January 2015

Meet Senator Brecheen, Part II - Books on the Bonfire

Brecheen on Beck

I’ve been sharing some thoughts on Senator Brecheen lately as background to understanding his recent attack on Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) courses in Oklahoma.

There are perfectly valid debates to be had over the specifics of APUSH here and elsewhere, and I myself am a big fan of challenging and questioning our assumptions and uses of ANY given terminology, program, assessment, etc. 

Noooobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Spanish Inquisition Unlike the easy accessibility of Sally Kern’s “Use Shock Therapy on Gay Teens” bill or our state guidelines for which angry white men we’ll send to the new Constitutional Convention to rewrite that sorry remnant of darker times (because our current leaders are SO much smarter than the Framers and besides what could possibly go wrong?), contention over something as specific as an AP curriculum can be a bit bewildering for those not walking daily in that world.

What exactly IS the kerfuffle with the ‘new’ College Board Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) course and exam?

We've Found A Witch - May We Burn Her?

If You Don't Eat Your Meat, You Can't Have AP Credit

Yesterday I posted Sen. Brecheen's bill in the Oklahoma Senate trying to replace College Board's Advanced Placement U.S. History courses across Oklahoma with a list of 50+ documents to memorize. If that method was good enough for the Ancient Chinese, it should be good enough for the kid hoping to run the feed store one day, no?

Oklahoma Turns Against APUSH?

Brecheen Saving America

Oh Senator, you certainly do manage to stay colorful, don't you?

In case you don't recall, Senator Brecheen was the figure kind enough to spend 10 minutes on the floor being shocked that somewhere deep in Appendix G of the Common Core standards, among a few hundred various books, poems, and documents cited as examples of different reading levels, Toni Morrison has written a dirty book.

40 Credits & A Mule, Part VII - Sleeping Giants

French Revolution I’ve already laid out six posts of historical analogies involving land and culture and race. These not only make it sound like I’m smarter than I actually am, but they correlate in a very real way with actual problems in education today. It’s time to fix it.

Are the schools going to be a part of that? They’d have to, I’d think. But they’re not enough.

#EdReform is NOT that Difficult

Sometimes we just make things too complicated.

How do we this? How do we that? How can we overhaul our public education system without changing anything about it? How do we reach diverse students from inequitable backgrounds and make them all the same person by 3rd grade? How do we recruit and retain higher quality teachers without increasing fiscal incentives, but while stomping out every last vestige of the things that used to make it a fulfilling career? How do we patch up old wineskins to endure new wine without bursting?

Simple - we don’t. But that’s OK, because the old wineskins have outlived their usefulness. And just between you and me, new wineskins needn’t be all that complex or much more expensive than the old – and they might just lead to much better varieties of wine.

#WhiteSilence, Teacher Edition

Social Media In the current conversations regarding racial parity – especially in regards to public education – there are a number of strong, persuasive voices trying to stir awakening, promote understanding, and challenge perceptions. Some focus on human stories, some are heavy on statistics and graphs, and others weave analogies and throw together a pretty good meme now and then.

Some are teachers. Some are not. Some are even white.