Daily Caller News Foundation Interview: Iranian Immigrant Parent Dimis Christophy Encourages Others to Speak Out and Not Be Intimidated

  The Daily Caller News Foundation interviewed Iranian-Christian Dimis Christophy, a Loudoun County, Virginia parent who unleashed on his child’s woke public school board during a meeting on August 10th. TRANSCRIPT: Christophy: Just to clear up, I know, King and Queen are not pronouns. I get it. Okay. There’s a…

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Dr. Carol Swain: Oregon’s New Teacher Training Claiming Mathematics is Racist is ‘Lunacy of the Political Left’

Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition with host Pete Hegseth Sunday morning to discuss the lunacy of the Oregon Department of Education’s new teacher training claiming mathematics is racist and supports white supremacy.

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RPS Has Worst Graduation and Dropout Rates in the Commonwealth

Richmond Public Schools (RPS) has both the lowest graduation rate and the highest dropout rate among school districts in the state of Virginia, Superintendent Jason Kamras said.

In the daily RPS direct newsletter for Wednesday, Kamras gave an update on the graduation and dropout rates from the 2019-20 academic year for the school districts high schools. Included within Kamras’ online newsletter was data from a presentation given to the school board on Monday by RPS chief academic officer Tracy Epp.

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Loudoun County Schools Superintendent Announced Sudden Departure for Texas Superintendent Position, Parents in New District React

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Eric Williams announced his departure last week without warning. The Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD) in Houston, Texas selected Williams as their sole finalist for superintendent in a nationwide search.

LCPS parents and concerned CCISD parents flooded the comments of the official CCISD Facebook page announcement on Williams’ new position. LCPS parents warned CCISD parents that Williams would impose the same social justice initiatives that he’d done while overseeing LCPS, such as through the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC).

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Virginia Military Institute Hires First Black Interim Superintendent After Northam Pays $1 Million to Investigate Systemic Racism

The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) hired its first Black superintendent shortly after Governor Ralph Northam allotted $1 million to investigate allegations of systemic racism there. VMI announced the appointment of retired U.S. Army Major General Cedric T. Wins on Friday.

Wins will serve as the interim superintendent at VMI – he is also a 1985 graduate. In his remarks on accepting the interim position with VMI, Wins only had positive words for the institution’s history.

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Parents and Members of Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club Protest Distance Learning

A gathering of parked cars blared their horns as dusk fell over the parking lot. Parents arrived once more on a Tuesday evening to protest against distance learning at the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting.

After parents finished honking, they joined the meeting so that they can speak to the board directly. November 10th marked the fourth “Honk for Back-to-School” that parents and community members have attended. These individuals continue to protest the total distance learning at LCPS. 

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Loudoun County Schools Clarifies to Parents That White Children Can Participate, But Not Speak as Equity Ambassadors

A Loudoun County Public Schools Equity Advisor told parents that White students may only become equity ambassadors to “amplify the voice of Students of Color.” When the parent asked for in a followup email if their child could discuss the personal accounts of White students, the advisor said no.

“This LCPS endeavor is specific to amplifying the voice of Students of Color by engaging in discussions about their experiences regarding issues of racism, injustice, and inequity. Though all students (white or otherwise) are more than welcome to potentially serve as ambassadors, their focus would be to raise the voice of their classmates of color during these meetings.”

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Virginia Department of Education Leader Accused of Appropriating Government Resources to Speak on Equity at Loudoun County Public Schools

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Director of Equity and Community Engagement Leah Dozier Walker will moderate a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) event on equity. Walker also advocates other issues including Black Lives Matter, anti-racism, critical race theory, and social justice. 

Earlier this year, Virginia Inspector General Michael Westfall accused Walker of appropriating government resources to set up her private consulting business. Westfall noted in his report that Walker had accumulated nearly 100 hours of unexplained absences the previous year, as well as offered consulting services that were almost the same as her state duties.

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Parents Submit Letter to Betsy DeVos Requesting Civil Rights Investigation into Loudoun Schools

Parents have submitted a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos requesting a civil rights investigation into Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). These parents requested that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to determine whether LCPS violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution, as well as President Donald Trump’s “Executive Order on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping.” 
The letter alleged that LCPS engaged in discrimination when it excluded non-Hispanic and non-Black parents from federally-funded focus groups; mandated staff training on “implicit bias,” including white privilege, white supremacy, and unconscious bias; restricted disciplinary action on minority students to make data proportional; and excluded staff and student members from opportunities based on race.

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Non-Colored Students Need Not Apply: Loudoun County Public Schools Initially Barred White Students from Equity Ambassador Program

In the initial draft of a student equity ambassador program informational packet, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) barred students who weren’t colored from admission into the program.

Under “III. Process for Selecting Student Equity Ambassadors” the second process listing guidelines specifically mentioned students’ skin color as a qualifying factor.

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Henrico Public Schools Adopt Return to Classes Plan, Say Families Must Make Year-long Commitment

The Henrico County School Board adopted a plan last week allowing an optional return to classrooms for younger students later this fall and older students in early 2021, but at a town hall meeting on Tuesday school leaders said whichever choice families make, either virtual or in-person learning, will be a year-long commitment.

While answering submitted questions from parents, Dr. Thomas Ferrell Jr., Henrico director of high school education, brought up the stipulation that families’ choice of learning model would be binding, except for specific instances.

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The Committee Shaping Policy and Curriculum at Loudoun County Public Schools

Behind the scenes at Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), many of the policy and curriculum changes reflecting social justice initiatives are driven by the Minority Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC). MSAAC is an advisory committee under Superintendent Eric Williams and the LCPS School Board.

MSAAC was formed in 1994 to advise and discuss LCPS board and administration on minority student achievement. MSAAC was designed to ensure “advantages in academic, vocational, physical, cultural, and social education” for all students.

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Staunton City Schools Latest to Follow Growing Trend of Creating ‘Equity Committees’

Staunton City Schools (SCS) are developing an equity committee to solve achievement and opportunity disparities between students. The twenty members of the committee will focus on “ensuring equitable practices” within curriculum, teaching, student and parent experiences, school policies, and hiring.
Half of the committee will be comprised of individuals involved in the school, with the other half from the surrounding community.

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Virginia Department of Education Releases New ‘Equity Audit Tool’ as Most Schools Continue Distance Learning

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released a new “equity audit tool” last week. The tool is part of VDOE’s “Navigating EdEquityVA,” which focuses on providing tools and resources to dismantle inequities in education.

Included within the checklist are evaluations of “anti-racism,” various biases such as gender and ethnic bias, support of racial justice groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Black Power, proportional disciplinary action across races, and equal representation throughout groups and classes.

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Loudoun County Schools Turn to Black Lives Matter for Curriculum, Tries to Hide It

Several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) reliance on material from Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other similar organizations.
One parent issued a FOIA request to LCPS Public Information Officer Wayde Byard. Specifically, the FOIA request concerned any LCPS collaboration with Southern Poverty Law Center and BLM.

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Loudoun County School Board Backpedals on Policy Limiting Free Speech Indefinitely After Public Outcry

Loudoun County School Board voted this week to revise their “Professional Conduct” policy governing employee speech off of school property. Up until the latest meeting, members recommended to approve and accept the policy.
Apparently, public outcry from teachers unions and community members led to this decision.

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Top High School in U.S. Releases New Admissions Plan Based on ‘Racial Equity’ Lottery Instead of Academic Merit

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) released a new admissions plan for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology largely based on lottery rather than academic merit. The new plan proposed by FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand omits the current standardized testing requirements.
FCPS says it will admit 100 students based on high evaluations. The high school would select the remaining 400 at random through something they call a “merit lottery.”

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Thales Academy Glen Allen Adds Third Grade After Huge Success of K-2 Programs That Opened in July

Thales Academy Glen Allen will add the third grade to their K-2 programs in the 2021-2022 school year, after a successful first quarter. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Glen Allen location first opened on July 20 of this year – it is the first Thales Academy in Virginia.

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Fairfax County Public Schools Paid ‘Critical Race’ and ‘Antiracism’ Theorist Ibram Kendi $20,000 for One-Hour Virtual Presentation

Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) paid critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi $20,000 to give an hour-long virtual presentation. Kendi is the bestselling author of “How to Be Antiracist,” a book of circular definitions used to explain critical race theory.

The average teaching assistant earns $23,000 a year; the staff spent nearly that much for a 45-minute lecture and 15-minute Q&A. 

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UVA to Students: Lockdown! But…Pay Us!

University of Virginia (UVA) President Jim Ryan announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday prohibiting student gathering of five or more people, mandating constant use of masks or face coverings and banning  travel and visitors coming to campus for at least the next two weeks. 

The restrictions apply to students, faculty and staff, living on and off campus, and went into effect on Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

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Former Vanderbilt University Professor Carol Swain Weighs in on Constitution Question Scandal at Her Teaching Alma Mater

Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition to discuss the recent backlash facing Vanderbilt University for asking a quiz question suggesting the Constitution may perpetuate White supremacy by protecting the institution of slavery.

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The Madness of Crowds: Liberty U’s Business School Dean David Brat Weighs in on the U.S. Economy’s Future

Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed Liberty University’s Business School Dean David Brat to the show to discuss the present and future of the United States economy.

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Private Schools Offer In-Person Solution to Public Schools’ Online-Only Problem

While many public schools across Virginia will keep their doors closed in lieu of virtual classrooms this fall, a private school may be the in-person educational option parents and students are looking for.

Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) (7-12, male-only) is one such option. The boarding military school is known for its “One Subject Plan.” Students are enrolled in one subject at a time, allowing them to focus on one specific area of study for 7 weeks at a time. FUMA will offer in-person classes and athletics programs during the fall while taking necessary precautions for the health of its students and staff.

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Counselor in Texas School District Shares List of Marxist Literature as ‘Tool’

A lengthy email from a counselor in Plano Independent School District (PISD) sent to colleagues contained three attachments including, among other things, a list of overtly Marxist media for use in classrooms, and a study guide for those “trying to become better allies.”

The attachments highlight materials like The 1619 Project (which claims America’s history is based on racism and slavery), talking points concerning the deaths of George Floyd; Breonna Taylor; and Ahmaud Arbery; and suggested reading lists including Marxist and Communist literature.

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Democratic Strongholds of St. Paul and Minneapolis Are Home to Half of the State’s Lowest Performing Schools

classroom

The Democratic strongholds of St. Paul and Minneapolis are home to half of the state’s lowest performing schools, according to the Minnesota Report Card. The Pioneer Press recently reported that the Twin Cities contain 24 of the 47 lowest-performing schools in the state, which are set to receive support from…

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School Discipline Policy Belongs at the Local Level, Not Washington

classroom

by Jonathan Butcher   Teacher unions and progressive special-interest groups cried foul earlier this year when the White House suggested that federal directives on school safety could be rescinded. But if a recent hearing held by the Federal Commission on School Safety is any indication, state and local policymakers don’t need Washington to micromanage…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Few More Thoughts on Testing in Tennessee…

students in class

All stakeholders want to get testing right.  However, the emphasis on testing misses the bigger issue:  student academic growth measured by flawed testing.  Then the results being used in educator evaluations.  This is certainly more problematic to educators than the actual tests themselves. 

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JC Bowman Commentary: Testing is Open for Debate

Professional Educators of Tennessee raised the issue on Testing, with a hard-hitting editorial called the Trouble with Testing. Professional Educators of Tennessee did NOT support the use of that data on teacher evaluations, nor did they sign a support letter on the original grant submission., which the Tennessee Education Association did.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Separate PACS from Lobbying

dealmakers

Professional Educators of Tennessee will continue to lobby for public education.  However, we will never endorse political parties or candidates as an organization on behalf of our members.  We also do not have a PAC, nor do we plan to ever start one.  It would harm our effectiveness.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Unions Are in Politics for Power, Money, and Influence

sly bribe

For groups like Professional Educators of Tennessee, it is simple.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.  The union never stops in its quest for power and control over public education. 

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Way Down Yonder in Maury County

Maury County Schools

Every budget tells a story—about your spending plan, priorities, goals, and financial health. What story are you telling your community about the importance of public education in your community? We understand that it is an election year and politics are driving the debate.

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Rumor Control: Setting the Record Straight on PreK/Kindergarten Portfolios

JC Bowman

Social media was hard at it this weekend over the PreK/Kindergarten Student Growth Portfolio Model.  While Professional Educators of Tennessee is not sold on the portfolio process, it is the current law (see T.C.A. §§ 49-6-103–49-6-110).  We believe the current portfolio system takes up too much time for our educators. …

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Trevecca’s Shining Star: Dr. Suzann Harris

Professional Educators of Tennessee recognized Dr. Suzann “Suzie” Barker Harris with one of our prestigious “Friend of the Educator” Award.  She is a shining star for Trevecca and a model for people of faith who is worthy of distinction to all educators. 

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Intent and Spirit of Collaborative Conferencing

Tennessee Star

Are we striving toward achievement of the original objective of the PECCA law?  It is clear, a course adjustment may be in order.  Eliminating needless lawsuits, staying focused on the purpose, including more teachers in the process, and having impartial training moving forward will better establish a peaceful, stable employer-employee relationship. Who could oppose those common-sense changes? 

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JC Bowman Commentary: Giving Tennessee Educators a Choice and a Voice

teacher

As teachers and administrators go back to school across the state, they will have a choice in what teacher association in which they want to join.  We hope they will join Professional Educators of Tennessee.  As an independent, Tennessee -focused professional association, we keep our membership dues low by ensuring that…

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JC Bowman Commentary: On Combining the Departments of Education and Labor

Departments of Education and Labor

President Trump’s concept to merge the U.S. Department of Education with the Department of Labor lacks significant details and will be difficult to maneuver through a deeply divided Congress.

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One-Fifth Of North Carolina Students Aren’t Going To Traditional Public Schools

classroom

by Rob Shimshock   Almost 20 percent of K-12 students in North Carolina are not attending traditional public schools. Enrollment in the state’s traditional public schools has fallen during the past few years as more and more students attend private, charter or home schools, The News & Observer reported Friday. North Carolina’s…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Modern Approach to Educator Representation

teacher

Most educators are not buying into a more militant, progressive labor movement beholden to the far left. Educators nationally often spend hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of dollars per year on union dues.  There are much more cost-effective alternatives, like Professional Educators of Tennessee.   That is what makes groups like Professional Educators of Tennessee different.  We offer a modern approach to educator representation, legal protection and unmatched educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda.  There are non-union alternatives for educators in other states as well.  Nobody wants to return the 1950’s.    

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Public School Teachers Are Paid More Than Commonly Reported

by James Agresti   During recent teacher walkouts in Oklahoma that captured national attention, many major media outlets reported misleadingly small figures for teacher pay. By failing to reveal all aspects of teacher compensation, these outlets hid the true costs to taxpayers—which now amount to an annualized average of about $120,000 for every…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Lives, Fortunes, and Honor

US flags w airman

JC Bowman writes: Freedom should never be taken for granted.  Today we are debating the very concept of what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America.  While many citizens are very passionate about our country, others seem disillusioned and some openly hostile.  It is why the Declaration of Independence is such an important document. It expresses what it means to be an American. 

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The Tennessee Education Association Embraces the Union Label in Washington D.C., Denies It in Nashville

NEA headquarters

JC Bowman writes: “There are many other completely, independent non-union organizations now in America that represents public school educators, giving them a clear, non-union voice.  This means they do not spend a large portion of their lobbying efforts and their political funds focusing on bills and causes that fall outside the scope of education.”

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JC Bowman Commentary: SCOTUS Janus Decision Will Make Unions More Accountable to Their Members

Mark Janus

The Janus Decision will not create drastic structural changes to unions.  It will simply make them more accountable to their own members.  And in the case of teacher unions, this greater accountability should focus on making the quality of education front and center, help public education rebuild support from the public for issues like raising teacher pay and school funding, and work for the common good of all students and educators.

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Yale Trustee Candidate Running On Platform Of Smashing Political Correctness

James Kirchick

by Rob Shimshock   A candidate for Yale University’s board of trustees is intent on smashing political correctness, particularly after the 2015 cultural appropriation scandal on campus. Yale graduate James Kirchick suggested that he saw the beginnings of leftist intolerance on campus when he noticed an underrepresentation of liberals in…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Are You Called to Teach?

Teacher and Kids

Teaching is indeed an imposing, self-sacrificing, but also a magnanimous calling. There is no other profession, except perhaps the clergy, that can change lives like a public-school teacher.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

Dark Money

This election cycle we have already seen an influx of unaccountable cash, known as dark money, which pours into our state. Outside money hurts more than it helps. Tennessee voters were not swayed by big spending outsiders. It is worth noting the message the outsiders bring is almost always negative. If you don’t think this is an erosion of democracy, you’re not thinking about it hard enough. The formula is simple: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

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Christian Parent Furious After School Instructs Children To Write Out Their Submission To Allah

Classroom Islam

by Joshua Gill   A West Virginia school has come under fire for instructing junior high students to write the Islamic profession of faith ostensibly to practice calligraphy. Rich Penkoski, a Christian parent and founder of online ministry Warriors for Christ, raised alarms over a packet on Islam his daughter’s seventh…

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