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Betsy DeVos Is Considering Rescinding Guidance That Protects Racial Minority Students – Again



Just as she has with transgender students and disabled students, Betsy DeVos is targeting racial minority students – again.

The Education Secretary held two separate listening sessions with the goal of rolling back Obama-era guidance designed to protect racial minority children from being disciplined at higher rates than non-minority children. The guidance was created in 2014 to help stop Black and other minority students from being suspended at high rates, and to break the school-to-prison pipeline.

DeVos chose Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to hold the meetings.

The first session included participants interested in keeping the guidance protections. Among them, the Dept. of Education announced, were the National Education Association, the Association of American University Women, the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Several teachers and administrators were also included, but No students were, and some organizations were effectively barred from participating.

“Groups like the National Women’s Law Center sent DeVos a letter slamming what they called ‘the exclusive and non-transparent approach’ of the summit,” HuffPost reports. “The letter was co-signed by groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality. It expressed the groups’ support for the guidance.”

Senior policy analyst and director of education policy for the Leadership Conference, Liz King, “described the morning meeting as ‘frustrating and underwhelming.’ King spoke directly to Education Department officials about how this administration’s actions are having a negative impact on school climate, especially for LGBTQ and immigrant students. She urged DeVos to maintain the existing guidance,” HuffPost reported.

The second group, which wants the guidance protecting racial minority students rescinded, included a right wing think tank, the Manhattan Institute, which for decades has advocated for charter schools and privatization of government programs.

Other participants included lesser-known educational groups, several teachers and former teachers, and one student.

Many groups were not represented at all.

“King said it was ‘was glaringly apparent there was no one from the disability community, the LGBTQ community, the Native American community, the Latino community, or the immigrant community in the room.'”

DeVos has previously attacked minority students.

One of her first acts was to rescind guidance from the Obama administration detailing how schools could and should protect the civil rights of transgender students. She then rescinded 72 documents designed to help explain to administrators how to protect the civil rights of disabled students. And in October she began work to rescind guidance designed to ensure minority students are not placed in special education classes at a disproportional rate to other students, and that schools are funding special education classes appropriately.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Serves Up Paranoid Election Conspiracy Rant for Thanksgiving: ‘Flick of a Switch Can Change Course of History’



President Donald Trump on Thanksgiving broke weeks of refusing to answer questions from reporters, and focusing his anger on Georgia called its Republican Secretary of State “an enemy of the people” while brewing up an insane new conspiracy theory.

After praising GOP Senators in two run-off elections fighting to keep their seats, Trump said he told Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, “you have a fraudulent system.”

“You have a system where the flick of a switch or the putting in of a new chip can change the course of history.”

He also falsely claimed voting rights advocate and former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams had illegally “harvested” 850,000 ballots. In reality, Abrams says 750,000 Georgia voters have requested absentee ballots.

Watch (poor quality video):

Earlier –
‘No I Can’t Say That’: Trump Says He Will Not Concede – but Will Exit White House if Electoral College Makes ‘Mistake’


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USAID Acting Administrator the Latest Governmental Employee to Test Positive for COVID-19



Acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), John Barsa, has tested positive for coronavirus, Axios reported Wednesday.

Staffers told Axios that they barely wear masks in their office and that Barsa is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. H

“The acting Deputy Administrator has been isolating since he began exhibiting symptoms late Monday, Nov. 23, and will continue to until a retest is conclusive,” spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said in a statement.

Barsa was planning to travel to Honduras this weekend after the country was ravaged by recent hurricanes. Administration officials say they expect that trip won’t happen as he quarantines.

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Adam Schiff: ‘A President Cannot Pardon Himself’ and the ‘Constitution is Not a Suicide Pact’



Adam Schiff

Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) appeared on CNN Wednesday to discuss the pardon of Michael Flynn by President Donald J. Trump and the question arose regarding whether or not the president could, in fact, pardon himself.

“The Justice Department has taken the position that a president cannot pardon himself,” Schiff said. “It would ultimately be up to [the U.S. Supreme Court] to decide. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

Flynn was originally charged with admitting that he had misled investigators about details of his conversations with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential transition.

Watch the video below.

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