Sunday, October 18, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Leaf Watching Edition (10/18)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Leaf Watching Edition (10/18)

Leaf Watching Edition (10/18)

Well, it's really beautiful out in the world right now, so we've got that going for us. In the meanime, here's some reading from the week. 

There's a Better Way: Trust Based Observation   
Craig Randall guests at Peter DeWitt's EdWeek blog spot talking about a better way to handle teacher evaluations and, really, school management in general.

Separate and Unequal: School Funding in PA   
In the Pocono Record, an op-ed looking at the eternally unsolved issue of school funding in PA, by a student in Harrisburg.

School Boards, Public Schools, and Home Rule  
Accountabaloney lays out the many ways that the Florida legislature has tried to strip school boards of their power. Because Florida is just the worst.

Fix America by Undoing Decades of Privatization  
At the Atlantic, K. Sabeel Rahman puts the attack on public education in the larger context of privatization in the US.

Students Use Tik Tok to document test-taking surveillance software   
At Jezebel, a look at the software surveillance programs that are turning test taking into an unholy nightmare, and how students are fighting back.

Ohio: Who Pays for Vouchers 
Over at Diane Ravitch's blog, a look at a study showing  how the costs of vouchering in Ohio are really getting covered.

Covid Learning Loss Overhyped
Thomas Ultican has a good overview of the many folks who are trying to chicken little the heck out of the "covid slide." Guess what-- they'd all like to sell you something.

Governor Lee Calls For Suspension of Testing  
Go figure. Bill Lee of all people is standing up against the Big Standardized Test. The Tennessean has the story.

Boston students shivering in the cold  
An early look at one of the next pandemic school crises--schools that have decided to solve ventilation problems by opening windows in places where winter is a thing.

Charter Schools hitting same roadblocks as public schools    
At Chalkbeat, Kalyn Belsha and Mat Barnum counter the standard narrative on resistance to school openings ("it's those damned unions") by showing that charter schools are having similar problems.

Don't Believe the Hype  
Akil Bello explains why you can ignore the bleating of the test industry and their insistence that they provide students with opportunities.

Who's Watching This Class   
The indispensable Mercedes Schneider takes a look at the substitute teacher crisis. It was already bad; the pandemic has made it far worse.

Behaviorism Won  
Audrey Watters continues to share the guest appearances she does for teachers. This time she's talking about B. F. Skinner and the ways that his ideas captured bot society and education. Probably won't make you feel better, but you'll understand a little more.

Originalism and Education  
With the coming elevation of dead hand constitutionalist Amy Barrett to the supreme court, many folks have been observing that 18th century ideas may not be the way to go with schools. Here are two good pieces-- Steven Singer brings passion and energy to his post, and Jan Resseger digs into some illuminating scholarship.

Closing Ed Schools: A Bad Omen   
Nancy Bailey reminds us that with colleges shutting down, one of the things that's being hurt is the new teacher pipeline. Uh-oh.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Leaf Watching Edition (10/18)


US Education versus Confucius
Last Wednesday, the Education and State departments in DC announced that it was time to clamp down on Chinese influence in US classrooms. The letter, which appears over the signatures of Betsy DeVos and Mike Pompeo, addresses the issue of the Confucius Classroom program . The program is a cultural outreach of the Chinese government; it has been around for a while and has always been viewed with s
Today in Teacher Depreciation
When you're in the work, the general noise from the chorus of teacher devaluators can become a faint background buzz. And then something happens, and you're reminded suddenly, "Oh, yeah. That's a thing." Happened twice to me on Twitter in the past 24 hours. First, there was the noise surrounding the Trump thing on the teevee last night, including this little punch from Mercedes Schlapp, a senior
McKinsey Has Ideas For Fixing Schools (Pandemic Edition)
McKinsey is the 800-pound consulting gorilla with its hairy hands in everything. That includes dabbling in education; they've consulted with Boston schools and shown how to slash and privatize the crap out of the district, they've made data based advanced analytics explanations of how to improve test scores, and they've made the argument for computerizing classrooms . Their world view is captured
Update #1 From The Pandemic's Trailing Edge
About a month ago , I told you that if it can work anywhere, it can work here. I'm in Northwest PA, a rural/small town county with a little under 50,000 people. As of a month ago, we had about 70-ish confirmed cases. Schools re-opened, almost entirely face-to-face five days a week. Well, things have changed. Our confirmed case number has doubled in about five weeks. The norm was days with zero or
ME: Charter Pushers Quietly Switch To New Product
Maine has suffered through its own brands of education disruption. Most notably, they became the target for a bunch folks who wanted to use Maine as a proof of concept state for proficiency based learning grafted onto standards based grading. At best they showed that a poorly implemented and underfunded disruption of this sort is disastrous; at worst, they showed that re-organizing education arou
Orphaned Education, Forgotten Children
These are depressing times. Let me tell you why I'm bummed, but first, let me tell you a story. Almost a decade ago, I was the local union president during a contentious contract negotiation that became a strike. That was probably the lowest part of my teaching career. If you've taught for more than a year or two, you know, somewhere back in the back of your mind, that a lot of people are not rea
Not Politics In The Classroom
Distance learning seems to have pumped new life into the debate about politics in the classroom. From parents freaking out over a Black Lives Matter poster, to simple declarations that teachers should never, ever talk politic s, to the Pesident's adoption of the call for more patriotic education, we're back to arguing about how much political content should make it into a classroom. I actually ag
ICYMI: PA Fake Summer Edition (10/11)
Every Fall, in Western PA, we get a week or so of fake summer. This year it's particularly nice to get another pass at playing outside in shorts and sweatshirt weather. The board of directors has suddenly taken an interest in gardening, and the timing is perfect since there's hardly anything going on