Meet Norah. Two years ago, this artist and professional story teller landed her dream job teaching performing arts at a Massachusetts charter school. But as Norah quickly discovered, dreaming is impossible when you don’t have time to sleep. Armed with a sense of humor and a prescription for Adderall, Norah works 100+ hour weeks and does her best to carry out an ever-changing array of administrative orders at a school where every decision is data driven and closing the achievement gap is no laughing matter. Norah’s one-woman show, “Charter School is English for Gulag,” catalogues her year-long adventures in charterland. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll reach for your wine box…
Introducing a new concept: “whiteousness,” the unshakable belief that one knows what’s best for others, especially those of other races or lower income brackets.
Today I invite you to ponder one of the great questions of our age: How can I pull down some serious cheddar in the name of the achievement gap? How has the civil rights issue of our time turned out to be the source of so many civil wrongs? Last week, a patchwork of groups from across the country filed civil rights complaints claiming that school closures and turnarounds are hurting minority students. In what can only be described as ironical, officials from the same Obama administration that hatched the achievement gap closing policies will now look into the whether those policies have violated civil rights. Continue reading
‘Tis the season for miracles and today I give you a miraculous one indeed. Imagine a school so excellent, so innovative that it has succeeded in raising expectations and boosting achievement before its doors have even opened. Where is this miracle occurring? Reader: it’s time to squeeze into your ski pants and slip the insulator over your wine box. We’re headed to Minneapolis, or as I like to call it, the Land of 10,000 Rephorm Miracles.
Today we raise our collective wine boxes to a man who has the biggest, boldest edu-cojones in the business. Reader: meet Joel Klein, former NYC schools Chancellor turned edu-preneur—and most definitely turning a profit. When last we encountered Mr. Klein he’d just finished sounding the alarm bell about the greatest national security threat our country faces: our union-stifled public schools. But there is good news, reader. Joel Klein has now figured out the solution to the national security threat of our time—and it turns out to be the very edu-product that Klein himself is peddling. Continue reading
One of the many ways that charters are truly innovative–other than in almost every way–is their truly innovative approach to math, or mathematics as some call it. In a traditional public school that is bound by an enormous and innovation-stifling union contract there is a strict requirement that numbers add up. But for innovative charters, well, it’s a little different.
EduShyster was recently schooled in the fine art of charter math thanks to reader @jshoreboston, a public school teacher who, it turns out, can add better than you might think–at least during school hours. Like most public school teachers, Shore is contractually prohibited from adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing on school grounds after 3:00 PM because that is when the school day ends and anything else, even a very simple equation, costs extra. I am not kidding people–it says that on page 542 of the contract. Continue reading