All posts by Greg R. Flick (Rockhound2)

I am an 18th year earth science teacher in a suburban school district in upstate NY. I spent 20 years working as a professional geologist before becoming a teacher.

Miami-Dade School Board Cancels LBTQ Month, in Response to DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” Law

I am so glad I teach in a free state.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Governor Ron DeSantis wants to make sure that students are never exposed to anything in school that acknowledges the existence of people who are gay. Maybe he thinks that if their existence is never mentioned, they will disappear or go back into the closet.

The Miami-Dade School Board got his message. Last year the board approved a measure to recognize LGBTQ History Month. It was not controversial. Recently the board voted overwhelmingly to cancel that decision, in deference to state law proclaiming that gay people should not be acknowledged.

Last year, when the Miami-Dade School Board overwhelmingly supported a measure to recognize October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) History Month, some board members said their decision was rooted in another step toward civil rights for all people.

At the time, Vice Chair Steve Gallon III said he was “obligated to support the item because my DNA compels…

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EPI: Unions Are Popular Again

Diane Ravitch's blog

Big business has been trying to get rid of unions since the first union was created. Corporations don’t want workers to have collective power. They prefer a workplace where they make all the decisions and don’t have to listen to workers’ voices. The share of unionized workers in the private sector is near an all-time low, but that may change. Recently there have been inklings of a rebirth of unionism. We see it in the growing number of Starbucks and Amazon workers who have voted to unionize. But their numbers remain small. Happily, public opinion is trending in favor of unions.

Someone recently asked me why there was so much hostility to teachers’ unions, and I answered, “Because they are the largest unions.” Teachers’ unions are blamed for whatever critics don’t like in schools, even though they fight for adequate school funding and decent working conditions. Those who have wanted…

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American Prospect: Why Obama-Era Economists Hate Biden’s Student Debt Relief

Diane Ravitch's blog

Lindsay Owens and David Dayen note that some of the most outspoken critics of Biden’s decision to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt are Obama-era economists. Republicans have called it “socialism” and worse, but some Democratic economists are also upset. Owens and Dayen attribute their anger to the failure of Obama’s policy to solve the home foreclosure crisis.

They write:

President Biden’s long-awaited decision to wipe out up to $20,000 in student debt was met with joy and relief by millions of borrowers, and a temper tantrum from centrist economists.null

Moments after the announcement, former Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jason Furman took to Twitter with a dozen tweets skewering the proposal as “reckless,” “pouring … gasoline on the inflationary fire,” and an example of executive branch overreach (“Even if technically legal I don’t like this amount of unilateral Presidential power.”). Brookings economist Melissa Kearny called the…

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Mom in Texas Shuts Down Extremists and Joins the Honor Roll

Diane Ravitch's blog

The superintendent of schools in Granbury, Texas, made clear that he didn’t want any books about LGBT characters or LGBT issues in the school library. He agreed with the angry conservatives who showed up at school board meetings to demand book-banning.

Superintendent Jeremy Glenn has previously emphasized to the district’s librarians that their community was “very, very conservative” and that any school employee who does not possess conservative beliefs “better hide it.” While he started by saying he didn’t care if the books were about homosexuality or heterosexuality, he spoke explicitly about banning books with LGBTQ content.

“And I’m going to take it a step further with you. There are two genders. There’s male, and there’s female. And I acknowledge that there are men that think they’re women. And there are women that think they’re men. And again, I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but…

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David Berliner: The Dangerous, Treasonous Attack on Certified Teachers

Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner is one of the most accomplished education scholars in the nation. A list of his accomplishments would fill a couple of pages so I will say only that the Regius Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University.

Berliner shared his thoughts about the current efforts in red states to destroy the teaching profession:

My Incredibly Short Career as a Brain Surgeon and Some Thoughts About Teaching

When I was an undergraduate psychology major at UCLA I studied physiological psychology, particularly neuroanatomy. During my Masters’program at California State College at Los Angeles I landed a job as a research assistant at the UCLAbrain research center. There I did some fascinatingstudies of brain functioning. Well, more accurately, my job was to get some rats drunk and then test them. I gave the rats a little alcohol, then I had a little alcohol, then they got a bit more, and then I……

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Jennifer Hall Lee: Public Schools Are Essential for Democracy

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jennifer Hall Lee is a trustee of the public schools of the Pasadena Unified School District. She explains here why public schools are the foundation stone of democracy. All of us pay taxes for public schools even if we have no children; even if our children are no longer school-age; even if our children attend private or religious schools. Supporting public schools is a civic responsibility. Paying for other people’s private choices is not.

In the Superintendent’s Enrollment Committee for the Pasadena Unified School District, a group of us are reading and discussing a book entitled American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens by Sarah Stitzlein.

The book is compelling because it explains why public schools are indispensable to our democracy and how we the people are part and parcel of its success.

I chose the book for the enrollment committee because we live in a time when…

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Georgia Professor Shoots and Kills Incoming Freshman

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

I am a West Georgia alum (MEd 1998).

I never worried about this idiocy when I was a student.

Then again, I attended prior to Georgia’s 2014 gun law expansion.

University of West Georgia educator charged with murder in death of incoming student

NBC News

August 01, 2022

A teacher at the University of West Georgia who has since been fired is accused of fatally shooting an incoming student, school officials said.

Richard Sigman, 47, was arrested and charged with murder shortly after Anna Jones, 18, died in a shooting Saturday at a parking deck in Carrollton, Georgia, Carrollton police said.

Jones planned to start the University of West Georgia this fall, according to school spokesperson Colton Campbell.

Jones was pronounced dead at the medical center, and Sigman was arrested and charged with murder, three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of…

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Kathryn Joyce: New Rightwing Social Studies Curriculum Attacks Social Justice and Equity as “Un-Patriotic”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Kathryn Joyce writes in Salon about a new “patriotic” social studies curriculum that celebrates rightwing ideology and deletes social justice from American history. The goal of the new curriculum is to fight “critical race theory” and “wokeness,” which are allegedly trying to “overthrow America.”

Just to be clear, the goal of the new curriculum is to delete the accurate and tragic facts about racism, past and present. They want teachers to stuff children’s heads with fake history. They assume that if students learn the truth about slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, and the unfinished struggle for equal rights for all, they will not have faith in America. If they learn the truth, they think, they will want to “overthrow” the government. This is almost too insane to write or repeat, but it’s happening. Crazy people want teachers of social studies and history to teach lies.


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John Merrow: What Do Stalin, Hitler, Castro and Most GOP Governors Have in Common?

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Merrow sees a common thread in the educational philosophies of Hitler, Stalin, Castro and most red state governors: They want to control the beliefs of students. They want them to believe what they are told. They do not want them to think for themselves. They want to indoctrinate students. They “weaponize schools” by using them for thought control.

This is an important article. It shows how governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis are not interested in freedom of thought but in censorship. He and his confreres are moving us ever closer to fascism.

Merrow begins:

“Whoever has the youth has the future.” Adolf Hitler

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” Josef Stalin

“Revolution and education are the same thing.” Fidel Castro

Like Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin is following a well-trod…

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“Moms for Liberty” Seek to Expand Their Influence on School Boards and State Races

Diane Ravitch's blog

At a meeting in Tampa recently, the organization of far-right agitators called “Moms for Liberty” took aim at public schools, teachers, and curriculum. They believe their children are indoctrinated in public schools, which is utter nonsense. What is clear is that they want to indoctrinate all children into their racist, bigoted worldview.

The so-called “Moms” are terrified by teaching about racism and gender. They want the power to censor books they don’t like. They want to stifle teachers who teach the truth about American history.

Their first national conference was addressed by Fovernor Ron DeSantis, Senator Rick Scott, and Betsy DeVos, all of whom are contemptuous of public schools.

Who are the Moms for Liberty? They are the female version of the John Birch Society. The latter spied Communists everywhere. The Moms are terrified that someone might teach children that racism was and is a blight on our country.


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