Blue Serials (10/2/16)
Here Are A Few Things You Absolutely Should Not Miss From The Past Week (Or So) in Edu-Bloggery!
Read them, dammit. It's for your own good.
As humans, we have a tendency to travel in circles in quite a few areas, in particular education and education reform.
If you asked education reformers if the emphasis on test-based accountability in schools over the past 20 years has moved us forward, they would likely respond, “Of course, we have made significant progress,” followed by the caveat that “but, we still have work to do.”
The reality is we have spent the last 20 years in education walking in a circle. In fact, I could also make a strong argument that we have moved backwards.
Follow @edgeblogger on the Tweeting and spend less time going in circles. #oklaed
Black Eyes and Dark Ages - Amanda Wilson on Running Through Elementary. Wilson is always passionate about her kids and her profession, but she's usually fairly... well, balanced compared to the rest of us.
That is, until the Tulsa World and the OCPA broke into her happy place and harshed on all her mellow.
Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, I guess we’ll just have to talk about all the cuts they’ve made and tax breaks they’ve given out, but are just stumped as to how to pay for education and other state necessities. Can someone please explain to them just how this works? That in order to pay for things, money has to be coming in?
What are they doing over there at the Capitol? Are they running around looking for a leprechaun and his pot of gold? I just don’t get it. Clearly, they don’t either. But how dare we point out how inadequate they are at balancing budgets!
In Wilson's defense, the OCPA does have a gift for playing that sweet, innocent, we-were-just-trying-to-help-when-we-pillaged-your-village-and-took-your-virgins angle. Think Kyle Loveless, but with unlimited funding and better social media.
Follow @runningthruelem on the Tweeting and gelp Wilson get back to her happy place. That way it's all the more fun when something sets her off again. #oklaed
How Do Our Own Biases Affect our Media Literacy? / My Bias is Better Than Your Bias - Julie Smith and Art La Flamme on HeyJulieSmith.com. Julie Smith is a media literacy guru who's fairly new to me. Based on perusing her site, she's more about the practical and the pondering than stirring up artificial panic or cheesy PSAs about stranger-danger cyber-style. La Flamme is a guest-blogger for Smith, although he has a blog of his own which seems to be about... other things?
Smith wrote the first piece featured this week and La Flamme the second. They flow together seemlessly, and their timing couldn't be better. I've essentially been trying to write these posts or something very much like them as #OKElections16 nears, but I lack the expertise and comfort with the subject matter that they both clearly possess.
By and far, one of the biggest stumbling blocks that we all wrestle with – but lose sight of – is the great pitfall that we call the confirmation trap. We are always looking for information that supports or even just confirms what we think is true, and we specifically make no effort to try to find evidence that disproves what we think is true. Hard work is only hard if we do it; otherwise, it’s totally easy.
I'm certain YOU never do any of the things they detail, but you might want to send this to everyone you know who DOES. New evidence shows that's just what the Koch Brothers and secret pal Hillary DON'T want you to do!
Universal Pre-K, Open Enrollment, Millennial Parents, and City Living / The New Reformers: City-Loving Millennials Who Want Quality Schools Not Tied to Their ZIP Code - Conor P. Williams on NewAmerica.org and The74Million.org.
Williams is one of those guys who seems genuinely likeable, but still manages to piss off an interesting variety of folks on edu-twitter. You can see why I'm so drawn to him.
In these closely related pieces, he looks at school choice systems and well-intentioned millenials vs. the irresistable gravity of using privilege as, well... privilege.
The future of education reform will involve thinking hard about whether the reform-y policies that these new urban residents favor are still working in the service of equity. That is, while these new urban parents are open to these sorts of reforms, they’re also going to be interested in finding ways to massage these systems into protecting their privilege.
This is not abstract. As each lottery season passes, I hear frustrated white parents grumble on the playground that all this open enrollment of schools is unfair, and that there oughta be a law to force our area’s high-performing charter schools to enroll the (increasingly wealthy, privileged) neighborhood children.
In this sense, millennials are no different from any other generation of parents: They might like the idea of justice in theory, but when it comes to their own children, they quickly revert to thinly veiled justifications for protecting their own privileges.
Follow @conorpwilliams on the Tweeting and prepare to have any number of reactions to his comments. You'll be surprised how many of them will be rather positive.
I forget that just because something has been shown to be a horrible idea doesn't mean it goes away - only that it costs more when we do it anyway. On a lighter note, I fell in edu-love with @1amyberard because she wasn't Tom Brady, so there's the "Dwarves can work with Erudites to defeat Voldemort" effect as a kind of silver lining, I guess...
See, in normal coaching, a principal watches a teacher and then it is hours, or even days, before the teacher gets the feedback. But in real time coaching, the coach directs the teacher through an earpiece, presumably because the technology to simply control her body from a distance does not yet exist...
The real time nature of the coaching is actually a bug, not a feature. If I'm coaching another teacher, after I've watched the lesson, I'll need at least a few minutes to reflect. In the real time moment, I'm pretty much limited to the instant thought of What I Would Do, or, if I've been trained in a particular method, the One Correct Response to that situation. Either response devalues and dismisses that teacher's own teaching voice.
It's just silly to say that there is One Correct Way to teach a particular lesson, irregardless of the teacher or the class involved. It makes no more sense than saying there is One Correct Way to be a spouse, irregardless of who is your partner.
Follow @palan57 on the Tweeting or you risk seriously annoying at least some of the voices already in your head.
That's it this week, my beloved #11FF...
You are now the most informed, thoughtful, brazen educators in the land. Might as well walk with a little extra strut this weekend and let it shine. Partin' lips, shakin' hips and flippin' your hair...