Times Я Tough

The man to whom EduShyster is *technically* married makes a desperate plea for your help this holiday season

Littlest Bolshevik here: AKA the man to whom EduShyster is *technically* married. While EduShyster is otherwise engaged—in a senseless Twitter battle with a singing ed reformer—I’ve seized the means of communication in order to deliver this urgent appeal. Sadly I have been too busy this holiday season fomenting worker revolt at Walmart and among fast food workers to do much Christmas shopping (yes, we celebrate Christmas). Which is where you come in…

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“I See Bad Teachers…”

“I see bad teachers…. Walking around like excellent teachers….”

Reader: when viewing the latest blockbuster at my local megaplex, I often find myself wondering whether the director of said film has any ideas for reforming our failed and failing public schools. That’s why I was so pleased to learn that M. Night Shyamalan, maker of such hit films as the Sixth Sense, Signs and The Last Airbender, has embarked on a Titanic-sized project: closing the achievement gap Continue reading

Greetings from Choice-o-Rado

The ‘C’ is for ‘Choice’

Is there such a thing as too much choice? Reader: this is what is known as a rhetorical question—and the rhetorical answer is “no.” But don’t allow me to make up your rhetorical mind for you. I insist that you accompany me on an extra-special field trip, to the choiciest burg in our 50 states: Douglas County, Choice-o-Rado. Regular readers will recall DougCo from our inaugural visit and a recent return. What brings us back again? In a word: choice. Continue reading

A Second is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Morgan Spurlock, of Super Size Me fame, recently visited a charter school that immerses students in engagement, much like fries are immersed in hot oil.

Reader: as we rush to train minority students for the McJobs of the future, there’s not a second to spare. That’s why I was so glad to see CNN send Morgan Spurlock, the host of The Inside Man, to an outstanding academy of excellence that has figured out how to keep students engaged, interested and stimulated—every minute of every day. And there’s more good news. Spurlock just happens to be an expert on the nation’s fast food industry—in his documentary, Super Size Me, he ate nothing but McDonald’s meals for a month and almost died. Which means that he’s uniquely equipped to judge how well a school is preparing its students for the fast-paced world of tomorrow’s workplace. Continue reading

Excellence Goggles: Seeing the World Like a New York Times Writer

Excellence goggles like these are de riguer among New York Times writers.

The New York Times has long been known as “the grey lady” referring to its historical tendency to present a higher-than-usual proportion of copy to graphics (thank you, Wikipedia!). But might that moniker also refer to the thick cloud of ganja smoke fog of excellence through which the Times’ many excellent writers view the world? What else but a serious case of the “excellence goggles” could possibly account for the current state of education “reporting” at the nation’s most excellent newspaper? So reader, if you’re playing along at home, now is the time to strap on your own goggles and gaze in astonished rapture at the edu-landscape the way that it appears to a New York Times writer. Note: If you are wondering why everyone suddenly appears so small, it is because you are looking down on them from the  acme of Mt. Merit, home to the select tribe known as homo excellentus as well as a few friends in high places. Here’s a peek at the world as seen through excellence goggles… Continue reading