After a brief experiment with dual formats for this blog, I've settled on the wordpress version. You can find the current version with these and other new posts at

Monday, March 10, 2014

How Do Charter Schools Work?

Charter schools have been a growing feature of the reformy landscape. Both the Bush and Obama administration have promoted charter schools, and they are a darling of many reformers.

This post from the blog Seattle Education lays out the basic differences between charter and pubic schools as well as addressing many of the myths surrounding them, including these:

Myth #1: Charter schools have this incredible and truly unbelievable success rate at graduating students on time.

Myth #2: Charter Schools do not take funding away from public schools.

Myth #3: Charter schools are public schools 

Myth #4: Non-profit charter schools are OK, for-profit charter schools are not. 

Myth #5: Charter schools are better than public school in terms of student performance

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Follow the Gates Money

Bill Gates has spent an unimaginably huge amount of money supporting the Common Core both directly and indirectly. It's hard to wrap your brain around just how much money the Gates Foundation has spent on this issue, and it has taken a lot of work by researchers like Mercedes Schneider to sort it out.

However, here's a chart that will give you part of the picture. Created by Erin Osborne over at Honest Practicum, this gives you just the broad strokes. Be aware that even this is not all of it.

The Copyright on Common Core

Yes, the Common Core are copyrighted. This is probably the clearest, most direct look at that copyright that I've seen, courtesy of Paul Bogush.

So if you're wondering exactly what the copyright looks like, here you go!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Anthony Cody: 10 Major Common Core Errors

Anthony Cody has a regular blog at the Education Week: Teacher site. If you aren't familiar with EdWeek, it's a print magazine with a pretty big on line footprint. Their writers cover an extremely broad range of interests, backgrounds and points of view. Anthony Cody spent several decades as a classroom teacher and is one of the more articulate and important voices of dissent in today's education landscape.

One of his widely circulated pieces collects in one place ten of the major problems with the Common Core State Standards. There is plenty to read here, but if you want to skim, the ten points are big and bold!

Anthony Cody: 10 Major Common Core Errors

How Did Common Core Happen?

I'm going to start out with one of my own posts. This is my attempt to explain as simply as I can how we all ended up living with the Common Core State Standards peeking over our collective shoulders. If you aren't clear on how we ended up with these, this is as good a place to start as any.

Curmudgucation: How Did Common Core Happen?