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Sunday, July 7, 2019

2019 Medley #11 – Vouchers and the Wall Between Church and State | Live Long and Prosper

2019 Medley #11 – Vouchers and the Wall Between Church and State | Live Long and Prosper

2019 Medley #11 – Vouchers and the Wall Between Church and State

There’s a reason that I’ve been quiet on this blog for the last month…posting only a Father’s Day remake of an annual call to fathers to read to their children, and a quick Medley in the middle of June.
Since mid-May, I have been somewhat self-absorbed dealing with a cancer diagnosis. This was followed by successful surgery, and now, recuperation. I have been assured that the offending cells have been totally removed and no new ones apparently remain. This is, of course, good news (though no guarantee of future events). Until the final pathology report, however, I was unsure of the future. Instead of commenting on public education issues, I was contemplating the very real possibility that cancer had spread into lymph nodes in my neck which would mean further treatment…chemotherapy and radiation.
As luck, and modern medicine, would have it, I was spared any additional treatment (for the time being, at least) and right now I can focus on recovering from the effects of surgery, a much more positive – if slightly uncomfortable – activity than worrying about putting my digital life in order.
I didn’t ignore the news about public schools entirely. There has been news about privatization through vouchers. People like Bill Gates and the Koch Brothers are still devising ways to monetize the education of our children (because wealth implies expertise in education, right?), but some main-stream publications are writing about the conflicts caused by mixing tax dollars with religious education. Also, in some places, public schools were supported and privatization wasn’t promoted…thank you Texas (I never thought I would say that!). But it’s not all flowers and chocolates…
The Supreme Court
First, two articles about the Supreme Court which will hear an appeal from CONTINUE READING: 2019 Medley #11 – Vouchers and the Wall Between Church and State | Live Long and Prosper

Social-Emotional Learning’s Transformation of Schools is Worrisome - NANCY BAILEY'S EDUCATION WEBSITE

Social-Emotional Learning’s Transformation of Schools is Worrisome

Social-Emotional Learning’s Transformation of Schools is Worrisome

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is being pushed into public schools. It could mean many things, restorative justice, meditation, anti-bullying programs, and much more.
But SEL is not just an add-on program. It’s whole-school systematic change from teaching academics to focusing on students and personality formation.
Books and online programs galore are being written about SEL and school transformation. It’s creating a school climate where students have their behavior scrutinized like never before. That’s what worries parents.
Organizing a school around social-emotional learning raises questions about the meaning of education, teaching and learning.
Here are concerns:
  1. Partners who support SEL. Many of these groups also want to privatize public education: Chiefs for Change, Bose Washington Partners, Center for Innovation in Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, Civic Enterprises, Education Counsel, Learning Policy Institute, National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, National Association of State Boards of Education, Pure Edge, Inc., Raikes Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 
  2. Character education on steroids. Character education has always been CONTINUE READING: Social-Emotional Learning’s Transformation of Schools is Worrisome

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Really Really Summer Now Edition (7/6)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Really Really Summer Now Edition (7/6)

ICYMI: Really Really Summer Now Edition (7/6)

Hot and steamy here, which still makes us better off than some corners of the world. Here's some reading for the day. Remember-- share the stuff that really speaks to you.

The Teaching Machine Imaginary

I do miss Audrey Watters, but here's a new Hack Education post that, in typical Watters fashion, links book editing, the Jetsons, teaching machines, and pigeons.

Education Reformers Still Don't Understand Racism 

Rann Miller over at the Progressive takes a look at what reformsters still don't get.

Did Busing Ever Succeed? 

Matt Barnum takes a dive into the research to see if he answer the newly-revived question.

Charter Schools Unleashed Education Hunger Games in California    

Andrea Gabor's background as a business journalist lets her bring a special level of insight to ed reform coverage. Here's the story of the ups and downs of charters in California.

L.A. charter schools’ plans: Take back mayor’s office, sue district, battle teachers union 

Meanwhile, California charters haven't learned much.

Charter Schools Aren't a Radical Solution and Neither Is Blaming Them

Andre Perry with a thoughtful and nuanced look at some of the systemic problems schools face.

Indiana's Catholic schools get millions in public money. Some lawmakers want that to stop.

In Indiana, some folks are finally figuring out how vouchers really work to give tax dollars to private religious schools (including those that actively discriminate against LGBTQ students).

People Who Regulate Charter Schools Also Make Millions From Them

It's this story again. This time we're in Utah for a local TV station's tale of self-dealing and profiteering.

The Facts About Newark Schools-- Update 

Since Cory Booker's Presidential run brought the subject up again, here's Jersey Jazzman with the actual facts about the big money play in Newark.

The Breaststroke  

Jose Vilson reflects on the last year of school.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Really Really Summer Now Edition (7/6)


Elizabeth Warren's Better Answer On Testing
Yesterday the NEA did quickie interviews with ten of the Democratic candidates, ranging from the front-runners like Sanders and Warren all the way down to (checks notes)-- some guy named Tim Ryan who is apparently also running. There were plenty of fine moment and plenty of pandering, and, it has to be noted, plenty of issues that went unaddressed by some candidates because they didn't get asked a
Eight Weeks of Summer: Learning Conditions
This post is week 4 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators. I'm continuing this challenge, answering the questions from the viewpoint of my old non-retired self. Here's this week's prompt: What are optimal conditions in which to learn, for you, and for students? For me, it's mostly a matter of opportunity and independence. Probably the biggest single thing I learned in college

JUL 05

CAP & Fordham Shoot The Moon
When the Moonshot For Kids competition first crossed my screen, I took a moment to consider it as a topic for commentary, then moved on. But then this tweet popped up today: What is education’s version of the self-driving car? Let @edprogress and @educationgadfly know your innovative idea to improve student outcomes through a #MoonshotForKids and you could win $10,000 — CAP

JUL 03

When The Wall Of Separation Comes Down
As noted earlier this week, the Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could blow a hole in the wall separating religion from public schools . Lots of folks are salivating at the prospect, from hard-core libertarians to the Dominionist folks who think the church should take back the school system. So let me say again what I have said many times before-- if the wall separating church and sta

JUL 02

Big Brother Is Listening (More Ed Tech From The Surveillance State)
We have repeatedly seen examples of ed tech innovations that hinge on surveillance, and not just surveillance, but software to interpret what the surveilled data means. This results in some huge promises. Here's software that says it will read student facial expressions and eye movements to determine if anyone is learning. Companies are lining up to tell you all about the social and emotional well

JUL 01

This Case Could Break The Wall Between Church And School
Three weeks ago, I wrote about the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case for Forbes , trying to explain why it would be a big deal if the Supremes decided to hear this case. One thing has changed since then-- the court has decided they will hear the case. This is a big deal. Here's a slightly modified version of that Forbes piece to serve as an explainer for why we need to pay attention.

JUN 30

ICYMI: Now Where Was I Edition (6/30)
Last week I was on an actual vacation, so I'm still getting back up to speed. Here's what I've got for you to read on this muggy Sunday. Michigan's School Choice Mess Jennifer Berkshire took a road trip to Michigan for the Have You Heard podcast, to see what she could learn about the choice system, the local love for DeVos, and the implication for the nation as a whole. This episode focuses on the

JUN 29

DeVos Backs Corporate Profits Again
If there is one signature feature of a DeVos doctrine, it's that the government should never, ever stand between a business and its revenue stream. That part of the doctrine was on display yesterday as DeVos officially announced her intention to let for-profit colleges do whatever the hell they want. Okay, that may be an overstatement. What she actually did was roll back the Obama-era requirement
Eight Weeks of Summer: Leaders and Followers
This post is week 3 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators. This post will catch me up on this little project. It's an interesting piece of teacher sharing and is also turning out to be a nice antidote to political overload. As always, I'm answering the prompt on behalf of the younger, pre-retirement version of me. How are you both a leader and a follower in your career? Of co
Eight Weeks Of Summer: Influences
This post is week 2 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators. Well, actually, I'm a week late because I was on vacation where the mosquitoes are stronger than the wifi. But I'm going to stick with the exercise anyway, because I find it interesting. Here's the Week #2 prompt. As always, I'll answer for my previous pre-retirement self. What has contributed to the educator you are

JUN 28

Dear Teachers: Don't Make Your Lesson Relevant
When I was getting my teacher training way back in the 1970s, we used to hear a great deal about making our teaching relevant. It took me several years of teaching to figure out why that was terrible advice. And it hasn't ever gone away 

NEA Representative Assembly Honors 2019 ESP of the Year

NEA Representative Assembly Honors 2019 ESP of the Year

NEA Representative Assembly Honors 2019 ESP of the Year

Matthew Powell, the 2019 Education Support Professional of the Year, took the stage at the NEA Representative Assembly on Saturday. Introducing him to the almost 7,000 delegates gathered in the George E. Brown Convention Center in Houston, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García commended Powell for his “commitment to public education and our students.”
“Technically, he has the title of custodial supervisor,” Eskelsen García added. “But that is just one of the many hats this talented man wears.”
In addition to his work as a custodial supervisor, Powell is also the night watchman and fills in as a bus driver when the district needs substitute drivers. He works at Graves County Central Elementary School in Mayfield, Kentucky.
Powell, who was named ESP of the Year at the annual NEA ESP national conference in March, is a passionate advocate for teaching the whole child—and for the critical role ESPs play in that effort. In his speech to the RA, Powell highlighted the lasting impact every school staff member has on students and their community.
“My ‘class’ includes all 538 of the students in my school,” Powell told the delegates. “My classroom is on the bus, in the cafeteria, on the playground, in the halls, at the outside koi fish pond, and many other places around the school.”
Powell took time in his speech to salute four educators—a teacher, a bus driver, a “lunch lady,” and a school custodian—who affected him growing up and helped him become the educator he is today.
“What these educators really did was create an atmosphere where I felt supported, CONTINUE READING: NEA Representative Assembly Honors 2019 ESP of the Year