All posts by edinfinitum

S3E0 – There are no best practices



S3E0 – There are no best practices

Special Episode: How will in-person teaching and learning be conducted in a pandemic? What are the arguments for and against this practice, and where, if anywhere, is the roadmap for executing it?

Sources for this episode.

Next episode will post in mid-August as Season 3 begins.


S2E14 – School for Scandal, Pt 3 – The Inevitable Corruption



S2E14 – School for Scandal, Pt 3 – The Inevitable Corruption

We wrap up our three part series, as well as Season Two entirely, by looking at the sordid underbelly of the school accountability mania of the 2000s, the resulting scandals and even criminal prosecutions, and ask if any meaningful changes emerged in the way teachers and schools are assessed.

The podcast will be going on hiatus for a few weeks while I start planning and recording Season#3. Next episode should air some time in mid to late August, at which point we’ll resume our original biweekly release schedule.


S2E13 – School for Scandal, Pt 2: Value-Added Messes



S2E13 – School for Scandal, Pt 2: Value-Added Messes

In part two of our series on the nationwide test cheating scandals of the late 2000s, we take a look at “Value Added Measurement” of a teacher’s impact on student learning, and how this deeply flawed construct lay at the heart of the malfeasance that followed.

Click here for the list of sources used.

Next episode will post on Friday, July 10th.


S2E12 – School for Scandal, Pt 1: The Bee-Eater



S2E12 – School for Scandal, Pt 1: The Bee-Eater

Public education suffered a cascading series of scandals at the end of the last decade, when teachers and principals in towns and cities across 40 states were discovered to have cheated state accountability measures by altering student test results. We begin a three-part series exploring this national catastrophe with this week’s episode, where we focus on Michelle Rhee, controversial Chancellor of the Washington DC public schools, whose famous take-no-prisoners approach to student testing outcomes may well have set this saga in motion.

Click here for the list of sources used.

Next episode will post on Friday, July 3rd.


S2E11 – Principals of power: Fannie, Annie and Nannie



        S2E11 – Principals of power: Fannie, Annie and Nannie

In this episode we celebrate three groundbreaking and influential principals – Fannie Copland, Annie Cooper and Nannie Boroughs. All three are African American women who were either from, or spent most of their time in, Washington DC, and all overcame great odds to make their marks on American public education.

Click here for sources.

Next episode will post on Friday, June 26, 2020


S2E10- Race and justice in the classroom



S2E10- Race and justice in the classroom
In a time of sustained worldwide demonstrations for racial justice, conversations about race and equity are becoming more pervasive than they’ve been in decades. We continue one of those conversations this episode, by exploring what “culturally responsive teaching” is, and some specific ways in which it attempts to address issues of race in school classrooms.

Sources list here.

Next episode will post on Friday, June 19th


S2E9 – Accountability at a crossroads



S2E9 – Accountability at a crossroads

Among the many aspects of schooling disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic is the system of accountability that has been the chief driving force in public education since 2001. This episode examines what that system looks like on the ground level of an urban school in Boston, as explained in an interview with school administrator Dr. Liana Tuller. She discusses how these powerful state evaluation mechanisms transformed her school for good and ill, and what changes she would like to see made in a post-pandemic educational landscape.

Next episode will post on June 12, 2020


S2E8 – What does injustice have to do with me?



S2E8 – What does injustice have to do with me?

We cannot address school inequities by just focusing on underprivileged schools serving marginalized populations. We need to find ways to engage affluent white students in “high powered” schools with the idea that injustice, especially racial injustice, is something relevant to them, and something they too have an interest in changing for the better.

I’m releasing this episode this week because of the Minneapolis protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and to advertise my new book, of the same title, available now on Amazon.com.

Next episode will post on Friday, June 5th


S2E7 – Didn’t we solve this problem? Why American schools are more racially segregated than ever (Re-run from Season One)



S2E7 – Didn’t we solve this problem? Why American schools are more racially segregated than ever.

As protests rage across Minneapolis in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, we need to remember that these protests are informed by more than just reaction to police brutality: they are about the historical and ongoing racial disparities not only in the realms of law enforcement and criminal justice, but also housing, health care and yes, education, in the United States.

So I thought this would be a good time to re-run a season one episode about school segregation. School segregation in the USA is now at its most extreme since the 1960s, and growing more pronounced each year. Didn’t Brown vs. the Board of Education settle this issue in 1954? episode will detail the very real, legal, de jure (as opposed to “de facto,” as it is often erroneously taught) reasons why the dream of integration has not yet been realized in American schools, as well as some ideas for changing that for the better.

This week will feature two episodes. Episode#8 will follow shortly. 


S2E6 – Teaching and learning in the shadow of COVID-19, two months in



S2E6 – Teaching and learning in the shadow of COVID-19, two months in

Schools are now 8 weeks into the “distance learning” modalities that COVID-19 has forced upon them. In our April 2nd episode, I interviewed three teachers from across the country at the outset of this new reality. They shared their experiences at the early stage of the transition, their hopes and fears and predictions for the future. Now that we’re a little further into that future, I’ve invited them back – as I had arranged with them from the beginning – to see how, 8 weeks later, things are going for them.

Next episode will post on May 28th, 2020