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Sunday, March 8, 2020

enrique baloyra: Fla. pols outraged by nonprofit waste - unless it's their own - YouTube

Fla. pols outraged by nonprofit waste - unless it's their own - YouTube

Fla. pols outraged by nonprofit waste - unless it's their own

Do you remember the outrage just a few weeks ago after it was reported the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence had paid its CEO $millions in taxpayer money?
In response, the governor issued an executive order demanding accountability from nonprofits that receive at least half of their budgets from the state.
But when it comes to holding accountable the private schools that take a $billion in voucher money every year, crickets.
In fact, the legislature is about to pass a bill expanding the deeply flawed program months after the Orlando Sentinel published a series exposing how private schools that accept public funding turn away LGBTQ students and their parents.
It was such a big scandal that several of the program’s biggest funders walked away after issuing statements. Except for Fifth Third Bank. They apparently think discrimination isn’t such a big deal. So they’re back in.
But it’s not just the hatred and bigotry they teach in these schools that Floridians should be concerned about.
Turns out schools that teach discrimination and Creationism aren’t required by the state to administer the same tests that bog down public schools for months every school year.
A recent study by the FSU Learning Systems Institute concluded that only about a quarter of the schools that participate in the voucher program are using Florida’s standardized tests.
And of those that did test, about 66% of students actually regressed in either their reading or math scores or both.
“If private schools are doing such a bang-up job, you’d think legislators would want parents to know all about it.
“Requiring voucher schools to take the FSA would provide an apples-to-apples comparison, though that solution has drawbacks.”
Among which, as any teacher worth their classroom experience can tell you, standardized testing is a crude instrument, unsuitable for determining a student’s progress. Mostly used as a cudgel to punish schools that have historically underperformed — mainly due to poverty — and forcing them to close. So that more unaccountable schools can open under the guise of “school choice.”
Regardless the academic outcomes. And turning a blind eye to blatant discrimination.
Because Florida politicians aren’t really interested in eliminating fraud and abuse.
They just want to make sure to get their cut.

Fla. pols outraged by nonprofit waste - unless it's their own - YouTube


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Losing An Hour Edition (3/8)

 Losing An Hour Edition (3/8)

Surely it's about time to end this whole Daylight Savings baloney. Because as I sit here this morning, it hardly seems worth it.

But here's some reading from the week:

Voucher Programs Undermine Religious Liberty 
The Baptist Joint Committee posts this piece in opposition to voucher programs being used to drain public schools and send money to places like Baptist private schools.

Uncharted is a blog allegedly operated by a former charter school teacher, and it offers some stark and stunning looks at the inside view of charters. This piece is about the realization of a racist system inside the school.

City Fund Spending
The City Fund is the latest organization, featuring many of the same old players, that is out to privatize public schools. Thomas Ultican breaks down some of the organizational and financial connections that are in play for this group. It's not pretty.

No More Middle Ground
Shane Phipps has pretty much had it. This Indiana teacher points out that the legislature just floated a Florida style law that would let charters steal part of the income from a funding levy passed to support public schools.

Trump's Education Policy Is A Chance for Democrats 
Jennifer Berkshire has been traveling in Trump country and noting that his supporters are also big fans of public schools. Will that have implications for the fall election? The Nation has her article.

How The DeVos Rules on Sexual Assault Will Shock Schools  
Betsy DeVos thinks schools and universities are too hard on men accused of sexual assault, and she's about to "fix" that. Politico looks at some of the implications of her coming rules shift.

Betsy DeVos's Problem with Numbers 
DeVos made a visit to the Senate to talk about then budget, and as usual, her talking points included some items that were counter-factual. Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post breaks down the baloney.

100 Years of Teacher Bashing
Have You Heard reminds us that "reform" via shaming and blaming teaches has a long, rich history.

How Will Schools Handle a Pandemic Without Nurses?
Jersey Jazzman crunches some number, builds some charts, and points out that one in five US schools has no nursing coverage. There are details, but the bottom line is that this may not be the best place to be heading into a pandemic.

Black Students Are Being Penalized for their Hair, and That's Bad for Everybody
CNN looks at this issue from the "Wait, Aren't We Living in the 21st Century Filers." An angrifying school trend.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Losing An Hour Edition (3/8)


The Complexity of Performance Tasks

It's spring musical season here in NW PA, and I am back in a small way playing in the pit orchestra for a production of Seussical being put as a co-op between my old school and a neighboring high school. This is an annual enterprise I was part of for years. I've been doing school and community theater in a variety of capacities for almost forty years now, and it's still pretty exciting. There real

MAR 05

Schneider's Indispensable Guide To Research

I call her the indispensable Mercedes Schneider. When I entered the blogosphere, hers was one of the first names I learned, because I kept coming back to her blog to get the information that wasn't anywhere else. I have (I hear) a reputation for cranking out a lot of writing, but Schneider posts almost daily, writes books, and carries a full time teaching load. And her posts are usually the result
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 Nationalism , and 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 e

MAR 04

IN: Child Labor Is Fun

Some legislators in Indiana are boldly taking on one of the great problems of their state-- too many restrictions on child labor. The bill intends, among other things, to do away with the requirement for student work permits for teens. Because the fact that a teenager is flunking high school should not stand in his way when it comes to serving as a useful meat widget for employers. Full day of sch
NWEA Offers More Testing Baloney

When a system doesn't work, you have a couple of choices-- you can address the problems that are causing failure, or you can insist that the original system is super-duper and start imposing new rules to try to work around the flaws in your original system. Like the latch that doesn't work properly, but instead of fixing the latch, you just teach everybody to lift and push the door to the side to

MAR 03

Civics and History in the Classroom

The teaching of US history has always been... well, not a hot topic, exactly, but always one that is simmering on a back burner. From the occasional reaction to one brand of civic illiteracy or another (no, that's not an actual power of the President) to the eternal complaint that schools are teaching students to hate America , the civic conversation is always drawn back to the question of how the
How Do We Measure Your Turf?

In which I ponder the various ways in which private money plays in the public sphere, how much we should care about them, and why. Preface/Warning This post is probably going to be long and only sort of related to education. It has an audience of roughly two people-- a guy who periodically kicks at my ass on Twitter, and me. He's unlikely to be moved by anything I have to say, and I'm indulging my
MO: Arresting Librarians

If you haven't already, read this piece from Nancy Bailey that makes two points with crystal clarity and detailed support: * school librarians are an essential part of teaching reading in school (scientifically or otherwise) * school librarian jobs are being shed in many major cities at an alarming and distressing thoroughness. School librarians are essential, and they are a popular target for the

MAR 02

Free Market Winners and Losers

One of the foundational arguments of modern ed reform is that free market forces would make education work better, that having to compete would make public and private schools work harder, smarter, better and create a rising tide of educational awesomeness that would lift all boats. This is unlikely for a variety of reasons, but the biggest problem with the free market when it comes to public educ

MAR 01

ICYMI: Making Up My Mind Edition (3/1)

I've held onto the privilege of not having to make up my mind about the Dem race, but more and more I find myself gravitating to Elizabeth Warren. Not perfect, but none of them are. I like her combination of policy, plan and temperament. And the whole smartness thing. Anyway. I figured you were just dying to know. Here's some reading from the week. The Myths of Learning Styles From the Atlantic, a

FEB 28

What Ever Happened To AltSchool?

You remember AltSchool, the miraculous Silicon Valley technoschool that was going to Change the Game. We've checked in on them from time to time, and it's time to see what has happened since the Altschool ship ran aground on the 

Schools and the Coronavirus | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Schools and the Coronavirus | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Schools and the Coronavirus

Close the schools, an anxious neighbor says on Nextdoor (a local online bulletin board), when a parent of two school children in the community in which I live became infected with the coronavirus. Public schools so far have remained open but nearby private schools have closed. Stanford University suspended face-to-face classes for next week telling faculty to teach online remaining classes in the quarter. No local district has yet closed its public schools. But whether to keep public schools open or shut remains in the air. Parents scramble to hire people just in case the schools do close but their workplaces remain open It is a day-by-day anxiety-fest. But not only in this affluent community.
In New York City, there are 1.1 million students of whom three-quarters are designated as poor. A recent article makes clear that schools do more than teach content and skills.
… {S]chool may be the only place they can get three hot meals a day and medical care, and even wash their dirty laundry.
That is why the city’s public schools will probably stay open even if the new coronavirus becomes more widespread in New York. Richard A. Carranza, the schools chancellor, said earlier this week that he considered long-term closings an “extreme” measure and a “last resort.”
Responses from Palo Alto and New York City public schools strip away the cloak of hidden inequalities that are endemic to American life in 2020. Should CONTINUE READING: Schools and the Coronavirus | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Jersey Jazzman: NJ School Nurses: A Data-Driven View

Jersey Jazzman: NJ School Nurses: A Data-Driven View

NJ School Nurses: A Data-Driven View

In my last post, I note that one in five U.S. public schools has no nursing coverage.

Given the COVID-19 outbreak, this is disturbing. School nurses are on the front lines of pediatric care, and a critical part of any response this nation will have to a pandemic. Every American child deserves access to a qualified, well-trained school nurse.

Ed Fuller at Penn State (as big an edu-data geek as yours truly) has tweeted out some graphs showing the distribution of nurses in Pennsylvania schools.

What do we see? In PA, nursing coverage decreases when poverty rises, in elementary, middle, and high schools. In other words, at a time when the coronavirus threat is looming, Pennsylvania's neediest children are less likely to get the medical care they need at school.

Given all this, I thought it would be useful to take a look at how New Jersey's school CONTINUE READING: 
Jersey Jazzman: NJ School Nurses: A Data-Driven View