Monday, March 28, 2011

An email from Florida:

I am unfortunately situated in sunny Florida where my wife teaches at a local elementary school. I have a Ph.D in science education and spend much time defending conservative causes.

However, I am really depressed over the coming "perfect storm" in education here in Florida because new governor Rick Scott is a fool with no understanding of education. He has M. Rhee in tow and plans to duplicate her DC antics here.

However, teachers will become hunted game even worse because parents will be empowered to decide the fate of teachers. It is the ultimate in stupidity and will demoralize teachers even as budget cuts reduce their pay.

John, charter schools are a shell game with no significant improvements. The move to empower parents -just as illiterate Hispanics come to dominate many communities- will throw education into chaos. The political battles will be endless.

I once contributed to a book on school reform. I defended American education against the legions of liberalism and their "quest for freedom."

They weakened education via parental power, softer curricula, and focus on "the gap." Multicultural education is a scam of large proportions. Standards descend even as Obama pushes Race for the Top.

A donor gave a lot of money to my school district, one willing to destroy teaching to pay young teachers brainwashed in liberalism to miraculously transform blacks and Hispanics into scholars. It isn't going to happen.

Maybe things are better in your neck of the woods, but all hell is breaking out here in Florida.

Iowa School says "white supremacists" are the terrorist threat. Ignores Islam

Clearly racist

Plans for an anti-terror drill on Saturday in western Iowa that would have involved fictional school shootings by white supremacists have been canceled because of threats received by the Treynor public schools, Pottawattamie County officials said today.

“During the last 24 hours, the Treynor school system has received threats to their employees and buildings due to the planned “active shooter” exercise, " county officials said in a statement. “After consultation with the Treynor School District and the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, we have jointly decided to cancel the exercise due to these threats which we must consider viable. The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department is now actively investigating the threats.”

County Sheriff Jeff Danker said he sent three deputies to the Treynor schools today as a precautionary measure, but the school day was completed without any problems.

Members of so-called patriot groups opposed to illegal immigration had strongly objected to the plans for the exercise, which would have been held at the Treynor High School. Their complaints focused on a fictional scenario for the drill based on young white supremacists shooting dozens of people amid rising tensions involving racial minorities and illegal immigrants who moved into the area.

Patriot group leaders complained the exercise was intended to portray people who legally possess guns and who fight illegal immigration as extremists.

County officials said in their statement they found it “astounding” that people claiming to be patriots would be opposed to emergency response agencies drilling to be prepared for any threat. They said the use of the fictional scenario was included only to meet U.S. Department of Homeland security requirements to qualify for federal grant funds.

“In no way has our office or any other response agencies favored a political view or issue. Our only intent was to prepare for a worst-case scenario to build our capacity for such an event and to test any gaps in our response system,” county officials said.

Jeff Theulen, coordinator of the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency, said, “I apologize to the true patriots who have endured profane-laced telephone calls, threats, and generally had their operations disrupted over this event."

Kevin Elwood, superintendent of Treynor Community Schools, said the school system received about 100 emails from throughout the nation, as well as some angry phone calls, including one particularly disturbing call that was left as a voicemail message.

"They basically indicated that if we went through with this type of a drill that potentially that type of an incident could become a reality in our school district," Elwood said. The recording was provided to the sheriff's office for investigation, he added.

Sheriff Danker said investigators believe the call to the school came from outside of Iowa and Nebraska, and they are trying track it to find the person responsible for the threat. He added he has doubts about the threat's credibility, but he sent deputies to protect the Treynor school's entrances today because he didn't want to take any chances.

Craig Halverson of Griswold, national director of the Minuteman Patriots, one of the groups which had objected to the drill, said he is skeptical that any threats were actually made. He said he suspects county officials are citing threats as an excuse to drop the exercise because of the controversy that had developed over the plans.

News stories about the drill have received national attention via the Internet the past two days, and the controversy swirling around the exercise has been a hot topic on some conservative radio talk shows.

Halverson said the Minuteman Patriots are law-abiding people and the organization doesn’t condone people making threats. He said said his organization had no plans to conduct a protest in Treynor on Saturday because the drill was planned on school property and children would be participating.

“We are God-fearing people who believe in the sovereignty of our country and the Constitution,” Halverson said. “If somebody in my organization is making threats, I don’t want them in my organization. We are not lawbreakers and we follow the law of our country.”

Robert Ussery of Des Moines, state director of the Iowa Minutemen activist group, said he also doubted whether threats were actually made against the Treynor public schools. He contends government officials were pursuing a political agenda in support of amnesty for illegal immigrants when they developed the fictional scenario. The cancellation of the event supports that agenda, he added.

"What they are basically saying is, "See. We are right. We had to cancel it because of these people." It would be very, very stupid to make threats like that. People are upset, but I don't believe they would do that," Ussery said.


Fury at British equality watchdog after it calls for teachers to ask 11-year-olds if they are gay

Children as young as 11 could soon be asked about their sexuality without their parents’ consent, it emerged yesterday. Teachers, nurses and youth workers are being urged to set up pilot studies aimed at monitoring adolescent sexual orientation for the first time.

A report commissioned by the Government’s equalities watchdog found that it was ‘practically and ethically’ possible to interview young children about their sexuality. Controversially, it says parental consent, while ‘considered good practice’, is not a legal necessity.

The report for the much-criticised Equality and Human Rights Commission recommends that children should be asked if they are gay from the age of 11. A record should be kept of those unsure or ‘questioning’ their sexuality.

It says monitoring sexual orientation among youngsters could help to prevent them from becoming victims of discrimination, and claims that ‘some young people begin to question their sexual orientation as early as age eight and may begin to identify as LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) from early adolescence’.

The report has provoked outrage. Graham Stuart, Tory chairman of the Commons education select committee, said the plans were ‘invasive, sinister and threatening’. He added: ‘School should be a place of safety, not a place where pupils are picked over for the purpose of some quango; and many children won’t understand what they are talking about.’

The report – Researching and Monitoring Adolescence and Sexual Orientation: Asking the Right Questions, at the Right Time – says it is ‘critical’ to track children’s sexuality to ‘shed light on the complexities of young people’s developing sexual orientation and how this may disadvantage them’.

It tell researchers not to dismiss gay feelings of interviewees as ‘a passing phase’.

Some youngsters, it says, may use categories such as ‘questioning’, ‘queer’, ‘pansexual’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘asexual’, ‘pan-romantic’ and even ‘trisexual’.

Last night, a commission spokesman said: ‘This is independent research produced to help the commission form its policy direction.’


No comments: