Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Measure EE Puts Your LAUSD Child First – Carl J. Petersen – Medium

Measure EE Puts Your LAUSD Child First – Carl J. Petersen – Medium

Measure EE Puts Your LAUSD Child First
Proceeds from the Tax shall be used for: lowering class sizes; providing school nursing, library, and counseling services and other health and human services for student support; providing instructional programs, school resources, and materials; retaining and attracting teachers and school employees; and providing necessary administrative services.
- Measure EE
When the business interests opposing Measure EE state that the parcel tax will “compound the affordable housing problem”, I can not help but wonder how many of these same people also worked against California Proposition 10 in last year’s election. Had this proposal passed it would have allowed “local governments to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing.” This would have given local governments a powerful tool in combating the affordable housing problem and gentrification. Unfortunately, the nearly $100 million spent against Proposition 10 helped to ensure its defeat. As a result, most local governments in California are still prohibited from enacting rent control.
Like the opponents of Proposition 10, those who are trying to get you to vote against Measure EE, have resorted to altering reality. For example, they claim that the funding for our students will come from “regressive property tax.” In fact, the parcel tax is based on the total square footage of improvements on a property. Therefore, the owners of a modest, single story, two bedroom house will pay much less than a property owner living in a luxurious McMansion. The owners of record-breaking skyscrapers being built downtown will pay CONTINUE READING: Measure EE Puts Your LAUSD Child First – Carl J. Petersen – Medium

Democrats Must Choose Between Teachers and Charter Schools - Truthdig

Democrats Must Choose Between Teachers and Charter Schools - Truthdig

Democrats Must Choose Between Teachers and Charter Schools

For years, the safe havens for education policy debate in the Democratic Party have been expanding pre-K programs and providing more affordable college, but in the current presidential primary contest, another consensus issue has been added to the party’s agenda: salary increases for K–12 classroom teachers. Kamala Harris has gotten the most press for coming out strongly for raising teacher wages, but other frontrunners including Joe BidenPete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders have also called for increased teacher pay.
But what will happen when a consensus issue like teacher salary increases comes into conflict with a lightning rod issue like charter schools? That’s a scenario currently playing out in Florida.
A recent law passed by the majority Republican Florida state legislature and signed by newly elected Republican Governor Ron DeSantis will force local school districts to share portions of their locally appropriated tax money with charter schools, even if those funds are raised for the express purpose of increasing teacher salaries in district-operated public schools. (Charter schools in Florida, as in many states, do not receive funds that are raised through bond referendums, mill levies, or other forms of local funding initiatives.)
Florida teachers have openly opposed the new law, and local school districts have taken it to court to have it overthrown. But given this new law, it’s not at all hard to imagine a scenario, even at the national level, where Democrats pushing to increase funds for teacher pay will have to confront an expanding charter school industry—and now voucher programs—that would claim their portion of that money to use as private institutions for whatever purposes they wish.
“An Effort to Redefine Public Schools”
“The problem with charter schools isn’t that they’re competing with public schools; it’s that they’re supplanting public schools,” says Justin Katz in a phone call. Katz, who is president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association, recently helped organize a rally in West Palm Beach where more than 200 teachers and public school advocates showed up to voice their opposition to distributing funds raised by local tax increases to charter schools. CONTINUE READING: Democrats Must Choose Between Teachers and Charter Schools - Truthdig

What's behind Elizabeth Warren's growing appeal? A killer grasp of how power works | Eclectablog

What's behind Elizabeth Warren's growing appeal? A killer grasp of how power works | Eclectablog

What’s behind Elizabeth Warren’s growing appeal? A killer grasp of how power works

After Elizabeth Warren refused to do a town hall on Fox News, I wrote a column where I argued, “There has been no candidate for president in my lifetime who has better matched her country’s needs.” The piece ends up making the case for a two-woman ticket led by Warren, a digression I still agree with but regret.
The senior Senator from Massachusetts being a woman with an excellent set of proposals to save abortion rights is definitely important at this moment. You may have noticed that we are on the verge of the mass criminalization of abortion. But gender is definitely not near the center of her growing appeal (or even the abortion rights debate itself).
The core of Warren’s rise is that she gets how power works and thus how to most effectively resist it. On The View, she demonstrated this with an excellent explication of her decision not to lend her credibility to Fox News, a channel that exists to destroy anything that preserves the middle class.

Warren’s “I have a plan” mantra recognizes that the left in this country has been getting its ass kicked for decades. “Big structural change” isn’t just a nice campaign promise; it’s necessary.
With her clear-eyed view of corruption, she saw the financial crisis coming and then warned of the dangers of not taking aggressive action against the perpetrators of the greatest ripoff in American history long after it was over.
“There’s been such a sense that there’s one set of rules for trillion-dollar financial institutions and a different set for all the rest of us,” Warren has often said. “It’s so pervasive that it’s not even CONTINUE READING: What's behind Elizabeth Warren's growing appeal? A killer grasp of how power works | Eclectablog

MemeWise – Thinking About Science | Live Long and Prosper

MemeWise – Thinking About Science | Live Long and Prosper

MemeWise – Thinking About Science

I don’t understand how people who drive cars, fly in airplanes, cook meals, use clocks, talk on telephones, trust that their tap water is clean, smell flowers, watch TV, and take their medicines can deny science when it doesn’t suit their biases.
As a voter, as a citizen, scientific issues will come before you…Isn’t it worth it to say, “Let me at least become scientifically literate so that I can think about these issues and act intelligently upon them”?

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick reminder…

The same people who trust a plumber with their pipes and gas lines, a mechanic with their cars, and a doctor with their health, choose to believe politicians over 97% of the world’s climate scientists when it comes to the fate of life on Earth.

DON’T CONFUSE YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH WITH MY  CONTINUE READING: MemeWise – Thinking About Science | Live Long and Prosper

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION: + One Year Retireversary Edition (6/2)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: One Year Retireversary Edition (6/2)

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION: + One Year Retireversary Edition (6/2)

It has been exactly one year since I hung up my teacher hat, so I'll probably meditate on that today, but in the meantime, here's some good reading from the week. Remember-- if you like it, share it.

Utah Picked a Testing  Company That It Knew Sucked

Okay, so I paraphrased the really-long headline, but you get the idea. How Utah went with a company with a history of trouble-- and how that worked out.

The Perils of Treating Schools Like Corporations 

I don't often do video clips, but this is an interview with Andrea Gabor, exactly the person to address this topic. Plus this clip will remind you to get her book.

Fables of School Reform

The internet has really been missing Audrey Watters while she's been writing a book, but this piece from the January Baffler is Watters at her best, tying together a dozen different threads and reminding us that the world of ed tech is deeply full of baloney.

In NYC, as Neighborhoods Grow Whiter, Schools Don't

A new kind of white flight?

In Rural PA, a Robotics Program

A little bit of showing off; the teacher behind this program is one of my former co-workers, and he has worked his ass off to make this happen at my old school.

State Takeover Law Fails To Measure Success  

A letter to the editor of the Toledo newspaper explains one of the failures of takeover law-- it's completely inadequate definition of success.

Why Did Charter Support Dry Up? 

Jack Schneider looks at the fatal weaknesses of charter schools and their movement.

Pearson Looks To Cyber-Expand   

Pearson is planning to go after more of the cyber school market. I'm sure that can't end badly.

Undermining Florida's Public Education 

Yet another writer calling out the edu-disaster that is Florida's current governor and legislature.

America's Education Civil War

"Without a revolution seeing education as a social good to be broadly encouraged rather than property to be hoarded, lines will be drawn with consequential conflict and social impoverishment"

In The Middle

Mary Holden just spend a year in middle school. It took her till now to have enough time free to write about it.  

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: One Year Retireversary Edition (6/2)

NH: Outsourcing and Privatizing Public Education
New Hampshire's education commissioner has decided to push a really terrible education idea . It's called "Learn Everywhere," and it looks like a new approach to replacing public education, a kind of true backdoor approach to vouchering. It comes dressed in pretty language, but it still smells like a recently fertilized field on a warm summer day. Frank Edelblut was a businessman, venture capitali
Rewarding Failing Schools
One of the problems with the business oriented view of education reveals itself in the use of the word "reward." As long as the debate has raged, we can find commentators, thinky tanks, and policy makers arguing that giving more resources to struggling schools is "rewarding" them for failure. ( Here's an example , and here's another .) For many folks, this seems simple and straightforward, but it'

MAY 31

Jeb Bush: Frying Reform Baloney for Michigan
The Detroit News just ran a Jeb Bush fluff piece chock full of reformy baloney (reformaloney?) and an embarrassing lack of those fact thingies. It's helpful to know that the writer is Ingrid Jacques, deputy editorial page editor, and a graduate of Hillsdale College, the noted far-right Libertarian college with close ties to the DeVos family and the Trump administration (you may remember them as th

MAY 30

OH: Takeover Battle Comes To Senate
Our story so far: The Ohio House has passed a bill scrapping Ohio's disastrous takeover bill, HB 70. The new language was incorporated into the budget (HB 166) and, having cleared the House, must go to the Senate, where education committee chair Peggy Lehner is not particularly sympathetic to public education. So Lehner and a committee of various "interested parties" put together their own proposa

MAY 28

Can Personalized Learning Deliver
A new report published by the National Education Policy Center looks at the current state of K-12 personalized learning and finds that there are many reasons for school districts to think twice about embracing this hot new trend. “Personalized Learning and the Digital Privatization of Curriculum and Teaching” was written by Faith Boninger , Alex Molnar and Christopher M. Saldana of the University

MAY 27

Amazon Wants To Read Your Heart
One of the frontiers in creepy computer intelligence is the pursuit of software that can read the details of your face, your breathing, your eyeballs, and out of those details, construct a computer-generated window into your very heart and soul. Some of the attempts are laughable, like the NWEA feature that presumes to know how engaged and focused your students are based on wait time for answering

MAY 26

ICYMI: Memorial Day Weekend Edition (5/26)
In my town, we do the whole parade and program in the park business tomorrow. But for today, here are some pieces to read and share. Did You See The Numbers? Yes, I Have. Is there a battle going on inside the NAACP over charters? Nope. Cloaking Inequality has the story. We're Already Losing the Next Generation of Florida Teachers The Orlando Sentinel has noticed that Florida is an education disast

MAY 25

PA: Free To Teach? Who Are These Guys?
Once again, it's time for teachers in Pennsylvania to get a nice mass mailed postcard from our friends at Free To Teach, a group dedicated to reminding teachers that they don't have to belong to that stinky union. I took a look at these guys back in 2015 , but as I look at the two postcards they sent to my home, I think it's time to revisit them. If you're a PA teacher wondering who these guys ar

MAY 24

Betsy DeVos Lets Down Her Hair
You probably saw the quote from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos equating US public education with Soviet East Germany. That was a good headline ( and great clickbait ), but it's worth it to go and take a look at the full context of that