Monday, January 11, 2021

In Case You Missed It – January 11, 2021

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention in NEIFPE's social media. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

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Betsy DeVos Bails Out

The President's behavior was finally too much for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (former Ed Secretary by the time you read this).

From Curmudgucation
Well, she finally had enough.

DeVos blamed Trumpian rhetoric for the riots, called it an "inflection point" for her, and became one more GOP Trump-fluffer to suddenly discover her shock and outrage for exactly the same kind of shit that he's been doing for four years. I mean, there's something deeply disingenuous about watching someone throw gasoline and matches around for four years and only getting all pearl clutchy and knicker twisty when the completely predictable fire actually starts.

She also said "Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us. I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgement and model the behavior we hope they would emulate." Which is as true today as it was when President Pussy-grabber talked about shithole countries and very fine people on both sides. It's an odd time to suddenly grow scruples. But at this point, I guess the wounded lame duck can't really do anything for her. The full letter can be read here. It actually starts with another rehearsal of her "accomplishments" as ed secretary.


Jake Jacobs: End the Tax Breaks for Charter Schools and the Uber-Rich

Will the Biden administration continue the Democratic/Republican quest for school privatization, or will we finally see a change? Spoiler: Don't hold your breath.

From Diane Ravitch
Joe Biden’s recent nomination of Miguel Cardona as a relatively lesser-known, less controversial selection for Secretary of Education was telling. It shows the incoming administration’s reticence to take a side in the ongoing battle over school choice and standardized testing, just like most members of Congress and the major U.S. media.

On the campaign trail, Biden drew cheers from teachers for his promise to end standardized testing, but he noticeably never added any such policy to his website. As was well known by teachers in those audiences, federally mandated tests provide no educational benefit but are the fuel in the engine driving charter school expansion.

MO: GOP Rep Tells Teachers To Take A Hike

Is it any wonder why there is a shortage of teachers? One wonders where the anger directed at, and fear of, professional educators comes from.

From Curmudgucation
So here's a jolly exchange from Twitter on Saturday.

Get a different job. No one owes you anything.

— Justin Hill (@HillForMissouri) January 3, 2021

That's Justin Hill, a Missouri GOP rep from the 108th district, showing his love and support for teachers in his state. He was a cop before running for office, so you'd think he'd know something about public service, but maybe not so much.

The New York Times Should Add a Former Teacher to Its Editorial Board

Standardized testing this year will measure the difference between the "haves" and the "have-nots." We don't need to spend millions of dollars for that information.

From Diane Ravitch
The New York Times published an editorial correctly blasting Betsy DeVos as the worst Secretary of Education in the 40-year history of the Department of Education. Unfortunately, the balance of the editorial was a plea to administer tests to find out how far the nation’s children had fallen behind because of the pandemic.

This is a misguided proposal, as I have explained many times on this blog.

A Warning: Who Is Paying for Your State’s Civics Courses?

From Diane Ravitch
If you have a few minutes to do some research, you might wonder about the connections among these three links:

First is from the extreme rightwing group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), funded by DeVos, Charles Koch, and major corporations. ALEC has 2,000 members who are state legislators. They get a free trip every year to a posh resort, where ALEC gives them model legislation to introduce in their state to promote the libertarian, anti-regulation, anti-government agenda.

Second is an article in the conservative journal Education Next...

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