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WonkyFolk

Education Podcasts

WonkyFolk is a discussion series between Andy Rotherham and Jed Wallace intended to provide an informative and engaging forum where education reformers can grapple with tough issues related to our shared quest to improve public education in our country.

Location:

United States

Description:

WonkyFolk is a discussion series between Andy Rotherham and Jed Wallace intended to provide an informative and engaging forum where education reformers can grapple with tough issues related to our shared quest to improve public education in our country.

Twitter:

@CharterFolk

Language:

English


Episodes
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Vol 16 - Hoodies, the Need to Buck Up, and Getting Crisp

4/24/2024
This week Andy and I start out debriefing the ASU-GSV conference and explore why the open and optimistic spirit of that gathering feels so at odds with the vibe that prevails across much of ed reform these days. That leads to a discussion about Andy’s widely read article about ed reformers needing to buck up and realize the progress that has been made in recent decades. That leads me to chime in about the need to keep a decades-long view in order to appreciate the accomplishments of the charter school movement. We then talk about the fact that many ed reformers are in blue contexts, which are also the most difficult politically, and so the voice of those Folk is loud enough to drive the national narrative among ed reformers regarding prospects for continued impact, We close with Andy identifying the political folly of blues at a national level not embracing greater ed reform and charter schools as a way to win over critically needed swing voters. SHOW NOTES: ASU-GSV "Brave New World" keynote from Michael MoeVinod Khosla interview from ASU-GSV“Buck Up!” article from EduwonkEconomist on YouGov PollVideoAudioPublic Relationists V. Achievement RealistsArticle not being "a bucket of ashes."

Duration:00:49:50

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Vol 15 - Live at the Charter Growth Fund

3/7/2024
Jed and Andy record WonkyFolk's first live session as they keynote at the Charter Growth Fund. WonkyFolk's first live episode discusses the vital role of charter schools and civic engagement in advocating for education reform, particularly within African American and Hispanic communities. Jed and Andy delve into policy-making dynamics, the influence of political affiliations on educational initiatives, and how charter schools can serve as catalysts for community mobilization towards improved educational outcomes. Highlighting the importance of a cohesive advocacy strategy, the podcast also explores the implications of school choice mechanisms like vouchers and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), advocating for significant policy adjustments to ensure access to high-quality education for all, fulfilling diverse community requirements. 00:00 Welcome to the Wonky Folk Podcast Live Episode! 00:53 Kicking Off with a Live Audience: The Excitement and Challenges 01:48 Charter Schools Advocacy and the Impact of COVID-19 02:57 Navigating the Political Landscape of Charter Schools 07:54 The Importance of Narrative and Controversy in Advocacy 17:07 Exploring School Choice and the Political Divide 26:39 The Future of School Choice in a Polarized Political Climate 32:48 The Struggle for School Choice and Accountability 33:57 The Need for Strong Advocacy and Communication in Education 35:47 Challenges and Successes in Charter School Advocacy 38:30 The Importance of a Unified Advocacy Strategy 43:57 Navigating Political and Policy Challenges in Education Reform 50:13 Building a Stronger Narrative and Policy Agenda for Charter Schools 56:28 Engaging Communities and Shaping the Future of Charter Schools 01:07:57 Closing Remarks and the Path Forward

Duration:01:08:17

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Vol 14 - Jed and Andy Tackle the Hairiest Education Problems

1/22/2024
This week, Andy and I are talking about the furries, a fiscal cliff, higher education, and trade schools. You can also watch it on YouTube. Show Notes: https://eduwonk.substack.com/p/theyre-furious-in-oklahoma-plus-baeslerhttps://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/01/17/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-improving-student-achievement-agenda-in-2024/https://bellwether.org/tag/school-finance/https://bellwether.org/beta/admission/https://eduwonk.substack.com/p/odds-ends-and-fish-higher-ed-pisa

Duration:01:00:28

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Vol 13 – The American Dream Lives at WonkyFolk

12/18/2023
Greetings, CharterFolk! This week, Andy and I are talking with Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, regarding charter schools and the American Dream. For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube. This week some of the topics include: (00:01)(06:11)(11:30)(15:21)(18:27)(24:33)(28:47)(34:10)(44:11)(47:22) Notes: You can use the following links to access: · The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ report, Believing in Public Education: A Demographic and State-level Analysis of Public Charter School and District Public School Enrollment Trends....

Duration:00:51:31

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Vol 12 - A Rising Tide Lifts All Wonks

12/12/2023
Greetings, CharterFolk! This week, Andy and I are talking with David Griffith, Associate Director of Research at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, regarding The Education Competition Index: Quantifying competitive pressure in America’s 125 largest school districts, which indicates the death of traditional public schools has been greatly exaggerated. For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. This week some of the topics include: (00:01)(04:07)(06:54)(14:54)(16:10)(24:46)(31:01)(39:42) Notes: You can use the following links to access: · The Education Competition Index: Quantifying competitive pressure in America’s 125 largest school districts https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/research/education-competition-index-quantifying-competitive-pressure-americas-125-largest As ever, I’m eager to hear feedback and suggestions from CharterFolk. So, if you have a chance to listen to the discussion and want to drop me a line with some thoughts, feel free to reach me at jed@charterfolk.org. If you haven’t yet heard or seen previous volumes of WonkyFolk, you can access them here. Meanwhile, I thank you once again for being part of the CharterFolk community and for the efforts you are making to improve educational opportunities in our country.

Duration:00:43:35

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Vol 11 – Two Turkeys Together Again: The Thanksgiving Episode

11/22/2023
Greetings, CharterFolk! This week, Andy and I are focused on a Thanksgiving theme. We are talking about what we are thankful for over the last year, personally and professionally, as well as traditions and new results. For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. This week some of the topics include: (00:04) WKRP in Cincinnati’s (05:58)(08:01)(17:15)(30:30)(38:39) Notes: You can use the following links to access: · WKRP in Cincinnati’s 1978 Thanksgiving episode, “Turkeys Away”: https://www.pjstar.com/story/entertainment/television/2023/11/20/wkrp-turkey-drop-cincinnati-thanksgiving-episode-turkeys-away-les-nessman-streaming/71652621007/ · Andy Rotherham’s Eduwonk article regarding Virginia’s recent elections, “Vibes And Narratives Are No Way To Go Through Ed Policy Son…Plus Fish!”: https://eduwonk.substack.com/p/vibes-and-narratives-are-no-way-to · Matt Barnum’s Chalkbeat article, “The public is souring on American education, but parents still give own child’s school high marks”: https://www.chalkbeat.org/2023/9/5/23859890/parents-polling-surveys-schools-american-education-pandemic/ Previous volumes of WonkyFolk can be accessed here.

Duration:00:49:27

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Vol 10 – The Death of Public School… It Sounds Serious! (Guest: Cara Fitzpatrick)

11/1/2023
Greetings, CharterFolk! Greetings, CharterFolk! This is the second WonkyFolk where Andy is talking while Jed is walking the Camino Trail with his wife, Amy. Andy and Cara Fitzpatrick, an editor at Chalkbeat and a Pulitzer Prize winner for Local Reporting in 2016 for a series about school segregation, talk school choice history and school choice today. Their conversation focuses on Cara’s book, The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America, particularly the complicated history of school choice in America, and the fact that very different people with very different backgrounds are pursuing school choice for very different reasons. A theme running through the discussion is the long history of political and constitutional strategies to expand school choice, especially the legal strategies focused on the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses. For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. This week some of the topics include: Introductions and Cara’s background and K-12 school experience (00:00:20)The provocative title of the book and an overview of the very complicated history of American school choice (00:04:33)Who wins between these different visions of choice: Is it good for everyone or is it good for low income children? (00:10:50)What does it mean for Democrats and school choice and why are Republicans better at messaging than Democrats? (00:15:06)Organized political warfare v. grassroots in school choice (00:16:55)How the Democratic answer to school choice was initially charters versus vouchers and how it only recently changed with Betsy DeVos (00:23:00)Jeb Bush’s quote regarding school choice, ‘…start small and expand’ and the idea that school choice is a regular feature of American education (00:26:41)Political and constitutional strategies to expand school choice, with an emphasis on legal strategies and the journey of separation of church and state in education, including precedents and the most recent Supreme Court decision in Carson v. Makin (2022) (00:30:57)Precedents v. presentism and court shifts on the Free Exercise Clause over the years (00:38:11)The role of housing in school choice and the various tools segregationist use in education that are still a problem in our school systems across the country (00:44:09)Why were individuals like Milton Friedman and Virgil Bloom comfortable with school choice options (vouchers) while recognizing they would have ill effects on public schools? And is this the death of public schools? (00:48:37) Notes: You can use the following link to access Cara Fitzpatrick’s book, The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America. Andrew Rotherham’s article in U.S. News & World Report, “The Complex History of School Choice: There’s no single reason people want more choice in...

Duration:00:56:49

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Vol 9 - Morgan Polikoff is Reading Polls So You Don't Have To

10/23/2023
This week Andy is talking while Jed is walking…hiking the Camino Trail with his wife, Amy. Andy is talking with Morgan Polikoff, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Southern California(USC)’s Rossier School of Education. Their conversation focuses on public opinion on education, particularly parent opinion, and the similarities and differences of post-pandemic K-12 experiences for students, parents, and families. A theme running through the discussion is how to build and use an accurate data model to overcome the overt political efforts to drive a wedge between parents and the public education system, shed light on the issues, and to create a healthy culture of free expression to work through complicated issues (e.g., transgender, sports, gay rights, and controversial topics and diversity in the curriculum). For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. References & Notes: • The UAS Education Project data, documentation, and publications focused on “Understanding Coronavirus in America” by USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CSER)’s Center for Applied Research in Education (CARE)’s Understanding America Study (UAS) Education Project: https://uasdata.usc.edu/index.php • Morgan Polikoff’s book, Beyond Standards: The Fragmentation of Governance and the Promise of Curriculum Reform: https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Standards-Fragmentation-Governance-Curriculum/dp/1682536114/ref=sr_1_1?crid=TWUZ7FDJ0BKS&keywords=beyond+standards&qid=1697491913&sprefix=beyond+standards%2Caps%2C124&sr=8-1 • A Controversial Topics Report from USC Dornsife CSER and USC Rossier School of Education: https://www.ednc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/House_Divided.pdf • Bellwether’s Common Ground: How Public K-12 Schools Are Navigating Pandemic Disruptions and Political Trends: https://bellwether.org/publications/common-ground/ • Politico’s “Virginia Went to War Over History. And Students Actually Came Out on Top.”: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2023/09/09/glenn-youngkin-history-wars-virginia-00113958

Duration:00:46:18

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Vol 8 – The Home Base Episode

8/28/2023
This week, Andy and I are talking with Lakisha Young, the Founder and CEO of The Oakland REACH, and Heather Harding, Ed.D, the Executive Director of the Campaign for a Shared Future. Our conversation focuses on the difficult judgment calls parents and advocates are having to make as they attempt to retain focus on the learning needs of students amid proposed book bans and curriculum changes. A theme running through the discussion was the critical need for advocates to have “a home base” of policy priorities to anchor their efforts amid a political context that is becoming ever more mired in controversy and polarization. And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: 00.03.0000.06.2500.23.0600.29.24) 00.36.3200.42.1600.47.5000.53.4001.07.13 You can use the following links to access “Most parents want classrooms to be places of learning, not political battlegrounds”https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/most-parents-want-classrooms-be-places-learning-not-political-battlegroundshttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1BQ0vHa9Nr-Tej6Pb0KhEijwwjXT9c-rv/viewhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/15pvOsW0b4yVv1eucw5P0WCDkoftdLCVt/view?ts=64ee73bb&pli=1“A Definitional Problem: Please try to be a little more precise.” https://eduwonk.substack.com/p/a-definitional-problem

Duration:01:11:44

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Vol 7 – Learning From a Place That is Not a Hot Steaming Mess

8/18/2023
Andy and Jed are talking about traveling and the fun of summer, their two mystery guests for the next WonkyFolk, and finding educational common ground via the juxtaposition of partisan politics and genuine educational accomplishments in Virginia. And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: 00.2501.3009.2314.1716.0020.2322.2024.1028.0030.2236.03 Notes: You can use the following link to access Rethinking Sports Education in Schoolshttps://michaelbhorn.substack.com/p/rethinking-sports-education-in-schoolsHow One State Found Common Ground to Produce New History Standardshttps://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-how-one-state-found-common-ground-to-produce-new-history-standards/2023/07Who’s Afraid of Moms for Liberty?https://www.thefp.com/p/whos-afraid-of-moms-for-libertyDeSantis, Furries and Trump Merchhttps://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-the-moms-for-liberty-summit-in-philly-we-saw-ron-desantis-furry-panic-and-lots-of-trump-merch

Duration:00:45:23

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Vol 6 – Jed and Andy Are Fragile Vessels

6/27/2023
This week, Andy and I are talking about the Supreme Court denial to hear Charter Day School, Inc. v. Peltier “(wherein the plaintiffs justified their restrictive dress code by asserting that girls are ‘fragile vessels)”, other Supreme Court cases, the science of reading, and Moms for Liberty. This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: • The implications for charter schools of the Supreme Court decision not to hear the case (00:01:16) • The potential for religious freedom advocates and lawyers to continue looking at the charter school space as an opportunity to advance things (00:06:06) • Implications of other cases before the Supreme Court, e.g., affirmative action, student and teacher freedom of expression (00:18:28) • The science of reading and phonics (00:26:51) • Giving props to Emily Hamford, the journalist, who deserves credit for shedding light on this topic, getting traction, and changing policy (00:38:31) • Moms for Liberty, their Sword of Liberty Award, and their impact on board of education decision making (00:40:00) Notes: • Charter Day School, Inc. et. al. Petitioners v. Bonnie Peltier, as Guardian of A.P., a Minor Child, et. al. rom the Supreme Court docket: https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/22-238.html • You can use the following link to access Eva Moskowitz’s Wall Street Journal opinion article, “Phonics Finally Gets Its Due in New York”: https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-finally-gets-hooked-on-a-phonics-based-curriculum-school-system-education-students-teacher-public-f019bc45?mod=hp_opin_pos_6

Duration:00:51:35

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Vol 5 – Special CREDO Episode with Macke Raymond

6/14/2023
This week, Andy and I are talking with Macke Raymond, the director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) regarding CREDO’s As a Matter of Fact: National Charter School Study III, which is the third installment of a multi-decade study examining the academic progress of students enrolled in charter schools compared with those enrolled in traditional public schools. Here is a link to our conversation where you can listen to the podcast. And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: 00:02:1300:05:1300:11:1600:16:2500:18:5100:26:3100:35:00) Notes: As a Matter of Fact: The National Charter School Study III,The Methods and Data Overview

Duration:00:41:22

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Vol 4 – Can’t Take YES For An Answer

5/19/2023
Can't take yes for an answer: what the teachers' unions and DeSantis have in common. This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: Notes: Economist article Emerging Democratic MajorityRecent NYT articleThe Meritocracy TrapNYT Op-edEdSource commentaryThe 74 articlehe Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and ReligionTweet from Tom LovelessAtlantic articleHemmingway quote

Duration:00:40:57

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Vol 3 – The Amnesia Episode

5/3/2023
Amnesia about A Nation at Risk. Amnesia about Covid responses. And Jed wishing he could have amnesia about the King’s game on April 30, 2023. ---------- This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: The 40th Anniversary of report, “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform” (00:01:59) Why the American economy has been able to persist despite the problems in education (00:04:59) The equity shift to ensure the hyper-talented kids in the lowest quintile get the opportunity to go to college (00:10:05) Why we think the Economist ‘s coverage of education lately has been really good (00:11:43) A recognition of Marshall (Mike) Smith’s impact and role in A Nation at Risk (00:12:07) The historical amnesia during last week’s Congressional committee hearing framed in terms of good guys versus bad guys (00:13:12) Randi Weingarten’s modus operandi or MO and lack of responsibility (00:15:19) The impacts of the pandemic in 2020-2023 (00:17:20) Politics in Urban Settings and 50-50% Red State Politics (00.22.13) New York realities and ironies (00:23:23) The Post Janus Poker Game (00:25:29) Virginia’s new content standards (00:28:17) The need to help students learn how to grapple with a spectrum of ideas (00:30:55) The materials, tools, and training teachers need for this content (00:35:33) The value adds of the Core Knowledge Approach (00:36:57) The link to the show notes referenced today. At the end of this description. As ever, I’m eager to hear feedback and suggestions from CharterFolk. So, if you have a chance to listen to the discussion and want to drop me a line with some thoughts, feel free to reach me at jed@charterfolk.org . If you haven’t yet heard or seen the first and second volumes of WonkyFolk, you can access them here. Meanwhile, I thank you once again for being part of the CharterFolk community and for the efforts you are making to improve educational opportunity in our country. Show Notes: Economist article about the surprising strength of the American economy over the past several decades. https://www.economist.com/briefing/2023/04/13/from-strength-to-strength The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits, https://www.amazon.com/The-Meritocracy-Trap-audiobook/dp/B07V5KBLGT/ref=sr_1_1?crid=KCE4CF53LE13&keywords=meritocracy+trap&qid=1683056414&sprefix=meritocracy+trap%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-1 Nation at Risk Story in the Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/04/26/how-nationatrisk-report-hurt-public-schools/ Recognition of passing of Marshal (Mike) Smith https://twitter.com/arotherham/status/1653062577872576516 New York Times Article about Randi Weingarten https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/28/magazine/randi-weingarten-teachers-unions.html C-Span entire Covid 19 hearing featuring testimony of Randi Weingarten https://www.c-span.org/video/?527655-1/teachers-union-president-testifies-covid-19-school-closures C-Span coverage of Marjorie Taylor Greene stating that Randi Weingarten is not a mother https://www.c-span.org/video/?c5068192/rep-taylor-greene-aft-president-mother C-Span Coverage of Terrell Bell Confirmation Hearings https://www.c-span.org/video/?88265-1/education-secretary-nomination-confirmation 2020 article showing Weingarten Calling for teacher strikes if schools re-open. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/strikes-are-an-option-to-force-schools-to-reopen-safely-aft-president-says/2020/07 Story on Weingarten and the AFT exerting influence on the CDC regarding Covid guidance. https://undark.org/2021/06/10/teachers-union-shaped-cdc-school-guidance/ Hochul offers a single word in support of lifting the charter school cap in NYC...

Duration:00:37:23

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Vol 2 - Urban elections, Title IX, and Religious Charters

4/18/2023
This week some of the topics we discuss include the following: Here is a link to the article Andy mentioned For those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube .

Duration:00:41:17

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Vol 1 - Introducing WonkyFolk

4/4/2023
This week some of the topics we discuss include the following:

Duration:00:34:22