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 →

Meet the Boston Municipal Research Bureau

Sam Tyler, the chief of the Boston Municipal “Research” Bureau, is focused like a laser on ridding the city’s schools of lazy, overpaid teachers. Thirsty work indeed!

Expert research. Independent analysis. Trusted results. What else is there to be said about this combination think tank, number cruncher and self-appointed “change agent” that the Boston Globe once called “A powerful force for constructive change in city government? I certainly can’t think of anything…

Now for those of you who might be new to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau’s particular brand of “research,” the EduShyster is pleased to give you a quick and handy overview. The Bureau’s unbiased, independent perspective largely consists of the following: Boston teachers are lazy and overpaid (as are all of the city’s public employees) and are protected by an iron-clad, 15,000 page contract that they have unilaterally imposed upon the city. That’s it. The group’s widely cited “reports” largely consist of their crack staff researchers making these points over and over again in an attractive, two-column format complete with contrasting fonts, plenty of pull quotes and the occasional sidebar for reiterating the highlights of the “report.” Continue reading →

4 out of 5 Edu-Polls are Utter Crap

Most edu-polls are filled with completely meaningless data used to justify wildly misleading conclusions. This 3-D pie chart is lacking only corporate edu-facts.

Everyday I consume between 4 and 5,000 edu-facts. Now you are probably wondering: ‘isn’t that hard on your digestion?’ and ‘don’t you have to consume a lot of alcohol to wash down all of those edu-tidbits?’ The answer to both of your questions is ‘yes.’ But the good news is that I have discovered a quick and easy way to consume said facts. Reader: meet the edu-poll. These handy, compact vehicles are ideal for quickly processing “information” and repackaging such in order to dazzle, confuse or engage with other like minded advocates for education reform. Continue reading →