Our first reform fairy tale was Chicken Little. This one is the story of the Flea, the Grasshopper, and the Leap-Frog, who were invited by the King to pass a test to win the Princess.
It is with humor, satire, and fairy tales that we unmask the foolishness that dares call itself “reform.”
Students and teachers complained about the commercial brands that were represented in the recent Pearson tests for the a Common Core testing in New York State.
According to the authoritative satirical blogger Students Last, this was no error. This is now state policy and a clever way to raise new funding.
Why not sell naming rights to our schools while we are at it?
Diana Senechal has written a parody of higher education today.
This is a college philosophy class in which the reading of Kant has been replaced with clickers for answering multiple-choice questions.
I have to give satire alerts because education policy has become so wacky that almost anything may seem real.
When the ideas from our leaders get so bizarre, parody becomes difficult.
Ever tried to understand value-added modeling but found the jargon incomprehensible?
You are not alone.
Most people have had that experience.
Here is the clearest explanation I have seen.
It makes perfect sense.
This is a parody but it is uncomfortably close to reality.
The humorist known as Students Last has compiled a reading list to prepare children for failure on the tests.
Just listen to all the bigwigs warning about high failure rates, ripping off the Band-aid and sink-or-swim in the deep end of the pool. That’s enough to create a sense of dread and high anxiety.
The only thing missing from the reading list is a manual for nervous parents and an advice book on how to organize a mass resistance movement.
Please check out Teacher Ken’s post on the Daily Kos.
Scroll down through the comments and you will see some creative reworking of the covers of Time and Newsweek, as well as the “Waiting for Superman” poster, now renamed “Waiting for Eraserhead.”
Larry Lee, an Alabama native and a member of the board of the Network for Public Education, has a great idea.
He decided that the best way to demonstrate the foolishness of the Alabama Accountability Act was to translate it into terms every Alabama reader would understand. He wrote a satire in which he urged accountability for high school football coaches. He said that the failure of high school football teams was a major scandal.
He strongly recommended that coaches be held accountable. Some 13% of teams won one game or less last season. This, he writes, is unacceptable.
“The fact that more than 10 percent of our teams are incompetent is a statewide embarrassment. Obviously, too many coaches are not working hard enough and too many student-athletes are unworthy of being called such.”
EduShyster has noticed a brilliant new reform idea. Tear down the school, build a high-rise with luxury apartments on the site, then let the rich live right on top of the children. What a brilliant idea.
As one young man says in the article quoted, “It’s a win-win.” Or a win-win-win.
What is an “eduttante”?
Here is EduShyster’s definition:
A shill or paid spokesperson advocating strict no-excuses charters for the urban communities in which he or she does not live. Related terms: educolonialist, whiteousness.”
The eduttante raves about the virtues of a strict, military-style school for “other people’s children.”
He or she would never send one’s own child to such a rigid, punitive school.
EduShyster points out that the leading advocate of lifting the cap on charters sends his own child to a private school where there is no standardized testing.
Be sure to read the comment at the end of her post.
PS: Thanks to readers for pointing out that (once again) I forgot the link. Thanks to Jeff Bryant for supplying it.
Here is EduShyster, with her usual irreverence, telling us how to achieve true excellence:
Close public schools.
Close so many public schools that the public gives up and gets used to it.
Make grand promises.
As they sing in Chicago (not only the Broadway musical and the movie, but the actual city): “Give ‘em the old razzle-dazzle, razzle-dazzle ‘em.”
Learn the tricks of the school-closing trade.
Fool the public.
It works every time.