Selective Reporting, Dept.

traditional math

Dana Goldstein, a New York times reporter, asked on Twitter if there were any teachers willing to be interviewed for an article she was writing. I responded (I was on Twitter at this time), suggesting she view the video of a talk I gave in which I mention some of the problems with Common Core. (I even told her to start at minute 19:24 to save her some time).

Whether she watched it or not, I don’t know but the article she wrote does not seem to reflect any of the insights I provided. So I’m assuming that she was under a tight deadline and couldn’t be bothered with messy details.

She focuses primarily on reading, but does give a nod about the math standards:

On social media, angry parents shared photos of worksheets showing unfamiliar ways to solve math problems. One technique entailed “unbundling” numbers into…

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Eli Broad Pays $100M to Move His Ed-Reform-Producing “Broad Center” from LA to Yale


Eli Broad is one of the chief billionaires pushing education reform.

In 2017, Broad “inserted himself” in the Los Angeles School Board race via the largest contribution to an individual candidate– $100K. Two years earlier, in 2015, Broad was caught planning an “initiative” to put half of LA’s students in charter schools over an eight-year period. (The plan was leaked to the New York Times.)

One year prior to that– 2014– Broad approached US ed sec Arne Duncan’s speech writer, Peter Cunningham, about creating a billionaire-funded, ed-reform blog to defend ed reformers against “being piled on” by non-funded, grass-roots-emergent, pro-traditional-public-ed bloggers. (Sad but true.)

And in 2011, Broad donated $25M to help make the teacher-temp org, Teach for America (TFA), a permanent training program for those temp teachers. (Ironic to work to make TFA permanent so that it could permanently churn out temporary teachers.)

If you want a sense…

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Following the lead of others, Dept.

traditional math

A blogger who calls herself Quirky Teacher announced that she was finished with Twitter. She gave good reasons, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m just as tired of Twitter as she is.

Therefore, I too will be closing my account. I find I spend too much time trying to be right, being snarky when others say something that I deem to be 1) wrong, 2) idiotic, or 3) both, and trying to cajole others into ganging up on those whose opinions I find irritating.

I am also tired of the word “nuance” which is the usual rejoinder by those who do not agree with someone’s argument.  I am tired of tweets promoting “smart and thoughtful posts” by edu-pundits and/or journalists who think they have the ultimate scoop on education.

It does have good attributes, but it is one of those precious “conversations” that…

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Six Strategies for Effective Learning: A Summary for Teachers — Learning Scientists Blog – The Learning Scientists

By Megan SumerackiIf you read our blog often, you are familiar with the six strategies for effective learning. We have a number of resources already, but this guide provides a brief explanation of each strategy and compiles a set of links on the website all in one place. So, if you’re wanting a single reference…

via Six Strategies for Effective Learning: A Summary for Teachers — Learning Scientists Blog – The Learning Scientists

‘Thinking like a mathematician’ — Fair schooling & assessment

Conjecture. ‘Thinking like a mathematician’ is a concept confusing cognition of the individual (student, academic, mathematician) and the fruits of centuries of mathematical and scientific research. Teaching students to ‘think like a mathematician’ is a huge waste of effort. This quote from Whitehead (1911, p. 8) “… mathematics … is necessarily the foundation of exact […]

via ‘Thinking like a mathematician’ — Fair schooling & assessment

Former TX SPED Director, Laurie Kash, Wins Wrongful Termination Lawsuit; TN “Wins” Penny Schwinn (?)


On November 21, 2017, then-Texas special education director, Laurie Kash, blew the whistle on the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) entering into a $4.4M no-bid contract with a special education data collecting company, SPEDx; she filed a report with the US Department of Education (USDOE) Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The following day– November 22, 2017– Kash was abruptly fired via email. (For these details and more, see my March 19, 2018, post.)

She sued for wrongful termination, and on November 22, 2019– two years to the day following Kash’s termination– the USDOE Office of Hearings and Appeals ruled in Kash’s favor. From the ruling:

The OIG report found that Kash’s communications with OIG and TEA’s internal audit office were a contributing factor in TEA’s decision to terminate her employment. Although TEA asserted other reasons for firing Kash, the OIG report found TEA did not provide clear and convincing…

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How much deeper understanding do students really need, Dept.

traditional math

In a recent op-ed in the LA Times, Dan Willingham, a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia, addresses a particular aspect of math education in the U.S.  Blaming poor math performance on bad curricula, he argues, overlooks that elementary school teachers may not have the deep understanding of math that is required to teach it. In fact they may actually fear math.

Students without deep understanding, Willingham argues, may be limited to inflexible thinking. That is, their math knowledge is limited to performing specific operations for certain types of problems but they may falter when presented with problems in new settings or with slightly different wording. The result is an increasing number of high school students floundering in math “because the groundwork of understanding was never laid in elementary grades”.

Willingham suggests that the solution might then be to find and hire those teachers…

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Bill Gates Pulls Back on His K12 Ed Experimentation


Billionaire Bill Gates likes to experiment with American K12 education.

He bankrolled the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and pushed “small schools,” and spent millions on measuring teachers using student test scores.

Regarding the failure of Gates-funded education tampering, the January 15, 2019, Fair Observer notes the reality of billionaire removal from any consequences related to its purchased folly:

Because of its wealth, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has no need to apologize for its past mistakes or to feel concerned about its next round of mistakes. The article in The Washington Post sums up the foundation’s historical failures. After so many disappointing results, accompanied by the foundation’s roundly expressed indifference to the negative effects on teachers and learners or on the coherence of public educational policy, we may legitimately ask: Why does it persist in its folly?

Why persist?

Because wealth thinks it knows. Because education entities…

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The state of the learning profession: Neuromyths and (lack of) evidence-informed practice

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner Last month, the Online Learning Consortium published an international report titled Neuromyths and Evidence-Based practice in Higher Education (thanks to Donald Clark for pointing it out on Twitter). The reason for this research is articulated well by Professor Howard-Jones in the Preface. He says: Educators make countless decisions about […]

via The state of the learning profession: Neuromyths and (lack of) evidence-informed practice — 3-Star learning experiences

Students who have unconditional offers more likely to quit

Study finds dropout rate higher among students given easier entry to universityStudents who go to university after receiving an unconditional offer before their A-level results are more likely to drop out in their first year, research shows.Analysis by the Office for Students (OfS), the universities regulator, found that the dropout rate was 10% higher for…

via Students who have unconditional offers more likely to quit — Universities | The Guardian