Sunday, November 12, 2023

ICYMI: My Mom's Birthday Edition (11/12)

Wow, this week was a lot for a lot of folks, but here at the Institute it was the week my mother turned 90, so that was pretty exciting. She's had a challenging couple of years, but she still does her volunteer work, still sends cards to everyone for everything, and still gets on the floor to play with her youngest descendants. She's got a good heart and makes the world a better place, and this week was a reminder that we can always use a few more people like that. Lots to read--and remember, it's a lot harder to get things out and about on social media these days, so you can help by pushing out things that you think are worthy of attention.

Moms for Liberty members call the cops on Florida librarians

Adam Laats called this one a while ago--an organization that spreads like M4L has will inevitably end up empowering some over-the-top wingnuts who will proceed to make the brand look really bad. Judd Legum at Popular Information dug out this story of an attempt to get a librarian arrested for letting a 17 year old check out a fantasy book about gargoyles.

Moms For Liberty And The Dominionist Assault On America’s ‘Education Mountain’

Jennifer Cohn and the folks at the Bucks County Beacon have been right in the thick of things this week, connecting lots of dots.

Does Speaker Johnson really believe there’s no separation between church and state?

And if you're not really up on dominionism, it's getting time to study up, because you're going to hear the term more and more.

A Billionaire Megadonor Is Behind the Bill to Weaken Florida’s Child Labor Laws

Let's get those young 'uns back to work (and out of school). The wing of the reformster movement that is mostly pre-occupied with getting more cheap meat widgets for employers is, of course, active in Florida. Jason Garcia and Jordan Zakarin found some billionaire fingerprints on the Florida bill.

As Wyoming voters lose faith in churches, politics is the new religion

Ryan Burge is the expert used by the authors of The Great Dechurching, and here he's part of a piece by Kerry Drake that tracks a curious phenomenon--people who act out politically on the religious right, even as they don't actually set foot in church.

Pro-Trump Church Burns Pride Flags at Massive Bonfire

I missed this story when it ran in Newsweek a month ago. The church's name? Rod of Iron Ministries. Really. I suppose it's more subtle than The Church of The Mighty Penis, but it sure suggests that there are some other issues at play here.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Voters Give Pennridge Democrats A Mandate For Change In The School District

Pennridge is a Bucks County district that has been steered far to the right by conservative members (this is the place that hired Hillsdale's Jordan Adams to dewokify their curriculum). But that conservative slate lost hard this week. Jenny Stephens has some of the details for the Bucks County Beacon.

Youngkin’s disastrous night shows the right’s culture war has fizzled

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post looks at Virginia. Quotes a Dem consultant with this great line: It turns out that talking endlessly about critical race theory is not a successful way to win critical races.

‘Moms for Liberty’ endorsed candidates fail to win seats in Linn Mar school board election

Here are the Moms losing out in Iowa in another supposed-to-be-a-slam-dunk race. The article's really short, but still good news.

Mat-Su Moms for Liberty’s Impact on Candidate Wins: Not Even a Participation Trophy

A look at how M4L played their hand in Alaska's MAGA country. 

NC State Superintendent Catherine Truitt refuses to disclose “outside counsel” in controversial charter school decision

They couldn't get their charter approved, so they turned to Truitt, who consulted some mystery lawyers and discovered that the company (that donated to her campaign) should get an official okay. Seems totally legit. Justin Parmenter digs in.

Poisoned Water in Missouri Public Schools? Let The Kids Eat Cake.

Jess Piper has a conversation with a wealthy charter fan who figures that school choice is the perfect solution to lead-laced water in public schools. Because reasons.

The Plight of the Poorest Students in America’s Public Schools Is Hidden in Plain Sight

Jan Resseger... well, I won't say digs, because, as she points out, you don't exactly have to dive deep to see the problems.

Ohio GOP won't let democracy stand in the way of imposing their religion as law!

A reminder that these days, a certain brand of politician does not consider voting results a final word on anything. Ohio voted for women's health care rights; it remains to be seen if Ohio's GOP will let those results actually take effect.

Nonbinary teacher at Florida school fired for using 'Mx.' as courtesy title

Of course it's Florida. USA Today adds one more item for your "dumb reasons teachers can be fired" file.

Believe it or not, Generation Z prefers print books over digital, study reveals

This may or may not be news. For years, when I gave students links to readings on line, their first step was to print them out. But here's further evidence that the e-book revolution isn't coming.

How to Define Democrats for Education Reform Using Two Quotes from Democrats for Education Reform

Maurice Cunningham lays out why DFER isn't exactly what they pretend to be.

It’s Fall and I Have A Mild Case of Teacher Brain

Anne Lutz Fernandez talks about the effects of stress on the teacher brain, and what schools could do about it.

Andreessen Horowitz would like everyone to stop talking about AI's copyright issues, please

Turns out generative big language "artificial intelligence" wouldn't be profitable if developers had to actually pay for all the writing they steal borrow to "train" the algorithm.

I was busy at Forbes this week:

I invite you to join me on substack, where you get regular emails that cover everything new I've cranked out along with old faves from the blog. It's free and it's easy and it's not subject to billionaire whims (so far). 

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