Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, April 11, 2021

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Spring Might Be Here Edition (4/11)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Spring Might Be Here Edition (4/11)

Spring Might Be Here Edition

It's not really spring in Northwest PA until it snows one more time. But it certainly is pleasant right now. So that's something. Let's see what we have to read this week

Acceleration Nation

Nancy Flanagan has noticed that acceleration is having a moment, and she has some thoughts about those shenanigans.

Taking the SAT with the Breakout Expert from Operation Varsity Blues

John Warner took the SAT and then talked to Akil Bello about it, and the result is your must-read of the week, filled with insights and revelations about the test. 

Matt Barnum, the Chalkbeat reporter I trust best, offers a look at what the data are saying about teacher resignation, and there does not appear to be a covid-fueled rush to the exits just yet.

Betsy DeVos’ hand-picked candidate for Wisconsin state school superintendent loses

At Salon, Sarah Burris has the story of Betsy DeVos's first big after-office defeat. Good news for Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star reports that there's a lot of high roller interest in the school board. Ruh-roh.

Andy Smarick (Bellwether) offers what turns out to be a pretty balanced look at what the data really reveal about who's for what. (Spoiler alert: the closed school buildings may not simply be the result of an evil teachers union plot).

Okay, this is probably of most interest to language study nerds, but it's pretty cool. Carol Zall has the story at Public Radio.

The Fed’s education constitutional amendment would turn schools over to economists and lawyers

In the Minnesota Reformer, Will Stancil explains how a constitutional amendment that promises good things for education is actually very bad news.

Have You Heard's podcast talks to MIT's Justin Reich, who talks about how ed tech's golden opportunity to deliver the goods vanished right up the goose's butt. 

It’s Understandable That Some Education Leaders Want Hard Answers About How Far Students Have Fallen Behind This Year. They Can’t Have Them. - by @palan57 on @forbes

NH: Another Lesson In Charter School Failure
Stephanie Alicea has been around education for a while. She was the Community Service Coordinator at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, NH from 2003 to 2007. In 2010 she went back finished a BA in Psychology and went right into a MEd program at New England College . She taught health and phys ed at various high schools. In 2016, her son Samuel, a Black football player at Merimack HS, took
Democracy Is A Pain
Kevin Williamson took to the National Review website earlier this week to argue against democracy. The proximate cause of Williamson's question-- Why not fewer voters? -- is much of the debate about voter suppression in Georgia which, he says, "begs the question and simply asserts that having more people vote is, ceteris paribus , a good thing." (Yeah, I had to look up ceteris paribus , which mea
Three G's Would Be Great, Thanks
I get pitches (mostly because I write for, and an enormous number of them are ed tech related. Those folks are really, really sure that their moment has come. I'm just not sure they understand the situation on the ground. Lately there's been an up-tick in 5G related offerings. VR with 5G! Woo hoo! Sometimes I read these e-mails while sitting in the parking lot of my local major grocer
Charters vs. Vouchers
While charter schools and vouchers are both members of the school choice family, they are cousins who only occasionally get along. And as a public school fan, I have a definite preferred cousin. It may seem like a thousand years ago, but when Betsy DeVos first turned up as an education secretary candidate, some charter fans actually expressed concerns . DeVos felt the need to reach out to charter
Can You Fool An AI Emotion Reader
As we have seen numerous times, there are software packages out there that claim the ability to read our emotions . Folks are lined up around the block to use this stuff, but of course one of the applications is supposed to be reading student emotions and therefor better at "personalizing" a lesson. Does this sound as if the ed tech world is overpromising stuff that it can't actually deliver? Wel
The Book Love Foundation
Penny Kittle teaches freshman composition at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and has logged a few decades in public school as a reading teacher and literacy coach. She's picked up some NCTE awards, written some books, and generally done pretty well professionally. But for my money, one of the coolest things she has done starts with this story: I stood in a most perfect bookstore in the
ICYMI: Easter Edition (4/4)
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 m
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