Archives for category: Education Reform

Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote recently about Teach for America’s changing focus. Founded in 1990 to recruit college graduates to teach in urban and rural schools for a minimum of two years, TFA made bold claims about the success of its teachers in closing achievement gaps and raising test scores. For many years, they attracted hundreds of millions from corporate sponsors, foundations like Walton, Broad Gates, based on their certainty that their young teachers were better than experienced teachers.

Messenger wrote that teachers were leaving the profession because of demanding parents and school politics.

He thought that might explain why TFA was headed in a new direction.

He wrote:

It’s also a reason why a nonprofit organization that has been providing teachers to several area school districts is changing its focus with a bit of a twist that at first seems disconnected from the problem. Despite the teacher shortage, New York-based Teach for America is no longer providing teachers to the St. Louis Public Schools and other districts. Instead, it will work on training school leaders, like principals, administrators and school board members.

It’s a change that to some degree comes from a place of failure. Teach for America was founded in 1990 as an education reform organization, to try to boost academic achievement of students in urban settings and reduce the learning gap between white and Black students. But the numbers haven’t budged much after 20 years of training young teachers who make a two-year commitment to come to places like St. Louis and teach in public or charter schools.

“As a whole, student achievement is not growing the way we intended it to,” says Elizabeth Bleier, the interim executive director of Teach for America in St. Louis. Bleier came to St. Louis from Chicago. She taught in the St. Louis Public Schools for a few years, and then worked at charter school KIPP in the city for a few more, before going to work at TFA.

With 600 similar alumni in St. Louis, TFA plans to help mentor those teachers and former teachers. This week it announced its latest class of Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship, in which 15 existing public school or charter educators, many of them people of color, will be trained and mentored for a year while earning a principal certification through St. Louis University.

In turning the focus to training principals and other school leaders, Bleier says the goal is to improve school cultures so that teacher retention eventually improves. “There is a lot of teacher and principal turnover in St. Louis,” she says. “When there is a strong school leader, teachers are happier and stay longer. We want our people to be able to go into the schools and have an influence.”

It’s a demonstration of hubris on the part of TFA to believe that they can ”train” TFA teachers to be principals.

How will a staff of teachers, ranging in age from their early 20s to their early 60s react to the announcement that their new principal is 24-25 years old, with two years of teaching experience? It is hard to imagine that the insertion of a young, inexperienced TFA principal would raise morale and stop the exodus of teachers. It seems likely that they would prefer a veteran whom they can turn to for help with teaching problems.

Parent activist Trevor Nelson explains how parents organized to get accurate medical information to other parents and the public. Governor Doug Ducey took a strong stand against mask mandates, and anti-maskers turned school board meetings into screaming matches. Nelson organized parent opposition to policies that endangered their children. He tells his story here at ”Public Voices for Public Schools,” a new website created by the Network for Public Education.

He begins:

Arizona had a problem. The people showing up at our local board meetings were anti-mask and anti-vaccine. Meanwhile, other parents had stopped showing up to the meetings because they felt frustrated and fearful of speaking up at all. Getting yelled at, hooted out, called a liar, and threatened will do that to you. It was starting to feel like the 2020 election all over again. And yet for all of the rancor, I knew that most parents felt the way I did: desperate to get their kids back to school as safely as possible. 

My friend and fellow parent advocate Jessica Wani and I hatched a plan, with the help of some great Arizona healthcare workers to provide grounding in science and data. We’d begin collecting signatures from our fellow Arizonans to put pressure on the state government, local government and school boards, including as many representatives from the medical community as we could get. Even as our governor doubled and tripled down on his extreme anti-mask position, we were determined to demonstrate that when it comes to common sense safety measures in schools, public opinion is on our side.

We started small, with a single google form that people could easily sign, then we began to work on elected officials: boards of supervisors, city councilors, mayors, legislators—we reached out to all of them. And we kept our efforts intentionally non-partisan, making a point of not asking signers about their political affiliation. Next our scrappy team reached out to representatives of the medical community, including pediatricians, family doctors and public health experts.The number of signers quickly grew. By the time we put out our first newsletter, filled with the latest info about health and safety protocols in schools, we were up to 4,000 people. 

The puzzle pieces began to fall into place. As we reached out to medical experts, we also encouraged them to raise their voices. And they did. Doctors and other medical professionals started writing their own letters, reporting on what they were seeing on the ground in real time, as hospitals in Arizona began to fill with COVID patients. They also urged their own colleagues to get involved and help make the case for vaccines, masking and social distancing in schools.

Please read the rest of his account. He is well that the parents and medical community are up against a governor who wants to dismantle public education. But they keep fighting.

The school board of Sarasota County passed a mask mandate to protect student safety, despite Governor Ron DeSantis’ strident opposition to such mandates. When parents learned that they could get a medical exemption form signed by a local chiropractor, they stood in long lines outside his office to get him to sign the form. When the Sarasota board received 1700 requests for medical exemptions, they declined 650 of them. Most of the 650 were signed by chiropractor Dr. Dan Busch. Chiropractors are not medical doctors.

Long lines surrounded Twin Palms Chiropractic late into the evening the day the mandate went into effect. The doctor worked late hours to evaluate and sign medical exemption forms for families all across Sarasota County free of charge.

The next day, district officials announced in an effort to ‘prevent abuse’, the school board would only accept medical exemption forms signed by medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, or advanced registered nurse practitioners. They would no longer accept forms from all licensed healthcare providers, including chiropractors. The change went into effect on the first of September. 

“Dr. Busch is disappointed to learn that the Sarasota County School Board has chosen to reject every single medical exemption to the mask mandate signed by Twin Palms Chiropractic, despite those exemptions previously being accepted, and despite the school board continuing to accept exemptions from other licensed chiropractic physicians, dentists, and psychologists who are no longer able to grant exemptions under the new form,” Busch’s attorney sent 8 On Your Side in a September 2 email.

There are days that we never forget. There are days that everyone remembers.

I still remember the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944. I was six years old. Everyone was crying. It seemed the whole nation was weeping for the president who had led us out of the Depression and through most of the war.

I vividly remember the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I was living in New York City. People stood on the street listening to their portable radios. They clustered in small groups, sharing the unbelievable news from Dallas. I was out part of the day, going to the doctor, but then hurried home, where I was glued to the TV, watching the horrible news as it happened.

September 11 was another day that riveted the attention of everyone, it seems, in the nation and many abroad. Today, on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, we remember that grim day.

I was at home in Brooklyn Heights, just two short blocks from the waterfront. I remember a tremendous noise as I sat at the breakfast table, having a second cup of coffee. I thought it was a bad automobile accident on the BQE (the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). Then I got a phone call from my friend Mary, urging me to turn on the television. Something awful had happened at the World Trade Center. A plane crashed into one of the towers. Maybe it was a small plane that was off course. No one knew.

I grabbed one of my dogs and hurried down to the waterfront. Just as I arrived and looked up, I saw the second airplane slice into the second tower of the World Trade Center. The first tower was in flames on the upper floors. The sky was a beautiful, cloudless blue. I stood with a stranger, we looked at each other, and said something to this effect, “Terrorism. Not an accident. Not a small plane. Terrorism.”

I rushed home to turn on the television to see the first tower collapse, then the second tower. It took time to learn that nearly 3,000 people died that day, including hundreds of firefighters who were running up the stairs as others were running down.

Mary came home, and we went to the local hospital to donate blood. But they turned us away because the hospital was not getting any survivors. We went to the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge to see hundreds of people heading in our direction. Some of them were shoeless. Many were holding briefcases. All of them were covered in the ash from the fires.

Everything in the city came to a halt. The bridges and tunnels were closed. The subways were closed. There was no traffic. There was a steady rain of ash that covered all the cars, streets, and yards in the neighborhood. In our backyard, we found a scorched and charred piece of paper that had been on someone’s desk only an hour or two earlier.

For weeks afterward, the “pile” continued to smolder and burn. The air smelled foul, a combination of burning plastic, melted steel, and human flesh. That acrid odor remained in the air for many weeks. The only sound was the sound of sirens and the whoosh of military jets overheard.

I was by no means a victim, but 9/11 had a dramatic effect on me. Every night, as I tried to fall asleep, I imagined the terror inside the buildings. I imagined those who made the decision whether to burn to death or jump out the window. I couldn’t stop thinking about all those who were lost.

9/11 was a tragedy for the victims and their families. It was a tragedy for our nation. It was a tragedy for the nations on which we made war. It is impossible to look back on our “revenge” and sense any satisfaction. There had to be retribution for mass terrorism, for an unprecedented attack on our country, but our remedies were wrong. Easy to see in hindsight. Not so clear in the moment, when passions ran high. The least we should expect from our government is: tell the public the truth. Always.

Carol Burris dug into federal charter school grants and was appalled by what she discovered in North Carolina.

The Charter Schools Program Funds White Flight Schools in North Carolina We were appalled when we saw the list of charter schools funded by federal money through the CSP. The U.S Department of Education awarded a grant to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction that passed the money on to white flight charters to expand. Awards were given to schools that do not participate in the federal lunch program nor provide transportation, as well as schools that require parents to volunteer or make donations.  One of the schools even uses corporal punishment. Eleven of the schools are or will be run by for-profits.

The Network for Public Education and more than 60 other national and local organizations wrote a letter to Secretary Cardona asking him to investigate and call back the grant issued by Betsy De Vos. We also filed a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General on irregularities we found.

Our complaints are under review. This blatant abuse of federal tax dollars, increasing segregation in the North Carolina public school system, cannot stand.

Due to the resurgence of COVID, the Network for Public Education has rescheduled its annual conference, which was planned for October in Philadelphia. Safety first!

NPE Re-schedules Conference for March 2022 and More

We are so disappointed to announce that we need to re-schedule our NPE/NPE Action conference until next spring. However, we are happy to announce that we have secured a new date–March 19 and 20. Again, we will be in Philadelphia at the Doubletree Hotel.

We were hopeful this time. Even when Delta began, we believed, as told, that breakthrough infections are rare. They are not. Every one in five infections in New Jersey, the only state that seems to be keeping track, sickens a vaccinated person. 20% is not rare.

And so we realized that even with a vaccine mandate for attendees, we could not protect you or the children and young students you might return to when the conference is done.

We ask for your patience once again. As public education advocates fighting the uphill battle to save and improve public schools, we look with hope to the spring of 2022.

There is no need to re-register. We will honor your tickets. If you canceled and were kind enough to donate your ticket, let us know, and we will make sure you get a free ticket to attend. We are happy to issue refunds minus credit and bank fees, but the best deal is holding that registration and saving fees and price increases.

This is one of the stranger stories of the year. ESPN broadcast a high school football game, having been convinced that one of the teams–Bishop Sycamore–contained some amazing recruits. After Bishop Sycamore lost by a whopping 58-0, ESPN checked out the school and couldn’t find any hard evidence that it exists.

To the extent that the school exists, it is located (or not) in Ohio, where the Republican governor and legislature are gaga for school choice.

Peter Greene wrote about Bishop Sycamore High School here.

No one is quite sure whether the school exists. It says it is a private school in the Columbus City school district, but the district doesn’t know them.

Was there ever a Bishop named “Sycamore?” No one knows.

This is my favorite part of the story. Governor DeWine was asked to comment:

Ohio Governor DeWine issued a statement saying, Hmm, that seems fishy. Maybe have the department of education look into it “to ensure the school is providing the educational opportunities Ohio students deserve.”

Darrell Moss became concerned about the number of adolescents who died in automobile accidents and began to research brain development. He is not an educator nor a medical expert, but he asked if he could share his findings.

He wrote the following.

To teachers,

This paper is not intended to tell any of you how to teach. It does, however, make recommendations of what I believe should be added to the curriculum of public education. How to teach them is your expertise.

In 2013 I asked: Why is there so much destructive, especially self-destructive adolescent behavior; is there anything we can do to curb it?

I went into my lab consisting of beakers of curiosity, common sense, contemplation, meditation, and one filled to the brim with hope. Eight years later, I say yes. After you have read my recommendations to improve preadolescent schooling that follow the results of my research, I hope you will too. Here, I am primarily concerned with automobile accidents, but its solution applies to all destructive behavior. Pertinent recent information tells us that self-driving cars probably won’t be available to the general public until the year 2050.

In a May 19th, 2021 issue of Globe and Mail, Jason Tchir quoted Kelly Funkhouser, head of connected and automated vehicles for Consumer Reports: “I’ve been saying for the last five years that self driving cars aren’t likely to be here before, I would guess, 2050. Anyone telling you it’s sooner than that is trying to sell you something, whether it’s a product or a dream.” Then, in a June 5, 2021 issue of the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Mims wrote: “In 2021 some experts aren’t sure when if ever, individuals will be able to purchase steering wheel-free cars that drive themselves off the lot.” He continues “In contrast to investors and CEO’s, academics who study artificial intelligence, systems engineering and autonomous technologies have long said that creating a fully self-driving automobile would take many years, perhaps decades.”

According to CDC statistics, we have lost 983,028 young people, ages 16-24, from automobile accidents since 1913; and for a narrower range, 255,452, ages 15-19, since 1975. (These include 2017) As I write, I will make passing remarks about other features of my book in progress: The Syllabus of Adulthood, a book responding to damage done to children when the earthquake caused by The Industrial Revolution shook apart the adult community–their syllabus of adulthood –leaving them without explicit examples of appropriate adult behavior to watch, reflect upon, simulate and copy.

As you can see, this leaves them with a gap in their ability to make executive function decisions which had guided them through puberty and early adolescence since the beginning of our species. Why is this important? Because it erupted into an increase in juvenile crime: Boston, for example, 1579 arrests in 1885, 4596 in 1904. Crime was measurable: per 100,000 population in 1895, 395; 1904, 766.

Less measurable, destructive behavior among adolescents began to seep into the lives of more and more families. What was it that until this revolution had protected our youth from anything more dangerous than the simple risk taking that evolution had selected for and conserved? What was the mechanism that translated watching and imitating appropriate adult behavior into a safe landing in adolescence?

We’ve all heard the advice, “set a good example for your kids”; most have heard about, “that little voice in the back of my head”; some have read Wordsworth’s sentence he used in a poem about watching the rainbow, “The child is father of the man”; my update The child is parent of the adult.

Enter the cerebellum, nestled below the occipital lobe of the cerebral cortex at the back of the head, likely home to all the above. Cerebellum takes up only ten percent of the brain’s total volume, yet holds between 70 and 80 percent of its 80-100 billion neurons. That should be some indication of its importance.

 Jeremy Schmahmann teaches at Harvard and heads the Ataxia Department at Massachusetts General Hospital:

I quote from a 2019 paper titled The Cerebellum and Cognition. He authored a book of the same title in 1997. “For almost 200 years the cerebellum has been regarded as engaged only in motor control. What it does to sensorimotor and vestibular control, it does to cognition, emotion, and autonomic function….the cerebellum maintains behavior around a homeostatic baseline, automatically without conscious awareness, informed by implicit learning, and performed according to context.”

“Automatically without conscious awareness” is the result of what are called internal models–copies of mental models of sensory processing in the cerebral cortex of the child, transferred to the cerebellar cortex where they are collected and stored, eventually to implicitly influence adolescent behavior.

In my correspondence with one of the leading cerebellum research scholars, Larry Vandervert, he replied to an email with the quote below commenting that it updates our understanding of the role of the cerebellum, even suggesting that I place it following the Schmahmann quote.

“Specifically, Van Overwalle, Manto, Leggio and Delgado-Garcia (2019) hypothesized how the cerebellum contributes to the process of making what is learned in such autobiographical knowledge automatic and intuitive:

 We hypothesize that the cerebellum acts as a “forward controller” of social, self-action and interaction sequences. We hypothesize that the cerebellum predicts how actions by the self and other people will be executed, what our most likely responses are to these actions, and what the typical sequence of these actions is. This function of forward controller allows people to anticipate, predict and understand actions by the self or other persons and their consequences for the self, to automatize these inferences for intuitive and rapid execution [italics added], and to instantly detect disruptions in action sequences. These are important social functions. Consequently, if neurological disorders affect the cerebellum, detrimental effects on social functionality might be found, especially on more complex and abstract social cognitive processes. The cerebellum would be a “forward controller” that not only constructs and predicts motor sequences, but also takes part in the construction of internal models that support social and self-cognition. In this respect, the cerebellum crucially adds to the fluent understanding of planned and observed social inter-actions and contributes to sequencing mechanisms that organize autobiographical knowledge. (p. 35) 

Van Overwalle F, Manto M, Leggio M, Delgado-García J. The sequencing process generated by the cerebellum crucially contributes to social interactions. Medical Hypotheses. 2019;128: 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.05.014.

Vandervert summarizes: “the cerebellum orchestrates the social self (autobiographical self) by which the person (young student) comes to know themselves (the good self and/or the bad self) in automatic cognitive ways and in their automatic responses to everyday situations.”

Leonard  Koziol et al, in a 2011 paper titled From Movement to Thought:  Executive Function, Embodied Cognition, and the Cerebellum. “Therefore a cerebellar internal model consists of all the dynamic sensory and motor processes necessary to perform a movement or behavior…The cerebellum learns through practice to perform operations faster and more accurately, which explains how a person is able to move skillfully and automatically after repeated practice.”

Thus it was the cerebellum, copying, accumulating, and inventorying for future use the imitating  activities–“repeated practice”–of the child observing the adult community, that enabled our ancestral children to ”move skillfully and automatically” through puberty and early adolescence absent the destructive behavior plaguing our teenagers.

Not surprising, Masao Ito, who for more than fifty years studied and made a computational model of the cerebellum described it as “A brain for an implicit self.”

For any of you who would like to pursue learning more about the cerebellum, I highly recommend the writings of Larry Vandervert, a retired college neuroscientist, now in private practice. He summarizes current, and past, research, then makes and writes about his own inferences that elegantly educate the reader.

You will read about the cerebellum’s role in sequence detection, leading to the phonological loop in working memory, then cause and effect, and problem solving and tool making, paving the way for our species’ evolution of culture and innovation; about context dependent internal models, while learning a skill and context independent internal models, having learned that skill. You will learn that when we have a problem to solve, and apply deep thinking to it, cerebellum blends internal models from its vast inventory of the past, sends them to the forebrain where eventually, intuition, insight, and creativity flash across the cortices. He teaches when he writes. Take advantage of learning from him.

Another excellent source is Christopher Bergland, author of The Athlete’s Way, writing superbly on a Psychology Today blog.

Applying implications of what we have learned about cerebellum to the eradication of destructive adolescent behavior as it applies to automobile accidents, using auto- simulators, we will begin driving lessons for youngsters at age 9 in fourth grade. By the time they receive their driving license at age 16, there will have been deposited in the cerebellum, thousands of internal models of proper and safe driving, which will prompt proper and safe driving by teenagers, making decisions automatically influenced by internal models from below the level of their conscious awareness. Having received the same training, peers will no longer goad and taunt destructive behavior. (The investment in auto-simulators will be repaid by money no longer spent on teen auto accidents, and should go first where they are needed the most).)

Metal-ripping, glass-shattering, blood- splattering, dream-squashing, life-taking automobile accidents will diminish to being strictly accidental. Risky behavior will become what evolution selected for and conserved, the means to discover one’s place in the hierarchy of the community plus, more importantly, attract and select a mate in order to pass one’s genes onto the next generation.

On another note: long lists of advice, currently necessary, given to teachers and parents by neuro-psychologists such as Lawrence Steinberg, imply a blank spot in executive function of the developing child. Defying common sense, it also implies that evolution would abandon young people during probably the most important stage of their lives.  The lists, however wise, are feeble substitute for the missing internal models in the developing teenager’s cerebellum, normally acquired from the once stable child’s adult community, and intended to provide the protection of implicit persuasion guiding executive function decisions while acquiring his/her own.

My book, The Syllabus of Adulthood, will include chapters, each stating a different destructive behavior, such as unwanted pregnancy, for example, with a solution that involves recommended changes in elementary school. Changes that will begin building desirable internal models in the cerebellum that will, in this case, unconsciously discourage unprotected sexual activity during adolescence.

Too, I have devised a system which will determine students’ aptitudes and most likely interests by the time they are 16. Aptitudes stabilize at age 14. It involves viewing career videos; writing their impression and reading it to the class; and in later grades reporting it to the class without prompts, getting them comfortable towards public speaking.

Professionals will design the videos, including an expert in what new careers will be 50 years from now. By sixth grade, a teacher will have a good idea which videos to show which student. Beginning in sixth grade students will go to library and view only those their teacher has selected. The end result will leave students exiting the cocoon of adolescence for that first glimpse in Jeffrey Arnett’s brilliantly illuminated mirror of “Emerging Adulthood” (Second edition, Oxford University, 2015), boasting a greater confidence than they have now of what the future holds, including selecting a major in college.

A friend I met on the internet, Kathryn Asbury, co-author of G is For Genes, who teaches at York College in England, after discussing my system with her, asked her class of college students if they would have benefited from such a program.  They all raised their hands.

To repeat: The Industrial Revolution shook apart the child’s syllabus of adulthood from which to watch, reflect, simulate, and copy appropriate habits, tasks, skills, and behavior. Fathers, some mothers, older sibling, aunts, uncles answered job demands from industry, leaving children, in too many instances, mostly in working families, to fend for themselves.

A substitute for parental absence was and is needed to prepare them for puberty and adolescence. One that will give them explicit examples they no longer see in the absent adult community, that copy as internal models in the cerebellum, providing, implicit, unconscious automatic persuasion, effecting appropriate behavior in adolescence.

That substitute is public education. We need to add programs providing protective cerebellar internal models in elementary school as adjunct to currently taught traits, such as honesty, civility, personal responsibility, patriotism, courage, obedience, empathy, that, too often, no matter how well learned, tragically, still leave students vulnerable to the predators of destructive adolescent behavior.

We need these traits, but we also need what I call the skills of adulthood, skills needed in order to apply them when making appropriate adult decisions. Teaching driving lessons in fourth grade is the teaching of a skill of adulthood. Being able to apply personal responsibility in not getting pregnant is a skill of adulthood. Having the courage to admit addiction and seeking help is a skill of adulthood.

Utilizing what we have learned about the cerebellum in curbing destructive adolescent behavior provides me the answer to my question: Can we do anything to curb it? That answer is yes. I hope you will agree.

Darrell Moss

Moses Lake, Washington

Peter Greene was reading a sports column and saw a reference to the coach’s staff. This reference sent him on a flight of fancy: what if every teacher had a staff?

What if every teacher had a secretary, an assistant, her own copying machine?

He knows it’s a fantasy, but what if?

Steve Hinnefeld lives in Indiana. He was taken aback recently to hear anti-maskers comparing themselves to leaders of the civil rights movement.  He says we know just enough history to get it wrong. 

He wrote: 

Last week, the Bloomington Herald-Times reported on one of the many fights that have erupted over whether students should wear face coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19. A father told the reporter that he and his fifth-grade daughter were inspired by Rosa Parks to reject wearing masks…

Maybe we should be encouraged that a 10-year-old in a rural school district that’s 95% white would be inspired by the actions of a Black seamstress 65 years ago. The problem is, we’ve learned a mostly false story about Rosa Parks. She wasn’t a simple seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus because she was tired. She was a quiet but committed activist who served as secretary of the Montgomery NAACP and traveled to the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee for interracial activism training, a radical act at that time.

Letting her arrest be used to challenge segregation was an act of profound courage. “The white folks will kill you, Rosa,” her husband told her. He no doubt meant it literally, and with good reason.

Parks wasn’t protesting the inconvenience or discomfort of wearing a mask in order to check the spread of a deadly disease. She was striking a blow against the Jim Crow segregation that had relegated her people to second-class citizenship for 80 years.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott, which Parks’ arrest sparked, lasted over a year and led to a Supreme Court decision that the city’s buses had to be integrated. It launched the activist career of Martin Luther King Jr., then a 26-year-old minister. Now everyone, it seems, wants to claim King as their own.

At a central Indiana school board meeting last week, an anti-mask parent said, “This is our Martin Luther King moment to say no,” a reporter tweeted. It wasn’t clear what he meant, but it seems unlikely King would have downplayed the seriousness of a virus that’s hit Black Americans especially hard.

At the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, King famously talked about his dream that someday his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Today, Republican legislators – in Texas and elsewhere – twist those words to try to prevent students from learning hard truths about America’s racial history, which they label “critical race theory.” They say that teaching about race is “divisive” and could make white children uncomfortable.

Hinnefeld points out that Dr. King was the most divisive and controversial people of his time. He made many people feel uncomfortable. If he had not, nothing would have changed. Frankly, it’s astonishing to hear enemies of public health compare themselves to courageous fighters for justice and equality.