Sunday, July 12, 2020


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Hell Of A Week Edition (7/12)

Hell Of A Week Edition 

Well, that was a hell of a week, between administration backflips and dictates over covid policy and the general rising tide of panic. Here at the Institute, I've decided to skip the 642 pieces I've read about reopening schools this week, because chances are you didn't miss any of them. But in the meantime, a few other things have dropped that are worth your attention.

The Seven Habits of Highly Affective Teachers 
This ASCD piece by Rick Wormeli is five years old, but I have the feeling that the mental health of a school is going to be a trending topic for a while, and while this is not necessarily earth-shattering, it's still a decent read with some useful reminders.

Claudia MacMillan: A Remarkable and Inspiring Program of Learning 
Diane Ravitch included a couple of guest posts this week. This one focuses on the Dallas/Fort Worth based Cowan Academy in the Humanities, and while I tend to be leery of people who slap their copyright on pedagogy, it's still heartening to read about a program that is so assertively and effectively championing the liberal arts and humanities.

Jack Schneider: Why Study History 
Another guest post for Ravitch, this short essay answers the age-old question.

Is It Time To Cancel Teach Like A Champion?
Have You Heard takes a deep historical dive to look at TLAC's predecessors and the current conversation (again) that maybe Doug Lemov's best-selling guide is just a wee bit racist.

What the Espinoza Decision Means for Other Aspects of Religious Freedom
At The Dispatch, Andy Smarick (Manhattan Institute, etc) has a nice breakdown of the decision, its roots, and its implications.

Assessing the Assessment
This will take you to an abstract of an article from December of 2019; if you want to dig further, it will cost you. But the last line of the abstract tells the story of this research into edTPA: "we argue that the proposed and actual uses of the edTPA are currently unwarranted on technical grounds."

Charter schools may have double-dipped as much as $1 billion in PPP small business loans
Roegr Sollenberger at Salon looks at just how well it has paid off fore charter schools to drop the mantle of "public school" and put on their small business hats.

Colleges and Schools Rethinking Role of Standardized Tests
UMass Lowell picks up the ongoing conversation about doing more than just pausing the standardized testing giants. Jack Schneider appears here, too--busy week for him, but he gets a nice picture this time.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Hell Of A Week Edition (7/12)


Want Schools Open In The Fall? All The Money In The World Can’t Solve These Problems - by @palan57 on @forbes

Want Schools Open In The Fall? Then Pay For It - by @palan57 on @forbes

DeVos and Trump Throw Cyberschools Under Bus
Here is Betsy DeVos speaking as part of a coronavirus task force presentation back in March: Learning can and does happen anywhere and everywhere. It's a sentiment that she has expressed numerous times in connection with the idea that technology could be the brand new key to better education. As in, cyberschool or its fancier name, "virtual learning." She has been a fan for years . And here she is
Betsy DeVos Is Failing Hard
In the midst of all this chaos and confusion, it's perhaps easy to miss how thoroughly Betsy DeVos is doing a terrible job as Secretary of Education. And by so many measures. There's the business of managing college loans. DeVos, you may recall, has been pointedly spanked by the courts for going after students who owe money on their college loans even in those cases where the law clearly states sh
Trump and DeVos Can't Make Up Their Damned Minds About Schools
It doesn't seem all that hard to figure out how Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos feel about public schools in this country. And yet, they seem oddly conflicted. DeVos famously called public schools a "dead end." Just last week, reflecting on the SCOTUS decision, she opined that the history of American education is "sad and static" and "too many students have been discriminated against based on their f
Teachers Face A Summer Of Soul Searching. What Do They Do In The Fall?
This originally ran in early June. No signs that things are looking up at all. We know a handful of things. We know that virtually nobody wants to continue the pandemic shut-down crisis school model in the fall (with the possible exception of ed tech companies that hope to keep cashing in on it). Elected officials across the country are calling for schools to open again, a position that’s easy fo
ICYMI: Pet Recovery Day Edition (7/5)
Our current dog is impervious to pretty much everything other than people on our front porch. But my previous dog spent every July 4 cowering under a shed, and every year I think of him and all the pets like him. This year, a number of things derailed our usual Fourth celebration, including the cancellation of local fireworks. But today can still be a rest and reflect opportunity. And I have thin
Trump Comes After Public School Teachers
Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains. One of the big pull quotes from Donald Trump's historically shallow paean to the idea of American exceptionalism on July 3rd at Mount Rushmore, an attack on public education and the teachers who work there e
Baradaran: The Neoliberal Looting of America
Mehrsa Baradaran, who wrote The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (a properly self-explanatory title), had a great piece this week in the New York Times-- not directly about education, but involving many