ISTE Follow-Up 31: Miscellaneous education blogs (THE PUSH 2014)

The Push 2014

Final category! Below are all of the education blog categories for which I’ve solicited ‘the best of the best’ over the past few months. What’s left? And if you know of a blog for one of the previous categories that’s worth submitting, please submit to the list! (there’s a form at the end of this post)

What are some miscellaneous education blogs that P-12 educators and higher education faculty should be reading? Please contribute, see the responses, AND share this post with others so that we can get the best list possible.

What education blogs would you recommend? http://bit.ly/14ulBas Please share with others so we get a great list! #edchat #edtech

Thanks in advance for helping with this initiative. If we all contribute, we should have a bevy of excellent subject-specific blogs to which we all can point. Please spread the word about THE PUSH!

  • Agricultural education
  • Art education
  • Athletics / extracurricular activities
  • Business education
  • Career and technical education
  • Computer science / coding education
  • Counselors / school counseling
  • Curriculum
  • Drama / theater education
  • Education policy / reform
  • Educational technology / technology integration
  • Elementary classrooms (students are blogging)
  • Elementary teachers (teachers are blogging)
  • English / language arts education
  • English as a second language (ESL/ELL) education
  • Family and consumer sciences education
  • Gifted education
  • Math education
  • Media specialists / school librarians
  • Miscellaneous / other
  • Music education
  • Physical / health education
  • Preschool / early childhood education
  • Preservice preparation
  • Principals / schools
  • Science education
  • Secondary classrooms (students are blogging)
  • Social studies education
  • Special education
  • Superintendents / central office / districts
  • World languages education

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What is THE PUSH?

We are working together to identify excellent subject-specific blogs that are useful to P-12 educators. Why? Several reasons…

  • To identify blogs that P-12 educators can use to initially seed (or expand) their RSS readers (e.g., Feedly, FlipboardReeder, Pulse)
  • To facilitate the creation of online, global (not just local) communities of practice by connecting role-alike peers
  • To create a single location where P-12 educators can go to see excellent subject-oriented educational blogging
  • To highlight excellent disciplinary blogging that deserves larger audiences
  • To learn from disciplines other than our own and get ideas about our own teaching and/or blogging

We are looking for blogs with RSS feeds – particularly from P-12 educators – not sites to which we can’t subscribe. This is an effort to update the awesome but now heavily-spammed list we made 5 years ago!

How the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wages war on public schools

Want to know how to wage war against public schools? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s ongoing campaign provides us some pointers…

1. Decide on a catchy title for your campaign. How about Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity?

Nice title! Pat yourself on the back!

Wait a minute… Does this mean that the U.S. Chamber wants to be mediocre but someone else holds the monopoly on that and thus is preventing the Chamber from also being so? No, silly goose. It means that public schools are both a monopoly AND mediocre and thus need to be broken up!

2. Create made-up statistics to prove your point. How about Approximately 70% of middle school students score below grade level in reading and math?

Perfect. This statistical sound bite sounds terrifyingly awful. Of course we must do something about this immediately!

BUT… this statistic is based on NAEP data and refers to the percentage of students who score at the ‘proficient’ level. Never mind that the consensus of the scientific and research communities is that the NAEP levels are arbitrary, lack any kind of statistical validity, and don’t make sense. Never mind that the National Academy of Science concluded that “the results [on NAEP] are not believable.” Never mind that the National Academy of Education concluded that NAEP’s achievement-setting processes were “fundamentally flawed” and “indefensible.” Never mind that experts affiliated with NAEP’s Governing Board have explicitly stated that “the proficient achievement level does not refer to ‘at grade’ performance” (and that instead NAEP’s basic level is more akin to ‘at grade level’). Never mind that Congress insists that all NAEP reports be accompanied with the disclaimer that achievement levels “should be interpreted with caution.”

Because, hey, we’ve got a campaign to run and people to scare and other groups that also will spread the same inaccurate data (thank you, StudentsFirst!). What does it matter if our essential premise is untrue?

3. Come up with splashy, eye-catching graphics to reinforce your misleading and untruthful message.

US Chamber of Commerce 01

4. Make color-coded maps.

You gotta have color-coded maps. Lots of ’em. And make sure you use selection criteria that are guaranteed to reinforce your message. For example, how about this map, which shows that achievement gaps in EVERY state are not just bad but downright UGLY?

US Chamber 03

Or, even better, this map that shows that overall achievement is horrendously UGLY in… wait for it… EVERY SINGLE STATE?!

US Chamber 04

Ugly dog

Sorry, Massachusetts, we know that you beat Finland handily on the TIMSS math test, but we set the criteria so that your student achievement is UGLY. Sorry, Vermont, despite your reading levels being on par with Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, and Canada, your student achievement is UGLY too. Sorry, North Carolina, even though if you were a country you’d be in the top 10 worldwide in math, your student achievement is UGLY, UGLY, UGLY. Sorry, America, it doesn’t matter that your students’ achievement on international tests is closely tied to your high levels of poverty. You don’t have a single state – not even one! – that falls into the BAD or GOOD categories. Every state is UGLY with a capital ugh.

[Handy Tip 1: Never, ever use neutral or pro-school data (e.g., actual peer-reviewed research). Instead, use ideological, made-up data provided by other anti-school organizations to create your maps!]

5. Make report cards.

Just like maps, you gotta have report cards. And fact sheets. And playbooks. And movies. And whatever else you can think of to reinforce and spread your scary but untruthful message. Also see Handy Tip 1 above.

6. Use social media.

Create example messages and tweets for others to use. Set up a Facebook page. Make hashtags like #breakthemonopoly and #jobs13. Pay for sponsored tweets on Twitter. Again, remember, it’s not about the truth. It’s about spreading your message to the public and to policymakers.

US Chamber 02

7. Spend a boatload of money.

And finally, of course, spend tons of money on all of this and more. How about a nationwide tour where you spread your message to anyone who will listen (complete with media coverage at every location)? How about an email newsletter that you can use to pepper folks’ inboxes with even more inaccurate data? How about conferences and webinars and summits and forums and workshops and conference calls? Sure, why not? After all, you’ve got to outspend those evil teachers’ unions!

[Handy Tip 2: Don’t forget to use a lot of your money for political campaign contributions!]

And, that, dear readers, is how you wage war on public schools. What, you say you want to defend public schools? Hahahahahaha! Oh, you’re serious. Okay, then. Better do all of this and more… Good luck!

Image credit: yoda

If education is the key, then school is the lock [VIDEO]

“If education is the key, then school is the lock. Because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else says ‘stop.’ Because as long as you follow the rules and pass the exams, you’re cool. But are you aware that examiners have a checklist? And if your answer is something outside of the box, the automatic response is a cross. And then they claim that school expands your horizons and your visions.” [1:58]

“There’s a saying which says, ‘If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.’ Redefine how you view education. Understand its true meaning. Education is not just about regurgitating facts from a book or someone else’s opinion on a subject to pass an exam.” [4:13]

Suli Breaks, Why I Hate School But Love Education