Sunday, January 31, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Worse Week Than I Thought Edition (1/31)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Worse Week Than I Thought Edition (1/31)

Worse Week Than I Thought Edition 

You know, I thought last week was pretty okay until I looked at the pieces I had collected. So maybe you don't want to read every single item on the list this week. But do stick around for the palate cleanser at the end.

Jeff Bezos wants to go to the moon. Then, public education.

From Dominik Dresel at EdSurge, a piece that will not warm your heart or lift your spirits. 

2nd Grader expelled for telling another girl she had a crush on her

While we're not lifting your spirits--from CNN. Just in case you need one more example of how that nice Christian private school doesn't have to take--or keep--any kid they don't want to.

Unions just got a rare bit of good news.

If you thought the Janus case, which illegalized fair share payments and allowed teachers to be free riders on their unions work--well, if you thought that was the end of it, you underestimated how much some people hate unions. The next wave of suits is asking the court to make unions pay back all the fair share money they ever collected. SCOTUS announced this week that it will not hear at least the first block of such cases. Fully explained at Vox.

LA Virtual School's Whopper Course Sizes, with a Side of Edgenuity

Let's start a quick tour of some states by starting down south with the indispensable Mercedes Schneider, who reports on how virtual school is working out in Louisiana.

Norfolk remains deeply segregated

The Virginian-Pilot begins its long look at the city that was the site of the first federally funded public housing, the first to be released from federally mandated bussing. They have some issues, and this series, produced with support from the Education Writers Association Reporting Fellowship program, looks to be a long haul.

ASD Light

Against all sense, somebody in Tennessee thinks that maybe a do-over on the failed Achievement School District concept might work. Andy Spears has the story at Tennessee Ed Report.

All the World's A Stage

TC Weber has a variety of news items from TN, including an item that suggests TNTP is getting ready to teach everyone literacy stuff.

Ohio: Funding Doesn't Matter

The state auditor has decided that funding schools doesn't really do anything. Jan Resseger begs to differ, and brings some receipts.

Will North Carolina continue to whitewash history for its students?

North Carolina was on a path toward acknowledging some systemic problems. Then they elected a new state superintendent.

Will SB48 make educating your child more difficult than finding a covid vaccine?

Florida is set to take one more giant bite out of its public education system. I wrote about this bill, but Accountabaloney is one the scene and has a clear picture of what's going on. And everyone needs to pay attention, because Florida is using the same playbook that other states crib from.

The school choice movement reckons with its conservative ties

The splintering of choice's right and left wings has been a story for a while, but when the Philly PBS station notices, you know something's going on. Avl Wolfman-Arent reports for WHYY.

Teacher Comments on Being Tech Skeptics

Larry Cuban has collected some real comments from real teachers about the value of ed tech.

Is there really a science of reading?

At the Answer Sheet, David Reinking, Victoria J. Risko, and George G. Hruby stop by to explain in calm, measured tones why the whole "science of reading" thing is not the cure-all it's promoted to be.

More states seek federal waivers

Also the Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss reports that more and more states are asking for what is so obviously the right thing to do-- scrap the 2021 Big Standardized Test.

Marketplace mentality toward schools hurts society

The Baptist Standard, of all places, has an interview with Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire about Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door (do you have your copy yet? get it today!) and how the market approach to education is bad for everyone.

Trump conspiracists in the classroom

Buzzfeed, of all places, takes a look at the problem of teachers who have fallen down the Trump/Qanon hole. Politics in the classroom are one thing; lies and debunked conspiracies are another order of trouble.

Meet the Vermont Teacher behind Bernie's Mittens

Just in case you haven't met her already. I've got to leave you with something encouraging.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Worse Week Than I Thought Edition (1/31)

Nationwide Initiative Underway To Dismantle Public Education
Well, happy School Choice Week. What better way to celebrate than getting a bunch of states to ram through bills to gut (or in some cases further gut) public education. The preferred method seems to be ESA-style vouchers (ESA used to stand for "education savings account," but sometimes "education scholarship account"). In an ESA/Tax Credit Scholarship program, rich benefactors give money to a "sc
Selling Roboscoring: How's That Going, Anyway?
The quest continues--how to best market the notion of having student essays scored by software instead of actual humans. It's a big, bold dream, a dream of world in which test manufacturers don't have to hire pesky, expensive meat widgets and the fuzzy unscientific world of writing can be reduced to hard numbers--numbers that we know are objective and true because, hey, they came form a computer.
New Horizons in Workplace Surveillance
Work-from-home has triggered an explosion in Surveil-from-the-office features and products. There has certainly been a boom in programs specifically for surveillance of employees who are at home. These are creepy, with a reported 81% of the top programs logging keystrokes -- so that the boss can see exactly what you've been typing. But there's something even more insidious about regular old produ
The Curmudgureading List
I was recently reminded that it has been a while since I've done one of these. The edublogging universe has, I think, shrunk a bit in the last year or two, which is not to say that there aren't still hundreds out there. But lots of folks come and go, and I drop blogs from the list on the side when they've gone dormant for more than a few months. There has also been a shift to newsletters and subs
Teachers and the Toll of Disinterest
The closest I ever came to leaving public education was almost twenty years ago, when I was the president of our local union, and we were on strike. It was a challenging time. The contract negotiations started with stripping (a technique where the district proposes to gut the contract so that they can pretend to make concessions later by agreeing to only partly gut the contract, which of course i
ICYMI: Bernie Meme Week Edition (1/24)
I'm not a huge fan of pomp, but I do love a good meme explosion, and I'm fond of getting government out of the hands of people who actively, purposefully try to make it fail, so all in all, not a bad week. Before the list, let me give you your semi-regular reminder that sharing stuff is powerful. It makes bloggers think, "Hey, I'm actually reaching people" and it makes news organizations think, "
High Stakes Testing Town Hall--Sign Up
Is there a debate about this spring's Big Standardized Test, exactly? On one side, you have pretty much everyone who has actual direct knowledge of education and teaching pointing out the many reasons that going ahead with