CURMUDGUCATION: Forbes Says 18 Dumb Things

Forbes Says 18 Dumb Things

Forbes has some super-duper insights to offer about education, courtesy of Omri Ben-Sahar and Carl E. Schneider. If you don’t recognize those names from the world of education, that’s because Ben-Sahar is a “law professor at the University of Chicago, the editor of a leading academic journal, and a global expert on contract law and consumer market regulation” and Schneider is “the Chauncey Stillman Professor for Ethics, Morality, and the Practice of Law and is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Law School.” In other words, one more set of experts who are public education amateurs.

With its title, “Teacher Certification Makes Public School Education Worse, Not Better” announces its intention to be outrageous, and it does not disappoint. It’s a short article, but it squeezes in 18 dumb things. Let’s count them of – read more here: CURMUDGUCATION: Forbes Says 18 Dumb Things

New York City: Parents Threaten to Sue City Over Failure to Reduce Class Size

Why must it come to this for parents seeking equity and equality for their children’s public school experience?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Watch this 2-minute clip, in which New York City parents and activists explain why class size in the public schools is far too large and how this hurts children and reduces educational opportunity.

After a legal challenge, a judge ten years ago ordered the city to submit a plan for smaller classes.

The city promised that by 2012, classes in kindergarten through third grade would be capped at 20 children. The limit was to be 23 students in middle school, and 25 in high school.

“Instead, class sizes have gone up substantially since then,” said Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters.

For example, in 2007, one thousand kids in first through third grades were in classes of 30 students or more.

This past school year, more than 43,000 students in the early grades were in classes that large.

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Bringing the Education Conversation Back to What Society Has Forgotten: Poverty and Inequity

Bringing the Education Conversation Back to What Society Has Forgotten: Poverty and Inequity
by janresseger
In her 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein castigated conservative reformers who construct a narrative of government failure as the justification for privatization. Over the years, education writers have documented that the narrative of the overwhelming failure of American public schools is fake news—a distorted story to justify the expansion of charters and vouchers and to trash teachers and their unions.

Twenty years ago, in The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America’s Public Schools, David Berliner and Bruce Biddle documented that school “reformers” were constructing a specious narrative of public school failure: “(O)n the whole, the American school system is in far better shape than the critics would have us believe; where American schools fail, those failures are largely caused by problems that are imposed on those schools, problems that the critics have been only too happy to ignore. American education can be restructured, improved, and strengthened—but to build realistic programs for achieving these goals, we must explode the myths of the Manufactured Crisis and confront the real problems of American education.” (The Manufactured Crisis, p. 12)

Then in 2012, tracing a trend of modest but consistent improvement over the decades in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress, Diane Ravitch reached the same conclusion: — read the full blog post here – https://janresseger.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/13863/

janresseger

In her 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein castigated conservative reformers who construct a narrative of government failure as the justification for privatization. Over the years, education writers have documented that the narrative of the overwhelming failure of American public schools is fake news—a distorted story to justify the expansion of charters and vouchers and to trash teachers and their unions.

Twenty years ago, in The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America’s Public Schools, David Berliner and Bruce Biddle documented that school “reformers” were constructing a specious narrative of public school failure: “(O)n the whole, the American school system is in far better shape than the critics would have us believe; where American schools fail, those failures are largely caused by problems that are imposed on those schools, problems that the critics have been only too happy to ignore. American education can be restructured…

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Dear FBI: It’s Not Just the Dolls You Should Be Worried About.

Dear FBI: It’s Not Just the Dolls You Should Be Worried About.
by Emily Talmage
On Monday, the FBI published a public service announcement alerting parents that “smart toys” and entertainment devices for kids may be collecting vast amounts of data about their children.

Emily Talmage Blog

On Monday, the FBI published a public service announcement alerting parents that “smart toys” and entertainment devices for kids may be collecting vast amounts of data about their children.

“The collection of a child’s personal information combined with a toy’s ability to connect to the internet or other devices raises concerns for privacy and physical safety,” the notice warns.

Major news outlets across the country are now sounding the alarm, encouraging parents to research privacy agreements and to find out who has access to their children’s data.

Despite the sudden and urgent concern for children’s privacy, however, the reports have thus far ignored the biggest elephant in the room…

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the fact that massive data collection is happening in our schools every single day.

As school districts across the country implement one-to-one digital device initiatives, school testing policies shift to include ongoing “formative” assessments, and data collection expands beyond academics…

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Chronically On Hold.

When someone is sick, they should be able to get help. Easily, and without their mother having to threaten becoming a street walker or sell her body parts to pay for it. I am not as pretty as Anne Hathaway, and if I have to shave my head and have my teeth pulled to save her life, it’s not going to be as romantic as Les Mis made it look on the big screen.

Is that really too much to ask?

Laura Eberhart Goodman

Boils Down to It

(Other Possible Titles)

The Incredibly Uncaring World of Healthcare

Why My Mother Sold Her Kidney: To Buy My Medication (A Cautionary Tale)

In case you didn’t know, this is why the current debate over healthcare matters. To me anyway. Maybe not to you. If not, you’re a selfish bastard and I hope you step on a Lego.

I have been unwillingly thrust into the healthcare debate. I never cared much about insurance because I’ve always had it. It was never a concern because it never needed to be. I was sick, I went to the doctor, I paid my copay, I got well. This makes me privileged and fortunate. Very boring story, actually.

Then I had not one, but two premature babies. Not at the same time, three years apart. But still, very expensive business, prematurity. My daughter cost approximately $118,000. To think that women still give birth in fields…

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If federal and state statutes drive funding and staffing levels, how is it that CPS can choose to ignore or follow them at will? And why can’t other Illinois districts do the same under SB1? Bev Johns responds.

JULY 21, 2017 BY FRED KLONSKY
If federal and state statutes drive funding and staffing levels, how is it that CPS can choose to ignore or follow them at will? And why can’t other Illinois districts do the same under SB1? Bev Johns responds.

Fred Klonsky

CPS_0426 CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.

The first thing to remember is that in all things education there is Chicago and then there is the rest of Illinois.

The same rules rarely apply.

Most of the state’s poor and students of color live in Chicago and Cook County. When bad things happen they usually happen here first and then travel down state.

For years, special education funding to CPS has been in the form of a block grant, with no guarantees of how it will be spent. In recent years the money has been co-mingled with general education funding. There were no guarantees that special education funds would result in direct and dedicated funding for Special Education teachers or at what ratio of teacher to student.

CPS has now told parents it will no longer co-mingle the general education and special education dollars in their block grants. If true, this is a…

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Pay for Success & the McCleary Crisis: Did the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Help Position Social Impact Bonds as a Last Resort Funding Option for Our Public Schools?

Pay for Success & the McCleary Crisis: Did the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Help Position Social Impact Bonds as a Last Resort Funding Option for Our Public Schools?
by seattleducation2010
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge […]

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Seattle Education

two minutes of hate

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. -George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

No one makes a better villain than Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. She’s the enemy of public education that everyone – on the left and right – can agree to hate.

DeVos is our very own Emmanuel Goldstein, the…

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Writing about what you know

We’ve all read articles by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Usually they are filled with lots of quotes and descriptions, but very little substance. We end up turning the page pretty quickly.

So do yourself a favor. Take a look at your life – where you go and what you do. Write a list of topics that you know enough to write about.

And then choose one and follow the best advice out there and write about what you know.

***

Wendy Thomas

Live to Write - Write to Live

Ask a writer (any writer) for advice on the craft and chances are at some point you’ll hear the age-old adage “write about what you know.” In other words, write about what you (not someone else) have learned and experienced in your life.

It’s actually some of the best writing advice out there.

When you write about what you know, you bring a voice to the table. You present yourself as an expert on a craft, a journey, an experience. You get to teach people about something they may not previously know anything about. If you write from what you know, people trust you as “someone who’s been there.” You become credible and more importantly, your work becomes credible.

Writing from knowledge will not only engage your readers, but chances are you’ll be able to sell some of your work because what *you* know could be very, very interesting. After…

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New Orleans: Students Punished for Being Poor

“When a New Orleans charter school made headlines recently for kicking out two homeless students because they didn’t have the right uniforms, people were shocked. They shouldn’t have been. Suspending poor students for “non-compliance” when they can’t afford to buy the right shoes, pants or sweaters is standard operating procedure in our all-charter-school education system. More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, poverty in the city is worse than ever, even as rents have doubled during the past decade. Yet students and their parents are routinely punished—even criminalized—just for being poor.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Astana Bigard, parent activist in New Orleans, reports that poor children are regularly suspended and expelled from charter schools because they can’t afford to pay for a uniform.

“When a New Orleans charter school made headlines recently for kicking out two homeless students because they didn’t have the right uniforms, people were shocked. They shouldn’t have been. Suspending poor students for “non-compliance” when they can’t afford to buy the right shoes, pants or sweaters is standard operating procedure in our all-charter-school education system. More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, poverty in the city is worse than ever, even as rents have doubled during the past decade. Yet students and their parents are routinely punished—even criminalized—just for being poor.”

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