Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Long Tale: A Few Links I Missed

I posted a few links, but in the last two days I remembered (or discovered) a few more that I wanted to share.

Just for fun: Summer cartoon from the Saline Superintendent's blog.

Is there bias in foster parenting placements? By the way, I don't know the author of this blog, and I believe she lives on the East Coast, but I feel like I should know her. 

I found these two posts about families with children with special needs both moving and interesting: Annie Zirkel's post about fences here and Heather Heath Chapman's post about her sister's Asperger's Syndrome here.

Another contributor from, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, has written two posts I want to share. The first one I characterize as brave because she took so much flak from the commenters. (That would be: Why Are People Not More Upset about the Achievement Gap than the Field Trip?)As for the second one--anyone with an "unusual" name can likely relate to it.

[Boy did it take a long time to find those posts--their search engine might be powered by Google, but it doesn't seem to work very well.]

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about branding and marketing in public versus private schools. John Sowash of the Electric Educator blog picks up on that (and links to my post). He uses a normal distribution curve (I'm referring to statistics, here) to discuss the "types" of students/families and schools, and the role of niche marketing and choice in an internet-available world. I don't agree with the entire post (especially the parts about whether online education is good), but I'm still thinking about which parts I agree with--and thinking is good, right? (And I really liked the name of the post: The Long Tail, which refers to the "tail" of a distribution curve. Because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I have named this post The Long Tale--even though this post is not really all that long.)

My friend was asking me about the School Aid Fund budget. Michigan's Children publishes Budget Basics. One came out today on school funding. Maybe it will answer some of your questions. You can get on the list to get them emailed to you.


  1. You have prompted a good discussion, as usual! Thanks for the link.

    What are your concerns re: online learning? I would agree that a lot of research needs to be done to better understand what effective online teaching looks like. This type of learning is still in its infancy. I believe that a hybrid model will emerge as the most effective solution. Students will go to school 2-3 days a week and work from home the other days. This will save districts a tremendous amount of money in heating, electricity, busing, and janitorial services.

    Clayton Christenson, author of Disrupting Class, put up a new post recently in which he says that online learning is continuing to expand rapidly in the K-12 sector:

  2. Regarding the foster care bias, yes, in this area they definitely sort by race. We had to check mark which races we would take and it was explained that they wanted to keep black children in black families and probably would not allow a white family to adopt a black child. We ended up very quickly having two white children placed with us for over a year. When they returned home, we were called numerous times to take more children but we ended up adopting via another route. There is a huge need for loving homes for children and I would encourage anyone interested to pursue it. Also, policies vary by area and agency. So if things aren't going well, try another county.

  3. Thanks Anon for the information. So--is that legal? [And in the case of the blog I linked to, I am quite sure the family checked that they would take children of any race.]