Some liberal Democrats are fighting back tears when discussing President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Muslims from seven nations.
But in 1975, leftist Dems went to great lengths to keep Vietnamese refugees (even orphans) out of the United States.
Trump issued the order, the White House said, so that a better system to vet refugees coming from those nations can be put into place.
The Democrat complaints in 1975 appeared to center on the fact that the refugees were escaping communism, an ideology, analysts say, liberals did not find that objectionable.
Leading the effort to ban the Vietnamese refugees was California’s Gov. Jerry Brown. Other prominent Democrats calling for the ban were Delaware’s Sen. Joe Biden, former presidential “peace candidate” George McGovern, and New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.
It’s amazing what a civil rights lawsuit and some federal judicial muscle have done to force officials in California to address the vexing homelessness problem in Orange County, especially in the dreary encampments along the Santa Ana River trail. Judge David Carter excoriated county and city officials during an unorthodox court proceeding on Tuesday that produced in hours an agreement that had been elusive during weeks of wrangling.
The deal lets local governments clear out the sprawling camps in exchange for providing 30-day emergency vouchers for people to stay at motels. The Orange County Board of Supervisors also announced that it will soon provide more than 300 additional beds or tents for the homeless at facilities around the county.
Homelessness isn’t just an Orange County problem, of course. It’s a growing mess throughout California and the nation. I’ve seen communities of all sizes and political dispositions wrestle unsuccessfully with it for decades. Cities such as San Francisco that throw money at the problem become magnets for homelessness, with sections of the city resembling an outdoor sewer.
This will be a surprise to anyone around my age: grade floors.
When I was a kid, that was 0% but not any more. In some places, the worst you can get is a “D” for doing nothing.
The supposed purpose is to give hope. Yet it’s shortsighted, giving an unearned grade for failing work.
It also gives parents an unrealistic expectation about their kids’ knowledge.
And parents wonder why their “B” students are having to take remedial English and Math in college.
Failing grades deprive students of hope,” argues Marlena Little, a Memphis teacher. Her fifth graders are two or more years below grade level, she writes. “Without a grading floor, all of my current students would have grades below a 65 percent.”
Grade floors are a“short-sighted solution to a larger issue,” writes Natalie McKinney, who runs a Memphis nonprofit, Whole Child Strategies, Inc. “Obtaining an unearned grade only provides a misleading indication of a child’s growth.”
This matters because our students depend on us to ensure they will be prepared for opportunities after high school. To do this, our students must possess, at the very least, a foundation in reading, writing and arithmetic. If we mask real academic issues with grade floors year after year, we risk missing a chance to hold everyone — community, parents, the school board, district administration, school leaders, teachers, and students — accountable for rectifying the issue.
. . . An accurate grade helps the teacher, parents, and district appropriately respond to the needs of the student. And true compassion lies in how we respond to a student’s F. It should act as an alarm, triggering access to additional work, other intervention from the teacher or school, or the use of agrade recovery program.
Little also wants parents to know the truth about their children’s achievement level by coupling a grade floor “with information that accurately highlights where a student is, both within the district and nationally.”
I’ve experienced first-hand schools that give passing grades for failing work, just to encourage kids and parents.
In last week’s post on “grading floors,” Memphis teachers debated whether giving minimum grades for minimal achievement motivates failing students — or misleads them and their parents.
Emily Langhorne taught in affluent Fairfax County, Virginia before joining the Progressive Policy Institute, she writes on The 74. She became complicit in lowering expectations for students’ achievement and work habits.
District policies discourage teachers from setting “hard” deadlines or “giving a student less than 50 percent on an assignment (regardless of the quality of work or level of completion),” Langhorne writes. Teachers are encouraged to “allow retakes on all major assignments if a student earns less than an 80.”
Not only do these policies create extra work for already overworked teachers, they also promote an attitude of low expectations that does a disservice to our students in the long run. They teach students that deadlines aren’t important, that you can receive half the credit for none of the work, that achievement is detached from practice, and that you can always bank on a second chance.
In theory, students are graded for “ultimate mastery of skills or content knowledge,” she writes. But they’re not. Thanks to “quality points,” a student who earns an A in the first quarter and fails the next three quarters will pass with a D.
At a broad national level, statistics tell us there is no teacher shortage. In fact, the number of U.S. teachers has grown by 13 percent in four years, far outpacing the 2 percent rise in student enrollment during the same period. But that doesn’t mean teacher shortages aren’t real.