Sunday, January 29, 2023

ICYMI: Groundhog Day Edition (1/29)

Yes, it's coming soon. And it already feels like we're living the same day over and over.

For those of you new to our work here at the Curmudgucation Institute, this is the weekly digest of things worth reading from the previous week (just, you know, in case you missed them). These days it is harder than ever to get the word out and to get that word to spread, and part of the work we do has to be amplifying the voices of people with messages worth hearing. If you read it and you feel it, then share it. It's important. 

A decade of scandal at Epic Charter Schools

We're opening with some throwback stories this wek. Turns out that one of the worst thefts-by-charter-school in history was even worse than everyone thought. Beth Wallis at NPR/StateImpact Oklahoma has the story.

Gary Rubinstein was an early Teach for America recruit, and he has kept a watchful eye on them ever since. So when they announced layoffs after one of their thinnest years yet, he had some thoughts.

Pa.’s landmark school funding lawsuit has been going on for 8 years. Here’s where it stands.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette brings us up to date on a lawsuit that might finally actually get somewhere this year. Maybe. If it does, Pennsylvania school funding is in for some upheaval.


In Lapham's Quarterly, Georgia English teacher Ian Altman writes a really thoughtful and insightful look at some of the real challenges of teaching literature, particularly when it comes to The Standards. This piece is not short, but it is excellent.

A Private Equity Firm, The Makers of the MAP Test, and an Ed Tech Publisher Join Forces

Steven Singer peels back some of the layers of the NWEA-HMH deal that unites a test manufacturer and a edupublisher under the umbrella of a big investment firm. Yuck.

The school choice movement has a voter problem

Christopher Lubienski in The Tennessean points out the many ways that the school choice movement has tried to deal with the fact that the voters don't really want it. Democracy is such a pain.

Missouri lawmakers are slandering teachers while grossly underpaying them

Editors at St. Louis Today call out legislators for keeping teachers under paid and over abused.

Supposed centrist Dems are being funded by Jeffrey Yass, a guy who made his billions playing poker (no kidding) and who is Pennsylvania's staunchest, most well-heeled opponent of public education. What could go wrong?

Nancy Flanagan looks past the imaginary picture of life painted by parental rights crusaders.

The basic rights teachers don’t have

At the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss shares a piece by Joshua Weishart that looks at the slow stripping of rights from teachers, leaving them with barely the right to just do their jobs.

Once-subversive plot to dismantle traditional public schools in Florida now central policy

Columnist Frank Cerabino at the Palm Beach Post calls out the Florida leadership's love of school choice, and he minces no words. Vouchers are a sham.

What Does It Mean for Our Children and Our Society that State Legislators Don’t Know What Teachers Do?

Jan Resseger looks into the issues that arise when laws about education are written by folks who have no idea what actually goes on in schools.

Florida teachers told to remove books from classroom libraries or risk felony prosecution

Okay, there's a whole lot on the list this week about various attacks on reading rights. Let's start with Judd Legum at Popular Information, who reports on what's happening in Manatee County, just one of the districts clamping down on books. (For even more on-the-ground stories, follow Legum on Twitter)

Sorry, Twitter, but Florida's war on books is no joke. Ron DeSantis wants to keep kids from reading

Speaking of the tweeter machine, Amanda Marcotte at Salon is one of many who were "corrected" by Elon Musk's totally not-biased correction department. Marcotte has been following right wing education shenanigans with a sharp eye and a really sharp metaphorical pen, and this is no exception.

Grumpy Old Teacher had a couple of good takes on Florida';s anti-reading initiative, but I picked this one because it cuts right to what makes this new shift different and important. Now in Florida, all books are guilty until proven innocent. Also, the pic with the post is on point.

Hoover schools cancel Black History Month author visit after parent complaint

It's not just books, and it's not just Florida. This story from Alabama shows how one parent was enough to scare a school into canceling an award-winning author's visit. Expect much more of this, as the CRT panic crowd is sure that Black History Month is a CRT thing.

Book Banning Is Getting Worse

Anne Lutz Fernandez opens with "I’ve been very worried about the current wave of book bans. I haven’t been worried enough." From there, she goes on to explain why all the reasons we've been hearing not to get too worked up are not valid. Guilty of some of them myself when this started. This piece makes me wish I'd written this piece.

School librarians vilified as the ‘arm of Satan’ in book-banning wars

You've heard some of these stories already, but Jeffrey Fleishman at the Los Angeles Times has collected a bunch of them, and the full effect is-- well, this is a rough piece to read. 

I'm a Florida teacher who's been forced to cover up the books in my classroom. Here's why I'm suing Ron DeSantis.

Don Halls has been teaching for 38 years. He loves his job, and he's filing a lawsuit. Good for him, all around. 

At this week, I took a look at critical questions to ask about voucher bills, and Maurice Cunningham's new report on dark money and parent groups for the Network for Public Education, which you should read. 

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1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic article Misdirectives is!