Monday, November 8, 2021

In Case You Missed It – November 8, 2021

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

Be sure to enter your email address in the new Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

Racism is in the news, again...state laws against teaching about race, book banning, elections which focus on race in school...It's all here. We also highlight a new charter school in Minnesota, along with some articles left over from last week.


I Triggered Bill Maher By Writing About Standardized Testing and White Supremacy

Commedian Bill Maher didn't like what Steven Singer wrote...chances are he didn't actually read the post...

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
...Maher disagrees with what I wrote.

In fact, the very idea annoyed him as a prime example of namby-pamby liberals taking their agenda too far.

What did I write in the article?

Only that standardized testing is a tool of white supremacy.

In fact, that was the title of the article, which seems to be about as far as Bill read because he ignored any arguments, facts or historical citations in the piece.

On his show, “Real Time with Bill Maher” this week, he posted the title of the article and the graphic that appeared with it when it was republished on

What he didn’t post was my name. I am the author, after all, but I guess that’s not important.

The crucial bit was how triggered Bill was by my assertion.

By connecting such allegedly alien concepts as standardized testing and racism, Maher thinks I devalued the meaning of “white supremacy.”

Replying to Moms for Liberty: What about These Books?

Peter Greene reviews his twitter conversation with Moms for Liberty and gives them some idea about how to ask their questions politely.

From Curmudgucation
This is my reply to Moms for Liberty...

...banning a book is huge, huge deal. Having it pulled from a school library in an attempt to keep it away from students is a huge, huge deal. Not only that, but it doesn't work. The good people of Boston banned Huckleberry Finn (too much friendliness between a white boy and a Black man), and they turned it into a best seller. I guarantee you that the books that have turned up on these current banning lists are now being sought out by the students [Moms for Liberty] wanted to protect.

I see a huge irony in your current movement. Many of your folks are also anti-vax and anti-mask, arguing that simply letting students be exposed to the virus will not be a problem because natural immunity and their own strength will protect them. And yet when it comes to "these books," the approach is to prevent exposure at all costs.

More Rough Days Ahead For Public Ed

Critical Race Theory in public K-12 schools was the main issue in the Virginia elections even though it's not being taught in any K-12 schools. The point is that those parents against talking about race are "hurt" because the history of the United States isn't perfect. We wonder if they think we ought to not teach the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution because both documents contain racist references...

From Curmudgucation seems reasonable to assume that a whole bunch of GOP politicos have, in the wake of the Virginia governor's election, will conclude that a winning strategy is to treat public education as a punching bag. Filled with indoctrinators! Naughty books! Race stuff! A bunch of commie lesbians turning your kids trans! A scam to make the unions rich! And, of course, they suck at educating children!

We'll hear it all from various candidates for the next three years because, as of right now, it appears to work. There are, of course, alternative explanations (e.g. Virginia has, 11 out of 12 times, elected a governor from the party out of national power). But this seems like a simple one, and it's easy to do, and the ground troops are already in place in the form of a hundred anti-CRT/masks/vax/closed schools groups. Brandishing the dirty book can be the 21st century's wave the bloody shirt. I'm afraid we're in for three years (at least) of calls for banning books and regulating teacher speech.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman Seizes Control of the State Board of Education

From Jan Resseger
On Friday, two members of the Ohio State Board of Education, including the board’s elected president, were forced to resign because the all-powerful president of the Ohio Senate opposed their vote to retain an anti-racism resolution passed by the state board last year following George Floyd’s murder and not to retract that resolution.

The two who were forced to resign were in the minority when the state board voted in October to replace last year’s Resolution 20. Here is how, yesterday, the Plain Dealer‘s editorial board summarized the original Resolution 20: “The resolution… condemned ‘in the strongest possible terms, white supremacy culture, hate speech, hate crimes and violence in the service of hatred’ and said the board itself would work to ‘engage our members in open and courageous conversations on racism and inequity’ while offering training ‘to identify our own biases.’ The resolution directed the Ohio Department of Education to examine curriculum and standards to see if any changes were needed to ‘eliminate bias’ and ensure accuracy, and to encourage and support school districts, parents and communities in examining their own practices.'”

Midwest Dispatch: Minnesota Launches a Pro-Police Charter School

A police run charter school...what could go wrong.

From The Progressive
Should cops be allowed to start their own charter school using public funds? This is the question facing residents in Ramsey County, Minnesota, the second largest county in the state.

Ramsey County is home to Sheriff Bob Fletcher, the purveyor of a self-styled, Cops-like YouTube channel called “Live on Patrol.” Fletcher started the livestream in late July 2020, in the middle of ongoing uprisings over the murder of George Floyd. His alleged intention was to build more trust between law enforcement officers and the public, though he has been accused of uttering racist comments during his broadcasts.

Now, Fletcher and other Ramsey County Sheriff Department staffers have co-founded a charter school. The School of Leadership for Public Service, which is set to open next fall, would enroll students in grades six through ten and has raised a host of red flags.


Diary Of A Socialist Indoctrinator

From Peter Greene in Forbes
One vision of what a teacher's journal might be like in a parallel universe as envisioned by Donald Trump Jr.'s critique.
Illinois: Parent Groups Sue to Remove COVID Safety Measures

From Diane Ravitch
Organized parent groups in Illinois are suing school boards, the state board of education and the Governor to remove mask mandates and other safety measures from the schools.

No comments: