Tuesday, August 11, 2020

We Got Racism. Right Here in River City. | Teacher in a strange land

We Got Racism. Right Here in River City. | Teacher in a strange land

We Got Racism. Right Here in River City.


If you live in Michigan, you’ve probably read this story, which passed quickly from the local weekly to the nearest daily and public radio station, downstate to the Detroit News and Dateline Detroit—then off to the Washington Post and NBC.
Short synopsis: Old white Road Commission member in Leelanau County (Tom Eckerle, 75) makes egregiously racist remark, using the N-word, at a public meeting. When exposed, and contacted by other news outlets, he compounds the ugliness by using the word repeatedly and making eye-rollingly racist comments about Black Lives Matter and Detroit. County erupts in disgust, mostly, with some people defending him. A recall petition is initiated. The other Road Commission members send him a signed letter asking for his resignation. Even the Republican legislator serving the county asks him to resign, after a lengthy conversation to hear what he really thinks. After 48 hours of repeated insistence he will not resign—Tom Eckerle finally does.
And now, of course, if we are smart and principled, the real work begins. And by ‘real work’ I don’t mean all of that under-the-rug sweeping.
I live in Leelanau County. And I can attest that people make racist remarks here all the time. What made this instance unique was not what Mr. Eckerle said (although his blatant use of the N-word was appalling). It was the fact that it was reported, on the front page of the Leelanau Enterprise, as news. If the reporter (who was tuning into the meeting via phone) had just let his crapola go by (and by all accounts, this guy is full of crapola), the only people who would have been offended would be the other Road Commissioners and the two or three people listening in, waiting to discuss road business.
It is worth mentioning that Eckerle’s anti-BLM outburst was triggered by someone asking him to wear a mask. Think that through.
Leelanau County is the ‘little finger’ of the Michigan mitten. It is a peninsula, surrounded by the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay, and it is CONTINUE READING: We Got Racism. Right Here in River City. | Teacher in a strange land

How many NYC parents chose “blended learning”? | JD2718

How many NYC parents chose “blended learning”? | JD2718

How many NYC parents chose “blended learning”?



This is easy.
There are 1.1 million students in New York City.
The mayor and Chancellor want blended learning (hybrid) to take place in September. The Mayor has been boasting about it. The Chancellor has been boasting about. The Mayor and Chancellor have been pushing hard. There is not a strong, centrally organized resistance*.
.Which means the Mayor and the Chancellor have been able to rig things.

June Survey Results

How comfortable are you going to in-person school every day this fall, if there are health and safety measures like social distancing?Citywide Average
Very comfortable25%
Mostly comfortable31%
A little comfortable27%
Not at all comfortable17%
Does the chart look unfamiliar? Yes – I have easy access to 6 – 12 data. The k – 12 data I believe is even more wary.
You probably know, the Mayor and Chancellor dishonestly added the first three categories to claim a very high rate wanted to go back. They included “A little comfortable” – how is that honest?
We could also add the bottom three, and claim that the vast majority have questions.
Or we could do what most math-y people do, and make Very comfortable = 3, Mostly comfortable = 2, A little comfortable = 1, and Not at all comfortable = 0, and take the average. The citywide 6 – 12 average was 1.64. My school’s average was 1.79.
Why do I write “was”? Because these surveys were filled out in June. People are more nervous today. CONTINUE READING: How many NYC parents chose “blended learning”? | JD2718

Betsy DeVos publicly absent as critical decisions are made on public school reopenings

 Betsy DeVos publicly absent as critical decisions are made on public school reopenings

Betsy DeVos publicly absent as critical decisions are made on public school reopenings


DETROIT — As public schools grapple with the challenge of reopening during a pandemic, public education advocates are criticizing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for working remotely from Michigan, where she owns a sprawling waterfront estate with a round-the-clock security detail paid for by taxpayers.

And while keeping herself largely physically distanced as the coronavirus continues to spread, DeVos has been a forceful advocate for President Donald Trump's demand that schools reopen in full and in person — potentially placing millions of teachers and students at risk of infection.

It's a striking bit of mixed messaging for DeVos, a billionaire heiress, major GOP donor and charter school advocate who had no experience with public education before she became education secretary. DeVos is the nation's top education official as school administrators deal with one the biggest health crises facing the nation: how to safely bring 51 million American children back into classrooms or administer virtual education during a pandemic

Questions persist as to why DeVos requires full-time protection from the U.S. Marshals Service, which NBC News reported she began receiving shortly after she was confirmed — the only Cabinet official with such an arrangement. In all, her security detail has cost taxpayers at least $25 million, NBC News has learned.

The Marshals Service wouldn't comment on the arrangement or any specific security threat DeVos faces.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Rather than actively offer guidelines to public schools as they struggle with the immense financial and logistical challenges of reopening, DeVos told the Washington Examiner in June that she was working mostly remotely from Michigan, her home state — CONTINUE READING:  Betsy DeVos publicly absent as critical decisions are made on public school reopenings


Listen to this – 2020 #3 | Live Long and Prosper

 Listen to this – 2020 #3 | Live Long and Prosper

 Listen to this – 2020 #3



COVID-19, PUBLIC HEALTH, STARTING SCHOOL

The Covid-19 Experiment: Facing the Sins of a Nation that Quit Caring About Public Education Long Ago

Education is the largest portion of the budget in Indiana, yet it’s underfunded. People want services — like good public schools — but aren’t willing to pay for them. Hoosiers, like many Americans, are shortsighted and selfish. We aren’t thinking about the future when we underfund schools….and we have a tendency to think, “my kids have good schools, too bad for those other kids,” without realizing that the “other kids” futures have an impact on all of us. What could be more foolish than to allow more than half our children to live in poverty? As Carl Sagan said,

What kind of a future do we build for the country if we raise all these kids as disadvantaged, as unable to cope with the society, as resentful for the injustice served up to them? This is stupid.

We all benefit from good schools for everyone. We all do better…when we all do better.

From Nancy Bailey

Suddenly it’s important to have clean air to contain the virus. Crumbling facilities with poor ventilation systems have always made air questionable for the children and teachers in poor schools. I’m remembering past CONTINUE READING:  Listen to this – 2020 #3 | Live Long and Prosper

Teacher Tom: No One Knows How to Do this Better than You: A Short List of Things to Think About

Teacher Tom: No One Knows How to Do this Better than You: A Short List of Things to Think About

No One Knows How to Do this Better than You: A Short List of Things to Think About



A recent national survey found that over 70 percent of American families will be engaged in some form of homeschooling this fall. I don't know what the number is for families of preschool aged children, but I'm assuming it's similar.

Most schools are going to be relying on some version of online instruction, which from where I sit, and from where the school-agers in my life sit, and from where the pubic school teachers I've spoken with sit, is pretty close to useless, although, perhaps in some ways, for some kids, is better than nothing at all. As for preschoolers, medical professionals recommend no more than one hour of screen time per day, which is probably moot given that this is way longer than most of them will be able or willing to sit there no matter how much they love their teachers and friends. 

Some places are going to experiment with "hybrid" methods, which combine some mixture of live and remote learning, with kids attending school in shifts, in smaller, consistent groups. I imagine some preschools might try a version of this, but that still leaves parents on point for much of the week.

And then there are many families who will simply keep their preschoolers at home whatever their school offers because they don't want to tempt fate and because they can.

In other words, no matter how you slice it, there are going to be a lot families at home with their young children.

If you or someone you know finds yourself in this position, CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: No One Knows How to Do this Better than You: A Short List of Things to Think About

Why Dorothy Counts? – radical eyes for equity

 Why Dorothy Counts? – radical eyes for equity

Why Dorothy Counts? 



“I must admit this is a strange book,” Eddie S. Glaude Jr. explains in the “Introduction” to Begin Again, explaining:

It isn’t biography, although there are moments when it feels biographical; it is not literary criticism, although I read Baldwin’s nonfiction writings closely; and it is not straightforward history, even though the book, like Baldwin, is obsessed with history. Instead, Begin Again is some combination of all three in an effort to say something meaningful about our current times. (p. xviii)

One such “something meaningful” is quite large: “A moral reckoning is upon us, and we have to decide, once and for all, whether or not we will truly be a multiracial democracy” (p. xix).

Addressing that large scope for the book, Glaude navigates James Baldwin witnessing and confronting “the lie“:

The lie is more properly several sets of lies with a single purpose. If what I have called the “value gap” is the idea that in America white lives have always mattered more than the lives of others, then the lie is a broad and powerful architecture of false assumptions by which the value gap is maintained. These are the narrative assumptions that support the everyday order of American life, which means we breathe them like air. We count them as truths. We absorb them into our character. (p. 7; see Chapter One excerpt for a full explication of “the lie”)

But as Glaude notes about his own transition form Ralph Ellison to Baldwin CONTINUE READING:  Why Dorothy Counts? – radical eyes for equity

Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: Some of the problems with Duval Homeroom. SOME!!!!!!

Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: Some of the problems with Duval Homeroom. SOME!!!!!!

Some of the problems with Duval Homeroom. SOME!!!!!!



Duval Homeroom initially sounded great. The thought of high-risk teachers being able to teach from home was comforting to many, though unfortunately, it didn't work like that, and you had to apply and hope you get it. Then we learned that Duval Home from teachers would have to teach from the schools, and we all let out a collective what the %$#@, how does that make any sense.

I have since heard it is up to principals and asked the district for clarification.

Speaking of principals, I am told they have incredible leeway as to who is assigned teach in Duval Homeroom or not.

Several teachers told me their principals told them they were too strong, and they needed them in the classroom. The reward for doing a good job just became to risk your life.

Numerous teachers who signed up have said they are being turned into hybrid teachers who will see DHR children and those in the building, sometimes at the same time and sometimes at different times. This means their first period may be entirely B&M, their second entirely DHR, and their third a combination of both.

I am having a hard time visualizing being both a DHR and a B&M teacher at the same time, but I guess that CONTINUE READING: Mr. G for District 3: Chris Guerrieri's Education Matters: Some of the problems with Duval Homeroom. SOME!!!!!!

Jack Hassard: Georgia Is Not Ready to Open Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jack Hassard: Georgia Is Not Ready to Open Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jack Hassard: Georgia Is Not Ready to Open Schools



Jack Hassard has spent his career teaching science and training science teachers. He lives in Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp is determined to open schools without regard to the state of the virus.
Hassard says, based on the science, that Georgia is not ready to open its schools.
The infection rate in Georgia is unacceptably high at 13-16%.
It is important for us to use the science to make decisions about the lives of our citizens. At this time, it is not prudent to open schools in ways that bring hundreds of students into a school building. We have seen examples of crowded high school corridors, with most students not wearing masks. This should not be tolerated.
CBS News reported:
A Georgia high school that was featured in a viral photo showing students packed tightly in a hallway has closed temporarily after nine students and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV reports. North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, reopened for in-person learning August 3.
The school will be closed to in-person learning Monday CONTINUE READING: Jack Hassard: Georgia Is Not Ready to Open Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Indiana Education Head On Reopening Schools: Contact Tracing Is A 'Beast'

 Indiana Education Head On Reopening Schools: Contact Tracing Is A 'Beast' | 89.3 KPCC

Indiana Education Head On Reopening Schools: Contact Tracing Is A 'Beast'


In Indiana, school has started up for many students — or will in the next week. It's one of a majority of states where local districts will make most of the decisions about what school will look like this year.

Many districts across the state are bringing students back in person but are also offering online learning for those nervous about returning. Schools have already recorded positive coronavirus cases since reopening and had to adjust their plans, including shutting down temporarily.

In-person or online, staggered schedules and hybrid models, different criteria for when to open and when to shut back down — plans are changing "nonstop, which is frustrating for everybody involved," says Jennifer McCormick, who heads the Indiana Department of Education.

For students and staff who attend in person, and their families, contact tracing is key to keeping coronavirus cases down, public health experts say.

But McCormick tells NPR that that in particular has been one of the biggest challenges.

"That contact tracing is a beast," she tells Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition. "And in order to manage that and have the people to do it is really hard. And then on the CONTINUE READING:  Indiana Education Head On Reopening Schools: Contact Tracing Is A 'Beast' | 89.3 KPCC

Learning Relationships In The New Normal | The Jose Vilson

Learning Relationships In The New Normal | The Jose Vilson

LEARNING RELATIONSHIPS IN THE NEW NORMAL



This post is sponsored by WE Teachers, made possible by Walgreens. All opinions are my own.
The last conversation I had with students before the official end of the school year was between me and a few of my seventh graders. We talked about summer plans over Cardi B and Juice Wrld. We shared a snack together. The boys jockeyed for position as “best” virtual game player. The girls talked about the ways they’d miss school and their least favorite teacher. I didn’t participate in that one. As I ended the phone call, I winced at having to hang up. What does it mean to have an unofficial, face-to-face, end-of-school back in March then have an official, virtual end-of-school hangout in June?
One thing’s for sure: that episode wouldn’t have been possible without the relationships I had already established from September to March.
In different circles, I proposed that schools shouldn’t start classes with some of the usual routines we’ve seen and heard. Schools should take a good inventory of the people and things we’ve lost, the ways our relationship to school changed, and what’s drastically changed since our last set of interactions. As the majority of school districts opt to start school virtually, schools have to shift their relationships from the technocratic headquarters for academic learning of the recent past to the child-centered hubs for well-rounded growth for the present and future.
A trauma-informed school has been important to children’s nurturing prior to this moment. A CONTINUE READING: Learning Relationships In The New Normal | The Jose Vilson

NYC Public School Parents: Risks and benefits in reopening NYC schools & how fewer than half of parents appear to have decided

NYC Public School Parents: Risks and benefits in reopening NYC schools & how fewer than half of parents appear to have decided

Risks and benefits in reopening NYC schools & how fewer than half of parents appear to have decided



On Friday, the NYC Department of Education posted the latest update to their reopening plan. It contained two big revisions from the one previously released:  Now schools will be able apply to exempt themselves from providing in-person or blended learning to all the students whose parents opt into that choice, if they can show either of the following criteria are true:
  • “The recommended models are not feasible given space, staffing, family choice and expected in-person attendance.”
  • “Schools have unique programmatic needs that must be addressed, to better meet the needs of the community and the proposed exception has staff and parental support. “
In these “limited” cases, schools will be asked to explain why existing models do not meet their community’s needs and how the proposed model better responds to their ability to program their space with existing staffing.
I would guess that most of the large high schools, many of which are overcrowded and in which scheduling will be challenging to say the least, will opt into remote learning only. 
Other schools may apply to give preferences to in-person learning to certain populations,  such as students with disabilities, English Language Learners, or those in temporary housing.  The DOE says that in any case, “ no other group of students can be prioritized in a way that is to the detriment of students with disabilities for in-person instruction. As long as all students with disabilities’ needs are met, other groups can be prioritized for in-person instruction over the general population.”
As experts have pointed out previously , it makes sense to prioritize elementary school kids, along with  especially vulnerable students as listed above, for in-person learning, both because they tend to do especially poorly with remote instruction and also because younger kids have been shown to transmit the virus less effectively. 
The Governor’s benchmark for safe reopening, following Johns Hopkins and others, is 5%, while the Mayor’s is a less restrictive 3%.  Many  public health experts and epidemiologists agree that NYC schools seem to be in the best position of any large district in the country to offer face-to-face learning, with an COVID positivity rate of only about one percent.  
Our positivity rate is very low and the lowest we are likely to see until there is an effective vaccine, which could take a year or more to be developed and widely adopted. By borough, according to the state, the current positivity rates ranges from 1.3% in the Bronx,  .9% in Staten Island and Brooklyn, .8% in Queens and .6% in Manhattan.
However, and this is a big however, schools should be reopened only if they can adopt rigorous safety and health protocols.
One of the biggest risks to safety right now is the poor ventilation in many NYC schools.  Ventilation is a critical issue, as closed and stuffy rooms will intensify the risks of CONTINUE READING: NYC Public School Parents: Risks and benefits in reopening NYC schools & how fewer than half of parents appear to have decided



NYC Educator: UFT Executive Board August 10, 2020--What the Hell Is Going On Here?

NYC Educator: UFT Executive Board August 10, 2020--What the Hell Is Going On Here?

UFT Executive Board August 10, 2020--What the Hell Is Going On Here?




Roll call--5:50

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--welcomes us 6:01 PM. 

Minutes--approved via email

UFT  President Michael Mulgrew--6:04--We need to look at numbers within last two weeks. Appears that there's no neighborhood at 3% or over at this moment. We will continue to check. 

We are considering legal actions, and we need to say there's a clear and present danger to prevail. Anything we went to court over would simply give city a month to fix it at this point. 

We must prepare for either opening or remote. We have to do all we can to keep everyone safe, hold city's feet to the fire. They have a plan, but not many details. We know what we need, but it isn't there yet. We will train 100 people as COVID task force. We've already started visiting schools. Largest problem is ventilation. 

We need eyes on PPE, eyes on processes at school level. Thanks 100 people for taking on this process. 

As far as strike or job action, we are prepared to do whatever we need to do if we don't feel things are safe. Everyone has to understand, if we go to court and fail to get an injunction, members need to understand what striking means. We will talk about them. We're not near that yet, but we need to give people good information on which to base decisions.

We will be in every school building in NYC before they open up.

Around rest of country, we see school after school closed right after they open. These states are on fire with COVID. We aren't near that, but we shouldn't open unless we are safe. City Hall has completely lost our trust. We will continue to do our work and prepare. I'm prepared to face whatever penalties if necessary.

15% of teacher have medical accommodations. 20% or more of students have opted out. Parents can opt out at any time. These numbers will continue to grow. 

21 districts opened today with high COVID levels, and are closing quickly. How can we insure we won't go through the same thing? Should we test everyone who enters a school CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: UFT Executive Board August 10, 2020--What the Hell Is Going On Here?


TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE – Dad Gone Wild

 TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE – Dad Gone Wild

TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE


“What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

“Where’s jazz going? I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.”
― Thelonious Monk

 

The day begins as most do around the Weber household. My nine-year-old son Peter is in the recliner with his Ipad. I’m sitting with my laptop catching up on the morning’s news. A record plays in the background, providing the soundtrack for our lives. This morning it happens to be the Beatle’s Rubber Soul.

“Daddy,” Peter says from the chair, “They should just wait to start school till they can do it in person.”

“Yeah buddy, that’s not going to happen,” I respond.

“Why?”

“Because that’s the decision they’ve made.”

“And you agree with every decision they make? Come on Daddy.”

He goes on to expound on why he’s not a fan of online learning. It’s boring. Kids have trouble learning in person, how do we expect them to do it on a computer. There are so many glitches that you don’t really get to learn. Don’t people know what real school looks like? He closes with the observation that many of those making decisions about schooling haven’t actually been in class for a decade and so he graciously volunteers his spot in order to provide them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the classroom.

His comments are not unlike those I hear frequently expressed on social media and in private parent conversations on a regular basis. Teachers and administrators are working diligently to smooth the rough edges, but digital learning is very much a work in progress. That is the essential thought to remember right now – It’s a work in progress

The way virtual learning looks today is not the way it is going to look next month. And it will CONTINUE READING:  TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE – Dad Gone Wild


CURMUDGUCATION: James Blew: Pushing More Headscratching Arguments for USED

 CURMUDGUCATION: James Blew: Pushing More Headscratching Arguments for USED

James Blew: Pushing More Headscratching Arguments for USED


These days, James Blew's official title is Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the US Department of Education. He's held that job since the Senate confirmed him in July of 2018.

This guy.

That confirmation was a narrow 50-49 party line vote, perhaps because Blew's previous history is focused on dismantling US public education. He was director of Student Success California, part of the 50CAN reformy network, and he served a stint as president of StudentsFirst, the national reform advocacy group founded by Michelle Rhee, former DC chancellor and ed reform's Kim Kardashian. He was the director of the Walton family Foundation's K-12 "reform investments" for 11 years. His background is, of course, not education, but business, politics and "communications."

In short, he's a solid part of the team of foxes guarding the US education hen house.

In late July, he showed (virtually) up at the annual national (virtual) seminar held by the Education Writers Association. The session underlines the current batch of talking points being used by the department, in particular capturing some of the serious cognitive dissonance and headscratching involved. Beth Hawkins covered the interview, and did a handy job.

Blew joined in the declaration that Covid-19 highlights the need for choice, because parents might 
CONTINUE READING:  CURMUDGUCATION: James Blew: Pushing More Headscratching Arguments for USED

NANCY BAILEY: The Covid-19 Experiment: Facing the Sins of a Nation that Quit Caring About Public Education Long Ago

 The Covid-19 Experiment: Facing the Sins of a Nation that Quit Caring About Public Education Long Ago

The Covid-19 Experiment: Facing the Sins of a Nation that Quit Caring About Public Education Long Ago


Using the word “experimenting” when it comes to opening schools is not comforting to parents and teachers. For teachers, it’s like rubbing salt in a wound. What this pandemic has brought to light are the past inequities of public education, inequities that have been all about dismantling America’s public schools. It has included the disregard and disrespect of professional teachers who hold schools together.

Suddenly it’s important to have clean air to contain the virus. Crumbling facilities with poor ventilation systems have always made air questionable for the children and teachers in poor schools. I’m remembering past students who dealt with allergies and asthma, who’d come to school ill and struggle to learn. Their test scores obviously affected my school’s standardized testing performance. Who listened then?

I’ve been in a modern school that likely practiced deferred maintenance to save money. The classrooms had large intake valves in the ceilings surrounded by dust. The same school lacked soap in the restroom during flu season. Suddenly, America’s schools are supposed to be immaculate to ward off the virus.

Teachers have been mocked by politicians and reformers for years when they begged to have class sizes lowered. Now the huge numbers of students and overcrowded CONTINUE READING:  The Covid-19 Experiment: Facing the Sins of a Nation that Quit Caring About Public Education Long Ago

DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG TODAY? A site to discuss better education for all

 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all


DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG TODAY? 

A site to discuss better education for all



What Trump’s Executive Orders Really Do
David Dayen writes the blog “Unsanitized” for the American Prospect. In this post, he explains what Trump’s executive orders really do. Please open the links to see the many embedded links. After weeks of unproductive talks with Democrats bending but the White House unyielding, over the weekend Donald Trump issued three memoranda and an executive order that, at this moment, reflect the only addit
Leonie Haimson: The Risks and Benefits of Opening New York City Schools
Leonie Haimson summarizes the pluses and minuses of reopening schools in New York City. She points out: Many public health experts and epidemiologists agree that NYC schools seem to be in the best position of any large district in the country to offer face-to-face learning, with an COVID positivity rate of only about one percent. Our positivity rate is very low and the lowest we are likely to see
A Face Mask That Teachers Should Consider
NPR had a story recently about a face mask designed to help those who are deaf and hard of hearing . It has a large plastic panel that reveals the mouth and aids those who read lips. It’s not just those with hearing loss who are clamoring for cloth face masks that have a see-through panel. They are a hot item among teachers, for example, and others who work with children or the elderly. Vendors o
Bob Shepherd: How to Use Remote Learning Wisely
Bob Shepherd. Is a former teacher, editor, curriculum designer, and assessment developer. He believes that a return to in-person instruction would be “an unprecedented catastrophe.” But he defines remote learning as a guarantee that any real learning will be remote. How to find a path forward give the dangers of reopening and the tedium of remote learning? He writes: Clearly, if we are to depend
Jack Hassard: Georgia Is Not Ready to Open Schools
Jack Hassard has spent his career teaching science and training science teachers. He lives in Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp is determined to open schools without regard to the state of the virus. Hassard says, based on the science, that Georgia is not ready to open its schools . The infection rate in Georgia is unacceptably high at 13-16%. It is important for us to use the science to make de
Is Brian Kemp of Georgia the Dumbest Governor?
That’s a trick question because a Governor Kemp has stiff competition from several other governors, such as Florida’s Ron DeSantis. Politico interviewed Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. He said his early reopening of schools for full-time in-person instruction was going really well, except for the photo that went viral of high school students packed together in a hall while changing classes. Under Ke
Today is the Anniversary of Magellan’s Voyage
This account was posted on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.” It was on this date in 1519 that the explorer Ferdinand Magellan set off to sail around the world. Although he was Portuguese, Magellan had sworn allegiance to Spain, and he began the journey with a fleet of five ships and 270 men to see if he could accomplish what Columbus had failed to: find a navigable route to Asia that did
Trump Wants His Face on Mount Rushmore
Trump believes he is one of the greatest presidents ever. He is surrounded by enablers who encourage his fantasies. Those who speak truth to Trump are soon fired. Think Mattis, Kelly, Tillerson. James Hohmann writes today in the Washington Post: President Trump said Sunday night that etching his likeness in granite on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln a
New Orleans: Why Some Charter Teachers Want to Join a Union
The Education Research Alliance of New Orleans just released a study of why some charter teachers in the nation’s only all-charter district want to join a union. Their reasons sound very much like the reasons that teachers in public schools want a union. No one told them that the Waltons, charter lobbyists, and other supporters of the charter movement don’t like unions. Immediately after Hurrican
Gary Rubinstein Reviews Thomas Sowell’s Book About Charter Schools
Gary Rubinstein reviews Thomas Sowell’s recent book about charter schools and their enemies. Thomas Sowell is an economist and a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution. He is African American and has long been highly critical of affirmative action and anything that smacks of lowered standards for black students. He is a hard-right libertarian. Many years ago, we were friends, and I
Mercedes Schneider: My Pandemic Classroom
Mercedes Schneider teaches high school in Louisiana. She is supposed to resume full-time, in person instruction in a few weeks, although her state has a 14% positivity rate for COVID. She describes how she will rearrange her classroom and how she will teach, in detail. I am the teacher, and I am supposed to limit my movement in my own classroom. Is every conversation with a student to be said lou

Teacher: The Hidden Scandal in U.S. Education
A teacher in the District of Columbia wrote about the hidden scandal in public education: crumbling buildings. She writes: For all the debate about why schools should not open … the most obvious elephant in the room is invisible 

 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all