The 49er says that there’s a democracy gap in the education reform movement.
By *The 49er*
Recently I was told by the organizer of a project I’m involved in to incubate independent charter schools that we are *creating choices for parents who don’t even know they want the option yet.* Huh? Doesn’t that seem backwards? Shouldn’t parents be clamoring for new schools rather than having people from outside their communities provide them with *choices?* Continue reading →
Do real punk rockers prefer school choice? Not when it’s the major label or the big rock manager offering *choice.*
By Hugo Burnham
Education is the new punk rock. So says the t-shirt sold by my friend, an old punk rock drummer named Martin Atkins who has found, forced and finagled his way into higher education in the USA. As have I. *Higher* for us these days means education beyond K–12.
Martin played with PIL (that’s his Mickey Mouse watch sound on Metal Box’s immense *Four Enclosed Walls*), Ministry, Killing Joke, Pigface, and others. He wasn’t in NIN, but he was in a NIN video. (Just as I wasn’t in PIL…but I was on the Top of the Pops TV show with them.) And he runs a record label that has released a shitload of records. And he owns a studio. And he’s written two books. He is now teaching at the SAE Institute in Chicago. I’m exhausted just writing this—he’s a bloody machine. Oh, and just got his Bachelor’s Degree. At 55, yet! I got my Bachelor’s Degree at the *right* time, you know, when I was young. Martin is onto his Master’s next (ha ha…got mine already!). And we are both fathers. Alright then, so who’s the real punk here?! Continue reading →
David Kirp says that teaching isn’t a business—and that makes a lot of people really mad…
EduShyster: Let me try to break this to you gently. Your recent New York Times piece, Teaching Is Not a Business, didn’t win you a lot of friends on Twitter. In fact, one of your detractors referred to your entire oeuvre as *fatuous pablum.*
David Kirp: Wow—I seem to have provoked, not just outrage, but a mixed metaphor. Pablum, which is actually spelled pabulum, is something you eat.
EduShyster: Perhaps the point was that if one consumes too much pablum, one grows fatuous. I’m curious though, did you hear from any of your critics directly? Continue reading →
A conversation with investigative journalist Owen Davis
EduShyster: You have a fascinating new story out about how real estate concerns are increasingly driving school closures and charter school expansion in Newark, NJ. Can you give us the 15 second version?
Owen Davis: Basically incentives created by the federal government to help all schools have been earmarked for charters in a convoluted way that ends up hobbling district schools. Continue reading →
EduShyster turns two years old—and confronts some fiercely urgent questions…
So what are some of the big lessons you learned this year?
That when you establish yourself as an obnoxious online presence, you go over surprisingly well when people meet you in real life. And that when you use a combination of facts and whimsy, and basically say the same things over and over again, every once in a while people actually pay attention. Also, that there appear to be quite a few people doing extraordinarily well by *doing good*… Continue reading →