Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, April 4, 2021


CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Easter Edition (4/4)

Easter Edition

This is a hard day for the folks at my house. Easter is a big deal, with music and family breakfast and a bunch of things that we will not have yet again this year. But at least this year there's a possible light at the maybe end of a probably tunnel. At any rate, if you need to while away some time today, here's some reading from the week.

How a couple worked charter school regulations to make millions.

Yes, here's another one of these stories. It's almost as if the charter industry is so unregulated and unaccountable that it invites folks to exploit it. This time it's California, the Fresh Start Charter School, and Clark and Jeanette Parker.

Free education is a public good

New Hampshire is ground zero for an attempt at the biggest pay-as-you-go voucher system in the nation. In an op-ed for the Concord Monitor, state representative Linda Tanner lays out why this is bad news.

President Biden's infrastructure plan should include teachers! Here's why.

On her blog, Nancy Bailey writes about why teachers should be a piece of the massive infrastructure bill.

Teaching Black children well is the purest form of activism

Maureen Downey at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports on a panel about attracting and retaining Black teachers, one of the critical issues of our era.

State leaders hijacking stimulus funds meant for Texas public schools

Oh, that wacky Texas legislature. Something like $18 billion dollars in stimulus money is supposed to be for schools, but they're thinking they'd like to balance the budget instead. From the San Antonio  Report.

Alabama upholds ban on yoga in public schools

Also, you can't say "namaste." The ban goes back to 1993, and the legislature just refused to reverse it, because Jesus.

DC urban parents forum reinforces segregation

I'm going to complain that the Washington Post in its headline shortened the DC Urban Moms and Dads forum to "a DC moms forum." The story looks at some research by Brookings about the forum, and once again, we lift up a rock and find racism crawling out from underneath it.

School District Spending and Equal Educational Opportunity

Shanker Institute teamed up with Mark Weber and Bruce Baker to produce a massive data set showing how much districts are above or below their ideal financial state. Follow the links to the full report, and enjoy clicking on the color-coded map.

Dennis Baxley gets real about Bright Futures funding

The battle about the Bright Futures college scholarship program continues to rage in Florida, where Accountabaloney has the newest on this newest onslaught by America's Worst Legislature

A bold idea for testing: Opt-in

Simple and bold-- let parents opt in to the Big Standardized Test instead of making them opt out. The original story of a district trying this is behind a paywall, but Diane Ravitch has the highlights.

Big increase in Montana's tax credit program

Montana birthed the Espinoza case, back when the state's tax credit scholarship program was about a lousy $150. Now the GOP would like to increase the cap to $200,000.

Black and Hispanic students in Philly 'burbs are disciplined more harshly, put in AP classes more rarely, than white peers.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on a new study that shows how education inequity is endemic in the collar counties of Philadelphia.

The villains of education

Nancy Flanagan once again offers the voice of a reasonable grown up, and reminds us that demonizing and ad homineming are not particularly useful in any debate.

Report: How A Non-Profit Charter School Can Be Run For Profit - by @palan57 on @forbes

West Virginia Poised To Spend More On Vouchers, Less On Public Schools - by @palan57 on @forbes

Parents Defending Education: Astroturf Goes Hard Right
Parents Defending Education has just popped onto the education policy landscape, and they have staked out their spot in the new battle to inculcate children with the Proper American Values. They would like to sell themselves as a grassroots organization; there is no particular reason to believe that's true, and I'm going to refer you to this post from the indispensable Mercedes Schneider to see e
Vouchers Are About Abandoning Public Education, Not Freeing Parents
As the GOP mounts a multi-state initiative to implement vouchers or super-voucher education savings accounts in many states across the country, it's becoming increasingly clear that we've been looking at the voucher movement through the wrong lens (which is to day, the lens that voucheristas have promoted). Vouchers are not about freeing or empowering parents. They are about empowering private in
Charters Circumventing Democracy
In some states, charter schools have faced a particularly intractable obstacle--local elected school boards. That's because in some states, a charter cannot open without the authorization of the local elected school board. This means the local board is deciding if they would like to have the taxpayers foot the bill for opening a new school in the district, which is generally a tough sell. Charter
RI: Another Dumb Bill For Protecting White Folks
Three Rhode Island representatives have proposed a bill to protect students in the state from what the legislators imagine, I suppose, what critical race theory or any of those other nasty anti-racist programs might be. The three legislators are: Rep. Patricia Morgan, who has also proposed that mail-in balloting be "tightened up," that the house condemn major tech companies "for their attack on t
PA: Charters Argue To Keep Money They're Not Owed
Governor Tom Wolf is once again trying to address Pennsylvania's lousy charter funding rules , but right-sizing charter funding would cut into charter profiteering, and so, the pushback is under way. A full package of the current talking points turned up in The Daily Signal , a right-wing website. This piece of commentary comes from Amber Northern, a senior vp for research at the reformy Fordham
AZ: What Teacher Layoffs Look Like In An Anti-Teacher State
Carie Caruso conferenced with her supervisor and was told she was a highly effective teacher. The next day, in an online meeting, she was told that she was out of a job . 47 other teachers were part of that meeting. Angela Philpot had 23 years of experience, but this week she was one of the 150 teachers laid off by Gilbert Public Schools in a surprise meeting with a principal who read a scripted
GA: To Get A Voucher, Give Up Rights
Georgia is on the voucher expansion bus that so many GOP-run states are vacationing on this year, but their vouchers (like those in some other states) have a special wrinkle--a requirement for students with special needs to give up their rights if they want a voucher. Senate Bill 47 has a variety of the usual features, including a huge expansion of voucher eligibility (because, as many states are
ICYMI: Palm Sunday Edition (3/28)
Yeah, that snuck up fast. Let me remind you that you can get a daily dose of education commentary on the Network for Public Education Blog of Blogs . Meanwhile, let's see what we've got on taphere. Ayanna Presley wants girls of color to stop being punished disproportionately Rep. Presley is trying again with legislation to disrupt the over-punishment and detention of Black girls. Let's see how fa
Is Your Charter School A Public School?
It seems to be one of the eternal questions (well, sort of a question) of the education debates-- aren't charter schools public schools? So for those folks who are still a little fuzzy on this, let me offer a handy set of questions to help you decide. Here are the signs of a public school. Is the school and its resources owned by the public? Who owns the building? If the school closed tomorrow, w
Cardona's Failed Non-Defense Defense of 2021 Testing
USED Secretary Miguel Cardona appeared on All In With Chris Hayes, and while much of the interview centered on the issue of re-opening schools, it also included this exchange : HAYES: There`s been some controversy around or some debate around standardized testing this year for understandable reasons. Arguments go in both directions, right? One is, you want to have a guidepost to measure precisely
Do Rising Charter Tides Lift All Boats?
So lately we've been getting the charter-pushing return of the notion that the rising tide lifts all boats. Here's Fordham Institute's head honcho Mike Petrilli at The Hill, throwing in a side of "follow the science" because Petrilli is great