Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, May 16, 2021


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Grandchild Edition (5/16)

Grandchild Edition

No, I don't have a new one. But my newest grandchild is in town, so I get to see him for the first time in a year. A photo of his extreme cuteness to follow, but you'll have to scroll past this list of reading material from the week.

How College Became a Ruthless Competition Divorced From Learning

In the Atlantic, Daniel Markowits has written a piece that will repeatedly having you yell "Yeah!" and trying hard to decide which quote to pull. Marriage, Jane Austen, educational hierarchies, elite schools, meritocracy, rankings and ratings. This is your "if you only read one selection" selection for the week.

4 Ideas about AI that even Experts Get Wrong

Yes, I know I share lots of AI articles, but you have to remember that this is the stuff that certain people want to take teachers' jobs, and we should be paying attention.

Is Critical Race Theory Dividing the Country?

Nancy Flanagan as usual provides a thoughtful look at the hot topic of the day.

The GOP's 'Critical Race Theory' Obsession

While we're at the Atlantic, look at this Adam Harris piece explaining how a fifty year old academic theory has become central to the GOP's latest round of fearmongering.

We found the textbooks of senators who oppose the 1619 project and suddenly everything makes sense

Michael Harriot at The Root did exactly this, and it's a pretty stark, clear reminder of how much the 1619 project diverges from traditional school history texts.

Restructuring Plan "Disastrous" for PA Universities

The state of PA is looking to downsize its (very expensive) system of higher education. Economists predict that results will not be pretty.

This is a map of America's broadband problem

Not actually an education article, except that it is, because broadband problems are education problems.

I spent a year and a half at a no excuses charter school. Here is what I saw.

Joanne Golan writing at the Conversation. Blunt and to the point. 

After a high point in the Obama administration, philanthropies no longer drive education policy

Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat offers a view of how the philanthropic landscape has changed in educationland. Interesting viewpoint.

What Black Men Need From Schools to Stay in the Teaching Profession

A useful and insightful interview with three Black teachers over at EdWeek

Rann Miller talks about the extra weight that Black teachers are asked to carry, and how that is tied to keeping them in the classroom. At the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Now, as promised. Yes, he's adorable.

Six Obama Era Education Policy Mistakes Joe Biden Should Avoid - by @palan57 on @forbes

NV: Should Charter Schools Hire Licensed Teachers?
Nevada is one of the country's leading states for privatizers; in 2015, they went all in on education savings accounts aka super-vouchers. Well, not so super- -they were not large enough to benefit the poor families that were the excuse for passing the bill. But they've got tax credit scholarships so that donors can get out of paying school taxes and support private schools at the same time. And,
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Does The Nation's Report Card Have A New Reading Problem
Chester "Checker" Finn has concerns about the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), the folks who bring us the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) , aka The Nation's Report Card, aka that Big Standardized Test that periodically fuels massive freak outs about the Youths and their Learnings. Finn recently expressed concern over a "gag order" placed on the group by the chair, Hale
More Koch Ed Privatization
The Koch Network is getting with the times and launching an edu-reform substack. Yay. The substack is co-hosted by Lisa Snell , director of K-12 education policy for Stand Together , aka the Charles Koch Institute . Previously she spent 23 years as Director of Education at the Reason Foundation . Her co-host is Adam Peshek , who is part of the same Kochtopus, having arrived Jeb Bush's ExcelinEd (
Elon Musk Buddy Ready To Fix Education And The World
You may recall that Elon Musk started a school a few years ago, because of course he did. It was sort of a private school, sort of the most expensive homeschool project ever launched (Musk has five kids--one set of twins, and one set of triplets, so God bless him and his wife). He was single-handedly funding the thing (almost a cool half-mill a year ). And now one of his buds is ready to spin it
Let's Cut Bill And Melinda Some Slack
Warning: this is not really about education, and the title is not ironic snark. There are some things in life that you just don't get unless you've been there. Divorce is one of them. I've been through divorce school (Motto: You'll learn a lot, but the tuition is really high) and I'm getting that feeling I have every time I see famous people having their marital meltdowns plastered all over the n
Do Americans Overwhelmingly Hate "Woke" Policies?
You may recall that Parents Defending Education recently burst on the scene as the latest education astroturf, this time tilted hard right . Their battle against "indoctrination" in schools now includes a new weapon--a poll, which they're touting under the headline "Americans Overwhelmingly Reject 'Woke' Race and Gender Policies in K-12 Education." (Have we reached the point yet where "woke" is u
The Anti-Education Economy
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education asks "Our blind faith in the transformative power of higher ed is slipping. What now?" The article looks at the long-time US love affair with higher education, an affair that is one part long-standing respect (of some folks) for more and more education and one part the relentless drumbeat of articles pointing out that college graduates make mo
ICYMI: Mother's Day Edition (5/9)
Honestly, it has been kind of a rough week here, and it's not getting better any time soon. So whatever else you do today, make sure you hug a loved one and let them know you care. Time is relentless and remorseless. Humans do not have to be. Here's some reading from the week. Teacher Evaluations (Hammers and Nails) Blue Cereal Education with a story of what teacher evaluation looks like in the f
Accountability Whiplash
It's one of the little inconsistencies in the reformster movement. Some will point at charts showing that spending on public education has increased steadily (in constant dollars) and ask, "What have we gotten for it?" There are