School Districts Shortchange Low-Income Schools: Report

I am pleased that, as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the following article posted, “The facts are out there like they’ve never been before,” but these findings have been more than just “long suspected.”

School Districts Shortchange Low-Income Schools: Report.

In 1991, Jonathan Kozol detailed this in his book, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, that discusses the disparities in education between schools of different classes and races. It is based on his observations of various classrooms in the public school systems of East St. Louis, Chicago, New York City, Camden, Cincinnati, and Washington D.C.
His observations take place in both schools with the lowest per capita spending on students and the highest, ranging from just over $3,000 in Camden, New Jersey to a maximum expenditure of up to $15,000 in Great Neck, Long Island.
In his visits to these areas, Kozol illustrates the overcrowded, unsanitary and often understaffed environment that is lacking in basic tools and textbooks for teaching. He cites the large proportions of minorities in the areas with the lowest annual budgets, despite the higher taxation rate on individuals living in poverty within the school district.

This article states that, “Though Duncan highlighted the glaring disparities Wednesday, his administration has so far prioritized other issues — such as standards and innovation — over funding equity.”
These glaring disparities have always been known so, unfortunately, I doubt the report will alter priorities any more than Kozal’s findings did.

Michigan Senate Approves House Version Of Anti-Bullying Bill, Drops Religious Language

There is a new article in the Huffington Post related to the Michigan anti-bullying law that I blogged about last week. VICTORY!!!

Michigan Senate Approves House Version Of Anti-Bullying Bill, Drops Religious Language.

I don’t know if you have heard of this bill but Michigan passed a bill, called “Matt’s Safe School Law” that had an added clause protecting those doing the bullying if teachers and students can claim that their actions are rooted in a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”

I can’t express how relieved I am to know that they have altered the bill to be more appropriate. I was more freaked out by the original story than any thing I’ve read recently about education so I am celebrating the victory.

Watch the video of Senator Gretchen Whitmer if you haven’t seen it. She is my hero right now.

‘Teacher Evaluation’ : Real Agenda Appears to Be School PRIVATIZATION

The article from the Common Dreams website, by Gloria C. Endres, ‘Teacher Evaluation’: Real Agenda Appears to Be School Privatization is a must read for anyone interested in education in the slightest bit.

After much research over the years on this subject, I can attest to THIS IS WHAT IS BEHIND MOST EDUCATION REFORM AND THE “NEED TO IMPROVE” TEACHER EVALUATIONS.

The privatization of public schools (school-choice, voucher system, etc.) would have he most damning results on education. Don’t we have enough evidence what happens when a few billionaires control an institution? Turning education into corporate profit would only serve those who would make millions from this, NOT THE STUDENTS.

Read Michelle Rhee’s Wikipedia page (I checked all the references).

The Student’s First website makes it clear what their agenda is. Although they should be commended for their anti-bully and pro LGBT stance, that is where the students coming first stops.

(You may also want to read a piece Larry Strauss wrote for The Huffington Post called, Students First and Other Lies).

“Matt’s School Safe Law”: Anti-bullying law now protects the bullies depending on their motive

Michigan is passing a law that will protect bullying under certain circumstances. Read the Huffington Post Article and tell me I’m not crazy that this is insane. (Also, watch the video where Senator Gretchen Whitmer expresses her opinion).

It is a travesty that a bill (named after MATT no less) that was supposed to address bullying in schools and keeping kids safe, makes okay and protects those that bully if their actions come from a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction “.

As a teacher, I am appalled. As a Christian, I am utterly disheartened.
This is probably the most insane legislation I have heard of relating to education, and I think we all know that is saying A LOT.

Pat Robertson & Rush Limbaugh vs. things like the truth, being moral, and humanity

Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh’s are false; much like the rest of their other propaganda, hateful prejudice and ignorant claims that spew from their lying tongues. Their toxic radio and TV shows can be directly related to suffering and death when considering the amount of money loyal supporters will not be sending.

You can read the real history of Haiti relating to this subject in an article by Jean R. Gelin, Ph.D called God, Satan & the Birth of Haiti (2005). This is part one to his response Robertson and anyone else stupid enough to believe that because you are not the one struck by tragedy, it is God punishing others. Gelin writes about the origins of the Satan pact myth and includes an accurate accounts of Haiti’s history. He cites all sources including some with links for further reading.

No doubt that Pat Roberson’s has influenced millions of sheep-like conservative Christians to feel conflicted contributing monetarily to a nation in need that has just been proclaimed “Satanic” by someone they believe to be ordained by God. It is beyond me how so many Christians have been deceived to buy into right-wing values so fervently that are in direct contradiction of those of Jesus Christ. I realize a large number of politically conservative Christians don’t go as far as supporting extremists like Robertson or other wealthy TV evangelists, but most adopt strong views against tolerance, peace, equality, not caring for others in need with “hand outs”, to name a few. There are over 2000 scriptures in The Bible commanding us to give alms to the poor, financially support widows and orphans, take care of those with less, share your blessings, etc. I haven’t found one of the top issues that the religious right fight for to have close to this many scriptures supporting it, not to mention such clear language as to the intended meaning.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
1st Corinthians 13:13

Rush Limbaugh came out against the relief effort stating Obama has given enough (and that his only motive was a political play to gain favor with the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country.” Most likely comforting to those who were never going to contribute to a humanitarian cause anyway (certainly not one that has to do with saving poor, non-white, people who aren’t American citizens), but I don’t believe that all his listeners are as hateful as he is and think that many would have supported and/or donated that may not now. At least he doesn’t herald he speaks for God.

Alright he does. Well… at least not in the same way as Pat Robertson does; from the pulpit of Christian Chruch praying to Jesus in between his evil rants and while scamming for cash.