News and Links: January 26, 2015

The latest batch of news and links from education blogs/websites:

I know we have pretty good eye care through the district, but I think I’m going to complain about the quality of my eyeglass prescription. Because when I went to the other day it actually looked like one of their editors wrote a piece acknowledging that FACTORS OTHER THAN “BAD” TEACHERS might be to blame for some students under-performing. 

Two recent articles help to disprove the myth that won’t die: that our public schools are failing:

With Jeb Bush looking like a strong contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, here’s a look at his record on education.

When we talk about how the reform agenda is taking the joy out of learning, this argument is often received as the kind of soft, anti-competitive coddling that is weakening our students. This article, from The Atlantic, articulates a sound rationale for why we need to bring joy back.

Not only is this a dreary and awful way to treat children, it makes no sense educationally. Decades of research have shown that in order to acquire skills and real knowledge in school, kids need to want to learn. You can force a child to stay in his or her seat, fill out a worksheet, or practice division. But you can’t force a person to think carefully, enjoy books, digest complex information, or develop a taste for learning. To make that happen, you have to help the child find pleasure in learning—to see school as a source of joy.

Recently we posted an article about a report saying that the requirement for kids to read by the end of kindergarten may be harmful to sum.  Here’s a piece by a pre-K teacher talking about her experience.

I know you never get tired of hearing our Governor trashing us, but here’s some more comments he made last Thursday. On the plus side, he is at least spreading the love by showing his contempt for the general public as well, noting that the real problem is that they’re too stupid to understand what’s going on:

“If (the public) understood what was happening with education to their children, there would be an outrage in this city,” Cuomo said. “I’m telling you, they would take City Hall down brick by brick.“It’s only because it’s complicated that people don’t get it.”

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