Friday, September 19, 2008

No Broad prize for me

The Chronicle of Philanthropy quotes me taking a poke at Eli Broad, the AIG bailout, and business-model school reform. Does this mean I’m no longer eligible for the Broad Prize?

The wing-nut bloggers

The McCain/Palin campaign is flanked by a platoon of wing-nut bloggers from Steve Diamond to, who spam my mailbox each day with threats and anti-Obama swift-boating crap. Most of it tries to paint Barack Obama as a radical through his association with Bill Ayers, me, and Rev. Wright (still?) -- one big Muslim/socialist/terrorist/black nationalist conspiracy from hell.

It’s a narrative they keep circulating amongst themselves as a way of whipping each other up. Some of it is picked up in the mainstream media like the New York Post. With each blog, the story evolves. Recently it’s been focused on Chicago school reform and the Annenberg Challenge that funded reform a decade ago. It would be good for a laugh, except I always wonder what the wing-nuts will do once Obama is elected. That’s scary.

Here’s the latest. It begins: “Yes, Obama is commie! And a Marxist at that…”

That’s just in case you thought he was a “commie”-- but not a “Marxist.”

Straightjackets for teachers?

Kevin Carey at Quick and the Ed offers his most convoluted argument yet for teachers having less autonomy—not more. If he can find any teachers to buy the less-autonomy line, I have a condo in Florida I’d like to sell them (cheap).

Treating Teachers “like artists”

I loved this NYT Blog, “Teaching Without a Script,” by Matthew Kay, a young teacher at Philly’s Science Leadership Academy. He is also athletic director, boys head basketball coach, and proud leader of the slam poetry team. Matthew’s post helped me remember why I like small schools like SLA so much.

It’s not money. Great teachers are deft managers, thirsty scholars, and empathetic people — and we would excel in careers that pay a whole lot more if cash was our driving ambition. The reason that the young teachers at S.L.A. are so excited to be here most likely mirrors my own — we are all treated like artists.

I’d love to get Matthew and his colleagues together in a room with Carey to get their take on the "less autonomy" argument.

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