All About Andrew

The Governor has made some extra headlines in the past couple of weeks. Here’s a sampling:

It’s well known that conservative governor Scott Walker received campaign contributions from the anti-union, anti-public school, billionaire Koch brothers. But as the Perdido Street School Blog points out, Andrew Cuomo actually received even more.

This editorial in the Glens Falls Post-Star details how Cuomo’s policies are driving rural schools to the brink and how his focus on burnishing his credentials toward a 2016 Presidential run are particularly harmful to states poorest districts.

In what may be just a minor embarrassment or could turn out to be a huge headache for Cuomo, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is criticizing the Governor for prematurely shutting down the Moreland Commission, a committee he (Cuomo) empaneled to weed out corruption.

This article in the Atlantic, tells how Democrats are beginning to turn away from Cuomo. Unfortunately, this does not yet apply to Long Island Democrats in the New York State Legislature, who are still cowed by Cuomo’s bullying tactics and support his harmful education agenda.

We must keep up the pressure on these ELECTED officials and remind them that they are responsible to their constituents – not the state Executive Bully Branch.

News and Links

False Grit

In case you’ve missed it, the latest fad in the “People with little-or-no teaching experience telling us how to do our jobs” department is “grit.” Apparently, instead of emphasizing academics, skills, responsibility, etc., we should be teaching kids how to be more gritty. You can read/watch more about grit here, here, or here. Or just read Alfie Kohn’s piece on why this is utter nonsense.

Tenure

Although Bill Maher calls himself a progressive, and skews pretty much left, he’s come across as very much anti-union.  His latest screed, opining against tenure, is just one more example. Blogger/Teacher Jersey Jazzman wrote this rebuttal, which we can also file in our Mythbuster category against all of those who see tenure as unnecessary or detrimental to education.

Common Core-bert

Steven Colbert explains the Common Core.

Mythbusting

In our continuing effort to cut through the BS, here are two recent posts from “The Answer Sheet” that help bust some common myths.

  • The Common Core Curriculum is supposed to focus on deeper understanding and more analytical thinking about texts. So how come the assessments are essentially impossibly timed races against the clock?  

Latest News & Links

Another Victory for “Reformers” in the War Against Teachers

The Kansas State Legislature just passed legislation stripping teachers of due process.  Administrators no longer need to document their reasons for terminating teachers or give teachers an opportunity to respond when threatened with dismissal. Once terminated, teachers will no longer be able to request a hearing.  (Kansascity.com)

She Who Must Not Be Named

Teacher/Blogger Peter Greene offers up a wonderful take-down of a certain well known reformer’s idiotic piece in the Washington Post (curmudgucation.blogspot.com)

Nine Problems With Big Data

Although this article is not about education per se, it is a reminder of the problems with mass data collection and the conclusions that are often drawn from it. (New York Times)


inBloom Wilting

Some good news on the data/privacy front. inBloom, the Gates Foundation funded data collection project has been given the boot by New York State, dropping the number of partners to… let’s do the math… ZERO.