Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, April 26, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: How Many Weeks Has It Been Now Edition (4/26)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: How Many Weeks Has It Been Now Edition (4/26)

How Many Weeks Has It Been Now Edition (4/26) 

Well, on it goes. Here's some reading from the week. Remember, your choices about which voices to amplify make a difference.

COVID Stimulus Funds for Private School Vouchers 
The indispensable Mercedes Schneider takes a look at Jeb Bush's old crew at ExcelInEd (formerly FEE) and their idea that stimulus funds should be repurposed to boost school vouchers.

Parents Worried about Special Ed Vouchers   
Rebecca Klein at HuffPost looks at the issues and concerns surrounding the question of whether or not to allow IDEA waivers for school districts struggling wit getting crisis education to students with special needs. Also, there's a picture of Betsy DeVos that makes it look like she has a halo, so that's something.

9 Ways Schools Will Look Different   
Anya Kamenetz at NPR looks at some predictions about how Corona-school might look when it starts up. Important to note that Corona-school looks kind of expensive.

Compassion and Grace  
Accountabaloney looks at a remarkable piece of guidance from, of all things, Georgia's state school superintendent. Worth the read.

Why Don't We Have Internet for All?  
The Have You Heard podcast looks at the origins of the digital divide.

Every Chid Left Behind  
Nancy Flanagan on how a little flexibility and care might avert some of the "crises" we're facing.

6 Reasons Students Aren't Logging On  
At EdWeek, Peter DeWitt looks at some of the reasons that online crisis education isn't getting traction with everyone.

Tacoma Teachers Struggle To Connect With Students
from the News Tribune, a look at the specific issues faced by teachers in tracking down their missing students. (See? It's not just you.)

A Trombonist Wonders When An Audience Will Gather 
Okay, not actually education related, except that this is one of my former students.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: How Many Weeks Has It Been Now Edition (4/26)


Defending the Future of the Big Standardized Test

What has happened to our beloved Big Standardized Test? Why do people keep picking on it? And can we lift it back up to its hallowed heights of the past? I have a report sitting in one of my tabs here that wants to answer those questions, yet somehow falls short. It's FutureEd's report The Big Test , and it is yet another attempt to repackage reformster alternate earth history. It's not super long
As Schools Tackle Coronavirus Pause, Don’t Forget Career And Technical Education Students.

At this juncture, nearly all schools in this country have been shut down, forcing teachers, families, and students to grapple with some form of crisis schooling. The need for teachers to teach and students to learn at a distance has sparked discussion of many issues. How do schools keep contact with students who have little or no access to the internet? How do teachers construct useful materials
Still Trying To Stump For Common Core

Education Next's spring issue is featuring a little Common Core debate, asking if the Core worked. There are three responses in the actual debate, plus a sort of bonus response in a separate article. I'm sorry to report that many of the same delusions that brought us the Core disruption of education are still firmly in place. Let's take each of these one at a time. Warning-- every one of these guy
Remotely Teaching Humanity

It is one of the more arresting headlines I've seen in a while. Atop a new blog at Inside Higher Ed, we find this question : Can remote teaching make us more human? Well, now. Short answer. No. Slightly less short answer. I suppose that anything can make us more human if we use the experience to reflect on our humanity. Long answer. The authors, Caroline Levander and Peter Decherney, are a pair of
MI: Court Says Students Have Right To Actual Education

Periodically the courts get involved in the question of what states are actually supposed to provide. Back in 2017 a case went all the way to the Supremes that was designed (no case gets before SCOTUS without being carefully prepared and selected and curated by a bunch of Major Players) to get at the question of how hard a district had to work on that whole IEP thing-- how much education is "enoug
Internet Accessibility, Arne Duncan, and Dreaming Big

Arne Duncan penned an op-ed in the Washington Post this week; the piece is notable because it is not baloney, but addresses one of the issues that the great pandemic pause has brought to the fore-- internet accessibility. Duncan notes that currently if you don't have internet, you don't have school. And he notes that while internet providers stepped forward with heartwarming offers of free intern
Voice Cloning: One More Way Teachers Can Be Replaced

So, Venture Beat is a website touts itself as the leading source for transformative tech news and events that provide deep context to help business leaders make smart decisions and stay on top of breaking news. That includes "sponsored" news like this very special piece from Lovo , a Berkeley-based company whose sub-title is "Love Your Voice" and whose co-founder explains their mission as "Making
Recovery Commission Targets Gutting Of Public School

While Trump has announced a variety of groups he wants to gather together to charter a pandemic recovery for the nation, there's one group that is already on the job-- and their plans for public education suck. The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission -- doesn't that sound grand? It sounds like a real official government thing, only it isn't, exactly. It's the project of the Heritage Foundatio

MA: Governor Offers Terrible Reason To Re-open Schools

Well, of all the stupid reasons to re-open schools before summer comes, this offering from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has to be among the worst: One reason Baker said he wants to see schools reopen before the end of the school year would be so students could take tests to determine how far behind they fell due to the pandemic. Baker has been an ed reformster since he was elected in 2014,
The Road Out

Sometimes I use this blog as a sort of macro-- when I find myself engaged in the same pieces of the same argument, it just gets easier to try to hash it all out in one spot so that thereafter I can just point instead of typing it all out again. This isn't very much about education, it's not very carefully edited (in fact, I may well keep adding edits till I get it closer to what I really want--he
We’re About To Hear Many Suggestions About How To Reshape Education. Here’s How To Sort Them Out.

The vast majority of the nation’s schools have pressed pause due to the current pandemic. In many areas they will stumble through the remainder of a year that will little resemble an ordinary year. This is already prompting many folks to declare this a golden opportunity to reconsider some of the traditional features of U.S. schooling. If we’ve got to have school without grades, without desks and
ICYMI: It's Not Normal Until It's Not New Edition (4/19)

In other words, there's no such thing as a new normal. But here we are anyway. Have some reading to pass the time. My Transition To Emergency Remote Teaching As always, I would like to be as smart as P. L. Thomas when I grow up. Here, while reflecting on his own transition, he offers insight on what is or is not right with remote teaching. A Dozen Good Things That Could (Just Maybe) Happen As A Re

Why Teach Literature? The Whole Collection

I created a series of posts about the teaching of literature, and they ended up being sprinkled here and there. I thought I would just pump them out one after another but after I got started--squirrel!! So for those of you how enjoyed 

NYC Educator: DOE Grading Policy Is a Big Nothing

NYC Educator: DOE Grading Policy Is a Big Nothing

DOE Grading Policy Is a Big Nothing

It's funny. You build something up. You say it's crucial, vital, the most important thing ever. You say it's coming tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, Wednesday, Friday, next week for sure. Then the thing finally comes out, vetted by multiple committees, after weeks of deliberation, and it's something you could've made up yourself off the top of your head after having drunk one too many glasses of wine.

And here it is, according to Chalkbeat:

It’s expected that the city will announce that no student will be held back as a result of the pandemic. Elementary and middle school students’ work will be graded as “satisfactory” or “needs improvement,” according to details from the forthcoming policy, reported first by NY1.

High school students, meanwhile, will continue to receive grades in accordance with their school’s own policies — with one notable exception: No student will be given a failing mark. Instead, they will receive an “incomplete,” according to the report.

I'm not going to focus on elementary, since I know little to nothing about what they do normally. As for high schools, it appears they placed little or no thought whatsoever into this policy. Just continue doing the same thing, hope for the best, and maybe we'll give the kids an extra chance to pass if they don't do it the first time.

I've seen some people saying that UFT has elicited no input from teachers, and that's not true. Education VP Evelyn de Jesus called me and asked for recommendations. A group CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: DOE Grading Policy Is a Big Nothing