Category: Education

The predictable result of demonizing teachers: Detroit schools face massive teacher shortage

The predictable result of demonizing teachers: Detroit schools face massive teacher shortage

If you’ve been watching the ever-increasing demonization of teachers in Michigan over the past decade, you probably have asked yourself at one time or another, “Why the hell would ANYONE want to be a teacher in Michigan?” It’s a fair question. Republicans in our state legislature have cut their benefits, based their advancement on student progress when much of what […]

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https://markarmstrongillustration.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/forkroadschools.jpg

Want to improve Michigan’s schools? Ask teachers, not Gov. Snyder

A jointly-authored article from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and State Superintendent of Schools Brian Whiston appeared recently in The Detroit News. The article was supposed to be a defense of the state’s school reform agenda–which has been, shall we say…underwhelming…in terms of actually…you know…uh…reforming our state’s schools. The overarching theme of the article, such as it was, was that greater […]

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Who suffers when charter schools fail? (HINT: It’s not the banks or the authorizers)

Who suffers when charter schools fail? (HINT: It’s not the banks or the authorizers)

It’s becoming an all too familiar news story in Michigan these days: A “failing” public school system faces “competition” from a charter school that sucks even more resources and students away from the traditional schools and then, when they can’t make enough money, the charter school closes and things are worse off than they were before. For example, it happened […]

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University of Michigan addresses skyrocketing tuition costs with free tuition for families making under $65K a year

University of Michigan addresses skyrocketing tuition costs with free tuition for families making under $65K a year

It’s no secret that the soaring cost of higher education has ensured that many students simply cannot afford to go to a major university. And while there’s no shame in going to a community college or not going to college at all, a university degree opens doors and provides opportunities that community colleges and other paths simply do not. This […]

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Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation

Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation

I’ve been working on teacher evaluation for most of my career as a teacher, administrator, and teacher educator; first being evaluated, then doing the evaluation as an assistant principal and subject area coordinator, then helping design a state-wide beginning teacher evaluation initiative. After nearly 40 years in education, all I can say is that the current system is the worst […]

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from: https://today.ucf.edu/deal-moves-teaching-simulator-developed-at-ucf-into-private-sector/

The “Brave New World” of Teacher Evaluation

Just when you think the masters of the universe who run the corporate reform movement can’t be even more clueless, you catch wind of the newest effort to turn education into a profit-generating endeavor–this time, a hare-brained scheme to evaluate student teachers, by…and I swear I’m not making this up…observing them as they pretend to teach…wait for it…a fake “classroom” […]

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The media’s infatuation with “data”, and why it’s so wrong

The media’s infatuation with “data”, and why it’s so wrong

The Hartford Courant recently published a stunningly uninformed editorial on the Connecticut State Board of Education’s decision to eliminate the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations–a move widely praised by most of the education community. The Courant’s position was clear–and a blend of equal parts ignorance and arrogance: The state Board of Education recently agreed not to include […]

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Gig Economy Graphic | by Senator Mark Warner

Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education

A recent blog post by Morna McDermott at Educationalchemy.com connects the dots between the recent surge in popularity of the new “Gig Economy” and unsavory influences from the usual suspects in the corporate education reform agenda, ALEC and Pearson. McDermott points out the K12 aspects of this connection (i.e., Competency Based Education (CBE) as an “alternative” to actual classroom learning, […]

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Secretary Betsy DeVos at CPAC 2017 Feburary 23rd 2017 by Michael Vadon

Betsy DeVos flip-flops on school choice

What happens when the evidence showing that vouchers do not improve student learning, or “fix failing schools”, becomes too obvious to ignore? Well, if you’re Betsy DeVos, you just flip the rhetoric (i.e., lie). Just as Ms. DeVos and President Donald Trump are poised to dump $20 billion into a federal voucher program, a new study shows that students receiving […]

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Myths and facts about opting out of standardized tests

Myths and facts about opting out of standardized tests

We have a saying in Michigan: There’s really only 3 seasons in our state: Winter, summer, and Road Construction season! To that I would sadly add a fourth: Testing season. And we are now firmly entrenched in the middle of this, the worst season of all in our neck of the woods. I’ve been seeing high levels of anxiety, stress, […]

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What you need to know about accountability, tests, and music

What you need to know about accountability, tests, and music

In the past couple of days I’ve seen a number of troubling statements about education and policy-related issues, like standardized testing, from a variety of political leaders. And I keep coming back to the same word to describe how I feel after reading their ideas about the state of public education. Disappointed. One of these statements was from a hopeful […]

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