Sunday, August 9, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Rising Anxiety Edition (8/9)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Rising Anxiety Edition (8/9)

Rising Anxiety Edition (8/9)

Just trying to hold it together? Join the very large and ever-growing club. Here's some reading to pass the time.

Kindergarten Reading Push: Still Problematic During the Pandemic 
Nancy Bailey with a reminder that the attempts to force littles to read before they're ready is still a bad idea.

Re: My Nomination for US Secretary of Education 
I said what I meant and I meant what I said. A while ago I nominated some folks for the post of Secretary of Education, including the JLV. Here he leans in and discusses his possible platform for the office, thereby further convincing me that he would be a good choice.

An Open Letter To American Society 
In McSweeney's, but nothing funny here. A teacher tallies off the many requests society has made of her.

An Open Letter To Teachers 
Mitchell Robinson offers some thoughts to teachers about returning in these angry times.

Parents are Flocking to Virtual Schools and Homeschooling. They'll Find a Minefield.
Sarah Jones at the New York magazine looks at the problems lurking out there for parents ready to make the leap away from public schools.

Should We Be Worried About Learning Loss In Early Childhood? 
I love this Rae Pica piece so much, I'm going to share a paragraph from it:

I’m sorry, but how devastating could it be? What learning, specifically, is being lost? The ability to meet unrealistic standards imposed on them by people who don’t understand child development, including the ridiculous expectation that they read and write by the end of kindergarten? The capacity to fill in worksheets or stare at a computer screen, or to take useless tests? The ability to handle pressure they should never have been exposed to in the first place?

Ed Reform Now spends $57,000 on Memphis election
Chalkbeat offers the tale of how this wing of DFER is still busy trying to buy school board elections.

Betsy DeVos: The Fox in the Hen House 
Retired teacher Tom Gotsill offers an op-ed in the Cape Cod Times. Includes a good capsule history of ed reform.

The Misguided Push To Reintroduce Standardized Testing During the Pandemic 
The NEPC newsletter offers a response to all those crazy policymakers calling for testing when we hit the ground.

Report: Are Charter Schools a Big Risk for Families  
This is me at Forbes. I offer it as a gateway to the Network for Public Education report on charter school closings. I've long said that one of the drawbacks of charters is their instability; here are some numbers to back that up.

"Test, trace and isolate" will be a fiasco in schools 
Op ed from, includes some of the same sort of thing I've heard often in my region--that people will absolutely refuse to cooperate with contact tracing.

The broken windows approach to teaching is breaking our schools.  
Victoria Theisen-Horner is over at Alternet talking about how no excuses schooling is bad news for everyone.

Pandemic Pods: Parents, Privilege, Power and Politics 
The latest Have You Heard podcast (there's a transcript too) looks at how the new pod fad looks a lot like the same old exercise of privilege by those who have it (and another tool for those who want to dismantle public ed).

It's time to debunk the myth of school choice   
Jen Gibson is in the Charleston (SC) City Paper pointing out that using the pandemic to defund public ed is not great, adding to problems that South Carolina has already had inflicted upon it.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Rising Anxiety Edition (8/9)


As Schools Reopen, Beware These Five Problematic Management Styles - by @palan57 on @forbes

Report: Are Charter Schools A Big Risk For Families? - by @palan57 on @forbes

Penn State Clamps Down On Covid
Pity the poor colleges and universities. If they can't entice students to return to campus in the next few weeks, they may face a financial armageddon. For many students, a gap year is looking pretty good right now. But colleges and universities have to somehow navigate the gap between "I'm not writing huge checks and taking out tons of loans just to cyber school" and "I am not ready to risk me li
There Are No Writing Prodigies: What That Means For Writing Instruction
Mozart was composing and performing at the age of 4. Shirley Temple made her first film appearance at age 3, and within two years was a film star. Pascal wrote a treatise on vibrating bodies at age 9. Trombone Shorty was leading his own band at age 6. But there are no child prodigies in writing. No classic novels composed by a six year old. No world-altering essays written by some young person in
GA: Bad Cover-Up Management In Times Of Crisis
For years, I worked for an administration whose philosophy about any problematic or controversial issue was, "If we don't talk about it, the public won't notice and this will all blow over in a while." It was a terrible management philosophy, not just because it was dishonest and unfair, but because it failed. It failed hard. Every. Single. Time. See? Doesn't everything look better now? People alw
Cyber Outsourcing
It's a sort of cyber school bait and switch that has implications for students and teachers in public schools. Let me offer a specific example of how it works, courtesy of my old school district. On the district web page , you'll find a flyer for the newly christened Franklin Area Virtual Academy, a "100% online option for families." The flyer is a nice single page, including some photos of Frankl
Viral Overconfidence
Well, this is an interesting piece of research. A new paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that overconfidence can be transmitted socially, that being around overconfident people rubs off on other folks. As with most psycho-social research, the experimental designs leave room for considerable debate, and there are plenty of needles to thread. I find it interesting that the tran
Catholic Church Looks To Cash In On Espinoza
Well, this is not exactly a surprise. Now that SCOTUS has poked another huge hole in the wall between church and state, and now that the Catholic Church and the Trump administration have been forging closer ties over support for school choice (aka getting tax dollars to Catholic schools), and now that Betsy DeVos is insisting that financial aid intended for public schools should go to private scho
Don't Waste Time
This is personal. You may want to move on. But I need to write this out because one of the people I would ordinarily talk it out with is not here. Merrill and I taught together for just under thirty years. We were the same age, but she had gotten a late start on her career, having first worked in the world of newspaper advertising, just one of the many parts of her biography that hinted at the tou
ICYMI: August Already Edition (8/2)
So, here are some things to read. Is the push to reopen schools really a plot to dismantle them ? Accountabaloney listens to some bonus content from Have You Heard that lays out how DeVos has set up a pandemic win-win for