Teach FM

Teach FM

anchor.fm/gradgrinds
Education doesn’t get talked about the way it should. Bloggers and news media sensationalize it. Politicians use it as campaign fuel. Insta teachers stream cute pics of classroom decor and coffee mugs. But that’s not close to what education is all about. Worse, it can distract us from the complexities of the way children, parents, teachers, and communities experience learning in America. On Teach FM, education professor Tom Liam Lynch offers unfiltered insight on all things teaching, learning, and education.


9: What the College Admissions Scandal Teaches Us About Equity and Education
Apr 8 • 16 min
In this episode, Tom examines what the recent college admissions scandal reveals about equity and education more broadly in the United States. From Opt-Out to school choice, the education system is one where parents with means are expected from day one to…
8: You Can Test for Exceptionalism or Equity, but Not Both
Apr 1 • 18 min
In this episode, Tom offers his take on the challenge of high-stakes testing. At its core, Tom suggests that high-stakes testing in its current form brings to light a core tension in American public education, two competing values: exceptionalism and…
7: No Child to the Top
Mar 25 • 18 min
In this episode, Tom offers a brief overview of how No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top dramatically altered the direction of public education reform in the United States. They are not as different as you think. Want more? Check these hundreds of…
6: All the Presidents’ Students (How Presidents Frame Public Education)
Mar 18 • 26 min
In this episode, Tom looks at how U.S. presidents have talked about education. From the 18th century to today, Tom breaks down the main kinds of stances presidents take and offers his insights on why education is so often paired with economic success.…
Interlude: On Becoming a Teacher, a Rainy Walk to the Subway
Mar 15 • 7 min
Join Tom on a rainy walk to the subway as he shares his damp advice with an undergraduate student who is becoming a teacher. Wanting to teach in the neighborhood she grew up in, she asked Tom what advice he has for new teachers and, particularly, what…
Interlude: Tips on Assessment While Walking Down 161st Street in the Bronx
Mar 11 • 9 min
Join Tom as he walks from the subway to a school in the Bronx where he’s working with teachers on their assessments. No music intro, no studio. Just raw audio and insight. He talks about the difference between assessment and testing, and why if you hate…
5: Schools are Stuck in the 19th Century—But Not in the Way You Think
Mar 4 • 19 min
In this episode, Tom explores what it really means for schools to be “stuck in the 19th century,” as conventional wisdom often suggests. The problem is not necessarily that desks are in rows. And the solution is not necessarily to use new technologies.…
4: This One Fact Will Change the Way You Think About Public Education
Feb 24 • 17 min
In this episode, Tom shares what he calls the single most important fact about public education that most people don’t know and if they did, it would change the way they approach educational problems and solutions. Want more? Check these out over on…
3: Harry Potter, Dolores Umbridge, and Real-World Learning
Feb 17 • 17 min
In this episode, Tom breaks down a clip from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in which Harry gives lip to one of his teachers: Dolores Umbridge. It says a great deal about the role of standards, curriculum, testing, and the challenges of…
2: Why and how does New York State evaluate the quality of public education?
Feb 5 • 15 min
In this episode, Tom puts the brakes on teachers’ desires to impact the life of that “one student” and suggests a strangely sensible 12% rule for statewide accountability schemas. Want more? Check these out over on Gradgrind’s: // States of Education //…
1: What the Heck Just Happened With New York Schools?
Jan 29 • 11 min
On January 17th 2019, stated education officials changed the way the evaluate public schools. It isn’t what they are saying that has people talking. It’s what they aren’t saying. Listen to Tom break down what appears to be going on, give a little context,…