Most Fabulist Edu-Predictions of 2015

Since NPR has seen fit to publish a listicle with education predictions for the year, I need to get in on this. Please be forewarned: I’m an historian, and sometimes it’s hard enough for me to predict the past, so there are no guarantees that these are going to be possible, let alone likely.

So here we go, the Most Fabulist Edu-Predictions of 2015!

  • Former Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal attacks The Root website as illegal in Arizona. After voters ousted Huppenthal from office in large part for racist internet comments written under aliases, Huppenthal will spend 2015 criticizing every part of mainstream African-American and Latino culture he can find, or at least spell.1
  • “Get the government outta my Title I funding!” At least one education official will carry a misspelled sign with this slogan to a hearing about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • Tony Bennett appointed as education secretary in New Mexico. After Hannah Skandera leaves office to join the Jeb Bush campaign for president, Governor Susana Martinez nominates Bennett for his third state-level position, after being pushed out in Indiana and Florida. By getting the New Mexico position, Bennett earns his first Frequent Chiefs bonus: a free stay in Montana’s Office of Public Instruction after he leaves New Mexico.
  • Lake Superior State University tops the first federal ranking of colleges and universities. Why? Seventeen words: List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness, and Arne Duncan.2
  • Think-tank reports written entirely with the letters G-Z. So many policy briefs give A-F grades to states, report authors run out of those letters.
  • Blended-learning gene found, linked to learning styles. Research conducted by the blended company ReDeCODE Genedtech.3
  • “No Child Left Behind” musical opens on Broadway. Allison Williams plays Margaret Spellings, and gets the crowd singing in the hit number, “Do You Believe in Proficiency?” When Williams leaves the show halfway through the expected run, reviewers are unhappy with her replacement; apparently his voice waivers.4
  • Gamification of Common Core politics. The most rabid Common Core proponents and opponents stay up late at night looking for the latest Achievement Unlocked: Villification and Power-Up: Twitter Sockpuppetry.
  • Mountain Dew-flavored Khan Academy lessons. Just to make sure you stay awake during Algebra videos.5
  • Preschoolers get credit-card offers based on “marshmallow test.” Banks know data mining and grit. In a related story, Ferguson, Missouri, protesters will get credit-card offers based on police surveillance video.

 

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Notes

  1. Huppenthal spent his last day in office January 2 attacking Tucson classes that the district says it had developed under federal court orders for desegregation. []
  2. Threats by English professors work. []
  3. A quip by Audrey Watters inspired this item. []
  4. What, you accuse me of being susceptible to awful puns? []
  5. Never mind the Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew jokes from 2014. Have you seen the complete list of Doritos flavors? Yes, there is a Doritos Late Night Last Call Jalapeño Popper flavor, along with the unforgettable, only-in-Canada Doritos Unidentified Flavour. It’s the extra “u” that makes all the difference. []