Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, March 14, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Blue Screen of Death Edition (3/14)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Blue Screen of Death Edition (3/14)

Blue Screen of Death Edition

So the main desktop computer here at the institute is in a state, and we're working from the mobile office, which guarantees a 150% increase in typo frequency. But meanwhile, there are things to read.

First, a reminder that NPE's Blog of the Day now provides a daily sampling of the best public education posts on the web. Click on over and subscribe, and get a daily dose of some quality curating.

Voters actually like new taxes for schools

It's always a good day when Andrea Gabor puts out a new piece. Here she is at Bloomberg talking about how support for taxation to support schools is turning up in surprising places (like Arizona).

Democrats split over Biden plan for academic testing during pandemic

Politico has noticed that some Democrats have decided to buck the testocratic bent of party leaders. 

The gig economy for teachers

Andy Spears has a substack. On this post, he talks about some of the ideas rising in popularity that spell bad news for the teaching profession.

Educators in office on the pandemic, teachers, and students

Mariel Padilla at the 19th talked to eight women legislators who are/were teachers and got their perspective on the current pandemess.

Standardized testing amid Covid-19 pandemic will do kids and teachers more harm than good

David DeMatthews is in USA Today adding one more well-informed voice to the chorus of people pointing out that the whole testing 2021 idea is a bad one. 

America's Covid spring shouldn't include standardized tests for any students

Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Randi Weingarten team up for this NBC News piece that says what cannot be said too much. Here's hoping that the USED email servers are drowning in these links, sent over and over again.

Clearview AI uses your online photos to id you. Now there's a lawsuit.

Clearview AI has scraped over 3 billion photos to build its database so that its surveillance equipment can pick you out of a crowd. What could possibly go wrong. The LA Times has a story about the lawsuit brought by four civil liberties groups.

Stuyvesant students and mental health

For Chalkbeat, Amy Zimmer looks at what happened when Stuy students started to open up about the mental health issues of a high pressure high school.

What 'learning loss' really means

You know I'm going to love an essay that starts with "There is no such thing as learning loss." Rachael Gabriel guest posts at Valerie Strauss's Washington Post blog to offer one more explanation of what we're really talking about.

We need an FDA for educational assessments

Les Perelman, friend of the Institute and one of my personal heroes, offered up yet another look at just how bad computer assessments are at their jobs, via Diane Ravitch's blog.

Private schools have become truly obscene

Caitlin Flanagan is at the Atlantic drawing a vivd and horrifying picture of the world of the big league private schools. She gets a couple of things wrong about public schools, but this is a long, worthwhile read.

School boards push back against voucher expansions

Indiana's GOP legislators are on the voucher expansion bus, and public school boards are pushing back, God bless them. And the Associated Press has noticed (this particular link goes to the WNDU website).

Addressing learning loss in one easy lesson

At te Fordham's blog, Robert Pondiscio speaks up in favor of good old fashioned direct instruction and talks about a forty year old reading instruction book. Agree or disagree, this is something to start a discussion.

Thingmaker featuring creepy crawlers

If you are of a Certain Age, you know exactly what Teacher Tom is talking about here. (Personally, I favored the ones that let your pencil into a monster).

From girls high school basketball to the 'Eyes of Texas,' racism still permeates education system

A USA Today op-ed looks at some of the Racism In The News moments of the week and looks at what they tell us about the education system.

Constructing unicorn barns

TC Weber at Dad Gone Wild talks about learning loss and testing and who has a reason to promote these supposed crises

John White and Co: What Are They Up To Now

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider with another well-researched tale of ed reformsters who just keep failing upwards.

'Test and punish system': Parents can opt children out of statewide testing

If there was ever a time for parents to opt out of testing, this is it. The Opt Out Florida network has some information (and if you're not in Florida, this may give you some ideas of what to look at).

An Open Letter to My Son's Recorder

Julie Scagell at McSweeney's with your fun read for the week. 

Vouchers May Be The Next Big Education Reform. Have Charter Schools Been Left Behind? - by @palan57 on @forbes

FL: Let's Assess Four Year Olds
We have been down this road before, but I will beat this drum till my knuckles bleed (and the older my children and my grandchildren get, the harder I'll drum). Florida is once again reporting that 40% of Florida kindergartners are " not ready for kindergarten. " Rep. Erin Grall (R) told a House early learning subcommittee "That's on us," as part of her pitch for HB 419 , a bill intended to restr
Dear Mike Bloomberg: No
Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor, failed Presidential candidate, and rich guy, took to t he pages of the Washington Post to argue that Joe Biden should keep schools open this summer . Bloomberg says that we are facing "the greatest challenge to public education" since schools defied Brown v. Board of Education. He says that "the evidence that remote learning has been disastrous for children, e
The Greatest Testing Stories Never Told
As testocrats continue their full court press to back up the Biden edict that 2021 Big Standardized Tests must occur, it's worth remembering that we have been doing this for twenty-ish years. That means that we are long past the point when tests should be sold based on the wonderful things they are going to do; instead, we should be hearing about all the wonderful things they have done. For insta
ICYMI: In Like A Turducken Edition (3/7)
So it's March, and we're beginning the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Last Time We Did That Normal Thing. Really looking forward to that. In the meantime, I am continuing to work out the balance between all my old gigs and the new one handling the Hey Look At This blog for the Network for Public Education , which you should definitely check out, but which will definitely share som
Better Writing Assessment: Do Something Right
If you aren't ready to take the no-grade plunge (or your particular corner of the pool will never support that choice), there are still ways to shift your thinking about assessing student writing. One of the biggest is to move away from focusing on deficits and mistakes. Avoiding mistakes is not a useful focus for writing. For one thing, not making mistakes is an easy path to mediocrity. You can
Update: Chester Upland's Mysterious Missing Money
The Chester Upland School District frequently gets the adjective "embattled" in front of its name, and it has earned that name by suffering every hardship ever inflicted on a school district. Most recently, it has been the target of a plan to chop the district up and sell the parts off to various charter school operators. But suddenly, this week, new issues. The story was first picked up by the D
Arizona Mounts Further Assault On Public School Teachers
Arizona has lost its damn mind, this week passing some of the stupidest, most aggressively anti-public ed laws anywhere, including an absolutely insane law requiring teachers to file lesson plans a year in advance. Arizona