Sunday, January 3, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: So I Guess This Is A New Year Edition (1/3)

So I Guess This Is A New Year Edition

 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 common thoughts about the beloved taxonomy. Are higher orders really more important?

Remember This Year

Audrey Watters does a version of her annual review of the year piece, pulling no punches as always, and reminding us about ed tech amnesia.

An Idiot's Guide To the Philosophy of Education (Part 3)

Othmar's Trombone has been quiet for a while, but this week he popped back up continuing his series of irreverent looks at key philosophers of education, so here you go.

Yes, Virginia

This is a cool little piece about the annually celebrated girl who wrote That Letter and received That Reply. Turns out she grew up to be a teacher.

Pandemic Offers Opportunity to Reduce Standardized Testing  

That Josh Starr, CEO of PDK International, would write this piece is not exactly surprising, but that Education Next, the mouthpiece of the Fordham Institution axis of reformsterdom, would run it suggests that something's in the air right now. Let's hope. Also, add this to your bookmarked lists of good arguments for suspending testing.

The critical story of the "science of reading" and why its narrow plotline is putting our children and schools at risk.

The National Council of Teachers of English offers an excellent critique of the highly-popular-among-people-who-don't-actually-teach science of reading movement.

Penn State Hockey: Gadowsky away from family since July

My nephew is a sports writer specializing in Penn State sports. Here's a different kind of covid piece, about the university's hockey coach, who has sacrificed being with his own family in order to do the coaching job. One more cost of getting sports running so other folks can feel normal.

Trump's school choice executive order

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider explains why we don't have to give that EO another thought.

The President's executive order is vaporware

Here's a guest post on the reformy Jay Greene's blog, also explaining why we don't have to give that EO another thought. 

Amplify and iReady Claim Kindergarten and First Grade Reading Loss. Guess why.

Is it any wonder that much of the chicken littling about learning loss is coming from folks who hope to make a bundle "fixing" it? Nancy Bailey breaks down some of the baloney being sliced up.

St. Louis Public Education Theft Continues

Thomas Ultican looks in detail at the steady dismantling of St. Louis schools and where the situation stands currently.

Why the academic achievement gap is a racist idea.

This piece from Ibram X. Kendi ran back in 2016, but it poped up again this week and it is well worth a reread.

And finally, this tweet just made me laugh this week. If you don't get it, I can't help you.

Here’s What Needs To Be Done To Rebuild K-12 Education In This Country - by @palan57 on @forbes

Why A Classroom Connection Matters For The Department Of Education - by @palan57 on @forbes

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
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 kind of awesome.
Another Round Of Teacher Bashing
Remember back in the spring (approximately ten years ago in 2020 time), when teachers were hailed as heroes for their tenacity and adaptability? Actually, if you're teacher, what you probably remember is hearing that for what often comes next. And sure enough, here we are. The attitude bubbles up in lots of outlets, sometimes snide and subvocalized, and sometimes right up in your face. A perfect
Schools And Social Capital
I'm in the middle of reading Robert Putnam's new book ( The Upswin g ) which has gotten me to thinking about his previous work, Our Kids . What has struck me in particular about the latter is his writing about social capital and
Trump Issues School Vouchers Via Executive Order
Monday the White House (if Donald Trump wrote this thing, then I'm the Queen of Rumania) issued an executive order "expanding educational opportunity school choice" to create "Emergency Learning Scholarships for Students." It instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services ( that would be Alex Azar ) to use funds from the Community Services Block Grant program top provide "emergency learning
Democrats Need A New Theory Of Action
For four years, Democrats have had a fairly simple theory of action when it came to education. Something along the lines of "Good lord, a crazy lady just came into our china shop riding a bull, waving around a flamethrower, and dragging a shark with a head-mounted laser beam; we have to stop her from destroying the place (while pretending that we have a bull and a shark in the back just like hers
ICYMI: Christmas Recovery Edition (12/27)
We're getting there, and by "there" I mean into whatever future we're about to build in the new year. In the meantime, here's this week's reading list. The Attack on Dr. Jill Biden Is Cloaked Hatred of Teachers and Public Ed While folks have been compiling lists if bad Wall Street Journal takes in 2020, the Epstein hit piece is often overlooked--but it was bad. Nancy Bailey pushes back. (Ye
No Test In 2021 (A BS Test Reader)
Among the many things that the new secretary of education really needs to do upon taking office, a big simple one is this--cancel the Big Standardized Test for 2021. I've been banging the "Get Rid of the BS Test" for years, but all the reasons it's a lousy, toxic, destructive-and-not-even-useful force in education are amplified a hundred-fold by our current pandemess. Many wise folks have pointed