Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, January 13, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Jazz In Church Edition (1/13)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Jazz In Church Edition (1/13)

ICYMI: Jazz In Church Edition

Today was m day to visit my brother's church to play some jazz versions of old hymns. Fun times, but it ace for a full family day. Nevertheless, I have some reading for you from the week. Remember-- if you think it's a good one, share it and amplify the voice.

Charter Lobby Still Spending Money in Connecticut

Wendy Lecker lays out the ways in which the usual charter lobbyists are still plying their trade in Connecticut to garner as much influence as they can.

Challenging the Myths About Teachers

Love Long and Prosper is a new blog to us here at the Curmudgucation Institute, and this is a worthwhile post to serve as an introduction.

100 Arizona Charter Schools In. Danger Of Closing

No, that's not one of my usual typos-- about 100 charter schools in Arizona re in danger of going out of business because they've botched their financial management. Just mazing.

Whatever Happened to the Waiting for Superman Kids

Gary Rubinstein always asks the good questions. Like, whatever happened to the students who were used as the focus of Waiting for Superman, the classic public-school-trashing film.

Fables of School Reform

Audrey Watters is one of the great chroniclers of ed tech. Here is another great look at the long history of reformy baloney.

How To Teach Virtue? Start with a Charter School

Nancy Flanagan has been watching reformster Checker Finn clutch his very expensive pearls for years, and she has a few thoughts about his latest outburst.

When You Give a Teacher A Gun

Mitchell Robinson takes a look at a piece about arming teachers, and he has a few thoughts.

Public School Students Are Being Erased From TV,  Movies, and Other Media

Steven Singer has noticed something odd happening with school aged characters in pop culture. They've stopped going to public school.

South Carolina Hasn't Enforced Class Size Limits Since 2010. It's Starting To Show.   

South Carolina continues to cut educational corners while hoping that its underpaid teachers can somehow pick up the slack.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Jazz In Church Edition (1/13)

Four Reasons Charters Are A Bad Fit For Rural Communities
For just a moment, I'm going to set aside the larger problems of charters and privatization nationally. Charter advocates and education reformers have recently turned their attention to rural communities. Last summer, Mike Petrilli (Fordham Institute) unleashed one of his wide-release op-eds to point out the "problem" of "charter deserts" --those markets where charter schools have made few inroad

JAN 11

Why The Reading Wars Will Never End
I made the mistake of tossing a comment into the middle of a twitter thread on Monday. Not a nice quiet subject like vaccinations or abortion or Trump's wall, but reading. As soon as it became apparent that thread would blow up and swallow my feed, I could have asked to be cut loose or just muted the participants, but I was curious. How much longer would this go on? The answer is that after five d

JAN 10

GA: Cyber Schools Failing Here, Too
In what could be news only to someone who has not been paying any attention to cyberschooling in the US, a report from Georgia's Department of Audits and Accounts found that the state's cyber schools "underperformed ." Mind you, I'll argue that the state's College and Career Ready Performance Index is a lousy way to measure the performance of schools. But those are the rules that reformsters want

JAN 09

Bill Gates Is Still Pushing Common Core
Sigh. You've undoubtedly heard the news over the past couple of days-- the Gates Foundation is going to throw $10 million at teachers to help promote "high-quality" curriculum. There are several problems with this, and none of them are new. First, despite the headlines, this money is not actually being thrown directly at teachers. “We want to identify the content-specific professional development
Id: Ibe Hp Vp Bs
Idaho Business for Education (IBE) is "a group of nearly 200 business leaders from across the state who are committed to transforming Idaho’s education system." IBE works with the legislature and key Idaho stakeholders to help set our students up for success in school, work and life, and build the workforce that will lead to a vibrant economy for years to come. Our 2019 initiatives include the Sc

JAN 08

PA: How Charters Damage a Public School System
Erie has come a long way since the days that visitors would travel to the beaches just to be appalled by the dead fish on shore, the days when Western Pennsylvanians called it "The Mistake on the Lake." The waterfront is now pristine and beautiful, the city now boasting great theaters, hotels and recreation. But public education is still struggling. Just two and a half years ago, the previous sup

JAN 07

Why You Can't Fire Your Way To Excellence
For some reformsters and accountability hawks, the dream remains the same-- find those Bad Teachers, fire them, and replace them with Awesome Teachers. Crack the accountability whip and fire our way to excellence. We have discussed some of the obvious flaws with this approach. How do you even define a Bad Teacher, and is it a permanent condition or a day-to-day variable? How do you find your Bad T

JAN 06

ICYMI: Still Waiting for Winter Edition (1/6)
Still no snow in my neck of the woods, but still plenty of writing about education to be read. Remember, sharing is caring. Keep That Same Energy Jose Luis Vilson has my favorite kick off the new year piece. Check it out. Excuse Me While I Teach Your Child A greatest hits fun and games from McSweeney's Appellate Division Kills Zombie PARCC A great breakdown of New Jersey's rejection of the little-

JAN 05

Terror, Hubris and AI (or Can Artificial Intelligence Fake Being A Self-important Pompous Tool?)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is, if not a hot new product itself, the additive that helps sell a million other products ("New! Improved!! Now with AI!!!"). And the proponents of AI are loaded with big brass cyberballs when it comes to making claims about their product. And all the most terrible and frightening things are happening in China . Come down this terrifying baloney-stuffed rabbit hole wi

JAN 04

After the Education Wars: The Best and Worst of Reform
Andrea Gabor is a business journalist by trade, and it's our great good fortune that she followed the thread of business-style reform into the world of education. Her recent book, After the Education Wars: How Smart Schools Upend the Business of Reform, is an invaluable addition to the literature of ed reform -- not the faux reform that has been foisted on us for the past decades, but actual impro

JAN 03

It's Not the Implementation
"You just didn't implement it properly." This is the all-too-frequent cry of program creators and policy writers after their pet project goes belly up in the great goldfish bowl of education. It was a popular explanation for the crash of Common Core. More than a few district superintendents have used it to explain why their pet project failed. And publishers like to use it as an explanation for w
Not Quite Seven Reasons To Ditch Teachers Unions
The Foundation for Economic Education may be the oldest libertarian thinky tank in the US, and they are a missionary group , set "to make the ideas of liberty familiar, credible, and compelling to the rising generation." So it comes as no surprise to find them running an article entitled " 7 Reasons To Say Goodbye to the Teachers Union." Author Daniel Buck is a bit of a mystery on line, but he lay

JAN 02

How Much Money In That Edusector?!!
When you're starting to wonder why so many people are interested in education, even though they have no training, experience, or apparent deep interest in education, it's helpful to see some numbers. Like 2,600,000,000. Reportsnreports is an international outfit that provides "market research reports to industries, individuals, and organizations to accelerate decision making process." They offer a

JAN 01

School Choice Is School's Choice
The core idea of every version of a school choice program is that students and their families will choose wha schools to attend. The anecdotal evidence has called that into question time after time, suggesting that it is schools that get to choose what students they will or will not accept. This happens not necessarily through direct rejection, but by a hundred little obstacles. An application sys
China: You Will Wear Big Brother
If nothing else, China is constantly providing new responses to the comment, "Well, there's no way anybody could actually do that." What happens when the business mindset comes up against a powerful profit motive? China has