Archive for May, 2019

‘Enormous Victory for Transgender Students’ as SCOTUS Declines to Hear Challenge to Inclusive Bathroom Policy

May 29, 2019 Comments off

In a rational world this would make it possible for school boards to no longer need to worry about this issue at the local level because it is now “settled law”…. but in the world we live in organizations like “the conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom” will continue to find cases that they can bring forward to erode the rights conferred on these students by the Supreme Court. Nothing stirs the hearts and souls of individuals like a controversy rooted in religious conviction.

Source: ‘Enormous Victory for Transgender Students’ as SCOTUS Declines to Hear Challenge to Inclusive Bathroom Policy

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Beware Billionaires Bearing Gifts

May 27, 2019 Comments off

This Common Dreams article by Leo Gerard captures the essence of everything that is wrong with giving billionaire plutocrats free reign on how they spend their money… Here’s the concluding paragraph:

For Americans to achieve real freedom and self-governance, some of the billions that flow into the pockets of the already rich must go instead into the paychecks of the workers whose sweat creates profits. Political bribes, like the $500,000 the Kochs gave Ryan, must be outlawed. And the rich must be properly taxed so that the nation can afford to pave its roads, send its youngsters to affordable, properly government-supported technical schools and colleges, and restore its once-great middle class. American workers want autonomy, not charity, to help every person rise.

Source: Beware Billionaires Bearing Gifts

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Schools Serving Children Raised in Poverty are Overburdening Underpaid, Overworked Teachers

May 27, 2019 Comments off

Pedro de Costa’s recent EPI blog post connected the dots between under-resourced schools, underpaid teachers, and the teacher shortage that exists in schools serving children raised in poverty. This poignant quote from a presentation given by Joy Kirk, a middle-school teacher from Frederick (VA) teacher illustrates the daunting challenges that face teachers in under-resourced schools:

….okay, we know so and so doesn’t have water, how can we get them into school early and maybe get them down to the gym? As teachers, you’re making these little baskets and you’re letting this kid come to class 20 minutes late and the other kids are wondering but it’s because as teachers you know they don’t have water right now and you’ve got to do something—but you don’t want them to stand out.

“But as the problem began to grow, especially through the recession, we began to recognize this was more than just a few teachers on a team, or a few teachers in a school. It’s a community issue and we need to step up.

“We need the mental health workers, we need the school psychologists. We have some of our schools now that now offer laundry service and the kids can bring in clothes to do their laundry, so they’re not ‘that’ kid.”

The bottom line, as Ms. Kirk and Mr. de Costa infer, is that schools are the last line of defense in the War on Poverty that was launched with insufficient funds, insufficient “soldiers”, and insufficient “armaments” from the outset… and so the problems that students bring to the classroom persist and the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening.