Mindworkers

Charlet T. Kerchner / MindWorkers

Again, No ‘Genius’ Grant

The postal service lost the letter.  Again!  I even delayed my vacation to be waiting by the mailbox for the trusted Michael the mailman to deliver the good news that I had been selected for a MacArthur “genius” fellowship.  But nothing. The announcement on September 17 that 21 new Fellows had been picked, and I [...]

Interviews with Tom Torlakson and Marshall Tuck

I interviewed State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and his challenger in the June 3 primary Marshall Tuck.  Excerpts from those interviews are posted at ‘On California.’  The full text transcriptions are available by clicking: Torlakson or Tuck. BTW: ‘On California’ is off to a good start.  Nearly 3,000 visitors in the first month, and we are [...]

‘On the Road’ with the Common Core

I’m headed out on what I am calling the Common Core Road Trip, to see what schools in California are doing with the prescription to teach to “fewer and deeper” standards.  Over the next weeks and months, I’ll be traveling the state, and telling the stories of how the 30,000-foot glossy promises of increased student [...]

Reporting on Common Core starts in Pomona with candid talk between labor and management

  I spent two days this week with the teachers and administrators of the Pomona Unified School District as they sought to find a way forward in implementing the Common Core. Associated Pomona Teachers took seriously the requirement in California law that school districts were supposed to “consult” over implementing the new standards and testing [...]

Annotating the News 11/10/13

Poorer than we thought.  Using a calculation that factors in California’s relatively high cost of living, the state has the highest poverty rate in the country.   According to Census Bureau, 23.8 percent of Californians live in poverty where the official poverty rate is 16.5 percent.   Even using the official calculation, a quarter of the [...]

Annotating the News 11/1/13

I’ve been away, so education periodicals have been stacking up on my desk, and on a balmy Friday night I am multitasking as I watch the USC-Oregon State game (Holy Cow! They won.  Fight ON!) K12 Inc. saw its stock price tank from a high of $37.85 to $17.60 after criticism by hedge fund manager [...]

Teacher-Run Schooling to Gain Attention

Teacher run schools are due to get attention this year.  Expect a concerted effort to bring them to public and policy attention.  Work should start on what has been called a “text,” although it probably won’t be in book form at the outset.  Teachers need to believe that running their own schools is possible, that [...]

In “Austerity” Mark Blyth Traces the History and Politics of a Dangerous Idea

Mark Blyth took a career detour to be a co-editor of The Transformation of Great American School Districts. So it was with great anticipation that I read his new book, Austerity. I recommend it to educators as a valuable corrective to the belief that boosting educational standards will increase the life chances of American students [...]

In the Orchard of Education Technology

Amending a PACE Policy Brief: I got in trouble at a meeting recently for repeating the opening assertion of the policy brief I wrote for Policy Analysis for California Education. [View or download brief] As the brief says, “education technology has always over-promised and under-delivered.”  The assertion, which is reasonably backed up by history and [...]

4-26-13: Annotating the News

Capacity building as a precursor to testing The L.A. Times has seen the elephant in the room.  In a switch from its past obsession with test score accountability, the paper editorialized on Monday that we ought to be paying more attention to what students are supposed to be learning and particularly to the roll-out of [...]

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