Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Obama Way: Sex In, God Out (Even for Kindergartners)

Obamakids

by Christopher Paslay

Under the Obama administration, the Boy Scouts, the military, and even kindergarten classes have been sexualized, while God and religious freedoms have been trampled. 

Last December, when Philadelphia School District officials announced that condom dispensers would be installed outside nurses offices in 22 high schools, I though I’d heard it all.  That was until I recently learned that Chicago pubic schools are now mandating sex education for kindergarteners.

According to CBS Chicago:

Some people may think a five-year old is too young for sex education.  Administrators with Chicago Public schools do not.  New to the curriculum this year, mandatory sexual and health education for kindergarten classes. . . .

Students will also take a look at the different family structures that exist in today’s society.

“Whether that means there’s two moms at home, everyone’s home life is different, and we introduce the fact that we all have a diverse background,” said [CPS Chief Health Officer Stephanie] Whyte.

How does President Obama feel about sex education at the kindergarten level and exposing 5-year-olds to diverse sexual orientations?  In July of 2007, speaking at a Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, he said that sex ed. for kindergarteners “is the right thing to do.”

Promoting the open talk of sex and sexuality is a recurring theme under the Obama administration.  Not only does the president support age-appropriate sex education in the early grades, but he also repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the military, and stated that openly gay men and boys should be able to join the Boy Scouts.

Now, before I’m vilified as a homophobe, which I’m not (for the record, I support same sex marriage so long as this is legislated at the state level . . . furthermore, my wife and I were married via a Japanese tea ceremony performed by a gay tea master and his partner), I’d like to point out the problem with Obama’s approach with the aforementioned issues, and it is this: kindergarten classes, the military, and the Boy Scouts do not need to be sexualized.  In other words, you can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, whatever.  This is your personal business, and you can live your life any way you want; America is still a free country (as of now).  And you can be open about your sex and sexuality almost anywhere you choose.

There are places, however, where talking about sex and/or openly flaunting your sexual preferences is inappropriate, distracting, and as a whole, counterproductive (and in some cases even dangerous and risqué).

Kindergarten classes, the Boy Scouts, and the military are such places—and as such should be asexual, or sexually neutral.  These are not the proper venues to openly promote sex or sexual preferences.  Again, Boy Scouts, soldiers, and friends and family of kindergarteners can engage in sex with whomever they so choose, but there is absolutely no need to publically advertise this.  This goes for straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered folks all the same.  I may be ignorant, but how is the open discussion/display/advertisement of sex and sexual orientation going to benefit soldiers in combat or training situations?  Commonsense would dictate that this would be a distraction and impact safety and performance.  How is the open discussion/display/advertisement of sex and sexual orientation by Boy Scout Leaders good for children on a camping trip?  Ditto for five-year-olds in kindergarten classes (such discussions should be done by parents in the home).

The irony here, of course, is that while Obama is encouraging such sexual openness under the guise of “freedom,” the opposite approach is being taken when it comes to faith and religion.  As gays and lesbians are being encouraged to be open and proud of their sexuality in the military, Christian troops and military chaplains are now facing court marshals if they “proselytize” or share their faith “too aggressively.”

According to USA Today:

A Pentagon ban on proselytizing has left some conservative activists fearful that Christian troops — and even military chaplains — could face court martial for sharing their faith.

In Richland, Washington, a Christian florist was hit with a lawsuit for refusing to accommodate a homosexual wedding.  In Kansas, a law was proposed to force churches to host same-sex weddings and receptions.

The most egregious violation of religious freedoms is Obamacare.  A 2012 US News and World Report article states:

Monday the Catholic Church filed 12 different federal lawsuits against the administration on behalf of 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations ranging from local Catholic Charities to parish schools, hospitals, and colleges. The lawsuits are in response to last year’s ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services, known as the HHS, which mandates all healthcare plans must provide sterilizations and abortion-inducing contraceptives for free, with an exemption for churches only, not broader religious organizations. Only churches which serve solely the members of the same faith are exempt; religious organizations which serve the general public are not covered—the most narrowly defined “conscience clause” ever adopted under federal law.

In August of 2012, the Democrats even removed the word “God” from their party platform.  In a May 2012 speech at the prestigious Roman Catholic Georgetown University, President Obama not only failed to mention Jesus once in his remarks, but also persuaded the school to cover the name of Jesus–IHS–at Gaston Hall where he made the speech; Obama did the same thing in April of 2009 when he delivered remarks on the economy at Georgetown.

In 1882, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed God was dead.  130 years later, it appears He is at least slowly dying.

Not to worry, though.  As long as religious organizations are forced to cover your birth control (and kindergarteners are well-versed in the dynamics of the homosexual family), all is well in Obama’s America.

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Filed under Free Speech, Multiculturalism

On Corbett Bashing and the Common Core

by Christopher Paslay

Common Core texts indoctrinate young children and teach them to manipulate facts for social advocacy.  Sound familiar, Philadelphia? 

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

This is the philosophy I use when I teach students in my high school English classes how to write.  There is no substitute for the right word—no true synonym—and until a writer figures this out, he won’t be able to fully articulate his thoughts.  This is the case whether you are writing a narrative, informational, or persuasive essay (the Common Core’s preferred term for “persuasive” is now “argumentative”).

Good writing, especially in today’s culture of limited attention spans, is focused, clear, and accurate.  Good writers can say more in less space—and they can back their writing with examples, details, and evidence.

This philosophy has worked well with my own students at Swenson Arts and Technology High School.  On the 2012 PSSA Writing Test, 74% of my 11th graders scored proficient or advanced—a whopping 28.1% percent higher than the Philadelphia School District average, which was only 45.9%.

Unfortunately, some English Language Arts texts being promoted by the Common Core are no longer focused on teaching students succinct, accurate writing that avoids the use of flimsy persuasive techniques (such as red herrings, overgeneralizing, circular arguments, name calling, etc.), but on writing that actually encourages the use of emotionally charged propaganda for social advocacy.  In short, some ELA texts supported by the Common Core are not making young children free thinkers, but politically indoctrinating them (type the phrase “Common Core indoctrination” on YouTube and see the results).

One interesting case of indoctrinating students and promoting the use of propagandistic writing for social advocacy is the state of Utah’s first grade ELA primer Voices: Writing and Literature, recommended by, and aligned with, the Common Core.  On the surface it appears the text is about literature and writing, but a closer look reveals a major theme is social justice and social advocacy.  This, amazingly, is being introduced not to college undergraduates in Community Organizing 101, but to first graders!

One section in Voices: Writing and Literature teaches young children how to play fast and loose with facts by using emotionally charged propagandistic words to elicit emotions and bring about liberal social change.  It doesn’t teach children to use the right word, as Twain would have advocated (as well as any respectable writing teacher), but to use a word that will get folks stirred-up for social justice, whether or not that word is true, evidence-based, or accurate.

Click on the below YouTube video to see for yourself:

Because the Philadelphia School District is flat broke and has no money to invest in a new set of textbooks, such a primer may not be made available to our city’s school children.  However, the political indoctrination of School District students—and the teaching of how to play fast and loose with facts—is well underway.  Groups like Youth United for Change and the Philadelphia Student Union, who often partner with politically motivated adult organization such as the Education Law Center, are well schooled on the use of propaganda in writing.

All three of these groups frequently use “correlation to prove causation”—a logical fallacy and standard propaganda technique—to imply that Philadelphia public schoolteachers are discriminating against minority students because black students are three times as likely to be suspended or expelled as their white peers (and these groups continue to claim this despite the fact that no documented cases of racial discrimination by a Philadelphia teacher against a students exists . . . except, of course, the discrimination against Sam Pawlucy by a black geometry teacher for wearing a Romney T-shirt in class).

The newly founded “Fund Philly Schools Now” does much of the same in terms of their blatant use of propaganda.  Launched to help raise money for struggling city schools, an admirable goal, their website states:

Since Gov. Corbett took office, it has become clear that when he must make the choice between tax breaks for corporations and much-needed investments in our children, he chooses corporations and wealthy donors every time. The crisis in Philadelphia public schools has been manufactured by Gov. Corbett. He is starving the city of resources and then using teachers as scapegoats and Philadelphia families as pawns.

Propagandistic?  No question.  With Federal stimulus money gone, Governor Corbett has been forced to make due with less, and this has no doubt adversely impacted Philadelphia public schools (as well as most public schools in PA).  But the crisis in city schools was not “manufactured by Gov. Corbett.”

During the Ackerman years, from July of 2008 to July of 2011, the School District blew through nearly $10 billion, spending so reckless it prompted the IRS to open a detailed audit of their financial practices.  The rapid expansion of charter schools—nearly 100 of them in 10 years—also greatly contributed to the School District’s financial crisis.  There is also the matter of Philadelphia residents owing over $500 million in delinquent property taxes.  And the fact that the School District loses millions of dollars in unreturned textbooks and stolen computer equipment each year.  And the reality that recently retired baby-boomers are overwhelming the pension system.  And all the cronyism/nepotism over the past five years from the usual suspects . . . Ackerman, Archie, Evans, Gamble, Fattah Jr., etc.

All Corbett?  Please.

Does the School District badly need money?  Absolutely.  Do I want to see our city’s children get the resources they need?  Most definitely.  But the theatrics and use of propaganda to get money is getting old.  People are growing tired of it.  Attacking public officials is becoming counterproductive (just ask Mayor Nutter).  Why does the rest of the state hate Philadelphia, think we are a cesspool?  Perhaps they are tired of Victimology 101.  It’s like with affirmative action: If groups in need simply took responsibility for their problems and said, I’m having some trouble keeping up, can you please lend a hand?, people would bend over backwards to help out.  But it doesn’t work like that.  Affirmative action in 21st century America goes more like this:  It’s YOUR fault I have problems, so give me what you owe me, now!

Not the best way to get the help you need, or to get at the true root of problems.

Neither is using propaganda to bring about reform (or to teach our students English Language Arts).

According to the mission statement of the Common Core:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.

Dr. Carole Hornsby Haynes, a noted curriculum specialist and former public school teacher, disagrees with the Common Core’s mission statement and feels they have an ulterior agenda.  She writes in a recent article:

Common Core is not about “core knowledge” but rather is the foundation for left-wing student indoctrination to create activists for the social justice agenda. Education is being nationalized, just like our healthcare, to eliminate local control over education, imposing a one-size-fits-all, top-down curriculum that will also affect private schools and homeschoolers.

I don’t know if Dr. Hornsby Haynes is totally correct about the Common Core, but I know this: ELA teachers should teach students how to make strong, factual arguments, not how to play loose with the facts to support their own political agendas.

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Filed under Core Curriculum, Philadelphia Student Union, Uncategorized

Obama’s Bumbling Law School Reform

Barack Obama at Harvard Law

by Christopher Paslay

A token solution from Harvard Law Review’s token president.  

How do we strengthen the knowledge and skills of America’s future lawyers and help them find jobs in lucrative firms?  By cutting a year of instruction, of course.

According to the New York Times:

President Obama urged law schools on Friday to consider cutting a year of classroom instruction, wading into a hotly debated issue inside the beleaguered legal academy.

“This is probably controversial to say, but what the heck. I am in my second term, so I can say it,” Mr. Obama said at a town hall-style meeting at Binghamton University in New York. “I believe that law schools would probably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years.”

The president’s surprising remarks, made while discussing how to make education more affordable, come at a time of crisis for law schools. With an increasing number of graduates struggling with soaring tuition costs, heavy student debt and a difficult job market, a growing number of professors and administrators are pushing for broad reforms in legal education.

This, coming from a man who became the president of the Harvard Law Review because of “broad reforms” to the election process.

Consider these facts, as reported by the New York Times in 1990:

Mr. Obama was elected after a meeting of the review’s 80 editors that convened Sunday and lasted until early this morning, a participant said.

Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.

That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help insure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.

What exactly were Barack Obama’s credentials when he was selected as The Law Review’s president?  We don’t know for sure, as President Obama still refuses to release his academic transcripts from Harvard (as well as Occidental and Columbia).  One thing is clear, however.  Barack Obama’s name does not appear on any legal scholarship during his entire time at Harvard Law School.  Not a single oneZilch.  This is curious, as past Law Review presidents both authored and edited multiple articles and worked their way up the law school ladder.

Not Obama.  Somehow, perhaps because The Law Review changed their policy prior to Obama’s tenure and no longer selected presidents “on the basis of grades” (or on authoring scholarly articles, for that matter), Obama became the first African American president of The Law Review.

So it’s no wonder why Obama wants to reform law school by dumbing down the requirements—changing the traditional program from three years to two.  If he was cut slack during his tenure, why not everybody else?

Why not?  Because this is no way to reform law school and the problem of high tuition, high student loans, and growing unemployment among law school graduates.  A more practical way to reform law school, according to noted author and attorney Charles Cooper, is to admit that the legal profession has changed (the internet has rendered entry level attorneys obsolete), that real world competition dictates that “fifty percent [of new lawyers] will never practice law even in the short term, let alone as a career,” and that “third tier” law school graduates are getting left behind by the big name elite schools.

As Cooper writes in an article co-authored by Thane Messinger:

While meaningful reform would include the closure of underperforming law schools to reduce the grotesque oversupply of graduates, capping student loans for legal education to reduce costs, and removing bankruptcy protections for student lenders to “encourage” responsible student lending, a good start would be a conversation about law school—and higher education as a whole—that is honest and based upon reality and fact, rather than myth, outdated beliefs, and manipulated data that would make Wall Street blush.  That alone, and the realization that law school is overpriced, underperforming, and outdated, and that the inside of today’s legal profession is a far cry from the prestigious, stable, lucrative, and elite exterior it presents, will go a long way to forcing much-needed change—change that law schools and the ABA continue to inexplicably oppose.

Not that Obama, a man whose academic records are intensely guarded and whose scholarly accomplishments curiously lacking, would be able to grasp a real world solution to America’s law school woes.

One thing is certain, though.  Cutting law school requirements from three years to two will not decrease the pool of law school graduates, or enhance their prospects of finding work in the law profession as a whole.

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More Nonsensical Charges of ‘Discrimination’ from Education Law Center

by Christopher Paslay

Instead of addressing the root causes of dysfunctional behavior, the Education Law Center once again cries “racism”.    

From the Notebook:

Pennsylvania’s Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth programs are supposed to help turn around disorderly public school students, but they are academically inadequate and discriminatory, according to a complaint by the nonprofit Education Law Center.

The ELC alleges that a disproportionate number of African-Americans and students with disabilities are sent to them.

While African-Americans make up only 15 percent of the state’s public school students, they made up 35 percent of the pupils in the special programs in 2010-11.

Here we go again.  More irresponsible race-baiting from progressive education advocacy groups.

The Education Law Center’s belief that discrimination is causing minorities to be sent to alternative education programs is a classic example of a logical fallacy, also known as the belief that correlation proves causation.  It is also an example of a lurking variable.  Simply stated, you cannot conclude that discrimination/racism is taking place at Pennsylvania’s Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth simply because minority students are disproportionally sent there.

The truth is that correlation does not imply causation.  For example, it would be wrong to assume that sleeping with your shoes on causes a headache, even if statistics showed that 100,000 people went to bed with their shoes on and woke up with a headache.  There is most likely another factor that led to the cause, a lurking variable; in this case, that variable would be that the people went to bed drunk.

Likewise, it would be wrong to assume that eating ice cream causes drowning, even though statistics show that as ice cream sales go up, so do the number of drowning deaths.  The lurking variable in this case is hot weather.

Which is why the Education Law Center should not assume discrimination is the primary reason minorities are nearly three times as likely as their White peers to be sent to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth.  There is a lurking variable, and it is the fact that Black students are three times as poor as their White counterparts.

According to statistics from the National Poverty Center, 38 percent of Black children in the United States live in poverty, whereas only 12 percent of White children are impoverished.  This is extremely significant because research continues to show that poverty leads to poor conduct, low academic achievement, and the chronic breaking of school rules.

The Educational Testing Service’s 2007 policy report “The Family—America’s Smallest School,” highlights how one in three Black children in the U.S. are “food insecure” and how 70 percent of Black babies are born out of wedlock to a single mom.  This is very troubling in light of the fact that children in single-parent families score lower on academic tests, have higher incidences of psychological problems that reflect aggression and poor conduct, have a greater tendency to abuse illegal substances, and are more likely to have sexual relationships at an earlier age.

In a 2009 report titled “Parsing the Achievement Gap II,” the Educational Testing Service tracked national trends between students of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.  The report listed 16 factors that have been linked to behavior and student achievement.

Some significant findings were that White students’ parents were more likely to attend a school event or to volunteer at school; minority students were more likely to change schools frequently; the percentage of Black infants born with low birth weight was higher than that for White infants; minority children were more likely to be exposed to environmental hazards, such as lead and mercury; minority children were less likely to be read to daily by parents; minority children watched more television; and minority students grew less academically over the summer.

This research—which lays bare some of the root causes of violent and dysfunctional conduct—is not new.  Yet the Education Law Center attributes the high number of minority students being sent to alternative programs to something as banal and cliché as “discrimination”.

This is, quite frankly, pathetic.  It is also counterproductive from a learning standpoint.  Although some racial discrimination may still exist in public schools (there is no significant data to show that it does), reinforcing the idea that students are targets—that they are not the captain of their own ship but simply a victim—contradicts the fundamental message hardworking teachers across America are trying to instill in their students: Personal responsibility!

The Education Law Center’s simplistic conclusion of discrimination is also lazy.  Instead of rolling up their sleeves and attempting to fight the good fight, instead of addressing the multitude of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges facing our minority children so they can receive the supports they and their teachers need, the Education Law Center chooses to go the Al Sharpton grievance route, and race-bait.

Tragic.  And we wonder why nothing changes in our public schools.

This article is an adaption from a March 2012 post titled “Why Minority Students Face ‘Harsher Punishments’.

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Filed under Multiculturalism, School Violence

Tar Heel Money Saver: No More Teacher Raises for Master’s Degrees

by Christopher Paslay

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory decides the best way to improve public education in the Tar Heel State is to pay teachers less.   

I have a master’s degree in Multicultural Education from Eastern University (cost me $25,000, and this wasn’t reimbursed by the Philadelphia School District), and I will soon have a PA secondary school counseling certificate from Eastern as well (cost me another $25,000, also not refunded by the PSD).  These advanced degrees not only cost a ton of money, but took up a ton of my time (I’ve been attending Eastern part time since 2008).

Have these degrees improved my teaching?  Absolutely.  I have more knowledge, ideas, contacts, hands-on lessons, classroom activities, and overall expertise in regards to both my teaching and counseling than I would have if I’d stayed within the comfort zone of my classroom and not branched out and furthered my education.

Tragically, there is a movement to end pay raises for educators seeking to learn new skills and broaden their educational repertoire.  Although this movement claims to have the best interest of public school students in mind, it seems there is also an ulterior motive behind it: saving money and balancing budgets.

Consider this recent article from the Wall Street Journal:

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a budget bill Friday that eliminates teacher tenure and—in a rare move—gets rid of the automatic pay increase teachers receive for earning a master’s degree.

The legislation targets a compensation mechanism that is common in the U.S., where teachers receive automatic pay increases for years of service and advanced degrees. Some research has suggested those advanced degrees don’t lead to improved teaching.

Gov. Pat McCrory, shown earlier this month, said in a statement that the 2013-2015 budget ‘maintains public investments in education.’

Although a few other states have talked about doing away with the automatic pay increase for advanced degrees, experts say North Carolina is believed to be the first state to do so.

The budget bill—which drew hundreds of teachers to the Capitol in protest earlier this week—also eliminates tenure for elementary and high-school teachers and freezes teacher salaries for the fifth time in six years.

It comes as states and districts across the country are revamping teacher evaluations, salaries and job security, and linking them more closely to student performance. These changes have been propelled, in part, by the Obama administration and GOP governors.

North Carolina’s $20.6 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 was crafted by Republican lawmakers and came after the GOP gained control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s office for the first time in 144 years.

Mr. McCrory said in a statement that the 2013-2015 budget “maintains public investments in education” and other services and noted 56% will go toward K-12 and higher education—1% more than in the previous budget.

Tim Barnsback, a teacher at Heritage Middle School in Valdese, N.C., said, “Morale is going to be at an all-time low” due to the new policies and budget. “The best and the brightest aren’t going to go into the profession,” he added.

Sandi Jacobs, with the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonprofit that advocates an overhaul to teacher evaluation and pay structures, said she doesn’t oppose teachers having advanced degrees, but that those degrees shouldn’t be the primary driver of salary increases, which she said should be based more on actual performance.

A number of studies have shown that teachers with advanced degrees don’t, necessarily, produce higher student achievement than teachers who hold only a bachelor’s. Other studies have shown an advantage to holding a master’s in math and the sciences for high-school teachers. About 28% of North Carolina teachers hold master’s degrees.

A 2012 study by a researcher from the University of Washington’s College of Education found that the nation spent about $14.8 billion on the master’s bump for teachers in the 2007-2008 school year.

Is this about saving money?  Absolutely.  A $14.8 billion savings.

Advice to educators seeking to broaden their skills and knowledge via advanced degrees: Stay away from the Tar Heel State.  Your investment is sure to go bust.

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No Biggie–The Student Brutally Beaten by Three Black Teens on School Bus was White

by Christopher Paslay

A white sixth grader is brutally beaten by three black teens on a Florida school bus and the country is business as usual.
 
Photos of the three suspects — Joshua Reddin, Julian McKnight, and Lloyd Khemradj  as reported by WFLA TV News

Photos of the three suspects — Joshua Reddin, Julian McKnight, and Lloyd Khemradj as reported by WFLA TV News

  From CNN:

The windmilling fists and stomping feet rain down blows on the 13-year-old boy.

Trapped on the floor between the bus seats, he cries out as he receives fierce punch after vicious kick from the three bigger, older youths.

As the relentless assault unfolds, the driver of the Florida school bus alerts the dispatcher, pleading for aid.

But he doesn’t physically step in to help.

The bus driver, at least according to his school’s policy, did nothing wrong.

Click on the video below to watch the beating (warning: graphic content):

The interesting part of the way this incident was reported by CNN, as well as most of the American media, is that race was conveniently kept out of the picture.  This is curious because for over 18 months, CNN, as well as ABC and NBC, did all they could do to inject race and racism into the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case:

Consider the following:

  • NBC fired a producer because they edited Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him sound racist (click here to read the article).
  • CNN backtracked after reporting that Zimmerman used a racial slur on his 911 call, which was later proved to be a mistake: Zimmerman said “cold” and not “coon” (click here to read).
  • ABC News revised their story that initially reported that Zimmerman had no visible injuries on his head, which he did (click here to read).

But when a white sixth grade boy is beaten by three older and much bigger black teens on a school bus, somehow race disappears from the narrative—mum is the word on race, racism, and “hate crimes”.

According to examiner.com:

But there is something conspicuously absent from the report — the fact that the victim was white and his attackers were black. Is this detail relevant? That remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that if a trio of older white teens had assaulted a younger black teen, race would not only have received prominent mention but would have been proffered as a likely motive.

Even more amazing, the narrative surrounding this incident isn’t about the horrendous behavior of those three bigger boys ganging up and beating the smaller boy, but about the actions of the 65-year-old bus driver.  That’s the controversy: whether or not the bus driver could have intervened on behalf of the boy (shhhh, he was white) who was being beaten by three teens (shhhh, they were black).

I’m sure President Obama will make an impromptu speech from the White House—being the neutral arbitrator and “great racial unifier” that he is—insisting that if he had a son, he would look like this 13-year old boy being beaten by three bigger aggressors; remember: President Obama is half white, although he’s never embraced his Caucasian heritage, and consistently throws the roots of his lighter side under the bus.

I’m sure all those folks who call for racial harmony—the thousands who marched for Trayvon Martin and an end to profiling—will be out in force over the next week or so.

Not.

To publicly call attention to race in a situation where the victim is white and the perpetrators are black is not only politically incorrect, but would be considered by some to be “criminalizing” black teens who are basically just victims of an unjust system.

These three bigger, older, black teens beating the mess out of a smaller white student might be written-off by some activists groups in Philadelphia as “kids being kids.”

Consider the statement of Rachel Jeantel, the 19-year-old woman who had a lengthy conversation on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was killed, on the Piers Morgan show:

MORGAN: Five white women on the jury and one Hispanic lady.

JEANTEL: Yes. I had a feeling it was going to be not guilty so.

MORGAN: Because of the make-up of the jury? Do you think it was just wrong that you had no black people on the jury at all?

JEANTEL: No, not that. They don’t understand, they understand — he was just bashed or he was killed. When somebody bashes like blood people, trust me, the area I live, that’s not bashing. That’s just called whoop ass. You do that (INAUDIBLE). That’s what it is.

Translation: Rachel Jeantel is saying that Trayvon Martin was giving Zimmerman a simple ass-whooping when Martin attacked the neighborhood watch captain and pounded his head on the cement, or, in her words, what is called a “whoop ass”.  Click on the video below to hear the clip for yourself:

Yes, a “whoop ass”.  No biggie.  Just kids being kids.

Kind of like what those three bigger black boys were doing to that smaller white kid on the buss: just a simple “whoop ass”.  No need to get up in arms about it.  After all, this whoop ass only left the kid with two black eyes and a broken arm.

Just a good old fashioned whoop ass.

Good thing for those three bullies beating that defenseless child that George Zimmerman wasn’t driving that bus.

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Healthcare Reform Causing School Districts to Cut Jobs

Officials in school districts are voting to cut employee hours to avoid the healthcare mandate. 

Below is a must read article concerning school districts and healthcare reform by Elizabeth MacDonald:

Health reform is now causing job turmoil across the country in three key groups that the White House has depended on for support—local government, school workers and unions.

School districts in states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Utah, Nebraska, and Indiana are dropping to part-time status school workers such as teacher aides, administrators, secretaries, bus drivers, gym teachers, coaches and cafeteria workers. Cities or counties in states like California, Indiana, Kansas, Texas, Michigan and Iowa are dropping to part-time status government workers such as librarians, secretaries, administrators, parks and recreation officials and public works officials.

This growing trend comes as three major unions have written to Democratic Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid warning that, because health reform is helping to push the work week to below 30 hours, it will “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

The federal law forces employers with at least 50 full-time workers to cover at least 60% of health-care costs for employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The law covers schools and state and local governments.

If they don’t offer affordable health insurance, schools and local governments could be fined $2,000 to as much as $3,000 per employee annually. The White House delayed the employer mandate for one year so employers can adjust, which the National School Boards Association (NSBA) applauded, as the mandate will hit schools hard.

Nearly three-quarters of government employers provide generous benefits to workers, funded by taxpayers, higher than any other industry, says the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But the quarter that do not are making rapid changes to the work week. To stop the wheels from coming off the school bus, school districts are doing the math, and are figuring out that cutting worker hours down to part-time status, or paying the mandate tax, or dropping part-time coverage is less expensive than offering health insurance benefits. “School districts across the U.S. are grappling to determine how they will respond to the requirement,” says National Insurance Services, a specialist in public sector employee benefits since 1969.

“Even some school districts on Long Island now contemplate putting school workers in the state health exchange to save money, while administrators and superintendents get paid huge six-figure salaries,” says a school administrator in Nassau County who asked to remain anonymous.

On top of that, cities across the nation are discovering that the extra expense from health reform will trigger layoffs and cutbacks in city services like public works, city jails, government workers in nursing homes, parks and libraries if they don’t push government workers down to part-time status. Some plan to hire even more part-time employees to make up for the lost hours, city officials have said.

A record high 28.1 million workers are now part-time, though the recession officially ended four years ago. Since the 2008-09 recession, part-time employment rose by 2.8 million (almost all of the gain was involuntary). Full-time work fell by 9.4 million from 2007 through 2010, the Census Bureau says. During that time, the ratio of part-timers rose to 20%, vs. 13% in 1968, and 17% in 1980. The economy has created just 130,000 full-time positions so far in 2013, versus 557,000 part-time jobs.

The irony is, health reform could fix the soaring pension and retiree health benefits owed by government agencies across the country, as numerous municipalities consider moving to a part-time workforce, analysis shows.

With the help of FOX analyst Mark Rigby, here’s what we found happening across the nation.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Schools throughout Indiana are cutting back the hours of teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and coaches to avoid having to offer them health insurance under the new federal employer mandate.

“We cannot go out and raise the price of our product to assist us covering this. We would have to go to the taxpayers and ask for some type of increase, and I just don’t see that happening,” said Les Huddle, superintendent of the Lafayette School Corp. This school district has cut the hours for about 600 full-time, non-certified employees in more than 150 schools to part-time status.

Indiana’s Shelbyville Central School System also is cutting back full-time hours of about 100 teacher aides, bus drivers, coaches and substitute teachers.

The Wake County Public School System in North Carolina is considering restricting its 3,300-plus substitutes to working less than 30 hours a week, effective July 1. The school district figured that, if just a third of these subs got employer health insurance, it would cost it about $5.2 million.

The Southern Lehigh School District in Pennsylvania voted to cut the hours of 51 part-time secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers to avoid the health care mandate.

“We are always looking to meet our obligations to students, the community, taxpayers, our employees and our staff, and this vote will have a direct impact on some of our employees,” South Lehigh School Board President Jeffrey Dimmig told the Lehigh Valley Morning Call, saying he was “troubled” by having to make the move.

In Nebraska, public school districts have been contemplating cutting worker hours to avoid the extra expense of health reform. Attorney Karen Haase who represents roughly 150 school districts in the state, estimates thousands of non-teaching jobs, such as bus drivers, cafeteria cooks, teacher aides, janitors, and administrative workers, may see their hours cut, layoffs and hiring freezes.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 of teacher aides, substitute teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and security officers and other workers in the Granite School District outside Salt Lake City, Utah, will see their part-time hours reduced due to the costs of health reform.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell recently said he would limit state part-time employees to a 29-hour maximum work schedule to save the state $61 million to $110 million per year. That includes schools.

Virginia’s Chesterfield County Public Schools and the Chesterfield County government have set 28 hours as the maximum work week for school and other government workers who are not full-time. A school district memo says “this legislation has the potential for serious financial implications for the school division.”

The memo is blunt on how the new law redefines work hours. “The Affordable Care Act redefines full-time employees from people working 40 hours a week to people working 30 hours a week,” it says. “Failure to comply with health-care reform requirements would result in severe penalties — potentially millions of dollars.” The memo says the move will avoid extra costs of about $14 million.

Complaints from school workers about the new law are rolling in. “This healthcare reform is going to make me pay higher preminums (sic). It will make the schools pay more & cut jobs, & programs,” said one complainant on the American Federation of Teachers’ website.

Already, colleges and universities have been cutting back hours of adjunct professors. Youngstown State University in eastern Ohio will limit the hours of non-union part-time employees like these professors to 29 hours a week or less to make sure that the university is not required to provide them with health insurance coverage under the new law.

Part-time professors at Piedmont Virginia Community College and other community colleges in the state could see their hours cut because of Virginia’s response to the new federal health reform law, officials said.

Some 200 adjunct faculty members at Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania will see their hours cut so the school can avoid paying for their health insurance coverage. “While it is of course the college’s preference to provide coverage to these positions, there simply are not funds available to do so,” David Hoovler, executive assistant to the president of CCAC, has said. Another 200 additional part-time employees, such as administrators, computer, seasonal and other positions, will be limited to working 25 hours per week.

And the Haysville school district outside Wichita, Kansas, now says part-time employees who work fewer than 30 hours will no longer receive health benefits they used to get.

MUNICIPAL WORKERS

Officials in Floyd County, Ind., recently announced plans to drop the hours of part-time government workers to below 30 hours a week from 34 because of health-reform mandates.

Butler County outside Wichita, Kansas, now classifies part-time municipal workers as those who work fewer than 30 hours a week.

Long Beach, Calif., is restricting most of its 1,600 part-time employees to on average fewer than 27 hours a week. City executives warn that without the move, their budget would soar $2 million due to higher health benefit costs. The city calculated that the federal penalty for dropping coverage completely for its 4,100 full-time employees would have been about $8 million, so instead, it’s opting to cut the hours.

“I understand there are costs to healthcare reform, but it is surely not the intent of the law for employees to lose hours,” part-timer Tara Sievers, an outreach coordinator at a nature center in Long Beach, is quoted as saying.

The city of Plano, Texas, says it will cut the hours of up to 70 employees who work 30 hours, but currently don’t get health insurance. Offering coverage would have cost about $1 million.

Dearborn, Michigan, is cutting the number of hours for its part-time and seasonal employees to no more than an average of 28 hours per week. Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. said the policy was drafted due to changes in the federal government’s definition of a “part-time” employee.

City officials in Cedar Falls, Iowa, also say they’re being proactive by cutting hours of part-time workers starting Dec. 1. That means 59 part-time employees who now work 32 hours a week in public works public libraries and the parks department, will be scheduled for 29 hours per week starting Dec. 1.

UNION OPPOSITION

The trend in school and government workers getting hours cut comes as the number of unions opposed to health reform grows. The list includes: The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; International Union of Operating Engineers; United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; Sheet Metal Workers International Association; UNITE HERE; and Laborers International Union of North America.

Union leaders James Hoffa of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joseph Hansen of The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and D. Taylor of UNITE-HERE recently sent a letter to Reid and Pelosi warning: “The law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly,” adding, “the law as it stands will hurt millions of Americans including the members of our respective unions.”

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