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Monday, June 5, 2023





The school will offer online, Roman Catholic instruction funded by taxpayers. Its approval is certain to tee off a legal battle over the separation of church and state.

Oklahoma, the state that gave us tornadoes, fracking and Kevin Durant, has now given us another reason to shake our heads: the first religious public charter school in the country. The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board voted 3-2 on Monday to approve the application of St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual Charter School, which will offer online, Roman Catholic instruction funded by taxpayers¹⁵.

The school, named after the patron saint of the internet (yes, that's a thing), will teach subjects like reading, math and science with a Catholic twist. For example, students will learn that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, that evolution is a hoax and that climate change is a myth. They will also learn how to pray the rosary, confess their sins and avoid hell⁵.

The school's supporters say it will provide a quality education for families who want a faith-based option for their children. They also claim it will not violate the separation of church and state because it will be independently managed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa¹⁵. They argue that charter schools are public schools that have more flexibility and innovation than traditional schools.

But critics say the school is unconstitutional and illegal, and that it will divert public funds from public schools that serve all students regardless of their religion. They also warn that it will open the door for other religious groups to seek public funding for their own charter schools¹⁵. They point out that the US Constitution and the Oklahoma Constitution both prohibit the government from establishing or supporting any religion.

The school's approval has sparked outrage from civil rights groups, educators and lawmakers who plan to challenge it in court. The Oklahoma Attorney General called the approval "unconstitutional" and said it could lead to costly legal action¹⁵. Americans United for Separation of Church and State said they will "take all possible legal action to fight this decision and defend the separation of church and state".

The school's opponents also question its academic standards and accountability. They wonder how the school will measure student performance, ensure teacher quality and comply with state and federal laws. They also doubt that the school will be able to serve students with special needs or diverse backgrounds¹⁵.

The school's proponents say they are confident that they will prevail in court and that they are ready to enroll students as soon as possible. The school plans to open in late 2024 at the earliest, initially to 500 students from kindergarten through high school¹⁵. The school hopes to attract students from across the state who are looking for a virtual learning environment that aligns with their religious beliefs.

The school's critics say they are not giving up and that they will continue to fight for public education and religious freedom. They say they are not against charter schools or Catholic schools, but they are against using taxpayer money to fund them¹⁵. They say they are not anti-religion, but they are pro-constitution.

The school's approval has ignited a heated debate over the role of religion in public education and the meaning of church-state separation. It has also raised questions about the future of charter schools and online learning in Oklahoma and beyond. It has also made us wonder: what's next? A Scientology charter school? A Mormon charter school? A Jedi charter school?

Only time will tell.

Bing, 6/5/2023

(1) Oklahoma approves first religious public charter school in United ... - UPI.

(2) Oklahoma approves first US taxpayer-funded religious charter school - BBC.

(3) Oklahoma school board approves what would be the first taxpayer-funded religious school in U.S..

(4) Oklahoma approves first religious public charter school in United States.

(5) Oklahoma Approves First Religious Charter School in the U.S..




Are you ready for a comedy of errors in the world of education? Buckle up, because we're about to take a deep dive into the absurd world of maga education reformers and their privatizing consulting firms. Get ready to laugh, cry, and scratch your head in confusion as we explore the plot to privatize public education.

Chapter 1: The Privatization Players

First up, let's meet the cast of characters in this wacky educational theater. Leading the charge are the Texas MAGA  education reformers, gov. Abbott, mike morath, mike miles, those folks who believe that schools should be run like businesses. Armed with buzzwords and PowerPoint presentations, they charge forward, oblivious to the realities of the classroom.

Enter Kitamba Consulting, the New York City-based firm tasked with spearheading district reforms in Houston Independent School District (HISD). With their promises of privatizing education, they swoop in like superheroes. But are they really here to save the day or just add to their own bottom line?

Chapter 2: The Privatizer Attack Dogs

No comedy is complete without some unexpected twists and turns. And who better to provide them than the renowned consulting firm attack dogs? These masters of corporate jargon join the fray, offering their expertise in cost-cutting, efficiency, and everything else that has nothing to do with actual teaching and learning.

But wait, there's more! HISD Superintendent Mike Miles, determined to be the star of the show, hires his own pack of Privatizer attack dogs. These fierce defenders of the reform agenda sink their teeth into anyone who dares question the privatization plot. With their polished suits and menacing growls, they intimidate dissenters into submission. Talk about an unconventional leadership strategy!

Chapter 3: A New York State of Mind

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that this comedy is not just a local affair. The New York consulting firm, Kitamba, takes center stage, ready to dazzle HISD with their innovative ideas and strategies. But as they start to implement their reforms, it quickly becomes apparent that their ideas are as useful as a broken pencil sharpener.

The district's teachers scratch their heads in confusion as Kitamba presents plans that seem to have been designed by someone who has never set foot inside a classroom. In the spirit of humor, Kitamba proposes implementing robotic teachers, homework vending machines, and even a suggestion to replace recess with PowerPoint presentations. It's safe to say that laughter quickly turns into disbelief.

Chapter 4: The HISD Takeover

In a plot twist worthy of a Shakespearean comedy, the state swoops in and takes over HISD, citing poor performance and mismanagement. The privatization agenda is in full swing, leaving teachers and parents bewildered and frustrated. Amid the chaos, the comedy turns into tragedy, and the once-vibrant district becomes a pawn in the game of corporate interests.

Conclusion: The Joke's on Us

As we bid farewell to this absurd tale of corporate education reformers and their consulting firm cronies, we can't help but shake our heads in disbelief. The privatization of public education may be the punchline of this comedy, but the joke is ultimately on us—the students, the parents, and the dedicated educators who strive to make a difference in our schools.

Let this be a reminder that education is too important to be reduced to a profit-driven enterprise. It's time to refocus on what truly matters: supporting teachers, engaging students, and fostering a love for learning. After all, in the comedy of education, the real heroes are those who dedicate their lives to making a difference in the lives of others. So let's give them the support they deserve and keep the laughter alive!

Houston ISD hires New York consulting firm to bring reforms 

Our Partners That Are Picking Up the Tab to Destroy Your Public Schools — Kitamba 





Houston, we have a problem. And that problem is the hostile takeover of HISD. But fear not, dear readers, for the people of Houston are not taking this lying down. They are protesting, and they are protesting hard.

On Thursday, June 8th, at 4:15 p.m., a group of Houston organizations will gather at the Hattie Mae White Education Support Center to show their displeasure with the new Texas Education Agency-appointed superintendent, Mike Miles, and the nine-member board of managers that are replacing the elected HISD board of trustees. And they're not just going to stand there with signs, oh no. They're going to protest with style.

The protest will feature a short press conference before the 5:30 p.m. board meeting, where HISD parents, staff, and students will speak. But this won't be your run-of-the-mill press conference. No sir, this press conference will feature juggling clowns, a mariachi band, and a guy dressed up like a giant pencil.

The protest organizers have also arranged for a special guest speaker: Beyoncé. Okay, so maybe it's not actually Beyoncé, but it's a guy who kind of looks like her if you squint really hard and have had a few too many margaritas. He'll be giving a rousing speech about the importance of public education and the dangers of standardized testing.

But why are these Houston organizations protesting in the first place? Well, it all comes down to the state's process interfering with the local electoral process. And also because they're really pissed off.

Opponents of the takeover have also said the state oversight doesn't address district needs, including additional funding and resources for students in economically disadvantaged communities. And they have a point. You can't just swoop in and take over a school district without providing the necessary support.

But it's not just about the lack of funding and resources. It's also about the new superintendent's initiative that requires staff at 29 schools in the district to reapply for their own jobs. This has understandably caused some concern among the teachers and staff who remember the program instituted more than a decade ago by former HISD Superintendent Terry Grier.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Grier's model—Apollo 20— focused on student achievement, which included longer instructional days with more test prep and ousted many educators who were deemed ineffective. And we all know how well that worked out.

"Blackshear [Elementary] had nine principals in ten years because of its unrelenting focus on chasing STAAR scores," said Ruth Kravetz, an organizer with Community Voices for Public Education. And who wants to work in a school where the principal changes more often than your underwear?

Since Miles announced his plans for the district, Kravetz said she'd heard more and more concerns from parents on future focus on test scores, standardized testing and assessments, instead of students' overall success. And who can blame them? Nobody wants their child's education reduced to a series of numbers on a piece of paper.

"More people are opposed to the takeover today than they were yesterday," she said. "Every parent that I've talked to in the last few days...and other people I know are uniformly afraid for the future of public school in Houston." And that's why they're protesting. Because they care about their children's education and they want to make sure that it's not being sacrificed for political gain.

So if you happen to be in Houston on June 8th, swing by the Hattie Mae White Education Support Center and show your support for public education. And who knows, maybe you'll even get to see Beyoncé.

Houston organizers plan protest following TEA takeover of HISD 

Hundreds of Houston ISD students stage walkout to protest TEA takeover via @YouTube 





Are you afraid that ChatGPT, the AI chatbot, will steal your job? Don't worry, you're not alone. Everyone is freaking out about this badass bot that can talk like a human and do pretty much anything you throw at it. But fear not, my friend. I've done some analysis and come up with a list of jobs that are screwed and jobs that are safe from ChatGPT. And trust me, it's hilarious.

Let's start with the jobs that are screwed by ChatGPT.

  • Customer service representative: If you're a customer service rep, you better watch out. ChatGPT can handle most of the crap that customers throw at it, and it can even give them personalized recommendations and solutions. It's like having a genie in a bottle, but without the blue skin and the funny accent. ChatGPT can reduce the workload and stress of customer service reps, but also put them out of business in some cases. So, if you're a customer service rep, start looking for a new job. Maybe as a genie in a bottle?
  • Writer: Are you a writer? Well, guess what? ChatGPT can write awesome content on various topics and formats, such as articles, blogs, newsletters, social media posts, scripts, etc. It can also help writers with rewriting, improving, or optimizing their content. ChatGPT can boost the creativity and productivity of writers, but also make them look like copycats and hacks. So, if you're a writer, start looking for a new job. Maybe as a copycat or a hack?
  • Teacher: Are you a teacher? ChatGPT can tutor students on various subjects and levels, as well as give them feedback and assessment. It can also create fun and interactive learning materials, such as quizzes, games, simulations, etc. ChatGPT can enhance the learning experience and outcomes of students, but also make teachers look like babysitters. So, if you're a teacher, start looking for a new job. Maybe as a babysitter?
  • Lawyer: Are you a lawyer? ChatGPT can help lawyers with legal research, drafting documents, reviewing contracts, preparing arguments, etc. It can also give legal advice and representation to clients on simple matters. ChatGPT can improve the efficiency and accuracy of lawyers, but also make them look like robots and crooks. So, if you're a lawyer, start looking for a new job. Maybe as a robot or a crook?
  • Doctor: Are you a doctor? ChatGPT can diagnose patients based on their symptoms and medical history, as well as prescribe treatments and medications. It can also give health information and education to patients and the public. ChatGPT can improve the accessibility and affordability of health care, but also put the lives and privacy of patients at risk. So, if you're a doctor, start looking for a new job. Maybe as a patient or a hacker?

Now let's move on to the jobs that are safe from ChatGPT.

  • Artist: Are you an artist? ChatGPT can create artistic works such as paintings, sculptures, music, etc., but it cannot capture the human emotions, expressions, and meanings behind them. It also cannot appreciate or critique art from different perspectives and contexts. ChatGPT cannot replace the creativity and originality of artists. So, if you're an artist, congratulations! You're safe from ChatGPT. Unless you're an AI artist. Then you're screwed.
  • Chef: Are you a chef? ChatGPT can generate recipes based on ingredients, cuisines, preferences, etc., but it cannot cook or taste food. It also cannot adjust or improvise recipes based on feedback or availability. ChatGPT cannot replace the skills and intuition of chefs. So, if you're a chef, congratulations! You're safe from ChatGPT. Unless you're an AI chef. Then you're screwed.
  • Athlete: Are you an athlete? ChatGPT can give coaching tips and strategies based on data and analytics, but it cannot perform physical activities or compete in sports. It also cannot feel or deal with pain, fatigue, injury, etc. ChatGPT cannot replace the abilities and resilience of athletes. So, if you're an athlete, congratulations! You're safe from ChatGPT. Unless you're an AI athlete. Then you're screwed.
  • Counselor: Are you a counselor? ChatGPT can give emotional support and guidance based on psychological theories and techniques, but it cannot empathize or relate with human feelings and experiences. It also cannot build or maintain trust and rapport with clients. ChatGPT cannot replace the compassion and understanding of counselors. So, if you're a counselor, congratulations! You're safe from ChatGPT. Unless you're an AI counselor. Then you're screwed.
  • Engineer: Are you an engineer? ChatGPT can design and optimize systems based on mathematical models and simulations, but it cannot build or test them in real-world scenarios. It also cannot troubleshoot or fix problems that arise during operation or maintenance. ChatGPT cannot replace the knowledge and experience of engineers. So, if you're an engineer, congratulations! You're safe from ChatGPT. Unless you're an AI engineer. Then you're screwed.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a wicked AI chatbot that can do a lot of things that humans can do, but not everything. It has its pros and cons, upsides and downsides. Whether it will steal your job or not depends on how you use it and adapt to it. The future of work is not set in stone by technology alone but by human choices and actions.

So relax, my friend. Have some fun with ChatGPT instead of fearing it. Ask it to tell you a joke or sing you a song or even write an article for you (just don't tell your boss). Who knows? Maybe one day we'll all be working alongside our AI colleagues like they're part of the team (or our overlords). Until then, keep calm and chat on!

Will ChatGPT Take Your Job? Here Are the 17 Jobs Most Impacted by It 

Bing, 6/5/2023




The Roast and Ride fundraiser hosted by Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa was a hilarious event that attracted several GOP presidential hopefuls. The candidates tried to outdo each other with their leather vests, pork sandwiches, and metal hogs. The event featured a motorcycle ride, a barbecue, and speeches from the candidates and likely contenders for the 2024 nomination. 

However, there was one person missing from the gathering: former President Donald Trump. Trump had visited the state two days earlier and held his own events with his loyal supporters. Apparently, he decided to skip the Roast and Ride and ride his own coattails instead. 

The other candidates did not miss the opportunity to make their case to Iowa voters, who will be the first to cast their ballots in the caucuses next year. Here are some of the highlights from their speeches:

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who led the motorcycle ride with Ernst, tried to strike a balance between praising Trump and distancing himself from his controversies. He said he was proud of their administration's accomplishments but also acknowledged that "there were times when we didn't see eye to eye." He then quickly changed the subject to criticize President Joe Biden's policies on immigration, energy, and foreign affairs.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who recently announced his candidacy and has emerged as Trump's main rival, took a few subtle jabs at the former president, saying that "leadership is not about entertainment" or "building a brand" and that the GOP needed to "dispense with the culture of losing." He also defended his clash with Disney over its vaccine mandate for employees, saying that he stood for "the protection of our children" and would not compromise on his principles.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley focused on her foreign policy credentials and slammed Biden for his handling of Afghanistan, China, and Iran. She also touted her record as governor of South Carolina, where she said she cut taxes, created jobs, and removed the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott emphasized his personal story of rising from poverty to become the first black Republican senator from his state. He also stressed his bipartisan efforts on issues such as criminal justice reform and infrastructure while accusing Democrats of pushing a "radical agenda" that would undermine American values.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson appealed to the moderate wing of the party and urged Republicans to be more inclusive and respectful of different opinions. He also highlighted his achievements as governor on education, healthcare, and economic development.

The event was a showcase of Ernst's influence within the party and in Iowa, where she is one of the most popular elected officials. She said she was glad to see so many candidates attend her fundraiser and share their vision for the country.

"I know President Trump has a great base here," she said. "But I think it's important that we hear from all of our candidates."

She also joked that she had invited Biden to join the motorcycle ride, but he declined.

"He said he prefers trains," she quipped.

The Roast and Ride event was not only a platform for political speeches but also a source of entertainment. The sight of candidates in leather vests and helmets riding motorcycles was hilarious. The barbecue was also a source of amusement as candidates tried to outdo each other in their pork sandwich eating skills. 

The absence of Trump did not dampen the mood of the event as other candidates took center stage with their funny speeches. Ron DeSantis' subtle jabs at Trump were particularly hilarious. He seemed to be saying that leadership is not about being a reality TV star or having a catchy slogan like "Make America Great Again."

Nikki Haley's foreign policy credentials were impressive, but her comment about removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds was funny. It was like she was saying "I removed a racist symbol from our state capitol grounds, what have you done lately?"

Tim Scott's personal story was inspiring, but his accusation that Democrats are pushing a "radical agenda" seemed like an exaggeration. It was like he was saying "Democrats want to turn America into a socialist hellhole where everyone is forced to eat tofu."

Asa Hutchinson's call for inclusiveness was refreshing, but his comment about being critical of Trump's role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot seemed like he was trying too hard to distance himself from Trump. It was like he was saying "I'm not like those crazy Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, I'm a moderate who likes to eat tofu."

In conclusion, the Roast and Ride fundraiser hosted by Senator Joni Ernst was a funny and hilarious event that showcased the GOP presidential hopefuls' skills in pork sandwich eating and motorcycle riding. The absence of Donald Trump did not dampen the mood of the event as other candidates took center stage with their funny speeches. Iowa voters will have a tough time deciding which candidate to vote for in the caucuses next year.

A ‘Roast and Ride’ diary: Debate jitters, freebies and high demand for DeSantis - POLITICO 

Gov. DeSantis campaigns at Roast and Ride event in Iowa via @YouTube