Latest News and Comment from Education

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

MAGA PARENTS LOVE TRANSGENDER NOTIFICATION POLICIES AND HATE TRANS KIDS

MAGA PARENTS LOVE TRANSGENDER NOTIFICATION POLICIES AND HATE TRANS KIDS

Parents love to hate, hate to love, and love to laugh about transgender notification policies. It's a complicated issue, with many different opinions and viewpoints, but one thing is for sure: MAGA parents are the masters of contradictions.

On one hand, they love the idea of schools informing them if their child identifies as transgender. It gives them a chance to feel like they're in control, to ask all the right questions, and to make sure their child isn't "turning gay." But on the other hand, they hate their own trans kids. They don't want to accept them, they don't want to support them, and they certainly don't want anyone else to know about them.

It's a sad reality, but it's also kind of hilarious. These parents are so obsessed with their own image, with their own beliefs, that they can't even see the irony in their actions. They want to know everything about their child's life, except for the parts that make them uncomfortable.

But let's be real here: these notification policies are a distraction. They're not helping anyone, least of all the trans kids who are already facing enough discrimination and harassment. Instead of focusing on the real issues impacting public schools, like underfunding and teacher shortages, these policies are just creating more problems.

And don't even get me started on the anti-transgender policies that some school districts have adopted. Denying students the use of their chosen name and pronouns without parental permission? Forcing school officials to out them to their parents? What kind of backwards world do we live in?

It's no wonder that trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming students are feeling uncomfortable and unsafe. These policies are putting them in danger, both physically and mentally. And for what? To appease a bunch of parents who can't handle the fact that their child might be different?

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has the right idea: these policies are illegal discrimination. They violate state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression. They pose serious mental health risks for transgender students. And they create a hostile and unsafe learning environment for these students.

So what can we do to support transgender students in schools? Well, for starters, we can stop focusing on these ridiculous notification policies and start focusing on real solutions. We can provide gender-neutral bathrooms and locker rooms for students who prefer them. We can use welcoming and inclusive language in school policies and practices that affirm students' gender identities. We can develop gender support plans and communication plans that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each student. And we can educate school staff, parents, and students on the issues and challenges faced by transgender students and foster a culture of respect and acceptance.

It's not rocket science, folks. It's just common sense. Let's stop hating our own kids and start supporting them instead. Let's stop being distracted by pointless policies and start focusing on real solutions. And let's stop being so damn contradictory all the time. It's not a good look.

California Trans and Nonbinary Youth on Why Forced Outing Is Dangerous https://www.advocate.com/education/california-schools-transgender-outing 

Transgender notification policies https://www.foxnews.com/media/transgender-notification-policies-distract-break-down-trust-parents-teachers-advocate-says 

Students say new 'forced outing' policies in California make schools feel unsafe - Los Angeles Times https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-09-21/transgender-students-parental-notification-policies-schools-lgbtq-forced-outing 

Big Education Ape: JUDGE ALLOWS TEACHER TO OUT TRANSGENDER AND NONBINARY STUDENT SINNERS https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2023/09/judge-allows-teacher-to-out-transgender.html 

Big Education Ape: ROCKLIN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PUTTING THE ASS IN ABSURDITY https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2023/09/rocklin-unified-school-district-putting.html 

Big Education Ape: BREAKING NEWS SCHOOL REQUIRED TO OUT YOU FOR CHANGING GENDER IDENTITY https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2023/08/breaking-news-school-required-to-out.html 

Big Education Ape: A GREAT DAY TO BE GAY IN CALIFORNIA OR NOT https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2023/08/a-great-day-to-be-gay-in-california-or.html 



THE DEFT DIVE


FROM BARD AI

**Transgender Notification Policies**

Transgender notification policies are policies that require schools to notify parents or guardians if their child expresses a transgender identity. These policies have been the subject of much debate in recent years, with some arguing that they are necessary to protect parents' rights, while others argue that they are discriminatory and harmful to transgender students.

**Arguments in Favor of Transgender Notification Policies**

Proponents of transgender notification policies argue that parents have a right to know what is happening in their children's lives, and that they should be able to make informed decisions about their children's education and well-being. They also argue that these policies can help to protect parents from being surprised by their child's transition, and that they can give parents the opportunity to seek support and guidance from the school.

**Arguments Against Transgender Notification Policies**

Opponents of transgender notification policies argue that they are discriminatory and harmful to transgender students. They argue that these policies can lead to students being outed to their parents against their will, which can put them at risk of abuse, rejection, and homelessness. They also argue that these policies can create a hostile school environment for transgender students, and that they can discourage transgender students from seeking support from school staff.

**The Research**

There is limited research on the impact of transgender notification policies on transgender students. However, the available research suggests that these policies can have a negative impact on transgender students' mental health and well-being.

A 2019 study published in the journal *Pediatrics* found that transgender adolescents who were outed to their parents against their will were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than transgender adolescents who were not outed against their will.

Another study, published in the journal *Transgender Health* in 2020, found that transgender adolescents who attended schools with transgender notification policies were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than transgender adolescents who attended schools without transgender notification policies.

**Conclusion**

The research suggests that transgender notification policies can have a negative impact on transgender students' mental health and well-being. Schools should carefully consider the potential harms of these policies before implementing them.

If a school does implement a transgender notification policy, it is important for the school to have clear and comprehensive guidelines in place for protecting the privacy and safety of transgender students. The school should also provide support and training to staff on how to support transgender students.


FROM BING AI

Transgender notification policies are policies that require school staff to inform parents or guardians if their child identifies as transgender or requests to use a different name or pronoun at school. These policies have been adopted by some school districts in the U.S., mainly in California and New Jersey, but they have also faced legal challenges and criticism from LGBTQ+ advocates, educators, and students.

Some of the arguments in favor of transgender notification policies are:

  • - They respect the parental rights and responsibilities to direct and control the upbringing of their children[^10^].
  • - They protect the safety and privacy of students who may not be ready to come out to their families or peers¹⁴.
  • - They prevent confusion and inconsistency among school staff and records regarding students' names and genders¹⁵.

Some of the arguments against transgender notification policies are:

  • - They violate the state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression¹²¹⁹.
  • - They pose serious mental health risks for transgender students, such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide, especially if they are outed against their will or face rejection from their families¹⁷¹⁸.
  • - They create a hostile and unsafe learning environment for transgender students, who may face bullying, harassment, or violence from other students or staff⁷ [^20^].

There is no clear consensus on the best way to support transgender students in schools, but some possible solutions include:

  • - Providing gender-neutral bathrooms and locker rooms for students who prefer them¹³.
  • - Using welcoming and inclusive language in school policies and practices that affirm students' gender identities¹⁷.
  • - Developing gender support plans and communication plans that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each student¹⁷.
  • - Educating school staff, parents, and students on the issues and challenges faced by transgender students and fostering a culture of respect and acceptance⁹.

 Bing, 9/26/2023

  • (1) Viewpoint: Consider Pros and Cons Before Requiring Pronouns in ... - SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/pronouns-in-signature-blocks.aspx.
  • (2) N.J. Attorney General Platkin sues Monmouth County school districts .... https://www.inquirer.com/news/lgbtq-jersey-court-challenge-transgender-students-20230623.html.
  • (3) Transgender students: Judge blocks California school board policy. https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/09/06/judge-temporarily-blocks-school-boards-policy-to-out-transgender-students-to-parents/.
  • (4) New Jersey sues three school districts over transgender notification policy. https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/22/murphy-new-jersey-school-districts-transgender-policy-00103127.
  • (5) Transgender Student Guidance for School Districts. https://www.nj.gov/education/safety/sandp/climate/docs/Guidance.pdf.
  • (6) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER YOUTH IN SCHOOL. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/ed-factsheet-transgender-202106.pdf.
  • (7) New Poll Emphasizes Negative Impacts of Anti-LGBTQ Policies on LGBTQ .... https://www.thetrevorproject.org/blog/new-poll-emphasizes-negative-impacts-of-anti-lgbtq-policies-on-lgbtq-youth/.
  • (8) Transgender notification policies ‘distract,’ ‘break down’ trust .... https://www.foxnews.com/media/transgender-notification-policies-distract-break-down-trust-parents-teachers-advocate-says.
  • (9) Virginia students stage walkout over Youngkin transgender policy. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2022/09/27/youngkin-transgender-school-policy-virginia-student-walkout/8120594001/.
  • (10) New law says California schools must provide gender-neutral bathrooms .... https://www.presstelegram.com/2023/09/26/new-law-says-california-schools-must-provide-gender-neutral-bathrooms/.
  • (11) Americans' Complex Views on Gender Identity and Transgender Issues .... https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2022/06/28/americans-complex-views-on-gender-identity-and-transgender-issues/.
  • (12) Transgender notification policies 'distract,' 'break down' trust between parents and teachers, advocate says. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/transgender-notification-policies-distract-break-down-trust-between-parents-and-teachers-advocate-says/ar-AA1hgSoB.
  • (13) Holmdel School Board considers scrapping transgender policy over parental notification. https://www.yahoo.com/news/holmdel-school-board-considers-scrapping-092748292.html.
  • (14) Temecula students protest their school district's flag and transgender policies. https://www.kpbs.org/news/education/2023/09/25/temecula-students-protest-their-school-districts-flag-and-transgender-policies.
  • (15) Public school advocate: Parental notification policies 'break down' trust between schools, parents. https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/parenting/public-school-advocate-parental-notification-policies-break-down-trust-between-schools-parents/vi-AA1hgSoz.
  • (16) CUSD parents, students debate transgender notification policy. https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/news/cusd-parents-students-debate-transgender-notification-policy/vi-AA1h3b3T.
  • (17) Another Northern California school district passes controversial parental notification policy. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/another-northern-california-school-district-passes-controversial-parental-notification-policy/vi-AA1h3LqU.
  • (18) New law says California schools must provide gender-neutral bathrooms. https://www.ocregister.com/2023/09/26/new-law-says-california-schools-must-provide-gender-neutral-bathrooms/.
  • (19) Protecting and Advancing Health Care for Transgender Adult Communities. https://www.americanprogress.org/article/protecting-advancing-health-care-transgender-adult-communities/.
  • (20) NJ judge blocks school districts' trans parental notification policies. https://www.newsnationnow.com/lgbtq/new-jersey-school-districts-sued-state-gender-identity-policy/.



HOME ALONE AND ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT FOOD: THE BLESSING OF A 4 DAY SCHOOL WEEK

HOME ALONE AND ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT FOOD: THE BLESSING OF A 4 DAY SCHOOL WEEK

Ah, the joys of parenthood! The sleepless nights, the endless diaper changes, and now, the struggle to find childcare on that elusive fifth day of the school week. Yes, my friends, we are living in a time where the four-day school week is becoming more and more popular. It's like a comedy of errors, where the punchline is that learning is optional and poor kids are left alone without food. Hilarious, right?

But let's back up a bit and explore the origins of this trend. As schools across the United States grapple with budget issues and teacher shortages, some districts have come up with a brilliant solution: let's just cut a day off the school week! Genius! Who needs five days of learning anyway? Learning is overrated, am I right?

So, why are these districts adopting the four-day school week? Well, apparently, the reason for public education is to cut costs for taxpayers. Because, you know, who needs educated citizens when we can save a few bucks? It's all about the bottom line, baby!

But let's not forget about the teachers. They need time for professional development and planning, right? So, instead of finding ways to support them within the existing system, let's just give them an extra day off. Because who needs a well-educated and prepared teaching force when we can have longer weekends?

Now, I can hear some of you saying, "But what about the parents? What about the poor souls who have to find childcare on that extra day off?" Well, my friends, that's where the real comedy begins. You see, this trend is particularly popular in rural areas, where access to affordable childcare is about as rare as a unicorn sighting.

Imagine the scene: parents frantically scrambling to find someone to watch their children on that fateful fifth day. Grandma is busy knitting sweaters for her cats, Uncle Bob is off on his annual Bigfoot hunting expedition, and the local daycare is charging an arm and a leg for that extra day. It's like a game of musical chairs, but instead of chairs, it's childcare options.

And let's not forget about the poor kids themselves. For rich families who can afford extra childcare, it's just another day of fun and games. But for poor kids, it means another day alone without food. Talk about comedy gold! I can already see the sitcom spin-off: "Hungry and Home Alone: The Adventures of Timmy on the Four-Day School Week."

But wait, there's more! Some studies suggest that the four-day school week doesn't actually hurt test scores if the other four school days are lengthened to make up the time. So, in essence, we're just condensing five days of learning into four. It's like trying to fit into your favorite pair of jeans after a month-long binge on pizza and ice cream. Sure, you can squeeze in, but it's not gonna be pretty.

And let's not forget about the impact on students who missed out on significant learning during the pandemic. Because what could possibly go wrong with cutting their already limited learning time even further? It's like trying to put out a fire with a squirt gun. Sure, you might get a few drops on the flames, but it's not gonna do much good.

So there you have it, folks. The rise of the four-day school week: a comedy of cost-cutting and chaos. It's like a bad sitcom that just keeps getting renewed for another season. But hey, at least we're saving a few bucks, right? Who needs educated citizens and well-prepared teachers when we can have longer weekends and hungry kids? Comedy gold, my friends. Comedy gold.

More schools are adopting 4-day weeks. Day 5 is a challenge for parents https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/more-schools-are-adopting-4-day-weeks-day-5-is-a-challenge-for-parents/ar-AA1hdYnS 

In growing trend across country, many school districts moving to 4-day weeks | ABCNL - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZtbINFzsOY

More schools are adopting 4-day weeks | AP News https://apnews.com/article/four-day-week-schools-classes-parents-af7686cb78a39a136c9b97d7d59c1b71 


THE DEFT DIVE


FORM BARD AI

**4-Day School Weeks in K-12 Schools**

Four-day school weeks have become increasingly popular in recent years, with over 1,600 schools in 24 states adopting this model as of 2023. There are a number of reasons for this trend, including:

  • * **Cost savings:** Districts with four-day weeks can save money on transportation, utilities, and other expenses.
  • * **Teacher recruitment and retention:** Four-day weeks can be more appealing to teachers, as they offer a better work-life balance.
  • * **Student achievement:** Some research has shown that students in four-day school weeks can perform just as well, if not better, than students in five-day school weeks.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to four-day school weeks, such as:

  • * **Longer school days:** Four-day school weeks typically have longer school days to make up for the lost instructional time.
  • * **Childcare challenges:** For working parents, finding childcare for an extra day each week can be a challenge.
  • * **Unequal impact:** Four-day school weeks may not be as beneficial for all students, particularly those from low-income families who may not have access to reliable childcare or enrichment activities on their day off.

Despite the potential drawbacks, four-day school weeks continue to gain traction as districts look for ways to improve efficiency and save money.

**Implementation of Four-Day School Weeks**

There are a number of different ways to implement a four-day school week. Some districts simply have longer school days on the four days that students are in school. Others use the fifth day for enrichment activities, such as tutoring, arts and crafts, or field trips. Still others use the fifth day for professional development for teachers.

**Benefits and Drawbacks of Four-Day School Weeks**

**Benefits:**

  • * Cost savings for districts
  • * Better work-life balance for teachers
  • * Potential for improved student achievement
  • * Increased student engagement and motivation

**Drawbacks:**

  • * Longer school days
  • * Childcare challenges for working parents
  • * Unequal impact on students from different socioeconomic backgrounds

**Research on Four-Day School Weeks**

Research on the impact of four-day school weeks is mixed. Some studies have shown that students in four-day school weeks perform just as well, if not better, than students in five-day school weeks. However, other studies have shown that students in four-day school weeks may experience a decline in achievement over time.

One of the most comprehensive studies on four-day school weeks was conducted by the Rand Corporation in 2021. The study found that students in four-day school weeks in Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota performed slightly lower in math and English/language arts than students in five-day school weeks. However, the study also found that the difference in achievement was small and not statistically significant.

The Rand study also found that four-day school weeks had a number of positive benefits, including improved teacher satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, and increased student engagement.

**Conclusion**

Four-day school weeks can offer a number of benefits for districts, teachers, and students. However, it is important to carefully consider the potential drawbacks of this model before implementing it. Districts should also work to ensure that all students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed in a four-day school week.


FROM BING AI

Four-day weeks in K-12 schools. This is a complex and controversial issue that has been debated by educators, policymakers, parents, and students. Here is a summary of what the research tells us about the pros and cons of this schedule:

Pros:

  • - Four-day weeks may attract and retain teachers, especially in rural areas where there are shortages and low salaries. Teachers may appreciate having more time for professional development, planning, and personal matters. Some studies suggest that teachers report higher job satisfaction and morale on a four-day schedule¹¹¹².
  • - Four-day weeks may save money on transportation, food, and energy costs for schools and districts. However, the savings are usually modest, ranging from 0.4% to 2.5% of the annual budget¹¹¹². Some schools may use the savings to invest in other educational resources or programs.
  • - Four-day weeks may reduce student absences, especially for rural students who have to travel long distances to school or extracurricular activities. By shifting some of these activities to the off-day, students may miss less class time and have more opportunities for enrichment or tutoring¹².

Cons:

  • - Four-day weeks may harm student achievement, especially in math and reading. Most studies find small to medium negative impacts on test scores, equivalent to losing two to seven weeks of learning per year¹³¹⁴. These effects may be larger for low-income, special education, or younger students who need more instructional time and support.
  • - Four-day weeks may create challenges for working parents who have to find or pay for child care on the off-day. This may increase stress, financial burden, and inequality for families who cannot afford or access quality care options. Some districts offer child care programs on the off-day, but they may not be available in every school or affordable for every family¹¹¹².
  • - Four-day weeks may affect student health, well-being, and behavior. Longer school days may cause fatigue, boredom, or loss of concentration for students and teachers. Shorter school weeks may disrupt routines, reduce social interactions, or increase screen time for students. Some studies also find that juvenile crime rates go up on the off-day⁹.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 9/26/2023

  • (1) The four-day school week: Research shows benefits and consequences. https://journalistsresource.org/education/four-day-school-week-research/.
  • (2) 4-day school weeks: Educational innovation or detriment?. https://www.brookings.edu/articles/4-day-school-weeks-educational-innovation-or-detriment/.
  • (3) The Shrinking School Week - Education Next. https://www.educationnext.org/shrinking-school-week-effects-four-day-schedule-student-achievement/.
  • (4) What the research tells us about four-day school weeks. https://www.nwea.org/blog/2023/what-the-research-tells-us-about-four-day-school-weeks/.
  • (5) Four Day School Week: The Pros And Cons – HonorsGradU. https://www.honorsgradu.com/four-day-school-week-the-pros-and-cons/.
  • (6) More schools are adopting 4-day weeks. For parents, the challenge is day 5. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/more-schools-are-adopting-4-day-weeks-for-parents-the-challenge-is-day-5/ar-AA1hgmz4.
  • (7) As schools adopt 4-day week, parents wonder about day 5. https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/09/25/as-schools-adopt-4-day-week-parents-wonder-about-day-5/.
  • (8) More schools are adopting 4-day weeks. Day 5 is a challenge for parents. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/more-schools-are-adopting-4-day-weeks-day-5-is-a-challenge-for-parents/ar-AA1hdYnS.
  • (9) More schools adopting 4-day weeks, but day 5 is the challenge for .... https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/wireStory/schools-adopting-4-day-weeks-parents-challenge-day-103456506.
  • (10) More school districts adopt 4-day weeks, citing lower costs and ... - PBS. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/more-school-districts-adopt-4-day-weeks-citing-lower-costs-and-better-teacher-recruitment.
  • (11) Four-Day School Week Overview - National Conference of State Legislatures. https://www.ncsl.org/education/four-day-school-week-overview.
  • (12) The Four-Day School Week: Are the Pros Worth the Cons? | RAND. https://www.rand.org/blog/2023/04/the-four-day-school-week-are-the-pros-worth-the-cons.html.
  • (13) The Pros and Cons of the Four-Day School Week - LINQ | K‑12 Software. https://www.linq.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-four-day-school-week/.
  • (14) What are the Pros and Cons of 4-Day School Weeks?. https://www.theedadvocate.org/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-4-day-school-weeks/.

CA GOV GAVIN NEWSOM BANS BOOK BANNING MAGA PEOPLE LOOSE THEIR SH*T

CA GOV GAVIN NEWSOM BANS BOOK BANNING MAGA PEOPLE LOOSE THEIR SH*T

In a move that has left book-banning enthusiasts shaking in their boots, California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that puts an end to their archaic practices. The bill, which imposes heavy fines on school districts that attempt to ban books featuring historically marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ people, is a direct response to recent attempts by conservative areas in California to censor library and classroom materials promoting racial or sexual diversity.

Newsom, who is known for his progressive policies, stated that this legislation provides more than just a rhetorical pushback against the cultural purge and banning binge currently occurring throughout America. "We're not going to stand idly by while people try to erase the rich and diverse history of our state," he said in a press conference. "This bill is a message to those who want to silence marginalized voices: we won't let you."

The new law, which took effect immediately, prohibits school boards in California from rejecting textbooks based on their inclusion of content related to different racial backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations. It also makes it illegal for school boards to ban library books or instructional materials that offer "inclusive and diverse perspectives in compliance with state law."

The bill was prompted by the rejection of a social studies curriculum by a Southern California school board that included material about Harvey Milk, a San Francisco politician and gay rights campaigner. "It's ridiculous that in 2021 we still have to fight for basic representation," said Newsom. "Harvey Milk was a trailblazer who fought for equality and justice. To ban him from the classroom is not only offensive, it's downright silly."

The law also provides the Superintendent of Public Instruction with the authority to buy textbooks for students in a school district, recoup costs, and assess a financial penalty if a school board willfully chooses not to provide sufficient standards-aligned instructional materials for students. This means that schools will no longer be able to use budget cuts as an excuse for banning books.

Conservatives have been quick to criticize the bill, with some calling it an attack on free speech. "This is just another example of the liberal agenda trying to indoctrinate our children," said one commentator. "What's next? Banning the Bible?" But Newsom remains unfazed by the criticism. "We're not banning anything," he said. "We're just making sure that our kids have access to a diverse range of perspectives. If conservatives want to ban books, that's their prerogative. But they're not going to do it in California."

The bill has been hailed as a victory for marginalized communities, who have long been fighting for representation in schools. "It's about time," said one LGBTQ+ activist. "Our stories are just as important as anyone else's. We deserve to be seen and heard." Others have praised the bill for its potential to promote empathy and understanding among students. "When kids read about people who are different from them, they learn to be more accepting," said one educator. "That's what education is all about."

In any case, it's clear that book-banning enthusiasts are going to have to find a new hobby. Perhaps they can take up knitting or bird-watching instead? Whatever they choose, they'll have to do it without the satisfaction of knowing they're silencing marginalized voices. And that's something we can all celebrate.

California Bans Book Bans and Textbook Censorship in Schools https://www.gov.ca.gov/2023/09/25/california-bans-book-bans-and-textbook-censorship-in-schools/ 

California to Fine Schools That Ban Books on LGBTQ+ or Racial Issues https://www.thedailybeast.com/california-gov-gavin-newsom-signs-bill-to-fine-schools-that-ban-books 

California governor signs law barring schoolbook bans based on racial, gender teachings https://news.yahoo.com/california-governor-signs-law-barring-022641454.html 


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON SAYS 'ENOUGH' TO WHITE HOUSE LIES

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON SAYS 'ENOUGH' TO WHITE HOUSE LIES

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson has just released her new book, "Enough," and it's a doozy. In it, she exposes the desperate duplicity of the Trump administration and their stormtroopers in the Oval Office. Cassidy pulls no punches as she calls out Trump and his cronies for what they are: conniving cowards plotting the overthrow of democracy.


According to Hutchinson, Trump is gearing up to run for president again in 2024, despite almost destroying democracy in one day during the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. She warns that the Republican party is facing a "make-or-break moment" over whether to nominate him for the race. If they aren't willing to split with Trump, they are in serious trouble.

But that's not all. In "Enough," Cassidy reveals even more chaos and lawlessness in the Trump White House. She describes President Donald Trump lashing out unpredictably, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows leaking classified documents, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani inappropriately touching Hutchinson on the day of the Capitol insurrection. 

But perhaps the most shocking revelation in "Enough" is that Meadows burned so many documents in his fireplace during the final days of the Trump presidency that his wife complained about the expensive dry-cleaning bills to remove the smell from his suits. Talk about a smoking gun!

Hutchinson also exposes the administration's paranoia, which led Meadows and others to refuse to dispose of daily litter in "burn bags" for fear someone from the "deep state" might intercept the contents. This paranoia even extended to the day when Meadows met with Republican Rep. Scott Perry, after which he allegedly discarded papers in a White House fireplace as part of a larger exploration of how to keep Donald Trump in power despite his defeat.

And let's not forget about Hutchinson's alleged romantic dalliance with far-right Republican US congressman Matt Gaetz. He claimed they had dated, but she set the record straight, stating that she had higher standards in men. Ouch!

In her interview with Rachel Maddow, Hutchinson criticized Gaetz for being more concerned with sound bites than passing legislation. It seems like Gaetz is more interested in making headlines than making a difference.

All in all, "Enough" is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what really went on behind closed doors in the Trump White House. Cassidy Hutchinson has bravely exposed the truth, and it's not pretty. But at least we can laugh about it...right?

Cassidy Hutchinson says Republicans face ‘make-or-break’ moment on Trump https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/26/cassidy-hutchinson-trump-republicans-rachel-maddow?CMP=share_btn_tw 

Hutchinson sheds new light on Meadows, burning White House docs https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/maddowblog/hutchinson-sheds-new-light-meadows-burning-white-house-docs-rcna117146 

Cassidy Hutchinson's new book reveals a Trump White House even more chaotic than previously known | CNN Politics https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/26/politics/cassidy-hutchinson-book-trump-white-house-chaos/index.html 

Cassidy Hutchinson Has Brutally Honest Response To Matt Gaetz Dating Claim https://news.yahoo.com/cassidy-hutchinson-brutally-honest-response-070909268.html 


Monday, September 25, 2023

FLORIDA AND OKLAHOMA FLAT EARTHER REJOICE: POLITICIANS DEFUND CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE PROGRAMS

 

FLORIDA AND OKLAHOMA FLAT EARTHER REJOICE: POLITICIANS DEFUND CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE PROGRAMS

In a move that can only be described as "not to be outdone by Oklahoma," Florida has decided to defund voucher support for schools that teach Chinese language and culture. Because, you know, the Chinese supporting education programs in America is just too scary for some people. It seems that the fear of learning about world cultures, histories, and languages is enough to excite the base of politicians like Oklahoma's State Superintendent Ryan Walters, who is running for governor, and Florida's own Governor Ron DeSantis, who may have his sights set on a presidential run.

The Florida Department of Education recently made the decision to suspend scholarships for four schools, including the Sagemont Preparatory schools in Weston, due to their alleged "direct ties to the Chinese communist party." Governor DeSantis, ever the master of suspense, did not provide any details on the investigation but assured the public that these connections pose an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the students. Because apparently, learning Chinese is just that dangerous.

Earlier this year, Governor DeSantis signed SB 846 into law, which prohibits any school affiliated with a foreign country of concern from participating in Florida's School Choice scholarship programs. Because, you know, we can't have our children learning about other cultures and languages. That's just too risky. Who knows what kind of trouble they could get into if they knew more about the world around them?

But fear not, dear readers, for there is hope. Weston's Sagemont Preparatory School has denied these allegations and claims that they were not even contacted before their scholarship funds were suspended. It seems that someone may have jumped the gun on this one. Perhaps they were just too eager to show their base that they were tough on China. Or maybe they just really don't like the idea of kids expanding their horizons and learning about different cultures.

In fact, it seems that this fear of learning about the world extends beyond just Florida. Oklahoma's own State Superintendent Ryan Walters has claimed that Tulsa Public Schools are linked to the Chinese Communist Party and receiving money from the Chinese government. However, TPS officials have denied these allegations and there is no evidence to support Walters' claims. It appears that he may have been caught up in a web of speculation and innuendo, with no credible evidence to back him up.

It's truly a strange world we live in when learning about other cultures and languages is something to be feared. But hey, who needs a well-rounded education when you can just stick to what you know? After all, ignorance is bliss, right?

So here's to you, Florida and Oklahoma. May your fear of the unknown continue to guide your decisions and keep your citizens in the dark. Because who needs enlightenment when you can have fear instead?

Florida Department of Education suspends scholarships for Weston school due to alleged ties to China https://www.local10.com/news/local/2023/09/24/florida-department-of-education-suspends-scholarships-for-weston-school-due-to-alleged-ties-to-china/ 

Florida suspends 4 schools from scholarship program over China ties – NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/weston-school-among-those-suspended-from-scholarship-program-over-china-ties/3118951/ 

Big Education Ape: OKLA SSPI RYAN WALTERS SAYS TULSA PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE LINKED TO CHINESE COMMUNIST https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2023/08/okla-sspi-ryan-walters-say-tulsa-public.html 

Big Education Ape: CURMUDGUCATION: US Education versus Confucius https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2020/10/curmudgucation-us-education-versus.html 


THE DEFT DIVE


FROM BARD AI

Sagemont Preparatory School is a private college preparatory school in Weston, Florida. It was founded in 1965 and has a student body of over 1,000 students from grades 6-12. The school has a strong academic reputation and is known for its rigorous coursework and demanding schedule.

Sagemont Preparatory School has been criticized for its ties to China. In 2019, the school signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese government to establish a Confucius Institute on its campus. Confucius Institutes are language and cultural centers that are funded by the Chinese government. They have been criticized for promoting Chinese propaganda and censorship.

The MOU between Sagemont Preparatory School and the Chinese government was signed in the presence of the Chinese Consul General in Miami. The Consul General praised the school for its commitment to teaching Chinese language and culture. He also said that the Confucius Institute would help to strengthen ties between China and the United States.

However, some critics have argued that the Confucius Institute at Sagemont Preparatory School will be used to promote Chinese propaganda and censorship. They also say that the school's ties to China could pose a security risk.

In 2020, the FBI warned that Confucius Institutes are being used by the Chinese government to collect intelligence and spread propaganda. The FBI also said that Confucius Institutes are a threat to academic freedom.

Sagemont Preparatory School has defended its ties to China. The school says that the Confucius Institute will provide students with an opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and language. The school also says that it is committed to academic freedom and will not allow the Chinese government to interfere with its curriculum.

However, some critics remain concerned about Sagemont Preparatory School's ties to China. They say that the school is putting its students at risk by partnering with a government that has a history of human rights abuses.

Here are some specific concerns that have been raised about Sagemont Preparatory School's ties to China:

  • * The Chinese government has a history of using Confucius Institutes to promote its propaganda and censorship.
  • * The Confucius Institute at Sagemont Preparatory School could pose a security risk, as the Chinese government could use it to collect intelligence on students and faculty.
  • * Sagemont Preparatory School's ties to China could make it difficult for the school to maintain its academic freedom.

It is important to note that these are just concerns, and there is no evidence that Sagemont Preparatory School is actually engaged in any of the activities that have been alleged. However, it is important to be aware of these concerns before making a decision about whether or not to enroll your child in Sagemont Preparatory School.

FROM BING AI

The Sagemont Preparatory School Florida controversy is a recent development that involves the suspension of four schools from the state's school choice scholarship program due to their alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Here is a summary of the main points:

  • - On September 22, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to suspend the availability of school choice scholarships to four schools that have direct ties to the CCP¹. The schools are Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, Parke House Academy in Winter Park, and Park Maitland School in Winter Park¹.
  • - The FDOE has determined that the schools' connections to the CCP constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the students and the public¹. The Department is working with the non-profit scholarship funding organizations to assist impacted students in finding and enrolling in nearby eligible schools¹.
  • - The suspension is based on a law that was signed by Governor DeSantis on May 8, 2023, which prohibits any school affiliated with a foreign country of concern from participating in Florida's school choice scholarship programs¹. The law also bans "Confucius Institutes", which are seen as propaganda centers for the CCP¹.
  • - The governor's office did not provide any details on the nature or extent of the schools' ties to the CCP, only saying that they were discovered through a thorough investigation². Local 10 News reached out to Sagemont administration for comment, but they said they were not contacted in advance and were seeking more information regarding the basis for the decision².
  • - The suspension has sparked controversy and criticism from some parents, students, and educators who claim that the schools have no affiliation with the CCP and that the decision was politically motivated and unfair³⁴⁵. They argue that the schools provide high-quality education and have no influence from any foreign entity³⁴⁵. They also question the validity and transparency of the investigation and demand evidence for the allegations³⁴⁵.

Bing, 9/25/2023

  • (1) Florida Takes Action Against Four Florida Schools with Ties to the .... https://www.flgov.com/2023/09/22/florida-takes-action-against-four-florida-schools-with-ties-to-the-chinese-communist-party/.
  • (2) Florida Department of Education suspends scholarships for Weston school .... https://www.local10.com/news/local/2023/09/24/florida-department-of-education-suspends-scholarships-for-weston-school-due-to-alleged-ties-to-china/.
  • (3) Weston prep schools among 4 suspended from voucher program - Sun Sentinel. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/2023/09/22/desantis-drops-sagemont-prep-campuses-other-schools-from-voucher-programs-because-of-china-ties/.
  • (4) DeSantis drops Sagemont Prep campuses, other schools from voucher .... https://broward.us/2023/09/23/desantis-drops-sagemont-prep-campuses-other-schools-from-voucher-programs-because-of-china-ties/.
  • (5) Florida suspends scholarships for 4 schools with ‘ties to Chinese .... https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2023/09/22/florida-suspends-scholarships-for-4-schools-with-ties-to-chinese-communist-party/.

FLORIDA'S NEW VOODOO EDUCATION LAWS TURNS ATTORNEYS INTO DODO BIRDS

FLORIDA'S NEW VOODOO EDUCATION LAWS TURNS ATTORNEYS INTO DODO BIRDS 

In a move that has left attorneys scratching their heads and educators running for cover, Florida has implemented a series of new education laws that are so bizarre and convoluted, they make Governor DeSantis' failing woke campaign for president look like a model of clarity and coherence.

The new laws, which include the Stop Woke Act and the Parental Rights in Education law, have caused confusion and frustration among attorneys, who are struggling to interpret the laws and provide guidance to their clients, including schools and educators.

One of the main areas of confusion is the definition of "critical race theory," which is prohibited in Florida schools under the Stop Woke Act. The law does not define critical race theory, and attorneys have different interpretations of what it means. This has led to concerns about how teachers can avoid teaching critical race theory without also avoiding other important topics, such as history and social studies.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Parental Rights in Education law is even more confusing. It gives parents more control over their children's education, but prohibits schools from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade. It also requires schools to obtain parental permission before providing any counseling or health services related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Attorneys are struggling to interpret how these provisions will apply in practice. For example, they are unsure whether the law prohibits teachers from answering students' questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. They are also unsure whether the law requires schools to obtain parental permission before providing any counseling or health services related to these topics, even if the student is already seeing a counselor or receiving health services without parental consent.

The confusion caused by Florida's new education laws has led to a climate of fear and uncertainty among educators. Many teachers are worried about saying or doing anything that could lead to a lawsuit from a parent. This has stifled academic freedom and made it difficult for teachers to provide students with a comprehensive education.

To make matters worse, the state has provided little guidance on how to implement these new laws. Attorneys have been left scrambling to interpret the laws on their own, leading to a patchwork of different approaches across the state.

In one email exchange obtained by the Miami Herald, an attorney asked the state whether the Stop Woke Act applies to teachers' classroom libraries. The state responded that it did not know. In another email, an attorney asked for a "step-by-step" process on how school media centers and specialists should approve and adopt new books under the Stop Woke Act. The state again responded that it did not know.

The lack of clear guidance from the state has left attorneys and educators scratching their heads and wondering what to do next.

But fear not, Floridians! We have come up with some hilarious solutions to these confusing new laws.

First, let's tackle the Stop Woke Act. Since the law doesn't define what critical race theory is, we suggest that teachers just teach everything in code. For example, instead of saying "critical race theory," they can say "that thing we can't talk about." Instead of teaching history, they can teach "the thing that happened a long time ago that we can't mention specifically."

As for the Parental Rights in Education law, we suggest that schools just hand out permission slips for everything. Want to teach students about sexual orientation? Have them sign a permission slip. Want to give them health services related to gender identity? Have them sign another permission slip. Want to give them a pencil? You guessed it - have them sign a permission slip.

And if all else fails, just teach your students how to cast spells and perform voodoo rituals. That way, you can avoid talking about anything controversial altogether.

In all seriousness, though, these new education laws are a disaster. They stifle academic freedom, create confusion and fear among educators, and make it difficult for students to receive a comprehensive education. It's time for Florida to provide clear guidance on how these laws should be implemented so that educators can feel confident teaching and students can receive the education they deserve.

Until then, we'll just keep practicing our voodoo spells.

Florida school attorneys confused over new education laws | Miami Herald https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article279605704.html 

Lawyers struggle to advise Florida schools on books https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2023/09/25/lawyers-struggle-advise-florida-schools-books/ 


THE DEFT DIVE


FROM BARD AI

Florida's new education laws, including the Stop Woke Act and the Parental Rights in Education law, have caused confusion and frustration among attorneys, according to a report by the Miami Herald.

The report, which is based on emails obtained through public records requests, shows that attorneys are struggling to interpret the new laws and provide guidance to their clients, including schools and educators.

One of the main areas of confusion is the definition of "critical race theory," which is prohibited in Florida schools under the Stop Woke Act. The law does not define critical race theory, and attorneys have different interpretations of what it means. This has led to concerns about how teachers can avoid teaching critical race theory without also avoiding other important topics, such as history and social studies.

Another area of confusion is the Parental Rights in Education law, which gives parents more control over their children's education. The law prohibits schools from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade. It also requires schools to obtain parental permission before providing any counseling or health services related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Attorneys are struggling to interpret how these provisions will apply in practice. For example, they are unsure whether the law prohibits teachers from answering students' questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. They are also unsure whether the law requires schools to obtain parental permission before providing any counseling or health services related to these topics, even if the student is already seeing a counselor or receiving health services without parental consent.

The confusion caused by Florida's new education laws has led to a climate of fear and uncertainty among educators. Many teachers are worried about saying or doing anything that could lead to a lawsuit from a parent. This has stifled academic freedom and made it difficult for teachers to provide students with a comprehensive education.

Here are some specific examples of the confusion that attorneys have expressed about Florida's new education laws:

  • * In one email, an attorney asked the state whether the Stop Woke Act applies to teachers' classroom libraries. The state responded that it did not know.
  • * In another email, an attorney asked the state for a "step-by-step" process on how school media centers and specialists should approve and adopt new books under the Stop Woke Act. The state again responded that it did not know.
  • * In a third email, an attorney asked the state what a teacher should do "from start to finish" before suggesting a book to students. The state responded that the teacher should consult with their media specialist and principal.
  • * In a fourth email, an attorney asked the state how much time media specialists should have to review books before they can be made available to students. The state responded that there was no specific time requirement.

The lack of clear guidance from the state has left attorneys and educators scrambling to interpret the new laws on their own. This has led to a patchwork of different approaches across the state, with some schools being more cautious than others.

The confusion caused by Florida's new education laws is having a negative impact on students. Teachers are afraid to teach important topics, and students are missing out on a well-rounded education. It is important for the state to provide clear guidance on how these laws should be implemented so that educators can feel confident teaching and students can receive the education they deserve.


FROM BING AI

Confusion over Florida’s new education laws:

Florida's new education laws, which took effect on July 1, 2023, have caused confusion and frustration among school district attorneys who are tasked with advising school leaders on how to comply with them. The laws include House Bill 1467, which requires districts to post online the instructional materials used in classrooms and library media centers, and to allow parents to challenge any materials they deem inappropriate or harmful to minors; Senate Bill 1054, which requires districts to provide financial literacy instruction in public schools; and Senate Bill 1048, which reduces the number of state-mandated student assessments.

According to email exchanges obtained by the Miami Herald⁵, the attorneys have raised many questions and concerns about the interpretation and implementation of these laws, especially HB 1467, which has been dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law by critics. Some of the issues they discussed include:

  • - The definition of "library media centers", which was clarified by the State Board of Education in October 2022 to include classroom libraries⁵. This means that teachers have to follow the same procedures as media specialists when selecting books for their students, and that parents can challenge any books available in classrooms.
  • - The criteria for determining whether a book is "pornographic" or "harmful to minors", which are not clearly defined in the law⁵. The attorneys debated whether the mere mention of certain words, such as "sex", "gay", or "transgender", would make a book subject to challenge, or whether the book should be evaluated as a whole for its literary, artistic, political, or scientific value⁹.
  • - The process for reviewing and approving instructional materials, which requires a school district employee with a valid educational media specialist certificate to select books for students, regardless of whether they are purchased, donated, or "otherwise made available" to students⁵. The attorneys wondered what this phrase meant, and whether it applied to book fairs held on school grounds⁵.
  • - The resources and time needed to comply with the law, which imposes additional workload and costs on districts⁵. The attorneys asked whether there would be additional funds or staff to review materials, how much time media specialists have to review materials, and how to protect staff from legal challenges or public backlash⁵.

The email exchanges also show that the attorneys have received little guidance from the state Department of Education on how to interpret and implement the new laws. They relied on memoranda from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and State Board of Education rules for some clarification, but they also expressed frustration and uncertainty about the lack of details and consistency from the state⁵. They also advised school districts to err on the side of caution and remove or restrict any books that could potentially trigger a challenge or controversy⁵.

The new education laws have also sparked criticism and resistance from some educators, parents, students, and advocacy groups, who argue that they infringe on academic freedom, diversity, equity, and inclusion. They have launched campaigns to oppose book bans and censorship, and to support teachers and librarians who face pressure from the state and some parents⁷. Some have also filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the laws⁷.

The impact of the new education laws on Florida's public education system is still unfolding, but it is clear that they have created confusion and frustration among school district attorneys who are trying to advise school leaders on how to comply with them. The email exchanges reveal some of the challenges and dilemmas they face in interpreting and implementing the laws, as well as the lack of guidance and support from the state. The new education laws have also sparked controversy and opposition from various stakeholders who are concerned about their effects on students' learning and well-being.

Bing, 9/25/2023

  • (1) Florida school attorneys confused over new education laws | Miami Herald. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article279605704.html.
  • (2) Lawyers struggle to advise Florida schools on books - Tampa Bay Times. https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2023/09/25/lawyers-struggle-advise-florida-schools-books/.
  • (3) Book bans surged across the US in 2023. Florida was the blueprint. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/book-bans-surged-across-the-us-in-2023-florida-was-the-blueprint/ar-AA1h7dXL.
  • (4) These are the Florida education bills that will become law on July 1 .... https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/education/2023-06-27/florida-education-bills-law-july-1.
  • (5) Here are the new rules in effect as students return to Florida schools .... https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/education/2023-08-10/school-starts-florida-new-rules-in-effect.
  • (6) Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Historic Bill to Protect ... - Florida Governor. https://www.flgov.com/2022/03/28/governor-ron-desantis-signs-historic-bill-to-protect-parental-rights-in-education/.
  • (7) Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Reform Higher Education in Florida. https://www.flgov.com/2022/04/19/governor-ron-desantis-signs-bill-to-reform-higher-education-in-florida/.
  • (8) What not to wear at school? A Florida district wavers amid confusion.. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/what-not-to-wear-at-school-a-florida-district-wavers-amid-confusion/ar-AA1gBdle.
  • (9) Email exchanges show attorneys’ confusion and frustration over Florida .... https://news.yahoo.com/email-exchanges-show-attorneys-confusion-093000663.html.


IN A REALLY DIRTY MOVE MEATAXE MIKE MILES CUTS HISD CUSTODIAL STAFF

 

IN A REALLY DIRTY MOVE MEATAXE MIKE MILES CUTS HISD CUSTODIAL STAFF

Houston, we have a problem. And his name is MeatAxe Mike Miles. The state-appointed superintendent of Houston ISD is on a mission to destroy the district and privatize the schools, and he's not even trying to hide it. In fact, he's hoping to do it much sooner than his estimated five-year plan. 

Miles has already made some diabolical moves, like cutting custodial staff because apparently dirty schools should just be closed (according to page 86 of the Billionaires Playbook for Privatizing Schools). But that's not all, folks. In a move that can only be described as pure evil, he cut the toilet paper budget in half. Yes, you read that right. HALF. 

Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of a school, I think of books, pencils, and toilet paper. It's a basic necessity, like air or water. But apparently, Miles thinks differently. Maybe he thinks the students can just use their sleeves or something. 

But in all seriousness, these cuts have real consequences. The Houston Education Association has expressed concerns over potential safety issues arising from the layoffs of custodians, who secure school buildings in the morning and lock up at the end of the day. And let's not forget about the poor students who now have to ration their toilet paper use. It's a sad state of affairs, folks. 

But Miles doesn't seem to care. He's too busy trying to build a culture of high performance standardized test takers and change outcomes for the Houston district. He expects about 70 schools to receive a D or F in the state's accountability system from an A-F scale, which takes into account state test scores. One of his main tasks at the district's helm will be to ensure that none of the schools receive a failing grade in multiple consecutive years. 

Now, I'm all for improving education outcomes. But tying compensation to classroom outcomes? That's just ridiculous. It's like saying that if a football team doesn't win every game, the coach doesn't get paid. It's not fair to the educators who are doing their best with limited resources and it's not fair to the students who may face even more pressure to perform well on standardized tests. 

But what do I know? I'm just a lowly writer trying to make sense of this crazy world we live in. All I know is that MeatAxe Mike Miles is not the hero we need or deserve. He's more like the villain in a bad 80s movie. And if he gets his way, Houston ISD will be a wasteland of dirty schools and empty toilet paper dispensers. 

So what can we do? Well, for starters, we can speak out against these cuts and hold Miles accountable for his actions. We can support our educators and demand that they be treated with respect and fairness. And most importantly, we can keep fighting for a better future for our children, one where they can learn and grow without fear of budget cuts or standardized tests. 

In conclusion, MeatAxe Mike Miles may think he's the king of Houston ISD, but he's really just a court jester with a bad haircut. Let's show him that we won't stand for his nonsense and that we're ready to fight for what's right. Because at the end of the day, education is too important to be left in the hands of someone like him.

Some service, sanitation positions eliminated at Houston ISD https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2023/09/25/some-service-sanitation-positions-eliminated-at-houston-isd/ 

Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles sets a deadline to show results | The Texas Tribune https://www.texastribune.org/2023/09/23/houston-isd-superintendent-mike-miles/ 

Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles says he needs four to five years to turn the district around https://www.click2houston.com/news/texas/2023/09/23/houston-isd-superintendent-mike-miles-says-he-needs-four-to-five-years-to-turn-the-district-around/ 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

YOU CAN'T SWING A DEAD CAT WITHOUT HITTING A RIGHT WING KOCH NETWORK ASTROTURF FRONT GROUP

YOU CAN'T SWING A DEAD CAT WITHOUT HITTING A RIGHT WING KOCH NETWORK ASTROTURF FRONT GROUP

Have you ever tried swinging a dead cat? Not that I recommend it, but apparently it's quite difficult to do without hitting a right wing astroturf front group. And if you're not careful, you might just find yourself partnered with the likes of the Koch brothers and the voucher vultures of public education.

According to a 2016 report by Media Matters, the education reform movement is being backed by a tangled web of corporations and right-wing funders. It's like a game of six degrees of separation, only instead of Kevin Bacon, we're talking about the destruction of public education.

So who are these funders and what are they up to? Let's take a closer look.

First up, we have the Walton Family Foundation. Yes, that's the same Walton family that owns Walmart and has more money than some small countries. They've poured millions of dollars into education reform efforts, including charter schools and vouchers. Because nothing says "I care about education" like supporting a company that pays its employees poverty wages.

Next on the list is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You know, the ones who brought you Windows Vista. They've spent billions on education reform, with a particular focus on Common Core standards. Because what better way to improve education than with a one-size-fits-all approach that's been widely criticized by teachers and parents alike?

And let's not forget about the Koch brothers. These two are like the Voldemort of American politics - everyone knows their name, but no one wants to say it out loud. They've been funding right-wing causes for decades, and education reform is no exception. They've poured millions into groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been pushing for privatization of public education for years.

But it's not just billionaires who are getting in on the action. There are plenty of smaller right-wing groups that are doing their part to dismantle public education. Take the Heartland Institute, for example. They're a "think tank" (and I use that term loosely) that denies climate change and promotes school vouchers. Because nothing says "I'm an expert on education policy" like denying basic scientific facts.

Then there's StudentsFirst, founded by former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. They claim to be all about improving education for students, but their real goal seems to be busting teachers unions and promoting charter schools. Because what better way to improve education than by pitting teachers against each other in a race to the bottom?

And let's not forget about the American Federation for Children, which was founded by none other than Betsy DeVos. You know, the same Betsy DeVos who was somehow put in charge of the Department of Education despite having zero experience in public education. They're all about promoting school vouchers and privatization, because apparently the best way to fix public schools is to starve them of funding.

So there you have it - a brief overview of the corporations and right-wing funders behind the education reform movement. It's a tangled web of advocacy, research, media, and profiteering that's taking over public education. But don't worry, folks - I'm sure everything will turn out just fine. After all, what could possibly go wrong when you put billionaires in charge of our kids' futures?

Who is Behind the Attacks on Educators and Public Schools? https://www.nea.org/nea-today/all-news-articles/who-behind-attacks-educators-and-public-schools

The Aristocrats Funding the Critical Race Theory ‘Backlash’ https://www.thedailybeast.com/right-wing-aristocrats-fund-critical-race-theory-backlash

'Held hostage': How critical race theory moved from Fox News to school boards https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/critical-race-theory-invades-school-boards-help-conservative-groups-n1270794 via @nbcnews

Who’s behind the nationwide attacks on local school boards over Critical Race Theory? – Baptist News Global https://baptistnews.com/article/whos-behind-the-nationwide-attacks-on-local-school-boards-over-critical-race-theory/ 

Moms for Liberty New Hampshire offered a $500 reward for reporting teachers who break critical race theory law - The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/11/19/moms-for-liberty-new-hampshire/ 

Mapping the Movement to Dismantle Public Education https://jacobin.com/2018/06/public-education-privatization-koch-brothers-teachers/


THE DEFT DIVE 

FROM MEDIA MATTERS

Below, we outline the many overlapping connections in this echo chamber of advocacy groups, think tanks, and media outlets that are increasingly funded by a handful of conservative billionaires and for-profit education companies -- often without proper disclosure. These groups are driving the education privatization movement forward by co-opting the education reform mantle.

Table Of Contents

ADVOCACY

MEDIA

PHILANTHROPY

CORPORATIONS

THINK TANKS

Read more about our methodology here.

https://www.mediamatters.org/daily-caller/here-are-corporations-and-right-wing-funders-backing-education-reform-movement


FROM BING AI

The Koch-backed groups and their sources of funding. Here is a summary of what I found:

  • - The **Independent Women's Forum (IWF)** and its affiliate, the **Independent Women's Voice (IWV)**, are conservative groups that market themselves as "non-partisan" and "independent", but they are actually funded by Koch-linked donors and push right-wing policies that harm women and their families¹. They also help ALEC legislators sell corporate-backed alternatives to popular policies like paid sick leave, equal pay, and quality childcare¹.
  • - The **State Policy Network (SPN)** is a network of 66 think tanks in 49 states that promote free-market policies and oppose regulations, unions, environmental protections, and social welfare programs. SPN is also funded by Koch-linked donors, such as the Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, which funnel money from anonymous sources to conservative causes³⁴.
  • - The **Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity** is a media organization that operates Watchdog.org, a network of state-based websites that produce pro-free-market news stories and attack government spending, regulations, and unions. The Franklin Center is also funded by Koch-linked donors, such as the Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund⁴.
  • - **Moms for Liberty** is a grassroots organization that opposes mask mandates, critical race theory, and public health measures in schools. It was founded by former leaders of the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative group that received funding from Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity.
  • - **Parents Defending Education** is another grassroots organization that opposes critical race theory, diversity training, and anti-racism education in schools. It was founded by Nicole Neily, a former employee of the Independent Women's Forum and the State Policy Network.
  • - **No Left Turn in Education** is a similar grassroots organization that opposes critical race theory and progressive education in schools. It was founded by Elana Yaron Fishbein, a former social worker who was inspired by Tucker Carlson's Fox News show.
  • - **National School Choice Week** is an annual event that promotes charter schools, vouchers, and other alternatives to public education. It is funded by Koch-linked donors, such as the Walton Family Foundation, the DeVos Family Foundation, and the Gleason Family Foundation.

Bing, 9/20/2023

  • (1) The Koch-Backed and Not-So-Independent 'Independent Women's Forum'. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/08/18/koch-backed-and-not-so-independent-independent-womens-forum.
  • (2) Report: Think tanks tied to Kochs - POLITICO. https://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/koch-brothers-think-tank-report-099791.
  • (3) Koch Family Foundations - SourceWatch. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koch_Family_Foundations.
  • (4) Independent Women’s Forum, backed by Koch funding, circulates draft .... https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/01/masks-schools-koch-money/.


Other Koch-backed groups that are involved with education and policy. According to the web search results, some of them are:

  • - The **Cato Institute**, a libertarian think tank that advocates for school choice, vouchers, charter schools, and homeschooling¹⁴.
  • - The **Mercatus Center** at George Mason University, a research center that promotes free-market policies and deregulation in education and other sectors⁴.
  • - The **American Federation for Children** and its affiliate, the **Alliance for School Choice**, two groups that lobby for vouchers, tax credits, and other forms of public funding for private schools².
  • - The **American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)**, a network of conservative lawmakers and corporate interests that drafts and promotes model legislation on various issues, including education privatization².
Bing, 9/20/2023
  • (1) How the Kochs are trying to shake up public schools, one state at a .... https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/30/kochs-public-schools-shakeup-244259.
  • (2) Political activities of the Koch brothers - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_activities_of_the_Koch_brothers.
  • (3) Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education .... https://www.mediamatters.org/daily-caller/here-are-corporations-and-right-wing-funders-backing-education-reform-movement.
  • (4) Mapping the Movement to Dismantle Public Education - Jacobin. https://jacobin.com/2018/06/public-education-privatization-koch-brothers-teachers/.

According to the web search results, 50CAN (STUDENTSFIRST) is a network of state-based education advocacy groups that promote policies such as school choice, charter schools, vouchers, and teacher accountability. It was formed in 2016 by the merger of two Koch-backed groups: StudentsFirst, founded by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, and 50 State Campaign for Achievement Now (50CAN), which itself was an offshoot of another Koch-backed group, ConnCAN¹⁴. Some of the funders of 50CAN (STUDENTSFIRST) include the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and the Arnold Foundation²³.

Education organizations funded by the Koch network are:
  • - The **Cato Institute**, a libertarian think tank that advocates for school choice, vouchers, charter schools, and homeschooling .
  • - The **Mercatus Center** at George Mason University, a research center that promotes free-market policies and deregulation in education and other sectors.
  • - The **American Federation for Children** and its affiliate, the **Alliance for School Choice**, two groups that lobby for vouchers, tax credits, and other forms of public funding for private schools.
  • - The **American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)**, a network of conservative lawmakers and corporate interests that drafts and promotes model legislation on various issues, including education privatization.
 Bing, 9/20/2023
  • (1) Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education .... https://www.mediamatters.org/daily-caller/here-are-corporations-and-right-wing-funders-backing-education-reform-movement.
  • (2) The Well-Funded Echo Chamber That's Attacking Public Education. https://www.nea.org/nea-today/all-news-articles/well-funded-echo-chamber-thats-attacking-public-education.
  • (3) 50CAN President Derrell Bradford Testifies at the US Capitol. https://50can.org/.
  • (4) 50CAN - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50CAN.

Organizations that favor privatization of public education and are supported by wealthy foundations and people. Here are some examples:

  • - The **American Federation for Children** is an organization that promotes alternatives to public education, such as charter schools, vouchers, and tax credits. It was once headed by former education secretary **Betsy DeVos**, who is a billionaire and a prominent supporter of school choice²³.
  • - The **Goldwater Institute** is a conservative think tank that advocates for school choice, vouchers, and tax credits. It is funded by several right-wing foundations, such as the **Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation**, the **DonorsTrust**, and the **Charles Koch Foundation**¹⁴.
  • - The **Walton Family Foundation** is the philanthropic arm of the Walmart family, which is one of the richest families in the world. It has funded charter schools, vouchers, and advocacy groups that favor privatization of public education. It has also supported media outlets that promote its agenda, such as **The 74** and **Education Next**¹³.

Bing, 9/20/2023

  • (1) Privatization of public education gaining ground -- report - The .... https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/04/18/privatization-of-public-education-gaining-ground/.
  • (2) Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools - Dissent Magazine. https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/got-dough-how-billionaires-rule-our-schools/.
  • (3) Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education .... https://www.mediamatters.org/daily-caller/here-are-corporations-and-right-wing-funders-backing-education-reform-movement.
  • (4) Texas politicians rake in millions from far-right Christian megadonors .... https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/texas-politicians-far-right-christian-megadonors-rcna55546.


FROM BARD AI 

The following are sources of funding for Koch-backed groups:

  • * **Koch Industries:** The Koch brothers' private company is the largest source of funding for their political network. In 2022, Koch Industries donated $25 million to Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC that supports conservative candidates and causes.
  • * **Stand Together Foundation:** A non-profit organization founded by Charles Koch, Stand Together funds a variety of groups working on issues such as criminal justice reform, education, and economic development. In 2022, Stand Together gave $25 million to Americans for Prosperity Action.
  • * **Other donors:** The Koch network also includes a number of other wealthy donors, such as Betsy DeVos and Richard Scaife. In 2022, these donors gave millions of dollars to Koch-backed groups.

Here is a more detailed look at the funding of some of the specific Koch-backed groups you mentioned:

  • * **Independent Women's Forum:** The Independent Women's Forum is a conservative women's policy group that receives funding from a variety of sources, including Koch Industries, Stand Together, and the Walton Family Foundation.
  • * **State Policy Network:** The State Policy Network is a network of conservative think tanks that receives funding from Koch Industries, Stand Together, and other donors.
  • * **Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity:** The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a conservative think tank that receives funding from Koch Industries, Stand Together, and other donors.
  • * **Moms for Liberty:** Moms for Liberty is a conservative parents' rights group that receives funding from Koch Industries and other donors.
  • * **Parents Defending Education:** Parents Defending Education is a conservative parents' rights group that receives funding from Koch Industries and other donors.
  • * **No Left Turn in Education:** No Left Turn in Education is a conservative education advocacy group that receives funding from Koch Industries and other donors.
  • * **National School Choice Week:** National School Choice Week is a national event that promotes school choice. It is funded by a variety of sources, including Koch Industries, Stand Together, and other donors.

It is important to note that Koch-backed groups often do not disclose their donors, so it is difficult to get a complete picture of their funding sources. However, the available evidence suggests that the Koch brothers and their network of donors are the primary sources of funding for these groups.

## Koch-backed groups' influence on education policy

Koch-backed groups have been influential in shaping education policy in the United States. For example, they have supported policies such as charter schools, school vouchers, and tax breaks for private schools. They have also opposed policies such as teachers unions, common core standards, and increased regulation of charter schools.

Koch-backed groups have also been involved in a number of controversies related to education policy. For example, the Independent Women's Forum has been criticized for its opposition to common core standards, and Moms for Liberty has been criticized for its support for book bans in schools.

Overall, Koch-backed groups play a significant role in shaping education policy in the United States. Their influence is likely to continue to grow in the years to come.

50CAN (StudentsFirst) is a network of state-specific education organizations that advocate for charter schools, school vouchers, and other school choice policies. It is funded by a variety of sources, including the Koch network.

Education organizations funded by the Koch network include:

  • * **Center for Education Reform**
  • * **Education Action Strategies**
  • * **Empowerment PAC**
  • * **Foundation for Excellence in Education**
  • * **Independent Women's Forum**
  • * **Moms for Liberty**
  • * **No Left Turn in Education**
  • * **Parents Defending Education**
  • * **State Policy Network**

These organizations work to influence education policy at the state and local level. They often lobby for legislation that supports school choice policies and opposes policies that they see as harmful to school choice, such as teachers unions and common core standards.

The Koch network's involvement in education policy has been controversial. Critics argue that the Koch brothers are trying to privatize public education and that their support for school choice policies is harmful to students. Supporters of the Koch network argue that their support for school choice is necessary to improve education quality and that they are simply trying to give parents more options for their children's education.

Here are some examples of how Koch-backed education organizations have influenced education policy:

  • * In 2011, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative think tank that receives funding from the Koch network, drafted a model bill that would have created a system of school vouchers in Michigan. The bill was passed by the Michigan legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder.
  • * In 2013, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a Koch-backed education advocacy group, launched a campaign to oppose the Common Core State Standards. The campaign was successful in convincing a number of states to withdraw from the Common Core.
  • * In 2015, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation launched a campaign to support the Every Student Succeeds Act, a federal education law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. The campaign was successful in helping to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Koch network's influence on education policy is likely to continue to grow in the years to come. The Koch brothers have pledged to invest millions of dollars in education reform, and their network of organizations is already well-established at the state and local level.

Here is a list of organizations that favor privatization of public education that are supported by wealthy foundations and people:
  • * American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
  • * American Federation for Children
  • * Center for Education Reform
  • * Education Action Strategies
  • * Empowerment PAC
  • * Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • * Independent Women's Forum
  • * Koch Industries
  • * Moms for Liberty
  • * No Left Turn in Education
  • * Parents Defending Education
  • * State Policy Network
  • * StudentsFirst
  • * Walton Family Foundation

These organizations work to influence education policy at the state and local level. They often lobby for legislation that supports school choice policies and opposes policies that they see as harmful to school choice, such as teachers unions and common core standards.

The wealthy foundations and people that support these organizations include:

  • * David Koch
  • * Betsy DeVos
  • * Richard Scaife
  • * Walton Family Foundation

It is important to note that not all organizations that support privatization of public education are front organizations. However, it is important to be aware of the possibility of front organizations, especially when dealing with organizations that are advocating for controversial causes or that are raising money from unknown sources.

## Why do some people support privatization of public education?

There are a number of reasons why some people support privatization of public education. Some people believe that private schools are more efficient and effective than public schools. Others believe that private schools offer parents more choices and that these choices will lead to better outcomes for students. Still others believe that privatization is necessary to reduce the size and cost of government.

## Why do some people oppose privatization of public education?

There are also a number of reasons why some people oppose privatization of public education. Some people believe that privatization will lead to a decrease in the quality of education, especially for low-income students and students of color. Others believe that privatization will increase segregation in schools. Still others believe that privatization is an attempt to undermine public education and that it will ultimately lead to the end of public education as we know it.

## Conclusion

The debate over privatization of public education is a complex and controversial one. There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of privatization carefully before making a decision about whether or not to support it.

In the style of Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade," we present to you "The Charge of the Public School Defenders (Koch voucher front group)."

Half a league, half a league,

Left wingers to the right of me,

Left wingers to the left of me,

Into the valley of death rode the defenders.

 

"Charge!" they yelled, with a gleeful shout,

As they rode their high horses about,

Their mission clear, their purpose true,

To destroy public schools, through and through.

 

First came the Center for Education Reform,

With their slick talking points and fancy reform,

But when it came down to the facts,

Their policies were just a bunch of hacks.

 

Next up, Education Action Strategies,

Promising change, but just spreading fallacies,

Their ideas may sound good on paper,

But in reality, they're just a bunch of capers

 

Empowerment PAC, with their big bucks,

Trying to buy their way into our schools, it sucks,

But money can't buy everything,

Especially not the public's trust, we're not that gullible a thing.

 

Foundation for Excellence in Education,

Sounds great, but it's just another privatization,

Their goal is to make a buck,

Not to help our kids get unstuck.

 

Independent Women's Forum, oh please,

Pushing their agendas with such ease,

But when it comes to public education,

Their ideas are just pure frustration.

 

Moms for Liberty, what a name,

Trying to take away our kids' right to a fair game,

Their ideas are just so narrow-minded,

We'll keep our public schools, thank you kindly.

 

No Left Turn in Education, what a joke,

Trying to make our schools a right-wing bloke,

But we won't let them take control,

Our public schools are for all, not just a certain role.

 

Parents Defending Education, we know what you're up to,

Trying to push your propaganda through,

But we won't let you take away our rights,

Our public schools are worth the fight.

 

State Policy Network, don't even get us started,

With their anti-public school policies that leave us broken-hearted,

They're just another right-wing front group,

Trying to take away our public school troop.

 

And then there's David Koch, Betsy DeVos, Richard Scaife, and the Walton Family Foundation too,

All trying to buy their way into our schools like a bad deja vu,

But we won't let them take away our public education,

Our schools are for all, not just for their privatization.

 

So half a league, half a league,

We'll keep fighting for our public schools with all our might and fatigue,

We won't let them take away our right to an education that's free,

Our public schools are worth defending, can't you see?

 

And though they may charge with all their might and force,

We'll stand strong and steadfast in our course,

For our public schools are worth fighting for,


And we'll defend them until the end, forevermore.