Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020 CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: I'm a Grandfather Again Edition (3/15)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: I'm a Grandfather Again Edition (3/15)

I'm a Grandfather Again Edition (3/15)

Beware the Ides of March, indeed. It's been a busy week and I've been a little behind on my own reading, so the list might be a little short today (and late, too). But my new grandson is beautiful.
Texas Takeover in Shepherd

A school takeover in Texas turns into a big fat mess, and the courts aren't much help.
Adios, John White

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider bids adieu to John White, who is now officially finally not in charge of education in Louisiana.
Please do a bad job of putting your courses online

Rebecca Barrett-Fox offers a perspective on the virus-induced move to online schooling. Maybe there are a few other things that are more important.
The Vicious Attack on Sweetwater Union District

Thomas Ultican has done all the homework on this tale of a California district that has been under continuous attack by privatizers.
Once Again, Teachers Are First Responders  

Nancy Flanagan reflects on how teachers often end up on the front lines when it's crunch time.
Audrey Watters and Ed Tech crisis response

If you aren't a subscriber to Watters' newsletter, you're missing important stuff. Here are some thoughts about what can go wrong with the virus-induced school closings.
Penguin Cam

Edinburgh Zoo has a live penguin cam. When you need a break from all the stress and worry--well, it's penguins!

Ohio's Charter War Fallout
10th period blog notes that Ohio has so many cyber-school students, the transition during the shutdown ought to be easily tapping into that expertise. Why isn't it?

Doubts Raised About Active Shooter Drills  
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a look at a report questioning the effects of active shooter drills in schools.


Post-Janus Union Busters Not Done Yet

If you are a teacher and you spend time on Facebook, you've probably heard from those folks at My Pay My Say , their chirpy stock photo reminding you that you don't have to pay those nasty union dues. These initiatives have been popping up ever since the Janus case gave a Supreme Court okee dokee to the idea of freeloaders in a union. Teachers who don't already live in Right To Work states have re

MAR 13

DeVos Wants To Give Teachers PD Vouchers

It's not the dumbest education policy idea to ever come out of DC. Betsy DeVos is continuing to champion idea that she has pushed before-- giving teachers professional development vouchers and letting them go shop for their own professional development experiences. When floated in 2019, the idea was obviously not about kind thoughts about teachers or even philosophical consistency for the choice-l

MAR 12

DeVos Actually Sparks Bipartisan Action In Senate

You may recall that Betsy DeVos really, really, really hates the idea of forgiving the loans that students took out to attend what turned out to be fraudulent predatory not-so-good for-profit universities, to the point that when she had to sign off on loan forgiveness paperwork left over from the previous administration, she felt compelled to add " with extreme displeasure " to her signature. Eith

MAR 11

Administration Matters

This tweet turned up the other day. I interviewed a teacher who is leaving the profession in June. I asked her why she was quitting. Her response: “I was told to teach to the test...that if it’s not a test-taking skill, don’t teach it. I didn’t become a teacher to help kids become better test-takers.” #EdChat — Fixing Education (@FixingEducation) March 9, 2020 I wish the teacher hadn't slipped in

MAR 09

DeVosian Priorities and Public Service

There's nothing new to see here, but it's still worth noting what DeVos tells us about her priorities. From a recent interview with a conservative Christian podcas t-- let me just set these side by side: "I was fortunate enough to be born into a family that raised me to make my faith my own," she said. "I had exposure from my first memories to weekly church services." "I'm grateful to have had tha
The Gates Team Wants To Swing For The Education Fences. Maybe There’s A Better Way For Them To Play.

It says something about Bill Gates that after using the expression “swing for the fences” in the title of his foundation’s annual letter , he also feels the need to explain it: That’s a phrase many Americans will recognize from baseball. When you swing for the fences, you’re putting every ounce of strength into hitting the ball as far as possible. You know that your bat might miss the ball entire

MAR 08

ICYMI: 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 

Words Matter: Pandemic Edition – radical eyes for equity

Words Matter: Pandemic Edition – radical eyes for equity

Words Matter: Pandemic Edition

As the U.S. stumbles toward addressing COVID-19 concurrent with economic concerns connected to the pandemic as well as unrelated international events, such as oil futures, Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” with its focus on slavery and 1840s America, may seem even less relevant than when many of us were assigned the essay in high school.
But Thoreau’s first few paragraphs capture well the problems with public discourse, notably on social media, about the role of government during a time of national emergency spurred by a pandemic.
Immediately, Thoreau lays out the libertarian grounding of his argument:
I heartily accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
It is important to recognize here the essential idealism in libertarian thought (and to admit this idealism is little different than the idealism of Marxism/communism that libertarians and other conservatives point to in CONTINUE READING: Words Matter: Pandemic Edition – radical eyes for equity

Children and families impacted by the coronavirus need help NOW - EdAction March 15, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction March 15, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction March 15, 2020

Children and families impacted by the coronavirus need help NOW

By a vote of 363-40, the House of Representatives passed on March 14 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) to help children and families impacted by the coronavirus. NEA sent a letter to House members supporting the legislation last week. (Click here to find out more about K-12 school closures across the nation.)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a good initial step to help working families while members of Congress consider additional measures to confront the public health, educational, and financial fallout of the pandemic. Key provisions of H.R. 6201 include:
  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.
  • Paid emergency leave, with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance—a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.
  • Strengthened food security initiatives, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), student meals, seniors’ nutrition, and food banks.
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid to help states face increased costs. 
Now that the House has acted, email your senators that children and families need immediate help!

10 Republicans join Democrats in voting to halt DeVos’ anti-student initiative

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her pro-privatization, anti-student agenda were rebuked on March 11 when a bipartisan Senate majority blocked her efforts to gut protections for student borrowers and taxpayers in her revision of the “borrower defense” rule.
“Today’s bipartisan vote in the Senate is a victory for students and shows, once again, just how out of touch Betsy DeVos’ agenda is with the American people,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.
Ten Republican senators joined Democratic senators in voting 53 to 42 for S.J. Res. 56, which overturns the Department of Education’s revision of the 30-year-old Borrower Defense to Repayment rule. When predatory for-profit colleges have defrauded students with false promises, it is the borrower defense rule that enables students to have their federal loans canceled or forgiven. READ MORE

Cheers and Jeers

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Supporting Students in Response to Coronavirus Act which would  provide resources to help schools plan for closures, ensure early childhood programs stay in operation, provide emergency financial aid for college students in need of food and housing, and take other steps to support students and educators.
Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced the Ensuring Emergency Food Security Act, which would temporarily increase and expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to combat economic impacts of the coronavirus.
Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and James Comer (R-KY) introduced the bipartisan COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response Act to protect students’ access to school meal benefits during school closures.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) wrote the first in a new series of columns in Essence magazine, “In Her We Trust;” the column discusses the importance of black women in politics and the stakes in the 2020 elections.
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Josh Hawley (R-MO),  Martha McSally (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Todd Young (R-IN) joined their Democratic colleagues in supporting the congressional resolution opposing the revised “borrower defense” rule proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called H.R. 6201 an “ideological wish list,” while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) condemned H.R. 6201 because it “forces permanent paid sick leave for all businesses without exemptions and no sunsets.”

NewBlackMan (in Exile) TODAY

NewBlackMan (in Exile)

NewBlackMan (in Exile) TODAY

The Public and Private Muhammad Ali

' The book Picture: Muhammad Ali shows how photographers from the Louisville Courier-Journal , the boxer's hometown newspaper, captured both public and private moments of "The Greatest." Tony Dokoupil talks with the newspaper's photographers who covered Ali throughout his career.' -- CBS Sunday Morning
Phylicia Rashad on the Myth of the Black Superwoman, the Importance of Self-Care and Sisterhood

'In American culture, most of us are overworked and overwhelmed, especially women. The Black Superwoman Syndrome is said to be a burden of strength passed down through generations; lessons are handed down from grandmother to mother and mother to daughter. Pfizer’s nationally recognized Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall and legendary actress and health advocate Phylicia Rashad explored h
Karen Palmer: Why Democratizing AI is Absolutely Crucial

' Implicit biases are feelings and ideas subconsciously attributed to a group or culture based on learned associations and experiences. Everyone has them, but it can be dangerous when those biases are transferred to a powerful technology like AI. By keeping the development of artificial intelligence private, we are risking building systems that are intrinsically biased against certain groups. Gov
Jaleel White Experienced A Lot Of No's In His 20s After His Childhood Stardom

' Jaleel White was a household name when he played "Steve Urkel" on the hit sitcom "Family Matters." But in his 20s, Jaleel explains how he had to experience a lot of no's and basically had to start from the bottom.' -- BETNetwork
The Story of Cold Chillin Records and Juice Crew w/ Marley Marl

' The father of the sample, Marley Marl , joins Peanut Butter Wolf , Cut Chemist , and author Ben Merlis to visit The Artform Studio in Los Angeles in celebration and discussion of the release of Merlis' new book Goin Off: The Story of the Juice Crew and Cold Chillin' Records .' -- artdontsleep
UnLadyLike2020 | Bessie Coleman: First African American Aviator

' Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the daughter of sharecroppers in rural Texas, spent her childhood picking cotton. In 1915, she moved to Chicago as part of the Great Migration of African Americans to escape racial terror and find greater job opportunities in the North. After working as a manicurist in a barber shop, she made up her mind to become an aviator. Coleman was rejected from entering every

A History Book That Isn't: Finding A Way To Teach Racism To A New Generation

' Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi team up to investigate the history of racist ideas through a narrative that's aimed at young adult readers. It's called: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You .'

NewBlackMan (in Exile)