Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, August 25, 2019

UPDATE Senator Pan Remarks on Assault - "Yeah, I pushed you": Anti-vaxxer assaults Calfornia lawmaker

"Yeah, I pushed you": Anti-vaxxer assaults Calfornia lawmaker



An anti-vaccine activist was cited for misdemeanor assault Wednesday after shoving a California lawmaker who has worked to tighten the state's laws for childhood vaccinations.

'Yeah, I pushed you': Anti-vaxxer cited for assaulting lawmaker while live-streaming on Facebook

54-year-old Kenneth Austin Bennett livestreamed the confrontation on Facebook, showing him exchanging words with state Senator Richard Pan before shoving him on the sidewalk near the capitol in Sacramento.

Pan, a pediatrician, has authored several bills that limit exemptions for child vaccinations, including legislation that prohibits parents from opting out of vaccinating their school-age children on account of personal beliefs.

His efforts have made him the target anti-vaccination activists, including screaming protestors, online harassment and death threats. But this is apparently the first time things have gotten physical.

The video shows Bennett, who previously attempted to run against Pan as a write-in candidate, wandering through downtown Sacramento before encountering Pan. ("What are the chances of this!") He aggressively questions Pan about his position on vaccines, citing a variety of debunked claims.

Pan, who's clearly dealt with this kind of bullshit before, briefly engages Bennett while he continues to walk. CONTINUE READING: 
"Yeah, I pushed you": Anti-vaxxer assaults Calfornia lawmaker


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: SAHD Back To Work Edition (8/25)

ICYMI:: SAHD Back To Work Edition (8/25)

Here we go. Time for me to watch my household partner get back to her gig. But while I'm adjusting to a new routine, there's still reading to do. Remember-- sharing makes the word go round.

Why Teachers Are Walking Out 

I'm not so sure about some of the gender discussion in this post on the Known cast, but the basic idea is on point and the discussion is interesting.

Vandalism at Ed Department

If you missed this crazy tale-- this week a Black person's office was vandalized-- in the US Department of Education.

Judge Nixes Charter School Tax Theft 

Every once in a while somebody in Florida gets it right. A judge has said no to a charter demand to get a cut of tax dollars raised explicitly for public schools. Coverage in the Palm Beach Post-- expect a sequel to this one.

Fighting Back Against The War On Childhood

Rae Pica writing one of those pieces that really shouldn't have to be written, but here we are.

11 Problems Facing Students As They Return To School 

Nancy Bailey takes a look at the special new modern obstacles set up for students.

Flawed Algorithms Grading Essays

This time it's Vice reporting the story that must, apparently, be reported over and over again-- computer programs are still not capable of grading essays. But a frightening number of states are using them anyway. This is a thorough piece of reporting (they even used BABEL), and thre's something new-- the algorithms are not only bad, but they're racially biased, too.

Former KIPP CEO Soliciting for Fake Organization? 

It takes the indispensable Mercedes Schneider to unravel this tangle of money and connections.

Money Matters

Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat reminds us, once again, that spending money on education makes a difference, citing four (count 'em, four) studies.

Guards Get Shoddy Training

The South Florida Sun-Sentinal reports that-- surprise!-- the armed guards in some Florida schools are not receiving great, mediocre, or even adequate training!

The Merit Pay Fairy Dies In Newark

Jersey Jazzman looks at the long, sad history of NJ's love of merit pay, and where it has all ended up. After you're read this one, move on to the sequel, Clapping Harder for the Merit Pay Fairy

Not Funding Schools or Paying Teachers? That’s a ‘You Problem’, Right?

Nancy Flanagan and the question of school funding.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: SAHD Back To Work Edition (8/25)


Artificial Intelligence and Magical Thinking (HAL Knows How You Feel)

From the moment you read the title, you know this article from Inside Higher Ed by Ray Schroeder is going to be a corker-- Affective Artificial Intelligence: Better Understanding and Responding to Students . Schroeder opens with "As a longtime professor of communication, I am fascinated with the cognitive characteristics of artificial intelligence as they relate to human communication," and that's

AUG 22

EnrichED, the National Charter Substitute (Sort Of) Service

You've had to miss a day of school, so you cross your fingers and put in for a sub. You prepare a whole lesson, run off materials, tag everything, put them in neat piles and arrange them on your desk. The day after your absence, you walk through your door and get a sinking feeling--the stacks of planned materials have been pushed to one side on your desk, but are otherwise untouched. "Oh, yeah," s

AUG 21

The Thirteen Presenters Who Will Ruin Your First Day Back

It's been a great summer. You've had a chance to recharge and reflect. You've developed some new ideas, units, and materials, and most importantly, away from the dailiness of the job, you have gotten back in touch with all the reasons you love the work. You cannot wait to get back to it., take a couple of in service days to get fully up to speed, and then-- bring on the students! Unfortunately, yo

AUG 19

KY: Starting the New Year With Threats Against Teachers

Sadly, it's not unusual for teachers to start their new school year by being threatened, but even the worst administrators understand that it's useful to at least pretend that they think of teachers are respectable grown-up professionals. But in some districts, bosses go straight to thinly veiled warnings. And then there's those special rare occasions when teachers start the school year by being t
Raising Your Public School Profile

Modern corporate education reform has, in its own way, helped reveal many things that public education does badly. Teach for America, for instance, probably wouldn't have been quite so widely embraced if it weren't that some college teacher prep programs are inexcusably awful. And then there's the unleashing of free market forces. The free market does not foster superior quality; the free market f

AUG 18

ICYMI: Spousal Back To School Edition (8/18)

This week my wife heads back to it, with a new grade assignment. I am excited for her and putting on my supportive pants. In the meantime, here's some reading from the week. Remember to share the good stuff-- that's how the word gets around! S.C. teacher files class action lawsuit demanding pay for after school work, classroom supplies A long overdue step in fighting back in South Carolina. Why is

AUG 16

Feed A Teacher For A Year

I get plenty of pitches--news releases from folks who want to help me come up with some content (and who frequently have never actually read what I write) and mostly I ignore them, but this one caught my attention because it involves free food for a teacher for a year. The company involved is Sun Basket , which touts itself as "the leading healthy eating service"-- another one of those outfits whe

AUG 15

The Problem With Comparisons In Education

Which is the best movie: Ghostbusters , Singin' In The Rain , Casablanca , or Avengers: Endgame ? It depends, of course, on how we choose to compare them. Based on level of romance? On the happiest ending? Best dancing? Most money made? Best use of Sigourney Weaver? Criteria make all the difference. But it's not just the criteria; it's the problems with criteria that naturally emerge from the man

AUG 14

FL: Educational Hypocrisy On Display

Oh, Florida. Maybe it was the principal who wasn't sure the Holocaust was a thing . Maybe it was the latest round of teaching mandates passed down, like the last minute mental health mandate. Or maybe he's just still cranky from his ongoing fight with Duval County Schools . But Florida's education czar Richard Corcoran has had enough . This guy. Florida school districts had better fall in line. Th

AUG 13

PA: Governor Puts Charters On Notice

It was not so long ago that Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf made charter supporters sad by rejecting the claim that charters are public schools . Today, he took another step and put charters in PA on notice. At a news conference at a school in Allentown, Wolf said he would take executive action to change state regulations for charters, including tightening ethics standards. He also said he would

AUG 12

MI: Rural Charters, Warm Bodies, and the Effects of the Teacher "Shortage"

St. Helen, Michigan , has its share of problems. Founded as a logging community, it's Up North in Michigan. It's at least near the interstate, but the population is under 3,000, with a median family income of $30,268. They do have an annual bluegill festival , and Charlton Heston spent part of his 

A School Board Member Proceeds With His Plan to Give Away School Facilities

A School Board Member Proceeds With His Plan to Give Away School Facilities

A School Board Member Proceeds With His Plan to Give Away School Facilities
Nick asked us explicitly for a list of things we want to get done, which is reflected in the resolve section.– CCSA Staffer Cassy Horton
A small group of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) stakeholders gathered last month in the District’s West Valley offices. The meeting was billed as a focus group to gather input on the rating system for schools within the district but had not been publicly advertised. Instead, invitations had gone out through Board Member Nick Melvoin’s mailing list. A mole on this list had forwarded the invitation to various public school activists which allowed them to see firsthand how the system had been constructed.
After viewing a beta version of the “School Performance Framework”, it became clear why the organizers had tried to carefully control access to the focus group. While this system had been sold as a way to provide parents with data so that they could make informed choices about where to send their children to school, the proposed website did not emphasize raw information. Instead, it editorialized data by weighing factors the district had decided were important and then turned the final result into a Yelp-like score. Even worse, this score penalized schools whose results cannot be measured by test scores or data points. Schools will, therefore, be dissuaded from devoting resources to quality special education or other types of programs that will not boost the school’s rating and, therefore, attract students.
Just as these series of focus groups were wrapping up, Michael Kohlhaas dot org released confidential emails between the California CONTINUE READING: A School Board Member Proceeds With His Plan to Give Away School Facilities

My Gift to You, an Hour of Sheer Pleasure | Diane Ravitch's blog

My Gift to You, an Hour of Sheer Pleasure | Diane Ravitch's blog

My Gift to You, an Hour of Sheer Pleasure

I recently watched the PBS special about the Jewish legacy on Broadway, and I enjoyed every minute.
It is online, and I share it now with you. 
I hope it is still online.
I have always loved Broadway musicals, and many are reprised in this special.
But in addition to the entertainment and the rich cultural history, we see a very contemporary story of immigrants coming to America and becoming
quintessentially American. We see Irving Berlin arriving as a five-year-old from Russia, having survived a pogrom, then becoming the composer of “God Bless America,” “Easter Parade,” and “White Christmas,” among the thousands of songs he wrote. We see stories in which composers used their music to teach lessons about racism, intolerance, and bigotry, like “South Pacific,” and the song “You Got to Be Taught to Hate.” Often they told the stories through the experiences of other groups, like “Porgy and Bess” and “West Side Story.”
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I am sending a gift to PBS for remaining a beacon of light in these dark times.
My Gift to You, an Hour of Sheer Pleasure | Diane Ravitch's blog