Education

Gutfeld on teachers’ unions going after charter schools

As America struggles with COVID-19, rising crime and riots, it’s nice that the teachers’ unions are helping out. I kid. In their demands for reopening schools, the United Teachers of Los Angeles — a union for public school teachers — has included, surprise: defunding police. And … a shutdown of publicly funded, privately operated charter schools. Now, these go beyond what normal unions demand. Worse, the teachers use this crisis to preserve power by destroying those who won’t conform. By trying to shut down charter schools, the teachers union is demanding the elimination of any competition, and depriving desperate poor families of an education that might change their children’s lives. This speaks to the real truth of a big American problem. It’s not systemic racism. It’s our systemically corrupt education system. It’s the teachers’ unions, led by leftists, whose only goal is to cancel competition that might reveal their incompetence. And so, at the start of life, poor students are placed in a system where no matter how many billions of tax dollars are shoveled into it, it just gets worse. The students don’t stand a chance, and the unions prefer it that way. Yet charter schools produce better-educated kids, with a far better head start in life. You’d think that would be embraced. But the price of union success is student failure. Once we see the results of charter schools, we realize the cause of all our inequalities isn’t racism, it’s the scandalous lack of choices left for poor Blacks, poor Whites, poor everyone victimized by urban liberals.] So these kids begin their lives in a hole — a hole that isn’t a grave, but might as well be one. At least for their futures.

No kidding!!  As usual, Greg nails it.  This was adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue, known as a “Gregologue” on “The Five” on July 29, 2020.  To see the actual video and the following discussion with his co-hosts on The Five, click on the text above.  Thanks Greg!   🙂

Parents hiring private teachers to educate kids as coronavirus casts doubt on school reopenings

As uncertainty grows over whether schools should reopen this fall amid spiking coronavirus cases, some parents across the country are reportedly shelling out money for private teachers to educate their children at home. Some families are pooling their resources to split the costs of a private homeschool education, forming groups called “pandemic pods” on social media platforms – a solution that could further drive inequity in children’s quality of education between families who can afford it and those who cannot. Katrina Mulligan, a 40-year-old mother in Alexandria, Va., told USA Today safety concerns over her school’s reopening plan and her family’s poor experience with its virtual learning program prompted them to create a homeschooling pod with four other families. Mulligan said the cost to hire a teacher to educate the pod’s first-graders could cost $2,500 per month or $500 per family. “There will be a lot of parents who can’t financially make this work, or can’t secure a teacher,” she told the outlet, adding her group was interested in including a couple of families who otherwise could not afford the costs. Phil Higgins, a psychotherapist in Salem, Mass., told the Washington Post that he and two other families are considering hiring a behavioral specialist as a teacher for 40 hours per week for about $1,300 per child. However, many families agreed that the cost of private teaching could leave children of low-income families behind. “We can pay,” Katie Franklin of Virginia told the Post. “We know others can’t, and there will be a gap, and that’s unfortunate.” Kristina Boshernitzan, a mother who has been trying to set up a learning pod group in Austin, Texas, told the Texas Tribune that the cost leaves parents in a predicament. “There’s ugly sides to parenting, and I think the idea that I’m going to protect my kids first is really beautiful and really ugly,” Boshernitzan said. “How do you balance your desire to give to your kids without taking away from others?” Meanwhile, President Trump’s administration is continuing to push for schools to reopen with in-person learning come this fall. Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos have threatened to withhold federal funding from K-12 schools that don’t allow all their students to return to physical classrooms. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday to encourage more K-12 schools to reopen with entirely in-person instruction.

Another sign of the times…

Parents Turn to ‘Microschooling’ and Private Tutors as School Openings Seem Uncertain

As the coronavirus crisis continues, many parents seeking a consistent plan for their child’s education this fall are choosing “microschooling” and private tutors to help with instruction. “I don’t want to send my kids given the level of uncertainty that still exists to this day,” Ashley Thompson, a Florida parent, told ABC News. While Thompson’s children will participate in some online learning, she is also exploring “microschooling,” a home education option in which the children of several families learn together, sometimes with the aid of a private tutor or retired teacher. Families can share the cost of the tutor’s services. “I’m thinking maybe we’re looking at options of having a couple of the other families kind of get together where the tutor can assist them as well,” Thompson said. The Microschool Coalition (MSC) has begun helping parents to “transform education” by assisting with learning design and resources. Parents visiting the MSC website can get help with how to open their own microschool. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, Ed.D., MSC founder, said microschools “are in demand with waiting lists because smaller and more communal makes kids get served better.” “In this time of pandemic, it’s an added bonus,” she told Good Morning America. “They can be much safer than larger schools. Their social distancing, the six-feet apart, is much more doable.” Parents are taking charge of their children’s education as teachers’ unions continue to block schools from reopening and an increasing number of school districts have decided to abandon in-person instruction and provide only remote classes. “As this back-to-school bandying continues, more parents are saying ‘enough is enough’ and are opting out of conventional schooling this fall in favor of homeschooling,” wrote Kerry McDonald, senior education fellow at Foundation for Economic Education and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom. McDonald explains what families can gain from home education: In addition to children being happier and less stressed, and families having more freedom and flexibility over what, how, when, and with whom their children learn, homeschooling can also lead to better overall learning. Curriculum and educational tools can be tailored to a child’s distinct needs and interests, and many free, online learning resources can enhance academic outcomes. According to ABC News, certified music teacher Jessica Schoenfeld said she receives multiple calls per day from parents asking for assistance in setting up their private learning centers. Schoenfeld transformed her music school into a learning center in which students can social distance with 14 children across three rooms. “Anything that parents can do to get assistance, even if it’s after the school day ends, they’re looking for help,” said Schoenfeld. “Parent’s jobs [are] not necessarily to teach their kids subjects that they haven’t done in 10 or 20 years. Their goal is to get help kids so they’re staying on track as much as possible.”

A sign of the times…

Crayola creates back-to-school line of kid’s masks amid coronavirus pandemic

Back-to-school is going to look a little different. Crayola has created a lineup of fun and colorful masks for children as back-to-school potentially draws closer amid the coronavirus pandemic. The popular crayon brand has collaborated with SchoolMaskPack to make the face coverings for kids. “The mask system has applied our proven face mask technology to Crayola’s signature colors that have inspired many generations,” said George Hartel, chief commercial officer of SchoolMaskPack in a press release. The masks come in a pack of five – one for each day of school – and can be worn “for best use up to 6 months” with regular washing. Each mask in the crayon-themed line-up features a silly, and sometimes sassy, cartoon face. However, there are other patterns and colors for children to choose from. “Crayola has always worked to support children in the home and in the classroom,” said Warren Schorr, Vice President of Business Development and Global Licensing at Crayola. “We’re glad to partner with SchoolMaskPack to bring options to their mask system and provide supportive solutions for school communities, parents, teachers, and children.” The masks are available for pre-order for $29.99 for kids and $39.99 for adults, in case grown-ups want to channel their inner-child. Click here for more:

Fun!!    🙂

Teen Vogue Tweets ‘Welcome to Marx!’

In a bizarre move, a major magazine designed to influence an entire generation of teenagers — Teen Vogue — tweeted “Welcome to Marx!,” promoting a 2018 article hailing Karl Marx as a “legend” and adding that the communist philosopher’s ideas “are more prevalent than you might realize.” “You may have come across communist memes on social media,” begins the 2018 Teen Vogue piece. “The man, the meme, the legend behind this trend is Karl Marx, who developed the theory of communism, which advocates for workers’ control over their labor (instead of their bosses).” But of course, anyone who has studied communism understands that the results of the ideology being put into practice isn’t what anyone in good conscience would refer to as “workers’ control over their labor,” but rather, a worldwide death toll of roughly 100 million. The Teen Vogue piece says the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx is taught in schools, and that Marx is one of the most assigned “economists” in U.S. college courses. So Teen Vogue sat down with two educators and interviewed them regarding how they teach their students about “the legacy of Marx’s ideas and how they’re relevant to the current political climate.” One of the educators the magazine interviewed was former Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who “challenges his students to envision a society without capitalism,” and who also said in 2016 that all he wants for Christmas is “white genocide” — which is actually fitting for someone who flirts with Marxism, as “everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist,” according to George Watson’s 1998 book, The Lost Literature of Socialism. “Marx says we live under capitalism [but] capitalism has not always existed,” said Ciccariello-Maher to Teen Vogue. “It’s something that came into being and something that, as a result, just on a logical level, could disappear, could be overthrown, could be abolished, could be irrelevant.” “There’s this myth of the free market, but Marx shows very clearly that capitalism emerged through a state of violence,” added Ciccariello-Maher, ironically. Teen Vogue ominously went on to say that “many Marxists” believe “the current socioeconomic system is precarious and can be overthrown at any time.” The magazine also interviewed public high school teacher Mark Brunt, who said that he likes to do “a little role-playing” with his students, where he plays the bourgeoisie, and his students play the proletariat. “I do a little role-playing with [my class],” Brunt told Teen Vogue. “[I tell them,] I’m the boss, you’re my workers, and you want to try to take me down. I have the money. I own the factory. I control the police. I control the military. I control the government. What do you guys have?” Brunt goes on to explain that his students usually react by blinking at him and appearing clueless, until he hints that they have one thing that he, as “the boss,” doesn’t have. “It’s always just one student, whose hand shoots up and goes, ‘We outnumber you!’” added Brunt. Brunt said he goes on to introduce his students to Marx’s definition of the “proletariat” and the “bourgeoisie,” adding that the tension between the two groups make up the class conflict, or class struggle. Why Teen Vogue decided to dredge up this piece now remains unclear. But one can only assume what the magazine — which claims that “the proletariat will come together to overthrow the bourgeoisie and ultimately, win” — is suggesting.

Indeed!  Holy crap!!  If you, or your teen, subscribes to this rag, cancel it!  Communism is responsible for the slaughter of MILLIONS of people in (the now former) Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba and elsewhere.  And, wherever it has been tried, it has FAILED economically.  Heck, Stalin murdered over 10 MILLION of his own people alone.  Why academia still looks up to that failed ideology, is beyond me.  Its really a failure of education.  These uber-liberal professors with their PhDs, who couldn’t begin to get a job out in the real world, use their positions in academia to brainwash “young skulls full of mush”…and that’s how this stuff is still perpetrated.  This article terrifying, and is a HUGE wakeup call to all parents.  Thanks to Alana Mastrangelo for bringing this to our attention!  You can follow Alana on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

Opinion: The left’s poisoning of the educational infrastructure

Courtesy of our educational infrastructure having been transformed into leftist indoctrination centers, the result is politicians who care only about ideology where citizens are collateral damage in their march toward a leftist utopia. Our media is populated with news-actors who are similarly bound to their teachers’ idols of social justice, political correctness and identity politics. All of our institutions are suffering from the twin masters of identity politics and woke philosophy. In New York City during the riots, two individuals were arrested for attempting to bomb a marked New York Police Department cruiser with a Molotov cocktail. Upon arrest, police found additional material in the car to make more Molotov cocktails, and the booking complaint alleges they intended to hand out the bombs to other rioters. The kicker? Both of the suspects are lawyers. One, Colinford Mattis, a 32-year-old man had been working with a corporate law firm in New York City, and is a graduate of Princeton University. The other, Urooj Rahman, a 31-year old woman, is a graduate of Fordham Law School and was admitted to the bar in 2019. On her Facebook page, she fashions herself a “human rights lawyer.” His background as an “anti-poverty intern” for a mayor of San Francisco was listed on LinkedIn, as well as being president of the Princeton Black Student Union. With such promising backgrounds and illustrious educations, we must ask, what went wrong? Education went wrong, which is a dangerous realization, considering its importance not just as a conveyer of information, but as an important and formidable influence on character and values. With the breakdown of the American family, for many, the leftist indoctrination at the academy is the only instruction on life and principles to which they’ve been exposed. On Twitter, the Federalist’s Molly Hemingway noted, “Battle lines are more clearly being drawn these days, between those who clearly believe America is irredeemably evil and must be violently overthrown and those who believe America remains the greatest country on earth, based on rule of law, individual liberty, and inalienable rights. Decades of public education have given the former group a *huge* advantage, reinforced by media that awards itself prizes to indoctrinate message. The seriousness of that side now being impossible to ignore, however, finally forces the rule of law side to realize the fight must be engaged.” As leftists consumed public education, they accepted open-minded young people into their realm and are now vomiting them back up as heartless anarchists. The issue is not just at Ivy League institutions, it is a systemwide problem. Case in point is brought to us by the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). In the midst of violent rioting in dozens of cities across the United States, and on the same night rioters set fire to Washington, D.C.’s historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sarah Parcak, a faculty member of UAB went to Twitter encouraging people to topple a local monument she deemed a racist insult. “Ms. Parcak began coaching rioters about how to tear down monuments as networks covered the unrest in Washington on Sunday night. ‘PSA for ANYONE who might be interested in how to pull down an obelisk* safely from an Egyptologist who never ever in a million years thought this advice might come in handy,’ Ms. Parcak tweeted. She went on to fire off more than a dozen tweets demonstrating how protesters could topple obelisks …,” The Washington Times reported. On Parcak’s bizarre tweet frenzy encouraging mayhem, Mark Bauerlein, the editor of First Things Magazine, a journal on religion and public life, said, “The crucial point in this maniacal tweet is that this professor has been honored by TED, the Smithsonian, and the Guggenheim,” and asked, “Many advocates of disorder now occupy elite institutions that have in the past been the guarantors of order. Who let them in?” Kyle Shideler, the director/senior analyst for homeland security and counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy, has the most direct answer: “They took over the academy and all credentialing. The middle and lower-middle-class families in this country paid millions to let the Weather Underground raise their kids in hopes they would climb the social ladder,” as he responded on social media. A Fox News producer inquired with UAB if it had any comment about a faculty member encouraging the destruction of property and mayhem on a night when the nation was aflame in violence. UAB responded, “These are not the opinions of the university. Our 45,000+ students, faculty and staff often use social media to express thoughts that do not necessarily reflect the voice of the university. If a public comment by a member of the campus community needs to be addressed by Student Affairs or Human Resources, it would be. However, personnel and student conduct matters are addressed privately between the individual and the institution.” Whoever Mattis’ and Rahman’s professors were, they weren’t out fixing up Molotov cocktails Sunday night, but for some reason their young charges allegedly were. And Parcak was no doubt comfortable in a chair during the 10 p.m. hour on a Sunday as she was tweet-inciting others to put themselves and their futures at great risk. Why put yourself on the line when others who look up to you are too naive to know you’re stuffing them into a cannon?

No kidding…  Thanks to Tammy Bruce for that outstanding op/ed.  Tammy is president of Independent Women’s Voice, is a radio talk-show host, and a New York Times best-selling author.   Excellent!!    🙂

Comprehensive Sex Ed Proponents Admit Teaching Children Sexual ‘Pleasure’ Is a Primary Goal

May is being touted as #SexEdForAll month on social media platforms, and a look at many posts using the hashtag shows teaching children about sexual “pleasure” is now included in the language of “medically accurate” sex ed. Cathy Ruse, senior fellow and director of human dignity at Family Research Council, wrote, “The ‘facts of life’ have not changed, but ‘inclusivity’ and ‘sex positivity’ and other popular buzz-word concepts have changed sex education.” Ruse is the author of a new brochure titled, “Sex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination.” She observed that while many studies have demonstrated comprehensive sex education “fails to achieve its stated goals and results in increased student sexual activity, school systems are devoting up to 70 hours of classroom time per child to sex education,” with many of those hours now spent on “the concept of ‘sexual rights’ and radical sexual ideology for youth.” The American College of Pediatricians also asked the question, “After 40 years of comprehensive sex ed in schools, why are STDs at epidemic levels?” Most of the proponents of “pleasure-centered” sex ed appear to be connected to the abortion industry. In February, the American Journal of Public Health published an article titled, “Pleasure and Sex Education: The Need for Broadening Both Content and Measurement,” by Leslie Kantor, Ph.D., chair of Rutgers’ Urban-Global Public Health Department and former vice president of education for Planned Parenthood, and Laura Lindberg, Ph.D., research scientist at the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute. The authors asserted public health policy regarding sex ed should include “content related to sexual pleasure.” “Young people express frustration about the lack of information on sexuality and sexual behavior that is included in sex education programs; sexual and gender minority youths, in particular, feel overlooked by current approaches,” they wrote, lamenting that most sex ed curricula are focused on avoiding pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. Kantor and Lindberg praised the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) guidance that “suggests numerous learning objectives related to the topic of ‘friendship, love, and romantic relationships’” for children aged five to 18 years. The authors wrote UNESCO’s recommendations for children’s instruction include: “[D]escribe ways that human beings feel pleasure from physical contact (e.g. kissing, touching, caressing, sexual contact) throughout their life,” which is a learning objective for children aged 9 to 12 years; “state that sexual feelings, fantasies and desires are natural and not shameful, and occur throughout life,” which is a learning objective for those aged 12 to 15 years; “understand that sexual stimulation involves physical and psychological aspects, and people respond in different ways, at different times,” which is a learning objective for those aged 12 to 15 years, and which includes as a key idea for ages 15 and older that “Engaging in sexual behaviours should feel pleasurable and comes with associated responsibilities for one’s health and well-being.” “Pleasure-based” sex ed is now acknowledged as a primary goal of “medically accurate” education that includes the radical LGBTQ agenda. Certified sex educator Irma Garcia said she is providing “medically accurate, pleasure-based” sex ed information in Austin, Texas, to black people and others of color. “I was always interested in sex, but never really had language to figure out the curiosities that I was feeling in order to be able to transfer that information over to others,” Garcia told the Austin Chronicle, adding that her own education and experience made the difference in her life. Following college, Garcia worked at a local Austin abortion clinic and then completed a certificate in sex education. She then launched her social media platform, titled Dirty South Sex Ed. “It’s fairly new, but it has been received wonderfully and it has grown so quickly,” she said. “It definitely makes me feel very happy that this information is helpful for some, but at the same time, it’s sad to know that our education system is failing us 100%.” As the Chronicle reported, Garcia now works as a client services manager at Jane’s Due Process, an organization that helps minor girls obtain abortions through the judicial bypass process, whereby young girls seek a judge’s permission to have an abortion without their parents’ consent. “Obtaining an abortion here in Texas for anyone, minors and adults alike, is definitely very burdensome and hard for a lot of folks, especially if there are different hurdles such as financial insecurity,” Garcia said. “And, so, for minors, as an extra burden, if they are not 18 they have to get their parents’ permission.” Garcia said she believes emphasizing sexual pleasure is important to help reduce “trauma” in the world. “I love to be able to tell people what sex toys to buy or what lubes to consider, but I think my passion lies more in the social and emotional skills than anything else,” she said. “I want my community, people of color, to be able to have access to medically accurate and pleasure-based sex education, because that is what is going to connect their humanity to all of the other aspects in their life. With that, we’re going to be able to create a more trauma-free, healed world.”

Wow..  Thanks to Dr. Susan Berry for that deeply disturbing report..

Pediatrician: Keeping Children Out of School Could Have Long Term Consequences

Dr. Dimitri Christakis knows a thing or two about children as the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, including the consequences of keeping children out of a school setting for an extended period of time because of the threat of coronavirus. His latest addition to the more than 170 original research articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics has a stern warning about decisions made in the wake of the virus: ‘They will hold us accountable,” Christakis wrote. The article, published this week in the Journal, said that it will be long after the pandemic that “historians, epidemiologists, psychologists, and economists will provide extensive explanations of the damage done, mistakes made, and lessons learned.” In the meantime, decisions must be made because they can have “considerable and lasting implications.” Christakis titled his article, “School Reopening—The Pandemic Issue That Is Not Getting Its Due:” The decision to close schools was among the first action that many states took to stave the impending pandemic and was based on a strong theoretical foundation. Children are typically at greatest risk of infectious diseases, and they transmit them to each other and their families with considerable speed. Many drew parallels to the 100-year-old influenza epidemic, in which it was true that children played a central role in transmission. But in the 6 to 8 weeks since most schools in the U.S. have closed, we have gathered new evidence about both children’s risks from the virus and their likelihood of transmitting it, as noted by Esposito and Principi in this issue of JAMA Pediatrics. We know only what we know today about the benefits and harms associated with school closure. However imperfect these data are, they must inform a critical decision that many states and school districts will be making in the very near future. Notably, even as states provisionally plan on opening workplaces, most are giving no consideration to opening schools. Many have already canceled the rest of the year, and all are now considering what to do in the fall. The risks posed by delaying school openings are real and sizeable, particularly for students from low-income families. The phenomenon of summer learning loss has been well established, with children losing a mean of 1 to 3 months in varying subjects. Some estimate that there will be a 9-month to 12-month loss when children return to school in the fall, and this will only be compounded if distance learning continues. No credible scientist, learning expert, teacher, or parent believes that children aged 5 to 10 years can meaningfully engage in online learning without considerable parental involvement, which many families with low incomes are unable to provide because parents must work outside the home. Christakis said that in addition to a coronavirus task force, the government should be “convene immediately” a school closure task force and include “epidemiologists, infectious disease experts, educational scientists, and child psychologists, among others.” “They should review the state of the evidence regarding horizontal transmission among children and their families, as well as what is known about the feasibility of distance learning and the psychological implications of children continuing to stay at home,” Christakis wrote. He added that the decisions should be “developmentally framed” because “kindergarten is not the same as high school or college.” “Using all existing and emerging data—however incomplete—they should make their best-informed recommendations to help states make this crucial decision, based on science and not politics, as soon as possible,” Christakis wrote. “We owe this to our children. Years from now, when they reflect on the pandemic, they will hold us accountable.”

To read Dr. Christakis’ article, click on the text above.

Storytime with Dana: ‘The Box Turtle,’ ‘Can I Be Your Dog?’

In the midst of all of these abrupt changes, with offices and schools closed during the coronavirus outbreak, so many people are grappling with how to manage taking care of their children while also taking care of business. I have lots of friends who were staring into the future thinking, “How are we going to do this?” I had an idea of how to help: Provide a few minutes each afternoon of “Storytime with Dana.” I loved being read to as a child, and I remember Mrs. Laura Bush encouraging families to keep a storytime routine with children as much as possible, especially during times of stress and uncertainty. I hope that parents will be able to take a breather while I try to keep their kids occupied and entertained for a few minutes every day. Happy Monday! I hope all of you little ones had a nice weekend. To kick off the week, I’ll be reading two books for you: “The Box Turtle,” by Vanessa Roeder and “Can I Be Your Dog?” by Troy Cummings. Click here to watch and listen!

Today is a two-fer!   Thanks Dana!!      🙂

Dana Perino grew up in Colorado, and was the Press Secretary for former President George W. Bush.  She currently hosts FOX News Channel’s (FNC) The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino (weekdays 2-3 p.m. ET) and also serves as co-host of The Five (weekdays 5-6 p.m. ET).  Follow her on Twitter@DanaPerino