Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, January 23, 2022

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: So Now It's Winter Edition (1/23)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: So Now It's Winter Edition (1/23)

So Now It's Winter Edition

Well, that was kind of sudden. Just last week we were all cozy and now it's all cold and that thing where the sun comes out and the world calls "Come on out--it's beautiful" and then you succumb to temptation and lose a couple of toes. So here's this week's reading list instead.

I Always Be Sneaky

Your uplift for the week. An eight year old in Boise wrote a book and then snuck it onto the library shelf, because you got to reach your audience whatever it takes. \

Legislator's Guide To Making Useful Education Policy

Ten absolutely useful guidelines from Nancy Flanagan. If only more policy makers followed these.

Judge Issues Stinging Free Speech Ruling Against University of Florida

This is good news. The University wanted to bar professors from serving as expert witnesses against the state. Turns out they can't do that kind of barring. New York Times has the story. "Stop acting like your contemporaries in Hong Kong," the judge told university administrators.

"Our Biggest Nightmare Is Here"

Yes, it's in Education Next, but this story from a school district IT director is an excellent look at the issue of schools suffering cyberattacks.

Why requiring lesson plan submissions from teachers right now is absurd

Angela Barton writes at Bored Teachers, explaining why submitting your detailed lesson plans should be the least of a teacher's problems right now.

One Jeans Day Won't Cut It (and what school leaders can do instead)

From the blog Organized Chaos, a great luck at the Do's and Don't's of raising staff morale right now.

Is "Learning Loss" real, or a function of America's need for speed?

From blogger and teacher Barth Keck, another look at the real issues connected to Learning Loss.

Public School Parents sue to stop West Virgina vouchers

From Public Funds Public Schools, the important information about an important lawsuit to stop vouchers before they get started in WV.

What to know about the charter school debate

Virginia is turning out to be another front in the charter attack on public ed. This explainer from NPR does a good job of laying out the issues in this particular iteration of the oft-repeated conflict.

A short history of Seth Andrews and Seth Andrews pleads guilty to wire fraud

Former Arne Duncan sidekick and charter school founder Seth Andrews is in some trouble with a whole embezzlement thing. Leonie Haimson at NYC Public School Parents and the indispensable Mercedes Schneider both offer useful insights and history on this guy and his current problems.

Kindergarten online data? Teacher observation is safer and better!

Computerized testing for early childhood? Nancy Bailey looks at one more dumb idea being aimed at the littles, and offers a superior alternative.

A Health Screening Questionnaire for Teachers

McSweeney's continues to demonstrate that dark times for regular humans are peak times for satirists.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: So Now It's Winter Edition (1/23)

Koch Education Wing Continues Rebranding
Remember when Charles Koch wrote that he had done an oopsie by being so partisan and dividing the country ? That was back in late 2020, and it was followed by the rise of a new Koch Brand--Stand Together--which in turn spawned a new substack about fixing education called "Learning Everywhere." It turns out that the Koch metamorphosis was not done yet. "Learning Together" was co-hosted by Lisa Snel
The Search For Computerized Essay Grading Continues
It is the dream that will not die. For some reason, there are still people who think the world would be a better place if student essays could be evaluated by software, because reasons. The problem has remained the same--for decades companies have searched for a software algorithm that can do the job, but other than deciding to call the algorithms "AI," progress has been slim to none. And yet, th

JAN 20

The Other Pandemic Unmasking
At first glance, I suppose it seems like a reasonable set of solutions. Expand the pool of who can be a substitute teacher. Anyone with a college degree. Anyone who already works in the building or district. Anybody with a high school diploma. In Oklahoma, police officers can now step in as substitute teachers ( in Moore, they've already done so ). In New Mexico, the governor has called in the Na
The Fallacy In Learning Loss Panic
Back in March of 2021 (roughly a thousand years ago in pandemic time), I made the argument that Learning Loss is educational halitosis; you start with a real thing, dress it up in some faux science, and use the ensuing panic to sell your preferred remedy. The tricky thing about Learning Loss panic is that it's not entirely made up--there are certainly some pieces of some sorts of learning that di

JAN 18

Research: Yes, Common Core Was Bad
Did Common Core fail so badly that its failure is visible from another continent? Did it have negative effects on education as a whole? Can fancy research prove what teachers knew a decade ago? Will economists ever get tired of pretending to be education experts? And can researchers get all of this right and still draw the wrong conclusion? Let's look a t a new working paper from the Leibniz Inst

JAN 16

When You Open Schools To Religion...
There has been a push for a while now to open public schools to religion, and it has been pushed a variety of ways, such as the case Good News Club v. Milford Central School. That suit made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 2001. The Good News Club is a program of the Child Evangelism Fellowship , a group founded in 1937 by Jesse Levin Overholtzer with the express purpose of evangelizing chi
ICYMI: It's That Time Again Edition (1/16)
By "that time" I mean time to once again see who will win the annual contest to twist some MLK quote into the pretzel form needed to support their particular cause. Turns out, every year, that MLK would have supported virtually everything. Yay. Here's your reading list for the week. In our alarmingly unequal society, public schools by themselves cannot be the great equalizer Jan Resseger has a lo

JAN 15

Should Schools Teach The Success Sequence
You know the "sucess sequence." It's the idea that if Young People just do the right things--finish school, get a job, get married, have a kid--in that order, they are less likely to end up not poor. It has occasionally been oversold (" Follow these three rules and you will join the middle class! ") and the "data" used to bolster it is a little suspicious (like claiming that only 2% of people who