Latest News and Comment from Education

Thursday, March 5, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: New Book Argues Christian Right Worships Power

CURMUDGUCATION: New Book Argues Christian Right Worships Power

New Book Argues Christian Right Worships Power

Katherine Stewart is an author and journalist who specializes in issues surrounding te separation of church and state. She has a new book coming out-- The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalismand a recent interview at Salon captures some of the highlights.

It's always interesting to see what happens when someone whose main beat is not education takes a look at education issues. Stewart has looked at educational issues in the past where they relate to church-state separation, and here she comes again with this statement from the interview:

We also have to recognize that the role of public money is absolutely huge. A lot of the calls for "religious freedom" that characterize much of the activism of the movement today are often seen, rightly so, as a demand that conservative Christians should be able to discriminate against LGBT Americans, nonreligious women and members of the religious minority groups. But even more than that, activists have their eye on a vast potential flow of public funds in the future. This is one of the reasons why the calls for religious freedom are just like this ever-louder drum beat that we're hearing in so many places.

This agenda has been made really explicit in the field of public education where activists are determined to expand access to public funds in the form of vouchers. They've actually placed a key CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: New Book Argues Christian Right Worships Power

LA school board early results show win for union opposed to charters - The Washington Post

LA school board early results show win for union opposed to charters - The Washington Post

Good news likely for union opposing charters in L.A. school board vote

This is an update to a story I posted last weekend about crucial school board races in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest school district.
Four of the seven seats on the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District were on Tuesday’s ballot. The key issue in the races: charter schools — and whether voters would elect a board that would expand these schools in the district or a board that wouldn’t. The shift of one seat would make all the difference in this regard.

More than $7 million was poured into the races, most of it going to three candidates who are pro-charter, and some of the races turned nasty, with charges of anti-Semitism in one and false charges of impropriety in another.


NYC Public School Parents


Curtis D. Young on how large classes contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline

Curtis D. Young, a member of CB12 Youth and Education Committee and the Executive Director of a juvenile justice nonprofit, testifies at the Class Size Hearings on Feb. 28 about how large classes in NYC schools contribute to high suspension rates and the school-to-prison pipeline. His written testimony is below the video. Testimony of Curtis Young at Class Size Hearings from Class Size Matters on
Shino Tanikawa on how Fair Student Funding system works against class size reduction and how small classes would facilitate integration

Testimony from Feb. 28 class size hearings at City Hall from Shino Tanikawa, a NYC public school parent leader. Shino is a member of the Fair Student Funding (FSF) taskforce, and discusses the difficult decisions principals must make regarding class size when the FSF system devised by DOE incentivizes them to overcrowd their schools and keep class sizes large. Also a member of the School Diversit
Karen Sprowal on how large classes caused her son to melt down

See the video of Karen Sprowal testifying at the City Council hearings on class size on Feb. 28. Karen described how large classes in her son's public school starting in the 4th grade caused him to melt down. Now he is doing well in a private school with small classes, with tuition paid for by the city at $93,000 per year. She explains how lowering class size would not just benefit so many NYC ch
Lorraie Forbes and Tiffani Torres speak out about how NYC students are being robbed because of excessive class sizes

High school students Lorraie Forbes and Tiffani Torres from Teens Take Charge testify about how important it is for NYC to lower class size to give students like them a real chance to succeed. As Lorraie put it, " I feel as if my fellow students and I are being robbed of the opportunity to be as big as we can be." When asked by Council Member Treyger how important class size is from one to ten, t

MAR 03

Must see video: Regent Kathy Cashin and City Council Education chair Mark Treyger on the importance of class size

See the video of Regent Kathleen Cashin's observations about class size which she made during the City Council hearings on Feb. 28 about what happened when she lowered class size in the District 23 schools when she was Superintendent. As she puts it, when you reduce class size, the "whole world changes." She explained how smaller classes are important both for students and their teachers, and lea

MAR 01

Testimonies of four mothers, speaking about how their children have been affected by the unacceptably large classes in city schools

The testimonies of parents, educators and advocates at the class size hearings at City Hall on Friday were so powerful that I am going to post many of them on this blog. Here is video of the proceedings -- nearly six hours. The hearings would have lasted even longer if many of the parents who wanted to testify hadn't been shut out because the room was too crowded. Here's an article about the hear

FEB 28

Council hearings on class size so overcrowded that scores of parents and advocates are turned away

credit @TeensTakeCharge For immediate release Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 Contact: Leonie Haimson; ; 917-435-9329. Today, from 10 AM to 3:45 PM, the City Council Education Committee held hearings 
NYC Public School Parents

On Super Tuesday, the LA Teachers’ Strike Paid Off Again

On Super Tuesday, the LA Teachers’ Strike Paid Off Again

On Super Tuesday, the LA Teachers’ Strike Paid Off Again

Last January’s Los Angeles teachers’ strike saw some 30,000 educators walk out of the classroom in the nation’s second-largest school district and return six days later with a new contract. The teachers fought not only for wage increases but broadened their demands to include schooling conditions for the district’s more than 500,000 students. They called for caps on class sizes and extra support staff, including a full-time nurse in every school and a librarian for all middle and high schools. They pushed for greater oversight of charter schools and against their further expansion. The community overwhelmingly supported the teachers, and, by and large, the teachers won.
Now, the strike’s legacy is helping fuel electoral victories, which will determine school funding decisions and the district’s approach to charters. “One contract doesn’t solve all the decades of disinvestment in our schools,” says Cecily Myart-Cruz, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). “When you have privatizers knocking at the door—no, they ain’t knocking. They’re bulldozing our doors in.”
The issues at stake in the strike were on the ballot on Super Tuesday in Los Angeles. School board elections in the district typically pit the union against charter school advocates. The UTLA backed candidates in all four of the seats up for grabs. One, George McKenna, ran unopposed. Another, local progressive luminary Jackie Goldberg, won an outright majority of her district’s votes. Scott Schmerelson, an CONTINUE READING: On Super Tuesday, the LA Teachers’ Strike Paid Off Again

The National Reading Panel: Still Misrepresented After All These Years | Live Long and Prosper

The National Reading Panel: Still Misrepresented After All These Years | Live Long and Prosper

The National Reading Panel: Still Misrepresented After All These Years


Jay Matthews is a long-time education writer for the Washington Post. Matthews has written about education for years though he has no training or experience in education other than as a student (BA in government, Harvard University, MA in East Asian regional studies). To be sure, he has studied and written about education extensively as a journalist, but that isn’t enough to replace actual classroom experience.
In the following article, Matthews mentions the National Reading Panel report. He implies that the low test scores of poor children is because their schools and teachers ignore the “proven” science of systematic phonics, which we will see, is not proven science after all.
It is one more sign of rising concern over failure to give all children the intensive phonics lessons proven many years ago to be essential to mastering reading.

Reading is becoming a lively issue in many parts of the country. California recently agreed in a lawsuit settlement to spend $53 million over three years in 75 low-performing elementary schools to improve reading instruction. Only about half of third-graders have met that state’s reading standards, part of a national failure to teach the vital skill to impoverished children.
It has hit hard in Virginia. Walker and two other leaders of the Arlington CONTINUE READING: The National Reading Panel: Still Misrepresented After All These Years | Live Long and Prosper

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY 
The latest news and resources in education since 2007

TIME Features “100 Women Of The Year”

tiburi / Pixabay TIME Magazine has published a new feature called 100 Women of the Year . It includes articles about, and images of, 100 key women throughout history. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Women’s History .


Getting Nutrition Advice the Easy Way
The Noom weight loss app allows you to progress through your wellness journey from anywhere and everywhere.
A Look Back: Here’s My Chapter On Elements Of A Successful Lesson, Along With Student Hand-Outs THEY Use To Teach

I thought that new – and veteran – readers might find it interesting if I began sharing my best posts from over the years. You can see the entire collection here . I originally published this post in 2015: I’m a big advocate and practitioner of creating opportunities for students to be teachers (see The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates ). I’ve previously posted about how I sp
Two Good Interactives Showing Ancient Human Migration

Thanks to Google Maps Mania , I learned about two interactives that map ancient human migration: One is the Human Odyssey Map from the California Academy of Sciences (pictured above). The other is the Map of Human Migration from National Geographic. You might also be interested in The Best Websites For Teaching & Learning About World History .
World Water Day Is On March 22nd – Here Are Teaching & Learning Resources

3345408 / Pixabay The United Nations has designated March 22nd as World Water Day. You might be interested in The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About World Water Day .
Good PBS NewsHour Video Segment Tonight: “How painter Jacob Lawrence reframed early American history with ‘Struggle'”

Nietjuh / Pixabay The PBS NewsHour describes the segment this way: Amid the McCarthy hearings and the launch of the civil rights movement in the 1950s, painter Jacob Lawrence sought to frame early American history the way he saw it. His ensuing work, the sprawling series “Struggle,” has been reassembled and is now on a national tour, with its first stop at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusett

Statistic Of The Day: 290.5 Million Students Out Of School Because Of COVID-19

290 million students out of school due to COVID-19: UNESCO releases first global numbers and mobilizes response is a new alarming report from UNESCO. It’s offering some resources related to Education In Emergencies . I’ve been publishing a series of posts offering support for teachers trying to figure out how to provide remote learning. You can find them at The Best Advice On Teaching K-12 Online

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007