Lack of Trusted Authority is Why Covid-19 is Kicking Our Butts

gadflyonthewallblog

We have faced tough times before.

World wars, famines, pandemics, economic ruin.

But in each of these disasters, the majority of people thought they had somewhere to turn for knowledge and advice.

We had trusted authorities to tell us what to do, to counsel us how to handle these seemingly insurmountable disasters.

Today many of us face the Covid-19 pandemic feeling there are few sources to believe in – and that more than anything else – is why we are having such a difficult time coming together to overcome this crisis.

The media, government, science, religion – none hold a central place of confidence in most people’s lives. So when tough decisions about health and safety come into play, many of us aren’t sure what to do.

This wasn’t always the case.

Look back to World War II.

Not only did we defeat fascism but new vaccines put a wallop…

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California: Culver City School District is First in State to Require All Eligible Students to Be Vaccinated

Diane Ravitch's blog

A sign of sanity, common sense, and responsibility: Culver City schools require all eligible students to be vaccinated. Superintendent estimates that about 1 in 20 parents object. Why should their objection override the public health of all students?

The Culver City Unified School District has issued a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all eligible students — believed to be the first such requirement in California — a move the district superintendent said has the overwhelming support of parents, teachers and staff.
Currently, children 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which remains under emergency use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration. The Culver City requirement has a Nov. 19 deadline, and district officials hope the vaccine will have received full FDA approval by then.


California has ordered all K-12 school employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly coronavirus testing — and a growing number of school districts, including…

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Oklahoma City Defies State Ban on Masks

It is good to see some districts with backbone!

Diane Ravitch's blog

The state leaders of Oklahoma banned any mask mandates by school districts, showing their contempt for local control. But Oklahoma City, the state’s largest district, declared that it would defy the state and require all students and staff to wear masks. The district cares more about students than the Governor and Legislature.

Other districts in the state are following Oklahoma City’s lead.

The Tulsa school board is planning to sue the state to invalidate the masking ban.

It’s wonderful to see school districts fighting an irrational ban that endangers the lives of students and staff!

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Randi Weingarten Supports Mandatory Vaccinations for Teachers

Her announcement would have had more impact had she said this in the first place.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Randi Weingarten appeared on “Meet the Press” and endorsed mandatory vaccinations for teachers.

She said on Sunday that she wants the union to support mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for teachers. Currently, the AFT (and the NEA) favor vaccination being a voluntary choice.

Randi said:

“Since 1850 we’ve dealt with vaccines in schools, it’s not a new thing to have vaccines in schools. And I think that, on a personal matter, as a matter of personal conscience, I think that we need to be working with our employers – not opposing them – on vaccine mandates.”NBC’s Meet the Press

This should not even be a story. Of course, teachers, hospital workers, and all essential personnel should be vaccinated. The virus will not be conquered until almost everyone is vaccinated against it.

How can parents send their children to school without the secure knowledge that the child’s teacher is vaccinated.

Mandatory…

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Why Disciplined Messaging on Public School Policy Is So Important

Truer words…

janresseger

In some states, the new school year has already begun, the COVID Delta Variant is surging, and already everybody is worrying, and legitimately so, about whether and how public schools will reopen. But that is not really the deepest concern for many of us who care about the future of public schools.

Certainly far-right ideologues investing millions of dollars to push corporate school reform and promote school privatization are messaging their own agenda instead of focusing on whether or not schools reopen in person or whether students and/or teachers are required to vaccinate or wear masks. Newspapers, many of which are losing their education reporters to collapsing advertising budgets, have pretty much opted for the obvious topic—school reopening and masking requirements.  You can be sure, however, that ALEC is instead doggedly promoting the expansion of vouchers as its members lobby inside state legislatures, and Nina Rees, who leads the National…

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Florida: Governor Threatens to Cut Funding from Districts that Require Face Masks

Only in America are adults punished for trying to keep children healthy.

Diane Ravitch's blog

NPR reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is prepared to act against school districts that require their students to wear race masks, despite the fact that the coronavirus is surging in almost every county in the state.

A battle is brewing in Florida over whether students will have to wear masks when they return to the classroom this fall.

Several Florida school districts are keeping their mask mandates in place for the upcoming school year, despite an executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis that leaves it up to parents to decide whether their children wear face coverings in school. School boards that don’t eliminate mask mandates could face the loss of state funding.

South Florida’s Broward County Public Schools, the second-largest district in Florida, cited safety as its top priority announcing the decision to maintain its mask requirement pending further guidance from the state as coronavirus cases surge in…

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Why Is Texas Governor Abbott Indifferent to the Pandemic?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Governor Gregg Abbott has banned any mask mandates, despite the fact that cases and hospitalizations are soaring. What’s the matter with him?

Erica Grieder of the Houston Chronicle wonders about Governor Abbbott’s indifference. Does he want to prolong the pandemic?

She writes:

We all know that the Lone Star State has experienced some setbacks in dealing with this horrid plague, namely the emergence of the highly transmissible delta variant as the state grapples with lagging vaccination rates. On Wednesday, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis, more than 10,000 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported to the Department of State Health Services — the largest single-day jump since mid-February. And across Texas, 5,662 people were hospitalized.

And here comes Abbott, a Republican, bravely into the breach, responding by…imposing further limits on the capacity of local officials to take action in response to The governor on Thursday issued an executive…

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Samuel Abrams Reviews Joanne Golann’s Critique of “No Excuses” Charter Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

Samuel Abrams worked for many years as a teacher in a New York City public school. After earning his doctorate, he became executive director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Center consistently produces valuable reports about privatization. Consider joining its mailing list.

Here, Abrams reviews Joanne Golann’s recent book Scripting the Moves, a close analysis of “no excuses” charter schools. Open the link to read the full review and an excerpt from the book.

Abrams writes:

Few education initiatives have generated as much praise as well as philanthropic funding as the “no-excuses” charter school movement. Yet criticism of the movement has recently been growing, from both inside and out, so much so that KIPP (short for Knowledge Is Power Program), the movement’s standard-bearer, dropped its motto—“Work Hard. Be Nice.”—one year ago in acknowledgement of the conflict between the…

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Jeff Bryant: Charter Industry Lobbies Hard to Prevent Ban on Federal Funding of For-Profit Charters

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant is one of the best informed writers about charter schools in the nation. He is chief correspondent for Our Schools and director of the Education Opportunity Network. He explains here why the charter industry is using misinformation to stop a Democratic proposal to ban federal funding for for-profit charter schools.

He begins:

The top lobbying group for the charter school industry is rushing to preserve millions in funds from the federal government that flow to charter operators that have turned their K-12 schools into profit-making enterprises, often in low-income communities of color.

The group, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), objects to a provision in the House Appropriations Committee’s proposed 2022 education budget that closes loopholes that have long been exploited by charter school operators that profit from their schools through management contracts, real estate deals, and other business arrangements. NAPCS also objects to the legislation’s…

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