Fully Exploring School Safety

As a federal blue ribbon commission continues to explore the general topic of school safety as it looks at particular responses to recent school shootings, an important question has emerged. Is the deck stacked against real action?

If the panel refuses to look at the issue of guns as it looks at school safety, is it really looking at anything? And if it continues to refuse, does that mean the NRA is calling the shots on school safety for the Trump Administration?

Over at TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the question. And we come loaded to bear.

Give it a listen.

Streamlining the US Department of Education?

We often say that change is a good thing. Years ago, dear ol’ Eduflack had a boss who believed that did an organization to truly thrive, it needed to be reconceived and reorganized every five years or so.

After more than a year, the education community is still looking for EdSec Betsy a DeVos to take strong action or reveal a strategy for P-20 education in the United States. With DeVos now talking about reorganizing and streamlining operations at USED, are we about to see a peek into that strategy?

Over at the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the subject, asking if a little reorganization every now and then can be a good thing. Give it a listen!

What About Special Ed Parents, Mr. President?

Last month, the Trump Administration dismissed, en masse, hundreds of special education complaints filed with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

In doing so, the EdSec said they were charges without merit, as the hundreds were filed by just a handful of individuals. But in doing so, the Trump Administration demonstrates a lack of understanding of advocates in special education, while dissing the sped family community across the nation.

On the latest episode of TrumpED, we explore the topic and the chilling affect it can have on a sped community believing President Trump may have meant more, not less, respect in the public schools. Give it a listen!

NAEP Response: More than Words?

Now that the dust has finally settled on the most-recent dump of NAEP scores, we must admit that the results just aren’t good. For a decade now, student performance on our national reading and math tests have remained stagnant. And that stagnation is only because a few select demographics managed gains that kept everyone afloat.

At a time when we all seem to agree that today’s students need stronger and greater skills to succeed in tomorrow’s world, how can we be satisfied with stagnation? And how we can respond simply with words, with the rhetoric of how our students can and should do better?

Over on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the topic, reflecting on both how we cannot be satisfied with our students treading water and how we need to take real action to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. Give it a listen. Then show your work.

 

Crediting DeVos Where Credit Is Due

Earlier this month, the US Department of Education announced a new effort to pilot flexibility when it comes to student assessment. After years of gripes from the education community about the problems with tests and the concerns of wonks in DC telling educators in the localities what to do and how to measure, the Feds are finally offering a little flexibility and local control when it comes to testing.

What was the response? Largely crickets. Almost no one tipped the cap or offered kudos to EdSec Betsy DeVos for following through on this effort to pilot assessment flexibility. And that’s a cryin’ shame.

On the most recent episode of #TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the most-recent testing actions from ED and how this should be seen as a good thing in the evolution of federal/locality education policy. Give it a listen!

Transforming Concerned Students Into Powerful Voices of Advocacy

We are now seeing students wanting to take a greater role whether it be in elections themselves whether it be in issues like school violence. I think we’re also seeing very slowly but we’re seeing that same thing happen in education itself where we’re seeing that for centuries now whether it be our colleges or K12 systems, schools are built largely around the system, they’re built around the adults who are there to deliver the education. And we’re seeing more and more from students that the learners themselves want to be in control. They want to be the ones that decide what is best for them. It’s why you see the rise of personalized learning in schools. It’s why you see the rise in mastery based education. I think you’re seeing the same thing as students are beginning to talk about the type of atmosphere that they want. You know we’ve we’ve seen it now as students have begun to dip their toes in issues like bullying and cyber bullying. And we’re now seeing it specifically with school violence. I think the challenge to students is we have this belief that today’s students have a shiny object syndrome that they’re focused on this right now and next week they’re going to be focused on something completely different.

From Eduflack’s recent interview with Doug Simon and DS Simon Media on The Power of Social Media Live and the Modern Education System. Come for the transcript, but really just watch the video. It is far more engaging (and it shows that Eduflack doesn’t just stay in his basement)

When It Comes to Online Info, We Only Have Ourselves to Blame

Even forgetting all of that, we can’t overlook that Cambridge Analytica was simply mining data (and microtargeting voters) based on the information that we willingly, easily, and freely handed over. While we may not have answered the quiz or clicked on the link to specifically provide voter targeting data to a political campaign, we shouldn’t be surprised when our information is used for that purpose. No, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn there is gambling in Casablanca.

Consider that I can learn a lot from a person based on the websites they link to from their Twitter accounts. Thanks to procedural cop shows, we all should know how easy it is to track criminals through their online search histories. Instagram can be just as reliable as a dark house in telling me if someone is home. And LinkedIn can help my employer know if I am looking to move to a new job.

School House Rock taught us that information is power. We shouldn’t be surprised when people use it to strengthen their positioning. Short of going off the grid entirely (or voting straight Libertarian), there will always be those who gather our information and use it for their own benefit.

From Eduflack’s latest on LinkedIn Pulse, Don’t Blame Facebook Data, It’s Your Fault!