Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, October 4, 2020

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Another Week That Lasted Ten Years Edition (10/4)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Another Week That Lasted Ten Years Edition (10/4)

Another Week That Lasted Ten Years Edition

Holy crap. Let's take a moment to wax nostalgic about last weekend, those happy times when a story like the First Lady talking about how we should [expletive] Christmas would have gotten at least fifteen minutes of attention instead of being completely wiped out by a raging news cycle. Those happy times when the national news seen was merely a dumpster fire and not a dumpster fire dragged across a wasted landscape by the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The best we can say is that there was a lot of worthwhile writing that appeared, and here's some of it--

How The School Choice Debate Is Failing Our Public Schools 

I am not always a Samantha Bee/Full Frontal fan; on a bad day she just feels like the Lefty version of Ann Coulter. But she does a really nice job of covering the school choice issue in less than seven and a half minutes. Worth watching and sharing with your non-education policy friends.

Epic Owes Oklahoma $8.9 Million
Tulsa World has the story of Epic schools, one more charter business that managed to rip off the state by making off with millions and millions of dollars.

Significant Lack of Equity in K-12 Education
Michigan Civil Rights Commission took a hard look at equity in Michigan schools, and it found many, many problems. Covered here by Michigan Live

New Jersey Spent 35 Years and $100 Billion Trying To Fix School Inequity 

Speaking of states that have failed to straighten equity issues out, here's Politico taking a look at New Jersey. And wonder of wonders, rather than talking to Mike Petrilli, they talked to Bruce Baker (School Finance 101) instead.

Public Schools and School Libraries: The Hubs of Democracy Face Crises
Nancy Bailey takes a look at how the current crisis is eroding some pretty important institutions

Battling for the Soul of Black Girls
Erica Green (along with Eliza Shapiro and Mark Walker) has put together a serious and moving look at the problems growing for what is ":arguably the most at-risk student group" in the country. This is a hell of a piece.

How the SAT Failed America 
And speaking of in-depth reporting, here's Susan Adams at Forbes covering both the broad swath and important details of the College Board's business woes under David Coleman (who, shockingly, does not come off looking good, once again).

The Wealth Gap 
Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat explains how measuring income rather than wealth leaves many families in financial straits unseen.

Student Absences and Juvenile Justice 
Yes, I know you may not read the reformy Bellwhether blog often, but this piece about how the involvement of juvenile justice system in student lives tends to make things worse--well, this is some research worth knowing about. One more piece of the school-to-prison pipeline

In Internet Dead Zones, Rural Schools Struggle With Distance Learning   \
True that. This is NPR reporting about an issue that some of us are far too familiar with.

The Rich and The Rest 

Nothing about this Have You Heard podcast will likely surprise you, but still listen/read as Jennifer and Jack explain just how the rich and the rest of us do not have the same priorities when it comes to public education.

My Way 
Grumpy Old Teacher gives a picture of a real teacher dealing with the real issues of this miserable pandemess in the classroom.

Weird Al Yankovic: We're All Doomed
Just in case you missed it-- Weird Al + Autotuned Candidates = verion of this week's debate that is actually tolerable.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Another Week That Lasted Ten Years Edition (10/4)


Pennsylvania Poised To Turn CARES Money Into School Vouchers - by @palan57 on @forbes

What You Don’t See: Confidentiality And The Distance Classroom - by @palan57 on @forbes

Survey: How Pandemic Schooling Affects Early Childhood Education - by @palan57 on @forbes

DeVos Awards Another $131 Mill From Failed Federal Charter Fund
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Friday that the department will pump yet another $131 million into the charter school industry (you may have missed the news; a few other things have happened in the last 48 hours). The grants go to 19 different organizations, primarily charter school "developers." Amounts range from a tiny $299,988 to Acadia Academy in Maine up to $18 mill to Florida's
Covid Slide Panic Is Still Baloney
Back in April, NWEA (the MAP test folks) issued a "report" about what we've taken to calling the Covid Slide , which is sadly not a cool new line dance, but is instead an important tool for people in education-flavored businesses who want to try to panic school districts and bureaucrats. Now Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) yesterday threw their weight behind
No, The Next Debate Moderator Should Not Be A Teacher
Within ten minutes, the comments started, and they haven’t stopped since. This is why kindergarten teachers should be paid a million dollars. Next time, pick a middle school teacher—they know how to handle this. It was like watching squabbling children. Referring to Trump as “President Manbaby.” The comparisons are unfair to teachers and children both, and while I know we’ve all got a few things
DeVos Wants To Revisit Failed Merit Pay
Seriously. Yesterday's announcement of education department grants came packed in a lot of air-stuffed puffery from some alternate universe where we're expected to believe that these programs announced by Betsy DeVos "build on her commitment to elevating the teaching profession and empowering teachers." Because if there's anybody who's known for having teachers' backs, it's the DeVosinator. "Great
DeVos and the Problem of the "Right Fit"
Betsy DeVos has been talking about the “right fit” for a while now. In 2017 : “It shouldn’t matter what type of school a student attends, so long as the school is the right fit for that student.” During Charter Schools Week this year : “... to celebrate the millions of students who have found the right fit for their education...” In her recent letter to parents : “...we believe families need more
Dear Joe Biden:
If someone has a pipeline to the campaign, please feel to send this along. Dear VP Biden: I know that this evening, you have your hands full with the Great Orange Loon in Cleveland. But you've got an education flavored fundraiser tomorrow night, and we really need to talk. Here's the event: It might have been of interest to educators, except, of course, the price of admission is, well-- a "champi

AI: Still Not Ready for Prime Time
You may recall that Betsy DeVos sued to say, often, that education should be like hailing a Uber (by which she presumably didn't intend to say "available to only a small portion of the population at large). You may also recall that when the awesomeness of Artificial Intelligence is brought up, sometimes in conjunction with how great an AI computer would be at educating children. Yes, this much sal
ICYMI: Hanging In There Edition (9/27)
Well, that was another week. Just keep trying to avoid being crushed by what feels like a physical increase in the air pressure over the entire country. Here's the list. And I'll remind you-- share the stuff that speaks to you. Everyone is an amplifier. Give Teachers Stat

Reimagining the Public High School, 2015-2020 (Part 2) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Reimagining the Public High School, 2015-2020 (Part 2) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Reimagining the Public High School, 2015-2020 (Part 2)

The system of public high schools in America really hasn’t undergone any kind of serious transformation in 100 years,” [ Super School Project CEO, Russlyn H.] Ali said. “It was built for an economy and a system that is no more.”
What if you’re the one who helps America rethink high school?”
“This is a challenge to empower all of America to change high school. Together, we can transform communities and build schools that inspire new possibilities.”
From these quotes taken from the website for Super School Project, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs and chief executive Russlyn Ali are interested in transforming the existing high school.
After the initial announcement in 2015, the Super School Project accepted proposals from 700 teams across the nation in a competition to design and execute a new kind of high school that would make this hardy–seemingly unchanged–institution relevant to their daily lives . A year later, XQ announced that $10 million would be awarded to 10 teams to put their ideas into practice within five years. Since 2016, nearly $140 million has gone to 19 teams to re-imagine the American high school.
Matt Barnum wrote about the project a year ago and said:
Most of the XQ winners are now up and running. There’s a Washington, D.C. CONTINUE READING: Reimagining the Public High School, 2015-2020 (Part 2) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

“Free to Choose: Can School Choice Reduce Student Achievement?” | Diane Ravitch's blog

“Free to Choose: Can School Choice Reduce Student Achievement?” | Diane Ravitch's blog

“Free to Choose: Can School Choice Reduce Student Achievement?”

For the past thirty years, school choice advocates have claimed that the best way to improve education was to give families public money to send their child to a private or religious school. The very fact of “privateness,” they said, meant better quality. This turns out not to be the case. Students never receive a voucher that is enough to pay for elite private schools. Typically, the voucher schools are lesser quality than the public school the cHold leaves, because voucher schools are not required to have certified teachers. In recent years, numerous studies show that children who leave a public school and go to a voucher school lose ground academically.
This study was published in 2018. Its findings are consistent with studies of voucher effects in the District of Columbia, Ohio, Indiana, and other states. Voucher schools are free to teach scientific nonsense and fake history. In Florida and elsewhere, they are free to CONTINUE READING: “Free to Choose: Can School Choice Reduce Student Achievement?” | Diane Ravitch's blog

Baltimore Teachers Demand ‘Masks, Tests And Plexiglass!’ - PopularResistance.Org

Baltimore Teachers Demand ‘Masks, Tests And Plexiglass!’ - PopularResistance.Org


On Sept. 30, the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) held a protest and die-in in front of the Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters in Baltimore City.
Diana Desierto, BTU member and speech language pathologist, explained: “I am out here for the National Day of Resistance to make sure that our students, families and staff in Baltimore City are prepared and will be accommodated with all the things they need to return to school safely. 
“I’m here to support my students and their families. It’s been a struggle for them and for all of us. Of course we want to go back to school, we just want to go back safely.” 
Baltimore County teacher Jen Russo said: “I want to make sure that all teachers and students are heard in this crisis. Really, the Board of Education in all counties isn’t listening to teachers, even though it’s their safety and lives at stake.” 
Among the attendees were two members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union. Worker Jeffery Reeve explained why he came in solidarity: “UFCW Local 400 members have been on the frontlines since day one. Two hundred and sixty-nine of UFCW-represented grocery workers have gotten COVID. They’re union, I’m union, and I’m always looking for some good trouble.” 
BTU leaders led a chant that clarified some of their demands: “Masks, tests, and plexiglass!”
Baltimore Teachers Demand ‘Masks, Tests And Plexiglass!’ - PopularResistance.Org

Cops In Schools Are Dangerous to Black Children - Philly's 7th Ward

Cops In Schools Are Dangerous to Black Children - Philly's 7th Ward


Earlier this year, Dr. Tamar Klaiman, member of the Abington Board of School Directors, came under fire for saying the following:
We know that the Black and Brown students are much more likely to be shot by the officer, especially school resource officers, than other students, and I have serious concerns about anybody in the building having firearms, regardless or not of whether they are police.
Some parents called for Klaiman’s removal from the board and while Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy forgave the comments, he said they were hurtful to his officers, their family and the law enforcement community.
Chief Molloy said himself,
“There are instances and the data supports some of this stuff that they were suggesting about African American males being more likely shot by police.”
What I wonder if the focus of any on-going dialogue between Abington Police and the Abington School District is on Klaiman’s comments being hurtful or CONTINUE READING: Cops In Schools Are Dangerous to Black Children - Philly's 7th Ward