Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, February 7, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Hooray for the Sports Ball Edition (2/7)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Hooray for the Sports Ball Edition (2/7)

Hooray for the Sports Ball Edition

My understanding is that there will be some sort of contest today in which millionaires will chase a bag of air up and down a plastic field. But since none of them are Steelers, who really cares. I'll catch up later. And if you're killing time today until the sportsballfest begins, here's some reading from a blessedly low-eventful week.

A Bucket of Nuggets

A pot-pourri of stuff from Dad Gone Wild, including the irony of current McKinsey news.

The 12-point Covid-19 disconnect between teachers and those who want schools open now!

Nancy Bailey delivers a swift and pointed breakdown of the current school opening breakdown.

School choice policies are associated with increased separation of students by social class

At The Conversation, a rundown of research that will not surprise you even a little bit, using some international data.

Betsy DeVos is gone, but her agenda lives on

A recurring theme of the week, as attention turned to the surprising number of states that seem determined to pick up Betsy's baton and run with it by kneecapping public education. This one's from Jeff Bryant at Alternet.

Betsy DeVos is gone--but DeVosism sure isn't.

I'm just going to set a few of these here together. This is Valerie Strauss's take, with some state by state info.

Carrying Betsy DeVos' Torch

Come for the photo, stay for Rebecca Klein's excellent summation of the current voucher push.

A year into the pandemic, the digital divide is as wide as ever.

Remember how the widespread need for solid internet for distance learning was going to jumpstart a revolution to end the digital divide? Yeah, didn't happen yet, per USA Today.

The false narrative of the needy kids versus the selfish teachers union

John Merrow offers some history and perspective on the current debate.

Big Oil Gets To Teach Climate Science in American Classrooms

Yikes. Bloomberg shines some light on the latest big oil propaganda initiative, and how some teachers are fighting back.

No More Proctorio

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign becomes another school to say no to the big surveillance program. Will more follow? From Colleen Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed.

Cancel the PSSAs and Keystones in 2021

An editorial board actually comes down on the right side of this. The PA USA Today Network Editorial Board says no the PA version of the Big Standardized Test.

When it comes to public education critics, the Fordham Institute deserves closer scrutiny

In Ohio, an op-ed from Jeanne Melvin and Denis Smith laying out some of the particulars of why the Fordham is well worth ignoring

Students Respond to Adults' Fixation on 'Learning Loss'

Larry Ferlazzo reports at EdWeek on what some actual students think about this big LL panic

Educators around the world seek to take axe to exam-based learning

The Financial Times, of all things, with a piece about all the many places and ways the BS Test is loathed, and ways to get rid of it.

The mirage of school choice masks the hard work sorely needed in education

Randall Balmer offers an op-ed in the Des Moines Register recaps how this whole reform baloney works.

Five key moments from Miguel Cardona's confirmation hearing

Honestly, I'm pretty happy that the hearing was this week and most of the US didn't even notice (the full-length headline has to identify who he is). Valerie Strauss has a nice summation of the notable moments, and none of them are all that exciting, except that it's kind of exciting to have a secretary of ed who isn't all that exciting.

Secretary Cardona's first big test

Jan Resseger builds the case for a federal waiver for the BS Test this spring.

The "Science of Reading": A movement anchored in the past

Paul Thomas continues to be one of the best at pushing back against SOR. 

Kids Last

In California, a charter school chain apparently wants to build a school on a toxic land fill.

Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid

The National Catholic Reporter digs up some info about how the Catholic Church and its schools cashed in on the small business relief program.

Don't Blame Lack of Education

Amanda Marcotte at Salon points out one lesson of the QAnon wave--wealth and education do not insulate people from crazy conspiracy theories.

Report: California Wastes $600 Million Per Year On Cyberschools - by @palan57 on @forbes

PA: Budget Kicks Off Another Round Of Charter Battles
Governor Tom Wolf has released his budget proposal, and charter supporters are not happy. This is not the first time Wolf has made the charter school industry sad. Back in the summer of 2019 he fired some shots across their bows with an aggressive agenda for fixing Pennsylvania's messed up charter funding system. In return, they've launched a variety of PR pushes ; indications are they have somet
NH: Full Neo Voucher Assault On Public Ed
You may have heard that there is a bad voucher proposal up in New Hampshire. How bad is it? Pretty bad. I'll give you the history, the long detailed read, and the short story here. Attempts to gut public education in the granite state are not new. Back in 2017, the GOP made an attempt to push Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) through to, as always, dodge that troublesome church-state wall thi
Pandemic Lesson #1: Trust Matters
There are many lessons to be learned from this mess, including lessons about the usefulness of government. Also, I'm sure, plenty of scientific disease stuff. But I notice that, particularly in the education arena, we keep coming back to trust. Black and brown families are hesitant to return to school buildings because they aren't sure they can trust the institutions that have failed them so ofte
More Absurd Learning Loss Data
Pandemic education has featured a great deal of chicken littling about "learning loss " that is largely ridiculous . Test manufacturers and folks in test-adjacent edu-biz endeavors are selling the picture of students as buckets and education as water, and now the education is just leaking out at a rate so alarming that it's kind of amazing that people have not turned into drooling couch potatoes
Third Grade Reading Retention: Still A Bad Idea
A former colleague of mine, a math teacher, used to say, "Don't even teach primary students math. Just teach them to read. By the time they get to me, if they can read well, I can teach them all the math you want." That was many years ago, long before the rise of third grade reading retention laws . But those laws, while (usually) well-intentioned, are a terrible, rotten, no good, really bad idea
Update: How Pandemic School Is Going In One Rural Area
I've been reporting periodically on how pandemic school is going in my own rural/small town county. Since nobody is doing any kind of systematic large-scale tracking of which schools are doing what and how it's going, I'm just throwing one more batch of data into the general big-city-dominated noise (here's the most recent post on the subject , from the beginning of November). Numbers have contin
Donors Choose Monday: Give This Book
Ms. Evans-Klopp is at Andrew T. Morrow in Central Islip, NY in a high-poverty neighborhood and trying to work through open-yet-restricted building work, and she'd like a class set of Give This Book aTitle by Jarrett Lerner to give her third graders some excitement and a little creative break. You can help with even a small donation. And as always, I encourage you to lend a hand to someone, somewh
ICYMI: Worse Week Than I Thought Edition (1/31)
You know, I thought last week was pretty okay until I looked at the pieces I had collected. So maybe you don't want to read every single item on the list this week. But do stick around for the palate cleanser at the end. Jeff Bezos wants to go to the moon. Then, public education. From Dominik D


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Education Research Report: Teaching pupils empathy measurably improves their creative abilities -

Report: California Wastes $600 Million Per Year On Cyberschools -

North Ogden Montessori charter school to allow students to opt out of Black History Month curriculum | Education | -

L.A. schools chief blasts threat to sue district to reopen

Sacramento City Unified makes cuts to preschool program, college visits and bus routes

Sacramento schools remove controversial air cleaners after experts, teachers raise concerns

Children Will Eventually Return To Schools, But Schools Won't Be The Same

Arkansas Teacher Fired for Angry Email to Lawmakers Over 1619 Project Bill - on TheRoot

Dems try to shoehorn major child poverty reduction plan into Covid bill

Big Education Ape: CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Hooray for the Sports Ball Edition (2/7) -

Big Education Ape: Jersey Jazzman: January, 2021 Update on NJ COVID School Opening Plans: Still Racially Biased, Still Inadequately Funded For Many -

Big Education Ape: A few thoughts on School Funding and Pandemic Relief – School Finance 101 -

Big Education Ape: A Teacher in California: The Madness of Test Obsession | Diane Ravitch's blog -

Big Education Ape: Teachers on Dilemmas of Remote and Hybrid Instruction | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice -

Big Education Ape: EdAction in Congress February 7, 2021 - Education Votes -

Big Education Ape: Jeff Bryant: Voucher Programs and Charter Schools - LA Progressive -

Big Education Ape: The week in coveducation: Stitt outlines #oklaed goals -

Big Education Ape: Republicans look to "Q" UP Democrats on school reopenings | TheHill -

Big Education Ape: Open Letter to Dr. Hite Regarding School District Facility Issues + Parents United Response to the SDP Reopening Plan – Parents United for Public Education -

Big Education Ape: VIDEO: Sacramento City Unified Air Cleaner Controversy – CBS Sacramento -

Big Education Ape: Educators: Beware “The City Fund” and Its Many Tentacles of Privatization | Diane Ravitch's blog -

Big Education Ape: Education Matters: Why is DCPS misleading families about testing during a pandemic. -

Big Education Ape: Is It Safe to Resume In-Person Instruction? | Diane Ravitch's blog -

Big Education Ape: Chicago Teachers At Odds With District Over School Reopening | 89.3 KPCC -

Big Education Ape: About That JAMA Article on COVID Transmission and Reopening Schools | deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog -


Big Education Ape: A VERY BUSY DAY Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... The latest news and resources in education since 2007 #BLM #BLACKLIVESMATTER #BLACKHISTORYMONTH -


Big Education Ape TOP POSTS THIS WEEK 2/6/21 ‘Slaying Goliath’: Diane Ravitch argues in new book that public education advocates have beat back efforts to privatize schools - The Washington Post The real story of New Orleans and its charter schools - The Washington Post THE TOP BANANA: TODAY'S EDUCATION HEADLINES Wednesday, February 3, 2021 #REDFORED #tbats #BLM #BLACKLIVESMATTER #BLACKHISTORYMON

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