The Assault on Education Continues

The recent vintage of the Republican Party has a problem with education, more specifically public education. At the federal level, this is often shown in their disdain for the Department of Education, a very important – at least if you care about having smart people in your country – executive office that dictates education policy in this country (pretty straightforward, I know). Nevertheless, the “states’ rights” branch of the Party thinks that education should be controlled by the states, with a former Republican candidate for president declaring that he would shut down the Department if given the chance. Utah Congresswoman Mia Love made the same goal a huge aspect of her run for office. At the state level, Red and Blue State governors alike often view education cuts as the quickest way to balance bloated government budgets.

The final straw may be the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as President Trump’s Secretary of Education. Her nomination was pretty controversial from the beginning. A daughter of a billionaire married to a millionaire, she never attended public school or had to send her children through the public school system. She was never a teacher and had no school administration experience. Her only qualification seemed to be the massive amounts of money she donated to Republican politicians that ultimately confirmed her nomination and her contributions to groups that sought to “privatize” public schools by giving students vouchers for private charter schools,¬†while also stating that education reform was a way to “advance God’s kingdom” by prioritizing public education funds for parochial charter schools. Continue reading “The Assault on Education Continues”

Racism, Sexism, and Overreaction at UIUC

When I got in my car this morning to head to school, my dashboard thermometer read 0 degrees. It had warmed up a bit by the time that I actually arrived at school, to a blustery 3 degrees, but it was still pretty cold. However, these low temperatures were something that I was expecting after selecting to attend graduate school in the Midwest; I’m smart and rational enough to understand that when winter rolls around, it is going to get cold and I might have to wear an extra layer or two to keep myself warm as I moved between the two buildings that house the majority of my classes.

The last time the Polar Vortex moved through Champaign, we were on our winter break, so you didn’t have people complaining about having to go to school. However, with the second batch of Polar Vortex coming down the horn over the weekend, and with temperatures expected to dip below zero on both Monday and Tuesday this week, I’m sure a lot of the students that were still recovering from weekend hangovers were expecting to be able to stay tucked into their widdle beds and not have to go to school like adults. Continue reading “Racism, Sexism, and Overreaction at UIUC”