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Curmudgucation Digest (January 18)

Over at my other blog, this week brought reactions to Arne Duncan's big-ish speech on ESEA, as well as some other folks with thoughts about what the rewrite of ESEA should look like-- including a complete AFT about-face.

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Testing as Target Acquisition

Right out of the gate, an odd assortment of civil rights groups joined the folks insisting that test-based acountability remain a feature of ESEA. This represents an unusual alliance of folks with completely different goals.

York Catches a Break

A judge ruled Monday that the York, PA, school board could go ahead and appeal the ruling that stips them of all authority and brings York one step closer to being a charter-operated school district.

Ten Moments in Duncan's ESEA Speech

Duncan's speech about ESEA was a somewhat confused hash. Ten moments in particular jumped out for me.

What Duncan Got Wrong About Testing

Duncan's speech doubled down on test-based acountability as the cornerstone of education policy. What did he get wrong about testing? Pretty much everything.

Duress Tests Stress Kress Best

Yet another NCLB architect steps up to say he can't understand how the legislation led to all this test emphasis. Weren't these guys supposed to be smart?

Is Ed Reform a Clash of Cultures?

At CRPE, Steve Hodas attempts to explain how ed reform is a clash of different species of worker bees. It's worth the read, but I think he may have missed a piece here and there.


After a year of calling for an end to testing as well as calling VAm a sham, AFT teams up with CAP to announce that they've changed their mind and like those things just fine.

Maternity Leave and Federal Priorities

If we're so concerned about babies and our international standing, why are we happy to have the worst maternity leave policy in the developed world?

Not So Free To Teach

In PA, we get to hear from the folks at Free To Teach, a group intent on saving teachers from the union. Who's behind this group? Spoiler alert: the usual guys, and they don't have grass roots.

Time To Speak Up

After all these years, Congress has given us an email address to send our thoughts on ESEA rewriting. Shame on us if we don't use it.

Testing: What Purposes?

Testing advocates have offered a plethora of testing justifications. Do any of them hold water?

NJ Charters Play Hardball

In which we learn a little more about the PR flack who's been hired by the NJ Charter Schools Association to silence a Rutgers professor.

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