Monday, March 10, 2014

Reclaiming Public Education 101

Today, I'm opening a branch blog office.

I've come to believe there's an unmet need in the edublogoverse (the unmet need is not the one for new made-up words). Most of us who frequent these spots have spent months or years sorting through the giant convoluted multi-threaded novel series that is reformy stuff, and what we write, while perfectly sensible to each other, may leave many other folks scratching their heads and feeling that they've stumbled into a private party where everyone speaks some odd form of Greek.

In here I could write, "Cami and King can just VAM-cram their reformy stuff into a slow boat to Estonia and let Arne steer the whole way while Rhee sings lullabies through her duct-taped lips," and most of you would actually understand what the heck I was talking about. The average human on the planet would not.

I am in a place where much of the new reformy stuff hasn't attracted many peoples' attention yet, but is poking at the edges of consciousness where it is perceived as This Year's Slightly Dumber Than Usual Mandates from the State. I would like to help them understand.

I occasionally write pieces aimed at that audience, but those quickly disappear into the pile of witty takedowns of bureaucratic nonsense written by people they don't know about things they haven't heard of (it's possible that I write too much and too fast).

Several months ago I created a tumblr of ed links just so I wouldn't lose stuff as I found it (it's right here) but I just got my tumblr 1000-post merit badge and the site looks like the online version of my grandfather's attic.

So I'm going to try this. It's called Reclaiming Public Education 101, and I believe in it enough to actually fork over the nominal wordpress domain fee so that it's easy to remember/find.

If you are reading my blog, RPE101 is probably not for you. It's for your friend who says things like, "So why does the Common Core make you spit and growl, exactly?" Or your other friend who says, "That can't be how that Value Added thing is really supposed to work." Or your coworker who says, "I tried to read that link you sent me, but it made my brain hurt hard."

It's set up to be quick and simple. Just an excerpt, an abstract, and a link for each post. A kind of gateway drug for edublog consumption. I will gladly take suggestions and ecstatically take referrals (I've already included Anthony Cody's classic 10 CCSS mistakes and Erin Osborne's invaluable new Gates $$ chart). I'll even take requests. I'll keep adding things as I find them or write them (and I'll post the ones I write here first, because I come from a long line of mild OCD sufferers).

I respect and admire so many people in this fight. The people who do the hard core scholarship, the people who get out in the streets and fight and holler, the people who work the halls of power. For a variety of reasons, those are not things I can really do. But I can write and tag and collect. I can pound a keyboard like a sumbitch. So this is my next contribution. Let me know if it's useful and how it can be more useful, and I'll see if we can make a helpful tool out of it.

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