When It Comes to Ed Reform, Are We Willing to Do More Than Just Talk the Talk?

As former EdSec Arne Duncan is our promoting his new book, he has a lot to say about what improvements happened – and didn’t – during his tenure at the US Department of Education.

While it is easy to say one needed to work harder to implement real education policy change, the criticisms from Duncan are a little startling. And they beg an important question – are we really willing to put in the work needed to make the changes we like to talk about?

On the most recent episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network, I explore that very question. Give it a listen!

Are School Issues Just a Matter of Boredom?

Earlier this month, EdSec Betsy DeVos suggested school choice was needed because high school students get bored otherwise.

Yes, traditional public schools have some issues. And yes, high school kids are often bored with their assigned curriculum. But instead of simply changing the operational structure of the school building, shouldn’t we instead be looking at approaches like personalized learning?

I explore the topic on the most recent edition of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Be sure to give it a listen. Tens of thousands of others do each week!

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!