Sunday, May 24, 2020


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: A Year Older Edition (5/24)

A Year Older Edition

I had a birthday this week, but I feel pretty much the same. I might have taken a couple of half-days off, so let's see if the reading list looks any shorter.

After online learning flopped...
The continuing saga of failed online learning in Fairfax, VA, continues with a flood of Google-based student-on-student harassment.

Students think College Board is running a reddit scam
One fun side note to the great AP failure-- students believe there's a plant in reddit trying to sucker students in to incriminating themselves as cheaters. It's not going well.

The sheer number of districts is tilting the playing field
The New York Tims takes a look at how the   proliferation of mini-districts is creating equity issues in education.

Cuomo not inclusive in rebuilding education
Wendy Lecker is here to remind you that no matter how much you like his press coneferences, Andrew Cuomo is no friend of education.

Standards-Based Grading Must Die
Adam Sutton is at the Educator's Room with a scary picture of standards-based learning.

The reinvention schools need
In the New York Daily News, four teachers of the year push back on Cuomo's ideas about schools.

The future of K-12 schools isn't on line; it's in New Mexico
Jeff Bryant with an encouraging story of how community schools are envisioning the future.

Betsy DeVos and her hubby's political contributions
DeVos said her husband would stop his political funding once she was in office. That's not what happened.

Parents Behaving Badly: Censorship
The Citizen Teacher blog wit the tale of a parental attempt to remove a novel from the class. Instructive, and told with some wit.

Alexander questions DeVos guidance
The pandemic has unleashed Betsy DeVos as someone ready to bend the system to fir her personal agenda. Now she's actually getting push back from some GOP legislators, like Lamar Alexander.

Praxis at home? How about no Praxis at all?
I'm no fan of TNTP, but this time they have a point about scrapping the stupid Praxis test. Yes, I kn ow this is probably about their desire to de-professionalize teaching, but they aren't wrong here.

University of California drops SAT and ACT
The New York Times has the story of a sad day for the big test manufacturers.

Gates Foundation's Tactics to Remake Public Education During Pandemic Are Undemocratic
The Chronicle of Philanthropy takes a look at how Gates short-circuits democracy to do his thing.

The Role of Giant Philanthropy and Technocracy
Jan Resseger takes a deep dive into the issues represented by that whole dumb Cuomo-Gates thing.

Ignore the Vultures; Start Saving Schools
Accountabaloney takes a look at the current state of Florida education legislation. Not great.

College, Career and Cremation Benchmarks 
Akil Bello takes a look at the lunacy that is college and career readiness and the alleged benchmarking thereof by test companies.

In Search of the Great White Whale  
Dad Gone Wild with a slow thoughtful read about literature, Governor Bill Lee, vouchers, and a few other tidbits.

PA Wants You To Give A Standardized Test at Home
Steven Singer with a story of testing run amuck in the keystone state.

States of Shock: The Coming Budget Calamity
The Have You Heard podcast, complete with distinguished guests, breaks down the coming edu-finance mess and what could be done. (Transcript available for non podders)

Thinking Way Outside the Box
Nancy Flanagan with encouragement to face changes and new ideas for what's next.

A Note From Your University About Plans for Next Fall
McSweeney's does it again. Brief and hilarious and painful all at once.

Finally, I know we've seen a scadzillion of these things, but this happens to be two friends and former colleagues and their students from my former school and my adopted other former school, so I'm particularly delighted. Enjoy.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: A Year Older Edition (5/24)


Without The Big Standardized Test, Would Schools Be Flying Blind? - by @palan57 on @forbes

Changing To Personalized Learning Would Be Huge Mistake. What If We Tried Personalized Learning Instead. - by @palan57 on @forbes

MAY 22

Gifts for Grads and Dads
Shop great gifts for grads and perfect presents for dads in HP's Grads and Dads Gift Guide!
How Hard Are CDC Guidelines To Follow
So now everyone is freaked out about the CDC "guidelines" as reported on that blue meme that was going around. This, of course, was the point-- to sell the idea that public schools will be like prisons, so everyone should pull their kids out. Because in the spirit of never letting a crisis go to waste, there are folks from your neighbor with the tin hat all the way up to the US Secretary of Educat

MAY 21

Betsy DeVos Has, In Fact, Become Arne Duncan 2.0
When this originally ran at, there was still some qujestion about the premise. Since then I've updated it with new info from DeVos herself. For many conservatives, one of the greatest sins perpetrated by Obama’s secretary of education was using the powers of his office to bypass the legislature. Arne Duncan oversaw Race to the Top, which was instrumental in pushing Common Core and othe

MAY 20

19 Rules for Life (2020 Edition)
I first posted this list when I turned 60, and have made it an annual tradition to get it out on my birthday and re-examine it, edit it, and remind myself why I thought such things in the first place. I will keep my original observation-- that this list does not represent any particular signs of wisdom on my part, because I discovered these rules much in the same way that a dim cow discovers an e

MAY 19

Student-Run Start-Up Takes On Civics Education
When you pull up the front page for LexGen , it looks like many other slick, professional websites. It’s clean and open and focuses attention on the organization name and their goal— “to make civics education simple, fun and accessible.” Scroll through the site, and you see that LexGen has big goals. They are concerned about the level of civics education in this country and their rallying cry is

MAY 18

AEI's Back To School "Blueprint"
Everyone has ideas about how schools can re-open again, from thoughtful and responsible educators to gun-waving loons on the steps of capitals. So why not have the American Enterprise Institute take a shot at it by calling together a reformsters' roundtable to look at the issue . The blueprint brought together a "task force" loaded with familiar names-- Chris Cerf, Sharif El-Mekki, Kaya Henderson,

MAY 17

ICYMI: Shorts and T-Shirt Edition (5/17)
So it's finally almost summery here, for what that's worth. We can at least sit out on the porch. Meantime, here's some stuff to read. Well, a lot of stuff, actually. Why High Stakes Testing Was Cancelled This Year Steven Singer looks at some of the less-obvious reasons the Big Standardized Test is