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Posts tagged ‘REOPEN SCHOOLS’

‘Really f***ed up’: Progressive writer blasts Democrats for playing politics, cowering to unions, and ignoring science in refusal to reopen schools


Parents across the country have been clamoring for state governments to reopen schools, yet in blue states those calls are largely being ignored, while red states are far more likely to have reopened schools. The Democratic intransigence on opening schools has not escaped Americans’ attention — both on the political right and left.

One Bay Area writer — and admitted left-wing progressive — is taking her fellow leftists and the Democrats they support to task for playing politics with kids’ lives by cowering to teachers’ unions and ignoring science in their refusal to get schools open again.

Dr. Rebecca Bodenheimer, an Oakland-based writer, posted what she called her “rant” about the politics involved in the fight over reopening schools this weekend — and she went directly after the “Democratic apathy” and the party’s ties to teachers’ unions.

Noting that experts in public health, including the CDC, have said it is safe to reopen schools and that reopening should be a priority, Bodenheimer lamented that “anyone can sit by and think this is an acceptable state of affairs for a developed country” and said it makes her “blood boil to see how little this country cares about kids.” And then she went after the specific culprits in all of this: Democratic leadership and teachers’ unions.

“The politicization of this issue is what’s really f***ed up,” she wrote.

“Schools are largely open in red states and closed in blue ones,” Bodenheimer continued, pointing to “Burbio’s K-12 School Opening Tracker.”

The tracker — which features an “in-person index” based on weighted averages of virtual, hybrid, and in-person instruction — clearly shows that red states are far more likely to have students back in the classroom than blue states.

Bodenheimer has found herself flummoxed by the situation.

“It’s very difficult for me to understand the simplistic thinking that says: Trump said open schools, so we must keep them closed at all costs,” she said. “I have never felt so alienated from the people I usually align myself with politically. I will never understand how the left in this country has decided that advocating for putting kids first is somehow right-wing.”

She’s not the only one her in tribe noticing the left’s failure, she said. Liberal California parents like her are about ready to take out their frustration on Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom:

I’m hearing from progressive parents all the time who are so infuriated about the Democratic apathy around school reopening — from politicians like Gavin Newsom, who are willing to allow their stances to be dictated by teachers’ unions — that they’re considering supporting the recall effort, maybe even switching parties.

But she reserved her harshest criticism for the unions that have ignored the science surrounding the coronavirus and schools:

[H]ere’s the thing: parents are not willing to sacrifice their kids’ wellbeing for the sake of ideology or being a good leftist. And they shouldn’t. It’s our most important job to do what’s best for our kids. And if that means calling out teachers’ unions, so be it. I won’t stay silent while unions ignore the science and the entire public health community, and all the research telling us schools aren’t drivers of transmission, that spread is much lower in schools than in the surrounding community. Last March we didn’t know any better. But now we know — and we’ve known for months. Europe opened up in the fall. Florida, Texas, all the red states opened up. Rhode Island was one of the few blue states that was committed to putting kids first. Can you remember even one major outbreak that was tied to school transmission (not a handful of cases, but an outbreak)? I can’t. And teachers aren’t at greater risk either.

Many of the parents I’m working with on this issue see themselves as progressive and have until now supported organized labor and unions (I myself went to the picket line for Oakland teachers 2 years ago), but it’s so clear to us that teachers’ unions are dead wrong on this issue and that their interests are diametrically opposed to what’s best for our kids. Your own kid might be doing ok in remote learning, but by and large, kids aren’t doing well. Mine sure isn’t. Just remember: the principles of child development haven’t just vanished because we’re in a pandemic. It’s still not good to have our kids in front of the screen for hours upon hours every day. Kids still need to learn alongside other kids and still need to play with other kids. What I’m saying is, there’s no amount of improvement of distance learning you can do that will make it be a good platform for learning.

Unions and their allies, according to Bodenheimer, need to abandon their “absurd justifications” for not reopening — “like denying there’s any learning loss associated with distance learning or suggesting parents can be adequate substitutes for teachers” — and get back to work. The teachers’ unions’ “tone-deaf and ridiculous” claims are undermining the proclaimed worth of teachers, she noted.

“If parents or anyone else could fill in so easily, why should we pay teachers more?” she asked. “Why should we value them as professionals?”

Instead Of Reopening Schools, San Fran Changing 44 Names Due To Representation Of ‘White Supremacy’


Reported By

If the global coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, It’s that leadership can be just as deadly as the virus itself. Instead of focusing on how to get more than 54,000 of San Francisco’s children back into public schools, the board is taking its time assessing whether or not to rename some of its schools.

Not only is the reopening of schools being postponed, but it is so low on San Francisco’s “to-do” list that simply discussing reopening schools has been postponed. Fox News reports “the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) postponed Tuesday’s scheduled talks on how to safely reopen classrooms despite an ongoing lawsuit by the City Attorney’s Office.”

“Opting instead,” adds Fox News, “to work on renaming 44 of the city’s public schools.” Over 110 private schools have managed to open successfully, some as far back as September, but the San Francisco Board of Education is currently working on renaming schools they believe are “offensive” due to their representation of “White supremacy.”

Changing names alone is estimated to cost between $400,000 to $1 million dollars. Instead of spending that money to help the lapse of education children have endured from an entire year in quarantine, the money will be spent on signs, uniforms, insignias and more to accommodate name changes.

“Schools named after historical and currently prominent figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Dianne Feinstein have been slated for the chopping block for their connections to slavery, genocide and colonization” reports Fox News.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – For the Children

Minnesota teacher’s union ignores the science that says kids should go back to school.

Teacher Ignore SciencePolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Smear Job

According to Biden and the Democrats, everything to their right is considered “domestic Terrorists”.

Dem’s Domestic TerroristsPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID


Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID

The past nine months have seen more than a quarter-million Americans die from the coronavirus. Each and every death represents a tragedy — a life cut short, an empty place at the family table this holiday season, children mourning their parents, even parents mourning their children.

But a separate and ongoing tragedy has also struck at countless more than another quarter-million Americans: Children who have disappeared from school following last spring’s COVID-19 closures. survey conducted by CBS’s “60 Minutes” found that among 78 of the largest school districts in the country, at least 240,000 students remained unaccounted for when school resumed, in many cases virtually, this fall. This number doesn’t, of course, include the many other children schools have lost in other districts.

Each and every one of those cases also represents a tragedy. Indeed, it’s a slow-moving crisis. Every child who doesn’t return to school to complete his or her education represents dreams unfulfilled. It means diminished career prospects, lower earnings, an increased risk of trouble with law enforcement or substance misuse, more expense to society through the criminal justice and welfare systems, and on, and on, and on.

Just as these students have fallen through the proverbial cracks, however, policymakers do not seem to be doing nearly enough to solve the problem.

Obstacles to Online Learning

In their reporting on these missing children, “60 Minutes” spoke with one of them, a high school senior in Tampa, Fla. named Kiara. Kiara said she had moved around town eight or nine times since elementary school; her stepfather lost her job when the pandemic hit, and she was currently living in a motel.

A school district administrator said Kiara had been a good student before the pandemic but started failing classes when learning went virtual. Listening to her describe her situation, it’s not hard to figure out why her performance suffered:

Not having that teacher to really talk to was kinda difficult and just me not having a laptop at the time was difficult doing it on my phone. Just such a small screen. …

[Doing virtual learning via her phone] was very difficult because my phone is really skinny. At the time, I didn’t have glasses so I’d have to, like, slide to the left and slide to the right and slide up. So it was just really iffy. …

Definitely, I definitely come outside [to escape her crowded motel room]. I’ll sit here and study. But sometimes, you know, the mosquitoes are coming, you know. It’s hard.

At times, Kiara would walk a mile to a nearby park to get some peace and quiet to complete her work — but the park didn’t have WiFi or an electrical outlet. She said she would “try to make it work as best I could,” but it doesn’t take a doctorate in education to realize why any student’s performance would suffer in that environment.

In some respects, Kiara represents one of the luckier victims of the school shutdowns. She has big dreams — she wants to become a dental hygienist, and eventually a dentist — and fought through the obstacles the COVID-19 closures put in her path. But it’s sadly understandable to see how some families and some children would just give up.

Enrollment Down, and It’s Not All Homeschooling

Across the country, public school enrollment has declined for the current academic year. Outside D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland’s public school enrollment declined by 3,300, or about 2 percent, this fall; on the other side of the Potomac River, Fairfax County, Virginia’s enrollment declined by nearly 5 percent. In Missouri, public school enrollment dropped 3.2 percent statewide, with a 31 percent drop in preschool enrollment and a nearly 10 percent decline in kindergarten enrollment.

These changes represent two distinct trends — both ends of the proverbial barbell. In Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and other wealthy enclaves, the enrollment declines come from affluent families enrolling their children in private schools to escape another year of virtual or hybrid learning in public education. At the other end of the spectrum, children like Kiara in families facing financial and other logistical difficulties dropped out of virtual learning entirely.

Open the Schools

The chaos children like Kiara continue to face with virtual learning — a national scandal if there ever was one — argues for a major expansion of school choice, so that no child faces these kinds of obstacles again. Thankfully, Ohio just enacted a major expansion of school choice, giving students an early Christmas present; other states should follow suit (in the interests of full disclosure, I have worked on a variety of projects advocating for school choice; however, no clients had input into this article).

Until every parent has access to school choice, school districts should start taking steps to reopen their classrooms to in-person instruction. There are fine and valid disagreements to be had over the necessity of business closures during the pandemic, but the idea that bars should remain open yet schools remain closed runs counter to any sense of logic, not to mention good public policy.

The future of hundreds of thousands of children lies in the hands of policymakers and school officials coming up with a plan to open their doors as soon as possible, and keep them open. Kiara and students like her deserve far better than what they have received during the past nine months — and they deserve it now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Jacobs is founder and CEO of Juniper Research Group, and author of the book, “The Case Against Single Payer.” He is on Twitter: @chrisjacobsHC.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Moms on the Frontline

Frustrated mothers in Minnesota and across the country want schools opened and are looking for leadership.

Open Schools in MinnesotaPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Pandora’s Box

Mail-in voting creates the perfect conditions for voter fraud on a scale unlike we’ve ever seen.

Mail-in Voter FraudPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and has had his toons tweeted by President Trump.

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