Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, February 21, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Neither Cat Nor In Cancun Edition (2/21)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Neither Cat Nor In Cancun Edition (2/21)

Neither Cat Nor In Cancun Edition

This week seemed.... long, somehow. It's a big list this week. Remember to share, and take a minute to hug someone you love, too.

Stop calling this generation 'lost.'

Selena Carrion has written a really great piece about students and remote learning and the rhetoric surrounding our current flap. I wrote about this and shared it, but if you still somehow haven't seen it, now's your chance.

The Fiscal Impact of Charter Schools on School Districts

A long but important read, in which Jersey Jazzman discovers that the effects are not what many of us expect, but also require some more careful consideration  as well. Mark Weber is awfully good at making data comprehensible to ordinary mortals, and this data is worth chewing over. 

With all that robust progress monitoring, who needs a test

Accountabaloney asks the question--if Florida already has all that data on student progress, why can't they ask for a waiver for the Big Standardized Test, already. Oh, Florida. 

NH Bumps Voucher Bill Till Next Year

When you're nifty new voucher bill is so unpopular that thousands of people show up to testify against it, what do you do? Let it sit on the shelf for a year and hope people have a short attention span.

Reopening must be done safely

Leave it to Jan Resseger to take a reasoned, well-researched approach to the question of opening school buildings. A good explainer for where we are right now.

Parents are getting the kind of instruction they want

There are soooo many pols right now, but Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat has the results of one that finally asked the right question--are parents getting the kind of schooling they want? Mostly, yes.

Tens of thousands of community college students still taking unnecessary remedial classes

In 2017, a California law aimed to phase out unnecessary (but lucrative) remedial classes for some college students. How's that going? Wellll.......

Bill lavishes more money on favored private schools

In Indiana, the Journal Gazette editorial pushes back against the state's proposed voucher expansion.

Hoosiers all lose

Three former Indiana superintendents of public instruction speak out against GOP proposals.

Call for summer of play to help English pupils recover from Covid-19 stress

Sally Weale in the Guardian argues against any sort of academics-intensive catch-up summer. Let the children play. Different continent, but the point still applies.

Post-pandemic child care options will be scarce

At Hechinger Report, Lillian Mongeau lays out the bad news--one of the pandemic casualties is likely to be child care businesses.

Want to fix the chronic absentee problem in Detroit schools? Start with transportation.

Lori Higgins at Chalkbeat looks at one of the underlying issues behind Detroit's attendance problem (both public and charter). I'm betting they aren't the only ones.

If teachers think standardized tests stink, maybe we should listen

A Michigan state rep points out that there's good reason to think that the Big Standardized Test is a waste of time this year.

Black teachers improve education outcomes for Black students

In Pennsylvania, more support for what we already know. Plus an appearance by Erie, which always makes me happy. 

Building a community for Black male teachers

At EdWeek, a profile of Baron R. Davis, a superintendent in South Carolina looking to build support for Black men in the classroom.

The Weird Plot To Privatize Education in Minnesota

Sarah Lahm at the Progressive peeling back the layers on Minnesota's push to privatize public ed, courtesy of a guy from California.

Postmate drivers have become easy prey for scammers.

Nothing at all to do with education, but a look at one of the ways that gig workers are vulnerable to scams. One more thing to add to the list of reasons that gig work is not a welcome model for education.

Edgenuity's software wasn't meant for a pandemic. That didn't stop some school districts.

NBC news catches on the mess that is Edgenuity school-in-a-box software.

Told Ya This Would Happen

Tennessee Education Report has an update on another dark money PAC hiding behind students.

You're gonna miss us when we're gone

Steven Singer imagines a bleak version of the post-covid ed techified world

Reflections on Apocalypse Teaching

NYC Educator takes a look at where we are, and what might stand in the way of where we want to be.

Karen Lewis Taught Me

Jose Luis Vilson offers some personal reflection on Chicago's amazing teacher and labor leader

Give Me A Poke

Nancy Flanagan on maintaining during the vaccine rollout. Just a damn fine piece of writing.

As a superhero teacher, I can't wait to sacrifice my unvaccinated life for your child.

Sommer Koester at McSweeney's.

Pennsylvania Charter School Funding Reform Long Overdue, On The Horizon - by @palan57 on @forbes

Report: Global Ed Privatization Under Covid-19
Education International released a report last summer. Written by Ben Williamson (University of Edinburgh, U.K.) and Anna Hogan (University of Queensland, Australia), " Commercialisation and privatisation in/of education in the context of Covid-19 " is sixty-some pages of thorough research and depressing news for fans of public education. The attempt to "map the powerful network of commercial edt
Disaster Capitalism And The Abuse Of Youth
In the rush to raise alarm over Terrible Educational Emergencies, folks need to pay closer attention to exactly who they're hurting. I'm not talking about teachers right now. Yes, teachers get blamed for anything and everything, and it stinks, and we're paying a regular price for it in the increasing difficulty in recruiting people to do the work. But the other part of chicken littling about educ
Khan Academy Makes Its Next Big Move
The Khan Academy (aka that library of instructional videos that come in varying degrees of accuracy) is finally ready to take its next step and morph into an on-line-ish micro-credential competency-based school-ish thing. What does that even mean? Let me try to explain the vision behind this, the people behind this, and--well, then we can just reflect on how many kinds of bad ideas we're looking
What Is The Secret Teacher Plot?
It's its own genre now. Generally runs something like this: I think teachers are mighty swell and I respect the hard work they do, but as you can see from these studies that I have carefully cherry-picked selected, the science says that school buildings should be fully open right now, and teachers and their unions have no damn excuse not to get the hell back in their and do their frickin' job, fo
What An Education Uber Actually Looks Like
Betsy DeVos is among the many education disruptors fond of imagining a world in which education is handled Uber-style; but we don't have to imagine what a gig-economy education system would look like. It already exists. Outschool was founded in 2015 by Amir Nathoo (he cutely lists his title as "learner" in his LInkedIn profile), and while he looks like he's about twelve, he's been at work for a w
Donors Choose Monday: Making Music
Continuing my plan to try to help a bit in the real classrooms of the nation. Not excusing the local districts that ought to be funding these projects, but I prefer to light and candle and curse the darkness at the same time. Multitasking, you know. This week I'm looking at some music asks, because music generally gets the short end of the too-small stick to begin with, and it's near and dear to
Another Biz-Friendly Edu-octopus
We live in an era in which companies grow primarily through acquisition, and what looks like a world of options is just many limbs of the same animal. Here's one more display of what the sausage family looks like. This journey starts with a simple question-- here at the Institute, the CMO (chief marital officer) pulled out one of her programs from school and asked, "Who are these guys, anyway? I
ICYMI: Happy Valentines Day Edition (2/14)
Well, Congress rushed through their work so that they could get started on their vacation. Why shouldn't the rest of us. Let's take a look at this week's reading list. In Disorienting Return To Civility, Joe Biden's DOJ Backs Up Betsy DeVos A couple of outlets picked up this story this week, but only Time found a clever angle to go with a clever headline. My HBCU experience has been life-changing
My Battle With Learning Loss
It first hit me in the July after high school graduation--I had lost my learning about Algebra III. A whole semester, mostly gone. Of course, I told myself, I never really actually "learned" any of that stuff in the first place. So maybe I