worthwhile, you can amplify by sharing the post through whatever avenues you use. 

Let's start the week with a little schadenfreude for everyone's favorite education profiteers. Reported by The Guardian.

Some charter operators don't care for teachers unions very much, and this one in Pittsburgh has decided to take the not-very-clever approach of firing teachers who try to talk union. 

Rebecca Griesbach at Hechinger becomes one more writer to notice and lay out how the CRT panic certainly looks like plenty of other previous panics over education.

Thomas Ultican always does his homework. This time, he's looking at how several top-notch educators lost their jobs for standing up to a plan to inflict no excuses training (from a fake graduate school) on teachers in Black neighborhoods of DC.

Paul Thomas looks at how CRT panic is playing out in SC, and the truth behind calls for "no politics"

Annie Abrams at The New Republic (warning--limit to number of free articles) looks at the charters pushed by outfits like Hillsdale College and asks if there are any useful lessons in this regressive approach. Maybe. 

Well, there was certainly no commie indoctrinatin' going on at this Texas high school. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Rachel Cohen with an excellent, even-handed, well-sourced story about how the various anti-CRT gag laws are playing out on the ground. In teh New Republic (warning--free story limit applies).

Emily Tate, writing for Mother Jones, talked to a lot of teachers. She also had access to an eye-opening data set from the NEA, and it's worth reading this article just to get a peek at that. 

Yet another reminder that your state doesn't have to have a Florida-style gag law for teachers-- they can go ahead and squelch teacher expression about "controversial" issues. This is an Ohio district that forbids political and religious topics.

Kelly Jensen at Bookriot has a story from Alaska, where conservatives are looking to cleanse the Anchorage public library.

Wenimo Okoya writing for Hechinger talks about the issues of suicide by Black youths--and what schools can do to help. 

Andy Spears with this infuriating Tennessee tale. No money for schools, but half a billion for a stadium.

Fred Smith at The Daily News (warning--they want your email address to read) points out what teachers already know-- the Big Standardized Test needs to go.

Nora de la Cour at the Jacobin magazine has a well-detailed look at how ed reform has been bad news for play, and that means bad news for children.

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider did an interview for an NPR show spotlighting school choice. The links to give it a listen are here.

An op-ed from the South Bend Tribune highlights how an Indiana law allows charters to waltz in and take public real estate for $1.

This week, David Lee Finkle ended his long-running teacher comic strip Mr. Fitz. So this is the perfect time to hunker down and scroll through the archives and take a look at this great slice of education cartooning.



Congress Considers Lifetime Data Tracking For Post-High School Students - by @palan57 on @forbes

Think Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill Is Bad? Tennessee Is Considering One That’s Worse. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Louisiana Bill Would Silence All Discussion Of Gender And Sex In Schools - by @palan57 on @forbes
GAO Took A Closer Look At Virtual Charter Schools. The Results Are Not Encouraging. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Uh Oh. Don't Say Gay Compliance Angers Moms For Liberty
Well, I (among others) told you so . The letter has been tearing around the internet and, apparently, Florida, and yesterday, Moms For Liberty grabbed a high handful of dudgeon and sputtered onto the Tweeter machine: The letter writer is, of course, absolutely correct. This is exactly what the backers of the "Don't Say Gay" law asked for, and then asked for again when they insisted repeatedly tha
Moms For Liberty's Big Takeover Plans
Tiffany Justice, one of the co-founders of Moms For Liberty and experienced Florida rabble rouser , appeared on Steve Bannon's show to share some of her thoughts about ongoing culture battles, and at one point she laid out her plans for what comes next: BANNON: Are we going to start taking over the school boards? JUSTICE: Absolutely. We're going to take over the school boards, but that's not enou
PA: Activist Takes Out A School Board (Update)
Make of this story what you will. An angry Libertarian activist just managed to remove five members from a school board. Beth Ann Rosica is the head of her own consulting business ; she's also an active Libertarian and advocate in the Greater Philly corner of Pennsylvania. She writes regularly for Broad and Liberty ("Thought-provoking and shareable ideas for free thinkers in Greater Philadelphia
Housing Benefits For Teachers?
Years ago, a friend of mine began her teaching career in a small town out West, located a stone's throw from the Canadian border and not near much of anything else. The job came with a rent-free house to live in, a necessary feature of a job in a place where there was little real estate to come by. Nowadays, there are versions of that problem cropping up all over the country, particularly in plac
PA: New Voucher Bill Moves Forward
Today Pennsylvania's House Education Committee approved HB 2169, a bill to offer "Lifeline Scholarships," which is the newest fun name for a neo-voucher education savings account program. This is not new in Pennsylvania, where pushing for an ESA voucher program is an annual activity (here's 2017 and 2018, for examples). ESAs (aka vouchers on steroids) are the current preferred approach of public
"Don't Say Gay" Reactions: Masks Off
Now that Don't Say gay is the law in Florida (at least until someone takes it to court), the anti-gay folks are out in force. I get PR releases from folks who want to get themselves quoted in The Media, and they are about what you'd expect. For instance, FreedomWorks, the Libertarian advocacy group that was part of the Koch Brothers push for the Tea Party movement, wants to hoot a little. From th
ICYMI: Tax Edition (3/27)
Because ours are done. Fortunately, the finances of the Institute are uncomplicated (as zeros often are). Also, enjoy the annual hilarity of the $250 limit on teacher's professional expenses. But here's some reading for the week. Cleveland charter schools uses public dollars to fight union drive Tanisha Pruitt in the Ohio Capital Journal, detailing how one charter is using its covid relief funds
Feds Propose Change In Charter School Grant Regulations
This is exactly the kind of boring policy wonk stuff that can make ordinary humans nod off. But it;'s worth paying attention to. It's even worth giving the feds your two cents. I'll tell you how at the end of this. First let me explain what's happening. The Charter Schools Program (CSP) is a federal grant program that gives charter schools money both for start-ups and expansions. It's a big, beau
Abbott Elementary and the Problem of TV Teachers
Abbott Elementary is the surprise hit of the year, particularly for teachers . The teachers are human beings, the stories are relatable while being recognizable for teachers. It adapts school life well to the mockumenbtary workplace comedy format, even if it hews too close to the formula in some places (the show blares its intention to run a long-simmering plotline in which the main character wil