Friday, December 25, 2020

WISHING YOU A HAIRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

 WISHING YOU A HAIRY CHRISTMAS

 AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL



James Baldwin said it best: 


"For these are all our children, and we will 


profit by or pay for whatever they become."



Big Education Ape

NYC Educator: Merry Christmas to All!

NYC Educator: Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to All!

Here's the best Christmas video you've never seen.






Snopes: The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer | Diane Ravitch's blog

Snopes: The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer | Diane Ravitch's blog
Snopes: The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer




Did you ever stop to think about the origins of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? 

Probably not.

But it’s a true story with a happy ending.

It starts like this:

Rudolph came to life in 1939 when the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company asked one of their copywriters, 34-year-old Robert L. May, to come up with a Christmas story they could give away in booklet form to shoppers as a promotional gimmick — the Montgomery Ward stores had been buying and distributing coloring books to customers at Christmastime every year, and May’s department head saw creating a giveaway booklet of their own as a way to save money. Robert May, who had a penchant for writing children’s stories and limericks, was tapped to create the booklet.

May, drawing in part on the tale of The Ugly Duckling and his own background (he was often taunted as a child for being shy, small, and slight), settled on the idea of an underdog ostracized by the reindeer community because of his physical abnormality: a glowing red nose. Looking CONTINUE READING: Snopes: The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer | Diane Ravitch's blog

Ed Notes Online: Fred Smith with his annual The Night Before Xmas—2020

Ed Notes Online: Fred Smith with his annual The Night Before Xmas—2020
Fred Smith with his annual The Night Before Xmas—2020



Fred Smith has done it again for 2020 with is yearly Xmas specials. 
Here are his previous years, each with a different theme.
I first met Fred, a testing expert who used to work for the NYCBOE, when he contacted me about getting ICE members to assist in gathering data for his exposures of the evils of testing. Over the years, his involvement with groups like GEM and Change the Stakes has grown.

Fred is also a statistician for the NY Jets - don't blame him for their absence from the Super Bowl for almost 50 years.

Fred Smith convincing Jets dancers to boycott field tests - he's the one in the middle

The Night Before Xmas—2020
 
'Twas the night before Christmas and in the Snow House
Sat a duck-assed old fat man with botoxic spouse. 
This may be my last chance to go through the list,           
And give gifts to people who’ve made me real pissed.    CONTINUE READING: Ed Notes Online: Fred Smith with his annual The Night Before Xmas—2020


Shawgi Tell: Charter School Promoters Comfortable With Cardona | Dissident Voice

Charter School Promoters Comfortable With Cardona | Dissident Voice
Charter School Promoters Comfortable With Cardona




President-elect Joe Biden recently nominated Miguel Cardona to serve as the next U.S. Secretary of Education. Hardly anyone in education circles has heard of or spoken about Cardona, let alone in an open and serious way. For weeks there was endless speculation and confusion surrounding the “top potential pick” for this position. All kinds of illusions, diversions, and false hopes predictably came to the fore. As in previous elections, emotions ran high while analysis, theory, and experience took a back seat.

The notion, according to many, that Cardona is a “non-controversial,” “non-party-splitting,” “unifying choice” is meant to intensify opposition to analysis, theory, and experience. The idea that Cardona is a “middle-of-the-road” kind of guy is designed to cover up harsh splits, profoundly different visions of education, and worsening class divisions in society. Objectively, a capital-centered agenda cannot be reconciled with a human-centered agenda; they are based on diametrically-opposed aims and visions.

Then there is the widely-held notion that public education can only benefit from a person at the helm who has experience in public education. Many insisted that the next U.S. Secretary of Education must have “real public school experience.” This demand is usually made spontaneously and uncritically, as if nothing dreadful or harmful could possibly happen in public schools so long as someone from public education is leading American CONTINUE READING: Charter School Promoters Comfortable With Cardona | Dissident Voice

“Two North” — A Christmas Story. MY Christmas Story. | Eclectablog

“Two North” — A Christmas Story. MY Christmas Story. | Eclectablog
“Two North” — A Christmas Story. MY Christmas Story.



“Two North” is a story about one Christmas when my mom was spending time on the psychiatric ward of our town’s hospital after trying to commit suicide to escape a physically-abusive husband. I was thirteen. It was a cataclysmic event in our lives but it brought us together into a two-person tribe like no other event ever has in my life.

I offer this story each year to my friends here at Eclectablog on Christmas as a tribute to my mother, a woman who went from a pregnant sixteen-year old to an executive for the Chrysler Corporation in the short span of thirty-five years.

Much of who I am today is because of her and the lessons she taught me.


“Two North”

It was Christmas night and I was warm and felt very comfortable. Maybe the most comfortable I had felt in a long time. I wasn’t in my own bed but that was okay because my mom was there and I CONTINUE READING: “Two North” — A Christmas Story. MY Christmas Story. | Eclectablog

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus: It’s Called Public Education | Diane Ravitch's blog

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus: It’s Called Public Education | Diane Ravitch's blog
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus: It’s Called Public Education



This is a beautiful article by Jennifer Raab, president of Hunter College, which is part of the City University of New York. It appeared in the New York Daily News. When Virginia O’Hanlon attended Hunter College, the City University was tuition-free. In 1976, CUNY began to charge tuition, but it remains far less than private colleges and universities, and many students can piece together aid packages from state and federal funds.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” It may be the most famous sentence in the history of local journalism.

Virginia O’Hanlon of 115 W. 95th St. was just 8 years old when she composed a letter to the editor, writing: “Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?”

Yes, there is, the paper guaranteed her. “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

Those in the know must have been shocked to learn that the words came from the pen of veteran journalist Francis Pharcellus Church, brother of the Sun’s editor. Known to colleagues as a hard-boiled cynic, Church had never CONTINUE READING: Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus: It’s Called Public Education | Diane Ravitch's blog

CURMUDGUCATION: Here's Some Merry Christmas Listening For You

CURMUDGUCATION: Here's Some Merry Christmas Listening For You
Here's Some Merry Christmas Listening For You





 I hope that those of you who celebrate the holiday are enjoying it, even in these weird and distant times. May we never have a Christmas celebration like this one ever again.

As is tradition here at the institute, I have a collection of seasonal tunes for yoe- actually, a couple, this year.

For you youtubers, here's a collection specifically put together without the performances you've been listening to constantly for the last month.

Also, this year, my family did a sort of group Christmas list with contributions from members near and far. So here's that playlist.

 

 And if you haven't taken the Jingle Bell Challenge yet, here's 76 minutes of everyone's favorite
non-Christmas Christmas song

  

I hope the day is a great one for you, and that you are able to find a way to connect with those you love and whatever is most meaningful for you. Eat an extra cookie. It's been a hell of a year, and you've earned it.


First Step in Educational Equity: Move Away from Standardized Testing | deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

First Step in Educational Equity: Move Away from Standardized Testing | deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog
First Step in Educational Equity: Move Away from Standardized Testing




If the next US ed sec, Miguel Cardona, wants equity in education, he needs to step away from America’s obsession with standardized testing and make better use of the federal education dollars.

To that end, I have the perfect article for him to read, written by my colleague, Andrea Gabor, Bloomberg chair of business journalism at Baruch College of the City University of New York. The excerpts below appear as part of a longer opinion piece in the December 23, 2020, Policy and Politics section of Bloomberg.com:

Education Secretary’s First Task: Curb Standardized Tests

Miguel Cardona will need to address public school inequities by making better use of federal aid.

Andrea Gabor

States and localities are responsible for the lion’s share of spending on public education; yet, as of 2015, only 11 states had funding formulas where high-poverty schools receive more funding per student than low-poverty schools, down from a high of 22 in 2008. When states cut back on their share of aid during the Great Recession, school funding came to rely increasingly on local property tax revenue, benefiting districts with high property values and hurting those where the values are low.

Though it may sound counterintuitive, an important first step the new CONTINUE READING: First Step in Educational Equity: Move Away from Standardized Testing | deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog