Sunday, September 13, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Rainy Sunday Edition (9/13)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Rainy Sunday Edition (9/13)



Rainy Sunday Edition

A quiet rainy morning here in PA. And can't we all use a little peace and quiet. I've got a few things for you to read this week.

FLVS Frustrations  
A lot of money has ben pumped into the Florida Virtual School, but nobody seems to be in charge. How's that working out? Accountabaloney takes a look (and you should pay attention, because FLVS has contracted itself out to a few other states).

POLITICO charter article misses the point  
Jan Resseger takes a look at a recent Politico article chiding Joe Biden for his charter position, or lack thereof. As always, a thoughtful, well-researched response.

Learning the Wrong Lesson About Education Reform  
An excerpt from Andrea Gabor's book After the Education Wars (which you should read) in the Saturday Evening Post.

Remote Learning Is Turning Classrooms Into Police States  
At Salon, a look at how some schools are way way over the top in rule enforcement for their distantly earning students.

CC broke the law; so does defunding schools using 1619  
From Jay Greene's blog, we get a look at what some on the right think about Trump's proposed punishment for schools using the NYT 1619 project-- they don't like it.

Teach for America's congressional intern program  
One of TFA's little tricks for building its influence is to offer congresspeople free intern's. One more way in which TFA is troub le beyond its unprepared classroom tourists.

Cyber schools may benefit from the pandemic, but that doesn't mean their students do  
The Philadelphia Enquirer points out the Pennsylvania's cyber schools are not so great for students. "Not just disaster capitalism, but a disaster."

Midwest dispatch: the gospel of school choice 
Somehow I missed this when it first dropped. I wish Sarah Lahm wrote more. Here she is at the Progressive looking at some of the side-effects of the charter movement (hypersegregation, anyone?) in the midwest.

Musical Chairs  
Here's the story of how on Iowa school district is skirting the rules like a contrarian seventh grader following the letter and sneering at the spirit.

Florida schools defy DeSantis 
Meanwhile, in Florida, school districts are defying the governor's order to keep covid stats under wraps.

The Costs of Cutting School Spending   
A look back at the results of the Great Cutting of 2008, with an eye toward tyhe big cuts that are happening right now. From Education Next, but still work a read.

Are Your Students Watching History?
Nancy Flanagan considers the question of just how much real-time history should be let into the classroom.

How DeVos was thwarted 
Now that it's all done, here's Wendy Lecker explaining how Betsy DeVos's illegal plan to funnel CARES money to private schools was stopped by court.

Half of PA schools don't have a teacher of color 
A shocking stat. Sojourner Ahebee is at NPR with the story of why that's a hard problem to solve.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Rainy Sunday Edition (9/13)



CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION



Where Is Joe Biden On Public Education? - https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2020/09/12/where-is-joe-biden-on-public-education/#117812072f9b by @palan57 on @forbes

Strike Three! Another Federal Court Ends A Betsy DeVos Plan To Use Public Money For Private Schools - https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2020/09/05/strike-three-another-federal-court-ends-betsy-devos-plan-to-use-public-money-for-private-schools/#4a5822c916ef by @palan57 on @forbes

The Problem With Betsy DeVos And The ‘Right Fit’ - https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2020/09/03/the-problem-with-betsy-devos-and-the-right-fit/#725871ac34ef by @palan57 on @forbes



School Choice Is Not For Those People
Choice fans promote the idea as one the provides each family with the school of their dreams. Everyone, declares Betsy DeVos, should have a school that provides the right fit. Well, almost everybody. Two recent stories underline that what families can choose is what the folks in charge of the marketplace decide they can choose. In Indiana, a lawsuit has emerged from one of several incidents of pr
About Those Digital Natives
Now that so many schools are leaping back into the ed tech abyss with both feet and a few other limbs as well, the term "digital native" is turning up again, and it's just as silly as ever. Everyone who is scared about facing off against the digital native tribe in the digitized computerized distance learning world needs to take a deep breath. The term was coined by Marc Prensky , a writer who beg
The Biden Education Red Flags
Before I get started here, let me be clear about one thing--it is almost impossible to imagine a candidate worse for public education than Donald Trump. His "polan" for education has only two items-- school choice (via vouchers) for everyone, and make every school teach American exceptionalism, which, given his recent assaults on the 1619 project and diversity training , appears to mean getting ba
A Robot Wrote An Article. I'm Not Concerned Yet.
The tech world continues its attempts to build a computer that can do language. It's not easy, as witnessed by the fact that they still haven't succeeded. But then, we don't really know how the human brain does language, either. The current leading construct for computer-generated English is GPT-3. It can do 175 billion parameters (its predecessor had 1.5 billion). It uses deep learning. It is the
DeVos Says We're All In This Together. Ha!
So this just popped up on my feed: This #BackToSchool season may be different than any other, but we’re all in this together. To all the parents, students and educators rising to meet the challenge in new ways and places, you’ve got this! Let’s make it a great year! pic.twitter.com/1Qo9Cd2HW7 — Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) September 8, 2020 So much to unpack. First, who's this "we"? Becau
Report: Are Charter Schools A Big Risk For Families?
In a new report, the Network for Public Education shows how big a gamble it can be to enroll your child in a charter school. And the odds are not in parents’ favor. “ Broken Promises: An Analysis of Charter School Closures From 1999-2017 ” is a deep dive into the data surrounding patterns of charter closure and the number of students affected by those closures, especially those in high poverty ar
Bulletins From The Trailing Edge Of The Pandemic
If it can work anywhere, it can work here. I live in a county in NW PA, with relatively small population (50K or so). And our schools are all open. We have been subject to the same rules as the rest of the state, and like pretty much everything in PA, the folks in charge have made their rules based on Pittsburgh, Philly and Harrisburg. This is Trump country, so plenty of folks are anti-maskers, bu
ICYMI: Labor Day Weekend Edition (9/6)
While you're enjoying your socially distant cookouts and celebrations this weekend, take a moment to thank the labor movement that made things like weekends possible. In the meantime, here's some reading from the week. This Teacher Turned Remote Learning Into A Road Trip There are many cool parts to this story (including the part where her administration greenlights it, because administrators who
Will The Pandemic Give DeVos Her $5 Billion Voucher Scheme
Betsy DeVos has been pitching "Education Freedom" as long as she's been in office. It's a tax credit scholarship scheme, which is to say, a voucher program that would blow a $5 billion hole in the federal budget, but would be a real 
CURMUDGUCATION - http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/

Can Covid-19 Take School Reform in a New and Different Direction? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Can Covid-19 Take School Reform in a New and Different Direction? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Can Covid-19 Take School Reform in a New and Different Direction?




Covid-19 offers the opportunity to think anew and differently about the direction of schooling in America. Chances are it won’t happen.
Consider mandated state tests. U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos said states could waive the spring tests which occurred at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. As to whether the Secretary of Education will permit states to waive the fall administration of those tests is yet to be decided. In mid-July, one of her Assistant Secretaries said that “[a]ccountability aside, we need to know where students are so we can address their needs.” He told reporters that “Our instinct would not be to give those waivers.”
Now, that is goofy. Since the default option for schooling has been remote instruction during the spring and fall semesters with some districts opting for hybrids of it and in-person classroom lessons. What makes a decision to give state tests as mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (2016) particularly dumb is that student attendance rates that usually run above 90-95 percent during the 36-week school year have been running well below that figure and in some instances 80 percent attendance especially for those schools with high numbers of low-income minorities (see herehere, and here).
Moreover, continuing technical lapses have occurred before and during remote CONTINUE READING: Can Covid-19 Take School Reform in a New and Different Direction? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

CURMUDGUCATION: About Those Digital Natives

CURMUDGUCATION: About Those Digital Natives

About Those Digital Natives



Now that so many schools are leaping back into the ed tech abyss with both feet and a few other limbs as well, the term "digital native" is turning up again, and it's just as silly as ever. Everyone who is scared about facing off against the digital native tribe in the digitized computerized distance learning world needs to take a deep breath.

The term was coined by Marc Prensky, a writer who began his career as a teacher and who wrote an article about the topic in 2001.

On the one hand, he has a bit of a point. When a culture transitions from one medium to another, there are bumps. Go back to when a culture moves from oral to written, and you'll find a bunch of old farts complaining about how Kids These Days don't have any of the old skills and they can't tell stories and they don't remember things as well. The transition to a digital world is going to have some transitional problems of the same sort.

Still, I taught digital natives for years, and they have become gradually less and less tech-capable. Mostly what most digital natives know is how to work their favorite phone apps.

This is the normal trajectory for new tech. When automobiles first emerged, everyone who owned one also owned a tool box and work gloves, because if you were going to have a car, you needed to CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: About Those Digital Natives

EdAction in Congress September 13, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction in Congress September 13, 2020 - Education Votes

EdAction in Congress September 13, 2020




McConnell fails students and educators yet again

After coming back from a month-long vacation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) failed last week to advance a “skinny” coronavirus relief package, leaving little time to regroup before the Senate adjourns until after the November elections. S. 178, the defeated bill, was an insult to the families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and to the many other families struggling to stay afloat. More than one-quarter of the language in the 300-page measure dealt with liability protections for businesses, workplaces, schools, and campuses, with scant attention paid to students and educators in public schools and college campuses. Instead, S. 178 would advance the failed privatization schemes of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with voucher and voucher-like schemes that rob public schools of scarce resources and tax breaks to help well-off families pay private school tuition or homeschool.
The need for Senate action remains critical. NEA supports the HEROES Act, which includes $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments that could be used to preserve the jobs of educators and other essential public servants on the frontlines of the pandemic. Other top priorities include at least $175 billion to stabilize education funding, at least $4 billion to equip students with hot spots and devices to help narrow the digital divide and close the homework gap, directed funding for personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional relief for student loan borrowers.
Four months have passed since the House passed the HEROES Act—four months of more sickness and death, escalating financial disarray, and rising personal hardship. During this period of inaction by the Senate, schools across the nation have reopened for in-person learning—often under pressure—without the resources to do so safely.
Email your senators and tell them to take action now.
  1. Details
  2. Messages
  3. Confirmation


EdAction in Congress September 13, 2020 - Education Votes

The week in coveducation: School employee dies, two teachers resign, site hacked

The week in coveducation: School employee dies, two teachers resign, site hacked

The week in coveducation: School employee dies, two teachers resign, site hacked



School districts throughout Oklahoma are back in session while adjusting to and dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ongoing tracking has confirmed COVID-19 cases at 200 school districts around the state, including the death of a staff member at Mustang Public Schools.
The following is a brief recap of reporting done by Oklahoma news outlets over the past week regarding the intersection of education and COVID-19, as well as other top education storylines.

COVID cases confirmed at 200 school districts

According to ongoing tracking from Robby Korth of State Impact Oklahoma, more than 200 school districts in the state are reporting cases of COVID-19. This includes more than 230 students, teachers and staff testing positive for CONTINUE READING: The week in coveducation: School employee dies, two teachers resign, site hacked