Odds & Ends – Who Is Education’s Jennifer Granholm?

This Tim Alberta collection of vignettes of various voters is worth your time. As the education reform movement teeters on a political cliff (often clumsily) figuring out if it wants to have national or just regional and local resonance, it’s a good reminder of just how all over the place Americans are.

Should schools mandate the Covid19 vaccine? It’s not as straightforward a question as it might appear. A related debate has broken out about prioritizing teachers. Seems like we should, it would help with the trust problem around reopening schools for live instruction as well as help substantively for teachers. But in the short term there will be hard questions about that priority relative to other high-priority populations outside of medical workers, older Americans, various other essential workers, or prisons for instance. And, although vaccine concern is declining, trust there is still a real issue for a lot of Americans.

Here’s a study on the National Summer School Institute.

Interesting new study from Fordham that gets at what in my view is an under-explored question, how well do teachers do in different kinds of schools and with better or worse support for new teachers?  Can average teachers thrive in highly effective contexts or do we under-leverage really high-caliber teachers in dysfunctional contexts? There is some small n stuff inside other projects but seems like a place we could learn a lot.

Also here are some ideas, via Bellwether’s Cara Jackson, on teacher selection.

Joe Biden could do some creative things to help students get through college faster – Paul Weinstein outlines the three-year-college plan here. Supporting states in moving to 3-year high school as part of a CTE initiative would be a complementary play. Biden chose well-regarded former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as Energy Secretary in part because she can help a legacy industry (automotive) evolve to new technologies (more efficient and greener transportation). Who is the parallel for that on modernizing our educational system?

Rick Hess notes,

Civic education today tends to focus on voting, protest, and the need to combat “injustice.” This is all to the good. But it leaves little room for stodgy notions of obligation, complexity, or the importance of respecting processes even when you don’t like the results.

(The Bill of Rights turned 229 yesterday).

Random thing, in their order last week rejecting the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results the Supreme Court also agreed to take up a technical case about class action suits that involves the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.