Sunday, May 8, 2022


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mothers Day Edition (5/8)

Also, Prom weekend and the closing weekend of our production of Nunsense. So lots to do. And here's your reading for the week. Remember to share the pieces that you think deserve more audience. Everyone can be an amplifier.

Follow the money...

Stephen Dyer takes a look at Ohio charters and discovers that they spend a hell of a lot more on administration that public schools do. Some spend more than half their funds on administrators!

Teens catfish teacher, share his explicit images

From Michigan, the story of a teacher who got catfished in the worst possible way. He's not in trouble, but come on people-- do not send nudes!

Pedagogy, Lesson Plans, Instructional Materials-- and Politics

Nancy Flanagan looks at the tools of the trade and the politics of transparency.

Oakland community schools worked, district shut them down anyway

Jeff Bryant in the LA Progressive with the story of Oakland's initiative to close a bunch of schools. IT seems as if maybe effectiveness was not a deciding factor in the shutdowns.

"The Hate Is Too Much"

Minnesota is losing school board members in record numbers. The 74 has the report on this trend.

WV state charter board's first director advocates using culture war to advance school choice

West Virginia's school choice programs are just getting started, and their first chief thinks talking about the awful indoctrinators in public schools is the way to go. Just in case you had any doubt about what all the vilification of public school was about.

Youngkin's ed secretary says her goal is preparing students for jobs

Meanwhile, in Virginia, the ed boss argues that schools are just there to crank out meat widgets for corporations. 

How to lose the culture war

Robert Pondiscio offers a right-tilted history of the culture war, explaining where ed reformsters went wrong. You may disagree with a bunch of this (it's in the Washington Examiner), but it's a perspective worth reading.

Kansas Democrat Threatens to Recruit Parents to Sue Schools For Lack of Honest History Lessons

Do you want a law that gives parents the right to sue schools over educational discomfort? Fine, says a Kansas Democrat--I will round up parents of every marginalized group to sue when their story isn't told in history class. A discussion involving extensive misquoting ensued. From The 74.

Last time, the religious right told us not what we can teach but how to teach it

Alfie Kohn takes a look at one of the previous iterations of the culture wars--back in the 1970s when the religious right was all upset about Whole Language.

Alabama losing large numbers of new teachers within first three years

Another study outlining the hemorrhaging of teaching positions, this time in Alabama.

#HateRead: Admissions, testing and the media

Akil Bello takes a look at the ins and outs of media coverage of college admissions news. Bonus: a list of sources that he trusts on these issues.

Pa’s K-12 school nurses treat more than scrapes and bruises. And they’re asking lawmakers for help

A look at the push to update nurse staffing requirements in PA. Includes a map that will allow you to be surprised at how few states do not have any staffing requirements for nurses at all.



Report Grades States On Commitment To Public Schools

Not Just Florida. How “Don’t Say Gay” Legislation Compares In Other States. - by @palan57 on @forbes
There’s A New Technique For Intimidating School Boards. It Involves Bonds And Golf. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Memo To Non-Teachers The Day After Teacher Appreciation Week (Plus Betsy DeVos)
Did you do something nice for teachers last week? Say some supportive words. That's great. What are you going to do next week? With any luck (well, it's not luck that is required), you're avoiding boneheaded moves like the district that gave its superintendent a 14.47% pay raise since December of 2020 and, during that same period, raised staff pay an embarrassing 1.11% raise--and then layered on

MAY 05

Appreciating Teachers In May
There's a certain irony in parking teacher appreciation in the Month of May when teachers are absolutely hammered and don't even have five minutes to run to the teacher lounge and pick up one of those celebratory donuts that the administration brought. I remember most of my Mays, when the gauzy September promise of "Here are the things we'll get done sometime this year" burned away under a harsh

MAY 04

Teacher Appreciation Bingo
Feel free to play this week. Sadly, there are no squares for "extra $$$ bonus" or "administrator offers to take over class so you can take a break." But there is an extra column so you have more chances to win .
PA: The Voucher Bill Advances
A few weeks ago I warned you that Pennsylvania's latest attempt at a super-voucher bill was progressing through the legislature. Last week it took one more step forward. HB 2169 is an education savings account bill, a kind of voucher that involves handing parents a stack of money that they can use for any of several sorts of education-flavored items, from private religious school tuition to tutor
Nobody Is Pro-Abortion
Here's the thing. Nobody is pro-abortion. Nobody's position on the issue is "We need more abortions in this country." Women are not out there thinking, "I hope I can get pregnant so that I can get an abortion again because that was super-awesome." In other words, at the heart of one of our most contentious issues is a pretty solid agreement that fewer abortions would be a good thing. Just a coupl

MAY 03

I'm Not Agitated About Book Bans
First, as angry as we may get, it's not humanly possible to ban a book, really. We keep using the term "ban" as a kind of shorthand for attempts to shoo certain books away from places where they might be encountered by young humans (the same humans who carry pocket computers with internet access to Two Girls One Cup and stills from the Human Centipede--and no, I am not linking to either). These at

MAY 01

ICYMI: Late Edition Edition (5/1)
Last week was tech week for the local production of Nunsense for which I'm music director. I also had about 400 essays to read through a couple of times for a county-wide high school essay context I run. And the last two days I've spent in Philly at the Network for Public Education conference. The CMO (chief marital officer) for the Institute and I left the Board of Directors with their maternal

APR 29

MI: Who's Paying To Force Vouchers?
Betsy DeVos is feeling her oats these days, with a big push in Michigan to finally install education savings accounts --those neo-vouchers beloved by her crowd. Trouble is, her crowd hasn't been able to convince voters to share the love. But because of an odd quirk in Michigan law, the folks at Let MI Kids Learn have a shot at doing an end run around the voters and the governor. Just 8% of the pe

APR 26

FL: Big $tandardized Te$ting Not Going Anywhere
There was a brief flurry of excitement last fall when Governor Ron DeSantis and his education sock puppet Richard Corcoran called for an end to Florida's most recent iteration of the Big Standardized Test, the FSA. Some folks were happy to hear the news. Others were looking suspiciously at the fine print . And now that springtime has rolled around, it's clear that the folks who were suspicious wer
Actors vs. Show Stealers
This is one of those stories that isn't about education--at least not yet. In the UK, Equity, the actors trade union, is launching a campaign to " stop AI stealing the show ." They note a whole host of techy-created problems: Performers are having their image, voice or likeness reproduced without their consent. Or pay. Contractors are keeping performers in the dark about what, exactly, their righ

APR 24

I'm Not Going To Defend SEL
Social and Emotional Learning is the new target of the GOP attempt to set multiple education brushfires in hopes of stampeding voters towards a Republican victory (as well as one more way for the authoritarian crowd to hammer home their central point of "Trust nobody except Beloved Leader"). The attacks range from overblown to intellectually dishonest to giant piles of bovine fecal matter to the
ICYMI: An Actual Nice Weekend Edition (4/24)
Well, looking out my window this weekend does not stink, so that's a plus. Now let's see what there is on the reading list for the week. If the Florida rejection of math textbooks did nothing else, it prompted plenty of mockery. Here are three of the top mocks of the week. Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker with "DeSantis Warns That Math Makes Children Gay" Carlos Greaves at McSweeney's with "Math C

APR 23

FL: More Book Purging Includes-- Everywhere Babies??!! Seriously??!!
Oh, Florida, what a crazy place you are. Currently in the news is the Walton County School District , which just pulled over 50 books from its library. The list, as noted in a district press release , was one that came from an unnamed "outside group" and included books that group "deemed inappropriate." It also notes it received the list "along with many other educational systems." The list was q

APR 22

Amazon Has Some EdTech Trend Ideas
This week, EdSurge featured some "sponsored content" (aka advertising made to look like an article). The article was written by Katie Herritage (or at least one of her interns), currently the AWS Global Leader, Worldwide Customer Innovation and Acceleration Program, and is entitled " 7 Edtech Trends to Watch in 2022: A Startup Guide for Entrepreneurs ." AWS is the sponsor. AWS is Amazon Web Servi

APR 20

AZ: An Even Worse Parental Rights Bill
As more and more of these rear their heads across the country, the language gets sloppier and -- well, just bad. Recently approved by the Senate and previously okayed by the House, Arizona's HB 2161 throws a new verb into the mix-- usurp. As in, no political subdivision of the state or any other government entity or any official etc (because in this phrase, the bill's writer was exactingly detaile