Tag: Education

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome Arizona Democratic Sen.  Mark Kelly opposing expansion of the U.S. Supreme Court under any circumstances. They also wince as Virginia announces there will be no accelerated high school math classes until the 11th grade. And they have very different reactions to the news that Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor in California.

 

Angel Eduardo is a writer, musician, photographer and artist. He and Bridget discuss the discipline of being a professional artist, the moral panic around art these days, self-censorship and the fear of being cancelled, victimhood culture, exercise & discipline, Bridget’s ideal super power, why mistakes are like wrapping paper, what to do when you’re lost, and the ground we’re losing in the equality movement. Angel explains his concept of “star-manning,” a way of engaging in discourse with each other that acknowledges a person’s point of view and their intentions in a conversation as a means of finding common ground, making them feel heard, and making them more likely to listen to you in return. He believes that most people mean well, and we often lose sight of that fact and depersonalize them in a disagreement, particularly over social media. Learn more about Angel on his website, angeleduardo.com.

Joe Selvaggi discusses a recently released survey from Pioneer Institute and Emerson Polling, “Massachusetts Residents’ Perceptions of K-12 Education During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” with Emerson’s lead analyst, Isabel Holloway, and Pioneer Institute’s Charlie Chieppo. Read the poll here.

Guests:

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Jay Mathews, an education columnist for The Washington Post and author of the recent book, An Optimist’s Guide to American Public Education. Jay describes the three key trends in K-12 schooling that he views as cause for hope. They also discuss the tensions between high-profile, college prep-centered school reformers and the dominant pedagogical outlook found across many of the major schools of education. They explore teacher-driven school reforms, whether led by legendary figures such as Jaime Escalante in traditional public schools, or in charter networks such as KIPP, which have established high-caliber teacher preparation programs. Drawing on his decades spent covering K-12 education for The Washington Post, he shares observations about the quality and success of the U.S. Department of Education’s policymaking, and the strengths and weaknesses of federal education efforts in contrast to what he has observed in states, districts, and schools. They also talk about the most effective ways to spend the massive infusion of federal money school districts are receiving through COVID relief. Next, he offers insights on American journalism, print media’s struggles to adapt to a digital world, the impact on K-12 education coverage, and suggestions for improvement. As someone whose education background and early career focused on Asia, he offers thoughts on U.S.-China relations and the wider implications for America’s global competitiveness in K-12 school reform. He concludes with a reading from his new book.

Stories of the Week: Are unnecessarily severe middle school discipline policies and practices that disproportionately target students of color exacerbating the school-to-prison pipeline? Writing in The Wall Street JournalEducation Next‘s Ira Stoll explores the debate in Boston about changing admissions policies at exam schools, and whether outside organizations, such as the Red Sox baseball team, should weigh in on the issue.

Parenting Postscript: Our Best and Worst Decisions

 

In 1994, my dad introduced me to a friend of his and mentioned that I was engaged. My dad’s friend, with humor and kindness, told me, “Ah, yes. Marriage.  There’s nothing like marriage to show you who you really are.  Smokes you right out.”  All these years, I’ve  retained the image of a small frenzied mammal running back and forth in his tunnel until he finally pops out of his back door–heaving, exposed, and vulnerable–to gulp the fresh air.  Except in my case, it was not marriage, but parenthood that really smoked me out.

Christian blogger and author Tim Challies expressed it best when he described some challenges of being a parent as “muddling through.”  Yes–we can read all the books, survey parents we admire, attend Love and Logic conferences, determine to be kinder and gentler, ask for help on Facebook.  Yet, few children arrive as a neat, predictable package.  Each comes as a unique little creature, a complete person, yet pre-loaded with potential to be nurtured and developed over years.

The Best of YouTube

 

I know — I should ditch YouTube because it’s anathema to those fighting to preserve what’s left of free speech. I ditched Facebook for this very reason and experienced an inner peace I’d been lacking since Skynet became self-aware. But I still use YouTube all the time for two main reasons:

  1. Unlike Facebook, a good alternative fails to exist. Rumble just doesn’t cut it yet.
  2. Most of the good guys’ channels are still up and dishing it, despite YouTube’s best efforts to silence them.

I have plenty of channels I subscribe to, almost all of which have nothing to do with politics. I subscribe to several ministries (Todd WhiteDutch SheetsFlashpointmy church), a bunch of movie and film channels, channels with nerd stuff, and a couple of NFL ones. They show up on my feed and I watch them in the quiet hour after the kids are finally in bed, or at three in the morning while trying to get the toddler back into his bed. If you’re looking for a soothing balm to mitigate the news of the latest atrocity against our country, or just want a break to kill the time in a waiting room somewhere, here are my latest favorites. (Note: unless noted, these are not always appropriate for kids.)

Rousseau

Member Post

 

Seemingly overnight, a large segment of America has gone insane. We’re not talking about the culture of paranoia and safety that has metastasized in the wake of COVID-19 hysteria. We’re talking about the ideological shift, particularly on cultural issues, that has occurred since the start of the Obama Administration. To pick an easy example, it would […]

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If Math Is White Supremacy, Civilization Is Finished

 

Two plus two equals four. No controversy there, right? Because in this universe, which happens to be governed by immutable laws of physics, which are expressed through unalterable mathematics, two plus two must always equal four, there’s only one right answer. And no one could possibly quibble with that, right?

Wrong! Reality-denying leftists insist that two plus two is deviously misleading and adds up to a whole lot more than four, if it even adds up to that. It’s all part of the larger equation of – and you know what’s coming – the dastardly, ubiquitous, never-ending, all-encompassing . . . drum roll, please . . . white supremacy!

School Diary: How to Anger a Budding SJW

 
A small eruption of social justice warfare erupted today at the start of class. Thoughts, critiques, suggestions, etc…all warmly welcomed.My class was waiting to begin when a chatty Hispanic student- call her K- said: “well, I read this article in the Washington Post…but I shouldn’t talk about it now…”

K has been my student for a year and a half so I should have known better than to take the bait. Most of her tuition is paid by a fund that sends “promising” students from public schools to independent/private schools in the state. We know this because she speaks about it constantly, to everyone. She’s generally cheerful, inarticulate, and uninformed (“Ok, so this Helen Keller person… I don’t really know who she was, but anyhoo, so… my sister said that she was blind and deaf. And she couldn’t talk either? But how… like I don’t wanna be mean or, like….well mean I guess but I mean how is that possible? Like at the same time?”)

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Tommy Schultz, CEO-elect of the American Federation for Children (AFC). They discuss how COVID-19 school closures have increased the interest in alternatives to public schools, and what AFC’s polling shows on shifts in attitudes toward school choice options in both urban and rural communities. He shares predictions for school choice policymaking in the Biden administration and the largely Republican-controlled state legislatures. They explore the past successes of the left-right coalition in K-12 education reform that delivered charter schools, testing, and accountability, but has since splintered, and how the remnants of that coalition might respond to the teachers’ unions. Tommy offers insights into how advocates will need to communicate and mobilize state-by-state over the next five years to dramatically expand private school choice programs like vouchers, scholarship tax credits, and education savings account programs, which currently serve approximately 550,000 out of 56 million total K-12 students.

Stories of the Week: A new Pioneer Institute report on Boston’s only vocational high school (which also received coverage in The Boston Globe) calls for improved alignment between course and co-op offerings, and actual employment opportunities. New research from EducationNext raises concerns about over-diagnosis of Black and Hispanic students in special education programs. In some school districts, students are continuing remote learning, even while playing on sports teams – is this the right message to send about academic priorities?

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss the staggering number of students who fell through the cracks because schools were closed and the impact that could have. They also roll their eyes as Elizabeth Warren and a couple of allies in the House propose a wealth tax, and they discuss why New York Democrats suddenly seem so eager to boot Gov. Cuomo.

 

Why We Need Shakespeare Now More than Ever

 

Yes, the War Against Shakespeare has been going on for years now. But the Woke Supremacists in universities are stepping up the volume, because, you know, Shakespeare is not relevant today. It’s not just because he represents white-supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and all other -isms. No. He’s not relevant.

What can Shakespeare possibly have to say to today’s youth, or today’s young adults, or even today’s old adults? How can Shakespeare possibly be relevant to them? Let’s take a moment to imagine…

Member Post

 

The individuals who rise to national prominence here in the U.S. puzzle me with their apparent mediocrity–the lackluster communication skills (or slick speaking ability devoid of content), the lack of clear principles, the absence of fresh ideas. I find it frustrating that we can’t elect strong, principled leaders in a country of more than 300 […]

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Member Post

 

To the kids of California,  Like you, I grew up here. I’ve thought about you so much the last eleven months, and wondered how it must feel to be you. It must be confusing, to drive through town, and see tourists wine tasting and people dining out. Entire homes have been built from the ground […]

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A Letter to Our Leaders: Open the Schools

 

A friend recently reminded me of the quote from St. Katherine Drexel, “Press forward and fear nothing.” So in that spirit, I write this for my daughter. Because she deserves better. And because if I don’t speak up on her behalf, I am afraid no one will.

This is for you, S.

Member Post

 

So the saga of the Chicago Teachers Union versus Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools continues. Some random thoughts on what’s going on. Where we left off: on January 24th, 10,000 teachers for kindergarten- 8th grade were supposed to report to their classrooms. They failed to do so at the CTU’s urging and set off […]

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Teri is back behind the mic, giving you an update on: her life these last six months, where Smart Girl Politics is headed and her new project.

Please be sure to go to fierce.substack.com/ to join in the fun!

Jack brings on Reason editor Robby Soave to discuss the struggle (against . . . teachers?) to reopen schools, and the terrible consequences for kids — you know, the people the schools are supposed to be for — of their being closed.

School Diary: Diversity Day

 

Today was Open Hearts Day, a.k.a. Diversity Day at my school, an occasion that admin has been talking up for weeks now. Some of you might have had similar diversity training experiences at work; I’d be curious to know if this is similar to what you’ve been through.

My first year at school, we literally called this day “Diversity Day.” Each homeroom put a table outside their classroom in the hallway and the students placed items on the table that reflected their ethnic heritage. I put my globe on the table with bright dots to reflect the different places that my students’ families had come from. Then we all walked around and admired everyone’s tables.

Chicago: Teachers Won’t Come Back

 

Preschool teacher Kirstin Roberts teaches students outside Brentano Elementary Math & Science Academy since it isn’t “safe” inside.

As a former employee of CPS (Chicago Public Schools, for the uninitiated), I have been watching as the saga of the “reopening of schools” has been unfolding here. I still receive all the CPS emails, as well as those from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The competing narratives about going back to work have been fascinating and I thought I’d do a little write-up here. Feel free to chime in if you’ve been following and have thoughts about how this is going down…

CPS planned on a hybrid re-opening scheme this fall but the CTU protested that it wasn’t safe so CPS went remote. Throughout that time, CPS provided updates about the HEPA filters they installed in the schools, cleaning procedures, the polling from the community who wanted to return to in-person teaching, etc. All this led to January’s phased re-opening (note: the CTU did not endorse this plan)- on January 4, 5,800 teachers were meant to return to prep for the January 11 start date for pre-kindergarten age children and only 49.7% came back. Some taught remotely, some taught even outside the building in 27°F weather (see the photo above). And the CTU said that teachers who did not want to return had the Union’s full support. CPS and the city said they would face “progressive discipline”- i.e., risk being fired.