Education news & information

DeVos “Refuses To Affirm” Protection for LGBTQ Students

Betsy DeVos “Refuses To Affirm” Protection for LGBTQ Students

In her second appearance before Congress in two weeks, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee and refused “to affirm” whether her department would protect LGBTQ students from discrimination. The refusal to answer questions on her intentions follows a contentious hearing late last month before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education in which DeVos argued […]

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DeVos Refuses To Protect LGBTQ Students From Discrimination

Betsy DeVos Refuses To Protect LGBTQ Students From Discrimination

Speaking before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education yesterday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos argued she could see no situation where the federal government should step in to protect students from discrimination in schools. Her remarks were in response to questions from Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) focusing on a school in Indiana that has a policy of expelling and/or denying […]

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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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