Off the Beaten Gadfly – the Best Education Blog Pieces You Never Read in 2014

Wonderfull illusion art painting
So you’re interested in education.

You’ve read your Diane Ravich. You peruse Peter Greene’s blog with your morning coffee. You have a Badass Teachers Association jersey on under your button down work shirt and tie.

But you need something more.

Well, friend, have I got a treat for you!

Please to enjoy Gadflyonthewallblog! This is the site where all the cool intellectuals go – the folks who want an edge to fight corporate school reform.

You probably already read Gadfly’s Top 10 Posts of 2014. That wouldn’t get by a discerning customer like you. But have you seen this – Gadfly Deep Tracks?

That’s right! These are the five posts selected by the author that maybe didn’t get the page views of the popular articles but are really worth your time.

Take a look. There’s some really good stuff here!

So for your continued edification, elucidation and just plain old enjoyment, I present to you the Top 5 Gadfly Rarities:


Views: 50  shutterstock_pickpocket
Publication: July 22

Description: Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall and listen to a secret meeting of corporate education reformers to hear what they REALLY think? Well, here’s your chance. I came across a conservative think tank paper that outlines ways to manipulate school boards to reduce teachers pension benefits. It’s all right here: Teach for America, Disaster Capitalism, Reducing School Budgets, etc. This is a smoking gun.

Fun Facts: My first post. It’s where I got the name for my blog. I thought this was really important, but not many people saw it. Here’s my attempt to change that.


Views: 152  Labor-Unions
Publication: Nov. 1

Description: Why do some people hate labor unions so much? Maybe it’s because they don’t understand them. In this article I outline the philosophy behind unions and debunk many common criticisms.

Fun Facts: Strong union folks loved this. Randi Weingarten was a fan. But it never gained the audience I feel it deserves. This is important. At best, it’s a way to convince reasonable people that unions are relevant and in fact indispensable to our economy. At worst, it’s at least a good tool to use to help explain your support of unions. It’s worth noting that this article is about unions in general – not any particular union.


Views: 356  Scanning of a human brain by X-rays
Publication: July 29

Description: What’s the problem with standardized tests? What do they do to growing minds? This article answers those questions and more. The basic thesis is that bubble tests are horrible ways to help create thinkers, but excellent for creating consumers.

Fun Facts: Standardized testing is central to all corporate education reform. But few people question its purpose. I think it’s important the public understand that none of this is about education. It’s about creating a permanent underclass just smart enough to be customers at Walmart but not smart enough to question the status quo.


Views: 623  05_A1CP_t400
Publication: Nov. 8

Description: This is just a simple story about a poor, damaged student who entered my class needing so much more than just an education. I got her to smile. That’s it.

Fun Facts: This girl was in my class about a third of the time last year, and only two days this year. I hope she returns someday soon. It just breaks my heart. Wherever she is I send this article out to her as a virtual hug so my readers might love her as much as I do. Sometimes that’s more important than lesson plans, etc.


Views: 775
Publication: Aug. 30

Description: Value-Added Measures of teachers are absurd. So I mixed them up with the master of absurdity – Franz Kafka. Thrill as a teacher wakes up in class transformed into a giant insect about to be evaluated by a reformy principal.

Fun Facts: This is one of my own personal favorites. I think if more people actually saw it, they’d feel the same. I hope you enjoy it, too.

P.S. – I stole the idea for this Top 5 list from the excellent blogger Russ Walsh. He came up with the concept of writing a list of hidden gems – not a typical Top 10 list. His Russ on Reading is well worth your time.

P.S.S. – Diane Ravich gave this article a shout out on her blog.

6 thoughts on “Off the Beaten Gadfly – the Best Education Blog Pieces You Never Read in 2014

  1. cross posted at ;–t-in-Best_Web_OpEds-Bloggers_Education_Education-For-All_Education-Funding-150329-265.html#comment539144
    with this comment which has embedded links at the article post.
    Yes, yes yes! and read the Ravitch blog!

    And all the news at The Network For Public education and for goodness sakes, to to and learn about the process of destruction in LA, and do not miss the saga of Francesco Portelos in NYC, who like Lenny Isenberg in La, is suing THE UNION!

    The media is not revealing the destruction of our public schools.
    Tell people about what you are learning! The future of democracy and the road to opportunity which education provides is at stake!
    Submitted on Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 1:49:44 PM


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