Sunday, January 10, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Well Aren't We Off To A Grand Start Edition (1/10)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Well Aren't We Off To A Grand Start Edition (1/10)

Well Aren't We Off To A Grand Start Edition 

Well, that was a week, wasn't it. What a hellacious shitshow (sorry, Mom). But despite the the dumpster fire burning brighter than ever, we still have things to read, because while governments may rise and fall and grind to a halt and play stupid games with stupid insurrectionists, you know what still keeps on keepin' on? The post office and public schools.

Republican Cowards Betsy DeVos and Ted Cruz  

Yes, there's tons to read about Betsy DeVos on her way out, and you've probably read all of it, but you might have missed this take from the politics editor at TeenVogue, the surprise source of solid political commentary these past four years. No punches pulled.

Betsy DeVos's Greatest Hits

Okay, just one more. Valerie Strauss at Washington Post has a nice synopsis of DeVosian specialtude over the past four years. 

Will pandemic impact further reduce teacher pipeline?

Maureen Dowd in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, saying nothing that will surprise you, but with details and reporting to make it a little more real.

You literally just did history

Chalkbeat talks to Colorado's teacher of the year about teaching in times that get extra interesting.

Stupid and Clumsy from Grief  

Lisa Eddy blogs about her week. It's personal and moving and a fine piece of writing.

Voucher Vultures Face FBI Raid  

While other things have been happening, the FBI raided some members of the TN House GOP over a plot to pass Gov. Lee's voucher scheme in 2019. Andy Spears has the story.

Do schools spread Covid

For a change of pace, try this reasonably balanced look at what we know, courtesy of Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat.

Reform PA cyber charter authorization and funding

Eric Wolfgang with an op-ed in the Courier Times, repeating what we all know-- PA's cyber-school rules need to be overhauled with a flamethrower.

Reforming Educational Authority

Andy Smarick is a reformster, but he's also a classic conservative and as such brings some interesting ideas to the table. You'll disagree with parts of this, and it's not a short easy read, but it's a useful perspective on what has happened to the way we run school systems.

Unlearn Chait's False Opinion About Charters

Jonathan Chait once again was given space to unleash his opinion about charter schools (without any accompanying caveat that his wife is a charterista). D. Julian Vasquez Heilig pointed out the many problems with Chait's piece, using the clever weapon of actual facts.

ExamSoft's proctoring software has a face-detection problem  

Yet more crappy student surveillance software in action. The Verge has the story. Three guesses what sort of faces the software has trouble with.

The Ridiculousness of Learning Loss

John Ewing at Forbes with a fully-exasperated explanation of why the learning loss panic is bunk.

Kafka Narrates My Online Teaching Experience

From the New Yorker. You can use a laugh this week.

Washington Post Editorial Board Gets It Wrong About Testing Students In 2021 - by @palan57 on @forbes

Betsy DeVos Finally Quits; A Dozen Quotes To Remember Her By - by @palan57 on @forbes

Watch Out: K12 Has Changed Its Name
Back in November, when most of us were pre-occupied with a few other things, K12, Inc, the giant cyber-school company, went and gave itself a new name -- Stride, Inc. The rebranding came with some new acquisitions, but underneath it all, K12 is its same old self. K12 is a big fat for-profit cyber-edu-biz operation-- in fact, the biggest and fattest. They were founded by Goldman-Sachs banker and M
Betsy DeVos Bails Out
Well, she finally had enough. DeVos blamed Trumpian rhetoric for the riots, called it an "inflection point" for her, and became one more GOP Trump-fluffer to suddenly discover her shock and outrage for exactly the same kind of shit that he's been doing for four years. I mean, there's something deeply disingenuous about watching someone throw gasoline and matches around for four years and only get
In Seattle, A Tough Back To School Choice
Seattle's school board made a decision, just a few weeks ago, to re-open face-to-face school for pre-K, kindergarten, some special ed, and 1st grade students. It's a good example of the kinds of re-opening challenges that parents and teachers are facing, the kind of thing that is being pushed out as a "plan" by a major district. Parents received an e-mail inviting them to complete a "survey" and
About Teachers4OpenSchools
You may have run across a shiny new group on line that is agitating for teachers to be back in the classroom-- Teachers4OpenSchools . The arguments are the usual ones, from the legitimate concern about mental health to the learning loss baloney. There's not much of anything new here, and not the kind of balance we find in a piece like this one . But I'm always curious about these little pop-up gou
MO: GOP Rep Tells Teachers To Take A Hike
So here's a jolly exchange from Twitter on Saturday. Get a different job. No one owes you anything. — Justin Hill (@HillForMissouri) January 3, 2021 That's Justin Hill , a Missouri GOP rep from the 108th district, showing his love and support for teachers in his state. He was a cop before running for office, so you'd think he'd know something about public service, but maybe not so much. He's had
The New York Times Adds One Plus One And Gets Three
You might have been excited yesterday if you saw a New York Times editorial board headline talking about " The Wreckage Betsy DeVos Leaves Behind " and thought that maybe, for a change, the greyest lady was going to stands up for public education. But then you read it. Sigh. There is much that they get right. They open by noting that the department has not just failed, but refused to lead, during
ICYMI: So I Guess This Is A New Year Edition (1/3)
I'm not sure I've ever felt less enamored of our habit of celebrating the passing of an arbitrary line in the sand that we drew ourselves, but it's not the most terrible human activity, either, so carry on. Also cross your fingers and say a prayer for everyone going back to school tomorrow. In the meantime, here's some reading from the week. The Bloom's Deception Greg Ashman challenges some commo
Why Students Should Learn To Use Tech Tools
Because some day you might be involved in a national-level effort to overthrow the results of an election, and you might have to file a legal document like this one... I really wanted to save this somewhere so that I could pull it out as an example some day, because this is just a special