Sunday, September 20, 2020

ICYMI: One More Damned Thing After Another (9/20)

 Well, that week sucked. And there's a lot to read, too.

Let's start with something positive. Drum prodigy Nandi Bushell has been youtubing covers for a while, but a few weeks ago she challenged Dave Groh to a drum battle; it went two rounds, and then Groh finally upped the ante by writing her a song. So there's that in the world. Now on to the rest.

On Campus Testing for Distance Learners  
Oh, Florida. They agreed that parents should be able to keep their at-risk kindergartners at home. But test-lovers that they are, they may require those same littles to come in to take the kinder-readiness test. Because Florida... Accountabaloney has the story.

Proceed at Your Own Peril  
Dad Gone Wild checks in to see how things are virtually going, and reflects on how we keep asking everything from teachers.

When the Lights Go Out  
Grumpy Old Teacher provides a vivid picture of what it's like in the pandemic classroom. A nice piece of writing here.

No Way To Treat a Scholar  
Gary Rubinstein looks at one more way that Success Academy games the data and juices up their PR-- welcome to the 5th year high school program.

Selling the Future of Ed Tech  
Damn, but Audrey Watters is the best. Here's a look at some of the wacky ed tech treats that have been predicted for the future over the years. Fun, but deeply thought provoking.

How centrist Democrats paved the way for Betsy DeVos  
Have you heard talks to David Menefee-Libey about this sad bit of history, framing it intriguingly as a treaty between the left and right over charter schools. As always, you can listen to the podcast or read the transcript. Either way, Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire deliver a tasty slice of information in an entertaining sandwich.

Framing a new website forced us to consider public education's core principles  
Jan Resseger kind of gives away the game with her title. Friends of education in northern Ohio revamped their website, and it leads to a good reflection on what public education's really all about.

The Mighty Storm
I'm glad that Russ Walsh is back to blogging. Here he starts with the Galveston hurricane disaster of 1900 and works his way over to building reading comprehension.

Take It Easy on the Teachers, OK 
Nancy Flanagan takes through the taxonomy of pandemic school posts, including the ones that blame teachers, and she has some thoughts about those.

The difference between freedom and captivity  
Teacher Tom asks what adult sacred memories of childhood all have in common

Face-mask recognition is here  
Well, National Geographic wants your email to read this unhappy-making piece about facial recognition in general and the fact that your mask will no longer thwart it in particular.

DeVos Versus the IRS  
This is a bit wonky, but important-- it turns out that a revamp of SALT rules gets directly in the path of tax credit scholarship programs by limiting how much money rich folks can launder through this type of voucher program.

NC Judge backs $427 million to improve schools. Will anyone fund it.  
North Carolina has been working hard to bust public education. Here's one more battle on that front. From the News & Observer.

The pandemic and school building issues  
Pandemic responses are highlighting just what a rundown mess many US school buildings are. From Mat Barnum at Chalkbeat.

Betsy DeVos and the separation of church and state  
Nancy Bailey takes a look at the DeVosian view of the separation between church and state when it comes to education in the time of pandemic (Wall? What wall?)

The long history of politicizing history class  
Olivia Waxman at Time puts some historical perspective on Trump's demand that history be taught with a golden patriotic glow. We've been here before.

Ed Department has denied 94% of loan forgiveness applications  
Betsy DeVos can keep this up forever. Despite being scolded by Congress and spanked by the courts, she continues to avoid actually implementing the federal loan forgiveness program for students defrauded by predatory for profits.

I am only one person
Anya Kamanetz (NPR) said on Twitter that she has never had so many interview subjects cry during the interview. A look at how teachers (who are also parents) are coping with pandemic education.

When poorly veiled bigotry masquerades as choice  
Andre Perry at Hechinger Reports looks at how racists have always loved the word "choice"

An open letter to a parent afraid of anti-racist education  
Christina Torres is at EdWeek with a response to a woman upset and cranky about Black Lives Matter at school. I watched this twitter discussion unfold in real time before it was erased by the woman in question, and she was pretty nasty about the whole thing. Torres offers a more measured response.

Taxes on DeVos yacht could pay for school nurses
Katelyn Kivel at The Gander takes a look at just how much tax the family avoids by registering their yachts elsewhere. It's a lot.

The ends do not justify the means
Nobody has explained the problems with the science of reading movement better than Paul Thomas, who takes another swing here.

The epic screw-up of distance learning in Miami  
Wired has a great look at how Miami-Dade schools got themselves into such a mess by picking K12 as their distance education provider of choice. It's a tale of hubris and dumb. All it's missing is one little tidbit that you can find here--K12's large contribution to the superintendent's personal organization.

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