Author: Mitchell Robinson

Graphic credit: Gerd Leonhard

Are “Big Data” and “metrics” the new religion in education reform?

As anyone watching the corporate education reform movement can attest to, Big Data and metrics have become the coin of the realm to the reform community. Let any conversation between reformers and defenders of public education go on long enough and the reformer will eventually blurt out the magic words: “But…accountability!” This worldview seems informed by the belief that any […]

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What’s “choice” got to do with it, Paul Ryan?

What’s “choice” got to do with it, Paul Ryan?

Paul Ryan wants persons to have the “choice” to not purchase health insurance. Hey, why so timid, Paul? Let’s go Full Monty on this choice stuff, Mr. Speaker. Let’s give persons the “choice” to not purchase auto insurance; I’m sure there won’t be any issues with folks getting into car accidents and just refusing to pay for the damage they […]

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East Coast elites, intellectuals, and “smug liberals”: Oh My!

East Coast elites, intellectuals, and “smug liberals”: Oh My!

I’m tired. Specifically, I’m sick and tired of being made to feel that my fellow “East Coast elites” and I are somehow to blame for the continually unfolding and horrifying mess our country finds itself in these days. My phone tweets CNN “Breaking News” updates on the hour, alerting me to the new atrocities being introduced to our nation by […]

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Who knew it could be so complicated?: DeVos edition

Who knew it could be so complicated?: DeVos edition

Donald Trump, in a moment of rich irony, appears to have been caught just a bit off guard with just how complex the American health care system really was last week. “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” he added. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” Notwithstanding the fact that nearly every American who […]

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Photo credit: http://www.myballard.com/2011/08/31/seattle-public-schools-closed-today/

Only in Betsy DeVos’ Michigan can schools be “reformed” by closing them

The news broke on January 20, 2017 that as many as 38 schools could be closed in Michigan, 24 of those in Detroit, due to “poor academic performance.” Parents in the city, and throughout the state, were understandably stunned, as this announcement represented an abrupt change in the state’s previous position on school closings: Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration has switched […]

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Private school vouchers: A solution in search of a problem

Private school vouchers: A solution in search of a problem

Private school vouchers are the zombies of the education reform agenda. No matter how many times they are defeated at the ballot box, they just won’t die. Vouchers are overwhelmingly unpopular with voters, contribute to school segregation, don’t help poor families attend the “school of their choice,” and the most recent research on vouchers suggests that the students who use […]

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Betsy, Betsy, Betsy…

Betsy, Betsy, Betsy…

Well, it looks like Betsy DeVos is at it again. This time she’s sharing her thoughts about education and teaching with her new friends at CPAC, the conservative political conference going on right now in National Harbor, MD. Here’s a quote from her “prepared remarks” on Thursday: “The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what […]

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Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable

Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable

My son asked me today on the ride home from his after school jazz band practice if it ever bothered me that persons with less education than I had made more money–a lot more money–than I did. “That’s an easy one,” I told him. “No. Because how much money someone makes has nothing to do with their value in this […]

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What Trump and our society can learn from the arts

What Trump and our society can learn from the arts

There has been a lot of chatter recently about the Trump administration’s plans to eliminate federal arts agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Public Broadcasting Service. As has been reported widely, eliminating these agencies would only amount to a savings of 0.02% of the federal budget, but they seem […]

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Betsy DeVos is approved by the Senate: What do we do now?

Betsy DeVos is approved by the Senate: What do we do now?

I was honored to be giving a talk on education policy at Wayne State University today (thanks for the invite, Drs. Wendy Matthews and Abby Butler!) during the Senate vote on Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. While it was painfully ironic for all of us when Ms. DeVos was approved–by the closest vote for a Cabinet […]

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It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2

It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2

It’s a common refrain among the reformer Illuminati whenever they experience any push-back against their anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-public education, anti-Motherhood-apple-pie-and-hot-dogs agenda. You can bet your bottom privatization dollar that as soon as these edu-tourists hear any reasonable, evidence-based rationale refuting their radical positions on teacher evaluation, tenure or the use of Value-Added Measures, they will inevitably blurt out the one […]

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