Whiteface Rulez

Will you help me realize my dream of attending Camp Reform-a-Lot?

Whiteface Lodge - look how nice it looks!

Whiteface Lodge – look how nice it looks!

Reader: it’s a well known fact that nothing thrills me more than the prospect of attending an elite gathering of education reform elites. Which is why when I learned about this all-star camping trip of elite reform all stars, to be held next month at none other than Whiteface Lodge in the Adirondack Mountains, I knew that I had no choice but to go. Alas, there was a problem—actually a great many problems. You see, it turns out that all-star camping is not an inexpensive proposition. And to put students *first class* costs even more. Continue reading

EduShyster Turns One Year Old

Well that was fast. Just a year ago I was fending off complaints on the home front that lest I rein in my constant tirades regarding the Boston Globe and its appalling coverage on all matters educational delicious meals might cease to come my way. And then it came to me: I could start a blog in hopes of finding others who were similarly appalled and thus found themselves using the word “appalled” an appalling number of times. And so it was that EduShyster was born. One hundred fifty posts and untold wine boxes later, Edushyster turns one year old on this very day. To honor this historic occasion I answer your questions—well, most of them. Continue reading

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! XOXO Walmart

Imagine that you are possessed of the surname “Walton” and happen to be sitting on mad coin—say a cool $90 billion. How do you celebrate the occasion that is Teacher Appreciation Day? Do you chip in to give the nation’s teachers a raise, knowing they’ve been hard hit by the recession? Do you send them gift cards to Walmart, the store that hath so enrichethed you? If you are a teacher in Massachusetts, the Waltons have an extra special treat in store for you: a fully-funded gala at the Statehouse urging the replacement of the state’s many non-excellent teachers with fresh new innovators who will share their excellence one renewable year at a time. Happy Teacher Appreciation Day, xoxo Walmart! Continue reading

Equity, Schmequity

Elitism and the education reform movement

Like many of your fine states, Massachusetts is now home to a veritable alphabet-soup of education reform groups, albeit a can in which the letters FER seem to be somewhat overrepresented. Just yesterday, for example, a reader sent me a notice from a new chapter of a student reform group at Tufts University, headed up by a young equestrienne whose own secondary education came courtesy of a $33,000 private school. She is helping to mobilize the next generation of education reform leaders by reaching out to fellow students who “[h]ad a bad public school experience” and are interested in help[ing] out in charter school events around in the Boston area.Continue reading

The Billionaire Boys Club

Jerry Johnson, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has much in common with the hedge funders who are behind the corporate education reform movement.

What do the hedge funders and venture capitalists who have taken it upon themselves to dismantle improve America’s public schools have in common with the owners of the National Football League? For one, both are fabulously wealthy (see, for example, Johnson, Jerry or Rauner, Bruce) And of course both groups DELIGHT in seeing minority kids succeed against all odds.

But might there be some other commonality that unites these men of means and vision? It turns out that both the titans of the NFL and the plutocrats behind Education Reform, Inc. share a common dislike for overpaid employees who insist on hanging around for an entire “career,” waiting to collect a pension.

Among the sticking points in the contentions negotiations between the NFL and its referees was the owners insistence that they have more “flexibility” to fire underperforming refs. When I saw this, I understood exactly what the problem was. It turns out that LIFO lifer referees have been ruining America’s favorite pastime just the way LIFO lifer teachers have been widening the achievement gap and destroying the future of an entire generation with their low expectations.  Continue reading