Sunday, March 26, 2023

ICYMI: National Spinach Day Edition (3/26)

Yes. that's a thing, and today is it. It's also the birthday of both Steven Typer and Jennifer Grey. Big month, March. It's this time of year that I get the little pangs that come from not still being involved in the heavy performance season in schools around here. Student performance productions are one of the things I truly miss about the job. 

It's been a slapdash kind of week for education news, but if you want to invest your mental energy, send the vibes to Texas where they're still holding the line on voucher-style privatization. In the meantime, here's some reading from the week. Also, a disclaimer that I rarely think to make--I may not agree with every word that I pass on in this list, but I believe everything on the list is worth reading.

Book ban lawmaker "very sad" that a parent is using his law to ban the “sex-ridden” Bible

An unsurprising and thoroughly predictable development in Utah.

Girls. Period.

From earlier in the week, Nancy Flanagan responds to the preoccupation in some quarters with the discussion of That Lady Stuff. She did not yet know it was going to get worse.

Idaho Republicans block ‘woke’ free tampons in schools proposal

Here it is, getting worse. 

How LA's teachers are making good on their promise to support community schools

Four years ago, LA teachers ran a successful strike and promised to support community schools. Here's Jeff Bryant looking at how well that all turned out. Really, really well.

Central Bucks reportedly plans to spend $1 million-plus in legal fees in response to allegations of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in schools

Central Bucks is one of the districts in PA that has decided to do God's work and stamp out Naughty Books. Looks like taxpayers in the district are going to pay for it big time.

How Vallas Helped Wall Street Loot Chicago’s Schools

There are so many reasons that Paul Vallas, poster boy for failing upwards, should not be the mayor of any city, town, village or fictional cartoon town, let alone Chicago. This piece lays out some of the damage he did to Chicago's school system his last time around.

Really, Governor?

Gwen Pauloski rolls her eyes so very hard at Greg Abbott in this blog post, questioning some of the rationale behind his voucher plan (who's been in charge of Texas schools for most of the last decade?)

DeSantis to expand 'Don't Say Gay' law to all grades

Yes, you probably heard this already, but if not, it can't be missed. "But it's only to protect the youngest children" is so last month. 

Wisconsin 1st graders were told they couldn't sing 'Rainbowland' by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus because it was too controversial. The song is about accepting others.

The biggest enablers of these gag laws continue to be scaredy-pants administrators.

Recess Is Good For Kids. Why Don’t More States Require It?

Monica Potts at FiveThirtyEight with another one of those ongoing discussions that's ongoing not because we don't know the answers, but because for some reason we don't want to act on them.

Gay Sarasota school board member walks out of meeting after homophobic remarks

Just fake christians being awful again. And the board chair who took no action to stop this? That would be Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of Moms For Liberty.

Is there a test for the love of reading?

Dr. Jesse P. Turner with a couple of thoughts about the testing of reading.

I am a Charter School Abolitionist, and You Should Be, Too

Steven Singer makes the case for doing away with charter schools entirely.

Is This the Singularity for Standardized Tests?

Ian Bogost at The Atlantic points out that the ability to chatbots to pass beloved standardized tests tells us more about the tests than about the chatbots.

We’re nervous that tests might turn us into computers, but also that computers might reveal the conceit of valuing tests so much in the first place.

Group Taking Over School Boards Nationwide Furious Their Children Are Being Taught Basic Empathy

Jack Doyle at The MarySue is kind of pissed of at Moms For Liberty and the whole “Not every human is deserving of my child’s empathy" thing

The DeSantitizing Agenda of the "Joke Mob"

Speaking of pissed off-- Schools Matter takes a hard swing at the work of Ron DeSantis.

Steve Nuzum takes a look at the crew doing their best to shut down ideas they don't approve of in schools of South Carolina.

Why Abbott Elementary's Charter Schools Arc Hit Home for Teachers

And speaking of education issues penetrating media that doesn't ordinarily cover education issues, here's Laura Zornosa at Time Magazine, explaining the whole Abbott Elementary fuss. We can think choice fan Jeanne Allen for trying to pick a fight with the popular show; suddenly a charter story line that has been running all season gets national attention.

Pennsylvania’s teacher shortage has an ‘uglier’ problem: Lack of teacher diversity

Not a new issue--Pennsylvania has always had a problem with a very low percentage of teachers of color. But it's getting worse. Rebecca Watts at the Penn Capital-Star.

The Arizona Senate's book banning hysteria has gotten ... hysterical

Just gonna walk on by this headline. Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic has the story of one of the dumbest bills out there--this one tries to outlaw books that contain "gender pronouns." 

Ohio’s Proposed Income Tax Cut for the Rich Would Impose a $929 Million Property Tax Increase on Ohio’s Homeowners and Farmers

God bless Jan Resseger. Trying to sort out this bill gives me a headache, but she has managed to get a handle on one more way that the Ohio legislature is committed to defunding the public and refunding the wealthy.

Pearson agrees to sell online unit to Regent

Brief little news item, but it may turn out to be a whole thing--Pearson sells off a chunk of its online business

Next Week Won’t Be Much Better – Messing With The FEFP

What do you do after you've chased a huge chunk of your population out of public schools and into private and charter schools? Well, you go back and change who gets how much of the funding. Sue Kingery Woltanski explains what Florida is up to next.


Thanks to Gregory Sampson, we know that there's a word to use when a teacher is turned in for teaching Unapproved Ideas and has to be fired and reeducated. 

Can we talk about something not quite so heavy? Arthur Goldstein talks about the experience of proctoring the PSAT--and reading those obnoxious and privacy-violating directions.

Lasting Impressions

Here's a nice story. Rebecca Brinkman shares a story about little art galleries. Makes me wish I could go back and do something like this.

In 'The Teachers,' passion motivates, even as conditions grow worse for educators

Here's NPR's review of Alexandra Robbins new book, if you need one more review. Just go get a copy.

Nothing from other platforms this week. Please sign up for my substack, which will give you all my current stuff reliably and for free.

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