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Monday, November 2, 2020


Big Education Ape: Nov 9, 2016

Big Education Ape: Nov 9, 2016

Reaction of Education Bloggers to the Election
(Will Be Updated as the Shock Wears Off) 

Don’t Mourn, Organize | One Flew East - 

Hard times. | Fred Klonsky -


Dark Mourning in America: “The world is at least/fifty percent terrible” | the becoming radical - 

Schools Matter: Stop Crying--Start the Fucking Revolution -

NYC Educator: Holy Fucking Shit -

CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching in Trump's America -

Three (No, Four) State Elections that Turned Out Well–and Our Plans for the Future | Diane Ravitch's blog - 

Statement on the Defeat of Charter Initiatives | Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools -

glen brown: America -

What one Chicago Public Schools teacher will teach after the presidential election | The White Rhino: A Chicago Latino English Teacher -

Big Education Ape: Does It Really Matter? | commoncorediva -


U.S. 2016: “Every woman adores a Fascist” | the becoming radical - 

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr - Wait What? -

Image result for “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
What Crazy Will Trump and the Republicans Deliver? – Cloaking Inequity - 

It's time to Push Back! Here's a Playlist. - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom -

Ed Notes Online: Election Shock and Awe: Is The Clintonite/Obama, Neo-liberal “New Democrat” Party Dead? Has Our Democracy Died Too? -

A Dozen Quotes for the Morning After – Live Long and Prosper -

The Morning After | Diane Ravitch's blog -

Ed Notes Online: Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian -

Perdido Street School: Brexit Redux -

Big Education Ape: a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation -


President Donald Trump Promised To Dump Common Core, Hillary Clinton Never Said The Words – Exceptional Delaware - 

Seattle Schools Community Forum: What to Tell The Kids about the Election -

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Election Results/ Thought Regarding Education -

A teacher wrestles with what to say to his students about Trump win - The Washington Post -

Georgia Voters Say No to State Takeover of Schools | deutsch29 - 

How Did This Happen? Post-Election Thoughts - Living in Dialogue -

Trump Set to Shift Gears on Civil Rights, ESSA, Says a K-12 Transition-Team Leader - Politics K-12 - Education Week -

America Votes NO and Elects Trump: Speculation on a Trump Presidency | Ed In The Apple -

President-Elect Donald Trump on Education | Truth in American Education -

A Letter from a Parent in Massachusetts Who Fought Question 2 | Diane Ravitch's blog -

'I’m Going to Reassure Them That They Are Safe': Talking to Students After the Election -

Don't Mourn, Organize! - Lily's Blackboard -

Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data. -

(Will Be Updated as the Shock Wears Off) 

Failing grades surge for poor L.A. students amid COVID-19 - Los Angeles Times

Failing grades surge for poor L.A. students amid COVID-19 - Los Angeles Times
Ds and Fs surge, attendance slips among L.A.'s poorest students amid distance learning

Grades of D and F have increased in the Los Angeles Unified School District among middle and high school students in a troubling sign of the toll that distance learning — and the coronavirus crisis — is taking on the children, especially those who are members of low-income families.

The district released a chart Monday indicating that based on 10-week interim assessments, failing grades are increasing across the board, but are surging the most in lower-income communities. Compounding the disturbing trend, students in these same communities, hard hit by the spread of COVID-19, have the lowest attendance.

“The attendance figures and interim assessments don’t reflect the desire or capability of students,” said L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner in remarks recorded for broadcast Monday. “They’re eager to learn and every bit as capable as they were before school facilities closed. But the struggle to cope with COVID-19 and online learning for children and their families is very real.”

The data on grades made another announcement all the more painful, even though school board leaders foreshadowed it last week: Campuses will not reopen for most students before January, the superintendent said. And even that timing could prove doubtful, Beutner said, unless the coronavirus pandemic subsides and unless the state and local agencies offer more guidance and resources.

In the meantime, the district is expanding attempts to reach more students in person, providing instruction for groups of up to three students at a time. All participants, including teachers, will have to take a coronavirus test, even if they’ve had one recently. This gradual growth of in-person services is expected to reach several thousand of the district’s 460,000 K-12 students.

The district also will be speeding up the in-person assessment of students with special needs and will allow sports teams to begin conditioning work — outside with physical distancing and no team drills.

The next two months need to be spent in an all-out effort to get ready for a hoped-for January opening, Beutner said in an interview with The Times and in his broadcast remarks. As part of that effort, Beutner said that L.A. Unified is part of a coalition of seven California school districts calling for “a common standard of health, education and employee practices so schools have a clear path to open in the safest way.”

Some state legislators expressed overlapping concerns in a legislative hearing last week, directing their comments to the governor’s office and state agencies, including CONTINUE READING: Failing grades surge for poor L.A. students amid COVID-19 - Los Angeles Times

National Teacher Union Push To Invigorate Citizens To Vote Ended In Swing State Of Florida This Weekend | Across Florida, FL Patch

National Teacher Union Push To Invigorate Citizens To Vote Ended In Swing State Of Florida This Weekend | Across Florida, FL Patch
National Teacher Union Push To Invigorate Citizens To Vote Ended In Swing State Of Florida This Weekend
A multistate push to vote from the nationwide American Federation of Teachers, a celebrated bus tour, ended this weekend.

By Danielle J. Brown

A multistate push to vote from the nationwide American Federation of Teachers ended its 14-state bus tour this weekend in Florida's swing state and through South Florida.

When the tour started on September 30 in Los Angeles on the West Coast, AFT President Randi Weingarten said the effort will "be urging people to use their voice and make a difference by voting … because every American's well-being and future, as well as our democracy, depend on the outcome of this election," according to a press release.

Public education has been a major concern during the campaign season, in large part because of the handling of COVID-19 and the turmoil over reopening brick-and-mortar schools for students across the country. That includes Florida's 2.8-million public school students, and Miami-Dade's mammoth school district.

Since Thursday, a bus has passed through Gainesville to rally Alachua voters. By end of day Friday, the AFT Votes bus will have passed through Tampa, Kissimmee, and Sanford.

The AFT Votes bus will visit Miramar Saturday and end it's month-long tour in Miami Sunday afternoon as the last push to invigorate citizens to exercise their right to vote before Election Day on Nov. 3.

Fedrick Ingram, former president of the Florida Education Association and current Secretary-Treasurer for AFT, joined the tour and CONTINUE READING: National Teacher Union Push To Invigorate Citizens To Vote Ended In Swing State Of Florida This Weekend | Across Florida, FL Patch

Teacher Tom: A Waste of Time

Teacher Tom: A Waste of Time
A Waste of Time

Our dog Stella is an urban animal. She's lived her whole life in a downtown apartment. Nearly every walk she's ever taken has been on pavement. Tree squirrels, crows, and rats are her idea of wildlife. Of course, she's been to the country, the forest, and the beach, but she still has a lot she doesn't know about the world outside the city.

Lately, she's spent time in a less urban environment, a place with lots of active ant hills. At first she ignored them, not "seeing" them amidst the onslaught of new sensations that comes from being in a new place, but one day she stopped to make a study. It was a cautious one, her nose up close, her body tense. I think it was the ants themselves that got her attention as they queued in and out of the little hole on top. She was on the leash. In the interest of going on a "walk," I don't always give her all the time she wants as she sniffs every square centimeter of the things that draw her attention, but I had time and could clearly see that this was something new for her, something that in her mind necessitated study. Was she learning something? Of course. What was she learning? Who knows. None of my business. Could I put the kibosh on this learning? Yes, with the tug of the leash like I've done thousands of times when she slows CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: A Waste of Time

Educator Speaks Out Against Unsafe Conditions, Lack Of Resources - PopularResistance.Org

Educator Speaks Out Against Unsafe Conditions, Lack Of Resources - PopularResistance.Org

Big Education Ape: I Just Want to Teach, but My District Won’t Let Me Do it Safely | gadflyonthewallblog -

A middle school educator in Knoxville, Tennessee recently came forward to speak with the World Socialist Web Site about the unsafe conditions at her school. Knox County currently has nearly 13,000 cases of COVID-19 and 92 deaths, making it the third most affected county in the state, behind Shelby (Memphis) and Davidson (Nashville) counties.

With the abandonment of even the most rudimentary safety measures at schools and other workplaces, cases in Tennessee have continued to surge in recent months. October has been the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic, with over 700 succumbing to the virus. The numbers of daily new cases and deaths have set state records in the past week, with a record 3,606 new cases and 65 deaths on October 23.

The Knox County school district employs some 8,000 workers and serves approximately 60,000 students, the majority of whom are from low-income and working class families. According to the United States Census Bureau, 13.2 percent of the county’s residents live in poverty.

The teacher, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent retaliation, described the chaos leading up to the district’s reopening in late August: “Before schools reopened, parents had one week to decide if their kids would be remote or in-person. Superintendent Bob Thomas did not release a plan until after the parents had decided, forcing them to decide before they had the facts.

“The plan requires everyone to wear a mask and teachers have to clean between classes. Everyone is getting their temperature checked before entering the building and teachers also have to fill out a self-assessment.

“We are given a spray to clean with and at first I was told that I need to let it sit CONTINUE READING: Educator Speaks Out Against Unsafe Conditions, Lack Of Resources - PopularResistance.Org

Is School Privatization on the Los Angeles DA Ballot? - LA Progressive

Is School Privatization on the Los Angeles DA Ballot? - LA Progressive
Is School Privatization on the Los Angeles DA Ballot?

Big money for pro-charter school board candidates, picks George Gascón for DA

Los Angeles’ school district used to have sleepy school board races. But those low budget, pedestrian races – like that for LA County’s District Attorney – are bygones. Between the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling codifying limitless lobbying and independent campaign support, and the ascendency of “school choice” as a stalking horse for privatization of the public sector within the education arena, LAUSD’s school boardroom has become a surrogate battlefield for neoliberalism, public-private partnerships and the leveraging of public goods for private gain.

So, too, it would seem might the race for LAC’s District Attorney (LAC-DA) signal a new incursion on privatization in criminal justice.

And given such a grand ideological tussle, it is little wonder that formerly obscure school board elections of local and narrow interest should have become worth astonishing amounts of money to a select few with special interest in (eg, profit, systemic change, ROI extracted from) the political insurgency. Such an influx could concern underlying motivations surrounding next Tuesday’s LAC-DA race.

An explosion of this trend was marked in 2013, when the mayor of New York City 3000 miles away, saw fit to drop one million dollars over the metaphorical backyard fences and literal mailboxes of west LA in order to influence a school board race so very, very far away, and seemingly removed, from him. But in retrospect it is clear that the Education sector provides a goldrush of opportunity for privateers. And the shock and awe of unprecedented outside spending bears witness to the large stakes in play.

When a parallel insurgence of resources from away infuses the formerly esoteric and narrow LA County’s District Attorney race questions of parallel opportunism arise.

Reed Hastings and the Bros from away

Indeed some of the same high-rollers in the world of ed reform are anteing up for candidate George Gascón’s campaign and independent expenditure committees (see table 1 below). In particular note that the largest – and earliest – of Gascón’s contributors, Reed Hastings, matches as largest contributor to the recently hyperactive “Charter Public Schools PAC”, just one of the charter industry’s dozens of PACs intended to influence, and recently deployed in the current LAUSD board member races (detailed here). What about the experience of ed reform might be reflected today in the world of criminal justice reform?

Today our public school system in the age of “school choice” is bifurcated into parallel and CONTINUE READING: Is School Privatization on the Los Angeles DA Ballot? - LA Progressive

What Is at Stake for Public Education in Tomorrow’s Election? | janresseger

What Is at Stake for Public Education in Tomorrow’s Election? | janresseger
What Is at Stake for Public Education in Tomorrow’s Election?

I believe a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris victory tomorrow would provide a turning point in education policy.  We would, of course, be able to put behind us the failure of President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to protect the public schools. But further, I hope the new administration would turn our national conversation about education away from more than two decades when federal policy makers have worried about accountability, efficiency and privatization but largely forgotten about seriously trying to support and improve the nation’s over 98,000 public schools.

This blog will not publish on Wednesday.  Look for a new post on Friday, November 6, 2020.

If Joe Biden is elected President, I believe our society can finally pivot away from an artificially constructed narrative about the need to punish so called “failing” public schools, and away from the idea that school privatization is the key to school improvement. During Betsy DeVos’s tenure, our two-decades old narrative about test-and-punish education reform has faded into a boring old story fewer and fewer people want to hear anymore, but nobody has proclaimed an alternative.

How Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos Have Damaged Public Education

In a profound book, American Amnesia, published in 2016, before Donald Trump was elected, two political scientists, Yale’s Jacob Hacker and Berkeley’s Paul Pierson describe precisely what Trump has undermined in our political system: “This book is about an uncomfortable truth: It takes government—a lot of government—for advanced societies to flourish. This truth is uncomfortable because Americans cherish freedom.  Government is effective in part CONTINUE READING: What Is at Stake for Public Education in Tomorrow’s Election? | janresseger

CURMUDGUCATION: School Choice Disempowers (Almost) Everybody

CURMUDGUCATION: School Choice Disempowers (Almost) Everybody
School Choice Disempowers (Almost) Everybody

The standard argument for school choice is that it will empower all sorts of folks, but it's just not so. In fact, modern school choice is designed to deliberately strip power from all sorts of public education stakeholders.


Let's start with the most obvious--one big dream of choiceniks is to finally break the damned teachers unions. You can see in pieces like the one I discussed yesterday just how badly some conservatives want to make teachers unions go away; for some hard righty folks, the entire public school system is just a scam set up to generate revenue for the unions, which in turn function simply as a fund-raising arm of the Democratic Party.

The charter dream model has been built around the fully-empowered visionary CEO, who should be free to do whatever his vision tells him needs to be done without government regulations or union contracts limiting his options. For charteristas, freedom to hire and fire at will, to extend the work day and work year as far as they wish, and to set work conditions as they wish are all an essential part. They want to "empower" teachers to obey whatever orders the boss wants to implement.

Vouchers of course move us into the world of CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: School Choice Disempowers (Almost) Everybody

A VERY BUSY DAY Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007 

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...
The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Big Education Ape: THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... The latest news and resources in education since 2007 -

New Resources For Teaching About The Tuesday Election
18371568 / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST RESOURCES FOR TEACHING ABOUT THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION : How Can Teachers and Students Discuss the 2020 Election? is from The Teaching Channel. Is Voting Too Hard in the U.S.? is from KQED. Lesson of the Day: An Election News Game is from The New York Times Learning Network. GOOD DESIGN IS THE SECRET TO BETTER DEMOCRACY is a NY Times inte
Just Sent-Out Free Monthly Email Newsletter
geralt / Pixabay I’ve just mailed out the November issue of my very simple free monthly email newsletter . It has over 3,000 subscribers, and you can subscribe here . Of course, you can also join the eighteen thousand others who subscribe to this blog daily. Here Are 8 Ways You Can Subscribe For Free…
October’s “Best” Lists – There Are Now 2,206 Of Them!
Everything You Wanted To Know About Social Emotional Learning But Were Afraid To Ask
geralt / Pixabay I have over 2,100 frequently revised and updated “Best” lists on just about every subject imaginable, and you can find them listed three different ways in three different places (see Three Accessible Ways To Search For & Find My “Best” Lists ). I’m starting to publish a series where each day I will highlight the “Best” lists in a separate category. Today, it’s on Social Emotional
Monday’s Must-Read Articles About School Reopenings
stevepb / Pixabay Here are new additions to THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL : In San Francisco, Virus Is Contained but Schools Are Still Closed is from The NY Times. Why Is Europe Keeping Its Schools Open, Despite New Lockdowns? is from The NY Times. Lessons from Estonia: why it excels at digital learning during Covid is from The Guardian. In Michigan, Undocument
“Teachers Must Create Ways ELL ‘Students Can Show Us What They Know'”
Teachers Must Create Ways ELL ‘Students Can Show Us What They Know’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. Four educators share common mistakes made by teachers of English-language learners, including not being creative in how ELLs can show us what they know and by translating “everything.” Here are some excerpts:
First Quarter Report On What I’m Doing In Full-Time Distance Learning & How It’s Going
geralt / Pixabay Our first quarter of full-time distance learning ends this week, and I thought it would be interesting to some readers, and helpful to me, to take some time to reflect on what I’ve been doing and how it’s been going. I’m dividing this post into several categories: Summary, Concerns, and then