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Sunday, October 7, 2018

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Post Show Edition (10/7)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Post Show Edition (10/7)

Final performance and set strike last night, so I'm operating on too-little sleep. But that doesn't mean I didn't find you some worthwhile reads for your Sunday afternoon.

Tackling Bro Culture Is Hard

The Kavanaugh spectacle has opened up sopme discussion of dealing with bro culture in high schools. Here's a NYT take on the subject.
School Hopping Brings Chaos

A visit to Detroit shows how the proliferation of shake shady charters leads to a great deal of destructive disruption in students' educations.
The Easiest Money Bill Ackerman Has Made

The umpteenth example of how charters can be great tools for profiteers (particularly if they are also legislators who get to write the rules of the game).

It Didn't Start with Trump

The Guardian takes us back to the roots of modern teacher-bashing. Let's go back to 1983 and Ronald Reagan...

What Top-Rated Schools Have In Common- Fewer Poor Kids

The Nevada Current takes a look at high-achieving schools and discovers a strong link to wealth.

Guilty Verdict for Man Who Defrauded Newpoint Charter Schools

A look at yet another scam artist who uses the unregulated freedom of charters to make himself rich at taxpayer expense. Will you be surprised if I tell this story is from Florida?

Don't Let Richmond Dictate Charter Schools

Laura Bowman's plea to keep Virginis relatively clean of charter blight.

The  Truth About Money in Public Education Politics

Yet another look at how dark money worms its way into local education elections.

What Happens When There Are No Public Schools     

Jeff Bryant takes us to Michigan for a look at the bad outcomes of bad choice programs.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Post Show Edition (10/7)

Jerry Brown’s mixed legacy: Is California’s departing governor a Resistance hero or a hypocrite? |

Jerry Brown’s mixed legacy: Is California’s departing governor a Resistance hero or a hypocrite? |
Jerry Brown’s mixed legacy: Is California’s departing governor a Resistance hero or a hypocrite?
National media celebrates Brown’s accomplishments, but for California progressives the picture’s more complicated

f anything should be obvious in the wake of the 2016 election it’s that both major American political parties are in deep trouble, reflecting the larger trouble of a society potentially headed for state breakdown. The unacknowledged terrible record of the GOP’s “deep bench” paved the way for Donald Trump. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders’ promotion of popular progressive positions and his surprisingly strong 2016 showing challenged more than just Hillary Clinton, it challenged the entire direction of the party for over a generation.

In the aftermath, both parties are struggling to redefine themselves, but in very different ways. The Republicans' redefinition is being driven by Trump, while Democrats are undergoing a more varied bottom-up process.  One such perspective on what that involves can be gleaned by reflecting on the legacy of retiring California Gov. Jerry Brown — and what he’s left undone.
The view from the New York Times, "5 Takeaways From California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Last Bill Signing Session," was a bit of jumble, starting with Brown’s “lasting legacy as ‘the policy trendsetter of the country,’” and ending on the contrary note by mentioning his “a willingness to wield the veto pen,” usually against progressive measures, given Democratic dominance of the state legislature.

That contradiction — unrecognized and unreflected on by the Times — speaks volumes about Brown’s actual record and legacy, while the three other takeaways all reflect the impact of grassroots movements: Black Lives Matter for a “series of high-profile criminal justice measures,” and “[s]weeping changes to police transparency laws,” and the women-led Resistance and #MeToo movement for “[p]ushing back against gender discrimination and sexual harassment,” though vetoes and other caveats applied to those as well.
The good news for Democrats is how little Brown and his governor’s pen had to do with any of that progressive legislation, which actually spans a broad range of specific topics. His retirement won’t decapitate any of the driving forces involved. The bad news is how uneven the actual Continue reading: Jerry Brown’s mixed legacy: Is California’s departing governor a Resistance hero or a hypocrite? |

Wick-Ed | Blue Cereal Education

Wick-Ed | Blue Cereal Education


Candle Man

Think of something you love.
Not a person – a topic. A hobby. A personal passion.
Now pretend that it’s very important to you to share this passion with others. In fact, you’re getting PAID to spread this interest and your expertise. This is exhilarating and terrifying, because on the one hand you’re being given the opportunity to make a career out of something you deeply care about, but on the other… this passion is part of what defines you.
It’s personal. It matters to you. You care whether or not it’s done WELL.
Still – GIDDY!
Plot Twist: Most of those with whom you’ll be sharing are here against their will and care nothing about your topic, nor do they wish to. Also, they’re supposed to be learning about six other things they don’t care about all at the same time. 
But nothing’s perfect, amiright? And besides, surely once they’re exposed to what you’re really talking about, they’ll start to love it a LITTLE – how could they not? Your interest wasn’t planned or forced – you can’t HELP but dive in. It’s naturally engaging! It’s just a matter of lighting the first few candles in the bucket, surely.
How will you begin?
Well, you should put together some sort of high-interest discussion-starter to get them talking about your passion. You labor for hours trying to find the right entrance point – something accessible, but relevant.
Something rich in possibilities, but which still clearly lays the groundwork for where Continue reading: Wick-Ed | Blue Cereal Education

The Right Wing, Anti-Gay Crusade Behind Marshall Tuck’s Campaign to Take Over California Schools - LA Progressive

The Right Wing, Anti-Gay Crusade Behind Marshall Tuck’s Campaign to Take Over California Schools - LA Progressive

The Right Wing, Anti-Gay Crusade Behind Marshall Tuck’s Campaign to Take Over California Schools

The privatizers’ ideal candidate for California State Superintendent, Marshall Tuck, recently suffered a serious blow to his credibility when he announced he was returning a contribution from a mysterious anti-gay zealot but keeping over $61,000 from a PAC. The situation revealed a campaign scrambling to maintain a narrative that appeals to California’s mostly progressive voters when the reality is much darker.
The race for this officially nonpartisan office pits two Democrats who are miles apart on education policy, underscoring how divisive the charter lobby’s influence is becoming for California’s governing party.
Tuck’s opponent Tony Thurmond is a social worker, former school board member, and current State Assemblymember. He has been endorsed by Senator Kamala Harris; U.S. Congressional Representatives Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell, and Karen Bass; and the teachers’ union.
Tuck, on the other hand, has the same pro-privatizing platform that voters rejected when he was defeated for the position four years ago, and it’s the same education platform of Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and John Kasich, and Vice President Mike Pence: To deregulate public education, to outsource school services, to make it harder for teachers to gain tenure, and to expand the market of “school choice.”

Tuck’s bid to take over California public schools is being bankrolled by familiar names in the anti-public education Billionaire Boys Club, as former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, calls them. Looked at through another lens, their support can be politically inconvenient: Doris Fisher (whose Gap retail company has faced numerous child labor scandals), Eli Broad (former top investor at AIG, and whose non-accredited Broad Academy trains privatizing “education leaders”), Alice Walton (heir to the anti-labor Walmart fortune), Reed Hastings (Silicon Valley billionaire who has tried for years to take away the right of local voters to elect their own school boards, and who  Continue reading: The Right Wing, Anti-Gay Crusade Behind Marshall Tuck’s Campaign to Take Over California Schools - LA Progressive

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Yong Zhao: Problems with Evidence-based Education: Side Effects in Education Education in the Age of Globalization

Education in the Age of Globalization » Blog Archive » Problems with Evidence-based Education: Side Effects in Education
Problems with Evidence-based Education: Side Effects in Education

The following is the Introduction of my book What Works Can Hurt: Side Effects in Education published by Teachers College Press in June 2018.
“Ibuprofen may cause a severe allergic reaction,” you are warned when you buy a bottle of Advil, and “this product may cause stomach bleeding.” Medical products are required to disclose clearly their intended effects and known side effects. The intended effect of the common pain reliever Ibuprofen, for example, is to temporarily relieve “minor aches and pains.” The drug’s known side effects include allergic reaction and stomach bleeding. Hence Ibuprofen products must carry a warning label of their potential adverse effects.
But it is unlikely that anyone has received such warning about educational products.
“This program helps improve your students’ reading scores, but it may make them hate reading forever.” No such information is given to teachers or school leaders.
“This practice can help your child become a better student, but it may make her less creative.” No parent has been given information about effects and side effects of instructional practices in schools.
“School choice may improve test scores of some students, but it can lead to the collapse of American public education.” The public has not received information about the side effects of sweeping education policies.
It is also rare to find published research studies in education that report the potential adverse effects of an intervention. Educational research typically has focused exclusively on collecting evidence to prove or disprove the benefits or intended effects of products, programs, policies, and practices. The recent movement toward evidence-based educational practices and policies is only about gathering and verifying evidence for effects. It shows no concern for negative side effects.
Does this mean that educational products are immune to adverse side effects? Does it mean that all educational products have no negative impact on students?
The old Chinese saying “drink poison to quench thirst” was my first thought when the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 2002). The law had bipartisan support and was widely viewed as the right solution to some of the most persistent problems in American education: low achievement in reading and math and the growing achievement gap. The only loud protest at the time was that it was an unfunded federal mandate, meaning that if there were more money to support its implementation, the solution prescribed in the law would really lead to transformative changes in American education.
As readers will see in Chapter 1, the main ingredients in the NCLB solution were testing and accountability, a focus on reading and math, and scientifically proven effective instructional materials and strategies. Having grown up in China, I had personal experience with testing and accountability. I knew how high-stakes testing corrupts education, turning it into test preparation. I knew how a test-driven education causes damage to the physical and psychological well-being of students, parents, and teachers. I knew that a test-driven education does not result in citizens who can defend a democracy, nor does it produce the creative and innovative individuals needed in the modern economy. I knew that it does not reduce inequity, either, Continue reading: Education in the Age of Globalization » Blog Archive » Problems with Evidence-based Education: Side Effects in Education

CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos Secret Vist To View Koch Program

CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos Secret Vist To View Koch Program

DeVos Secret Vist To View Koch Program

Betsy DeVos visited Wichita last Monday, but it was a very quiet visit. Her online schedule shows Monday an unscheduled day, and neither the Department of Education nor the group she visited issued any news release. It was a local source-- Suzanne Perez Tobias at the Wichita Eagle-- that picked up the story.

So what did DeVos travel to Wichita to see? She traveled to Koch Industries to meet a teacher and some students from the Youth Entrepreneurs, a group founded by Charles Koch and his wife Liz in 1991. It started out as an eight week course at a Wichita high school "designed to improve the professional potential of at risk students." That's not a shocker-- the Koch brothers have been pretty clear about preferring business solutions to educational problems, as well as their desire to have schools crank out useful meat widgets for the business leaders of America. According to their annual report, the program was in 126 schools with 182 teachers working with 3,487 students.

Their foundational values are unsurprising for a Koch venture. Responsibility-- "take responsibility for your own life." Be principled-- act with respect, integrity and toleration. Knowledge-- seek and use the best knowledge. None of that low-quality knowledge. Freedom-- "respect the rightgs of others and study the links between freedom, entrepreneurship, and societal well-being." Passion-- Find fulfillment by improving lives of others. That may not sound very Kochian, but the next one does. Opportunity-- "You make your own opportunities." Sound judgment-- by which we mean using "economic thinking to create the greatest benefit while using the least resources."(Yes, that's incorrect usage.) Win-win focus-- cooperation creates value for yourself and others. It's an interesting list, a portrayal of the conflicted shore where Christian do-unto-otheriness crashes in to Ayn Randian "take care of yourself and let everyone else rot," a neighborhood where the DeVos and Koch families have long lived. I'm glad this course is only an elective.

The program notes its differences from the Junior Achievement program. YE is a yearlong elective Continue reading: 
CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos Secret Vist To View Koch Program