Sunday, September 13, 2020


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Rainy Sunday Edition (9/13)

Rainy Sunday Edition

A quiet rainy morning here in PA. And can't we all use a little peace and quiet. I've got a few things for you to read this week.

FLVS Frustrations  
A lot of money has ben pumped into the Florida Virtual School, but nobody seems to be in charge. How's that working out? Accountabaloney takes a look (and you should pay attention, because FLVS has contracted itself out to a few other states).

POLITICO charter article misses the point  
Jan Resseger takes a look at a recent Politico article chiding Joe Biden for his charter position, or lack thereof. As always, a thoughtful, well-researched response.

Learning the Wrong Lesson About Education Reform  
An excerpt from Andrea Gabor's book After the Education Wars (which you should read) in the Saturday Evening Post.

Remote Learning Is Turning Classrooms Into Police States  
At Salon, a look at how some schools are way way over the top in rule enforcement for their distantly earning students.

CC broke the law; so does defunding schools using 1619  
From Jay Greene's blog, we get a look at what some on the right think about Trump's proposed punishment for schools using the NYT 1619 project-- they don't like it.

Teach for America's congressional intern program  
One of TFA's little tricks for building its influence is to offer congresspeople free intern's. One more way in which TFA is troub le beyond its unprepared classroom tourists.

Cyber schools may benefit from the pandemic, but that doesn't mean their students do  
The Philadelphia Enquirer points out the Pennsylvania's cyber schools are not so great for students. "Not just disaster capitalism, but a disaster."

Midwest dispatch: the gospel of school choice 
Somehow I missed this when it first dropped. I wish Sarah Lahm wrote more. Here she is at the Progressive looking at some of the side-effects of the charter movement (hypersegregation, anyone?) in the midwest.

Musical Chairs  
Here's the story of how on Iowa school district is skirting the rules like a contrarian seventh grader following the letter and sneering at the spirit.

Florida schools defy DeSantis 
Meanwhile, in Florida, school districts are defying the governor's order to keep covid stats under wraps.

The Costs of Cutting School Spending   
A look back at the results of the Great Cutting of 2008, with an eye toward tyhe big cuts that are happening right now. From Education Next, but still work a read.

Are Your Students Watching History?
Nancy Flanagan considers the question of just how much real-time history should be let into the classroom.

How DeVos was thwarted 
Now that it's all done, here's Wendy Lecker explaining how Betsy DeVos's illegal plan to funnel CARES money to private schools was stopped by court.

Half of PA schools don't have a teacher of color 
A shocking stat. Sojourner Ahebee is at NPR with the story of why that's a hard problem to solve.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Rainy Sunday Edition (9/13)


Where Is Joe Biden On Public Education? - by @palan57 on @forbes

Strike Three! Another Federal Court Ends A Betsy DeVos Plan To Use Public Money For Private Schools - by @palan57 on @forbes

The Problem With Betsy DeVos And The ‘Right Fit’ - by @palan57 on @forbes

School Choice Is Not For Those People
Choice fans promote the idea as one the provides each family with the school of their dreams. Everyone, declares Betsy DeVos, should have a school that provides the right fit. Well, almost everybody. Two recent stories underline that what families can choose is what the folks in charge of the marketplace decide they can choose. In Indiana, a lawsuit has emerged from one of several incidents of pr
About Those Digital Natives
Now that so many schools are leaping back into the ed tech abyss with both feet and a few other limbs as well, the term "digital native" is turning up again, and it's just as silly as ever. Everyone who is scared about facing off against the digital native tribe in the digitized computerized distance learning world needs to take a deep breath. The term was coined by Marc Prensky , a writer who beg
The Biden Education Red Flags
Before I get started here, let me be clear about one thing--it is almost impossible to imagine a candidate worse for public education than Donald Trump. His "polan" for education has only two items-- school choice (via vouchers) for everyone, and make every school teach American exceptionalism, which, given his recent assaults on the 1619 project and diversity training , appears to mean getting ba
A Robot Wrote An Article. I'm Not Concerned Yet.
The tech world continues its attempts to build a computer that can do language. It's not easy, as witnessed by the fact that they still haven't succeeded. But then, we don't really know how the human brain does language, either. The current leading construct for computer-generated English is GPT-3. It can do 175 billion parameters (its predecessor had 1.5 billion). It uses deep learning. It is the
DeVos Says We're All In This Together. Ha!
So this just popped up on my feed: This #BackToSchool season may be different than any other, but we’re all in this together. To all the parents, students and educators rising to meet the challenge in new ways and places, you’ve got this! Let’s make it a great year! — Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) September 8, 2020 So much to unpack. First, who's this "we"? Becau
Report: Are Charter Schools A Big Risk For Families?
In a new report, the Network for Public Education shows how big a gamble it can be to enroll your child in a charter school. And the odds are not in parents’ favor. “ Broken Promises: An Analysis of Charter School Closures From 1999-2017 ” is a deep dive into the data surrounding patterns of charter closure and the number of students affected by those closures, especially those in high poverty ar
Bulletins From The Trailing Edge Of The Pandemic
If it can work anywhere, it can work here. I live in a county in NW PA, with relatively small population (50K or so). And our schools are all open. We have been subject to the same rules as the rest of the state, and like pretty much everything in PA, the folks in charge have made their rules based on Pittsburgh, Philly and Harrisburg. This is Trump country, so plenty of folks are anti-maskers, bu
ICYMI: Labor Day Weekend Edition (9/6)
While you're enjoying your socially distant cookouts and celebrations this weekend, take a moment to thank the labor movement that made things like weekends possible. In the meantime, here's some reading from the week. This Teacher Turned Remote Learning Into A Road Trip There are many cool parts to this story (including the part where her administration greenlights it, because administrators who
Will The Pandemic Give DeVos Her $5 Billion Voucher Scheme
Betsy DeVos has been pitching "Education Freedom" as long as she's been in office. It's a tax credit scholarship scheme, which is to say, a voucher program that would blow a $5 billion hole in the federal budget, but would be a real