Category Archives: Education


Just a thought…

As a teacher, I will gladly agree

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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Education


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Vacaville teacher bans ‘Bless you’?

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting a teacher in Vacaville, CA has told his freshman students they can no longer say “bless you” or “God bless you” when another student sneezes. But, it’s nothing close to what the ever uber-conservative FOX PAC crowd has tried to turn it into.

It appears it all started when high school health teacher Steve Cuckovich disciplined his students at Will C. Wood High School last week for repeatedly disrupting class by responding to sneezes with an overenthusiastic chorus of “Bless you.”

After receiving the “blessing”, the sneezer would then thank each giver of the blessing individually, something that could take a couple of minutes depending on the size of the class, and something that could definitely be disruptive.

So, it isn’t a case of a teacher banning God from class, it’s a case of immature 13 and 14 year olds thinking they’re still in Middle School, and not understanding there’s a different level of expectation in high school; it’s a case of a bunch of punk kids who have been terrorizing classes for a couple of years finally meeting a teacher who wasn’t going to allow it.

Problem is Cuckovich started deducting points from the kid’s grades when they wouldn’t stop the disruptive behavior, and well, when you do something to affect a student’s grade you’re going to have to deal with their parents, and if the parents are crazed evangelical Christians you’re going to see the story on FOX before you hear anything through channels.

And, of course the poor picked on “Christian” students are going to tell Mommy and Daddy they have no idea why the mean anti-Christ teacher is banning “God bless you” or why he’s deducting points.

Having taught high school, I personally think the “disruptive” behavior would have ended if the teacher had just ignored it instead of making it a point of teacher/student struggle, but Cuckovich’s real mistake was making it grade related.

The parents, however, are also wrong for reacting the way they did without trying to find out what was going on; but once again, when you’re dealing with parents who are evangelical Christians, basically walking around with a huge religious chip on their shoulders waiting for someone to challenge their so-called Christianity, coupled with a teacher, who is no doubt in the parent’s FOX addled minds, a Godless liberal, being the one to knock the chip off, then you’re going to have fireworks.

The parents should be telling their kids to knock off the juvenile behavior, not rushing to FOX; and perhaps that’s how things would have occurred if Cuckovich had told the parents what was going on rather than playing into the kid’s behavior. Both sides have handled this badly, but it’s definitely not a case of “the state” stepping on “religion’s” toes.

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Posted by on October 1, 2011 in Education


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Facing Title IX Pressure, Cal May Restore the Teams It Cut?

The New York Times is reporting the University of California, Berkeley is facing some possible trouble over having cut too many sports from its athletic programs having led to a huge disparity in the total amount of “opportunity” available now at the school for woman athletes.

According to the New York Times, Cal would have to add 50 women's positions and cut 80 men's positions to be back in compliance with Title IX, but the university is now considering reversing its earlier decision.

I’m sorry, but into today’s athletic world there’s really no excuse for any college – or high school – to be making these kinds of mistakes. The school’s Athletic Director (AD) Sandy Barbour claims they were talking Title IX all through the decision making process; I’m sorry, but clearly that’s not the case, or if it is then she’s clearly incompetent, because, if the school’s athletic department had been talking about it the school wouldn’t have made such stupid cuts, plain and simple.

The pathetically sad truth here is it’s bad enough when girls have to fight against the backward mentalities of male ADs stuck in an episode of Mad Men, but the pain is more deeply felt when it’s a woman AD making the cuts. It makes you wonder how any woman connected with athletics in today’s world can be so ignorant about Title IX?

“Kristen Galles, a lawyer who represents athletes suing colleges for Title IX violations, questioned the logic behind Cal’s decision, adding that the university might have exposed itself to a lawsuit by the female athletes whose teams are cut.”

Wow, ya think? Of course it’s opened itself up to a law suit; you can’t cut programs so disproportionately and not end up with at most a law suit, and at the very least complaints to the U.S. Department of Education. Title IX isn’t about how many teams a particular school has, it’s about how many opportunities exist for the individual athletes, and those opportunities have to be proportional to the total percentage of undergraduate students enrolled, by gender.

“It doesn’t make sense to be cutting any women’s sports if their numbers are that bad,” Galles said. “These schools do not get sued for not offering enough sports; they get sued when they’re dumb enough to cut women’s teams.”

Barbour said her program should be measured by the number of opportunities it provided to women — 388 in the 2009-10 academic year, compared with 577 male slots — not by their proportion to male athletes. “That’s larger than a lot of athletic programs, period,” she said.

Barbour’s own statements demonstrate how out of touch she is about the law and that she doesn’t understand how Title IX works.

“Assuming that the teams stay cut, we are going to have to really grapple … with intercollegiate athletics about what this means if we are going to be within the guidelines,” said Meg Conkey, an anthropology professor who is a co-chairwoman of the gender equity and diversity subcommittee of the University Athletics Board, a Cal advisory group. “I think everybody is waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.”

This ain’t rocket science professor; if the teams stay cut, and nothing else changes, not only will you not be within the “guidelines”, you’ll be way outside of the box. Title IX isn’t guidelines, this isn’t the Pirate Code, its federal law, and violating it can affect the federal funding to the university. Wake up, and come into the 21st century. The quicker the school admits it screwed up, and reinstates the teams, the quicker it moves on. Otherwise it can find itself under a potentially very intense investigation, and can spend more money trying to defend its particularly moronic decision than it saved from cutting programs. This is about gender equity, and Cal is out of compliance. If it refuses to fix things, sue ladies, it’s your right, and it’s the right thing to do.

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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Education, Gender Equity, Title IX, Women's Rights


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Making a Difference in the Life of Our Nation?

“If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child—become a teacher.” ~ President Barack Obama, State of the Union address 2011

OK, let’s get this out before Rush and the other conservative lemmings begin parroting each other like the sea gulls in “Finding Nemo”. When President Obama spoke last night during the State of the Union Address about people making a difference in the life of our nation by becoming teachers he wasn’t saying teachers should replace parents as the most important people in our children’s lives. And yes, I’m already hearing people “pointing out” how parents are more important, blaah, blaah, blaah …

First, some, it would seem, need to wake up to the fact that for far too many of our children in this country there are no adults who seem to give a flying fig what happens to them, and for many of them teachers fill that great big empty void.

And second, when was it ever bad for our children to have multiple good adult roll models in their lives?


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