Sunday, August 16, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Bloggaversary Edition (9/16)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Bloggaversary Edition (9/16)



Bloggaversary Edition (9/16)

Back on this date in 2014, I put up my first post on this blog. I took me a month or two to figure out what I was doing, but here we are, a few years, about 3750 posts, and over 9 million hits later, still plugging away. Traditional anniversary gifts are either candy or iron, so I will eat some chocolate today in honor of the occasion.

In the meantime, here are some items to read. I'll repeat my standard request-- if it speaks to yu, share it. I have an audience not because I'm some blazing light of wisdom, but because people have over the years boosted my signal, shared my stuff, passed me along. You can do that, too. If you think something is worth reading, pass it on.

Why Bother Testing in 2021  
At Diane Ravitch's blog, David Berliner and Gene Glass lay out the reasons that this would be a good year to just skip the Big Standardized Test.

Why I'm Okay With My Kids "Falling Behind."
At Salon, Mary Elizabeth Williams lays out why she has bigger things to care about than having her kids catch up to some imaginary bunch of benchmarks.

The Covid Experiment: Facing the Sins of a Nation That Quit Caring About Public Education Long Ago
Nancy Bailey looks at how the current crisis suffers from years of neglecting public education.

Nurse Leverage
When a nurse wrote a piece castigating teachers for not getting back to work, she touched off a firestorm of replies. Here's one of the better ones, from Stone Pooch.

We Got Racism, Right Here In River City
Nancy Flanagan looks at a little outburst of racist baloney that got national attention. It's a reminder of some larger problems that are not going away easily.

Ed Tech Cashes in on the Pandemic
Gayle Greene provides a good overview of how the pandemic is pushing the replacement of live human education with screens, screens, and more screens.

Fewer Students Are Benefiting From Doing Homework  
Unless you want to fork over money for the actual paper, all you get here is the abstract of this 11 year study. It is not exactly news-- technology has made it easier to "generate" answers for homework, making the homework a big waste of time. But now there's apparently researach to back this up.

You Made Me Enforce Useless Dress Codes for Years. Don't Claim Face Masks Go Too Far
At EdWeek, a teacher points out the obvious--administrative complaints that they can't make mask wearing more than a suggestion are just baloney.

Oklahoma County Judge Fines Epic Charter  
Epic charter schools tried to shut up an Oklahoma state senator; now they've been slapped with a half million dollar fine for it.

Success Academy Settles Discrimination Suit  
Gary Rubinstein notes that Success Academy just settled a years-old lawsuit brought by some families over the treatment by the charter school powerhouse.  It's not cheap.

Learning Relationships In The New Normal  
Jose Luis Vilson with some useful insights about what really matters in the return to pandemic schools.

Cake, in the manner of Trump administration guidance for reopening schools   
Laugh and cry as Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post imagines what baking a cake would look like if the Trump administration brought the same clear leadership that they've applied to school reopening.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Bloggaversary Edition (9/16)


CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION


Schools Should Scrap The Big Standardized Test This Year - https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2020/08/14/schools-should-scrap-the-big-standardized-test-this-year/#a2db7cc79f59 by @palan57 on @forbes


Report: Are Charter Schools A Big Risk For Families? - https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2020/08/07/report-are-charter-schools-a-big-risk-for-families/#423dc8bc4986 by @palan57 on @forbes

TODAY

ICYMI: Bloggaversary Edition (9/16)
Back on this date in 2014, I put up my first post on this blog. I took me a month or two to figure out what I was doing, but here we are, a few years, about 3750 posts, and over 9 million hits later, still plugging away. Traditional anniversary gifts are either candy or iron, so I will eat some chocolate today in honor of the occasion. In the meantime, here are some items to read. I'll repeat my s
RI: Foxes In The Governor's Mansion
I haven't paid much attention to Rhode Island (motto: That State Nobody Pays Much Attention To), but we should all take a look, because Rhode Island has become yet another example of the many ways that privatizers and profiteers get their hands into the cookie jar. These frickin' people We start with Gina Raimondo , a venture capitalist who decided to get into politics via the office of state trea
MI: Mobile Billboard Stalks DeVos
Protect Our Public Schools is a group of retired teachers and other stakeholders working out of Livonia, Michigan. While their reach may not be large nor their pockets deep, they have come up with a fun way to demand Betsy DeVos's attention. While demanding that public schools be open and full this fall, DeVos herself has been working remotely from one of the family mansions . POPS has been calli
AEI: Previewing New Reformy Rhetoric
Over at AEI, Robert C. Enlow and Jason Bedrick have some thoughts for new, improved rhetoric for pushing school choice. It's worth a look to see where the argument is headed in the year ahead. Enlow is the president/CEO of EdChoice (formerly the Milton Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice). Bed rick is the director of policy at EdChoice , as well as a scholar the Cato Institute. Given their
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
Why Isn't AI More Widely Used?
That's the question that Wired asked last month , and it's important to consider because even as a truckload of ed tech folks are "predicting" (aka "marketing") a future in which ed tech is awash in shiny Artificial Intelligence features that read students minds and develop instantaneous perfectly personalized instructional materials. Why is it, do you supposed, that AI is being thrust at educatio
To Teachers Contemplating Retirement
This fall marks the beginning of my third go round of starting the school year as a retiree. Thanks to the pandemic, it's in some ways the hardest year so far. I get that the pandemic is also giving many teachers pause to consider whether or not to go back. Here (expanded from a twitter thread) are my thoughts. One of the hard parts of retirement is managing the guilt. You're leaving your friends
ICYMI: Rising Anxiety Edition (8/9)
Just trying to hold it together? Join the very large and ever-growing club. Here's some reading to pass the time. Kindergarten Reading Push: Still Problematic During the Pandemic Nancy Bailey with a reminder that the 
CURMUDGUCATION - http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/

Some Days You Feel Nostalgic and Sad | Cloaking Inequity

Some Days You Feel Nostalgic and Sad | Cloaking Inequity

SOME DAYS YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC AND SAD




It was a honor to serve on the Board of the The NEA Foundation. I’m sad and disappointed to term out. We had our final meeting this week via Zoom and honestly I didn’t want to hang up as the board bantered at the end of the call— it was quite emotional for me after serving 7 years on the Board. It became real for me today when the departing board member “good-bye vase” that I have seen so many other board members receive over the years showed up on my doorstep via FedEx.
However, I am heartened. There is an evolving conversation on the Board about how the NEA Foundation will move forward with a vision for community-based education policy and initiatives that are the anti-thesis of what Walton, Gates, Broad and Arnold Foundations are always funding. The new strategies are incredibly promising and I wish I could say more about what the NEA Foundation board is planning.
The only thing that doesn’t change is change.
Alas, I will also be joining two new boards in the coming weeks. In those new roles I will continue to seek to impact the lives of children from historically marginalized communities.
Please take a walk down memory lane with me from the NEA Foundation Gala 2014-2020.


Sharing is caring: Some Days You Feel Nostalgic and Sad | Cloaking Inequity

Katherine Stewart: Betsy DeVos’s Plot to Transfer Public Funds to Private Schools During the Pandemic | Diane Ravitch's blog

Katherine Stewart: Betsy DeVos’s Plot to Transfer Public Funds to Private Schools During the Pandemic | Diane Ravitch's blog

Betsy DeVos’s Plot to Transfer Public Funds to Private Schools During the Pandemic




Katherine Stewart, a scholar of rightwing evangelicals, writes in The New Republic about Betsy DeVos’s brazen transfer of public funds to private schools during the pandemic. Stewart is the author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. Stewart surveys the generous distribution of federal funds to private and religious schools, far more generous than the federal money for public schools. As you have read in numerous posts and in a study by the Network for Public Education, charter schools, which enroll about 6% of American students collected $1 billion to $2 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program. Stewart shows that private and religious schools collected even more. This was no accident. It is part of DeVos’s long-term goal of destroying public education.
She writes:

How much more does the Trump administration value the children of elite private and religious schools than the children who attend public schools? We can answer the question with some hard numbers. Public school students merit something like $266 apiece in extra pandemic-related funding. Kids attending the right private schools are worth $5,000 each or possibly much more.


EdAction in Congress August 16, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction in Congress August 16, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction in Congress August 16, 2020



Administration’s response to COVID-19 threatens Social Security and Medicare

“Impasse,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) when asked about the status of negotiations over legislation to address the damage from COVID-19. It is unclear when—or if—negotiations will resume. Meanwhile, students and educators are suffering because of the administration’s failure to implement a coherent, comprehensive, science-based plan to combat the pandemic and reopen schools safely. President Trump’s unilateral, four-part response to the crisis falls disastrously short of what is needed.
Federal unemployment benefits for 30 million Americans are being cut in half—from $600 to $300 a week. The administration is encouraging states to provide an additional $100 a week, but few if any can afford to do so. Payments will take a few weeks to get going and could last just 5-6 weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The so-called eviction moratorium neither protects renters from eviction nor helps those who have fallen behind on their rent—it is a memorandum that directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to “promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure.” There’s no plan to help people get out from under months of payments.
The student loan moratorium extends the suspension of payments for four months (through December 2020) instead of a full year (through September 2021) as the HEROES Act would do. The moratorium does not apply to the 8 million borrowers with commercially held loans or Perkins grants.
Potentially worst of all, President Trump has suspended collection of the payroll tax that funds Social Security and Medicare for the rest of this year—a backdoor approach to dismantling both programs as we know them. He has pledged to cancel the tax permanently if reelected—a move that would put their very existence of these essential programs at extreme risk. It’s bad enough that seniors and people with disabilities are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using it as a subterfuge to undermine their financial security is unconscionable and unacceptable. TAKE ACTION

Cheers and Jeers

Rep. Marc Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) enumerating and urging support for NEA’s top priorities for COVID-19 legislation.
Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, held a remote hearing on safely reopening schools, in which Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to participate. “I find it hard to understand how Secretary DeVos can expect to lead our nation’s efforts to safely educate our children during this pandemic if she refuses to speak directly to Congress or the American people,” he said.
Rep. John Larson (D-CT), Chairman of the Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee, vowed to stop President Trump’s plan to “dismantle and defund” Social Security in a video distributed to the House and posted on Twitter.

EdAction in Congress August 16, 2020 - Education Votes

Job Posting: ELA Teacher Who Is Also Nurse, COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Specialist, and More | Diane Ravitch's blog

Job Posting: ELA Teacher Who Is Also Nurse, COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Specialist, and More | Diane Ravitch's blog

Job Posting: ELA Teacher Who Is Also Nurse, COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Specialist, and More




Samuel Jayne Tanner and Ben Stasny write a satirical posting for a middle-school English language arts teacher that appeared in McSweeny’s.
Area School District is looking for a Language Arts Teacher/ Cheerleading Coach/ Custodian/ Nurse to help lead our COVID-19 and anti-racism instruction during this unprecedented moment.
The Language Arts Teacher/ Cheerleading Coach/ Custodian/ Nurse/ COVID-19 & Anti-Racism Specialist will be responsible for providing equitable grammatical, emotional, health, school spirit, and hygiene counsel to students. In these turbulent times, guidance for our students is more important than it has ever been before. This position will also provide an overall vision for COVID-19 relief and anti-racism throughout our middle school program as well as design a non-contact floor routine. The Language Arts Teacher/ Cheerleading Coach/ Custodian/ Nurse/ COVID-19 & Anti-Racism Specialist must step-up and deliver the steady, immersive leadership that is required in this new normal…


Applicants should drive up to the first available COVID testing tent in our faculty parking lot and call our front CONTINUE READING: Job Posting: ELA Teacher Who Is Also Nurse, COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Specialist, and More | Diane Ravitch's blog

CDC says child COVID cases are ‘steadily increasing’ — despite Trump claiming kids are ‘almost immune’ – Raw Story

CDC says child COVID cases are ‘steadily increasing’ — despite Trump claiming kids are ‘almost immune’ – Raw Story

CDC says child COVID cases are ‘steadily increasing’ — despite Trump claiming kids are ‘almost immune’



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with guidance “to reflect new evidence about COVID-19 in children.”
“The number and rate of cases in children in the United States have been steadily increasing from March to July 2020. The true incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is not known due to lack of widespread testing and the prioritization of testing for adults and those with severe illness,” the CDC noted.
“It is unclear whether children are as susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 compared with adults and whether they can transmit the virus as effectively as adults. Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings,” the CDC warned.
“Due to community mitigation measures and school closures, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to and among children may have been reduced in the United States during the pandemic in the spring and early summer of 2020. This may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults. Comparing trends in pediatric infections before and after the return to in-person school and other activities may provide additional understanding about infections in children,” the CDC explained.
While children have lower hospitalization rates than adults, those who are admitted are just as likely to end up in intensive care.
“Recent COVID-19 hospitalization surveillance data shows that the CONTINUE READING: CDC says child COVID cases are ‘steadily increasing’ — despite Trump claiming kids are ‘almost immune’ – Raw Story