Saturday, May 27, 2017




Image result for big education ape catch up with curmudgucation

Slate Series Unmasks Cyber School
Slate, for whatever reason, teamed up this week with Columbia Journalism School's Teacher Project, to take a look at on line education. Much of their work is focused on on line courses as a means of credit recovery-- the quick-and-easy method of letting students replace credits for courses they failed. But the series tells us a great deal about what on line "education" is really like-- and it is n
PA: Report Shows Charter Financial Impact
Pennsylvania's Legislative Budget and Finance Committee has released a report looking at " Public [sic] Charter Schools Fiscal Impact on School Districts. " The findings of the joint committee underscore what many have already been saying-- charter schools, particularly in a badly regulated state like Pennsylvania, are hurting public schools. The report is 105 pages long, so I'm going to be focusi

MAY 24

DeVos Still Anti-Accountability
As she's spent time in the public eye this week, Betsy DeVos may have enraged, but she hasn't surprised. She continues to be what we always thought she was-- and that includes her attitude about accountability. She's against it. Here's a critical CNN clip from today's hearings: . @RepKClark to Sec. DeVos: “I am shocked that you cannot come up with one example of discrimination that you would stand
Charters and Open Books
My school district's board of directors held their regular meeting two days ago and passed a tentative budget for the coming year. I could link you to the newspaper report of the meeting, but it's behind a paywall. So let me just copy out the two important paragraphs: Now that the tentative budget has been approved, members of the general public have an opportunity to review and/or comment on the

MAY 23

Dear Jeb Bush:
Today you put in an appearance at Betsy DeVos's American Federation for Children, a group very much in tune with your goals in education. I can see why you and DeVos have always gotten along-- wealthy children of privilege who feel a righteous need to remake your home state according to your own beliefs in competition and battle and a system that sorts people into their proper places. Reporter Mat
Religious Voucher Schools
Like everyone else in the education universe, I was talking vouchers on line, and in the midst of a conversation, this tweet popped up: @palan57 @PCunningham57 @educationgadfly @shavarjeffries @matt_barnum @Chalkbeat @jasonscrye Peter, what do you have against letting poor families choose religious schools? — Michael Petrilli (@MichaelPetrilli) May 23, 2017 Remember that question, because it's go

MAY 22

Education's Existential Crisis
No, it's not the possibility that Betsy DeVos's DeVoucher program may gut public education with the goal of replacing it with privatized school by and for the People Who Matter. Nor is it the policy goal held by some that the whole concept of "school" can be replaced with an array of modules geared to different competencies that can be accessed and completed on line at the time and place of the st

MAY 21

NYT: Value Not Added
Our old friend Kevin Carey popped up in the New York Times this week , using the death of William Sanders as a case to soft-pedal VAM. The article has some interesting points to make about VAM, and it also unintentionally reveals some of the reasons that Value-Added Measuring of teacher performance is a fool's game. Carey is the education policy program director for the New America Foundation . NA
ICYMI: I'm More Grown Up Edition (5/21)
Yesterday was my birthday, but I wouldn't forget to give you your Sunday reading list. Remember-- if you like it, pass it on. A Tour of Stock Photo Academy The British blog Othmar's Trombone takes us on a tour of Stock Photo Academy, and it's just so special. This is your fun and games reading assignment for the week. My Response to the NYT Google Article A reply from Morna McDermott to the Times'

MAY 20

My 16 Rules
Today I turn sixty, so it's time form one of those posts. These are the rules. Mind you, they are not a sign of any particular wisdom or smartitude on my part-- I have learned about these rules in the same way a somewhat dim cow learns