Alex Zielinski for Portland Mercury interviews Eddy Binford-Ross, editor-in-chief of Clypian, the student newspaper of South Salem High School, who’s been in Portland covering the nightly protests.
When accountability culture came for Tom Cotton and The New York Times for an op-ed full-throatedly calling for military intervention against Black Lives Matter demonstrators, I wonder if those who came to their defense understood that you can’t actually “cancel” a sitting United States senator, who after all then simply can turn around and use the privilege of his political power to try to ban a history project about the true beginnings of the violence that was American slavery. It’s weird, though, for one person both to call openly for political state violence against Black people in the here-and-now and yet also call for hiding the historical roots of such violence from public view in our schools.
The same damned judge has denied releasing Grace, the Black teenager with ADHD who was jailed for not doing her homework despite not having been getting the accommodations she was due. So now I am angry all over again. If you read the original Pro Publica story, you actually come across impressed at her progress absent those accommodations. Can we send a busload of Portland moms to this courthouse?
I’m so angry right now. I almost didn’t make it through Jodi S. Cohen’s profile of Grace, a Black 15-year-old with ADHD in Michigan who’s been jailed for not doing her homework. That’s literally not an exaggeration. Judge Mary Ellen Brennan needs to be recalled, and Grace’s caseworker, Rachel Giroux, needs to be disciplined or fired.
The initial days of remote school coincided with the start of Grace’s probation. Charisse was concerned that her daughter, who was a high school sophomore and had nearly perfect attendance, would have trouble without in-person support from teachers. Grace gets distracted easily and abandons her work, symptoms of her ADHD and a mood disorder, records show. Her Individualized Education Plan, which spelled out the school supports she should receive, required teachers to periodically check in to make sure she was on task and clarify the material, and it allowed her extra time to complete assignments and tests. When remote learning began, she did not get those supports, her mother said.
I’m not sure that looking at 2020 from the standpoint of a future history textbook chapter makes me feel any better, except from a 1984-like reassurance that someone will be around later to write about us at all.
Hundreds of mathematicians have signed a letter to appear in Notices of the American Mathematical Society calling for the field to cease collaborating with police departments, engage in public audits of algorithms, and to incorporate “learning outcomes that address the ethical, legal, and social implications” in data science courses.
We are aware of reports that some of our Asian students were targeted and discriminated against in connection to the coronavirus. This is unacceptable and contrary to our values of racial equity and social justice. Fear of the outbreak has fueled xenophobic remarks and behaviors in the weeks since the first case of coronavirus. It is important to distinguish medical precautions from racist and discriminatory behaviors. At PPS, we value racial equity and social justice. Our responsibility is to provide welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools where every student can learn and grow to reach their potential, and we do not tolerate hate speech or acts of discrimination. This is especially important at a time when fears about the virus can too easily foster suspicion without regard for facts. Please keep close to our core values, continue to treat everyone in our community with respect and recognize the dignity and humanity of everyone.
From Updated Information Regarding Coronavirus by Portland Public Schools (via Willamette Week)
Once when posting about genrefication I wondered where I’d be shelved given that an NYPL quiz about Dewey placed me in
636: Pets & farm animals. Kimberly Hirsh mentioned at the time that fiction tends to be genrefied more than nonfiction, so today I was super-curious about a post about genrefying nonfiction in some Wisconsin libraries. I was struck by this kicker.
The year I started in this position (2017-2018), there were 3,154 nonfiction books checked out between all five elementary schools. The following year, I started installing the bins. Our nonfiction checkouts rose to 9,031 – a 186 percent increase.
I get why some librarians would be resistent, and I can’t actually conceive of the hoops they’d have to jump through just to implement and get used to a different system themselves, but given the mission of libraries I’d think it’s tough to argue with results like that?
No elementary school which sends a neurodivergent six-year-old girl to a mental health facility because of a “tantrum” has the right to be called Love Grove.
Recently a physical education teacher posted to Twitter a photo of the new “safe spot” she’d created for students to self-regulate. She’d made it out of a garbage can. You can imagine the blowback, although the teacher themselves was flummoxed by it. Today when I heard that the Trump administration is issuing new “guidance” on prayer in public schools, I imagined what people would do if a teacher posted a photo of the new “prayer spot” they’d created for students who need to pray, and it was made out of a garbage can. There’d have been an unholy shitstorm and righteous furor. But, sure, go ahead and stick your neurodivergent kids in the trash.
Here’s a take: I don’t think Gen-X ever really believed we would get out of this world without experiencing a nuclear war.
At one point in high school I’d been put into the “gifted and talented” program (I later had myself removed from it) and our English teacher went on a real nuclear kick. This was during the days of The Day After and Testament. She additionally heaped upon us having to read Alas, Babylon, at which point we rebelled, and refused. We’d had enough. For the rest of the time the book was meant to be the subject of class, she had us just sit quietly and do The New York Times crossword.
Moments like this, I think, for a lot of Gen-X isn’t just about the moment, it’s about being bombarded with dramatizations of the threat of nuclear war over and over in the 1980s.
There’s at least a tiny bit of post-traumatic stress. And, I guess, a little bit of resignation.