Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, February 13, 2022

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Important Upcoming Holiday Edition (2/13)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Important Upcoming Holiday Edition (2/13)

Important Upcoming Holiday Edition

 By which I mean the much-beloved annual Half Price Candy Day, celebrated on February 15th every year. Spend it with someone you love. Meanwhile, here's the reading for the week.

What's behind the right-wing book-ban frenzy? Big money, and a long-term plan

Jon Skolnik at Salon takes a look at the ongoing book ban panics across the country.

A Chalkbeat first person essay from a student in one Chicago's allegedly-bad schools. She offers a different perspective.

The rhetoric is a little overheated, and the contents are mostly familiar, but the source is one of those interesting moments when the education debate penetrates outside the usual boundaries. This is from Baptist News Global.

Jan Resseger breaks down some of the details on how we arrived at this CRT-panic induced wave of teacher gag laws.

Jose Luis Vilson offers some words about the crt panic, and especially about the work we should be doing in response to it.

Melody Schreiber at the New Republic went looking for the evidence about the detrimental effects of masking kids. She didn't find any.

If you've been watching the show, here's the teacher who inspired the show's creator

Bob Shepard looks at the coming education shenanigans in Tennessee and the plan to recruit a Christian conservative college to come run charter schools.

The Murky World of i-Ready, Grading, and Online Data

Nancy Bailey takes a look at the issues surrounding i-Ready. If this program has been cropping up in your neighborhood and you're wondering about it, this is a handy explainer.

For the "education should be like Uber" crowd, here's a Cory Doctorow explanation of just how big a scam Uber actually is.

The Onion is on fire this week, so they get two spots on this week's list. 

Also, this week in "Things I Wrote Other Places," a Forbes piece about why lowering the bar to fill classroom spots is only going to make things worse, and a reminder at Progressive that test-based teacher evaluations were a bust

Everyone On The Train
The issue of loving the work had come up a few times already this week when this article turned up on my screen. You may remember the story from 2017. A white supremacist threatens two girls on the Portland rail; three men intervene, and he attacks them with a knife. The youngest of the three, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, was stabbed fatally. As he lay dying in another passenger's arms, he said,
When Choice Doesn't Put Parents First
I often say that vouchers and neo-vouchers are not about empowering parents--they're about getting government out of education and giving private operators an open shot at a marketplace. It's true that I can't know the minds of choice advocates, but I can play the what if game. I can ask, "If X were true, what would that look like?" rather than sift through the details of what is. If parent empowe
Utah: It's not a voucher bill--it's worse.
Its sponsor says it's not a voucher bill--it's a scholarship. What HB331 proposes is an education savings account, which is a voucher on steroids. There are a few significant differences between the two systems, but they are fundamentally the same thing. With a voucher, the state gives you a "ticket" to the private school of your choice (if they will accept you). With an ESA, the state gives a pi
Just How Discriminatory Are Private Christian Schools
We've heard--heck, the Supreme Court of the United States has now heard--that private religious schools feel a powerful need to reject and exclude LGBTQ students and teachers. But it turns out that there's an entire industry devoted to recruiting and retaining students for private Christian schools. Meet Schola Inbound Marketing , a company in Ephrata, PA, that has a mission "to help Christian sc
America First Academy Is A Sign Of What's To Come
Charlie Kirk, Trump activist and leader of Turning Point USA, had a plan. It's hit a big speed bump, but the plan is a warning about what's coming next in the privatization of US education. Kirk's plan was an academy, marketed directly to families after an "America-first education." To do this, he had hired StrongMind, an Arizona company that specializes in setting up virtual and hybrid learning
Furry Panic. Yes, Furry Panic.
Add to the list of school-related panics a panic over furry students. Specifically, a panic over schools making special accommodations for students who like to dress up and take on characters of life-sized fluffy animals. Kelly Weill at Daily Beast has been collecting the stories . In York, PA, a concerned parents Facebook group warned that furries "could be in your child's classroom hissing at yo
About That Maus Controversy
The Tennessee flap over Maus has burned up a lot of space. Is it really worth all that fuss. Even though the McMinn County School Board members themselves talked about "banning" the book, but what they actually did was remove it from the curriculum. It will not be part of the officially adopted ELA reading work for eighth grade in the district. Nobody has said anything about removing it from the
ICYMI: Ice Sculpture Edition (2/6)
Every year in my small town we have a mini-festival in which part of the town park becomes a showplace for ice sculptures. It has survived COVID mostly unscathed because it's outside and it's cold, so crowds don't exactly gather. Fun times. Best to go at night, when the sculptures are lit up. And you can revisit it for weeks, depending on the weather because, in one of those small towny things, n
Parents Defending Education Targets Black Lives Matter
Parents Defending Education is one of the more prominent groups fueling the crt-making-teacher gag law panic; they are led by folks who are seasoned political players including Nicole Neily (Cato Institute, Independent Women's Forum, Speech First, Charles Koch Institute fan), Asra Nomani (Pearl Project, supporter of Trump Muslim ban), Erika Sanzi (Education Post), Marissa Fallon ( Coalition for T
AL: A Proposal To End State Support Of Public Education
State Senator Del Marsh proposed this week the "ultimate" school choice bill, the "Parents' Choice Bill," (SB140) a super-education savings account. But that's not what it really is. This is an ESA in its fully realized form -- every Alabama family gets every cent the state would have spent on educating their child (about $6,300 last year) and they can use it to pay for educational whatever--publ
Alarming Pre-K News
New research is problematic news for the world of pre-K. We've long known that a good pre-school is not a magical jump start that guarantees your kids will end up in the Ivy League, and advantages tend to fade within a few years, but new research from Vanderbilt's Peabody College suggests the reality could be far worse. One of the authors puts it bluntly : “At least for poor children, it turns ou