CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Homecoming Edition (12/19)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Homecoming Edition (12/19)

Homecoming Edition

My daughter and her family are on a plane today, returning with considerable trepidation to the area for Christmas stuff. Scary to have them navigate the current pandemic wave, but boy do I want to see my children and grandchildren. Ho ho ho, indeed. Here's some reading from the week.

College, Career, or Whatever Readiness

Jose Luis Vilson talks about the resurgence of college and career readiness, and why it misses the mark.

Pitt launches teacher prep program

This should be interesting. Here in NW PA we've seen multiple college teacher prep programs fold or down-size because of decreased enrollment, but Pitt thinks maybe it can help address the state teacher pipeline problem by opening up a new program. Let's see how this goes.

Ben Simmons and education testing

Akil Bello with a perfect analogy about how putting testing emphasis on the wrong things leads to lousy consequences.

Not getting into it: How critical race theory laws are cutting short classroom conversations

Chalkbeat looks at the chilling effect of these gag laws which encourage teachers to just not address the topics at all.

"You're not going to teach about race. You're going to go ahead and keep your job."

EdWeek takes a look at just how chilling gag laws like Oklahoma's are. Spoiler alert: Very.

Oklahoma bill seeks to alter teaching of slavery

Also in Oklahoma, legislators want to force teachers to talk about slavery in a particular way (everybody was doing it and white people weren't any more slave-holdery than anyone else).

Teachers, parents file lawsuit against New Hampshire divisive concepts law.

US News as the story as folks fight back against the NH version of the race gag law.

Businesses: Idaho education politics are hurting state

Idaho is at #9 on the Public Education Hostility Index, and that hostility to public education is turning out to be bad for business. This is an AP story.

DeSantis unveils plan to let parents sue schools

Florida will not be outdone for hostility to public ed. Now borrowing from the Texas anti-abortion model, DeSantis now wants parents to sue schools for teaching crt. 

As parents protest critical race theory, students fight racist behavior at school

NBC notes that increased attacks over any attempt at addressing equity at school are spilling over into students' lives in school, and it's not a good thing. More attacks on boards embolden more harassment of students of color.

There's a lot for conservatives to embrace in critical race theory

Gary Abernathy in the Washington Post offers that crt has some good parts, and conservatives ought to be embracing them. 

Four Memphis schools to return to local control

A while back, Tennessee decided that they would create a state-run school district to take over "failing" schools, and then magically turn them into Very Successful Schools. It has failed, repeatedly, consistently, to do that. Here it is, failing again. Marta Aldritch in Chalkbeat.

How K-12 funding has slipped

Researchers take a look at funding "effort"-- how much states are spending as a share of their economic output. Fuess what--the effort is shrinking.

Lawmakers concerned about plan to increase frequency of standardized tests

In Illinois, some legislators note that increasing standardized test might be a dumb idea. They are not wrong. 

How the viral Wayfair sex trafficking lie hurts real kids

All that QAnon baloney about pedophile sex trafficking rings is having real negative consequences for real human beings. This Washington Post piece hangs on the story of a runaway who was being reported as a Wayfair "victim" weeks and months after she had returned home.

Six gigantic problems, six wrong solutions in public ed

Nancy Flanagan with some spot on analysis

Ohio department of education concludes investigation of Bishop Sycamore; it's a scam

You may remember the story of the fake high school in Ohio that was caught after they got hammered in an ESPN high school game of the week. The department of ed has now officially announced what everyone had pretty much concluded on their own--the school is a massive scam.

Johnson county teacher's message to parents: You can be angry, but we can also leave

Mostly just watch the three minute video of a veteran teacher's address to one of the many school boards operating in the midst of angry parent firestorms. It's a masterful, emotional speech.

The endless humiliation of teachers

Steven Singer reacts to that viral image of teachers on their knees in a hockey rink, scarmbling for cash in order to entertain the crowd. 

The Great American Teacher Exodus

Noa de la Cour at The Jacobin with a pretty solid overview of the many reasons that teaching positions have been harder and harder to fill.

Also, this week in Things I Wrote Elsewhere, at Forbes I wrote about the current SCOTUS case aimed at destroying the wall between church and state

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Homecoming Edition (12/19)

PA: Senate Wants To Block Any School COVID Vaccination Mandate
by Peter Greene / 2d
In Pennsylvania, under section 1303 of the school code , we find a requirement to vaccinate school students. Right now, some legislators are preparing to mess with that. School directors, superintendents, principals, or other persons in charge of any public, private, parochial, or other school including kindergarten, are required to make sure that every child is immunized before being admitted to
8 Bad Education Models
34by Peter Greene / 2d
As we consider (or ignore) the opportunity to rethink and re-imagine education, all of our worst ideas about what education actually is have come bubbling to the surface like hippopotamus farts in a stagnant pond. There are many bad ways to frame education, models that are damaging for students or simply twist education into unproductive shapes. Here are some of the worst. The Empty Vessels Stude
Education's Transparency Problem
29by Peter Greene / 4d
Transparency has been part of the second wave of issues following hard on the heels of critical race theory panic, leading to a variety o f ill-conceived ideas for transparency law s, some of which are bad faith attempts to dig up more items to add to the long list of things "hiding" crt in schools, and some of which are simply redundant, giving parents rights they already have. But despite the f
Who's Afraid Of Testing Backlash
27by Peter Greene / 5d
Education Next can be counted on to stand up for the reformy status quo. Let's look at " Testing Backlash Could Hurt American Global Competitiveness ," the latest entry in a long line of chicken littling about dropping high stakes testing as the foundation of U.S. education. I read it so you don't have to. Tanxi Fang is a student at Harvard College concentrating in government, and he has hit all
Luxury Beliefs And Education: An Intro
by Peter Greene / 5d
So here's a new rhetorical framing device that you may have seen cropping up here and there. Luxury beliefs. It's an interesting concept. Its coiner is Rob Henderson, currently a Cambridge scholar, but with a striking backstory ("I suspect I'm the only student at Cambridge University who lived out of garbage bags as a child"). Here's his description of luxury beliefs Ideas & opinions that confer
Tuesday's Bitter Anniversary
100+by Peter Greene / 5d
I've seen precious little about it, even though the anniversary is coming up tomorrow. I'd like to think that it's something practical, like it's only a nine year anniversary, or we're distracted by all our other issues. I'm sure we'll see a bunch of pieces tomorrow, and for one day some folks will pretend to care. I'm writing this on Monday, December 13. Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the
ICYMI: Quick Summer Day Edition (12/12)
by Peter Greene / 7d
It was beautiful but blustery here yesterday, the gentler end of that front that wrought such havoc out west. My county has been on the receiving end of killer tornados, and it's an awful thing, that mixture of destruction and death and the reminder that we are tiny creatures on the surface of a giant globe that we can't actually control. Maybe that's one reason we spend so much time fighting abo
Jeb Bush Has A New Education Master Plan For 2022
200+by Peter Greene / 8d
I'll give Jeb! this--when education policy failed to carry him to the White House, he didn't just turn tail and pretend that he's never met the whole thing ever before (that was Common Core he disowned). And his policy right-tilted thinky tank is still at it, currently under the name Foundation for Excellence in Education, aka Excel in Ed . In fact, the group has a whole new education policy play
Are Parents' Rights The Only Ones We Need To Worry About?
39by Peter Greene / 9d
Being a parent is a scary business. Suddenly you've got these tiny humans to take care of and you don't know what you're doing and you try to make the best choices you can even though you're worried that you may be scarring them for life but you invest your heart and soul into trying to keep them safe and smart and growing up to be good people. And then just as they're starting to turn into real