Sunday, January 22, 2023

ICYMI: Is It Still January Edition (1/22)

Is this month dragging? It seems like January is dragging. But it has been a huge week for Good Things To Read, so here's your list.

Let's start on a hopeful note. The opponents of public education in Arizona (and there are many) lost the governor's office. Nicole Wolff at Stories from Arizona explains what some of the benefits could be.

More hope. Tennessee might actually stop a stupid, ineffective,. abusive third grade reading retention law. Erin McCullough at WKRN reports.

So much for hope. Jan Resseger reports from Ohio, where the GOP has decided that there are too many Democrats on the state board of education, so they'd like to strip it of power and just put the governor in charge.

Constitutional amendment would eliminate State Board of Education

Nebraska, too.

A tremendous piece of reporting from Moriah Balingit at the Washington Post. Rural Mississippi is in trouble. The trouble filling teaching positions may be a regional and local thing, but this is the region and locality where it is really being felt.

Conservative group involved in Central Bucks library regulations some fear as de facto book ban

Turns out that the Central Bucks school district's reading restrictions for students may have been actually co-authored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a far right group with a goal of making Pennsylvania "a place where God is honored."

A deep-pocketed donor from Pa. is moving onto the national stage. That’s a problem

You may not have heard of Jeffrey Yass (though I have written about him), the richest guy in PA and a huge fan of right wing anti-public ed causes. A group of writers at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star explain why his intention of going national is not good news.

At Brutal South, Paul Bowers goes ahead and checks to see what the fuss is about, while providing some useful context for that fuss.

The “Learning Loss” Trap

The editors at Rethinking Schools explain how Learning Loss is a tool for yet more reformster shenanigans.

For you podcast folks, a new installment from Have You Heard. Warning-- it's kind of a bummer. Solid research on the hollowing out of the profession.

Americans want to know what Gov. DeSantis’ definition of ‘woke’ is. He’s not saying

A Miami Herald op-ed (via Yahoo) by Fabiola Santiago calling out DeSantis and his ill-defined lousy beliefs.

Universal Education Savings Accounts, HB1 and the Further Defunding and Dismantling of Florida’s Public Schools

Accountabaloney adds up the cost of Florida's new vouchers for all proposal, and holy smokes!

Conservative America’s New Authoritarianism: “Free Speech as Long as I Agree.”

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider looks at the hot new trend among red governors and other right-tilted folks.

Have we really hit 46% grift inflation in per-voucher cost?

Billy Townsend does the best he can with Florida's sketchy data to figure out just how big and bad the voucher impact has become.

Nancy Flanagan with a story of how some folks, poised to jump on public schools for anything they can gin up discontent about, found a way to kill a great field trip. 

What Happened to the 1.3 Million Children Who Stopped Going to School?

Carol Burris at The Progressive breaks down what exactly did or didn't happen to the "missing" children. (Spoiler alert: they didn't all sign up for charter schools).

Few Iowa families will have more choices with GOP ‘school choice’ plan

Iowa is on the list of states where the GOP is trying to quickly ram through an expansive voucher law. Ed Tibbetts at the Iowa Capital Dispatch points out that the choice that the bill promises is an illusion.

If Iowa passes a voucher bill, this guy says he’ll open up a Satanic school

His name is Joe Stutler, and he told a hearing, "Satan wants your money, and I want a piece of this lovely grift action."  He's a combat veteran and a champion troller. Reported by Herman Mehta for Only Sky. 

Community groups call on Marion County to stop approving charter schools

Jasmine Minor at WISHTV reports on calls by community groups (including some ministerial types) for Indianapolis to knock it off already with the continued approving of crappy charter schools.

Anger grows in Virginia city where first-grader shot teacher

An AP story about the school and community where that shooting occurred, providing some useful context and a reminder that the rising tide of school violence is an ongoing problem.

Altoona Area School Board approves AR-15 for school resource officers, “heaven forbid” they need them

It's doubly stupid, because nobody needs more guns in school and of all the guns to use to defend against school shooters, the AR-15 is a lousy choice (you'll notice that police departments do not carry them into shooter situations). 

Over at Forbes, I took a look at Virginia's terrible voucher bills and how to teach in the era of ChatGPT and its ilk.

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