Latest News and Comment from Education

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

“A Low Dishonest Decade”–W.H. Auden | Diane Ravitch's blog

“A Low Dishonest Decade”–W.H. Auden | Diane Ravitch's blog
“A Low Dishonest Decade”–W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden speaks to us, about his time, about our time:

September 1, 1939

W. H. Auden – 1907-1973

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
“A Low Dishonest Decade”–W.H. Auden | Diane Ravitch's blog

Shawgi Tell: Charter School Disinformation About "Choice" | Dissident Voice

Charter School Disinformation About "Choice" | Dissident Voice
Charter School Disinformation About “Choice”

Perhaps no other word is more central to charter school discourse than the word “choice.” “Choice” is not only a central concept in charter school discourse but a persistent source of disinformation. Disinformation refers to the deliberate hiding of the real context and relations of things so as to disorient people and cause them to act against their own interests while making them think that they are acting in their own interests. It is a form of false consciousness or anti-consciousness, and we all pay a heavy price for it.

Advocates of privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools that siphon billions of dollars a year from public schools have long valorized “choice” and used the rhetoric of “choice” to distort thinking, mislead the public, and promote the private interests of owners of capital. Under the veneer of high ideals, “choice” has consistently been used by school-choice advocates and corporate school reformers to eliminate a modern conception of government, education, rights, and social responsibility, and to promote the outdated idea and practice of an education marketplace where education is seen as nothing more than a commodity and parents and students are treated as consumers, not humans or citizens with rights that belong to them by virtue of their being.

Confounding Two Different Notions of “Choice”

“Choice” in the most basic and straightforward sense of the word is simply the act of selecting something from a list of alternatives. It is something people CONTINUE READING: Charter School Disinformation About "Choice" | Dissident Voice

2020 Medley #24: No More Political Ads Issue | Live Long and Prosper

2020 Medley #24: No More Political Ads Issue | Live Long and Prosper

2020 Medley #24: No More Political Ads Issue

As of this writing (11 AM ET, Nov 4, 2020), the 2020 election is not completely over. Ballots are still being counted in the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia. The Democrats have likely flipped two Senate seats (Colorado and Arizona), but lost one (Alabama). Other Republican Senate races are not called but are likely to remain the same. So with a net gain of one seat, the Senate will remain under the control of Mitch McConnell.


The Racist Genie is Out of the Bottle (again)

This post by Russ Walsh was originally published on November 11, 2016. Even if Joe Biden eventually gains enough electoral votes to become president, the rise of white supremacy during the last four years is not likely to disappear quickly.

Read the whole post. Not much has changed since 2016.

This morning the New York Times published an editorial asking that the President-elect directly and immediately denounce the hate and let his CONTINUE READING: 

2020 Medley #24: No More Political Ads Issue | Live Long and Prosper

Jeff Bryant: How Bad Leadership Created a Crisis for Public Schools During the Pandemic | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant: How Bad Leadership Created a Crisis for Public Schools During the Pandemic | Diane Ravitch's blog
Jeff Bryant: How Bad Leadership Created a Crisis for Public Schools During the Pandemic

Jeff Bryant reports here that too many school districts failed to prepare teachers how to teach remotely, leaving them to improvise.

He begins:

Michael Barbour, a professor at Touro University California and an expert on K-12 online learning, believes that more than half of the nation’s school superintendents “should be fired.”

Improving remote learning would have meant creating spaces for teachers to collaborate and share models of effective online instruction and lesson planning.

His blistering criticism stems from the fact that, deep into the 2020-2021 school year, many schools are still struggling with virtual learning during the pandemic.

Stories of school districts’ online learning systems crashing are widespread. Teachers complain about not being included in decisions about online curriculum and pedagogy. Alarming numbers of students are not engaged or not showing up, especially in low-income areas and among communities of color.

The chaos is especially concerning given that 76% of CONTINUE READING: Jeff Bryant: How Bad Leadership Created a Crisis for Public Schools During the Pandemic | Diane Ravitch's blog

What Might The Results Of This Presidential Election Suggest That Teachers (& Others) Should Do Going Forward? | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

What Might The Results Of This Presidential Election Suggest That Teachers (& Others) Should Do Going Forward? | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

It’s early Wednesday afternoon and, despite President Trump’s authoritarian declaration of victory, the final results of our Presidential election are still in doubt.

Earlier this week, I published Ideas & Resources About What & How To Teach The Day After The Election – Please Share Your Own Advice & Plans, which shared a variety of suggestions of how we teachers could handle this and other election scenarios in the classroom.

Today’s post is NOT a repeat of those strategies.

Instead, I want to talk about what I think we teachers, our unions, and others should consider as broader policy actions in response to this election, no matter what its final outcome.

This election shows us is that nearly half of the voters in our country support a man who has implemented almost countless racist policies, relentlessly attacked the rights of workers, and devastated environmental protections. He has worked to undermine public education and, of course, led a disastrous policy responding CONTINUE READING: What Might The Results Of This Presidential Election Suggest That Teachers (& Others) Should Do Going Forward? | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

NYC Educator: Who Are We?

Who Are We?

It's remarkable what Donald Trunp gets away with. He can say the most vulgar and offensive things and a America says, "I'm good with that." He can separate children from their parents. He can send these children back, alone, to Mexico, even if they aren't Mexican. America says, "No problem. That's what they get for being rapists and drug dealers."

Trump can view a neo-nazi rally and declare there are good people on both sides. America says, "Yes sure, there's good in everyone." He can continue to insist on the guilt of the Central Park Five, even after they've been demonstrated to be innocent. America says, "Well, maybe that DNA evidence was false. After all, Biden might listen to scientists instead of the voices in Donald Trump's head, and we all know what that means."

Trump can get up from his television at 2:30 AM and declare that he's won, though there's absolutely no evidence to support his contention. He can tell us he wants to halt counting in states where he's ahead and continue it in states where he's behind. He can say he's going to his hand-picked Supreme Court to make sure that happens. America says, "Yeah, let's allow the court to decide. After all, they have those black robes so they must know what's right."

Trump can discount foreign meddling in US elections. He can blame it on his opponents. He can express admiration for vicious dictators in North Korea and Russia. He can look the CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: Who Are We?

Best of the Ed Blogs - National Education Policy Center

National Education Policy Center
Best of the Ed Blogs

Shanker Blog: How Much Segregation Is There Within Schools?
Our national discourse on school segregation, whether income- or race-/ethnicity-based, tends to focus on the separation of students between schools within districts. There are good reasons for this, including the fact that 

Ed in the Apple: Bill Gates’ Quest for the Mythical Magic Bullet: Next Quest: Algebra 1
From Small High Schools to Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) to Value-Added Measurements (VAM) to the Common Core State Standards , the Gates Foundation has been searching for the magic bullet, a vaccine for curing education, and the “cures” have proven fruitless (See links above) The next magic bullet is a cure for Algebra 1, the course viewed as standing in the way of graduation and success
Teacher in a Strange Land: It’s the Right Time to Stop the Overdose of Standardized Testing
A bit of personal history: I live in the first state to launch statewide standardized assessments, back in 1969-70. Every single one of the 32+ years I taught, in every school, at least some of my Michigan students were taking state-sponsored standardized tests. Honestly, I didn’t think about it much. In the 1970s, we had the MEAP test for 4 th , 7 th and 10 th grades—two to three days’ worth of
Our Schools: How Online Learning Companies Are Using the Pandemic to Take Over Classroom Teaching
Experts warn the rush to outsource teaching to private companies is bad for students, teachers, and taxpayers. Opening schools during a pandemic in an underfunded urban district like Providence, Rhode Island, where buildings are in miserable physical conditions , is already a huge undertaking, but the situation is made worse when district leaders bring in private contractors who know nothing abo
Nancy Bailey’s Education Website: Selling Charter School Class Size as “Innovative Medical Experimentation” During Covid-19
Efforts to destroy public schooling in America have not disappeared during the pandemic. While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos displays her hatred for public education, especially with Fairfax County public school teachers, DC Charter Schools are advertising innovations during the pandemic. They’re promoting smaller class sizes as innovative medical experimentation. Their innovations, however, a
Curmudgucation: 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 s
Answer Sheet: Going Back to School: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Going back to school during the coronavirus pandemic has elicited a jumble of emotions for teachers, students and parents, who have both wanted to see kids back in school buildings but also have feared the risk of contracting covid-19. This post reports on the experiences of people who have returned to school for the 2020-2021 school year in various school districts. It was written by Carol Burr
Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice: Whatever Happened to Authentic Assessment?
No Child Left Behind drove a stake into its heart. OK, that is a bit dramatic but the standards, tests, and accountability movement that began in the early 1980s, picking up speed in the 1990s, then accelerating to warp drive with the passage of NCLB brushed aside this Progressive instructional reform called “authentic assessment.”* Pick your metaphor but, save for scattered teachers across Amer
Janresseger: COVID-19 Widens Inequality Among America’s Young People, But So Far, There is No Plan to Address It
What are all the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown obstacles in the paths of America’s poorest young people? The numbers are staggering. Hardship is so overwhelming that it is almost impossible to grasp the deeper meaning of the data in the reports from major policy organizations. Here is the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities : “Households with children are more likely to have trouble a
Hack Education: Cheating, Policing, and School Surveillance
I have volunteered to be a guest speaker in classes this Fall. It's really the least I can do to help teachers and students through another tough term. I spoke this morning to Jeffrey Austin's class at the Skyline High School. Yes, I said "shit" multiple times to a Zoom full of high school students. I'm a terrific role model. Thank you very much for inviting me to speak to you today. I am very f
Curmudgucation: 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 behi
Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice: When Algorithms Give Real Students Imaginary Grades (Meredith Broussard) (Guest Post by Meredith Broussard)
Meredith Broussard ( @merbroussard ) is a data journalism professor at New York University and the author of “ Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World .” She is working on a book about race and technology. ” This op-ed piece appeared in the New York Times on September 9, 2020. Isabel Castañeda’s first words were in Spanish. She spends every summer with relatives in Mexic
Jersey Jazzman: The School Reopening Gamble
In the next week or so, schools districts all over the country will reopen their buildings as their new year begins. During our pre-service training, a teacher colleague of mine described the process as a “grand experiment.” But he’s wrong; it’s not an experiment. It’s a gamble. An experiment, by definition, is a controlled, scientific procedure designed to gain knowledge. When a researcher cond
Janresseger: Framing a New Website Forced Us to Reconsider Public Education’s Core Principles
This week the Northeast Ohio Friends of Public Education launched a new website . If you live in Central Ohio in Columbus or Marion or Chillicothe—or Southwest Ohio in Dayton or Cincinnati or Middletown—or Northwest Ohio in Toledo—or Southeast Ohio in Athens or along the Ohio River, you may not imagine that this website will be of interest to you. And if you live in another state, you are probab
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