Left-leaning people everywhere recently got a hoot when the Texas Republican Party declared its opposition to the teaching of "Higher Order Thinking Skills," including "critical thinking skills," in public schools. more »
dailykos.com — This year's students are the workers of five or 10 or 15 years from now. There's an obvious statement for you, but it's one that is too rarely considered in discussions of education policy as hedge funders and corporate billionaires try to claim the mantle of doing what's right for kids, implying or saying straight out that teachers are too self-interested to represent kids and should be left out of the discussion altogether. The fundamental question is this: If you don't trust Wall Street or the Walton family to do what's in your best interest as an adult in the American workforce, why would you trust them to do what's in the best interest of the next generation of workers?
washingtonmonthly.com — The ongoing fiasco of Bobby Jindal’s “let the parents decide” voucher program in Louisiana is finally beginning to get some national media attention, for the simple reason that its logic is carrying it in directions that horrify its strongest proponents and intended beneficiaries. So down plunges the Pelican State into the political and constitutional thicket of how to shovel money to conservative evangelical schools without looking too closely at what they are teaching, while at the same time keeping away schools that conservative evangelicals hate and fear.
With the glow of high school graduations still lingering in many American families, and analysts predicting that an"economic recovery"is on the way, this is a time when you'd expect to start hearing more positive news about the state of US public education. more »
Never mind "class warfare." Generational warfare continues apace, this time in the editorial pages of the Washington Post, which echoed the conservative message to young (and older) Americans struggling with student debt: Drop dead.
Collection agencies do not make condolence calls. I understand this, believe me. But there are certain events in life during which people deserve to be treated with more than standard human decency. (Yes, I realize I'm pretending that treating people with human decency is standard these days. Humor me.) A death in the family — especially the death of a child — is one of those times.
A funny thing happened on the way to the news cycle the past two weeks when the issue of education -- specifically, public schoolteachers and student loan relief -- maintained a presence on the political stage. more »
washingtonmonthly.com — I was remiss in not writing earlier about Mitt Romney’s big K-12 education initiative, which basically just involves taking all the existing federal money spent for this purpose and tossing it out there as a hand grenade designed for the destruction of public schools. While the Obama administration has committed itself (to its own political peril) to the standards-and-accountability movement aimed at using federal dollars to leverage measurable improvements in low-performing public schools—a movement once championed by Republicans—Romney is moving in the opposite direction, proposing to turn over all those highly conditional taxpayer dollars to parents for use however and wherever they want, with zero accountability for results other than via abstract market forces. The primary beneficiaries, of course, will be private schools that will pocket public subsidies and do whatever they choose.