Betsy

18 Dec 18
kennethandrebrownsr

Betsy Ann Dey, former Teacher, Special Education (1986-2012) Clearly God does. Some of the rest of us are just left to write annoying non-questions to assert their own agenda on a public forum.

18 Dec 18
NLM Musings from the Mezzanine

It’s no secret I think the women and men who work at the National Library of Medicine are world-class, and I take every opportunity to sing their praises. At this time of year though, we also take time to acknowledge formally their commitment and their excellence. Last week we held a ceremony to recognize the […]

18 Dec 18
National Post

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s school safety commission (all times local): 3:45 p.m. President Donald Trump says one of the nearly 100 recommendations from his administration’s School Safety Commission is an effort to prevent school shooters from capturing the media spotlight. He says the report proposes “no notoriety” campaigns to encourage the […]

18 Dec 18
Tao Talk

image link   The Word Challenge of the Day is shambles. Fandango’s FOWC is treasure. Today’s offering was inspired by Fandango’s post today, which can be found here.   Halls of Learning where treasures that are young minds are shaped are in shambles Breaking the backs of the teacher’s unions Privatizing all other school services […]

18 Dec 18
FOX2now.com

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Pam Hupp was not a suspect in the murder of her best friend in 2011.  Betsy Faria was found by her husband, Russell Faria, with a knife in her neck after being stabbed dozens of times at their home. He was convicted of that murder. But, Russell Faria’s was acquitted after a […]

18 Dec 18
STL.News

President Donald Trump’s school safety commission on Tuesday proposed a rollback of an Obama-era policy that was meant to curb racial disparities in school discipline but that critics say left schools afraid to take action against potentially dangerous students. The panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, made the recommendation in a report that lays […]

18 Dec 18
WW1 Letters a story unfolds

Bunbure Thursday Evening 18th ? Dec 1918 Dearest Girl I’m not certain of the date & as the house is empty  can’t enquire of anyone! George & I did not go on our trip after all as it poured until lunch time but we have fixed provisionally for Saturday provided we can both get away.  […]

18 Dec 18
The Denver Post
President Donald Trump’s school safety commission on Tuesday called for a rollback of an Obama-era policy that was meant to curb racial disparities in school discipline but that critics say left schools afraid to take action against potentially dangerous students. The panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, made the recommendation in a report that lays out dozens of suggestions to improve safety in America’s schools. Trump created the commission in March following a Parkland, Fla., school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members. The report covers areas ranging from mental health and cyberbullying to the regulation of guns and violent video games. On the question of whether schools should arm teachers and other employees, the panel said it should be left to states and schools to decide, but the panel noted that schools can use certain federal grants for firearms training. “Our conclusions in this report do not impose one-size-fits-all solutions for everyone everywhere,” DeVos said in a call with reporters. “Local problems need local solutions. This report seeks to identify options that policymakers should explore.” Padres & Jóvenes Unidos,[cq comment=”CQ”] a Colorado nonprofit that advocates for racial justice in the education system, testified before the federal school safety commission this summer. “We made our concerns heard, and, apparently, they didn’t take those into consideration,” said Jake Cousins,[cq comment=”CQ”] spokesman for Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. “We’re disappointed as a group that’s worked to redefine discipline practices here in Denver and who have really been on the forefront nationally on restorative justice practices in schools.” The commission gave the report to Trump, who planned to talk about it later Tuesday. Among the chief proposals is a rollback of 2014 guidance urging schools not to suspend, expel or report students to police except in the most extreme cases. Instead, the guidance calls for a variety of “restorative justice” remedies that don’t remove students from the classroom. President Barack Obama’s administration issued the guidance after finding that black students were more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled. The guidance warns that schools suspected of discrimination — even if it is unintentional — can face investigations and risk losing federal funding. But the policy came under scrutiny following the Parkland shooting, with some conservatives suggesting it discouraged school officials from reporting the shooter’s past behavioral problems to police. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the most vocal critics, urged DeVos to find a better balance between discipline and school safety. In its report, the commission says the policy was well-intentioned but “may have paradoxically contributed to making schools less safe.” It calls for a rollback, saying disciplinary decisions should be left to school officials. It said the Justice Department should still investigate intentional discrimination but not the unintentional cases that are barred under the 2014 policy. The commission’s proposal was praised by some conservative groups but drew harsh criticism from some activist groups. The Obama-era guidelines aligned with Padres & Jóvenes’ mission, which calls for a move away from school-based policing and punitive discipline practices in favor of restorative justice and more academic counseling. “While these guidelines were a huge victory, and it’s a blow to have them rescinded, it doesn’t need to change our schools practices here in Denver,” Cousins said. “Our big focus now is making sure that, locally, we don’t see Denver Public Schools make any sort of backward progress. While the Department of Education may have taken a step back, that doesn’t mean our local officials have to.” Dmitri Holtzman, director of education justice campaigns for the Center for Popular Democracy, said the proposal sends “a clear message to millions of Black, Brown, Immigrant, LGBTQ and Transgender students that the Federal Government is turning its back on them instead of proactively protecting their fundamental rights.” [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”3055011,3118601,3269813″] Along with DeVos, the safety commission includes leaders of the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security. They issued their findings after more than a dozen meetings with teachers, parents, students, mental health experts, police and survivors of school shootings. While the report doesn’t encourage schools to arm teachers or staff, it says they’re allowed to, and it points them to a Justice Department grant that can be used for training. Still, the group underscored that having a police officer who works in the school is the best option to respond to violence. Among its other proposals, the commission urged states to adopt laws allowing “extreme risk protection orders,” or court orders that temporarily restrict access to firearms for people who are found to pose risks to themselves or others. The group recommended against raising the minimum age to buy a firearm, generally 18 in most states, saying there’s no evidence it would reduce killings. Denver Post reporter Elizabeth Hernandez contributed to this article.
18 Dec 18
Tampa Bay News Wire

Profile® by Sanford®, the comprehensive lifestyle change service developed by Sanford Health, is coming to Tampa Bay! Opening on Wednesday, December 26, at 128 South Westshore Boulevard, Suite C, in the Westshore area of Tampa, this marks Profile’s first location in the bay area. To celebrate, Profile is offering a year-long membership for just $50 […]

18 Dec 18
Pittsylvania County Beekeepers Association

WE WILL ALL BE JOINING TOGETHER THIS THURSDAY 12/20/18 AT RUSTY AND BETSY EAST’S HOUSE FOR FOOD AND FELLOWSHIP!   Join us, we have lots of great cooks in our club!   Please email miker16@comcast.net for details/directions if needed.

18 Dec 18
ThinkProgress
The Trump administration is using the tragedy of school shootings to justify the rollback of Obama-era guidance that address disproportionate discipline of students of color and students with disabilities. The administration’s Federal Commission on School Safety — which was formed after the shooting at a Florida school in February — released a report Tuesday that recommended rolling back policies that discouraged school officers from disciplining students for minor disruptions and that pushed for more positive and less punitive responses to student behavior. The report argued that these policies actually create more dangerous schools. Daniel Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies with the University of California, Los Angeles, whose work focuses on how laws and policies affect children of color, said the reasoning behind the report’s recommendations didn’t hold up to further scrutiny. “The guidance reflects and reminds districts about the law, which includes the disparate impact regulations which have been on the books since the 1960s. The guidance explained how to use them in school discipline in response to seeing these crazily high disparities [for students of color],” Losen said. The report mentions severe acts such as rape, a stabbing, and assault of a teacher to justify rescinding the 2014 guidance, despite the fact that the guidance focused on minor infractions. “It’s sort of disturbing to me that their response and their examples in passing fail to show it has nothing to do with violent acts,” Losen said. “All the violence in the [2014] guidance is about corporal punishment, which is violence against children, and truancy violations and tardiness, those sorts of things.” During the school safety panel’s wrap-up meeting on Tuesday, the panel said schools should coordinate more with law enforcement and have programs to arm school personnel, according to Politico. The panel also mentioned possible incentives for people with military and law enforcement backgrounds to work in K-12 schools. The panel did not weigh in on age restrictions for gun purchases and it recommended rolling back the Obama administration’s 2014 guidance on student discipline. It also endorsed extreme risk protection orders that allow family members, household members, and law enforcement to petition a court to restrict someone’s gun access. https://thinkprogress.org/suspending-students-carries-a-very-high-economic-cost-new-report-explains-af42343cb0b7/ The New York Times reported on Monday that the administration planned to say that these policies, which discouraged school officers from disciplining students and pushed for more positive and less punitive responses to student behavior, have had a part in school gun violence. School shootings put public pressure on the administration to act. After the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day, there were numerous calls for change to gun policies across the United States. Students, parents, and community members marched, made calls to members of Congress and state lawmakers, and registered voters. During some of these marches calling for new gun policies, students risked discipline from their schools. But instead of listening to those calls, the school safety commission’s only mention of gun laws when it first began was a discussion on minimum age for firearms purchases. The administration has also said the commission focuses on the impact that video games and the media have on violence, effective school safety infrastructure, and social emotional support. When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who led the commission, was questioned by senators in June, however, she didn’t even acknowledge the commission’s one mention of gun restrictions. During a Senate subcommittee hearing, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked whether the commission would look at the “role of firearms as it relates to gun violence in our schools.” DeVos responded, “That is not part of the commission’s charge per se.” Soon after the shooting in Florida, Trump said armed teachers would be effective in keeping schools safe. in In August, the New York Times reported that the Education Department was considering the idea of using $1 billion in Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants to purchase firearms and firearms training for schools. In September, after Democrats asked DeVos not to follow federal grants to be used for the purchase of guns, DeVos responded that there is “substantial flexibility” in ESEA that allows school districts to decide how funds are used. The 2014 Obama-era guidelines the administration plans to rescind said schools should focus on restorative justice practices, social-emotional learning, peer mediation instead of punitive responses to students’ minor classroom disruptions, and mental health support to students. The guidelines also mentioned professional development training for school staff, evaluation of policies to ensure that students of color and students with disabilities weren’t being disproportionately disciplined, and that partnerships with law enforcement should clearly spell out officers’ roles in schools. https://thinkprogress.org/trump-administration-students-of-color-with-disabilities-7948d67fca29/ Existing data on student discipline clearly shows that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately disciplined. Black students were 1.9 times more likely than white students to be expelled from school without educational services, according to 2016 Education Department data. Black students were 2.3 times more likely to be disciplined through involvement of officers. According to a 2015 UCLA Civil Rights Project report, 18 percent of secondary school students with disabilities were suspended compared to 10 percent of all students. According to the Times report, the Justice and Education Departments will likely send a joint letter this week saying the departments will rescind all policy statements on the issue back to 2014. The head of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, Kenneth Marcus, signed the letter. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) asked Marcus during his confirmation hearing, what he thought about racial disparities in student discipline and his part of response was “I have seen what appeared to be inexcusable disparities that were the result of paperwork errors. They just got the numbers wrong.” Marcus has also argued for narrowing or striking down the disparate impact provision of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Disparate impact is a practice in which a neutral policy can still adversely affect a protected class, such as students of color and students with disabilities. The commission’s report argues against disparate impact theory. Losen gave the example of a school district that tells school principals that they can decide whether or not to discipline students for minor infractions such as truancy and tardiness. He explained that it isn’t just a policy with disparities associated with it, but an unjustified policy that harms one group more than others. “One principal serving mostly black kids says, ‘OK we’ll suspend kids for truancy and tardiness’ and one serving a school with mostly white kids said, ‘No, we don’t do that for truancy and tardiness, that’s not helping them,'” Losen said. “If you have differences in school level policies within a district and it’s the racial demographics of the school combined with difference in the policies, that’s exactly what disparate impact is supposed to help guard against. If that’s causing more black kids to get suspended, not disparate treatment by the principal or teachers, but the policy, well that’s something you should change.” “If that’s causing more Black kids to get suspended, not disparate treatment by the principal or teachers, but the policy, well that’s something you should change.” The commission wrote, “At the same time, the federal government must also ensure that its policies and actions protect student safety, including when it is acting to ensure that educational programs and policies are administered in a racially neutral fashion. Where well-meaning but flawed policies endanger student safety, they must be changed.” Republicans have also mentioned that Nikolas Cruz, the young man who killed and maimed students and staff at Marjorie Douglas High School, was referred to the PROMISE program, which was supposed to help students who commit minor crimes at school avoid the school-to-prison pipeline. It provided counseling and other supports for students. Cruz, who committed vandalism, never participated in the program, however. Before the program was implemented, the Broward County School District had more arrests for minor crimes than any county in the state, according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The PROMISE program said that nearly nine out of 10 kids who participated in the program don’t commit another offense at school. There isn’t a lot of evidence to support the idea that zero tolerance policies are effective in reducing school disruptions or keeping kids in school, according to experts on school discipline who spoke with ThinkProgress in March. Russell Skiba, a professor of school psychology at Indiana University who works with schools to address changes to student discipline practices, told ThinkProgress at the time, “In fact, the data shows that places that implement more suspensions and expulsion have higher rates of dropout, lower achievement, and are more likely to result in referral to juvenile justice.” https://thinkprogress.org/gun-deaths-united-states-firearm-epidemic-mass-shootings-gun-control-cdc-2017-0299d0d2c843/ The news has not been received well by some students and educators. JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said in a statement to ThinkProgress on the 2014 school discipline guidance: “But in strikingly convoluted and sadly predictable fashion, the Commission asserts without foundation that this nonbinding guidance makes school less safe. The conclusion is offensive, it’s infuriating, it’s nonsensical, and it will assuredly lead to the result the administration wanted all along. Secretary DeVos in particular has demonstrated time and again her dexterity in undoing efforts to enforce the rights of vulnerable student populations.” Nia Arrington, an 18-year-old public school student and co-founder of the One Pennsylvania Youth Power Collective, run by several students in Allegheny county who are fighting for students rights, said she is “disheartened and frankly disgusted” by the Trump administration’s approach to harden public schools and possibly roll back the 2014 guidance. A recent University of Pittburgh study found that Black students are suspended at seven times the rate of non-black peers in Allegheny County school districts. “We see the numbers of school shootings and we automatically push to arm school police but we see the numbers of our kids missing their education.” “If people can’t look at those numbers and see that something is wrong, that we are over-disciplining all children, but specifically black and brown children, then there is something majorly wrong,” she told ThinkProgress. “We see the numbers of school shootings and we automatically push to arm school police but we see the numbers of our kids missing their education.”  Arrington added, “We believe schools have to divest from school policing and instead increase funding for more guidance counselors, mental health supports, restorative justice, and higher pay for our teachers who are already in such a stressful position. We have to stop building the school-to-prison pipeline and by adding armed police to schools, we are not going to create a supportive more inclusive schooling environment in this country.”
18 Dec 18
I Breathe I DIY

Taking care of yourself can be hard to remember to do, but serious self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. We’re taught and programmed to go, go, go all the time, and it takes effort to make yourself have me time. There’s nothing you need to do that’s more […]

18 Dec 18
Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

via Betsy DeVos School Shooting Commission Says Drop Discipline Protections For Minority Students