EppsNet Archive: Education

And That’s The Truth: You Can Get It If You Really Want

 

[And That’s the Truth is a feature by our guest blogger, Sojourner Truth — PE] I just seen a couple things. A contrast. One is Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, and his white wife gettin their kids kicked outta school. Dependin who you listen to, the Robinsons was either providin helpful feedback to the school on assignments and teaching practices, or they was harassin and disrespectin the teachers and administrators to where the school had enough and kicked em out. How many kids at this school? A thousand? You gonna have a thousand sets of parents tellin the school how it’s gotta be run to their satisfaction? Or these two fools thinkin “Our brother-in-law was president of the U-nited States! We are people of unusual importance and you gonna do it the way we tell you to do it.” Just talk to your kids about the lessons at home. You… Read more →

What’s Wrong With the SAT?

 

According to the LA Times, the chronic absence rate in LAUSD for black students is 57 percent. For Latinos, it is 49 percent. And poor performance by these groups on standardized tests like the SAT is due to the fact that the tests are racist, not because the students don’t show up for school. Read more →

There Is No Country Like America

 

From an interview with Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: There is no country like America. There is not. Not one. . . . I mean, I’m the one who got off the plane and here I am, here in the former capital of the Confederacy for goodness sake. I am second in command. Second in command. I’m a black woman. I am not first-generation American. I am still the immigrant. As I said, I’m a black woman, immigrant, and what else can you say to me that would say, well, “racism, racism, racism”? How do you explain me? I’m not an outlier. I’m not a one-off. The opportunities are here. Are we denying that there have been problems, that there has been slavery, that there has been racism, or that there has been segregation, and redlining, and blue codes, and all this stuff? No, we’re not denying any of that.… Read more →

Who Should Decide What’s Being Taught in Schools?

 

Nikole Hannah-Jones: Parents shouldn't be in charge of their kids' schooling: "I don't really understand this idea that parents should decide what's being taught. I'm not a professional educator. I don't have a degree in social studies." Yet she wants the 1619 Project in schools. pic.twitter.com/UAjFTCvVmg — Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 26, 2021 You don’t understand the idea? OK, the stupidest way to make decisions is to put them in the hands of people with no skin in the game, who don’t pay any price for being wrong. “Educators” don’t lose one dime or one hour’s sleep if their bright ideas turn out to be disastrous for the child. Read more →

Which is More Important — Education or Super Bowl LVI?

 

Schools in Inglewood, CA shut down completely for more than 400 days due to COVID-19, eventually reopening in a “hybrid” model of in-person and distance learning. Kids can be deprived of an education, but in February 2022, Los Angeles will host Super Bowl LVI, mashing more than 100,000 ticket-holders together (plus I don’t know how many ushers, food vendors and other support staff) in a mostly enclosed Inglewood, CA stadium. Draw your own conclusions. Read more →

See You in Hell, Educators

 

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings mortals! Even though an alarmingly high percentage of Americans think the sun orbits the earth, can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map, half the residents of Detroit can’t read, rather than teach basic literacy, science or geography, K-12 public school teachers in the U.S. will be teaching “expanding” gender identities and “evolving” sexual orientations. This instruction will be informed by the National Sex Ed Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12 (Second Edition) I included a link to it because you will not believe me when I tell you what’s in it. For example: BY THE END OF THE 5TH GRADE, STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO: Distinguish between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and explain how they may or may not differ. Define and explain differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive,… Read more →

NY Times Annual Dissing of Black Students

 

First of all, I don’t know who is helped by these annual NY Times headlines on the academic underperformance of students with darker skin pigmentation. The black kid going out on an interview and the interviewer reads the NY Times — is he helped? Who is helped? What’s the point? Asian students by the way are doing great! Over half of the offers to “elite” NYC public high schools went to Asian kids. And these are not crazy rich Asians we’re talking about, they’re low-income Asians, immigrants, children of immigrants, who have an added disadvantage of living in homes where English is not the primary language. In my experience, kids can achieve remarkable competence in anything that’s important to them, and getting into these top schools has enormous significance in Asian families. Why doesn’t the NY Times run an annual story on how many Asians are selected in the NBA… Read more →

We Owe All Students High Expectations

 

Ban Dr. Seuss Before It’s Too Late

 

In Baltimore, there are 13 public high schools where zero percent of students can do math at grade level. There are six other city high schools where only 1 percent of students can do math at grade level. We must ban more Dr. Seuss books before these numbers get worse! Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Impeachment 2.0

 

My fellow Americans – I remind you that members of Congress are your employees, hired and paid by you, the American people, and that, as you know, they have decided to waste their time on a second impeachment proceeding, a charade for which, like the first impeachment, the outcome is known in advance, rather than to conduct more important business, which might include confirming cabinet appointments, COVID relief, or getting our children back in school. Think about any employer you’ve ever had and what the result would be if you said “I know you hired me and you’re paying me to do important work, but I’ve decided instead to just waste everyone’s time and money.” Read more →

Why Do We Have Pessimistic Brains?

 

From my notes on Coursera’s Positive Psychology course: The most recent geological epoch that we lived through, the Pleistocene, was the Ice Ages. Famine, flood, ice, drought, more ice. Now, imagine a primate mentality that thought, “What a lovely day today out there. I bet tomorrow is going to be really lovely as well.” That mentality got crushed by the ice. The mentality that survived, the brains that we have, are bad weather brains. They’re brains that say “looks like a nice day out there, but tomorrow the ice is coming.” And that is the way we process, automatically, information about a good world. Depression, anger, paranoia have served us very well. In the Ice Ages, it was a very good idea to think that bad stuff was coming. But consider the possibility that human progress actually exists, and that prosperity, a good world, living well, not having a tragedy… Read more →

The Interests of Schoolchildren

 

On Twitter, a Chicago Teachers Union leader rallied teachers to refuse to go back to the classroom to 'stay safe.' On Instagram, on the same day, she posted pictures poolside in Puerto Rico. https://t.co/eiC4CqH1k2 @WGNNews — Ben Bradley (@BenBradleyTV) January 1, 2021 Oopsie! Bad timing! As Albert Shanker — former president of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) — used to say: “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.” Read more →

Woke White Boy on Education Reform and Anti-Racism

 

“K-12 schools across the country must urgently profess solidarity with Black Lives Matter, vow to dismantle white supremacy and remake themselves into racism-free zones. “We need to eradicate white supremacy and heteropatriarchy in all of our institutions.” “‘Heteropatriarchy’?” “We declare war on the intentional barriers white people have built to harm Black people. We grieve for all of the Black lives taken by white supremacy.” “Sounds like indoctrination is the key word here.” “No, it’s an opportunity for engagement. What’s really different now is talking explicitly about whiteness.” “Parents must be thrilled with the use of words like diversity, equity and inclusivity to group and stereotype human beings by skin color and attribute characteristics to your personality based on skin color, not to mention the anti-white and anti-American messaging.” “Well, I’m tired of White people reveling in their state-sanctioned depravity, snuffing out Black life with no consequences. They gleefully soak… Read more →

If Balboa Could Find the Pacific Ocean, Why Can’t You?

 

I mentioned in class today that 30 percent of Americans age 18 to 24 cannot find the Pacific Ocean on a map . . . (This was in the context of income diversity — or “income inequality,” take your pick — i.e., I can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map but I’d like to be paid the same as a Harvard MBA.) Students absolutely could not believe this so I Googled the link to this National Geographic article. Not only was I proved correct on my Pacific Ocean assertion, 58 percent of respondents could not find Japan on a map, 65 percent couldn’t find France, 69 percent couldn’t find the United Kingdom, and 11 percent could not find the United States. The survey is a bit old now — it was taken in 2002 — but if anything, I’m sure the current situation is worse. If my kid could… Read more →

NYC to Eliminate Gifted and Talented Programs?

 

Last week, a school diversity task force in New York issued a report recommending the elimination of New York city’s gifted and talented programs. The “problem” being addressed is that white and Asian students dominate the selective programs, leaving black and Hispanic students in highly segregated schools, so instead of figuring out how to bring underachievers up to the mark, let’s eliminate the programs. Critics of the plan worry that middle class (i.e., white and Asian) parents will either move out of the city or send their kids to private school, making the New York schools even more segregated than they are now. An NYU professor weighs in to say that many parents in cities like New York value diversity and want to send their children to schools that serve everyone. “Many parents” = the parents of the dumb kids. Nobody else gives a shit about “diversity.” I assure you that… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Priorities

 

When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren. — Albert Shanker, President of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and President of the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) It’s a problem in my profession that the number of schools that want to teach computer science far exceeds the number of computer science majors who want to teach computer science. The opportunity cost is too high. Computer science majors can earn a lot more working as software engineers than working as teachers. I volunteer a couple mornings a week to help with computer science instruction at a local high school. This school has a teacher, originally hired as a math teacher, who must be well into her fourth decade of teaching.  She now teaches computer science classes — poorly, but she teaches them. Because of her professional longevity, she makes a six-figure income with… Read more →

The Interests of Schoolchildren

 

More than 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) went on strike this week. LAUSD serves 640,000 students and is the second biggest school district in the country. The mean annual wage for LAUSD teachers is $75,000. In the local reporting I’m seeing on the strike, teachers and union reps are unanimous in saying that they’re striking for the benefit of the schoolchildren. I’m reminded of something Albert Shanker — former president of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) — used to say: When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren. I can’t say for certain that the LA union reps are being disingenuous but it does make sense that they’d be representing the interests of the people who are paying them. Read more →

Hour of Code

 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Code.org (@codeorg) Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: What is a Computer Science Integration Specialist?

 

Sheena Vaidyanathan, a computer science integration specialist at Los Altos School District in California, says that states, school districts and boards of education have not prioritized computer science education the way they should. Even if not every child will grow up to work as a computer scientist, she thinks everyone should at least get exposure to how computers work. — EdSurge News A couple of things I don’t understand there . . . one is why everyone needs to know “how computers work.” They work on electricity, that’s about all I know about it. Actually, I know a little more than that, but there’s no reason that everyone should know “how computers work,” any more than everyone should know how phones work, or how cars work, or how refrigerators work. You can use things without knowing how they work. I do think everyone can benefit from understanding how programmers think,… Read more →

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