More than Covid Reopening …

Yes, it is important that we get all our k-12 public schools open and ready to educate all of our kids. But reopening cannot be the sole focus of the US Department of Education, particularly now. There is just too much that can, should, and must be done.

Over at the BAM! Radio Network, we explore how the time is now to multitask and set a real agenda with real goals.

Give it a listen here — https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/vaccinations-state-testing-school-reopening-sel-getting-ready-for-the-classroom-ahead/.

Let’s Put Reading First Again!

We need to make sure we are investing in all five of the core components of the science of reading, particularly vocabulary and comprehension. We need to invest in our teachers, ensuring they have the data, knowledge, and skills to be effective literacy instructors to all students, regardless of age or current reading level. And we need to hold our K-12 schools accountable for reading proficiency.

Literacy is not mastered in the fourth grade. Those who are proficient at that stage still have a lot of work to do. Those who do need extra work, extra attention, and extra intervention. The science of reading has a lifetime of application. It has been proven effective. And we have waited far, far too long to make it a priority. The science of reading needs to be our new national literacy plan.

From Eduflack’s inaugural essay for Educate

Did We Learn? Do We Care?

The last year of public school has been an exercise on crisis learning. Yes, it made sense not to administer state tests last spring, as so many learners moved into a virtual setting for the first time. But this spring, our states, districts, schools, and educators need real data to understand the impact of our Covid year.

In the latest episode of Soul of Education on the BAM! Radio Network, dear ol’ Eduflack opines on why it was so important for the Biden Administration to declare testing will resume this spring, virus be damned.

Give it a listen here: https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/what-did-your-students-learn-this-year-how-do-we-know/

Teaching in a Post-Insurrection World

Following the 2020 election and the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6, is it prudent to teach current events in today’s social studies classes? Or is it safer to stay away from the the realities of modern history?

Today, I spent nearly an hour with Larry Jacobs and the American Consortium for Equity in Education, discussing this and other topics related to improving the teaching and learning of American history.

Give it a listen here: https://ace-ed.org/teaching-history-and-civics-in-a-post-insurrection-world/

Happy listening!

“Soul of Education”

I’ve been honored to be a voice on the BAM Radio Network for a decade now. For the past four years, I hosted TrumpEd, which looked at education policy in the Trump Administration. Today, I can proudly announce I’m hosting a new program, Soul of Education, which will look at education policy in the Biden Administration.

The weekly program kicks off today. Give it a listen. And send me segment ideas, please!

What Will It Take to Restore Teaching, Learning, and the Soul of K-12 Education?

Say Yes to the Test

“If we believe in the strength of the public education system in New Jersey, if we believe in a strong education (including literacy skills) as a key to success in both career and life, and if we believe that a high-quality public education is a civil right, then we must demand every piece of data available so that we can determine how to better support classroom teachers, how to better disperse state aid, and how to provide every learner the education that is promised to them.”

From Eduflack’s latest for NJ Education Report

Better Reading Teacher Prep in NJ

“If we can all agree on the importance of following the science when it comes to reopening our schools, why does New Jersey so solidly reject the idea of following the science when it comes to teaching our youngest learners to read? Why do we reject the science when it comes to doing what is proven effective in equipping virtually all students with the literacy skills necessary to succeed in middle school, high school, post secondary, and life?”

Eduflack’s latest for the NJ Education Report

We Don’t Need More Civic Ed

“But if we are going to learn – really learn – from recent civic activism and involvement, it is that civic education has spotlighted the glaring educational shortcomings that ensure that same education has lasting, meaningful impact in our communities. It has shown us the need to more deeply invest in the knowledge necessary to transform such action into long-term community action.”

Over at Project Forever Free, where I explore how the events of the last year demonstrate we don’t need additional civic education in the schools. Instead, we need history, SEL, literature, and liberal studies so that civic learning has real meaning.

Teaching Trump

The last few weeks of the Trump Administration will likely be how President Trump is remembered and how his legacy is taught in classrooms decades for now. Or so I opine on the final episode of the TrumpEd show on the BAM Radio Network.

Give it a listen over at: https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/opinion-teaching-the-legacy-of-the-trump-administration-its-complicated/

Learning from the 1776 Commission

As one of his first orders of business, President Joe Biden officially disbanded the 1776 Commission established by Donald Trump last year, killing the group days after it released its report on the founding of the United States of America.

Over at The 74 Million, dear ol’ Eduflack has an essay about the Commission’s report and what we can, and should, learn from it.

As I write:

“The American record — whether it be measured by the 402 years since 1619 or the 245 years since 1776 — is hopeful and ugly, inspiring and debilitating, a shining beacon and an unshakable dark cloud. More simply, American history is incredibly messy and contradictory; how we teach it even more so.”

The full piece is worth a read. You can find it here: https://www.the74million.org/article/riccards-the-1776-report-is-a-political-document-not-a-curriculum-but-it-has-something-to-teach-us/