Supreme Court Paves the Way to Taxing Churches

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Why Teachers Suck …

Well written and covers the top points. People that complain about “bad teachers” really don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

Bert Fulks

A friend and I were grousing about ignorance run amok.

“Americans get their information from internet memes,” I laughed.  “And in the true spirit of democracy, dullards who have never cracked a book will cancel the votes of people who actually have a clue. What could go wrong?”

“You know what the problem is?” Tim challenged.  “Our country’s a mess because teachers suck.”

teacher2I bristled.

Although I’ve been out of the classroom for a number of years, once a teacher, always a teacher.  Plus, I have family and friends still slugging it out in the trenches.  I know their battles and the wounds they carry.

“Dude, do you know what teachers endure on a daily basis?” I asked Tim.  I found that, no, he didn’t.  I fear most Americans might be as clueless.

I emailed a former colleague (she’s two years from retirement) and asked one question:  “How has education…

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New Bill Affects Teachers Who Retire Before Turning 65

http://www.click2houston.com/news/new-bill-affects-teachers-who-retire-before-turning-65

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Here’s an Idea: Guarantee Every Child an Excellent Education

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And 29 Comes to a Close

Today ends my 29th year as an educator. To say the least it has been interesting from a local level, state level and especially a national level.

At the national level, it has brought us a new president and Secretary of Education that are doing everything possible to destroy public education. Their main agenda is to support “choice” through charter schools and vouchers systems, neither that has proved to improve education.

At the state level, some of our state leaders (Lt. Dan) have spent the entire legislative session focused on “bathroom bills” and school vouchers, neither for the benefit of public education in the State of Texas. The regular session ended over the weekend with no additional funding for public education because Lt. Dan would not allow any school bills to be passed that did not include vouchers. Selfish and short-sighted Lt. Dan.

At a local level, I still have a 2nd and a 4th grader that have grown and improved by leaps and bounds this school year. I am proud of their accomplishment and their love for learning. My second grader does it begrudgingly sometimes, but for the most part, he does enjoy learning, mostly math and science.

As interesting as this year has been, next year should be pretty wild. Waiting on the feds to cut more funding for public education, waiting on the Texas Legislature to waste more time and energy on worthless bills about bathrooms and school voucher.

Best wishes to all educators. Keep fighting the good fight.

David R. Taylor

29 year Teacher, Coach, and Principal

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Jeff Bryant: DeVos’s “Transformation”=Public Theft

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant has read Betsy DeVos’s speeches slamming public schools and extolling the virtues of public subsidy for private and religious schools. She carefully selects an anecdote to make her case. But she is late to the party. There is now persuasive evidence that students in voucher schools get worse results than their peers in public schools. In addition, many of those who use vouchers are students from affluent families who are happy to have the pyvlid foot the bill for their private school tuition.

Betsy is shilling for her extremist allies at ALEC.

“Declaring “the time has expired for ‘reform,’” she called instead for a “transformation… that will open up America’s closed and antiquated education system.” Her plan also opens your wallet to new moochers of taxpayer dollars.

“By the way, AFC, according to SourceWatch, is a “conservative 501(c)(4) dark money group that promotes the school privatization agenda via…

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John Kuhn: The Hypocrisy of the Texas State Senate, Protector of Inequity Towards Neediest Children and Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Kuhn is superintendent of a school district in Texas. He is one of the nation’s most eloquent spokesmen for children and public schools. He first came to national attention when he spoke at the Save Our Schools March in Washington, D.C. In 2011.

He describes the recent legislative session, where an effort was made to improve school funding, but the Semate leaders knowingly sabotaged it.

He writes:

“There was a dramatic showdown in the Texas legislature two days ago.

“First, some backstory. A year or so ago, well over half the school districts in the state sued Texas for funding schools inequitably. Schools in wealthier areas with higher property values get significantly more education funding per pupil than school districts in areas with lower values, even though it is in the poor areas where one finds larger concentrations of students with illnesses, learning disabilities, and challenging home situations that…

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Jack Covey: The Return of Jim Crow?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Reader Jack Covey watched Betsy DeVos testify at a Congressional hearing and was startled by what he saw and heard:

“What’s scary is Secretary Devos’ tacit claim that, when it comes to schools that receive government funding — charter schools, voucher-funded private schools, etc. — the U.S. Department of Ed.:

“— HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT STUDENTS FROM DISCRIMINATION — based on race, ethnicity, religion sexual preference, gender identity, etc. — AT THE HANDS OF THOSE RUNNING THOSE GOVERNMENT-FUNDED SCHOOLS.

“— WILL DO NOTHING — provide NO protections, NO assistance in filing a grievance, or any help seeking a remedy (i.e. and amicus brief in any lawsuit) … NO NOTHING, brother — FOR ANY STUDENTS WHO ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY THOSE IN CHARGE OF CHARTER OR VOUCHER-FUNDED PRIVATE SCHOOLS THAT RECEIVE GOVERNMENT FUNDING. (again, this is discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, special ed disability, sexual preference, gender identity, etc.)

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Wisconsin Congressman Tries but Fails to Get DeVos to Acknowledge Failure of Vouchers in Milwaukee

Diane Ravitch's blog

Betsy DeVos appeared at her second Congressional hearing to defend the Department’s budget priorities. At her first hearing, she said that schools might need guns to protect against grizzlies.

What she demonstrated was her masterful ability to evade and obfuscate questions, never giving a direct answer to inconvenient questions.

Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin tried to get her to respond to the failure of vouchers in Milwaukee, and DeVos ducked and bobbed skillfully.

“Pocan, from Wisconsin, said that the state’s pioneering work on taxpayer-funded private school vouchers was a “failed experiment” that resulted in lackluster test scores, unaccountability and the ability for private schools to exclude kids with disabilities.

“Pointing to a lawsuit by parents of kids at Right Step Inc., a Milwaukee voucher school, because only 7 percent of students were proficient in English and none were proficient in math, he asked DeVos, “Would you send you kid to…

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Official in Charge of Federal Student Loan Program Resigns, Unwilling to Defend DeVos’ Policies and Mismanagement

Diane Ravitch's blog

James Runcie, the head of the agency in charge of federal student loans at the U.S. Department of Education, resigned in protest when he was directed to testify in support of Betsy DeVos’ policies before Congress.

DeVos has been shifting the Department’s policies to favor debt collection agencies, not students.

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