More Cartoons on Kids, Adults, and Technology

Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher:

Lots of chuckles to be had with these cartoons…yet, I wonder what the neurological adaptations might yield for cognition or innovation in our future…

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

After nearly two years of once-monthly cartoons, readers and friends (and, yes, even family) send me their favorites. The eternal struggle of adjusting to each new technology gives cartoonists much to chew on. And they do as this month’s collection shows.

For all my U.S. viewers, chuckle, laugh, shake your head at these renderings about technology–particularly about smart phones–and, most of all, have a most happy Thanksgiving. For my international viewers, well, simply enjoy the cartoons.






cartoon 20130507


cells in kinder



'We     ... In class today.'



kids and high tech pen


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Mystifying Poverty

In Mystifying Poverty, Will Johnson aptly summarizes the multi-pronged lunacy besieging public schools today under the mantra of education reform and its latest moniker: The Common Core State Standards.  Couple these with the teacher accountability movement ensconced in the Danielson Framework, or similar “objective” instruments, along with the federal government’s continued efforts to extend the reach of No Child Left Behind via Race to the Top, and the general public likely perceives that academic outcomes surely will surge.  Yet, the only things to rise will be the incomes of educational consultants and corporations seeking to plunder some of the $650 billion spent annually on public education: call it the “Vacuum Up” theory of economics.  After the tech stock bubble burst, investors headed into real estate.  We know how that ended up.  Now, we get to see how quickly the last vestiges of a free and public education will last under the guise of helping the children.


Mystifying Poverty

Edwin Rosskam / Library of Congress

Rarely has a dull, technical document created as much controversy as the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Everyone from parents and teachers to politicians and op-ed columnists is debating the merits of the Common Core, though it’s unclear how many of them have actually read the full book-length document.

But who can blame them, when the standards are full of sentences like: “Part of the motivation behind the interdisciplinary approach to literacy promulgated by the standards is extensive research establishing the need for college and career ready students to be proficient in reading complex informational text independently in a variety of content areas?” It’s not a fun or illuminating piece of literature, but it is a great example of the type of jargon that has taken over America’s public schools.

Of course, public school teachers have no choice but to familiarize themselves with the Common Core. Around the country, school administrators are demanding that teachers of all subjects adapt their lesson plans and painstakingly explicate how they are aligned with the Common Core.

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No Responsibility for Oops! Donors and School Reform

Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher:

Larry Cuban highlights the reckless nature of major philanthropies whose lack of accountability often leaves students and their schools worse off than before any reform efforts were foisted upon them.

Center stage in this article, McGeorge Bundy, a leading proponent for escalating the war in Vietnam, has no doubt in his edicts, whether they ultimately benefit the recipients of his decisiveness or not, witness the demise of the Republic of Vietnam and the immeasurable cost to our country and the hundreds of thousands of American casualties.

It seems philanthropies simply use the same playbook as other elites in our society, such as the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, who recently escaped unscathed, and inconceivably rewarded, for his firm’s role in the global financial meltdown.

Apparently, noblesse oblige only applies to the friends and families of our nation’s elite, and not the common folk, such as those in public education.

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Critics of current donors often point to how philanthropists have supported centralizing school governance (e.g., mayoral control, state takeovers of districts and schools, No Child Left Behind). They note that the inevitable companion of consolidated authority is increased top-down regulation of schooling in cities and states. And that regulation, they claim, has seen the growth of explicit federal and state accountability mechanisms. The critics are correct.

Yet as venture philanthropists have advocated market-friendly ventures in public schools and approved of centralized local, state, and federal policymaking, donors themselves have escaped responsibility for errors they committed in grant-making. Like the Ebola virus, donors dread federal and state regulation of their publicly subsidized foundation activities. The fact is, however, that they have no accountability for their own “oops!” or dumb mistakes.

When foundation grants fail to achieve the objectives officials sought, philanthropists turn their backs, shrug, and walk away. They have no…

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