Sunday, September 3, 2023

ICYMI: Another Labor Day Edition (9/3)

Take a moment or two this weekend to remember that it's the labor movement that brought us the 40 hour work week and a host of other features that we now take for granted, Then hug your loved ones. Do that. And here's some reading to pass the time in between.

Pennsylvania's education funding should be rebuilt

A Tribune-Review editorial pointing out for the gazzillionth time that Pennsylvania's school funding system sucks. Maybe gazzillionth times a charm.

How I Got Censored by a Southern California School District

Many layers to this one. Wayne Au was invited to talk to a district, but then the administration got cold feet because he might use the word "gay." So could he just go ahead and give them total editorial control over his presentation. Here's how intimidation by the few plays out. From rethinking schools.

Arizona attorney general warns parents that school voucher program is ‘buyer-beware situation’

Use a voucher, give up your federal discrimination protections. Also, "My concern is that it has expanded so quickly and it has so few controls over it compared to public schools, and charter schools even, that it is open for abuse." From KTAR News.

Federal, state law permit disability discrimination in Wisconsin voucher schools

Yeah, that whole give up your rights thing is not just an Arizona feature of vouchers.

Houston Schools Feeling the Chaos of Mike Miles.

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider takes a look at the Houston takeover by educational amateur and tight-fisted micromanager Mike Miles. 

Can ‘Parents Matter’ actually improve K-12 education? Of course not

In Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has some blistering insights about Glenn Youngkin's all-purpose "Parents Matter" movement. 

It’s just difficult, if not impossible, to see how altering history standards, removing sexually explicit books and focusing on who gets to use what bathrooms are going to help any student or school improve academically. If you feel empowered thanks to a sudden rush of “parental rights,” good for you. But don’t think for a second that “Parents Matter” will lead to sound public policy or improved K-12 schools. It hasn’t. And it won’t.

It’s time to defend our public schools

In Oklahoma, Kyle Reynolds takes to The Oklahoman to defend the beleagured system.

Policymakers Err Time and Again about Classroom Teaching

I probably don't recommend Larry Cuban often enough here, but here's a great piece on the distinction between good teaching and successful teaching.

Keeping Banned Books on the Shelves

TuftsNow profiles a pair of former Tufts roommates who are now working for PEN America and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, and spending as lot of time standing up for reading rights.

A PAC vilifying Central Bucks Dems is warning voters about sexually explicit images by mailing out explicit images

An extremist group in Bucks County has decided to combat the spread of sexually explicit images by spreading sexually explicit images. Also, lots of lies. Unfortunately, this is behind the paywall at the Philadelphia Inquirer, but if you can get to it, read it.

Fighting For Students’ And Teachers’ Rights In Central Bucks School District, With ACLU’s Witold Walczak

Central Bucks is the scene of some jaw-dropping retaliation against a teacher who stood up for students who couldn't get help from the district. Cyril Mychalejko of the Bucks County Beacon talks to the ACLU about what happened, and what's next (spoiler: federal investigation).

Thomas Ultican has some thoughts about Advanced Placement courses and why they should go away.

This Summer, I Became the Book-Banning Monster of Iowa

At the New York Times, a piece from Bridgette Exman, the Iowa school administrator who found herself in the news  for using ChatGPT to locate law-violating books. Turns out she's not a fan of the law at all. 

Teachers Say Those Ubiquitous, Every-Few-Months Tests Don’t Always Capture What’s Taught

EdWeek offers something for the Things That Come As No Surprise But At Least Now It's In Print file. Also the At Least Someone Finally Asked Actual Teachers file.

More than Half of Philadelphia’s Charter Schools Are Under-Enrolled

While Pennsylvania choice supporters are complaining that families need more choice, data show that a whole lot of the available choice isn't being used.

Never A Good Time For Vermilion Education And Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum In Pennridge, Or Any Bucks County School District

Pennridge schools (in Bucks County) have decided to inflict a whitewashed version of history on their students. Kevin Leven at Bucks County Beacon explains why it's a lousy idea. 

Documents detail Florida’s objections to African American Studies course

Why did Florida reject the AP African American studies course? Well, for one, it fails to present both sides of slavery. And some other great reasons.

Jacksonville Van Winkle

Gregory Sampson reflects on the Jacksonville murders and how Florida's anti-woke policies leave schools unequipped to respond to student concerns.

10 Years Later: The Continuing Intentional Unraveling of America’s Public Schools

Nancy Bailey takes a look at the past decade of efforts to dismantle public education in this country. 

Wisconsin private schools object to their finances being made public

Now that they can hoover up lots of taxpayer money via vouchers, Wisconsin private schools would like to keep that money in a secret black box that no taxpayers can actually look into. 

Tax Funded LEGOS, “Hamilton” tickets, Skateboards, and Disney admissions – Money Well Spent?

Speaking of the question of how voucher dollars are spent, Sue Kingery Woltanski has some questions about Florida's allowable expenses.

Moms for Liberty Is Riding High. It Should Beware What Comes Next.

In Slate (sorry--it's a big week for paywalls), an Adam Laats piece. Laats is a historian who has followed the intersection of religious conservatism and education, and he says history tells us that Moms For Liberty are headed for some trouble.

The Christian home-schooler who made ‘parental rights’ a GOP rallying cry

A Washington Post piece looks at one of the rich guys behind the movement to dismantle and defund public education under the cover of "parents rights."

Objects in the Mirror May Be Closer Then They Appear

Nobody outdoes TC Weber at tracking the many mutual backscratching relationships behind Tennessee, even as those many scratchers are reaching in and out of other states. Lots to track in this episode.

Ron DeSantis Is Afraid of Questions From a 15-Year-Old

There's a politics wonk in New Hampshire, and he's fifteen years old. He's seen at least 35 Presidential candidates, but Ron DeSantis has turned out to be unlike any other. This piece from the Daily Beast is a real window on how DeSantis relates to A) young people and B) opponents.

Meet the Kiwibots, UMaine Dining’s new food delivery robots

Huh. What could possibly go wrong?

Elsewhere this week-- My piece from the Progressive print edition is now available on line, looking at some of the features of our new normal in education. 

And at Forbes, I looked at the pushback against the Texas move to put chaplains in schools. The pushback comes from actual professional chaplains. Also, let's talk about how the Big Standardized Test has hurt the teaching of reading and literature. 

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1 comment:

  1. The Cuban piece should be required reading for every politician (at every level) in America - and every so-called "education" reporter.

    Mrs. Fibonacci is an 8th grade math teacher with 125 students who receive identical instruction in basic algebra and geometry. Her standardized test results include 25 students at level 4, 50 students at level 3, 35 students at level 2, and 15 students at level 1.
    How would the politicians and education reporters describe the quality of her instruction? How would they explain this disparity in scores from students sitting side by side in the same room with the same teacher/instruction and the same learning opportunities?

    There is a very large elephant in the room that Cuban ignores regarding successful learning; one key trait that goes beyond attendance, attention, motivation, and parental support. We all know it, yet we are afraid to admit the truth. And in defense of the students who struggle, the authors of the current standards did them no favors by pushing developmentally inappropriate concepts and skills in promoting unreasonable "academic rigor" to counter the "soft bigotry of low expectations".