Sunday, January 26, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Is It Still January Edition (1/26)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Is It Still January Edition (1/26)



 Is It Still January Edition (1/26)

Every Sunday (well, almost every Sunday) I post a collection of goodies from the week that I think are worth reading. In case, you know, you missed them. I also encourage you to share anything you like (use its "home" location to share so that they get any benefits of traffic). That's what's going on here. You can dig into the ICYMI archives just by using the little search block in the upper left corner of the page (just search for "ICYMI").

Thanks. I haven't explained myself in a while, so I thought I'd do that. Now for this week's list.

The Dark Money of NPE
There have been some hints that maybe the Network for Public Education is backed up by some dark money, so the indispensable Mercedes Schneider dug out the receipts. Here's the facts.

Teachers belong on the State Board of Education
A remarkably not-crazy idea from Florida from a teacher, suggesting that maybe a few non-amateurs might help ou with Floirida's failing flailing ed policy.

Trump Scores Better Than Us on GREs
Education historian Adam Laats specializes in conservative Christian thought, which makes him a good guy to parse Trump's non-solution to a non-problem in which Beloved Leader announces that he has restored prayer to public schools.

No justification or money for private school vouchers in Georgia
Georgia state senator Elena Parent explains at AJC why Georgia doesn't need-- and can't afford-- vouchers.

This teacher had to tell her deaf students that people can hear farts.
Look, teachable moments come in a lot of shapes and sizes. This will satisfy your cute story needs for the week.

If your university's administration ran a polar expedition.
McSweeney's brings the satire. Warning: some readers found this entirely too realistic.

The JLV on TeachLab
Jose Luis Vilson did a podcast. It's a half hour of your time well spent.

Annotated by the author  
The New York Times is trying something new with its mentor texts-- author annotations talking about how and why they did what they did. This is a very cool new tool for writing instructors.

Virtual charter schools need to be reined in
The Muskogee Phoenix editorial board takes a stand and call for more careful monitoring of cyber schools.

Even facial recognition supporters say it won't stop school shootings  
As we slide into more and more student surveillance, it's important to note that even the people who like this stuff don't think it will actual help prevent the worst kind of events. This piece is at c/net.

Jesse Hagopian on bring Black Lives Matter into schools
Another podcast, this one featuring one of the great teacher activists of the Pacific Northwest.

Mike Turzai's PA education legacy
Mike Turzai is leaving the PA Senate to get a job in the private sector, which is bad news for fans of school privatization, because he was the best friend they had in Harrisburg. This is a good look back at some of his "greatest hits."

A Decade of expensive video math lessons for entrepreneurs
EdSurge, believe it or not, is going to point out some of the obvious dopey moves of ed tech video math whizzes over the last decade. Khan Academy isn't mentioned by name, but if the shoe fits...

Teacher Evaluation Recommendations Endorsed by the Educational Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association (APA)
Audrey Amrein-Beardsley at VAMboozled repoorts back on a report about which teacher evaluation methods the APA thinks are actually worthwhile.

You Get Up  
Blue Cereal Education with a very nice piece about crashing and learning. You've had at least one of those moments; apparently he has had a couple, but they make for good stories and some good thoughts about what you learn.


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Is It Still January Edition (1/26)


CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION



Ed Tech Reporters Should Make These Eight Resolutions For 2020

This ran three weeks ago over at Forbes . Three weeks into 2020 it still applies. Audrey Watters bills herself as “an education writer, an independent scholar, a serial dropout, a rabble-rouser, and ed-tech's Cassandra.” Her Hack Education blog is required reading for anyone who cares about technology in education. Since founding the blog in 2010, she has provided a meaty, thoroughly researched a

JAN 24

Impersonating A Teacher

In a John White valedictory piece , he's called "a former English teacher in New Jersey." I have twice this week come across a reformster who says he "started out as a teacher." Regular students of ed reform have seen similar pattern over and over-- the reformy whiz who has been busy at the ed reform or ed leadership or ed consulting or even ed leadership biz for a while, but who claims to have be

JAN 22

PA: Another Bill To Take Down, Sort Of, Cyber Charters

Rep. Curt Sonney is a GOP top dog in the Pennsylvania Education Committee, and he's never been known as a close friend of public schools. But he represents Erie, a district that has been absolutely gutted by school choice , so maybe that's why he has spent the last couple of years nipping at the heels of Pennsylvania's thriving cyber charter industry. Harrisburg just had hearings on his latest pro

JAN 21

A Teacher's Role In The Post-Truth Era

This piece from Sean Illing at Vox-- “Flood the zone with shit”: How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy -- captures the issue as well as anything I've seen in the past few years. Here are a couple of key bits: We live in a media ecosystem that overwhelms people with information. Some of that information is accurate, some of it is bogus, and much of it is intentionally misleading. The result

JAN 19

OH: A Superintendent Who Gets The Problem of EdChoice

Woodridge School District is located a bit north of Akron. The district is highly rated and has escaped the current Ohio school rating system with no low ratings. Which means they didn't have to speak out against the problems being created for districts across the state by the EdChoice program. But on their website, you'll find this message from their superintendent, who offers a clear an explana
ICYMI: Saturday Snow Day (1/18)

A Saturday Snow Day is when the weather is so awful that adults are absolved of any obligation to go anywhere and get anything done. We were having one right now in NW PA, with Interstates shut down and folks huddled up home. It's not a bad thing. If you need something to read while you huddle, I've got you covered. Why Aesha Ash Is Wandering Around Inner City Rochester In A Tutu Let's start the w

JAN 18



Trump, Prayer and School

Donald Trump yesterday took the very Trumpian action of solving a problem that didn't actually exist until he made it up, in this case involving religion and education (two things in which he appears to have no actual interest). But 
CURMUDGUCATION - http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/

I Deserve All the Credit For My Students' Success - Teacher Habits

I Deserve All the Credit For My Students' Success - Teacher Habits

I Deserve All the Credit For My Students’ Success




Last week my third graders took the chapter 6 math test on division. We use the Go Math! program and the tests aren’t easy. This wasn’t your father’s division test. There were multistep problems, word problems, intentionally misleading questions, and it was taken digitally, so I couldn’t give partial credit to the kid who showed understanding in his work but made one small mistake that led to the wrong answer.
My students killed the thing, by which I mean, killed the thing. My teaching led directly to the following results: one 76%, one 85%, one 88%, and the other 23 students scored 90% or above, with five students acing the test.
Let’s all take a moment to celebrate my accomplishment.
I will now accept your kudos. Feel free to email me or leave a comment on Facebook or even drop a line at the end of this article. You will no doubt want to express your gratitude to me for so effectively molding the future of this nation. My students’ parents are probably already struggling with how they will repay me for placing their children on the path to career success and personal fulfillment. The students themselves may never appreciate the impact I made on their lives. They will foolishly credit themselves, or their parents, or even the CONTINUE READING: I Deserve All the Credit For My Students' Success - Teacher Habits

Church-Run Charter Schools? Supreme Court Argument Stirs the Discussion - Politics K-12 - Education Week

Church-Run Charter Schools? Supreme Court Argument Stirs the Discussion - Politics K-12 - Education Week

Church-Run Charter Schools? Supreme Court Argument Stirs the Discussion

Could a closely watched U.S. Supreme Court case clear the way for charter schools run by churches and other religious organizations?
Justice Stephen Breyer raised the question this week at arguments for Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, one of the most significant K-12 cases before the high court in years.
The debate over religious charter schools has been active in a small corner of the school choice advocacy world for years.
"Overriding all objections is America's woeful lack" of space in quality schools, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation's then-President Chester E. Finn, Jr. wrote in a 2003 Education Week commentary. "Every possible asset should be brought to bear on the creation of more. Religious charter schools deserve consideration."
Here's what you need to know about the discussion.

Religious Discrimination?

At the Supreme Court Wednesday, a group of parents joined by the Trump administration argued that the state of Montana commited unconstitutional discrimination against their personal religious views when it determined that a small tax credit for private school scholarship programs could not be used to fund scholarships to religious schools. In making that determination, the state's CONTINUE READING: Church-Run Charter Schools? Supreme Court Argument Stirs the Discussion - Politics K-12 - Education Week

Craig Harris: How Foreign Investors Get Green Cards by Investing Millions in the Charter School Industry | Diane Ravitch's blog

Craig Harris: How Foreign Investors Get Green Cards by Investing Millions in the Charter School Industry | Diane Ravitch's blog

Craig Harris: How Foreign Investors Get Green Cards by Investing Millions in the Charter School Industry




Thanks to a provision in the tax law, called the EB-5 program, wealthy foreign investors can buy green cards by investing in charter schools.
He visited schools in Arizona and other states.
This story was published in December.
CORNELIUS, N.C. – When Lakeside Charter Academy opened five years ago in this boating community outside Charlotte, it faced the same challenge that confronts many new charter schools.
It had governmental approval to operate and the tax dollars that come with it to pay for teacher salaries, supplies and other expenses. But it had no money to build a school or lease classrooms.
Like most of the 45 states with charter schools — taxpayer-funded campuses operated largely by private businesses — North Carolina provides no money to new operators for start-up or capital costs.


NYC Educator: Today in Creative Headlines

NYC Educator: Today in Creative Headlines

Today in Creative Headlines


Someone trying to alert me to the perfidy of teachers tweeted this headline at me the other day: FBI probes allegations of deep rooted academic fraud in NYC Schools. It sounds pretty scary, doesn't it? Boy, those teachers must be really terrible. Clearly they don't give a damn about children and are only concerned with themselves.

That's the stereotype you get hit with if you spend your days trying to help city children, and as if that's not enough, they accuse you of hating them because you oppose "school choice." It makes no difference that charters do not, on the whole, do any better than we do. It's of no consequence that they almost never accept students like mine, teenagers learning basic English for the first time. It doesn't matter that they don't take a whole lot of kids with special needs or that they dump inconvenient kids back into the public schools.

Nope, we all suck, and we all ought to be fired. That headline ought to be enough evidence for anyone. The FBI? That's some serious stuff right there. They don't come out just for fun. We're under some serious scrutiny now, and if we weren't all criminals, why would they need to call the FBI? But wait, if you read the actual story, you start to notice things:


Holden turned over records compiled by former and current faculty members at Maspeth High School in Queens, where teachers say administrators encouraged cheating on exams, enforced a “no-fail policy,” and retaliated against staffers who didn’t play ball.

Haven't we heard about that school before? Is this not, in fact, a new scandal? And hey, if it's so "deep-rooted" in NYC "schools," why is there only one school mentioned? Doesn't "deep-rooted" mean widespread? And then there's this:


In Atlanta, eight educators were convicted under a RICO statute of manipulating student test scores and sentenced to prison in 2015.

I'm not exactly sure that eight indicates, "deep-rooted." Nonetheless, I'm assuming that means in CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: Today in Creative Headlines

Florida: State Funds Religious Schools Where Bigotry is Just Swell | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: State Funds Religious Schools Where Bigotry is Just Swell | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: State Funds Religious Schools Where Bigotry is Just Swell

Leslie Postal and Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel identified nearly 160 religious schools that receive state funding but exclude gay students.
Some refuse to enroll students whose parents are gay or hire gay staff.
Discrimination is A-OK at these schools.
This would not be a problem for Betsy DeVos, whose family has contributed to anti-gay organizations for years. It would not be a problem for the current a Supreme Court, which ruled that a baker in Colorado need not sell  a cake to a gay couple if homosexuality offends his religious beliefs.
Postal and Martin wrote:
In the shadow of a nearly 200-foot cross, Central Florida Christian Academy enrolls students who live by the Bible’s commands and abstain from “sexual immorality” — meaning gay children aren’t welcome on the state-supported campus in west Orange County.
Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater denies admission to students if they, or someone in their home, are practicing a “homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity” or “promoting such practices.”
Wade Christian School in Melbourne keeps an “expulsion list,” with a “homosexual act” among the offenses, CONTINUE READING: Florida: State Funds Religious Schools Where Bigotry is Just Swell | Diane Ravitch's blog

A Teacher's Dilemma: Help Students Or Harm Colleague | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

A Teacher's Dilemma: Help Students Or Harm Colleague | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

A Teacher's Dilemma: Help Students Or Harm Colleague


Teachers face dilemmas daily in their classroom and school. Figuring out what to do and how to do it when personal and professional values clash is often the nub of a dilemma. Unlike a problem that has a solution (e.g., house is cold, turn up the thermostat), teacher dilemmas are messy because of conflicting values, feelings and relationships–especially in a school. Nonetheless, they have to be managed. But sometimes they cannot.
Here is a dilemma that appeared in a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine. Kwame Anthony Appiah who responded to the teacher’s query teaches philosophy at N.Y.U. His books include “Cosmopolitanism,” “The Honor Code” and “The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity.”
I work in a Title I high school — a public school serving a largely low-income community — that has about 2,000 students. I teach in a smallish program with high-needs kids. By needs, I mean any and all needs you might imagine. Our school has a single social worker, who is obviously stretched thin and has a complicated personal life. I often refer students to this social worker for anything from pregnancy to friend drama. I seldom hear back unless I hound this person with follow-up emails or in-person visits. This person has difficulty keeping one student straight from another and is often unavailable and often responds with “news” or information that I already know (or have even CONTINUE READING: A Teacher's Dilemma: Help Students Or Harm Colleague | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

LAUSD Candidate Profile: Elizabeth Badger

LAUSD Candidate Profile: Elizabeth Badger

LAUSD Candidate Profile: Elizabeth Badger


I believe charter schools ought to be transparent and adhere to all the rules and regulations of the Public schools.”
– Elizabeth Badger
Elizabeth Badger is passionate about Democratic party politics. According to her profile by Nick Melvoin’s group Speak Up, Badger is a lifetime member of the party who was a delegate to both of Barack Obama’s national conventions and has been a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party’s Central Committee for 15 years. In addition to running for this seat in the 2015 election, Badger has also been a candidate for the Los Angeles City Council and the California State Assembly.
As a parent of a child in the LAUSD, Badger is also passionate about education and told Speak Up that this was the focus in every race that she ran. She correctly points out that the current board does not include any member who has children in the district and states that it is “important that we have a qualified LAUSD parent on that board, and we don’t.
Not surprisingly, she is a strong advocate of increasing the ability of parents to engage with the LAUSD and “absolutely” supports the CONTINUE READING: LAUSD Candidate Profile: Elizabeth Badger