Have a Very Rephormy Christmas!

And an excellent and innovative new year…

Still looking for the purrfect gift for that extra excellent and innovative someone in your life? Not to worry. EduShyster has assembled an assembly of offerings guaranteed to send test scores soaring all through the holidays and into 2013. So from my rephorm family to yours: ¡feliz navidad and a very prospero año! Continue reading →

Joel Klein’s Edu-Cojones

Today we raise our collective wine boxes to a man who has the biggest, boldest edu-cojones in the business. Reader: meet Joel Klein, former NYC schools Chancellor turned edu-preneur—and most definitely turning a profit. When last we encountered Mr. Klein he’d just finished sounding the alarm bell about the greatest national security threat our country faces: our union-stifled public schools. But there is good news, reader. Joel Klein has now figured out the solution to the national security threat of our time—and it turns out to be the very edu-product that Klein himself is peddling. Continue reading →

A Real Turkey of an Idea

The recent Daily Beast Innovators Summit produced one idea so spectacularly bad that is deserving of the EduShyster “turkey” award.

For those of you who are new to the fast-paced, exciting world of great edu-idea production, allow me to bring you up to speed. The process starts by convening a great many smart people™ to discuss big ideas™ for solving complicated problems, like how to fix our union stifled public schools. For example, the Daily Beast’s recent Innovators Summit brought together bold, fresh innovators like Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee to offer their bold solutions to “help reboot America, make the world a better place, and (sometimes) even get rich in the process.” Continue reading →

NYC: Ground Zero for Edu-Hucksterism

In a typical year, Deborah Kenny replaces half of the teachers at Harlem Village Academy Charter School with teachers who are fresher and more innovative. 

Why it seems like mere days ago that EduShyster was leading a tour through the phantasy land that is Education Reform, Inc. Along the way we encountered miracle teachers who dazzled us with their pheats of strength, and miracle students, whose smiling visages light up so many of our favorite #edreform websites. Well reader, imagine EduShyster’s surprise to find one of our phantasy stops—Deborah Kenny’s Harlem Village Academy Charter School—right smack in the middle of the New York Times op-ed page this week.

You see Kenny runs what is best known as a miracle school. A quick review for the public school teachers who were on break when we last visited the topic. The miracle school is just like a regular school only 100 times more innovative and with 1000 times more best practices. Best of all, the miracle school has students that are EXACTLY THE SAME as the students who attend sucky public schools—which proves once and for all that poverty absolutely does not matter. What’s more, the miracle school is typically led by a plucky blonde heroine (check!), is the subject of phawning media coverage (check, check, check!) and continues to receive said coverage EVEN AFTER MIRACLE CLAIMS ARE REPEATEDLY DEBUNKED (check, check!) Continue reading →

Rephormy Little Liars

What Joel Klein’s “life story” tells us about about Education Reform, Inc.

Low Expectations High School, which Joel Klein attended. Physics teacher Sidney Harris rescued Klein from near certain mediocrity and launched him on his life-long crusade—against teachers.

So Joel Klein’s father was not an illiterate turd farmer who once tore up the pages of young Joel’s only book and smoked them in his corn cob pipe—what’s the big deal??? When you are literally trying to close the achievement gap with your own bare hands, facts have a tendency to stray. The important thing is that Mr. Sidney Harris, the teacher whom Joel Klein credits with rescuing him from a low-expectations hell, inspired Klein to launch his life-long crusade against teachers.

If you’ve missed the latest scandal to rock the hallways of Education Reform, Inc, allow me to break it down for you. It turns out that Klein wasn’t adopted by African American sharecroppers, and that little flourish he throws in on the edu-stump about having dyslexia and being locked in the closet at school only to be freed by a sassy barkeep, midriff barely covered by her parent-trooper t-shirt? That’s fiction too. But the ending, where Klein is hired by Rupert Murdoch, to peddle edu-products to the public schools while playing the part of a high-minded innovator, that alas is all too true. Continue reading →