Sunday, December 6, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: So It's Really December Edition (12/6)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: So It's Really December Edition (12/6)

So It's Really December Edition 

Still trying to take care of all the places the cold gets into our house, because apparently the season is serious about things. Still counting down to the magical day when I can go many days at a time without asking, "Well, what has the President done today?" But there are still some good things to read from this week, so here's your list.

How DeVos May Have Started a Counter-Revolution in Education   

Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire in the New York Times explaining how Betsy DeVos has broken up an unspoken treaty between conservative and liberal ed reform folks, and how that may open the door to some actual steps forward.

Are We Compassionate Enough In School?

A hell of a question, posed by guest writer Matthew Fleming over at Ed Week. Pretty cool little piece about some of the things that create fatigue and burnout.

Behaviorism, Surveillance, and (School) Work  

Audrey Watters was a speaker at the #AgainstSurveillance teach-in, and here's what she said. As always, informative and infuriating, including enterprise software, Skinner's box for babies, and test proctoring. 

Anti-Affirmative Action Group Hopes Conservative Supreme Court Will Finally Give Them A Win  

Now that the Supreme Court has been tilted a bit further rightward, all manner of folks are getting ready to take a run at SCOTUS to get their favorite reactionary cause pumped up. So here come Students for Fair Admission, ready to stump for favored admission status for white guys. From the Root.

Rundown Schools Force More Students To Go Remote   

Hechinger Reports with a good look at how some schools were hit extra hard by the pandemic because they'd already gone years without decent maintenance. Let critical resources decay, and they can't sustain an extra hit--go figure. 

VCs Are Pouring Money Into the Wrong Education Startups

Venture capitalists, or vulture capitalists--take your pick, but they're making sure this mess doesn't go to waste. WIRED takes a look at where the money is going.

A Soccer Club and $1.2 Million for a charter school

We mentioned this here at the Institute back when the grant was first issued, but now Carol Burris at the Washington Post has even more details, and the rest of the story (which is that these amateurs didn't even get their school approved). Just our tax dollars--well, not so much "at work" as "being wasted."

Worse than Betsy DeVos: The disturbing story of 2020 school board elections

Jeff Bryant has looked downticket to discover that in many school board elections, pubic education was not the winner. From Alternet.

Online exam monitoring can invade privacy and erode trust at universities  

A Canada-centric look at the rapidly spreading ugly mess that is tecno-proctoring. Short form: it's bad.

Texas high school senior suspended for painted nails  

I'm always leery of these sorts of stories, because there is often another side of the tale that the school isn't free to tell. But I can't think of another side that would make this any less stupid. Sometimes public schools put dopes in charge, and they make dopey policies.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: So It's Really December Edition (12/6)


The Jingle Bells Effect And The Canon
So, if you need a little something to jumpkick you into the season, here's a playlist challenge for you. Yes, that's roughly 76 minutes of various versions of "Jingle Bells," carefully selected, curated and ordered for your listening pleasure. "Jingle Bells" is a curious song to become a Christmas standard, mostly because it has nothing to do with Christmas but is instead the mid-19th century anc
Does Your School Suffer From Advanced Testivitis
In some quarters we seem to have cycled back around to the old argument that the Big Standardized Test provides an assortment of necessary data with no actual downside, so let's trot those puppies out here for this already-maimed year. I've spent a bunch of time talking about why the tests provide no actual benefit ( here , here and here , for example), but let me take a moment to look at the oth
Election Polling and the Big Standardized Test
From the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal to the Atlantic and beyond, writers weeks after the election castigating the pollsters for yet another less-than-stellar year. But education writer Larry Ferlazzo moved on to another question—” Could Polling Errors in the 2020 Election Teach Us Something About The Use Of ‘Data’ In Education. ” He’s onto something there. Thinking about the Big St
Back On The No-Longer-Trailing Pandemic Education Edge: Digging A Ditch
I've been offering updates from my own small town/rural corner of the universe for just one more data point about how various school districts are dealing with pandemic education. We don't all need to write about New York City schools. My region had a decent shot. In a county of 50,000 people, we had a total of 70 cases at the beginning of September. All schools opened for face-to-face instructio
Is This How Post-pandemic Ed Tech Will Be Different
Andreesen Horowitz is a silicon valley venture capitalist investment firm looking to strike it rich in the ed tech world. That is more than enough reason to distrust them ( here's just one article laying out how vc firms --particularly tech ones--are wrecking our world). But they want to play in the ed tech sandbox, which is another reason. But they have some thoughts about how ed tech will look
The 2020 Edubook Christmas List
Time to go hunting for books for the people on your Christmas list, and I have some recommendations for you if there are people on your list who care about public education (and really, everybody should). Before we start shopping, let me also direct your attention to , an online vendor set up to benefit local independent booksellers instead of, say, giving Jeff Mezos his next gazilli
Donors Choose Monday: Expanding the Library
This week's project is exactly the sort of thing that shouldn't be on donors choose. Mrs. Gibson is an elementary teacher in South Carolina, and she's looking to expand her classroom library. My students are living in a low income area where literacy is our focus in order to meet the needs they may not be receiving at home. My focus is to bring in books that we help them connect with other cultur
ICYMI: Long Weekend Edition (11/29)
Thanksgiving was not so bad at our house; the board of directors had a lovely time and I was able to talk to both grown children. So we'll call it a win. In the meantime, people keep writing stuff and I have some of it here for you to