Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, November 14, 2021


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Good News Edition (11/14)

Good News Edition 

Happy to let you know that the twins have both tested negative for the Corona Pirates after their exposure to a positive classmate earlier this week. So that's a win. Now here's your reading for the week.

Learning Loss or Learning Found

A great real teacher view of the whole Learning Loss flap, by Sharon Murchie.

Stop Telling Students, "You Belong!"

At Education Week, Greg Walton offers an explanation for why telling students they belong might actually do more harm than good.

Teaching critical race theory is about liberating all of us

Rann Miller at The Progressive makes the case for having CRT influence your school's curriculum, and it starts with the most jaw-dropping quote you've read in a while.

"Helping kids of color to feel they belong has a negative effect on white, Christian, or conservative kids,” Mary Beeman, the campaign manager for a Republican school board candidate in Connecticut, said in October.

I'm a Teacher and I Feel Like I'm Failing My Students

Thomas Rademacher with one more piece about the morale problem eating at the heart of education these days.

Play is the most rigorous curriculum known to humankind

Teacher Tom with some insights about what is the best lesson for the littles.

Censorship and Book Burning: A Reader

Paul Thomas has assembled a batch of links to the most current raft of book banning stories in the US. Not encouraging, but handy.

Lost in the Hoarders' Closet

A very short post at Notes from the Educational Trenches, but an intriguing image nonetheless.

New Report Illuminates Constitutional Crisis in North Carolina's underfunded schools

In NC, there's been a battle going on between the courts, which want the state to live up to their constitutional mandate to fully fund education, and the legislature, which would rather not. Justin Parmenter looks at a new report that shows just how bad the situation has become.

Universal Preschool Cookie-cutter Pressure

Nancy Bailey takes a look at how early childhood education, including and especially Head Start, has turned into bad news for education and the littles.

How Edgenuity Ruined My Education

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider turns her blog over to one of her seniors, who has a few words to share about one brand of distance learning.

I'm adding a new feature this week which I suppose we can call "Stuff I Published Other Places" which is partly for my own benefit because I lose track of things. 

This week over at, I put up Charter Schools Fight for Their Right To Discriminate, which looks at two different charters--one in California and the other in Massachusetts, that are working hard to avoid being open to all students in their communities. Also this week was New Hampshire and Moms for Liberty Put Bounty On Teachers' Headswhich is about exactly that--M4L is backing the state's new gag law with a cash reward for the first person who manages to use the law to end some teacher's career. 

New Hampshire And Moms For Liberty Put Bounty On Teachers’ Heads - by @palan57 on @forbes

The Conversation About Critical Race Theory In Schools Is Over. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Current Pandemic Update (11/21)
So I was going to tell you how things are going in this neck of the woods. We get so many updates from major cities, I've figured all along that we might as well have updates from rural NW PA, an area that seemed, 20 months ago, to be well-positioned to weather this storm. I was going to tell you that local schools are back to having spot outages. A class sent home to quarantine here, a building
PA: How's "Twenty Strong Men" vs. School Board Guy Doing?
Steve Lynch is a QAnon-quoting, insurrection-joining, Patriot Party-supporting, fully-Trumpified fitnes trainer who, you may recall, made a splash while running for Northampton County executive. He made a national splash by suggesting that the solution to all these Very Naughty School Boards was to take "twenty strong men" into the school board meeting and command the board to either resign or be
Maybe Everyone Doesn't Think Schools Suck
Does it seem as if the Anti crowd-- the one demanding that schools re-open, that masks be discarded, that discussions of race be shut down, that the unions are trying to indoctrinate children, that school board members need to be intimidated--does it seem as if they are a large group, a rising wave that represents the majority? Maybe not. A new Axios-Ipsos poll indicates that US adults mostly thi
ICYMI: Project Time Edition (11/7)
Here at the Institute we have a project brewing, and it's taking some actual time to prepare. But I still collected some reading for you this week. Why my book has been removed from school shelves An LA Times op-ed from Christopher Noxon, author of Good Trouble: Lessons from the Civil Rights Playbook, which has drawn some attention in Virginia for being about, you know, Black stuff. Loraine Super
More Rough Days Ahead For Public Ed
The post-mortems are rolling in this morning. Some mild suggestions like this one from Ross Douthat : "Democrats probably need a new way to talk about progressive ideology and education." Some chortling Twitter feeds about how CRT panic is a winning issue. However you parse it, it seems reasonable to assume that a whole bunch of GOP politicos have, in the wake of the Virginia governor's election,
Replying to Moms for Liberty: What about These Books?
This exchange turned up on my Twitter feed. How do you propose that parents handle the books they are finding in the school libraries? I’m not totally disagreeing with you, but they are finding these books everywhere and they are upset. Can you blame them? — Moms for Liberty (@Moms4Liberty) November 3, 2021 I'm going to try to answer this question, because I think it's a legitimate one. Caveats f
Classroom Management Secrets
This question has popped up a couple of times on my screen lately: Which is the more essential classroom skill set - subject matter and pedagogical expertise OR the ability to “manage” behavioral issues? It's a trick question. The ability to "manage" a classroom is rooted in subject matter and pedagogical expertise. If you have ever wrangled toddlers, you probably know this simple trick--always b