Sunday, June 13, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Summer Break Begins Edition (6/13)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Summer Break Begins Edition (6/13)

Summer Break Begins Edition

This weekend marks the beginning of summer break for all the staff here at the Institute (I, of course, am either always or never on break, depending on how you look at it). We have not quite hit our stride yet, but I'm sure it's coming. In the meantime, here are a few things for you to read from the week.

Is the Charter Schools Program funding white-flight academies?

Carol Burris makes a guest appearance at Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog to lay out some research showing that North Carolina charters are the modern version of segregation academies.

A magic school bus brings science class to schools in need

Hechinger Report looks at a program providing mobile labs for rural and low-income communities.

35 Baltimore-area schools dismiss early--no air conditioning

A reminder that infrastructure issues plague schools and create real, daily problems that trump arguments about policy and philosophy.

Struggling schools don’t get a boost from state takeovers, study shows

Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat looks at a recent study that shows that the sun rises in the East. No, seriously, there's now some science-flavored evidence for what we already knew was true-- the school takeover model doesn't work.

Justice Department says it can defend religious schools’ exemption from anti-LGBTQ discrimination laws

The Washington Post has this story looking at the nuances, legal maneuvering, and political disappointment behind the DOJ's announced willingness to back religious anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

A new bill will lower the bar for what's required to shut down a charter school in Louisiana. For one legislator, that's just the start.

David Blight at the New Yorker takes a deep, thoughtful look at the history of how we argue about history. Old feuds, new battles, and the usual difficulty in understanding that history is not cemented in place.

John Warner notes that "bad things happen when children are used as units of global competition." In China, a generation is dropping out. Can the US learn anything?

Jenny Anderson at Kappan Online has some thoughts about how the world of ed reporting could be revamped and revitalized. I'm not sure I agree with everything she has to say, but it's a thought-provoking piece.

Vermont's voucher system has some unique features that made it a likely choice for one of the lawsuits trying to dismantle the wall between church and state, and those bricks have indeed fallen. This coverage is from the 74, but it's a good wrap-up of what happened.

The Pittsburgh Trib has this piece about a survey showing that, despite all the noise from the anti-public ed crowd, parents are mostly happy with how their schools performed during the pandemess.

Democracy Prep Founder and Thief, Seth Andrew: Spinner of Chaos.

Seth Andrew has already been arrested for stealing from the charter school chain he founded, but as the indispensable Mercedes Schneider lays out here, that's not the only mess he's been making.

McSweeney's with some more useful advice for faculty.

Florida’s New Critical Race Theory Gag Rule Will Have A Chilling Effect in Classrooms. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Joe Biden Wants To End The Teacher “Shortage.” Here’s How To Do It. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Worried About Your Child’s Learning Loss? Here’s Some Advice About How To Spend The Summer. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Nevada Family Alliance: That Body Cams for Teachers Group
Nevada is yet another state where folks are whipped into a frenzy about "Critical Race Theory," which they can't entirely identify and therefor consider to include , apparently, anything about equity, diversity, racism and US history. But the headline item is one particular proposal -- attaching body cameras to all teachers to make sure they aren't indoctrinating children. Who's behind this reall
Utopia Thinking (Education Is A Journey, Not A Destination)
One of the signs that Common Core was fatally flawed was not just that it was one size fits all, but that it was one size fits all in four dimensions, that it would fit not just every student today, but every student in the future for years and years and years to come. There was no review process, no mechanism in place to revisit and adjust parts of it, not even an organization to provide oversigh
Dear Teacher At The End Of The 2020-2021 School Year
Congratulations. You have made it to the end of the year which I'm pretty sure is burned into your brain as the worst in your career. But I am hugely impressed. You did a lot of above-and-beyond things this year. All that retooling of lessons and materials for zoomification. All the driving of paper packets out to BFE so that the kids living in a shack without indoor plumbing or wifi could still
Educating the Unreadable Heart
The ongoing debate about teaching about race and history is a reminder of one of the fundamental challenges of education in a free society-- we may want to reach hearts and minds, but we can't read them. The twins just turned four, and we are at one of the magical stages of childhood-- the Lie Your Tiny Ass Off stage. It's not that they are morally or ethically impaired, exactly. It's just that t
PA: Alert! New Attacks on Public Schools Happening Right Now
If you're a taxpayer in Pennsylvania, make some time to contact your Senator today. Two bills are reportedly being fast tracked, and both represent real threats to public education. SB 1 is a long wonky slog to read through involving changes in the established school operation rules, but here are the concerning parts. Under Section 7.1, we find Section 1717.1-A which establishes a Public Charter S
IN: Voucher Increase To Serve Church, Not Taxpayers
Today's Catholic (Serving the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend) offers an article that gives a good picture of what vouchers really do . After all the rhetoric about choice and free exercise of religion, what are taxpayers really paying for? Indiana has had a huge voucher program for ten years, and this year, the state budget included a big expansion of the program . The Indiana Catholic Conferen
Revisiting Marshmallows (Once Again, Money Matters)
Oh, the Marshmallow Experiment . Some scientists at Stanford thought they had discovered a link between the virtuous characteristics of self-control and deferred gratification and later success. Instead they just demonstrated once again that even fancy scientists can confuse correlation and causation. In case you slept in that day in Psych 101, here's the basic layout. Put a child and some marshm
ICYMI: Board of Directors Birthday Week Edition (6/6)
The Board of Directors turn four this week, if you can believe such a thing. Time flies. In the meantime, here's some reading from this week. Against Metrics: How Measuring Performance By Numbers Backfires Not really about education, except that it totally is. One more argument against data-driven lunacy. Unpacking Nonsense: Knowledge as Commodity I always feel smarter when I read something from