Latest News and Comment from Education

Tuesday, May 9, 2023




Ah, Project Veritas. The gift that keeps on giving. If you're not familiar, Project Veritas is a right-wing organization that specializes in undercover "stings" that are supposed to expose liberal bias and corruption. Of course, they're mostly just a bunch of nonsense, but every once in a while they manage to hit on something that's actually worth talking about. Case in point: a recent video they released that shows educators in New York discussing their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Educators? Diversity? Equity? Inclusion? This sounds like a snoozefest." And normally, you'd be right. But trust me, this video is worth watching. Not because it's some smoking gun that proves that the liberal agenda is taking over our schools (spoiler alert: it's not), but because it's just so damn funny.

First of all, let's talk about the video itself. It's shot in classic Project Veritas style, which means it's grainy, poorly lit, and has that weird "hidden camera" effect where everything looks like it was filmed through a peephole. It's also heavily edited, so you never really get a sense of what the educators are actually saying. But that's not really the point. The point is to create the impression that these educators are up to something nefarious.

So what are they up to? Well, according to Project Veritas, they're trying to indoctrinate children with liberal propaganda. Specifically, they're pushing an agenda of "diversity, equity, and inclusion," which apparently means brainwashing kids into thinking that it's okay to be gay or transgender or whatever. Shocking stuff, I know.

Of course, if you actually watch the video, you'll see that the educators aren't really doing anything wrong. They're just talking about how they try to create a welcoming environment for all students, regardless of their background or identity. They talk about how they try to incorporate diverse perspectives into their curriculum, and how they try to make sure that all students feel valued and respected. It's all pretty basic stuff, really.

But that doesn't stop Project Veritas from trying to spin it into some kind of scandal. They interview a bunch of outraged parents and conservative activists who are convinced that the educators are trying to turn their kids into social justice warriors. They even manage to get a few soundbites from some of the educators themselves, who are understandably defensive about being secretly recorded and edited to make it look like they're doing something wrong.

So what's the takeaway from all of this? Well, for one thing, it's a reminder that you can't always trust what you see on the internet. Just because something looks like a smoking gun doesn't mean it actually is. And for another thing, it's a reminder that the conservative outrage machine is always looking for something to get worked up about. Even if it's just a bunch of educators trying to create a more inclusive learning environment.

But most importantly, it's a reminder that sometimes the best way to deal with nonsense is to just laugh at it. So go ahead and watch the video. Laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. And then go back to your life, secure in the knowledge that the liberal agenda isn't going to brainwash your kids anytime soon. Unless, of course, you count Sesame Street. Those puppets are definitely up to something.

Educators in New York are facing backlash after videos released by Project Veritas showed them discussing their approach to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Texas mall shooter’s ‘RWDS’ patch linked to far-right extremists | PBS NewsHour

"Ha! Who knew that calling someone a 'dick' could actually be a compliment in the detective world? Apparently, it comes from the Romani word 'dik', meaning 'to look'. So, the next time someone calls you a dick, just take it as a sign that you have great observation skills. Detective skills, even. Keep on dikking, my friends!"




The news of the US jury finding President Trump guilty of sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll has sent shockwaves through the country. The trial, which has been ongoing for months, has finally come to a close, and the verdict is in: Trump is guilty.

Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the trial and the evidence presented, let's take a moment to appreciate the sheer irony of this situation. Here we have a man who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, who has been caught on tape bragging about grabbing women "by the pussy," and who has been accused of paying hush money to adult film stars. And yet, he still managed to become the President of the United States. It's almost too perfect.

But let's get back to the trial. E. Jean Carroll, a well-known writer and advice columnist, accused Trump of raping her in a dressing room at a high-end department store in the mid-1990s. Trump denied the allegations, claiming that he had never even met Carroll. However, Carroll had a photograph of herself with Trump from that time period, which seemed to contradict his story.

During the trial, Carroll's lawyers presented other evidence as well, including statements from friends who she had confided in about the alleged rape shortly after it happened. They also pointed out that Trump had a history of making inappropriate comments about women and had been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous other women.

Trump's defense team, on the other hand, tried to discredit Carroll's story by pointing out inconsistencies in her account and suggesting that she was trying to profit from the allegations. They also argued that Trump was immune from lawsuits while serving as President.

In the end, the jury sided with Carroll, finding Trump guilty of sexual abuse. The verdict was met with cheers from those who had been following the trial closely and with outrage from Trump's supporters.

So what does this all mean? Well, for starters, it's a huge blow to Trump's already tarnished reputation. It also sets a precedent for future cases involving sitting Presidents and their immunity from lawsuits. And it sends a message to women everywhere that their voices matter and that they will be heard.

But perhaps the most important takeaway from this trial is that we need to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to sexual misconduct and abuse of power, no matter how powerful the person in question may be.

So let's raise a glass to E. Jean Carroll and all the brave women who have come forward with their stories. Let's continue to fight for justice and equality, and let's never forget that the truth will always come out in the end.

The terms "guilty" and "liable" are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct legal meanings. "Guilty" refers to being responsible for a crime and facing punishment, while "liable" refers to being responsible for something, either legally or financially, such as damages or injuries.


In a recent civil lawsuit, former U.S. President Donald Trump was found to have sexually abused magazine writer E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s. The nine-member jury in Manhattan federal court awarded Carroll $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages, dealing a legal setback to Trump as he campaigns to retake office in 2024. Although the jury did not find that Trump raped her, the finding of sexual abuse was enough to establish his liability for battery. The jury deliberated for just under three hours before unanimously rejecting Trump's denial that he assaulted Carroll. This verdict serves as a reminder that sexual assault and harassment will not be tolerated, regardless of one's position or status.

Jury finds Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll, awards her $5 mln 


 Trump found liable for battery, defamation against E. Jean Carroll : NPR 





As a lover of all things hilarious, I couldn't help but chuckle when I heard about the latest initiative in New York City - "New York City Reads". Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks have come up with a plan to improve literacy rates amongst children in the city, and it involves a heavy dose of the "science of reading" approach. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for kids learning how to read. But when I heard about this plan, I couldn't help but think of my old pal Professor Dr. Paul Thomas.

You see, Dr. Thomas has been championing a different approach to reading for years now. He believes that reading should be a joyful, meaningful experience, not just a series of skills to be mastered. And let me tell you, this guy knows what he's talking about. I mean, have you ever seen someone get as excited about books as Dr. Thomas? It's like he's a kid in a candy store, except the candy is knowledge and the store is the library.

So when I heard about "New York City Reads", I couldn't help but compare it to Dr. Thomas's approach. On the one hand, you have Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks, who seem to think that reading is all about phonics and decoding and sight words. They want to drill these skills into kids' heads until they can read at a certain level, no matter how much they hate it.

On the other hand, you have Dr. Thomas, who believes that reading should be a pleasurable experience that kids want to engage in. He thinks that if you give kids books that they're interested in and let them read at their own pace, they'll naturally develop the skills they need to be successful readers. And you know what? I think he's right.

I mean, think about it - when was the last time you learned something because someone forced you to? Probably not very often. But when you're genuinely interested in something, you'll go out of your way to learn more about it. That's the kind of attitude that Dr. Thomas wants to foster in kids when it comes to reading.

Now, I'm not saying that phonics and decoding and sight words aren't important. Of course they are. But they're not the be-all and end-all of reading. Reading is about so much more than just being able to sound out words on a page. It's about understanding ideas, making connections, and expanding your worldview.

And that's where Dr. Thomas's approach really shines. By focusing on the joy of reading, he's able to get kids excited about books and learning. He's able to show them that reading isn't just a chore to be endured, but a lifelong pursuit that can bring them endless joy and fulfillment.

So while Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks may have good intentions with their "New York City Reads" plan, I can't help but feel like they're missing the mark. If they really want to improve literacy rates amongst children in the city, they should listen to Dr. Thomas and focus on making reading a fun, engaging experience. Because when it comes down to it, isn't that what learning should be all about?


Paul Thomas @plthomasEdD

Science of Reading | dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

Oakland Teachers Strike Day 4: Negotiations at a Standstill, but the Picketing Continues!


Oakland Teachers Strike Day 4: Negotiations at a Standstill, but the Picketing Continues!

It's Day 4 of the Oakland teachers strike, and the negotiations between the Oakland School District and its teachers are still at a standstill. The teachers are asking for what are called "common good goals" in their contracts, which revolve around resources for students in need. But it seems like the district is only interested in bargaining over wages and working conditions.

Meanwhile, 3,000 members of the Oakland Education Association are picketing outside schools, asking for better pay, more resources for students, and better working environments. And they're not backing down anytime soon.

The district has offered a historic pay raise totaling around $70 million, which gives teachers up to a 22 percent pay raise and a $5,000 bonus. But the group said it really wants resources for unhoused students, including places for them to stay.

This is all happening just two weeks before summer vacation and impacting almost 35,000 kids. And it's not just the students who are affected. Parents and the entire community of Oakland are feeling the ripple effects of this fight.

The School District's board president Mike Hutchinson said he hopes an agreement is made before the district has to decide to extend the school year or call an early end to it. But it seems like both sides are standing firm in their views.

Teachers are saying the district is bargaining in bad faith, while the District is saying it has given a good offer. It's a classic case of he said, she said. But one thing is for sure: this fight is a domino effect that hits everyone.

The teachers are fighting for what they believe is right, and they're not going to give up until they get it. They're not just fighting for themselves; they're fighting for the students who need those resources and support.

And let's be real, teachers deserve better pay and better working conditions. They're the ones who are shaping the minds of the next generation, and they should be compensated accordingly.

So let's hope that the negotiations start moving forward, and an agreement is made soon. In the meantime, let's support our teachers and show them that we appreciate everything they do for our kids. After all, they're the ones who are shaping the future.


Big Education Ape: Common Good Demands Take Center Stage in Oakland Teacher Strike Negotiations

Big Education Ape: Oakland Teachers on Strike DAY 2: Fighting for Better Pay and Services, Billionaires Fight for Profitable Charter Schools

Big Education Ape: Oakland Teachers Strike Again, Demand Better Pay and Protection from Billionaires Hellbent on Destroying Public Education!

New York City to Children: "To Read or Not to Read, That is the Question"

New York City to Children: "To Read or Not to Read, That is the Question"

New York City is known for many things, but one thing it's not known for is its ability to teach children how to read. According to recent data, half of the children in grades three to eight fail reading tests. That's right, half. It's a staggering number that has left many educators scratching their heads and wondering what they can do to turn the tide.

Enter the city's schools chancellor, who has decided that it's time for a change. He's faulted the current approach and is rolling out new curriculums next year. But will they work? That's the million-dollar question.

Now, I'm no expert on education, but I do know a thing or two about reading. And let me tell you, there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to read. It's like being stuck in a foreign country where no one speaks your language. You feel lost, confused, and utterly helpless.

But here's the thing: learning to read isn't rocket science. It's not like trying to understand quantum physics or deciphering hieroglyphics. It's a skill that can be taught, and it's a skill that should be taught.

So why are so many kids failing? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Some blame the teachers, others blame the parents, and still others blame the kids themselves. But the truth is, it's probably a combination of all three.

Teachers are underpaid, overworked, and often underappreciated. They're expected to be miracle workers, turning out students who can read at a college level by the time they're in third grade. And while some teachers are able to do just that, others struggle to keep their heads above water.

Parents are also part of the equation. Some are too busy working multiple jobs to pay the bills to sit down and read with their kids. Others simply don't value education and don't see the importance of reading. And then there are the parents who are just plain lazy, letting their kids watch TV or play video games instead of cracking open a book.

And let's not forget about the kids themselves. Some are dealing with learning disabilities or other issues that make reading a challenge. Others simply don't have the motivation to learn. And then there are those who are dealing with issues at home, like poverty or abuse, that make it difficult to focus on anything else.

But here's the thing: none of these excuses should be acceptable. Every child deserves the opportunity to learn how to read, and it's up to all of us to make sure that happens.

So what can we do? Well, for starters, we can support our teachers. We can pay them what they're worth, give them the resources they need to succeed, and show them that we appreciate all that they do.

We can also encourage parents to get involved in their child's education. We can provide them with the tools they need to help their kids learn, and we can show them that reading is important.

And finally, we can support our kids. We can show them that learning is fun, that reading is exciting, and that anything is possible if they put their minds to it.

Will these new curriculums work? Who knows. But one thing is for sure: if we all work together, we can make sure that every child in New York City learns how to read. And that's something worth fighting for.

New York City Schools Will Introduce ‘Massive’ Changes to Reading Curriculum - The New York Times