OK. But do we get to see what is on the judge’s work e-mail?


From EdWeek:

A judge has ordered the release of e-mail messages from the workstations of five Wisconsin Rapids School District teachers requested by a Vesper man.
Adams County Circuit Court Judge Charles Pollex, acting as a substitute judge in the Wood County case, says the documents requested by Don Bubolz are open records.
Bubolz said in July he made the request to see if the teachers were doing their job “… the way it’s supposed to be done.”

Just bookmark The Onion.

It’s one thing for bloggers to start a post with “this sounds like a story from The Onion, but it’s true,” and then go on to report some story about stupid decisions that some education bureaucrat made or a dumb piece of education legislation that some politician proposed.

But it really isn’t that creative or clever to just repost, without comment, something from The Onion. If you feel you must, just suggest people bookmark The Onion.

Great moments in science.


Florida: Yesterday I posted about Florida’s legislatively mandated history curriculum. Today, we get to look at their proposed science curriculum, which mandates the teaching of creationism.

This, from the National Center for Science Education.

Texas (Oy. Texas!): This story about middle school principal who threatened to kill a group of science teachers if their students did not improve their standardized test scores.

Tenure and test scores. II

I posted last week about NY’s change in the law which would prevent the use of test scores in awarding tenure.

Of course, the Chancellor is against it. The wonkers and republicrat bloggers are against it. But our friend NYC Educator posts about a colleague in a story that is illustrative:

I recently wrote about a colleague who told me a change in venue brought his Regents passing rate from about 30% to a much more respectable 90%. He claims he did not at all change his teaching methods, but his new audience was simply much more receptive. Was he a bad teacher at the previous locale? You could perhaps conclude that, but his 32% passing rate was the highest in his old school.

Do his new passing rates make him a great teacher? Not according to him. He claims to be the same teacher he was then, albeit a little older.

Now NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is fighting tooth and nail for the right to be able to grant or deny tenure on the basis of test scores. How do you do that fairly when a simple relocation produces such a radical change in results?

Exploding heads.



From Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo blog:

Separately, the poll has tons of other interesting stuff — it finds that Obama has basically weathered the Wright storm, though it also finds that persistently large numbers still wrongly believe he’s a Muslim. Have at it.

Hmm… A Muslim with a racist Catholic pastor.

How do their head not explode trying to digest all the spam they read?

My guess is that this is also the same portion of the population that has won the lottery in Nigeria.

And my NY ed blogger friends must be going nuts over the reports today that Bloomberg is being positioned as an Obama VP. Hey. Look at the good side. He’s no Dick Cheney.

Ohio Federation blows the whistle on charter chain.


The Columbus Education Association blog reports that the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) has blown the whistle to the IRS in a letter asking it to investigate White Hat Management, Inc. and its affiliates who are claiming 503(c) tax-exempt status.

White Hat Management and its affiliates operate the “Life Skills” and “Hope Academy” charter schools in Ohio, Florida and Arizona. OFT is claiming that White Hat is a shell corporation that allows the misuse of $84 million tax dollars per year.

According the ODE, the average ratio of classroom ratio of students to teachers in the state of Ohio is 19.6 to 1. The average classroom ratio of all 18 Life Skills Centers is an astounding 51.5 students for every teacher.

Throwing Erik off the island.


Watching Bravo’s Top Chef is a guilty pleasure. They’re in Chicago, so that’s a plus.

I’ve posted before on my love of fish tacos.

Last night local celebrity chef Rick Bayless assigned the contestants to create a “fine dining taco” and Erik, the guy from San Francisco, turned to the camera and said:

I don’t think Mexican and fine dining go together so he can go screw himself.

Off. Get that guy off the show. Send him and his knives packing!

And they did.

So, who is unhinged?



A few weeks ago Ed Sector blogger Kevin Carey wrote:

There’s a world of difference between criticizing the policy positions that teachers unions adopt and hating the idea of unions generally. I think The Quick and the Ed can be fairly described as having a healthy amount of the former and absolutely none of the latter.

He then went on to accuse me of being unhinged because I claimed he was anti-union as a core belief. Not so, he cried. “Why, (I’ve) spent (my) whole career before coming to Ed Sector working for Democratic politicians…”

But today Carey is back from vacation. Not long enough perhaps. But he returns to his attacks on the NEA:

In the end, the NEA didn’t decide to wage war against NCLB because the law is underfunded, or lacks a growth model, or lacks differentiated consequences, or relies on standardized tests of inadequate quality, even though all those things are true. The NEA rejects the idea of assessment-driven governmental accountability for public education at its core. As long as this remains the case, no fixes–regardless of how sensible they may be–will change its mind.

Where is the evidence for this? None cited. So much for Carey’s “world of difference.”

What is history?


Neither Voltaire, nor any of the following, could get a teaching job in a Florida public school.

What is history?

History is the lie commonly agreed upon. (Voltaire)

History: An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools. (Ambrose Bierce)

History is Philosophy teaching by examples. (Thucydides)

The first lesson of history is the good of evil. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

History does not repeat itself except in the minds of those who do not know history. (Kahlil Gibran)

To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. It is a very serious task, … and possibly a tragic one. (Hermann Hesse)

History is a people’s memory, and without memory man is demoted to the lower animals. (Malcolm X)

If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history could not be written. (Samuel Johnson)

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. (Karl Marx)

Fiction is history, human history, or it is nothing. (Joseph Conrad)

History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in. . . .The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all. (Jane Austen)

Genuine historical knowledge requires nobility of character, a profound understanding of human existence — not detachment and objectivity. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

It has been said that although God cannot alter the past, historians can. It is perhaps because they can be useful to him in this respect that he tolerates their existence. (Samuel Butler)

It is not the literal past, the “facts” of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language. (Brian Friel)

History and myth are two aspects of a kind of grand pattern in human destiny: history is the mass of observable or recorded fact, but myth is the abstract or essence of it. (Robertson Davies)

Nothing capable of being memorized is history. (R.G. Collingwood)

But in Florida it is:

American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation based largely on the universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.

Pingree Grove charter teachers sign a union card.

In spite of gross intimidation tactics by the management of Cambridge Charter School in Pingree Grove District 300, 30% of the teachers have signed a union card. That’s the threshold needed to hold a certification election.

The Daily Herald reports:

The Illinois Education Association likely will file a petition for representation with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, which in most cases would then conduct a union election.

The state agency has not yet received such a request, a labor relations board spokeswoman said Monday.

If an election is held, employees will be able to choose the Illinois Education Association to represent them or no union at all.

Earlier this year Cambridge management refused to open school until they had anti-union meetings with the teaching staff.

Didn’t work.