LeBron’s Fanboys, A Neighborhood Schools Advocate’s Choices, Willits, Ryan, A Loss, More…

Kevin Durant on LeBron James:

So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people,” Durant said. “He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him…It’s not LeBron’s fault at all; it’s just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word.

Huh. Anyway, The New York Times takes a look at LeBron James’ new school. It’s an encouraging story but is also hard to miss how night and day the tone is relative to the paper’s Success Academy coverage. And it’s the kind of story, early data, unusually large jumps in achievement, and questionable measures (NWEA is a fine tool but it’s not the state assessment) that would usually bring the debunkers out from under all their rocks. Instead, crickets. And even analysts who should recognize that these numbers are outliers seem cowed into silence. To be clear, I am rooting for this school to succeed,  just as I am for all schools in whatever sector. And I believe schools can do more than most people think when they are intentional and focused. We need more good schools and I was absent the day they taught that you can only be partisan for one kind of school. So I hope it is all this and more. My point is not about the school, which I have not visited firsthand, but rather the reaction and suspension of skepticism. The reaction to the LeBron James initiative, from the start, has been pretty interesting in ways that might resonate with Durant? James throws off a lot of gravity.

Also, I don’t understand why people in education keep arguing for the hopelessness of education. Keep telling politicians that schools can’t work and sooner or later they’ll take yes for an answer.

UVA President Jim Ryan ran the Boston Marathon today in honor of 26 teachers, one of them was my second grade teacher who had a life changing positive impact on me.

It’s really hard to know what to make of this story about a D.C. pol and ardent neighborhood schools advocate figuring out what high school is best for his daughter. But, I would like to see the WaPo’s Pinocchios on this fact check:

“In some ways,” Joe Weedon said, “I’m disappointed we won the lottery.”

And this line is money:

His daughter says she has become an expert card player because of all the free time she has had with substitute teachers.

I mean look, I guess it’s clickable to watch some guy with choices (and the ability to make new ones if those don’t pan out) do a Hamlet routine. And in the past people used to just quietly melt into the suburbs or DC’s large private school sector so maybe in a weird way this sort of exhibitionism is progress. But, still, probably more compelling to hear about what it is like to not have a lot of options? For parents who don’t have choice or means and are stuck with some of D.C.’s lower performing options – and for parents in places around the country where there is no choice at all – the aesthetics of all this and ‘what it means’ are not especially interesting. They are claustrophobic in a way a lot of people don’t appreciate. Write about that.

Don Stewart has passed. I didn’t know him well but he always seemed classy, thoughtful, and generous when we did cross paths.

Interesting talks here and at about 59:30 education’s own Luci Willits gives a talk.

She Remembers Everything.

Posted on Apr 16, 2019 @ 8:58am

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