Sunday, February 17, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Winter Is Forever Edition (2/17)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Winter Is Forever Edition (2/17)

ICYMI: Winter Is Forever Edition (2/17)

I do this every Sunday, so you can skip back week by week, or just search "ICYMI" in the search bar in the upper left to read some of the good stuff coming from other writers in the education world. Remember to share-- that's how this stuff gets around and finds the audience it should have.

Rahm Emanuel's Non-Apolgy for Being School Privatization Cheerleader

Rahm released an essay that was billed as a change of direction, but which might be better described as a branding exercise.

Getting To The Root of the Public Education Crisis

I have mixed feelings here, but this op-ed spinning off the issues of segregation in Rochester is still worth a look.

3 States Tried To Shutter Failing For Profit Online Charter Schools

Sometimes the 74 does real journalism, and this story is a stunner. In three states, officials tried to shut down cyberschools; what happened next is chilling-- a stealth campaign to smear officials.

Pcops, Pensions and Picket Lines

Yes, it's settled for now, but this is a great look at what exactly got Denver to the point of a strike in the first place.

On Responsible Social Media Use

A handy reminder about the use of compelling-yet-groundless statistics on line, and other ways to behave better

Teach For America Overwhelmingly Exits The Classroom

Mercedes Schnieder with a reminder that TFAers are mostly just passing through.

Testing Chaos in New Jersey 

Dr. Jazzman with a look at the latest developments in the continuing saga of New Jersey's exit exam fiasco.

Writing as Threat

From Jose Luis Vilson, the challenge of being a writer and owning that idenity. 

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Winter Is Forever Edition (2/17)

PA: The Death of Cyber Charters (Maybe, Finally)
In the entire education ocean, cyber charters continue to be a festering garbage patch, and a recently proposed bill could clean them out of Pennsylvania. It is not that cyber charters could not be useful for a select group of students with special needs. But in the whole panoply of failed reform ideas, none have failed harder and more thoroughly than cyber charters. In fact, they have failed so h

FEB 14

Speedbumps on the Road to Curriculum's Golden Age
Among the recent shifts in reform thought is one to a focus on curriculum and content, and I don't hate it. One of the hugely screwed up features of the last two decades has been the content-stripped focus on hollow skills. Reading is not a set of skills that can somehow be taught and practiced in a content-free vacuum, but that's what we've been trying to do for most of the 21st century, so far.

FEB 12

NY: Parents Call For Charter Pause and Evaluation
NYC school district's parent board has come out in opposition to raising New York's charter school cap. Will Governor Cuomo hear them? The New York City schools are under mayoral control (never, ever, an ideal system), so they have no school boards. What they do have is thirty-six Community Education Councils composed of elected parents. Those CECs in turn have an Education Council Consortium, com

FEB 11

The Problem with "Monopoly."
A standard piece of charter/choice rhetoric is to refer to the public school monopoly, the suggestion being that school choice is needed in order to break the public school stranglehold. I'd argue that the term is not accurate, that it suggests a single nationwide education entity that imply doesn't exist. Can an enterprise be a monopoly if it's actually several thousand individual entities? But t

FEB 10

ICYMI: Valentine's Edition (2/10)
A handful of worthwhile reads this week. Remember to share! Defining High Quality Curriculum Nancy Flanagan wants to know why curriculum is supposed to be so hard for actual teachers. Charter Schools Are Pushing Public Education To The Brink Jeff Bryant looks at how badly charter schools squeeze public school finances. (Spoiler alert: pretty badly) Active Shooter Drills A reminder, if you need one

FEB 09

Field Guide To Strike Objectors
In my four decades of teaching, I went through a strike twice--once as a first year teacher, and once as the president of the local union. Writing about education, I have followed dozens more. No matter what kind of public support a strike is getting, there are always some familiar tunes you can expect to hear played in opposition to a teacher walkout. Here's your guide to all the classics. Don't

FEB 08

IA: Choice Is Taxation Without Representation
An Iowa state senator has caught on to one of the problematic side effects of many choice programs-- disenfranchised taxpayers. Or, as somebody put it a while ago, taxation without representation. Iowa has long allowed open enrollment; an Iowa family can enroll their student in any public school district, whether they live there or not. Currently the full per-pupil expenditure follows the student-

FEB 07

DC: Charter Leaders Make The Big Bucks
It's a phenomenon noted in many urban education-scapes. The leaders (CEO, Education Visionary, Grand High Muckity Muck, whatever) of a charter operation makes far more money than a) the local public school superintendent responsible for far more students and b) the teachers who work within the charter. But a recent Washington City Paper article by Rachel Cohen lays out some stark examples. The art
Count Them As They Go
I'm asked from time to time (mostly, I think, because some people are curious but reluctant to ask) what it's like to be in my particular spot in life. Retired from teaching, sixty-one years old, raising two babies about thirty years after I raised two other babies-- as my wife and I have said at various times over the last decade, we are kind of off the map here. So my honest answer is that I'm f

FEB 06

Portfolio School Management For Dummies
One of the issues that was hanging over the Los Angeles teacher strike is the idea of portfolio management; the UTLA asserts that Superintendent Austin Beutner already has a plan prepared for converting the LAUSD to a multi-portfolio model. In Denver, the model has already been rolled out, to less than stellar result . It's a challenging issue to discuss because so few people understand exactly h

FEB 05

Hammering the Littles: Are The Kids Really All Right?
The headline says " Kindergarten classes are getting more academic. New research says the kids are all right. " The news is that a big shiny new study shows that the increasingly academic approach to kindergarten is okee dokee. The quick take is that the study followed 20,000 kindergarten students and found that they both achieved academically and their social and emotional development was just fi

FEB 04

Reclaiming Choice
So we just froze our way through School Choice Week, the annual PR blitz in favor of privatizing public education, and I find myself troubled and annoyed by the word "choice." See, I favor choice. In all my years at our tiny small town/rural high school, we'v e graduated students who went on to become doctors, artists, teachers, welders, construction workers, lawyers, telephone linemen, and jobs y

FEB 03

ICYMI: Really Big List Edition (2/3)
Was it the cold? Did we all just have more time to wander the internet? I don't know, but it's a huge list this week. Remember to share-- that's how the word gets out. LA Strike: Charters Are An Existential Threat To Public Education The LA strike was extraordinary in that it addressed so much more than wages and benefits, but also addressed policy as well. Here's a good look at where the LA chart

FEB 01

Measuring Success: A Study in Contrasts
Two items tossed my feed this week that underline contrasting ideas about what constitutes success in education. First, let's go to the Jackson-Madison County school system of Tennessee. At JMCSS folks are pretty excited