Category Archives: Teaching Literature and Writing

The Promise of Ed Tech

Ed tech companies are, of course, trying to take advantage of the pandemic to sell politicians and administrators on replacing teachers with educational technology. So, thought I would try my hand at writing some ad copy for these companies: Help … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Humor, Teaching Literature and Writing, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Combating Standardized Testing Derangement Syndrome (STDs)

The dirty secret of the standardized testing industry is the breathtakingly low quality of the tests themselves. I worked in the educational publishing industry at very high levels for more than twenty years. I have produced materials for all the … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Criticism and the Common [sic] Core [sic]

The Common [sic] Core [sic] State [sic] Standards [sic] in ELA certainly are “common,” but in the pejorative sense of the word. They are received, vulgar, uninformed, base, mediocre, pedestrian. One would expect that people putting together a single set … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Poetry, Short Stories, Teaching Literature and Writing | Leave a comment

How the Common Core Distorted and Dumbed Down Instruction in English

For many decades now, as in any occupied country, the Deformer/Disrupter occupiers of U.S. education–the invasion force that went forward, financed by Gates and Walton dollars, to take over our federal and state governments, has dominated discourse about education in … Continue reading

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Bob’s Tips for Wrighting Good

Writing Tip 1: In diction, strive for the vernacular and endemic; in other words, refrain from using lexemes, locutions, et hoc genus omne not of high frequency in standard English corpora, and avoid terminology of excessive length or technicality or … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Teaching Literature and Writing | 1 Comment

Reviewing a Review: Annie Murphy Paul on Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?), Juvenal, Satire VI On January 21, 2020, Annie Murphy Paul’s “review” of Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath appeared in The New York Times. Being reviewed in the Times is a big deal.  Such … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Technology, Trump (Don the Con) | 6 Comments

Why Science Fiction Is Impossible: A Science Fiction Writer’s Confession

When I was still a child, I fell in love with Sci Fi. I stayed up nights devouring stories and then novels by Asimov and Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Frederick … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Short Stories, Teaching Literature and Writing | 2 Comments

History of Ideas: Background to Puritan and Pilgrim Protestantism in North America

For some 1,300 years, from roughly 300 to 1600 CE, the Catholic Church, headquartered for most of this time in the city of Rome, was the most powerful institution in the Western world. It was the ultimate spiritual and temporal … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Teaching Literature and Writing | 4 Comments

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Notes Introducing a Debate Unit on Transformative Technologies

This is a little backgrounder on Shelley’s Frankenstein that I created for a Powerpoint presentation to a high-school Debate class. We were starting a unit in which students would be debating the merits of various emerging transformative technologies. In preparation … Continue reading

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Essential Reading | Book Review

  Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools In these dark days of Trumpism, reasons for optimism are the spars to which the rest of us, the passengers on the … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Trump (Don the Con) | 2 Comments