Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, July 5, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Pet Recovery Day Edition (7/5)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Pet Recovery Day Edition (7/5)

 Pet Recovery Day Edition

Our current dog is impervious to pretty much everything other than people on our front porch. But my previous dog spent every July 4 cowering under a shed, and every year I think of him and all the pets like him. This year, a number of things derailed our usual Fourth celebration, including the cancellation of local fireworks. But today can still be a rest and reflect opportunity. And I have things for you to read.

You know that I sometimes paraphrase these headlines, right. Here's Wesley Whistle at Forbes with the latest in DeVosian misbehavior. 

Nancy Flanagan spins off some meme wisdom.

So, NEPC wrote a study that suggests that Summit Education is big on claims, low on actual evidence. This made Summit (even though they had steadfastly stonewalled NEPC while they were trying to do the study), and they wrote a rebuttal. Now you can read NEPC's rebuttal to the rebuttal, pointing out that Summit's "defense" repeats all of the problems they were called out on in the first place.

The Grio asked a slate of writers to contribute to this list, including Andre Perry and Jitu Brown.

Along with everything else they've been up to, it turns out the department left a bunch of borrower SS numbers exposed on the web for at least six months. Yikes. From the Washington Post.  

Rick Hess (AEI) at EdWeek makes a case for renaming the schools named after Confederate heroes. 

I have shied away at ICYM from the new sub-genre of "We can't open schools but we must open schools but we can't but here's how to do what can't be done" because, as I'[ve said repeatedly, solutions will be specific and local. But this is a pretty good example in plain language, from CNN of all places.

This one, too. Jersey Jazzman lays out some of the details that crafters of these nifty plans have overlooked (because they don't nbecesarily know them to begin with).

York, PA schools are in a mess and have been for a while (extra notable because that's our governor's home town). Here the editorial board of the York Dispatch points some fingers and names some names about how this happens, and how bad it is.

This Chronotope piece from 2015 recently resurfaced and it's worth a read-- a good explanation of how devotion to data over everything else leads to things like catastrophic land wars in Asia. Lots for education to learn.

A Success Academy parent contacted Mercedes Schneider about problems with the infamous charter chain. Pushing kids out. Classroom bias. 

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Pet Recovery Day Edition (7/5)


Report: PA Charters Game The Special Education System. - by @palan57 on @forbes

SCOTUS Just Poked Another Hole In The Wall Separating Church And State; Schools Will Suffer. - by @palan57 on @forbes

New Report: Zuckerberg’s Favorite Digital Ed Program Is All Sizzle, No Steak - by @palan57 on @forbes

Trump Comes After Public School Teachers
Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains. One of the big pull quotes from Donald Trump's historically shallow paean to the idea of American exceptionalism on July 3rd at Mount Rushmore, an attack on public education and the teachers who work there e
Baradaran: The Neoliberal Looting of America
Mehrsa Baradaran, who wrote The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (a properly self-explanatory title), had a great piece this week in the New York Times-- not directly about education, but involving many points that folks in the education world will recognize. " The Neoliberal Looting of America " is behind the usual paywall, and if you have means to get past it, I recommend th
Oh Good Lord In Heaven We're Going To Mess With College Loans Again
One hallmark of the DeVos era has been a deep devotion to debt-- specifically the debt of students who tried to go to college, and making sure that Those People don't try to wiggle out of it . She has stayed close to companies in the debt biz , a biz that she has her own ties to . All of this is why some folks have looked askance at her stated desire to shake up Federal Student Aid, the gazillion-
Betsy Devos's Happy Day
There is plenty of joy in some Reformsterville neighborhoods these days, thanks to the not-unexpected ruling by the Supreme Court on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue . As some education f olks have pointed out , it could have been worse. The court said that if states are going to pay for any non-public schools, they must include religious schools in the mix, which is not as bad as saying
To Everyone Who Was Never A Classroom Teacher, Re Pandemic School Openings
To everyone who was never a classroom teacher but who has some ideas about how school should be reopened in the fall: Hush. Just hush. There are some special categories of life experiences. Divorce. Parenthood. Deafness. Living as a Black person in the US. Classroom teacher. They are very different experiences, but they all have on thing in common. You can read about these things. But if you haven
ICYMI: Yes, It's Still Happening Edition (6/28)
I haven't reminded you for a while-- if you read something here that speaks to you, go to the original posting site and share that puppy. You have the power to amplify voices. Everything that ever went viral was shared one person at a time. So do your part and spread the word. An Experiment in the Socially-Distanced Classroom From the blog "Counting From Zero," some teachers head to the classroom
Florida Tightens The Public Education Noose
I have run out of words for Florida. It's been a little more than a year since I dubbed them "the worst," and there really isn't anything to add to that, except of course there is. The leadership positions under Governor Ron DeSantis 

The Blessings of Liberty Include Fully Public Education | Teacher in a strange land

The Blessings of Liberty Include Fully Public Education | Teacher in a strange land

The Blessings of Liberty Include Fully Public Education

wrote this blog on July 5, 2018–at a site that is now blocked by a paywall. Yesterday, I read Donald Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore, and his follow-up speech–pretty much the same blah-blah–at the White House, on July 4. When this popped up in my feed today, it felt as if I was naive then–that I had no idea just how far evil would rise, how a terrible crisis could drive the country even further apart. All of this still applies.

I played my flute in a patriotic-themed outdoor concert last night with the Northport Community Band–as cooling breezes blew across Grand Traverse Bay and firecrackers popped in the distance. There were at least 400 people seated in lawn chairs, clapping along to You’re a Grand Old Flag, The National Emblem and The Stars and Stripes Forever. We played a service medley, as we always do, asking veterans to stand when the tune representing their branch of the service was played. This is standard for our summer concerts–and I usually think of this as hokey, the musical equivalent of a ‘Support Our Troops!’ bumper sticker.
But last night, instead of zoning out during the rests, I watched the crowd–the old men struggling to get to their feet or simply waving from their wheelchairs as the crowd clapped and cheered for them. And I thought of all the major sacrifices–not just lives of young, innocent men and women, determined to serve their country, but the endless struggles for civil rights and equity and justice. I reflected on the striving, loss and pain incurred in the ongoing process of trying to make this nation a true democracy (or republic–take your choice).
The people who tartly point out that we have never been a just and fair nation are correct. But I don’t remember a Fourth of July where I’ve felt more discouraged about the home of the brave, land of the not-really free.
I also still feel a deep commitment, an obligation, to the relevant principles, even as CONTINUE READING: The Blessings of Liberty Include Fully Public Education | Teacher in a strange land

Announcing The 2020 “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award” Winners! – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Announcing The 2020 “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award” Winners! – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Announcing The 2020 “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award” Winners!

Meet the new winners of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award!

All around the nation young people are joining an uprising for Black Lives. These youth are not only rejecting police violence, but increasingly rejecting a system that allow the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and so many other Black people. These young people have also made clear they also want to build a school system that teaches the truth about Black history and uplifts Black people.
These rebellious youth are exactly why I founded the Seattle based Black Education Matters Student Activist Award (BEMSAA). This award offers a $1000 package to deserving Seattle public school students who demonstrates exceptional leadership in struggles for social justice against institutional racism
The BEMSAA board recently honored four of the most dynamic students activists in the struggle for Black lives who have been doing this work for years. I am so inspired by this year’s winners of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award. They have all contributed greatly to undoing institutional racism in the schools and the boarder society and have demonstrated brave leadership in struggles for social justice.

2020 BEMSAA Awardees: CONTINUE READING: Announcing The 2020 “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award” Winners! – I AM AN EDUCATOR

Wendy Lecker: Connecticut Charter Schools Are Double Dipping | Diane Ravitch's blog

Wendy Lecker: Connecticut Charter Schools Are Double Dipping | Diane Ravitch's blog

Wendy Lecker: Connecticut Charter Schools Are Double Dipping

Wendy Lecker is a civil rights attorney who writes often for the Stamford (Ct.) Advicate. she writes here about the disgraceful double dipping of charter schools in Connecticut, taking funds designated for public schools, then seeking and getting federal funds intended for small businesses.
Are charter schools to be defined as public schools or private businesses? When it’s time to get public money, they insist they are public schools, even though they are controlled by private boards. But when the money is for private businesses only, they line up to get the money. They are shape-shifters.
Lecker writes that the charters got their share of money intended for public schools:
With the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, Congress provided federal aid to public schools, and specifically directed that charter schools receive aid as public schools. Connecticut public school districts and charter schools are receive comparable aid under the CARES Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (“ESSERF”). For example, New Haven will receive about $8 million, so a CONTINUE READING: Wendy Lecker: Connecticut Charter Schools Are Double Dipping | Diane Ravitch's blog

EdAction in Congress July 5, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction in Congress July 5, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction in Congress July 5, 2020

New COVID-19 Senate bill provides relief for students and educators

As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ignored the resurgence of COVID-19 and shut down the Senate for two weeks, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act to help reopen schools and campuses safely and save educators’ jobs. The bill would provide $175 billion for K-12 schools, $132 billion for higher education, and $4 billion for the E-Rate program to help narrow the digital divide and close the homework gap—all NEA priorities.
The bill would also provide $12 billion for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and prevent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from using taxpayer dollars for voucher schemes instead of the public schools that educate 9 out of 10 students, as Congress intended. Learn more about McConnell and his enablers—five senators standing in the way of helping public schools now. And tell your senators to push for immediate action on the next coronavirus package. TAKE ACTION

House votes to provide $130 billion for school modernization

By a vote of 233-188, the House passed the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), which now includes the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act that provides significant support for modernizing public schools. Specifically, the bill would create a $100 billion grant program that targets high-poverty schools and a $30 billion tax-credit bond program for repairing, renovating, and modernizing school facilities that pose health and safety risks to students and staff. It would also provide $5 billion in funding to help close the digital divide and equip more students to go online. Nationwide, as many as 12 million students—1 in 5—are unable to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access. Now it is time for the Senate to act. TAKE ACTION

Cheers and Jeers

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ)voted for the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2).

Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure internet access for all K-12 students so they can do schoolwork at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked for unanimous consent to pass the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act passed by the House more than 400 days ago. The bill would create a path to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) objected to Sen. Durbin’s unanimous consent request on behalf of Senate Republicans.

EdAction in Congress July 5, 2020 - Education Votes