CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: No Staff Shortage Here Edition (10/24)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: No Staff Shortage Here Edition (10/24)

No Staff Shortage Here Edition

The advantage of having the Curmudgucation Institute operated with a staff of one, unpaid, is evident at times like these. I would give me a raise, but the Institute can't afford to stretch our budget of $0.00. I mention this because we all need to be periodically reminded that all one needs to be a policy spokesperson, think tank, or important activist group, is one person, a point of view, and access to the interwebz.

Speaking of which, here are the reads from the week. Warning--we have several Washington Post items this week, so if you're burning free views there, you may want to peruse the list and make your choices first.

Teacher Self Care Hinges Upon a Single Word

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider with some short-but-sweet advice. When i think of all the times I tried to coach my colleagues to use this word...

Why so many teachers are thinking of quitting

Leslie Gray Streeter of the Washington Post took the radical step of talking to actual teachers (or former teachers). 

Kentucky judge finds new school voucher program unconstitutional

Jan Resseger with some good news from Kentucky. 

Best school lists are meaningless

Lots of folks had mean things to say about US News and their crazy decision to rank elementary and middle schools, but Jack Schneider had the best dismantling of the whole foolish business for WBUR.

Of all the conservative bands on teaching about racism, the one in Texas is the worst

Michael Gerson for the Washington Post, offering some insight on one of Texas's moves to try to overtake Florida in the crazypants bad education ideas department.

How newspaper closures open the door to corporate crime

In this education-adjacent story, Harvard Business School has the research that shows one bad side effect of closing newspapers.

ACLU: Oklahoma ban violates free speech rights

The first big anti-crt-ban lawsuit is on its way. Stay tuned.

Teachers are barely hanging on. Here's what they need.

The "teachers at the end of their rope" genre has been blowing up lately, but this Cult of Pedagogy podcast (with transcript) is probably the most thorough of the breed.

Nobody Hates The Gifted

While everyone else is worried about bans and disease, NYC has descended into a huge flap over gifted education. Nancy Flanagan has some thoughts about gifted education.

Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids' school curriculum. They don't.

Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire at the Washington Post look at just how much control parents should have over school's programs.

What is Taught in Public Schools? Volunteer as a Substitute Teacher and See for Yourself!

Steven Singer offers some excellent advice for all those lawmakers so deeply concerned about what schools are up to.

Texas school district bans long hair. Lawsuit ensues.

Oh, Texas. Believe it or not, we're back to making rules about how long a young man can grow his hair. 

4th circuit will review skirts-only dress code for charter

What is it--the fifties again? This suit actually has larger ramifications, because the charters' defense is that it's not a public school. 

How protesters came after this Florida board member

The Washington Post has a first-person account from one of the board members being harassed in Florida.

America's Standardized Test Giants Are Losing Money Fast

The Chronicle of Higher Education has this sad, sad tale. Okay, it's not a sad tale. Come enjoy the schadenfreude.

TN librarians speak out again board member's attempt to ban books

Tennessee is the home of one more aggressive attempt to ban books. Here's some good response to that in the Tennessean.

Trump’s Lawyer Sues Wellesley for Charles Koch’s Phony “Parent” Group

If you've heard about this lawsuit, you need to read this piece from dark money expert Maurice Cunningham explaining just where the action is coming from.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: No Staff Shortage Here Edition (10/24)

This Is The Hard Part Of Teaching. It’s Getting Harder. - by @palan57 on @forbes

Another Faux Diverse Viewpoint Ed Site
by Peter Greene / 1d
I have reached the point where I really appreciate a website that says "We are here to promote the right wing education agenda," rather than one like Chalkboard Review* that leads with lines like "Everyone is a stakeholder in education" and "Educator perspectives are diverse and necessary." This is, to put it gently, not actually true about this site, which is clearly fully tilted to the right. F
Dear Substitute-Desperate Districts. What Are You Doing About It?
by Peter Greene / 3d
There's a great deal of hollering about the lack of substitute teachers. Like the challenge of filling regular teaching positions, this is not a new problem , but the pandemic has exacerbated it considerably. Everywhere you turn, you can find administrators bemoaning their lack of subs. But if you are one of these administrators, what are you actually doing about it? Are you raising sub pay? Sub
Nevada Family Alliance Still Pro-Cameras, Anti-Irony
by Peter Greene / 3d
Remember Nevada Family Alliance, the activist group that may or may not just be one person with some software and a wifi connection, and that one person, a lady named Karen England, may or many not be a big ole scam artist. I'm still on NFA's mailing list, and my last check-in from my friend Karen, whose latest email is just loaded with stuff. Well, three stuffs. Let's take them one at a time, be
PA: Another CRT Panic Tale
by Peter Greene / 4d
So here's a story from my corner of the state that tells you how far the "critical race theory" panic has seeped into the ordinary operations of school districts. Penncrest School District is located in the NW corner of the state, located mostly in Crawford County. It's a mid-sized (around 3500 students K-12) district that was stitched together out of several very small rural districts . The dist
Let Me Propose A New Teacher Pay System
by Peter Greene / 6d
One feature of modern ed reform over the last couple of decades has been the attempt to "disrupt" teacher pay. I have an idea, or at least a thought experiment. Many education disruptors have noted that it seems unfair to pay "good" teachers and "bad" teachers the same amount. To be honest, that thought has occurred to one or two teachers as well. Meanwhile, not a day goes by that some civilian d
ICYMI: Days Of Rage Edition (10/17)
by Peter Greene / 7d
The anti-crt movement is rapidly changing form into the anti-public education movement. Well, maybe not so much changing as revealing. Things are heating up across the country, and this week was a big week for reads in the Big People Media. Enrollment jumps in charter schools--with biggest gains in the worst sector Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post hosts Carol Burris. Charter schools were ea
NC: Further Suppressing Education
by Peter Greene / 7d
North Carolina has not been a great state for education for many years, and as the fight over all the things lumped under the banner of "critical race theory" has heated up, they've been doing their part to fan the flames. Lt. Governor Mark Robinson set up a website to collect reports of naughty indoctrinatin' going on, then issued a report that seemed more interested in buttressing a pre-selecte
Bad Laws in Texas: The Opposite Side of the Holocaust
Texas Opposing Holocaust
by Peter Greene / 8d
Look, this is what you get when you hastily pass a sloppy law. Particularly if it has to do with schools. I feel sorry for Gina Peddy, the Carroll Independent executive director who was caught on a recording telling teachers that, if they have a book about the Holocaust, they should make sure to have one "that has an opposing, that has other perspectives." Speaking of both sides Carroll Independe
US News, Please Knock It Off
by Peter Greene / 9d
US News was once a magazine, but these days it's arguably most famous as a Ranker of Things, especially schools. They rank colleges and high schools annually, and despite the fact that these rankings are hugely questionable