Latest News and Comment from Education

Thursday, August 31, 2023




Buckle up folks, because we have a real devil of a man on our hands. Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is causing quite the stir with his efforts to abolish the Gender Studies department at the New College of Florida. And let me tell you, this guy is giving Lucifer a run for his money.

As a trustee, Rufo has some serious power when it comes to college governance. And boy, oh boy, has he been using it to suppress speech and ideas that he doesn't agree with. You know who else did that? Viktor Orbán's authoritarian government in Hungary. Yep, you read that right. Rufo is basically Hungary 2.0.

But wait, it gets even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). Rufo is trying to justify his actions by saying that universities should be an environment of open, substantive debate. Um, excuse me sir, but how is abolishing an entire field of study promoting open debate? This guy's logic is as twisted as a pretzel.

It's like Rufo thinks he's the gatekeeper of knowledge or something. Newsflash buddy, you're not. In a free society, universities must allow for a free marketplace of ideas. And public universities should be insulated from direct political control. But I guess that's just too much to ask from someone who's clearly on a power trip.

I mean, come on. Gender Studies isn't hurting anyone. It's just trying to understand the complexities of gender and how it intersects with other aspects of identity. But I guess Rufo doesn't want anyone to have a deeper understanding of themselves and others. He'd rather just stick his head in the sand and pretend like everything is rainbows and unicorns.

But hey, maybe we're being too hard on Rufo. Maybe he's just misunderstood. Maybe he's secretly a big fan of Gender Studies and just wants to abolish it so that he can have it all to himself. Or maybe he's just trying to impress his high school crush who once told him that she was majoring in Gender Studies and he didn't know what it was.

Whatever the case may be, one thing is clear: Rufo is the devil in disguise. And if we let him continue down this path of authoritarianism, who knows what other fields of study he'll try to abolish next? Mathematics? English? Pottery? The possibilities are endless.

So let's all come together and tell Rufo that enough is enough. Let's stand up for academic freedom and the pursuit of knowledge. And let's do it all with a smile on our face and a witty quip on our lips, because if there's one thing that can defeat the devil, it's a good sense of humor.

Christopher Rufo’s Alarming Crusade Against Universities | Time 

The man behind Trump’s campaign against 'critical race theory' via @Yahoo 



In a shocking turn of events, Chabot Elementary School in Oakland, California, was evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat was received via email. But that's not the only thing that's explosive about this story. The threat contained a racial undertone, and the FBI is now assisting the police with an investigation. 

It seems that the MAGA movement has finally found its way to the schoolyard. This threat came amid a series of social media posts and hateful emails following a playdate for Black, brown, and Asian and Pacific Islander families held at the school. The emails contained racist remarks and threats to do harm to the group. 

Now, I don't want to jump to conclusions here, but it seems pretty clear that someone in the MAGA crowd is not happy about people of color getting together to have fun. Maybe they're just jealous that they don't have any friends to play with. Or maybe they're just upset that their own playdates consist of sitting alone in their basements, scrolling through Twitter and retweeting Donald Trump's latest conspiracy theories.

But let's not forget about the bomb scare. I mean, who sends a bomb threat to an elementary school? That's just messed up. It's like they're trying to prove that they're the biggest bullies on the playground. Well, newsflash, MAGA crowd, nobody likes a bully. 

The Oakland Unified School District has contacted the police and will host a community town hall next week. But I have a feeling that the MAGA crowd won't be showing up. They're probably too busy trying to figure out how to use spellcheck on their next hate-filled email. 

In all seriousness though, this is a scary situation. It's not just about a bomb threat or some hateful emails. It's about the fact that racism still exists in our society, and it's up to all of us to stand up against it. So let's show the MAGA crowd that they're not welcome in our communities. Let's show them that we won't back down in the face of hate. And let's show them that when we come together, we're stronger than any bomb threat they could ever send our way.

In conclusion, we want to remind everyone that hate has no place in our schools or our communities. And if you're one of those people who thinks it's okay to threaten violence against innocent children because of their race, then you can kindly see yourself out. And take your red hat with you.

Bomb threat, hate speech being investigated at Chabot Elementary

California elementary school evacuated over bomb threat after rightwing harassment 

Chabot Elementary School in Oakland shut down following bomb threat with "racial undertones" via @KPIXTV 



As if the year 2020 wasn't enough to handle, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has decided to spice things up by militarizing the US-Mexico border. Because, you know, what's a little extra drama and tension between neighbors?

Abbott's Operation Lone Star has been met with controversy and criticism, but that hasn't stopped him from throwing billions of dollars at anti-immigrant efforts. And he's not alone in his quest for a fortified border - Republican governors from South Dakota to Florida have joined in, sending personnel and equipment to assist.

But Abbott's latest move has really raised some eyebrows - he's added a line of buoys in the Rio Grande. Yes, you read that right. Buoys. In a river. Because apparently, Abbott thinks he's playing a game of Battleship with Mexico.

Not surprisingly, the addition of buoys has not gone over well with humanitarian and environmental critics, or with the Biden administration. In fact, the US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit seeking to remove the $1 million buoy barrier, claiming it violates the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Who knew that a law from over a century ago would come in handy in 2021?

But Abbott's not just stopping at buoys. Oh no, he's also been clearing vegetation and flattening small islands in the river where migrants often pause for breath. Because who needs wildlife habitat when you can have a militarized border, right?

It's almost like Abbott is trying to one-up former President Trump's border wall obsession. What's next, landmines? Maybe he'll start building moats and drawbridges too. Who needs diplomacy and cooperation when you can just build a fortress?

But let's not forget about the real victims here - the poor migrants who are just trying to find a better life for themselves and their families. They're the ones who are suffering from Abbott's militarization tactics, as they're met with even more obstacles and dangers on their journey.

In conclusion, Governor Abbott may think he's playing a game of Risk with Mexico, but the reality is that his actions have serious consequences for both people and the environment. Maybe it's time for him to put down the toy soldiers and start focusing on real solutions that don't involve turning our border into a warzone.

Deadly buoys, razor wires, armed guards: Greg Abbott is fixated on keeping migrants out 

Texas Senate hopeful decries governor’s ‘criminal, inhumane’ razor-wire barrier | Texas | The Guardian 

DOJ to sue Texas over Gov. Abbott's floating wall, razor wire along the Rio Grande 




After years of being led by billionaire privatizers, the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) is finally turning the page on some of the darkest times in city history. This is great news for the students who deserve better services and for the teachers who have been bashed by the powers that be and the Sacramento Bee.

The recent collaboration between the district and its labor unions is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship in our learning community supported by students, parents, and teachers. Finally, we can focus on growing and improving the services to the students instead of focusing on privatization.

This may be the rebirth of SCUSD as the true heart of Sacramento. And maybe, just maybe, the powers that be and the Sacramento Bee will stop bashing the teachers and their union. We can only hope.

In a historic move, the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) and SCUSD have reached an agreement on increasing teacher compensation for the 2022-2023 school year. And let me tell you, it's about damn time!

The agreement includes a 10% ongoing salary increase for all SCTA members, a 6% increase for staff providing critical services, and an increase in substitute teacher pay to $355 per day. That's right, folks. The subs are finally getting their due.

But that's not all. The parties have also committed to reaching a two-year deal on pay for the school years from 2023 to 2025, as well as an agreement on class size and other issues, by November 15. It's like Christmas came early for the teachers and students of SCUSD.

Gone are the days of billionaire privatizers trying to control our schools. It's time to focus on community schools that we deserve. And with this new agreement, we can finally do just that.

But let's not forget about the elephant in the room. The district and union had previously been at odds, culminating in an eight-day strike during the 2021-22 school year. But now, they've put their differences aside and come together for the greater good.

It's like a rom-com where the two leads hate each other at first, but then they realize they're perfect for each other. Except in this case, it's the district and union realizing they're perfect for each other. It's a beautiful thing.

So let's raise a glass to the SCTA and SCUSD for finally coming to an agreement that benefits everyone involved. Here's to a brighter future for our schools and our students. Cheers!

Sacramento teachers union and SCUSD reach agreement to boost salaries