Politics, Competition With Religious Schools, Far Outweighed Science in School Shutdown Decisions, Analysis Found

In response to state and local government shutdowns reportedly designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, schools districts and local governments implemented different reopening guidelines and timelines – but did so more because of politics or competition with private schools than because of science, a new report published by Brown University found.

The EdWorking Paper published by The Annenberg Institute at Brown University authored by Michael T. Hartney from Boston College and Leslie K. Finger from the University of North Texas found that “the most critical decision facing the nation’s school boards – whether or not to re-open in person and to what degree – appears to be closely related to the partisanship of a local school district.”

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Report: Some Public Schools Obstructing Parents’ Efforts to Withdraw Children for Home-Schooling

Some public schools are telling parents they can’t withdraw their children to home-school or aren’t following the TEA guidelines for withdrawal, according to a new report published by the Texas Home School Coalition Association (THSC).

The largest statewide advocacy organization for home educators in the state sent a written notice to 9,500 school administrations in August, clarifying the Texas Education Agency policy for student withdrawal.

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San Diego School Districts Abolish Grades to Combat Racism

In an effort to combat racial discrimination the San Diego Unified School District last week announced plans to abolish the traditional grading system, Fox News reports.

According to the data, black students received D or F grades 20 percent of the time and hispanic students received them 23 percent of the time, while white students received them 7 percent of the time and asian students received them 6 percent of the time from the first semester of the last school year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

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Ohio State Prof Says Clarence Thomas Not ‘Authentically Black’

At a symposium hosted by Texas A&M University at Commerce, titled, “What the Truth Sounds Like,” Professor Donna Ford argued that one of the significant problems in education is White females. She also noted that diversity of “skin color” is not enough, considering that she wouldn’t want “Clarence Thomas teaching my damn kids.”

“There is a monopoly on education, where White females being about 85 percent of the teaching force, and then you know pretty much the same thing with white administrators. So White females I’m speaking to you, and I’m saying you’ve got to get your sh- stuff together,” said Ford during her lecture.

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Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Delays Students’ Return to Classrooms

The Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) superintendent George Parker announced Tuesday that he was postponing the plan that would have brought students back to the classroom for the first time since March.

The delay comes after the Newport News School Board voted 5-2 during its meeting last week to allow for a phased return to in-person instruction for K-12 students.

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Commentary: If Everyone is Behind, then No One is Behind

In early September, researchers Corey DeAngelis and Christos Makridis released the results of a study they spearheaded, which found that “school districts in places with stronger teachers’ unions are much less likely to offer full-time, in-person instruction this fall.” The authors stress that the results are remarkably consistent after controlling for differences in demographics, including age, race, population, political affiliation, household income, COVID-19 cases, deaths per capita, et al.

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California Mothers Sue California Gov. Newsom, Saying His Partial Reopening of Schools Hurts Special Needs Students, Causes Anxiety Over Grades

Four mothers have filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom over his coronavirus education plan, claiming adverse effects including anxiety over poor grades and lack of special education access.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 10 in Shasta County Superior Court by the Freedom Foundation on behalf of the northern California families. The complaint is available here.

The plaintiffs allege the plan that requires students to be in classes part-time denies them their constitutional right to a quality education as enshrined in the California Constitution.

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Commentary: The New Maoists Bind and Gag Academics

Recently I spoke with a teacher at an exclusive private school, tuition $40,000 per year, located in Northern Virginia. He described the ongoing deterioration of the school’s standards, including a dumbing down of academics, more cheating, parents demanding higher grades for their children, and a pervasive climate of political correctness.

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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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Liberty University Hires Outside Firm to Investigate Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Tenure

Liberty University says it is conducting a forensic investigation of Jerry Falwell Jr. a week after he resigned as president.

Falwell resigned last Tuesday after amid conflicting claims about a sexual relationship his wife Becki Falwell had with a business partner, The Associated Press reported. Falwell reportedly participated in some of the liaisons as a voyeur.

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Commentary: How to Recognize a Bad Teacher

The sign of a good music teacher, I was told as a teenager, is a willingness to allow parents to sit in on lessons. A teacher willing to have parents observe their lessons demonstrates that she has nothing to hide, is open to critique or comments, and is one who partners with parents in helping students succeed. Having witnessed this policy firsthand with my own piano instructor, a woman whose students won competitions and entered world famous music schools, I followed suit when I began teaching myself.

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State Senator Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant on Limiting the Executive Powers of Virginia Governor Northam and Reopening Schools

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredericks welcomed Virginia State Senator (R) Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant to discuss limiting Governor Northam’s executive powers and re-opening schools.

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COVID-19-Era Public School Models Are Driving Increased Interest in Homeschooling

Virginia parents are increasingly interested in homeschooling due to fear of COVID-19 and frustration over new public school models. Organizations ranging from the state-level Home Educators Association of Virginia to local Facebook groups are providing advice, resources and counseling.

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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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Carol Swain Tells Fox and Friends Weekend: Politics Underlies Everything We Are Doing With COVID-19

Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition with hosts, Jedediah Bila and Pete Hegseth Sunday to discuss how the coronavirus has been politicized and schools have become indoctrination camps of an anti-American agenda.

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Trump Touts Education, Economic Opportunities for Hispanics

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating a program aimed at improving Hispanic Americans’ access to education and economic opportunities.

“We will expand our efforts across all of the federal government to create educational and economic opportunity for Hispanic Americans,” Trump said to applause in the Rose Garden, describing the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.

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GOP Bill Would Withhold Funding from Schools That Don’t Reopen by September

Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday meant to incentivize schools to reopen from coronavirus closures by September 5.

Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin introduced the Reopen Our Schools Act Thursday, which would withhold federal funding from schools that don’t open in the fall for in-person learning.

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Commentary: The Media-Education-Entertainment-Tech Complex’s Latest Victim

The History Channel premiered a three-part miniseries about Ulysses S. Grant Monday. Produced by the arch-leftist and globalist Leonardo Di Caprio, with commentary by left-wing reparations activist Ta-Nehisi Coates, the show is based on Ron Chernow’s 2017 biography. This is the same Chernow who excoriated President Trump at the 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and says Alexander Hamilton would have supported Trump’s impeachment.

But I am not interested in revisiting the endless spurious assertions we’re sure to hear from the people who produced what is sure to be another tired, this-is-who-we-are jeremiad pushing progressive liberalism. 

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In Cuba, Healthcare Is a Right and Their Doctors are Rebelling: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’

by Joseph Sunde   “You are trained in Cuba and our education is free. Health care is free, but at what price? You wind up paying for it your whole life.” –Dr. Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez In 2013, the World Health Organization brokered a deal through which Cuba would export doctors to…

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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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Registration is Open for the 2019 Ohio Star Constitution Bee, Which Will Be Held on April 13

Constitution Bee April, 2018

  The 2019 Ohio Star Constitution Bee is open for registration!   If you have a secondary school-level student enrolled in a public or private school, or an accredited homeschool program, they are eligible to participate in this original, one-day event to be held Saturday, April 13, 2019. This will…

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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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Education ‘Equity’ Professor Wants Mathematics To Honor ‘Other-Than-Human Persons’

by Rob Shimshock   An Illinois professor who focuses on “equity” in mathematics will present her plan to redefine the field of study to oppose “objects, truths, and knowledge” at a 2019 conference. University of Illinois education professor Dr. Rochelle Gutierrez will give her talk, titled “Mathematx: Towards a way of Being,”…

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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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Bill Lee Wants to Reduce Student Testing, While Karl Dean Thinks Current Levels Are Just Fine

Bill Lee

The battle lines over common sense in public education have been drawn in the gubernatorial battle between Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean, and Round One goes to Bill Lee. Lee, the outsider business executive, wants to reduce the current level of student testing while Dean, the former Mayor…

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$87 Million Government-Run Pre-Kindergarten in Tennessee Failing Kids, Report Says

Teacher and Kids

A report examining findings from a randomized controlled trial of Tennessee’s $87 million voluntary prekindergarten program for low-income children casts doubt on its effectiveness. Indeed, the report’s authors say the data show adverse effects on math and science achievements.

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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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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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Steve Gill Commentary: Why Can’t Johnny Read in Our Nation’s Capital?

Steve Gill

Perhaps we should pay more attention to the abysmal reading and math scores being produced in the public schools in our nation’s capital rather than spending our time, energy and resources keeping our southern border wide open to tens of thousands of those who are illegally entering our country. There…

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Commentary: There’s a Due Process Problem with Homeschool Regulations

Homeschoolers

by Kerry McDonald   At over two million young people, the number of US homeschoolers is comparable to the number of US students enrolled in public charter schools, and it is now considered a worthwhile education option for many families. According to the Department of Education, a top motivator for homeschooling parents is “concern about the environment…

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Columbia Private School Mock Trial Team 3rd Best in Nation

Agathos Mock Trial Team

A Columbia school has finished as third in the nation after appearing at a mock trial competition. Agathos Classical School’s Mock Trial Team finished its year ranking third in the nation after competing in the National Mock Trial Competition this weekend in Reno, Nevada, The Daily Herald reported. “They did…

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How a 1934 New York Graduation Exam Shows How Far Academic Standards Have Fallen

by Annie Holmquist   Today’s education system has a myriad of advantages that earlier generations never would have dreamed about. Smartboards. Tablets. Advanced science labs. Massive libraries. These perks are wonderful and suggest that our schools are giving children a much better education than they would have had at an earlier…

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Education Policy Director From La Raza Affiliate Conexion Americas Running for Nashville School Board

Gini Pupo-Walker, senior director of education policy and strategic growth for Conexion Americas, an affiliate of UnidosUS (formerly known as the National Council of La Raza), is on the August 4th ballot to represent District 8 on the Nashville School Board. Pupo-Walker’s campaign biography emphasizes her commitment to Latino and…

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