Sunday, November 4, 2018

ICYMI: The Campaign Home Stretch Edition (11/4)

I could have called this the Moved My Son And His Family Into Their New Place Edition, which is the long way around to saying that I wasn't quite up to my usual level of collecting this week. And I'm not going to tell you to vote; I'm going to tell you to vote Democrat, even if your local Democrat sucks, because the GOP controlled government needs some sand in its gears. So vote Democrat.

Stop Pretending and Make School Relevant  

I may or may not entirely agree with some of what Michael Soskil says here (I have my own ideas about the R word), but this piece is definitely worth a read.

Teachers versus the Koch Brothers in Arizona    

Arizona has one of the worst and most destructive voucher programs around. Jeff Bryant looks at the campaign to beat it back.

Snake Oil, Charter Schools and Disingenuous Debate

From Tennessee, a newspaper op-ed repudiates the charter movement.

Values That Express Our Ideas of Public Schools  

Jan Resseger with some writings to help focus your thinking as you head for the polls.

Halloween and the Value of Make-Believe   

Oh, yeah. Halloween happened this week. Nancy Bailey has some thoughts on the value of the holiday.

Ipads Are Not The Future of Education    

Just in case there was any doubt in your mind.

Billionaires Are Spending Their Fortunes Reshaping America's Schools. It Isn't Working.

From Vox. Add to the "ed reform is losing" file.  

Who Gets Access To Your Kids' Information?  

Project Unicorn's promises are vague and unconvincing. Did your school sign up?

DeVos Meets With Far More GOP than Dems

I don't know if this is news, exactly. But it's an interesting look at yet one more aspect of Betsy "My Mind's Made Up So I Don't Need To Listen TO Anyone" DeVos and her approach to leading the USED>

What a Difference a Decade Makes   

Nancy Flanagan is dead on with this piece about election outcomes, and the key quote (which comes from Sabrina Joy Stevens) is so important I'm going to put it here, just in case you don't follow the link.

I am very worried about people tying their emotional well-being and sense of empowerment to the outcomes of elections.


  1. Regarding Soskil, project-based learning, and relevance:

    One more adult who doesn't seem to grasp the scale of educating 50 million children and adolescents; the rich and the poor; the privileged and the disadvantaged; those in well funded schools with small class sizes, and those who can't hear the teacher above the chatter of 35 other classmates.

    One more adult who wants to convince "WHO?" that helping drought victims on another continent is somehow relevant.

    One more adult who thinks solving problems is more important than teaching the knowledge required to solve them.

    One more strawman argument about how we morivate kids to learn.

  2. I like Soskil's article and basically agree with it, but I cringe at the notion of framing things as "helping" other people, especially poor people across the world. I think that can create a savior mentality among the "helpers". People need to understand that those poor kids in Kenya who can't get to school because of the bridge have just as much to contribute to the people "helping" them as the "helpers" do. They are fully formed human beings with their own strengths, understanding and agency.

    If anything, I would discourage global "helping" and encourage kids to look critically at problems right in their own schools and communities. Like, for instance, what the America to Me series that has been mentioned in other posts is doing. Rather than worrying about poor kids in Kenya and how we superior people can solve that for them, let's look at how poor and minority kids are being treated right in our own schools and communities.

    For a good look at problem-based learning on a local level I recommend SPECTACULAR THINGS HAPPEN ALONG THE WAY by Brian Schultz. (Full disclosure: I know Brian personally, he used to be the president of the board of my daughters' progressive school.)