Was the White House Meeting with Historically Black Colleges and Universities a Sham?

On Monday, the White House met with leaders of the country's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It now appears that that meeting may have been an elaborate setup---a photo-op and a propaganda opportunity. As explained by Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University and one of the leaders present at the meeting:On Friday I learned that I was selected to give remarks today for the meeting at the White House with members of the Trump administration, most notably … [Read more...]


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Historian Kevin Kruse Takes Down Conservatives’ Betsy DeVos / Ruby Bridges Comparison

So, yesterday afternoon, this happened:We are apparently that far through the looking-glass.The cartoon refers to an incident last week when a handful of protestors blocked DeVos from entering a public school in Washington, D.C. DeVos was ultimately able to enter the school. Many Democrats later condemned any efforts to prevent DeVos from entering public schools, arguing that it is important for DeVos to gain greater understanding of the positive work done by public schools. And yet, … [Read more...]


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Inequalities Abound: Betsy DeVos and School Closures

During confirmation hearings, DeVos didn't know the difference between proficiency testing and growth testing. This matters because of schools like my daughter's. Her school doesn't have the test scores of schools on the other side of town, and it never will, but this isn't the fault of the teachers---it's demographics. A school with a high rate of homelessness, a large number of English language learners, and high levels of poverty isn't going to make the same scores as a school filled with chil … [Read more...]


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Does Donald Trump Know Frederick Douglass Is Dead?

This is the full transcript of Trump's remarks on black history month, given this morning: Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple the number or quadruple it. We want to get it over 51, right? At least 51.Well this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together. Hi Lynn, how are you? Just a few notes. During this month, we honor the tremendous history of African-Americans throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you r … [Read more...]


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Why is Kylo Ren the Center of Episode VII Merchandise?

I recently came upon these shirts in the boys' clothing section at Walmart:The shirts both feature Kylo Ren, the primary villain of Star Wars Episode VII: A Force Awakens. I found myself suddenly curious. The heroes of Episode VII---the good guys---were Rey, a young white woman, and Finn, a young black man. But if you go to the Walmart website and google "Star Wars A Force Awakens shirt" there are half a dozen shirts prominently featuring Kylo Ren for every one shirt even picturing Finn. … [Read more...]


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Martin Luther King, Jr., Shape-Shifter

According to the Washington Post: Ohio’s governor says Americans shouldn’t focus so much on the highest-level people when there are ways to tackle many societal problems at the local and individual levels.Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) spoke Monday in Atlanta at the King Center on the holiday honoring its namesake, Martin Luther King Jr.Kasich says King got the attention of people in power through a “bottom-up” approach worth emulating. Kasich says efforts such as addressing drug … [Read more...]


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Test Scores Are Not Predictive of School Quality

I've written about this before, but I apparently need to do it again. I just read a rather terrifying article published by Michigan's Bridge Magazine about the results of the school choice programs Betsy DeVos and others have pushed in Michigan. For more than a decade, Holland Public Schools has watched its enrollment fall, prompting the closure – and demolition – of multiple schools.The decline is not the result of an aging community with fewer, school-age children. Rather, it’s largely a r … [Read more...]


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