Sunday, May 7, 2023

ICYMI: Teacher Appreciation Week Edition (5/7)

So, the explanation is that Teacher Appreciation Day is the first Tuesday in May, but Teacher Appreciation Week is the first full week in May (starting on a Sunday), so that's why they're separate this year. Last week teachers got their day of appreciation, but today we kick off the week. Hope that clears it up for you.

Lots to read this week, on a tour across the country.

Unhappy meals

At Popular Information, a look at one striking child labor case as well as the current wave of discoveries about such shenanigans.

Christian activists are fighting to glorify God in a suburban Texas school district

In Texas, a microcosm of how competing versions of conservatism (as well as big dollar political interests) duke it out. From NBC News

The Conservative Scholar Who Convinced GOP Lawmakers Civics Conceals CRT

Asher Lehrer-Small at The 74. Yes, I know, but sometimes they publish some useful pieces of journalism. Stanley Kurtz is a name you should know, Like Koch or DeVos. Because he's one more busy rich guy.

Texas guts ‘woke civics’. Now kids can’t engage in a key democratic process

Another Lehrer-Small piece, looking at how Texas just threw away a key part of civics education.

Against teacher censorship

Paul Bowers speaks out against an impending teacher gag law in South Carolina.

Selling Denver’s Portfolio Model by Confusing Correlation with Causation

Thomas Ultican takes a look at how that whole portfolio model thing (the one where you treat schools like investments) is working out for Denver.

Virginia students aren't showing up to school, putting accreditation for many at risk

The whole attendance thing is an issue, though perhaps not drawing the attention it would if anyone could figure out how to weaponize it. But they're starting to feel it in Virginia.

The parents’ rights movement keeps ducking parental responsibilities

Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post makes a good case for renaming the parental rights movement the "make this not my parental problem any more" movement.

Mrs. Drummond, You Are Appreciated

I'm not going to fully endorse all the teacher appreciation ideas included in this Natalie Dean piece, but the appreciation itself is nice.

Iowa Students Outsmart GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds at Scholar Ceremony

Smartass students manage to inject some youthful rebellion into Governor Reynolds's student appreciation photo op.

GOP governor rejects funding for PBS because Clifford the dog "indoctrinates" kids

Not the Onion, and while LGBTQNation has put the worst possible spin on this story, they aren't lying. Clifford showed some lesbians. Add this to the file of stories to pull up when the culture police say they're just trying to keep pornography away from five year olds.

Ron DeSantis’s Orwellian Redefinition of Freedom

Conor Friedersdorf is nobody's idea of a fuzzy liberal, but it takes a conservative to come up with "anti-woke nanny state" to describe DeSantis's Florida.

Stories About How Charters Profit and Suspect Statistics from a Charter School Lobbyist

Meanwhile in Florida, charter lobbyists are spreading fertilizer in hopes of growing one more money tree. Sue Kingery Woltanski would like to correct the record. 

And speaking of fertilizer, Jan Resseger takes a look at the long tale of neo-liberal damage inflicted on Chicago schools.

Teen shelves half empty at Hamilton East as library conducts $300K board-pushed book review

Meanwhile, in Indiana, it turns out that comply with book freakouts can be really expensive.

It's a small story from Vermont, but it really highlights the contrast between the nationally-based culture attack and the actual taxpayers and parents in the district.

Tennessee Goes Back to Looking Back Texas

Come for Tc Weber's Al Kooper stories. Stay for his take on the newest changing of the guard in Tennessee's education chief, a job you apparently can't get if you don't have ties to the reformster movement (ties to Tennessee are optional).

Jeb Bush and Reed Hastings' New TN Commissioner of Education

Schools Matter has a take on the Tennessee shuffle.

Here's what AFT’s Randi Weingarten said about reopening schools during COVID-19

The misrepresentation of what teachers and their unions wanted during the pandemic (spoiler alert-- it was NOT to keep school closed--which it wasn't--in order to extort a big payday), so here's a quick fact check from Politico for what Randi Weingarten actually said. You can believe it or not, but here's the record.

When Our Students Leave Us

Steven Singer talks about those moments when your grown students surprise you with the rest of their story.

What a cool outing. NYC Educator takes a huge raft of students to their first Broadway show.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and my Middle School Band

Nancy Flanagan reflects on how a band arrangement and an unusual pop hit sparked a worthwhile lesson.

Ed Sheeran Wins Lawsuit Alleging Copyright Infringement of Marvin Gaye’s "Let's Get It On"

You may not have been paying attention to this suit, but musicians were, because being able to lay claim to a vaguely similar chord progression would have been disastrous. But no-- you can't copyright, say, a twelve bar blues progression. Phew.

School principal unlocks dumpster, finds bear inside

You've almost certainly seen this this week, but I would hate for you to miss it. Proof that any principal's bad day can, in fact, get worse. 

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