Education news & information

Vouchers & Private Schools: Evidence Shows They Harm Students

Good News Club (GNC) infiltrating schools

Students at one of America’s historically Black colleges recently booed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who had (inexplicably) been invited to deliver the graduation speech. Many of the graduates also turned their backs when she spoke. This behavior was rude–but it was understandable. Like most of Trump’s Cabinet, DeVos is manifestly unfit for public office. She is an ideologue in the Pence […]

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Two Countries, Both American

Two Countries, Both American

There’s an important new book by Peter Temin, professor emeritus of economics at MIT, titled The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy.  It paints a depressing  portrait of America and the evaporation of what used to be a healthy middle class. His assertion: America is no longer a single country. Instead, we are two separate nations, and those […]

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Sweden, Taxes and the Common Good

sweden

I know “real Amuricans” sneer at the notion that we might learn from the experiences of other countries. Universal healthcare? A commie plot! Decent mass transit? People who can’t afford–or don’t want– cars shouldn’t be coddled! A comprehensive social safety net? You are a commie! Every so often, however, a “real American” finds living in a country that actually offers these and […]

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Florida Religion in School Legislation SB 436 Passes

Religion in public schools may become law thanks to Kim Daniels and Dennis Baxley - SB 436

Late on Friday, the Florida legislature passed SB 436 (also known as the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act”) as a part of a compromise to pass changes to the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Upon becoming law, SB 436 will prohibit Florida public school districts “from discriminating against students, parents, & school personnel on basis of religious viewpoints or expression.” At […]

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Americans United Sends Warning to School Aiding Good News Club

Good News Club (GNC) infiltrating schools

In March, I published a piece about Marrs Elementary School in Indiana, exposing the school’s principal for deleting negative comments on the school’s Facebook page and blocking commenters.  This started when I responded to the school’s post promoting the Good News Club and publishing the group’s permission slip. My comment was quickly deleted and I was blocked from commenting further. So […]

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TN Public School Under Fire For Promotion of Religion

Milan High School

Milan High School in Milan, Tennessee faces criticism and possible legal action over allowing Larry Eddings – a math teacher and coach – to promote religion and potentially “teach” a class next term that would involve proselytizing Christianity to public school students. The teacher’s religious activities came to the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently following complaints from […]

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Religious Establishment: He Who Frames the Issue

First Amendment Establishment Clause

As I often tell my students, the most important thing I learned in law school was that “he who frames the issue wins the debate.” In other words, whoever is successful in defining what’s at stake generally prevails. You can see that truism pretty vividly in debates over culture war issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights: if  abortion is the […]

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Florida Religion in School Legislation SB 436 Advances

Religion in public schools may become law thanks to Kim Daniels and Dennis Baxley - SB 436

In February, two Florida legislators proposed companion bills in the state House and Senate that would significantly weaken the church and state wall within public schools. House Bill 303 and it’s companion bill Senate Bill 436 – known collectively as the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act” – would prohibit Florida public school districts “from discriminating against students, parents, & school personnel on basis of religious […]

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Religion, Taxes & School Vouchers: The Church/State Loophole

religious proselytizing - prayer in schools & promotion of religion using tax money via school vouchers

Last week, the Indianapolis Star did something called “journalism.” (These episodes have become sufficiently rare that we should applaud loudly when they occur. I’m clapping.) Snark aside, the Star followed the money, in this case, our tax dollars, which are flowing ever more generously to Indiana’s parochial schools. And as the introductory paragraphs made clear, these are schools that take both their religious identity […]

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Education “Freedom”: Another Assault Begins

education

The Hill reports that Trump has rolled back the Obama Administration’s education measures intended to ensure adequate teacher preparation and assess school performance. The teacher preparation regulations included training requirements for educators, and the school accountability rules were meant to gauge schools’ effectiveness. The rules drew sharp criticism from Republicans, who argued states should have more control over the classroom. […]

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