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A Lesson for Neil deGrasse Tyson

I've had great respect for Neil deGrasse Tyson ever since the first time I saw him on Bill Maher's show. I mean, here's a guy, smarter than me, smarter than you, an astrophysicist, an acknowledged expert in his field, speaking the unvarnished truth. Show More Summary

Facts and Fiction About the So-Called “Summer Slide”

Perhaps we should call it the summer ladder rather than slide. Children gain skills--especially in mathematical reasoning--in summer faster than during the school year.

Where Have All the Computers Gone?

Reformy Chalkbeat NY just ran a piece about how a lot of computers were missing from city schools. I'm not remotely surprised. I've been teaching since 1984, and I've been hearing stories like that almost since I started. My first exposure...Show More Summary

Wolf in Bernie Sanders' Clothing

The Post pointed out that our good buddy Andrew Cuomo is taking a ton of cash from charters, and that's public record. Of course that's not the image Cuomo has been pushing lately. He's our good buddy, I hear at the DA. He's making nice.Now...Show More Summary

Death in stock photos

On Twitter, a user finds three stock photo images that tell a creepy story: (thanks to Jesse Walker)

Ohio Gothic: the Earth versus civilization

The Earth continued her war on humanity by opening a front in Ohio. When their houses and business began sinking into the soil, a group was evacuated for their safety. The threat came from underneath: A spokesman for the Ohio...

Picking a Supervisor

There's a Bronx teacher contending he was passed over for promotion because of his sex. He offers evidence, and will be going to court to make his case. It will be interesting to see what happens here.I've been to many C30 meetings, one for almost every administrator in my building. Show More Summary

In a Shocker, Campbell Brown's Website Attacks ATRs

Over at Campbell Brown's blog, to which I will not link, there's a hit piece on ATR teachers. Evidently it's a disgrace to pay teachers who don't teach, but it's also terrible if they're allowed to teach. It's written by a lawyer who...Show More Summary

UFT and the Politics of Identity

A little over three years ago, I ran for Executive Vice President of NYSUT. It was an illuminating experience on multiple levels. One thing I learned was that there were a whole lot of unions that didn't run like the UFT. I'm gonna count...Show More Summary


Jim Groom invited me to crash the party on a position paper that he is writing. We were asked to “address pressing issues”, and to offer “examples of current educational designs, models, and formats that push the boundaries of higher education.” As the draft below indicates, I’m pretty far from a writing headspace these days, […]

Sinkhole devours Florida houses

Earth continued her subterranean war on the human race this week by opening another sinkhole in Florida. The results can be disturbing: The sinkhole, estimated to be 250 by 225 feet and 50 feet deep, is full of water and...

The Poor Are Lazy, Suggests UFT-endorsed Fernando Cabrera

Right now Donald Trump and the froglike creature who heads the GOP in the Senate are trying to take healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans so that they can give a tax break to the very richest people in the country. This is a game we've been playing in this country for decades. Show More Summary

Death by game puppet master: the case of Blue Whale

A computer game featuring puppet masters who convince players to wound and ultimately kill themselves sounds like something from fiction. But Blue Whale is, apparently, grounded in reality. Snopes reports on a recent example, where a San Antonio teenager apparently...

Here Come the Mayoral Candidates

Circus clown/ Arby's pitchman/ mayoral hopeful Bo Dietl is on Twitter making statements about what things will be like when he's mayor. There's some teacher at John Adams accused of allowing a student to sit on his lap, and Bo is outraged. Show More Summary

Trying To Get Technology To Last

Over the past year, my 2009 model 15 inch Macbook Pro had been gradually getting slower and slower. I had upgraded it to El Capitan which is the most modern OS that a laptop of this vintage can successfully run. But it was struggling to load things, the coloured spinning wheel of death was becoming […]

Placing the ATRs

It's actually a good thing that someone's thinking about having ATR teachers, you know, teach. Now I'm not suggesting that having them teach twelve years ago wasn't a good idea either. I found it incredible that we gave up seniority transfers to place so many of our brothers and sisters in limbo. Show More Summary

Like My Grandfather Did

I hear a lot about how students don't need English instruction."My grandfather came here and he didn't need no stinking ESL. He built a company and made a million dollars. He had 14 children and loved my grandmother until her dying day. Show More Summary

I Go to a Seven-day PD so You Don't Have To

I don't know how many times I've heard complaints about PD. For most of my career, at least, PD has consisted of some principal or other lecturing us, precisely what they tell us not to do when we teach. The kids shouldn't be late, because lateness is bad. Show More Summary

The hanging coffins of China

2 weeks agoEducation / Learning : Infocult

An article summarizes the rare Chinese practice of stashing coffins far up cliffsides. The coffins rest in a variety of formations, sometimes barely visible from the ground below. They're lined up in the crevices in the cliff face, balanced on...

Mayoral Control Is a Lose-Lose

I've opposed mayoral control since its inception, originally because it went to uber-reformy Michael Bloomberg. During his seemingly endless tenure, I learned more about it. I think Diane Ravitch wrote in Death and Life of the Great American School System that it was a reformy tool designed to bypass democracy. Show More Summary

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