Reader: Should the Holy Bible Be Banned for Its Dangerous Content?

Diane Ravitch's blog

A reader, Nancy Papat, read Pastor Chartes Foster Johnson’s article about Governor Gregg Abbott’s campaign against pornography in the schools and school libraries. She concluded that the Bible is a dangerous book because it contains sexual innuendoes, violence, and even anti-capitalist propaganda (like driving the money-changers from the Temple).

She posted this comment:

By this standard, schools will have to remove the Holy Bible from school libraries.

* There is much too much sex – that story of David and Bathsheba is for mature audiences only

*There are stories of slavery and abuse which might make some children feel bad because that could be interpreted as Critical Race Theory.

*Then there is the story about Mary and Joseph fleeing Bethlehem for Egypt to protect baby Jesus after the King ordered the killing of male babies. Doesn’t that glorify and even deify refugees?

*Jesus threw moneychangers out of the Temple which…

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Student: How Edgenuity Ruined My Education

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

One of my seniors, Melanie Ulschak, mentioned her experience taking online classes. She added that during the 2020-21 school year, she had been enrolled in our Louisiana district’s virtual school, which used the Edgenuity platform, and which was a bust, to put it nicely.

I asked Melanie if she would write a guest post for my blog regarding her experience, and she agreed. I offered to post anonymously, and she said she preferred that I use her name. Below is her response.

Melanie Ulschak

When the pandemic hit, I was devastated. I lost my social outlet: school. I could no longer make random kids in class laugh, could no longer run in the hallways screaming, “It’s a great day to be a tiger, baby!” I lost my main source of human interaction all within one day.

After that loss, to my surprise, the next four months were fun…

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Three States Enact Laws Protecting Drivers Who Ram Their Cars into Protestors

Diane Ravitch's blog

Alternet recapitulates a Boston Globe investigation of a new phenomen: drivers who use their car as a weapon to drive into protestors.

Three Republican-led states have passed laws to protect the drivers who ran into protestors: Iowa, Oklahoma, and Florida.

On Monday, the Boston Globe reported on a “Back the Blue Act” signed by Iowa’s Republican governor, Kim Reynolds. The bill took the side of drivers who run over protesters. In June of 2020, the driver of Reynold’s state-issued Chevrolet Suburban struck a Des Moines Black Liberation Movement protester who was urging the governor to restore voting rights.

Thirteen other states are considering “hit and kill” legislation.

You can read the Boston Globe investigation here, but be advised that it is probably behind a pay wall.

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Teacher Self Care Hinges Upon a Single Word

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

My Dear Teaching Colleagues:

This school year, I have noticed that the term, “self care,” has been floating in the air, as if the mere popularizing of the term is enough to solve the problem of teacher burnout in a pandemic, when profound shortage of what is necessary for competent professionalism looms.

If you listen long enough, you might notice that the very folks seemingly advocating self care are also asking too much of you, over and over again. It is not that they are malicious; it is just that the nature of pervasive shortage yields a scramble to keep the day running, and this scramble sets people at cross purposes. They may not mean to, but in reality, they are asking you to set yourself up for your own burnout.

You must not let it happen. Help alleviate the pressure put on your colleagues and school where you are…

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John Tanner: Why Do Politicians Cling to Failed Education Policies?

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Tanner is a blogger in San Antonio. In this post, he asks a question that I have asked myself many times: Why do ”reformers” and politicians keep funding failure? Why do they demand more charters and vouchers when neither has matched their claims, neither has closed achievement gaps or dramatically higher scores (except when they cherrypick their students)?

Tanner asks the question about test-based accountability, which Texas has embraced for decades.

He begins:

It is inexplicable to me how the failed policies of test-based accountability continue to be championed as if they have worked in the past and will continue to work into the future. The position of those espousing the effectiveness of test-based accountability can only be valid if at some point in the past all schools were essentially equal, and then good or bad educators created the disparities between what are now labeled “good” and “bad” schools…

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Peter Greene: In Case You Missed Michelle Rhee…You Can Join the Zoom

Diane Ravitch's blog

Peter Greene wonders if you have missed Michelle Rhee, once the Wonder Woman of the edreform biz, but recently absent from the national scene. After her meteoric rise to national prominence, when she was selected to be chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools after two years of TFA teaching, she was a colossus: on the cover of TIME as a miracle worker, featured in the documentary “Waiting for Superman,” frequently interviewed on national TV. Her tenure in D.C. was controversial and stormy: she fired teachers and principals and made bold claims about test scores. When Adrian Fenty, the mayor who appointed her, was defeated, she left and started an organization called StudentsFirst, which she said would raise $1 billion and recruit one million members. she never reached either goal, but she traveled the country advocating for charters and vouchers and against teachers’ unions. She allied with Jeb…

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


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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