Week in Class: Week 5 (and 6)

October12

5
I know, my posting is more bi-weekly than weekly at this point. My schedule is a little crazy now at home and with local elections, so forgive the tardiness. Here it goes…I’m still getting to know this class but they are a lot more compliant than ones of the past. At this point they are exceptionally well behaved in class for sixth graders. Due there less obtrusive natures, and my absences for the reasons listed above, I haven’t gotten to know them as well as I’d like at this point, but it’s still only a little over a month into the school year. Read the rest of this entry »

Making recall tasks complicated is not “complexity”

October2

Proving a point I’ve been trying to make for a while about CCSS ELA, Tom Hoffman takes a look at his daughter’s homework:

Of course, the right answer is “Was that there yesterday?” which you’d know if you read the text. Really the problem is just that the question does not refer specifically to the text. I guess what is creepy about this one is that I understand that part of schooling is giving banal answers to banal questions. But conditioning kids — and I mean “conditioning” — to bubble in “citations” as banal answers to serious, open-ended philosophical questions like “What kind of questions can art make you ask?” is… disturbing.

Post on Tom Torlakson at K12NN

October2

I have a post up about why I’m voting for Tom Torlakson for State Superintendent of Public Instruction at K12 News Network. Thanks Cynthia Liu for letting me share!

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Some thoughts on how many of us get “captured”…

October1

A rat

Last week the Internets started buzzing with the story of Carmen Segarra, Federal Reserve whistle-blower, and the recordings she made of her time working inside Goldman Sachs as a regulator. The best account for those of you not familiar with high finance is fromĀ This American Life, which is accessible, while still conveying many of the complexities.

This struck a chord with me for a number of reasons, both because I did a stint as a bank analyst in regulatory reporting during an economic down-turn, and because it reminded me of issues I experience today within my current profession in education. Lots has been written about the tendency to go along to get along in any group, but as other wiser commenters have noted (likeĀ CURMUDGUCATION in Can We Be Less Nice, Please and Thank You?) teachers just seem to want to be friends even with folks who are clearly not our friends, or our students’ friends. After seeing what was happening at the Fed, I don’t think this is unique to education. I do think that there are some professions and organizations (especially ones that are dominated by females, or perceived as feminized, like regulatory agencies) that fall into this trap and others (like investment banks such as Goldman) which have a cultural of risk-taking and aggressiveness presented in an ugly wrapping of white patriarchy.

Image source: A rat by cesare, on Flickr

Sometimes you’re just a small fish in a very big ocean…

September22

South West Rocks - 21.jpg
Conor Williams has a post up at TPM on the issue of Campbell Brown and in a marvelous bit of bait and switch makes an ad hominem attack on critiques of so-called “ed reformers” by accusing them of making… ad hominem attacks! Sabrina Joy Stevens in a response at TPM, gives him the benefit of the doubt about the issue of incivility, so I’m going to leave that argument to her. Read the rest of this entry »

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