Sunday, June 2, 2024

ICYMI: Hell Of A Week Edition (6/2)

Yeah, I'm not even talking about what you think I'm talking about. This week kicked off with an ambulance ride to the hospital for my mother (she's doing okay now) and then mid-week a young driver slammed into The Curmudgucation Primary Transport Unit while it was parked in front of the Institute (nobody was injured). So fun times all around.

But we still have stuff to read. No, nothing about That Thing That Happened 34 Times.

Reports Show How Phonics Crowds Out Quality Reading Like Picture Books

Nancy Bailey took some heat for suggesting that Science of reading folks don't dig picture books--not even fun ones. So this week she's back with some receipts.

I refuse to accept the notion that Nancy Flanagan is semi-elderly, but her thoughts about the digitized world are spot on.
No, technology and digital media are not going to save us, or drag our schools into the 21st century. Technology, in fact, has made possible the distribution of propaganda that threatens our lives and core beliefs. And social media harvests its core product—information and content—from us. And from our children. For free.
The New ChatGPT Offers a Lesson in A.I. Hype

Have you heard about all those cool things the new ChatGPT can do? Well, it can't. And there's an important lesson about technohype in there. Brian Chen in the New York Times.

Judge defends right to teach Beyoncé, strikes down law restricting lessons on race and gender

New Hampshire's license plate motto is "Live Free Or Die," but in recent years, it might as well have been "Think Right Or Else." They had gotten themselves a nice Florida-style "don't talk about race issues" law, but a court just threw it out. Judd Legum at Popular Information has the story.

What Would Religious Charter Schools Mean for Public Education?

From Kevin Welner, an on-the-nose look at the implications of Oklahoma's proposed Catholic charter school. It's in Education Week, but if you have a way past the paywall, it's well worth it.

Speaking of Oklahoma, let's see what Education Dudebro-in-chief Ryan Walters is up to. First, he's blaming that million in missed grant money on Joe Biden. Specifically, for not being aligned with Oklahoma values. 

'Not acceptable': Committees pass ban on OSDE public relations spending

Some Oklahoma Republicans are kind of tired of Walters. Specifically, they are tired of him spending OK tax dollars on PR to increase his national profile. So they are shutting that down. Tom Ferguson at KOKH has the story.

‘He’s the guy that pulls Ryan Walters’ strings’: Subpoena reveals highly-paid OSDE advisor has no formal employment contract

They've also got questions about Matt Langston, Walters' former campaign chief, who now earns a six figure salary, apparently without either leaving Texas or technically being hired for a job that comes with no actual job description. Yeah, it's a lot. Spencer Humphrey reports for KFOR.

Will State Board Rule Allow Display Of The Ten Commandments In Classrooms?

In the midst of other standards-shifting shenanigans, Florida appears to be sneaking some more christianism into its classrooms. Sue Kingery Woltanski explains how.

Florida educators trained to teach students Christian nationalism

Also, in the sneaky christianism department, Judd Legum has the story of some sneaky professional development.

Ohio public schools are releasing kids for religious instruction during the school day. Soon, they could be required to do it.

Speaking of creeping religion into schools, meet the group that's doing it in Ohio--and maybe your state next. 

NC teacher turnover is rising. Why experts say pay alone isn't the solution

No surprises here, but it's always nice to see some reporter catch on, even a little. This time it's Emily Walkenhorst at WRAL.

Uncovering the Cover-up: How Republican Pennridge School Board Directors Secretly Banned Books

Think your district has put a stop to that whole book banning thing? Don't be so sure. Darren Laustsen writes for the Bucks County Beacon about his struggle to get to the truth of how his district was secretly getting rid of all sorts of books.

Survey: Most Wichita teachers don't like where the school district is headed

Wichita teachers like their district and their school, but they see trouble on the horizon. This story from KAKE may seem familiar.

The Siren Song of “Evidence-Based” Instruction

Alfie Kohn doesn't blog often, but when he does it's well worth the read.

Pennsylvania’s Cyber Charter Schools: You’re Paying For It, So You Deserve to Know Where Your Money Goes

State Rep. Joe Ciresi explains why cyber schools are a raw deal for taxpayers and students.

For Pa. cyber charter schools, there’s little accountability but plenty of profit

There's a certain pleasure that comes when a mainstream outlet may not be citing you, but it sure feels like they've read your stuff. The Editorial Board of the Philadelphia Inquirer explains why PA cybers are a profitable piece of educational bad news, and taxpayers deserve a break.

Well Funded Public Schools Are Not the Priority of Ohio’s Super-Gerrymandered, Supermajority Republican Legislature

Jan Resseger's stuff is always thoughtful, grown up, and well sourced. You should be subscribing to her blog and reading her weekly.

Or even twice a week. Here Jan Resseger looks at an important report from the Schott Foundation about one of the great gaps in our education system.

Pennsylvania Treasurer candidate pledges to “fight” school vouchers

You know an issue has penetrated outside the edububble when someone running for a state office that is not education related makes school vouchers part of her pitch.

A Hallucinogenic Compendium

Eryk Salvaggio substacks at Cybernetic Forests. In this post he looks at why large language models like ChatGPT make lousy search engines. Also, a look at the many and varied hallucinations they produce.

At, I look at how Nebraska's GOP is trying to maneuver school vouchers around the state's voters. Oh, that pesky democracy.

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