Archives for category: Humor

I recently had the pleasure of reading Kevin Welner’s terrific new Onion-like book, “Potential Grizzlies: Making the Nonsense Bearable.” In tweets, I described Kevin as the Stephen Colbert and Groucho Marx of American education. Kevin and I had fun discussing the book on a Zoom sponsored by the Network for Public Education. (WATCH: Diane Ravitch in Conversation with Kevin Welner). Kevin has pledged all royalties he earns to the Network for Public Education. I hope you will watch, then buy the book, which makes a great holiday gift! To give you a feel for the book, here’s a new piece Kevin just wrote.

Perilous De-DeVos-ing Cleanup Is Underway

The Biden education transition team today assured a worried public that it is carefully following established procedures for the clean-up of the U.S. Department of Education. “The de-DeVos-ing process is indeed grueling, but all necessary precautions are being taken to assure a safe and complete mission,” said spokesperson Darcy Wiggins.

Four years of policy contaminants are reported to have been strewn throughout the Department at a level that sources insist must have been either intentional or extraordinarily reckless. “In the Title IX area alone, we found a spill of transphobia and a release of toxic masculinity all over the sexual assault regulations. That latter one may take years to fully mop up.”

There are also said to be large vats of voucher policies piled up in storage closets, but they haven’t yet broken containment.

Additional dangers, however, remain. According to a member of the transition team we spoke with, an unknown amount of policy contaminants may have been transported a mile northeast, to the chambers of several Supreme Court justices who seem determined to release the policies on the general public at the earliest opportunity.

Here is a photograph of the Biden transition team in the midst of De-Vos-ing contents of the U.S. Department of Education.

SomeDAM Poet wrote these verses.

“The Billionaire and the Reformer” (after “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” by Lewis Carroll)

The pol was pining for a charter,
pining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The regulations sleight —
Which wasn’t hard, because the pol
Was charter acolyte

The public was pining sulkily,
Because they thought the pol
Had got no business to be there
After the charter stole —
“Incredible of him,” they said,
“To work for charter dole”

The money was tight as tight could be,
The coffers were bare as bare.
You could not see a dollar, cuz
No dollar was in there:
No Race was funding overhead —
There was no Race to fund.

The Billionaire and the Reformer
Were talking under bleachers;
They wept like anything to see
Such qualities of teachers:
If these were only cleared away,’
Our schools would be like peaches!’

If seven Chetty’s with seven VAMs
VAMmed for half a year,
Do you suppose,’the Billionaire said,
That they could get them clear?’
I doubt it,’ said the Reformer,
And shed a bitter tear.

O students, come and walk with us!’
The Billionaire did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
A better way to teach
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.’

The eldest student looked at her
But never a word he said:
The eldest student winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
To go with Jobs, and fled

But four young students hurried up,
All eager for the fest:
Their hair was brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and best —
And this was odd, because, you know,
They’re going to a test.

Four other students followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more —
All hopping through the student waves
And scrambling to the door.

The Billionaire and the Reformer
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little students stood
And waited in a row.

The time has come,’ the Billionaire said,
To talk of many things:
Of Common Core — and standard tests — of passing score — and VAM—
And why the schools are failing [Not!] —
And whether pigs have wings.’

But wait a bit,’ the students cried,
Before we have our talk;
For some of us are out of breath,
And some of us can’t walk!’
No hurry!’ said the Reformer.
As patient as a hawk.

A lot of bread,’ the Billionaire said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Testing and Common Core besides
Are very good indeed —
Now if you’re ready, students dear,
We can begin to weed.’

But not with us!’ the students cried,
Turning a little blue.
After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!’
The day is fine,’ the Billionaire said.
Do you admire the view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!’
The Reformer said nothing but
‘That cut score won’t suffice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf —
I’ve had to tell you twice!’

It seems a shame,’ the Billionaire said,
To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them test so quick!’
The Reformer said nothing but
The opt-out’s spread too thick!’

I weep for you,’ the Billionaire said:
I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
The scores of lesser size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

O students,’ said the Reformer,
You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d flunked out every one.”

I enjoyed reading Kevin Welner’s new book “Potential Grizzles.” There are many hilarious short pieces about education fads, absurd federal laws, Duncan, DeVos and more.

You will enjoy reading about the innovative Ammocentric Charter School in Arizona. Or the discovery that when the bottom 5% of teachers are fired, another bottom 5% pops up the next year. Or the insight that teachers can be fairly evaluated by their height. Or what happened when a promising student got a growth on her mindset.

Kevin and I discussed the book on a Zoom sponsored by the Network for Public education. We had a lot of laughs thinking about the absurd disconnect between research and policy.

Kevin has pledged any royalties he earns to NPE. I hope you will watch, listen, then buy the book.


Lt. Governor Dan Patrick of Texas, a Rush Limbaugh wannabe, offered a reward of $1 million to anyone who could find voter fraud.

The Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman tweeted to claim the reward. He said he found a case where a man was trying to get a ballot for his deceased mother. Voter fraud! He wanted to cast her ballot for Trump.

No word from Lt. Governor Patrick.

Periodically, I post useful information. A few years ago, I offered unsolicited advice about how to buy a generic for what would normally be expensive medicine for canine diarrhea.

This is another bit of useful information.

How to survive a knife attack.

Twitter star @CoopMike reports that Hillary Clinton’s emails were discovered on the hard drive of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Mystery solved!

Just watch, listen and enjoy!

Enjoy this delightful video!

SomeDAMPoet wrote the following to explain Trump. As I was typing the headline, I accidentally wrote “Iz” instead of “Oz,” and it then occurred to me that Trump is the Wizard of Id. No filters on his ego or his mouth.

SomeDAM Poet:

Brain is severed
From his tongue

We can learn a lot about Trump from the Wizard of Oz. He’s the accumulation of these characters:
The scarecrow had no brains, tin man had no heart, lion was a coward, and the wizard was a liar.

In my endless search for ways to lighten and brighten your days (and mine), I found this wonderful comedy trapeze act.

Enjoy!