Is Thomas Friedman a Low-Performing Columnist?

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman looks glum after learning that claims he made about Race to the Top have been widely and repeatedly debunked.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman knows that in these days of economic uncertainty there is only one sure fire way to ensure prosperity: marry a friggin bazillionaire attend college and hope to be able to land a job that pays enough to cover your mountain of student debt.

If you somehow missed Mr. Friedman’s love letter to Race to the Top and Arne Duncan, allow me to summarize it for you. You see dear reader, “the high-wage, medium skilled job is over.” (This statement comes to us courtesy of a Gates Foundation “senior education expert” who is no doubt both high waged and high skilled).

But there’s good news. It turns out that thanks to President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, more students are racing to the top than ever before! Just how many students are racing to the top?  Continue reading →

EduShyster’s Sister Schools President Obama

Some 400 teachers sent letters to President Obama this week, including EduShyster’s sister, who just happens to look very much like Tina Fey.

EduShyster is often asked from whence her impressive body of knowledge about public education comes. Is she a teacher? (No) Does she really carry a box of wine everywhere she goes? (What do you mean by ‘everywhere’?) You see reader, I couldn’t help but learn a thing or two about education because I am from a family FULL of teachers. And while an aversion to children kept me from following in their sensible shoes, I have still learned a thing or 2 million from them over the years.

In case you missed it, some 400 teachers sent letters to President Obama this week, expressing concern about the fate of their profession and their schools in an age of corporate-driven reforms. You can read all of the letters here. My favorite of these was written by MY VERY OWN SISTER, who says that for her and her colleagues at a rural Illinois school, teaching is now akin to working in a pressure cooker full of acronyms: NCLB, AYP, ISAT, AIMS WEB, PERA, PBIS, RtI, UBD, PARCC, CCLS. Ouch!

While my sister represents the third generation in our family to go into teaching, she’ll likely be the last. None of her four children wants to become a teacher; my sister is encouraging them to pursue careers that allow for more freedom and creativity, such as parking lot attendant or prison guard.  I’m very proud of my sister for writing this letter, which is why I’m posting it in its entirety. That and the fact that I’m angling for an especially nice Christmas gift… Continue reading →

Inve$ting In Kid Future$

By now you are almost certainly aware that the specimen known as the EduShyster (or homo educandus shysterus as he prefers to be called after a few Pimm’s Cups–see below) is consumed by a single all consuming question: How can I help to close the achievement gap? How can I make some @#$% money off of these little bastards? And yet as the EduShyster and his eduvestor colleagues can testify, making money off of our guaranteed right to a public education is not easy. There exists a shameful “investment gap” between the rich profits that the EduShyster knows are lurking within the classrooms and hallways of our public schools and the green stuff he has so far been able to extract from the system. That’s why I was so relieved to learn that a special conference is being offered just for eduvestors like us. Continue reading →